View Full Version : SRAM differences for the cheaper stuff.

10-19-2013, 03:05 PM
I am thinking of trying SRAM for a cheap winter fun bike. I tried Rival 5yrs ago but set it up myself so I think it left a lot to be desired - I count that as my fault.

I am a campy user for my road and CX bike, but this is a monstercross and I feel like maybe SRAM is in order. I do have DT wheels that could be converted, but not sure if I want to do this yet. I am not 'opposed' to Shimano, but the moving brake lever thing weirds me out. I had a 5700 group on my commuter pre-Alfine, so I got some time on it and thought it worked well, but disliked the shifter ergonomics.

SO, what are the differences btw new Rival and old Rival? Apex? I have been looking for Used stuff and don't know if the old silver stuff was not as good quality or ???.

It will be a 1x10 , so I only need shifters (wel,one shifter) an RD, cassette and chain.

Any thoughts or opinions are appreciated.

Lewis Moon
10-19-2013, 04:01 PM
OK, this will be no help at all, but I just bought a SRAM Red 50T 110 BCD chain ring. HolyGeeFrack that thing is rough in comparison to a Campy Record. In a couple of places it even looks kike someone touched it to a grinder while finishing it...then anodized over the FUBAR.

I'll be looking for a new 110 50.

10-19-2013, 04:21 PM
Sram is not as refined as Campagnolo or Shimano in the lower end.
From experience, sram stuff brakes often, yes they warranty it but who wants to deal with that. Campagnolo and Shimano just work, you could debate the different between the 2 till the cows home, its a matter of taste and $$$.

10-19-2013, 04:25 PM
2013 Force shifters... rival everything else (any version). It'll be crisp but violent.

10-19-2013, 04:30 PM
I've used Rival and Apex... not a lot of difference between the two from what I can tell... I like the carbon on the Rivel shifters better as they don't get a cold... I would make sure you get the WiFLi RD so you have the option of running a larger cassette... you may not need it, but it can't hurt to have it...

BTW- I've had all the big three and while the Campy and Shimano are certainly smoother, SRAM works just as well... and I've had no issues with any of my SRAM...

10-19-2013, 04:36 PM
Thanks folks.

Yes, I've heard of SRAM breaking as well, so point taken. I have one friend who uses Red to race CX on and says it is reliable. When I bought my Vagen, Sacha et al recommended Rival, saying it was great stuff, so there are people who like it.

As for Campy, it would be Veloce or Centaur, no higher. I will be using old cranks with Square taper BB and likely avid BB7 road calipers. Wheels are older DT340 hubs.

What else? Are the Apex shifters junk? I read a review that the shifters and RD were of fine quality. Any real world feedback?


PS thanks Fourflys - good feedback. We crossed paths in our messages

10-19-2013, 05:18 PM
In the last month I been noticing that all the guys using sram and shimano medium to low end the shifting sounds clunky as hell, no idea if its because their frames are made of carbon and that amplifies the sound but darn, my mix chorus brifters with veloce rd is smooth and precise, even one day a guy that was behind me asked me what I was doing to get shiftings so smooth because his were just super clunky and metallic soundy, my answer was... maybe is campagnolo... he did not know the brand at all, thought was a new brand.

10-20-2013, 10:42 AM
I've ridden Shimano and Campag for years but SRAM is all new to me, I've ridden a few but not had any long term. Keen to get it on my current build which is a bit of a weight weenie and SRAM seems to be lightest out of the big 3.

Interesting to read about these things breaking though I was hoping to go for Rival which I believe has alloy shifters which I intend to polish. I would have thought that the lower end alloy stuff would sturdier than the high end carbon Red. Guess I'm mistaken....

10-20-2013, 10:53 AM
I have been using SRAM for about three years now, and I have used everything from Red to Apex. My bottom line is: Red is really good (especially with the Yaw FD) and the benefit of the zero-loss rear shifting is tangible, but the rest including Apex shift really well also once you set them up well with good cables/housing. Some find SRAM shifting to be "harsh", but I like to call it direct which I like and find Campy and Shimano to be vague. I also haven't had any issues with reliability.

10-20-2013, 11:04 AM
rear shifting is the same across the whole road line Apex to Red. works the same, shifts the same. main diffs among their groups are front shifting (zero loss, yaw etc) and weight. performance wise all very similar, but brakes get better and cranks stiffer as you go up.

10-20-2013, 11:08 AM
The only issue I've come across using sram is the flexibility of the rival front derailleur cage. I noticed markedly inconsistent shifting after less than 500 miles. Taking a closer look, the cage had actually widened. I switched to an FSA energy (compact-specific) front derailleur which improved performance greatly.

10-20-2013, 11:49 AM
I've been using the same Rival groupset for two and a half years, all year round (Ive replaced the chain, chainrings and cassette twice in this time).

Plus points are the double tap shifters (as opposed to Shimanos brake levers that also works as a shifter), the light weight and the shape of the hoods.

The only thing I didnt like was the front mech which was garbage, this was replaced with a 5600 series Shimano and it works flawlessly.

A good groupset with a good $ to lb ratio.

10-20-2013, 11:53 AM
I find a fairly large difference in shift quality between sram rival shifters and red shifters, everything else is feels the same minus weight. Oh and the YAW derailleur is worth the upgrade.

10-20-2013, 12:50 PM
Every SRAM bike I've seen seems to just run louder than anything else.

When you're stuffing rubber in the cassette to quiet it down...

I used alloy Rival on a cross bike. No complaints at all. I thought it was good stuff (albeit loud).

10-20-2013, 12:50 PM
For a winter bike, I'd use the TT500 bar end shifter.

10-20-2013, 01:39 PM
As mentioned above I'm quite unfamiliar with SRAM, what is Zero Loss and YAW?