SRAM, overpriced ****?

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  • SRAM, overpriced ****?
  • I begrudgingly accepted the 2×10 X7/X9 drivetrain on my new bike as it seemed like too much trouble changing it all to Shimano. Since then though I’ve learnt the joys of SRAM equipment…

    Wanted to fit some Shimano brake levers which meant ‘un-matchmakering’ my Elixirs and X7 shifters. New clamps for the shifters cost £25. Each. 👿 £50 for two small aluminium rings with an M5 bolt through them?? They must be laughing all the way to the bank. Thankfully my understanding local shop sent them back and I got some old shifters second hand instead.

    Next thing was some spare split links for the chain. £4.50 each and they’re not re-usable. Taking the complete p!ss. Hate to think what a new chain might cost me when it comes to it.

    Finally, after about 6 happy years ragging the same shimano LX derailleur through the worst the highlands and my local trails could throw at it, my X9 mech lasts a month before getting twisted enough that it can’t shift any more, despite my not even noticing I’d hit anything. I hate to think how much that’ll cost to replace.

    The fact that one of the X9 cranks fell off on the first ride (probably not SRAM’s fault in retrospect) and the Rock-Shox forks have a mysterious 5mm of ‘dead’ travel at the start of the stroke does not enamour me to the company either 👿

    Sorry its not a very emphatic rant, bit too tired to really get into it…

    Kit
    Member

    Maybe it’s trying to tell you to go back to SS 😉

    FWIW I’ve not had much bother with my SRAM stuff. I’ve got a 4yr old X9 rear mech for sale, which is (mostly) still going strong if you want to make me an offer 😀

    (mostly)

    *runs a mile* 😉

    radoggair
    Member

    I’m with u on this, well mtb wise. Road, sram are better than shimano IMO. Had X9/X0 shizzle on my spesh and wasn’t overtly impressed with it. Now i run new xtr which is light years ahead IMO

    Kit
    Member

    Awww, it works fine. It’s just a little loose is all and still shifts fine. Anyway, for a tenner would you complain? 8)

    Give me a chance to try a little percussive maintenance on it first, I might manage to twist it back…

    PJM1974
    Member

    In 2009 I bought a brand new, recently released Stylo double and bash crank for the princely sum of £75 – thank you Messrs Merlin.

    Today exactly the same crank is £201.99 on CRC.

    Back to Shimano next time for me… I won’t be buying SRAM for a while yet.

    *edit* I do love their forks though, I just wish that they were the same bargaintastic buy that they used to be. This time five years ago I bought a set of brand new, 2006 Pike Air U-Turns for £320…

    stuartie_c
    Member

    Drivetrain and shifter-wise, it’s SRAM chains, Shimano everything else for me.

    **EDIT – I will concede that their (well, RockShox) forks are excellent though…

    I will concede that their (well, RockShox) forks are excellent though…

    I agree, and I would always choose RockShox myself, if they weren’t about £800 a set now. However, it seems you have to strip and service them from the word go if you want to be sure they have enough oil in them, dreading opening them up now and finding minced stanchions after a seven or eight rides…

    Premier Icon MrOvershoot
    Subscriber

    radoggair – Member

    I’m with u on this, well mtb wise. Road, sram are better than shimano IMO. Had X9/X0 shizzle on my spesh and wasn’t overtly impressed with it. Now i run new xtr which is light years ahead IMO

    TBH I was shocked at the price of SRAM Force brakes compared to Ultegra!

    Still loving my 09 XTR after 2 years of abuse it still shifts like new & thankfully the chainrings show very little wear, given the cost of replacements 😯

    SRAM is garbage full stop. That includes their chains. For chains you cant beat KMC.

    andy7t2
    Member

    SRAMMountain Biking, overpriced ****?

    never had a problem with any sram products shift like a dream even after two years of abuse.

    shimano is just cheap tat for the underclass

    69er
    Member

    Surrounded By Zulus – Member
    SRAM is garbage full stop. That includes their chains. For chains you cant beat KMC.

    For an alternative view, I’ve been running SRAM chains for years and never had a problem 😆

    stuartie_c
    Member

    For an alternative view, I’ve been running SRAM chains for years and never had a problem

    Me too.

