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View Full Version : SRAM front shifting, not so good...


floxy1
03-20-2012, 10:16 PM
I really like my Rival groupo but the front shifting leaves a lot to be desired. Can't get it into the outside ring unless I'm in the lower half of the cassette and even then it's not always smooth. I've done the 2-3 mm above the outside ring and triple checked the cage is parallel to the rings. Cable tension is so tight I'm afraid the cable is going to snap. High and low limits seem good (there's a slight bit of rub in big/big and small/small combos. I'm out of ideas. Is there a secret to dialing in SRAM front shifting? Only other thing I can think of is the chainring ramps/pins are worn and it's not picking up the chain. I'm about ready to go back to Shimano if I can't get this fixed. Ideas?

esldude
03-20-2012, 10:48 PM
Cannot help. I have a titanium SRAM Force FD. It too shifts poorly. Very poorly. I cannot even figure out why. Have adjusted, changed angles etc. Everything I can change and it just doesn't shift well. I will probably get any Shimano FD to replace it. Have an old MTB Shimano SLX I will possibly use in the interim. Have to be better.

Nice carbon frame bike that works great except for this barely functional shifting on the front derailleur.

likebikes
03-20-2012, 10:51 PM
sounds about right to me.

benitosan1972
03-20-2012, 11:01 PM
this problem is common to SRAM: Rival, Force, even Red.
the best solution is to switch to Shimano or Campy, lol.

rice rocket
03-20-2012, 11:30 PM
It's an alignment issue. I had this issue on my DA7800 derailleur.

I took it to the LBS and they set it up right.

sw3759
03-20-2012, 11:43 PM
actually i am kind of surprised to hear all the negative comments about the Red front shifting.i cant comment on the Force or Rival as i haven't used it.
i have close to 2k miles on mine and it has never missed a shift dropped a chain.i don't really shift under alot of power,maybe a habit from before we had any ramps or pins.i guess the throw is little longer than i'd like but thats a pretty minor annoyance and the only negative thing i can say about my sram front shifting.maybe i was expecting the worst after reading about all the bad experiences so many people posted online.
fwiw,i'm using a kmc x10sl chain with 50/34 and 50/38 rings.maybe it will get worse with more miles..but it has been flawless since i set it up new.


Scott

thegunner
03-20-2012, 11:48 PM
Cannot help. I have a titanium SRAM Force FD. It too shifts poorly. Very poorly. I cannot even figure out why. Have adjusted, changed angles etc. Everything I can change and it just doesn't shift well. I will probably get any Shimano FD to replace it. Have an old MTB Shimano SLX I will possibly use in the interim. Have to be better.

Nice carbon frame bike that works great except for this barely functional shifting on the front derailleur.

you mean... red right? the force cages aren't Ti...

fourflys
03-20-2012, 11:54 PM
I took it to the LBS and they set it up right.

bingo... I've up a couple of Rival FDs with no issues... not to sounds like a jerk, but it sounds like operator error...

benitosan1972
03-21-2012, 12:11 AM
Someone tell Schleck

David Kirk
03-21-2012, 12:19 AM
I use Red and it works very well - that said it is fussy to set up and is VERY sensitive to the rotational position on the seat tube. In other words the angle the cage makes relative to the rings. If it isn't just right it all goes to ****. Once right it works very well.

I'm told the new stuff is much less sensitive FWIW.

Dave

irideti
03-21-2012, 12:26 AM
My Force FD has been working perfectly w/ Red shifter & crankset since the first day........

haneriali
03-21-2012, 06:02 AM
I have 4000 miles on my LBS-setup Force, and I've experienced 3 dropped chains (after which I put on a chain keeper) and numerous missed FD upshifts. BTW - most issues seem to occur on slight uphill or false-flat shifts. In 30,000 miles on Ultegra before, not a single chain or upshift problem. My conclusion - it's the equipment not the user. For whatever reason, this is a well-documented issue for many SRAM users.

oldpotatoe
03-21-2012, 08:34 AM
bingo... I've up a couple of Rival FDs with no issues... not to sounds like a jerk, but it sounds like operator error...

There is no doubt that when it comes to FD action and the companies involved, shimano seems the best, Campagnolo close second and sram a third. Why sram has redesigned their new red FD so drastically. The effort on sram Fders is always high, the shifts not certain, new red seems to finally address this issue. Velonews did a piece online about this and it 'seems' a new red FD on any sram system, helps front shifting a lot.

AngryScientist
03-21-2012, 08:41 AM
i've heard, from numerous parties, that replacing the chainrings with ones with better ramps and pins is a big help.

phcollard
03-21-2012, 10:28 AM
i've heard, from numerous parties, that replacing the chainrings with ones with better ramps and pins is a big help.

