I've had my latest bike for 2 years now and it came with SRAM Red groupset and SRAM S40 wheels. I have found the SRAM product to very good and have had no trouble in using or maintaining the various components. I have noticed that when someone posts on this site for advice re which wheels or groupset to go with that SRAM rarely gets a mention. I haven't had much experience with the other brands at an equivalent level but am interested in why SRAM doesn't get recommended all that often. I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts as I'm getting a bit paranoid! I don't intend to start a discussion about which is best but does SRAM stack up against the other brands?
Interesting enough - I believe Noel's latest bike is Di2 - and as much as I love SRAM - if I had the money, I would be tempted to try Di2 next time, unless of course SRAM develop electronic shifting
Noel did tell me he had Di2's on his latest ride. I didn't get into depth about the bike he has. But for the money you can spend on Di2 you could easily pay for another decent road bike. I spose running your own bike business has its perks.
Many years ago I studied music at Adelaide Uni (SACAE it was then).
I recall the trumpet players seemed to spend hours sitting in the cafe discussing mouthpieces. Not trumpets mind you - just the different mouthpieces. Hours and hours every day!
Funny how things change and yet stay the same!
Mouthpiece the most important part of a trumpet.....if the sound going into the trumpet sounds like sh*t then thats how it will come out the other end.
I had a SRAM groupset on my last bike and I have Ultegra on the new bike. Anyone who was near me yesterday on the GW group ride would have heard my thoughts on the newer groupset, which I don't think would be able to be written on here in this timeslot.
So far, I found the SRAM to shift easier, have better shifters, and have better appearance. I really loved the SRAM groupset on my last bike and it will be sorely missed.
@ Alasdair, Don't take this the wrong way, but I don't think it is an adjustment thing.
The shifter throw on the SRAM shifters is much shorter and the shifters have less play in them, making it much easier to shift.-They just feel so much more precise.
The Ultegra shifters I have now have plastic components as part of the design, where as my previous SRAM ones were all metal with the brake levers (not used as part of the shifting mechanism unlike the Ultegra ones) were carbon.
I had SRAM Force, and I wouldn't say that it was either louder or quieter than the Ultegra ones I have now
Lee@ I heard somebody suggest that you might not have been moving your levers quite positively enough so the chain wasn't moving completely and/or smoothly to the next gear. Might be worth going back to the shop and setting the bike up on a trainer and getting somebody to critique your technic
SRAM and Shimano have very different shifting mechanic. As a result they both feel very different in terms of the shift. I have noticed that a lot of riders struggle when they change from one to the other as a result.
Give it a bit of time and you will find that your m muscle memory will get use to the new shifting style and you will wonder what the problem was.
Yes, That's right, it does take a bit of time. When I changed from Ultegra to Sram I had the same problem and had trouble with shifting gear, but after a few rides, became accustomed to the different system. But now, when I test ride a Shimano bike, I have the same problem in reverse and it takes a bit of concentration to remember the system is different. I don't have any real preference, both are good but I think the front derailleur shifting is better and more forgiving to minor poor adjustment on Shimano.
Clive, there is nothing wrong with my technique. It seems to be working fine now.
As I said in my earlier post, the shifters are longer on the Ultegra group sets meaning that you have to push the levers further. As I also said in my earlier post, there is more play in the Ultegra shifters also. If you actually try a SRAM shifter you will see what I mean.
When you get to the higher ends of all the groupset, from about 105/Apex/Athena up you get a good solid product that has evolved well to suit its market.
All the groupset have their pro’s and con’s but in the end I think it all comes down to preference in methodology for shifting.
Having ridden and worked on all the groupset here is my 2 cent summary.
By not really pursuing the OEM market they have not developed a wider following with newer riders. In my opinion campy has lost the battle a bit when it comes to the cycling market and made them a bit of a niche market.
Although the various parts of the groupset are repairable this is not something that the average mechanic can or is able to do. You need to be a registered repaired to easily source the various little bits and pieces which require that you attend their course and gain certification. As far as I am aware there is only one shop in Australia that currently meets these requirements, located in Melbourne, and getting repairs can be quite pricey. This also creates one of the main problems that I see with Campy is that there are parts, in the shifters for instance, that are designed to wear and have seen shifters that need servicing after only 18 months of hard use.
First of a disclaimer, I ride Shimano and it is my preferred groupset. That being said it does have some downfalls.
Firstly the evolution of 7900 was not brought to market with the normal rigour and adherence to useability. I think that it was designed to meet the Di2 designed and then back engineered to meet a mechanical space. This is why so many riders have a problem with the heaviness of the shifting compared to 7800, particularly in the front derailleur.
The reason for this was it coincided with the evolution of internal framed bikes this cause the amount of friction was more than expected by the designers. As a result the standard cables used by Shimano caused problems, which is why everyone went to aftermarket Jagwire, Gore etc. You even started to see it as OEM on higher end bikes. Shimano has only just caught up to this market but their product is still not at the same standard as say Gore, but is cheaper. They still don’t supply the better cables in new products yet, something that really annoys me.
SRAM saw this problem early with their product and started suppling Gore Ride On cables in their 3rd series release, followed by SRAM branded versions from about series 5 on.
As a new groupset on the market you can only commend and admire them for what they have done in terms of penetration. They do build a good product with some real innovation, such as the Apex rear derailleur.
My problem is with them is how they have coned a lot of the users with their marketing mumbo jumbo.
My example is their quote of being the lightest groupset on the market which they used heavily with the campaign for RED in the past. This is true based on a couple of things. Firstly that you use the RED cassette, which with a few exceptions in the Pro Peloton no one who wants to keep friends in the bunch will use. The acoustics of the one piece unit is like sticking an amplifier on 20 and letting it rip. The 1070 cassette is cheaper and does not sound like a freight train. Secondly the weight quoted assumes that you are using the climber rings, which even SRAM admitted were a bit light and flexi and stoped including them in groupsets as standard over the last 2 years. This was why you saw so many Pro’s using the TT rings in the early incarnations and has been linked to a potential cause for the ‘Chaingate’ saga at the TDF a couple of years ago.
Also the high use of carbon in derailleurs did cause some problems in terms of breakage which was good for us in the shop but not so much for the everyday users. The reason that the bikes in the peloton tended to use rebadged Force components instead.
That being said the new Red is very nice and has come a long way since the early days. Particularly in the hood design, something I could never get comfortable with in the old version.