    SBZ is probably doing something wrong. 😉

    shimano is just cheap tat for the underclass

    😀 Well if its all the same to you me and all the other plebs will continue to campaign for split links which aren’t made of solid gold (apparently) and derailleurs that don’t bend on a whim, thanks.

    Beginning to agree with your first point though…

    Edit: Chains, yes, although I remember a day when spare links were 95p each… My PC-1 on the singlespeed was a pile of crap though, dropped at the merest hint of trouble. Replacing it with KMC solved the problem instantly.

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Subscriber

    Rode Sram for years, really liked the “clunky” shifters, just felt much more positive than Shimano. But I got fed up replacing rear mechs.

    It wasn’t so bad when you could pick up an X-9 mech for 35 quid but the price of the current kit takes the piss.

    When my last mech broke I spent 80 quid on an XT shadow mech and a RH XT shifter, I won’t be buying SRAM drivetrain stuff again it just too fragile

    alpin
    Member

    my XT rapid rise is finally giving up the ghost after four years of regular and abusive riding (it has done two seasons of guiding plus LOTS of leisure rides). in that time i’ve knocked it often and hard enough that i’ve had to bend the mech hanger back into place. most recently i fell off a wall and managed to bend the bolty bit for the cable into the mech body. i couldn’t select the top or bottom gear. with a bit of effort i bent it back out.

    lots of sram stuff seems to go a bit ‘wobbly’ after a while. that is they don’t appear to be as solid. they develop a lot of play in them.

    shimano for me, but they’ve stopped making 9spd rapid rise…. 🙁

    dans160
    Member

    My Sram X0 kit rocks. Without exception the XT shimano rear mech and two XTR rear mechs I’ve had have all given up the ghost after about a years use. KMC chains all the way though.

    alpin
    Member

    ^^^Sram rocks when it is new. enjoy it whilst it lasts….

    oh, and you can re-use sram links. i’ve done it many times.

    druidh
    Member

    Not the 10 -speed ones

    _tom_
    Member

    For chains you cant beat KMC.

    Agreed. Always used them on my bmx and never had any problems either. They only chains I’ve broken have been shimano and sram. Sram lasted marginally longer.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    alpin – Member

    lots of sram stuff seems to go a bit ‘wobbly’ after a while. that is they don’t appear to be as solid. they develop a lot of play in them.

    I’ve got an X9 mech that’s incredibly slack in all the pivots, it can wobble in dimensions hitherto unknown to science. But thing is, it still works fine, sets up easier than equivalent shimano, and feels nicer when it shifts than XT. It’s pretty weird tbh.

    KMC chains, SRAM shifting and Shimano cranks and cassettes for me. Though the old Saint on the SX is very nice too, first Shimano I’ve had that didn’t feel broken.

    epicsteve
    Member

    Road, sram are better than shimano IMO.

    Don’t know about that – I’ve got Rival on one road bike and Tiagra on the other. Despite the Tiagra being lower spec/priced I think it’s much nicer to use than the SRAM stuff. The SRAM double-tap shifts ok but it’s not the most intuitive to use and it’s quite crude as well. The Tiagra shifting is silky smooth by comparison.

    Marmoset
    Member

    It is looking expensive nowadays but my 8 year old XO mech is still working a treat, I’ve had to straighten the cage a couple of times but the linkages are like new. What’s even better is that it was an ebay bargain from the states for £60!

    retro83
    Member

    Some stuff does seem a bit poo. My x7 rear mech (rrp £60!) lost all its spring tension so it wouldn’t shift into the lower 3 cogs after only a few hundred k.

    The giga x-pipe crank system is not as good as shimano either. A pain to adjust and it got through bearings at a rate.

    Love my rockshox forks, though they did come from the factory with not enough semi-bath oil, and too much in the air chamber.

    santacoops
    Member

    I had an x9 rear mech that didn’t need indexing or fiddling with for over 3 years. Loved its industrial clunking feel. Running xt (new) these days and happy with them so far. It’s a personal experience thing mixed with a bit of luck imo.

    I’ve got quite a lot to say on this! Firstly, you can reuse the SRAM powerlinks, even 10-Speed… they are very hard to get off though but a wee set of plyers does the trick.

