Shimano 105 vs. Sram Rival



wmorrison818

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Aug 4, 2013
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Will be getting a new bike soon and was curious about SRAM components. I currently am riding Shimano 105, love it, never had a problem. I've heard that SRAM Rival is a good upgrade to go to. "More bang for your buck with sram components." Just wanted some opinions on the matter. Thanks in advance.
 

daveryanwyoming

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Oct 3, 2006
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The Shimano, Campy, Sram question is a lot like Ford, Chevy or any other brand comparison, they all make some good products, all make some entry level products to hit a price point and many folks will tell you how they love one and hate another.

So take this with a huge grain of salt but after riding Campy back in the day and then Shimano for many years I swapped to SRAM a few seasons ago. I really like SRAM and doubtetap shifting and don't see myself going back to Shimano anytime soon. But that's just me and I have team mates and friends that made the opposite jump. IMO, SRAM has much nicer rear shifting and even my Rival rear shifting is a bit more reliable and needs less tweaking to stay adjusted than the DuraAce 7800 I was previously running. But the opposite is true up front where the Shimano front shifting seemed a bit more solid especially on the cyclocross bike where things get gummed up pretty quickly and it's not unusual to attempt front shifts under some load.

The Campy folks will likely jump in now to tell you that Campy resolves both these issues, perhaps but if you do races or rides with neutral support then you run into the wheel compatibility thing which is tough on Campy riders. IOW, all gruppos seem to have their tradeoffs but I've been very happy with the jump to SRAM.

YMMV,
-Dave
 

wmorrison818

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Aug 4, 2013
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I appreciate the reply. I've actually ended up getting about the same answers. Think I will switch it up and go SRAM. Thanks again for the input.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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wmorrison818 said:
I appreciate the reply.  I've actually ended up getting about the same answers.  Think I will switch it up and go SRAM.  Thanks again for the input.  
I'll bet you can get a test ride on a SRAM equipped bike to see how you like SRAM's ergonomics and shifting. Given their penetration in the OEM market, I think you'd be hard pressed to find an LBS that didn't have a SRAM equipped road bike.
 

J1780

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Aug 3, 2013
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I have had 105 for a long time and find it is really good. I do find I need to adjust to rear quite a bit. I have never had sram but am definitely considering a change to the sram set when its time. I've only heard good things.
 

alfeng

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Jul 23, 2005
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Originally Posted by daveryanwyoming .

The Shimano, Campy, Sram question is a lot like Ford, Chevy or any other brand comparison, they all make some good products, all make some entry level products to hit a price point and many folks will tell you how they love one and hate another.

So take this with a huge grain of salt but after riding Campy back in the day and then Shimano for many years I swapped to SRAM a few seasons ago. I really like SRAM and doubtetap shifting and don't see myself going back to Shimano anytime soon. But that's just me and I have team mates and friends that made the opposite jump. IMO, SRAM has much nicer rear shifting and even my Rival rear shifting is a bit more reliable and needs less tweaking to stay adjusted than the DuraAce 7800 I was previously running. But the opposite is true up front where the Shimano front shifting seemed a bit more solid especially on the cyclocross bike where things get gummed up pretty quickly and it's not unusual to attempt front shifts under some load.

The Campy folks will likely jump in now to tell you that Campy resolves both these issues, perhaps but if you do races or rides with neutral support then you run into the wheel compatibility thing which is tough on Campy riders. IOW, all gruppos seem to have their tradeoffs but I've been very happy with the jump to SRAM.

YMMV,
-Dave
FWIW. I believe that the stated issue of "neutral support" may not be valid ...

Yes, I am going to relate my first hand experience & it is therefore only an anecdotal observation ...

  • on one bike which is set up with a pair of 10-speed Campagnolo shifters + an XTR (750) rear derailleur + a wheel with a 9-speed Shimano Cassette I installed a wheel which had a 10-speed Campagnolo Cassette without changing EITHER the stops OR tweaking the indexing ... before adjusting the stops, I made a quick test to check the rear derailleur's high-low range and to my pleasant surprise, it shifted smoothly across the range without needing to be adjusted or tweaked the rear derailleur cable was not hubbub'd

  • on another bike which is also now set up with a similar combination of shifters + XTR rear derailleur, installing a wheel with a 10-speed Shimano/-compatible Cassette also worked without (!?!) either changing the stops or tweaking the indexing OR the chain! both bikes have 9-speed Shimano chains again, the rear derailleur cable was not hubbub'd because I found it isn't always necessary if one accepts the possibility of slightly increased jocky pulley wear

By inference, a bike which is set up with an all 10-speed Campagnolo shifter/drivetrain should be able to handle a 10-speed Shimano-compatible wheel ...

  • the reason that this apparently works is because the ramping on the Cogs is so forgiving that the wheel swap should be repeatable by anyone who tries it ... and so, a neutral support wheel with a 10-speed Shimano/-compatible Cassette will probably work without a hitch on an all Campagnolo 10-speed bike. FYI. I tested this unadjusted setup with a ramped 8-speed SRAM cassette, and the shifting was also fine ...
  • however, with an older, unramped 8-speed 12-30 XT Cassette with the stops not re-set & indexing therefore not tweaked the derailleur could not effectively shift the chain between Cogs ...

  • again, when the indexing is not perfect, there is probably increased chain wear on the lead jockey wheel, BTW

Of course, as you say, YMMV.

----​

11-speed spacing is apparently even closer for both Campagnolo & Shimano 11-speed Cassettes, so it's a question of how far inboard the Shimano 11-speed Cassette is when compared to a Campagnolo 11-speed Cassette.

As noted, a wheel with a 10-speed Cassette should also be "okay" with an 11-speed drivetrain due to ramping on the Cogs.

---​

Supposedly the YAW-motion front derailleur fixes the SRAM front derailleur problem ...

  • I'll just presume that the reports which make that declaration are true
  • BTW. I am a little surprised that someone (who isn't a sponsored racer) hasn't tired any OTHER, non-SRAM front derailleurs with their SRAM shifters just in case there was an off-the-shelf option ... after all, the Campagnolo bar-end shifters could be used with SRAM's derailleurs, so it would stand to reason that it might be possible to use either a 9-speed or 10-speed Campagnolo front derailleur with SRAM's front shifter (the wider cage of the 9-speed Campagnolo front derailleur may-or-may not be better than the cage of the 10-speed Campagnolo front derailleur OR neither may be satisfactory). That is, a Campagnolo OR Shimano front derailleur might be-or-have-been an even better option than a Rival or Force front derailleur or waiting for the YAW-motion front derailleur.

About ten years ago, one of Shimano's E-mount (?) XTR front derailleurs had a complex motion to facilitate shifting ... I believe it is "collector's item" whose design was not continued.

---​

It goes without saying that an all Campagnolo setup would eliminate any dodgy shifting, but (IMO) Campagnolo is plagued with over-priced consumables AND Cassettes ... and, the Cassettes generally have too limited a low range for a wussy rider like myself ...

Hence, one of the reasons why 'I' use Shimano "stuff" with my Campagnolo shifters.