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SRAM shifter kaput
Last Post 12/09/2013 02:06 PM by 79 pmooney. 11 Replies.
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11/23/2013 05:50 PM
OK, per my earlier note on my trials with the Force front der on the cross bike not shifting well...So, my right shifter gave up the ghost within 1.5 years of moderate use on the B cross bike. JRA and, oops, the shift lever was loose in my right little fingers - just broke off way deep in the shift mechanism, slight tug, and out it came. The warranty went thru so they stand behind there product. Seeing some room for improvement though for sure. Did some Internet searches and looks like earlietr generation stuff had some issues and the trajectory sounds better now. So, there are definitely some things I like about their stuff (rear shifting, double tap controls) but am seeing they have some room for continued improvement. Anyone else see similar QC or longevity issues w. some of the mid tier SRAM groups? j


12/04/2013 12:22 AM
I read your earlier post and that got me thinking about all the missed front shifts I have had with my red 10. Sometimes it just won't jump up to the big ring and everything I have read said switching to a Shimano fd did the trick. I think that I am going to head down that road whenever I can find a good deal on a DuraAce FD from Ebay. What vintage did you get?

This is my first experience with sram, outside of my mountain bike. I really like the doubletap shifters, they fit my hands a lot better than the Shimano brifters I have had in the past.


12/04/2013 11:56 AM
I have Force on my road bike and like it just fine. I have a compact crank on there and the front shifting isn't as crisp as I would like but I don't race so no big deal. In preparation for a new bike (yay) I test rode a demo Seven for a few weks and it had older Dura Ace on there. Two things I noticed, the DA front der., even with a compact crank, was very precise and crisp compared to the Sram FD on the compact. And, the Sram brifters for me are WAAAAAAAAY more comfortable. Might just be the set up and brifter/handlebar combination but I don't think so. They did look ergonomically different. The new bike will have Red brifters and FD and RD. Force everything else. The Seven retailer I am working with had a special order for the Red components and the customer backed out after the shop took delivery so I am getting them at shop cost :-) Too bad it wasn't the whole group!


12/04/2013 12:16 PM
My Force 2010/2011 rear shifter also failed after about a year of use and was warrantied by SRAM without hesitation. It was a known problem per SRAM's rep, and the replacement shifter has worked without issue.


12/06/2013 12:22 AM
I went with dura ace 7900 for the front and it has been flawless with my double tap shifters. That being said, I have heard the new SRAM yaw front ders can work with older SRAM gear they just don't recommend it. but I can recommend the dura ace if you want to ditch your force.
Warranty already processed so no complaints there.

I did race twice this past weekend and the new shifter worked fine. Well see how it holds up...

I like the stuff but have a preference for shimano even over campagnolo which I have also owned. My favorite thing about SRAM is the ability to pull the shift lever right next to your bars, fantastic for sprint starts like a cross race. I also like the lever shape. I just feel like shimano across the system is so darn smooth and the cassettes, particularly ultegra, are great as well.


Sweet Milk


12/06/2013 10:43 AM
Generally I much prefer Shimano over the competition for its smoothness, however, for cross I like the tactile feel and audible feedback of my SRAM Rival brifters over anything else (including Force and Red).

Mine have gone through 4 seasons of hard racing and are ok, am I lucky, or did the Rival brifters (2009) not have the same issues?


12/06/2013 11:59 AM
somehow the mechanical failure does not surprise me, I have had SRAM atb shifters last like 1 ride (left side, no less)

I had a force kit, it never broke but it did not wear well. after a year it looked like it had been in a sand blaster - everything with pitted and looked terrible. never got the front shifter to work well either. Dura ace 7800 and some new ultegra off of craigslist fixed everything. SRAM is an example of what great marketing and cheap manufacturing will get you


12/07/2013 05:33 PM
SRAM has worked fine for me. No durability issues. I spent two years riding SRAM Force. Then one year of all RED, and then 2-3 years of RED shifters with Red RD, Shimano Dura-Ace chain and cassette and a Dura-Ace FD. If you run the cable to the outside of the fixing bolt of the FD, it works really well even with the slightly different pull ratio. When the new Yaw derailleur came out I popped for it. Even with older (non-Yaw) Red shifters it is at least as good as the RED shifter with the Dura-Ace FD. I now run all RED shifters and derailleurs with a Dura-Ace chain and cassette. Next chain/cassette upgrade I may go back to SRAM. If and when I change I may go electric... but I have ridden Campag, Shimano, Force, and Red. Different ergonomics but they all worked great. I like the double-tap. I'd love a double-tap electronic. My current set-up may last for at least 2 or 3 years though. My old Force shifters are now on the Ridley break-apart cross-bike. Unfortunately I don't ride that bike much lately so durability likely won't be an issue. Campag is likely the prettiest, Shimano likely works best, but I prefer the SRAM ergonomics.


12/07/2013 10:44 PM
Curious why you are using shimano cassettes and chain? I moved to those on my bike because the sram midline stuff didn't last like ultegra and now that I replaced it w/ shimano the shifting seems a bit smoother now.
Gonzo Cyclist


12/08/2013 01:46 PM
SRAM front derailures are notoriously horrible, even the latest "Improved" version is bad. I have not heard much bad about the brifters other than they don't survive a crash too well from we have seen at the shop.
We were on a ride one day, the boss had SRAM Red, man that front "D" was making all kinds of bad noises, missing shifts, etc.... my Shimano Ultegra is so smooth by compariosn, I have to actually look down to see if it shifted


12/09/2013 01:26 PM
I got a great deal on a bunch of Shimano cassettes and chains from ProBikeKit and bought 3 cassettes and 9 chains. I typically alternate through 3 chains, 2 cycles each. It seems to give me the best longevity/value. I am now on my last cassette just finishing the first rotation on the second chain. Gives me 4 more chain rotations to go. My riding has dropped way off so this last cassette will likely last till sometime in 2015.


12/09/2013 02:06 PM
CG, I read your account of chain/cassette life expectancies, think about the same for my fix gears and shake my head. I haven't gotten very organized about the drive trains of the bikes that get about half my mileage, but it seems that chains go about 15,000+ miles on perhaps 2 cogs. I replace them when I can measure the stretch because by that time I can no longer remember how old they are. Can't remember the last time I replaced a cog. I have two or three of my most used sizes so I can have them on all three regularly used wheels. And I try to keep the winter bike and the good bike's cogs separate, but they do get mixed up. I know I am breaking all sorts of laws, but it seems to matter little.

Chains? ~$22 for a Ukia. Cogs? ~$35 for the common sizes. (Dura-Ace or Eurasia Imports. Track quality.) So all cogs, 12-23 cost about $500. 2 chains: $44. The next three years cost lubricant and solvent. Then a running average of about $20/year for cogs and chains. I put together a new fixie two years ago and bought a bunch of cogs, 12, 13, and 20-23 because for the first time I have a bike I could put them on. Dialing in that bike cost me a chain or two. But since August of last year, chain lube has been my only drive train expense for my 3 fixies. I haven't mentioned chainrings but 1/8" chainrings of 42 teeth or larger last a long time.

The shifting? Not as fast, but the wrenches work flawlessly every time!

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