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sram apex VS shimano 105 group set

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

ok so heres my dalema.......

 

This coming summer I will be buying my first road bike. I have been cycling for years and I am now making the jump to road. I've decided I want the masi evolutione but I cant decide if I want the model with the sram apex group or the shimano 105 group. I've read many reviews and none really have a dafinative answer as to which is the better group. The 105 group is $100 more but the apex group allows for a wider range of gear selections. I am not a strong climber at the moment but im hoping to change that this summer.

 

Any help would be great.

 

Thanks,

Mike

post #2 of 10

If you can, rent or borrow a bike set up with Shimano and then rent or borrow a bike set up with SRAM.  The big difference between the groups is how they operate and some folks prefer Shimano and others prefer SRAM and their double tap shifting. From a quality standpoint, both are good I personally think SRAM's Rival group is closer to 105 in build quality than their Apex group but it's splitting hairs and many folks would probably see that differently (e.g. compare Rival to Ultegra, hard to say).

 

Personally I switched all my bikes to SRAM after riding a couple of seasons of cyclocross on a Rival equipped bike. I really got to like double tap and find that it stays aligned and provides more accurate up and down shifts than my Shimano drive trains. A tuned up double tap setup basically gives you indexed shifting whether you're shifting to easier or harder cogs. IME Shimano drive trains give good performance when shifting down the cluster to harder cogs (smaller cogs) but upshifts depend a lot on how much lever you throw and how much cable gets pulled which improves with practice but isn't so slam dunk reliable as SRAM systems. But many folks prefer the feel and action of Shimano so it really comes down to personal preference. Best to test ride both groups if you can.

 

-Dave

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

i heard the sram double tap system is hard to get used to. did it take you long to get it figured out and working in your favor?

post #4 of 10

I didn't find it hard to use at all and that's coming from many years with Shimano brifters and other systems before that. For those couple of seasons where I was racing cross on SRAM and had Shimano on my road bikes it was a bit of a changeover when I jumped on different bikes. I'd either push on the rigid SRAM brake lever expecting a down shift that didn't occur or trying to do double tap style long pushes on my Shimano inner paddle and just dropping to harder and harder gears intstead of downshifting. It would typically take me a few rides to get accustomed to the system differences but it's part of the reason I decided to go with just one technology for all my brifter equipped bikes.

 

But in terms of using SRAM effectively it's pretty darn easy and of course the same can be said for Shimano or Campy.

 

-Dave

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

as somone who has used both styles of shifters, which do you prefer and why?

post #6 of 10

I've already posted that I've chosen SRAM and that I prefer the way it handles shifts to larger cogs. I've also gotten used to having a fixed brake lever that is not involved in the shifting action. That never seemed like a big deal when running Shimano but once I got used to having a fixed lever that didn't swing side to side just like the old days before integrated shifters I decided I liked it better, especially for hard braking situations like cyclocross.

 

I also like the way I can rapidly 'dump' cogs with SRAM in situations where I want to upshift a lot of gears quickly like topping out a climb onto a descent or sometimes during a sprint. With SRAM you can pull the shift paddle in towards your drops, and drop rapidly down through the cogs in a hurry. But mostly I like the way SRAM seems to stay in tune better and how it seems to give a solid one or two gear indexed action in both the upshift and downshift directions. My Dura Ace Shimano shifters required fairly frequent tuning tweaks to keep them operating smoothly and even after years of using Shimano I'd often find myself going up a cog and a half during shifts to larger cogs and then having to do a quick downshift to clean my shift. IME, SRAM stays in tune better and provides better indexing in both directions.

 

But I guarantee for every poster who tells you they prefer SRAM you'll get at least one that prefers Shimano and another who strongly prefers Campy. They're all good and they've all got folks who really like them so it comes down to your personal preference more than any of our opinions.  There are some other considerations, Campy and SRAM integrated shifters can be rebuilt if you have trouble, Shimano is not designed for field rebuilds though some folks have figured out how to get them apart and back together again. Campy and SRAM shift without moving the main brake lever laterally which some like, some do not.

 

Really your best bet is to find a way to test ride bikes set up with each system. It doesn't have to be the exact same bike or the bike you intend to buy but see how the different systems work and see if you prefer one vs. the other or if they all feel good to you.

 

-Dave

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

thank you so much you've been a great help and i appreciate your time!!

 

Mike

post #8 of 10

I've not ridden SRAM before, but I have messed with it while I had someone else's bike on the repair stand.  I couldn't get it to work right.  (The shifters were working fine, I was just oiling the chain for them or something like that.)  As far as I was concerned, that double-tap mechanism was some random voodoo stuff.  If you had asked me to upshift two gears, I couldn't guarantee that was what would happen.  I'll stick with my Ultegra, thankyouverymuch.  Once I got it set up and dialed in (which did take me a couple hundred miles), I've been able to leave it alone, and I get quick, precise shifts.  I would not hesitate to put 105 parts on a bike.

post #9 of 10

Being your first road bike you dont have to worry about what is easier to get used to. You will learn how to use what ever you decide to get without having to re-learn.

 

So when it's time to buy your new bike go to the LBS and test ride each. Which ever you prefer the feel in your hands and the look on the bike will be the best. Both Sram Apex and Shimano 105 products are good.

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by davereo View Post

Being your first road bike you dont have to worry about what is easier to get used to. You will learn how to use what ever you decide to get without having to re-learn.

So when it's time to buy your new bike go to the LBS and test ride each. Which ever you prefer the feel in your hands and the look on the bike will be the best. Both Sram Apex and Shimano 105 products are good.

+1.
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