I had a LOT of troubles with front shifting when I switched to SRAM. I mean this thing wasn't working. Dropped chains, overshifts, no shifting at all, you name it. I consider myself an OK mechanic and I tried everything, I also showed the bike to a pro mechanic, no hope.

It's sad to say but it started working when I replaced the FD by a DA 7800, and the crankset by an Athena 11 speed. Man... Campy really knows about chainring design. The setup now shifts better and faster than anything I've owned.

fourflys
03-21-2012, 10:41 AM
There is no doubt that when it comes to FD action and the companies involved, shimano seems the best, Campagnolo close second and sram a third. Why sram has redesigned their new red FD so drastically. The effort on sram Fders is always high, the shifts not certain, new red seems to finally address this issue. Velonews did a piece online about this and it 'seems' a new red FD on any sram system, helps front shifting a lot.

no doubt my Chorus 11sp shifted very well... better than anything else I've had for sure... but I gotta say while it doesn't shift as smoothly, I've not had the issues that others have had here with SRAM FD... I am anxious to see when SRAM will let the new tech trickle down to the Force or Rival though...

foo_fighter
03-21-2012, 02:44 PM
I've used the steel cage FD(Force) since it came out and never had a problem. I set it closer to 1mm to the tallest tooth on the big rig and parallel to the rings.

I also use the barrel adjuster to take out all the slack so that the FD is just barely resting on on the Low stop when fully released.

Lastly when shifting: pedal normally->soft pedal-> shift->soft pedal->pedal normally. This actually happens much faster once you get into the habit of it....it only takes 1-2 rotations of the crank.

You could try a 7800 FD, or the new Red(Yaw) FD which is supposed to be amazing, but even harder to set up correctly....but it's most likely a setup issue.

floxy1
03-21-2012, 09:41 PM
Thanks for all the input. FDs are cheap enough I may try a 7800 and see if it helps. Anyone want to buy a Force FD? ;)

Charles M
03-21-2012, 10:41 PM
It's an alignment issue. I had this issue on my DA7800 derailleur.

I took it to the LBS and they set it up right.


That's about it...

I was surprised at the massive improvements all companies made on their parts(even the same model years) as I got better at being a mechanic...


Want instant satisfaction and shifting as good as anything available? Buy some praxis rings and a kmc chain...

Otherwise it's simply a set up thing the OP is describing...

vqdriver
03-22-2012, 01:36 AM
To the OP. the shift effort shouldnt be that hi. "feels like the cable will snap" is not how it should feel. Im guessing you've got a setup issue. Maybe a bad kink somewhere or bad FD angle leading to no leverage. It can be finicky to setup but once it's done it works quite well.

Lifecycle
03-22-2012, 09:01 AM
this problem is common to SRAM: Rival, Force, even Red.
the best solution is to switch to Shimano or Campy, lol.


+1 on that , went to shimano myself , but have alaways heard alot of great things about Campy..... Someday .....

RacerJRP
03-22-2012, 09:20 AM
As has been stated in this thread. Some may not care for the shifting feel of Sram but I have never had an issue of over shifting, dropping chains, over tension. etc. with a properly tuned FD.

While it may not be as buttery smooth as others....My F shifting ALWAYS works. Please, do yourself a favor and ride/try electric if you want buttery smooth. It is REALLY impresive, but I still don't want a battery on my bike. ;)

gavingould
03-22-2012, 09:46 AM
sram fronts are a little picky getting set up - in my experience, err on the side of less cable tension.

sc53
03-22-2012, 11:54 AM
this problem is common to SRAM: Rival, Force, even Red.
the best solution is to switch to Shimano or Campy, lol.
Add Apex to this list. Big problems shifting my new Apex FD. Multiple return visits to the LBS. I hope I don't have to bail to Shimano.

fallen86
03-23-2012, 01:08 AM
i wish i could personally check all of these bikes with shifting problems. I've used them all: red, force, apex. and they've never really had any problems. Red has slightly mushy front shifting but it gets crisp once you switch it to force and or shimano. Of course i get the occasional chain drop once in a while but that's not uncommon i don't think...

oldpotatoe
03-23-2012, 09:01 AM
i wish i could personally check all of these bikes with shifting problems. I've used them all: red, force, apex. and they've never really had any problems. Red has slightly mushy front shifting but it gets crisp once you switch it to force and or shimano. Of course i get the occasional chain drop once in a while but that's not uncommon i don't think...

"personally check all these(sram) shifting prolems? You'd will pe a usy camper