    I find a big difference between the old X9 9 Speed, (which worked and worked even if you did need to bend it back in shape a few times), and the new X9 10-Speed which has just failed to perform. The Matchmakers are a flexy, brittle, overpriced, underdesigned POC in my opinion.

    Last week I took all SRAM gearing off my bike, put it in the bin and bought Shimano.

    If you want to read what I found in a bit more depth then I’ve just done a review / rant on my website. Long term review: sram x9 10-speed and matchmakers

    don simon
    Member

    Very happy with my X.0. The only problem has been the rear gear shifter which appears to have an 18 month life. Changed for free twice, apart from time lost, very happy.

    My experience of X0 is that is works well until it gets a bash and then it snaps. I’ve never owned one but that’s based on seeing about 4 snapped mechs last year, 3 of which were X0. I used to believe that the X9 was better because it just bent and could be bent back.

    Reluctant
    Member

    I think the build quality of mid range Sram is awful. X4 though to X7, maybe even X9. These gear sets turn up on quite expensive bikes, but are an obvious cost cutting exercise. In terms of function and build quality, I’d rather have Alivio on my bike.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    I’ve never owned one but that’s based on seeing about 4 snapped mechs last year, 3 of which were X0.

    Hardly representative sample. What if the next two you see break are Shimano?

    My XX is great, perhaps you should upgrade… 8)

    peachos
    Member

    x9 shifters
    x7 rear mech
    xt front mech
    xt/slx cranks
    kmc chain
    bombers

    that’s about the best mix of affordability and durability for me. don’t really buy into the sram/shimano debate (although sram rear mechs are miles easier to set up).

    in the case of the op’s x9 mech lasting a month, then all i can say is that you have given it a knock somewhere along the way. my mechs last me for ages…well into the baggy, loose pinned part of their lives. they usually get bent back into shape a couple of times before their throwing stars and the twisted rest of it get chucked into the spares bin as a reserve and being replaced by a new x7…which cost around £30 btw, not £69 as someone else pointed out. in fact, the one i just bought was only £25…god bless ebay (sometimes).

    PP, not a huge sample maybe but I reckon that I’ve cycled with more people and more often than most people. For the record the 4th snapped one was a Shimano XT but that’s 3 XO’s snapped.

    marsdenman
    Member

    6 year old XO still going strong here – though those that know me will rightly argue it’s only seen any ‘real’ use the last 2 years 😉
    Only issue i can recall was poor shifting on the back which was eventually tracked down to the slightest of twits in the replaceable mech hanger, not the mech itself…
    Has to be said though that if / when the XO rear mech dies I’ll ‘drop down’ to X9 – prices are just daft….
    That said though, the world is going 10 speed – gotta guess 9 speed bargains are coming up – anyone know of any – might be time to fill the spares box? 😉

    alpin
    Member

    treaclesponge – Member

    My XX is great, perhaps you should upgrade…

    yeas, but so is Deore. whereas X7 is shite.

    go figure.

    in the case of the op’s x9 mech lasting a month, then all i can say is that you have given it a knock somewhere along the way.

    I wasn’t trying to imply it bent of its own free will, however my point was my Shimano mech put up with 6 years of the same abuse, and I KNOW I clattered that a few times. A mech would have to be pretty special for me to put up with ‘just having to bend it back into shape’ occasionally.

    I’m not trying to (re)start the debate, I actually like the way the kit works, nice and clunky, just taken aback by the prices and the durability.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    as said above, (cheaper) sram rear mechs are clunky, floppy, unreliable kack

    no idea about the posh ones and not about to find out

    Where to Avid brakes fit in this debate?

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    Never sussed out which SRAM stuff sort of corresponds to which equivalent Shimano stuff. To me it looks like there’s 3 ranges of stuff more expensive/extortionate than XT rather than just 1.

    All Shimano mechs, All SRAM chains/cassette for me. Reluctant to swap to 10sp, and reluctant to swap from “what I have experience of” (despite snapping one 971 chain at 325km old, its 991 replacement has lasted 1600km so far).

    Am I right in thinking that KMC 10sp chains have reusable quicklink?

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