Back on road after 12 yrs - Equipment Question


New Member
Jul 31, 2010
Hey everyone. I've recently returned to cycling after being away due to injury for 12 yrs. My o my how things have changed! I quickly realized my 20yr old Fuji was not going to cut it so I bought a new bike. After looking at what was available within my price range I opted for what seemed like the best frame even though I wasn't real pleased with the component group. My choice was a Cannondale CAAD9 - 6. I've been riding it for a month or so.

My old bike had all Shimano 105 and I was always pleased with the performance. This CAAD 9 has Tiagra Shifters, RD and Crank with a Sora FD. There is just a general clunkiness to the enire drive train compared with my old 105 group.

I intend to upgrade the shifters, RD and FD all to SRAM Rival (along with a SRAM 10spd Cassette-PG1070 and SRAM 10spd Chain - PC-1091R out of necessity). I could also go all 105 again but the SRAM is a better deal and weight wise seems more equivalent to Ultegra. I also like the SRAM shifters better.

Here's some questions I'm looking for answers to. Feel free to chime in on any of them:

Anyone have thoughts on this group compared to my old 105 parts? Should I expect significant improvement?

Do I have to upgrade my cassette and chain or will this setup work temporarily with my 9spd ones?

Also, I've heard that SRAM cassettes can sometimes be noisy so I was considering buying a 10spd Shimano Cassette and Chain instead under the assumption that will work just fine with SRAM. Any thoughts?

Thanks for your input.

(My last bike had a 6spd "freewheel" with shifters on the frame, old style "gooseneck"/headset, mavic timetrial bars with the Scott u-shaped tri-bar and original Look Carbon pedals which are like tanks now. Lots of equipment changes to learn about!!!!)
I've never used SRAM's stuff so I can't comment on it from personal use; however here is a web site that reviewed it (just scan down past the ads): SRAM Rival Reviews

Here is a write up of the Rival and comparing it to the 105: SRAM Rival Reviews

Anyway, I hope that helps a little bit.
If you are converting to a 10 speed, you will need to replace the chain and cassette, 9-speed chains and cassettes are not compatible with 10-speed derailluers. I don't know how well your 105 group was tuned, but my 1986 6-speed 105 equipped Centurion shifts as well if not better than my 2003 9-speed 105 equipped Raleigh. I even prefer it to the 2010 Ultegra equipped Litespeed C3 that I test rode a couple of months ago. So, if it was well tuned, I doubt if you will feel much difference in shift quality between a modern group and your old 105 group. Of course quantity will be different:(.

SRAM is a good as anything else out there now. I don't know about the 10-speed, but the SRAM 9-speed and Shimano 9-speed components were fairly cross compatible. I did find that the SRAM cassettes with a SRAM chain ran quieter than the Shimano Cassettes with either a SRAM or Shimano chain. You might want to check with your LBS about compatility before you buy the 10-speed Shimano to go with your 10-Speed SRAM.