Should I get a new SRAM Force compact drive train?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Mickye A, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. Mickye A

    Mickye A New Member

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    I have a TIME bike with about 15000 miles on it and a mix of Shimano Dura Ace triple crank and 9 speed cassette, to R600 (low end) shifters as they fit my small hands. The triple is finicky but I sure use all the gears. The shifters can be rough. I'm considering upgrading to all SRAM Force compact with 11-32 cassette and shifters. This looks like it will cost me about $1300 in parts plus the installation. It will save me some weight, get out of that finicky tripple and preserve the wide gear ratio. Is it worth it?

    I cycle about 4-6K per year and almost all in the hills, ranging up to about 12%, occasional >15%. I'm not super fast, mostly endurance. However, I do always fantasize about racing one of these years. A couple riding partners/friends are racing now. What do you think?
     
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  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    I've suggested this many times before, but it's probably worth repeating:

    10-speed non-Xenon-based (hence, non-QS) Campagnolo ERGO shifters (generally, pre-2007) will readily index with 8-and-9-speed Shimano drivetrains.

    • A direct connection of the rear derailleur cable with your 9-speed rear derailleur yields 8-speed Shimano indexing.
    • Connecting the rear derailleur cable with the hubbub.com alternate rear derailleur cable anchoring at 3 o'clock yields 9-speed Shimano indexing.

    [​IMG]

    The LEFT Campagnolo Ergo shifter can handle any front derailleur with almost any chain with any crankset ... including Triples.

    • If you have a 9-speed front derailleur then it is best to continue to use a 9-speed Shimano chain..

    You can certainly get the non-QS shifters for under $200 via eBay.

    Initially, you can continue to use your current setup without any changes other swapping than the Campagnolo shifters for your Shimano shifters + some new handlebar tape.

    While a Double crankset with a MTB cassette certainly has advantages over a Triple crankset (weight is one example), you may find that the Campagnolo shifters will solve all of your shifting problems.
     
  3. Raven Wlf

    Raven Wlf New Member

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    While the above post sounds like a great cheap solution, it doesn't solve the issue that a triple generally presents. They are nightmares to settle in to the appropriate gear because once you've found the perfect gear of the 27 or so, you already need to shift around for one that is slightly lower as you've burned up too much momentum fussing with the gear ratio.

    If you do as much hill climbing as it sounds, a force setup will be a nice upgrade. It might honestly be more than you really need as the full SRAM line is almost identical save for the weight and material. This mainly applies to rival, force and red but apex is definitely a low price winner as well, it just doesn't capture all of the traits of the rest.

    It might be worth looking at a simple Apex or Apex/Rival mix as that will give you the wide range rear cassette and the smooth shifting of SRAM but it also won't break the bank (And it will free you from the horrors of a legitimate triple). Apex truly is a group killer, I've ridden it and I own force. I've ridden rival as well and there really is no reason to go as high as force unless you can't live without the graphics it has or you race. By that point it's just down to the makeup of the parts for weight and ability to stand up to the forces of racing
     
  4. MMMhills

    MMMhills Active Member

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    If you have 15,000 miles on that drive train you might be getting close to having it replaced depending on how much chain stretch you have allowed over the years. That being said I would think about replacing the drive train but would not go with a cassette with that wide of range for the road. you will have problems finding the right cadence/rhythm for all those hills you are climbing. If you do need all the gears that you have now then you need a triple. If you are able to get by with a 34-25 combo then get a compact with a 12-25 cassette.

    If your drive train still has some life left in it you might want to try alfeng's suggestion and work at getting stronger so you can get that compact with say a 12-25 cassette. You might want to try climbing without using all your gears and see if you really need them. If you ride with people that race and are considering it you might not need all those gears and find that you climb quicker without them.
     
  5. maddogbubba

    maddogbubba New Member

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    MMMhills - what gearing do you run ( front and back ) also what wheels do you run and do you run different equipment during winter vs summer .
     
  6. MMMhills

    MMMhills Active Member

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    I run a compact 50/34 up front and 12-24 in the back. Most my hills are short and steep not many climbs over 3 miles long and grades in upper teens are very common. My steepest grade is 29%.

    As far as winter, well we average almost 200" of snow a year and the roads and trails are all but shut down. I do live across from an 18,000 acre lake and the winds keep the snow to a minimum on the ice so I do ride frozen lakes in the winter on my mountain bike with homemade studded tires.


     
  7. maddogbubba

    maddogbubba New Member

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    Mickye A - seems like the thing to do is to ride a compact gearing in the front because most of your riding is in the hills . I'm just not so sure about the 11- 32 in the back . would'nt a 11 - 28 or a 12-28 do the trick , maybe the hills you ride are very steep .I run a standard 53/39 and changed my 12-25 cassette to a 12-27 just to help myself train with more hills in the winter months and it does help at times , but if I intend to improve on my times in the hills I have to be in 23 or 25 to better my times . maybe one day I can try a 11-32 and see what I'm missing . ( Campy has an 11-36 ) .
     
  8. maddogbubba

    maddogbubba New Member

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    sorry Mickye A - I meant to say that I need to be in 21 or 24 to better my times (12-27 cassette ) .
     
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