Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 30
  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    160

    Sram Force Vs Shimano Ultegra

    Hey everyone,

    Right now on my Cervelo, I am running an ultegra groupset and I am very intrigued by Sram force and Sram Rival. I'm a little bit frustrated with the ultegra in many ways. What do you think about Force and Rival? Is force worth the extra money over Rival?

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: bwhite_4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    961
    There are aspects of force which might be worth an upgrade. Don't expect anything of SRAM to last as long as the Shimano components though.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    160
    Quote Originally Posted by bwhite_4 View Post
    There are aspects of force which might be worth an upgrade. Don't expect anything of SRAM to last as long as the Shimano components though.
    When you say upgrade do you mean upgrade from rival to force? Or ultegra to force? What aspects?

  4. #4
    Höchstgeschwindigkeit
    Reputation: mimason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,167
    Quote Originally Posted by bwhite_4 View Post
    There are aspects of force which might be worth an upgrade. Don't expect anything of SRAM to last as long as the Shimano components though.
    In two and a half years I have 20k mile of hard riding on a full Sram Red drivetrain and have not had 1 issue unless dropping the chain 3 times is a lot in that time frame. I am pretty impressed with performance and quality.

    As far as going to Force from Ultegra I would not do it unless you simply like the SRAM shifters better or want to shave a lot of weight. Ultegra is very good.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Optimus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    598
    What kind of issues are you having with your Ultegra?
    "Those who like it, like it A LOT!"

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    382
    Quote Originally Posted by bwhite_4 View Post
    Don't expect anything of SRAM to last as long as the Shimano components though.
    Could you elaborate. please/

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    192
    Put Sram Red on my dream bike and liked it so much that I changed the ultegra groupset on my old bike to Sram Force. Have never looked back. Love Sram Force. I think it is the best deal in gruppos. It is so close to Red in weight and performance but at a substantial savings in cost. Don't get me wrong, Red is ever so slightly better, but for the price and performance Force just can't be beat. Go with it over ultegra. I did and have never regretted it.

  8. #8
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    8,657
    Quote Originally Posted by bwhite_4 View Post
    There are aspects of force which might be worth an upgrade. Don't expect anything of SRAM to last as long as the Shimano components though.
    yeah, please explain this when you get a chance. i've got 'substantial' experience w/ SRAM going back to before it was available to the general public. i'd like to know what you might know that i haven't dealt w/ yet...
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    3,095
    Sram Force is close to Dura Ace in weight and Ultegra in price - probably the best "bang for the buck" group out there.

    But it all comes down to hood shape and shifting ergonomics which tend to be personal. I do think Shimano shifts a bit smoother (ditto Campy) but Sram is certainly acceptable.
    Anyone who believes there are no stupid questions never worked in a bike shop.

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    554
    Quote Originally Posted by Akez View Post
    Hey everyone,

    Right now on my Cervelo, I am running an ultegra groupset and I am very intrigued by Sram force and Sram Rival. I'm a little bit frustrated with the ultegra in many ways. What do you think about Force and Rival? Is force worth the extra money over Rival?
    What kinds of issues are you having with your Ultergra? It might be that a more or less lateral move won't solve those issues (and yes, I know Shimano and SRAM models don't line up exactly).

    For example, if you're having an issue with Ultegra's weight, then SRAM is certainly a bit lighter and thus the move would make sense.

    If you're having issues with the two lever and find yourself shifting when you brake, then a move to SRAM might make sense.

    If you're having issues with Shimano chains, then there's no reason reason to change the group.

    If we don't know what your issues with Ultegra are, all folks can do is speculate and tell you their experience with a particular group and you might not get the feedback you're really looking for or that is really helpful.

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    160
    Quote Originally Posted by vagabondcyclist View Post
    What kinds of issues are you having with your Ultergra? It might be that a more or less lateral move won't solve those issues (and yes, I know Shimano and SRAM models don't line up exactly).

    For example, if you're having an issue with Ultegra's weight, then SRAM is certainly a bit lighter and thus the move would make sense.

    If you're having issues with the two lever and find yourself shifting when you brake, then a move to SRAM might make sense.

    If you're having issues with Shimano chains, then there's no reason reason to change the group.

    If we don't know what your issues with Ultegra are, all folks can do is speculate and tell you their experience with a particular group and you might not get the feedback you're really looking for or that is really helpful.

    I am a mechanic at a shop and I have done everything I know how to do. Then brought it to the master mechanic, as well as 2 other teammates who are mechanics. I even had a shimano rep look at it. The shifting is just really slow and sluggish. I'm also having trouble shifting while in drops because I can't seem to comfortably shift to a larger rear cog. I rode my teammates bike with a force/rival mix and the shifting was so nice and clean and quick. I didn't mind the noise either. Same frame and wheels as myself and seemed to make the bike lighter too.

  12. #12
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    235
    It doesn't sound like an ultegra problem per se. It may be an issue with the particular group you are riding, but ultegra itself is by known to be plagued by the issues you mention.

  13. #13
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: bwhite_4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    961
    Too many people to quote back in my reply - so I'll just make a blanket reply.

    Everyone I know who owns or has owned SRAM has had shifter(s) break (Force and Red level) and rear derailleurs break (mostly Force/Rival, I think). Customer service from SRAM is great and they replace and/or upgraded all the components after breaking. I've never personally known anyone who's had their Shimano (Ultegra or Dura-Ace) components break from standard use.

    Functionally, SRAM works great and their warranty department is there to replace your goods if they go wonky.

  14. #14
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    468
    I select Force over Ultegra due to the hood shape. It took a few hundred miles before I eliminated miss shifts. The drive train is a bit nosier than the Shimano drivetrain I was use to before.

  15. #15
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    8,657
    Quote Originally Posted by bwhite_4 View Post
    Too many people to quote back in my reply - so I'll just make a blanket reply.

    Everyone I know who owns or has owned SRAM has had shifter(s) break (Force and Red level) and rear derailleurs break (mostly Force/Rival, I think). Customer service from SRAM is great and they replace and/or upgraded all the components after breaking. I've never personally known anyone who's had their Shimano (Ultegra or Dura-Ace) components break from standard use.

    Functionally, SRAM works great and their warranty department is there to replace your goods if they go wonky.
    interesting...every person you know that uses SRAM has had either their shifter or their rear derailleur break. really? just break while they were 'just riding along'? i don't have much experience w/ rival, we use it mostly as spares. since 2006 i have not seen a single derailleur just break. i'm sure it's happened, somewhere. i've heard of shifter paddles breaking, but i've never seen one myself. not one rider on any team i've worked for in the last 5 years (all SRAM equipped teams) has had either of these things happen, nor have we had anyone bring anything like this into the shop. but if you say so...
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  16. #16
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: bwhite_4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    961
    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    interesting...every person you know that uses SRAM has had either their shifter or their rear derailleur break. really? just break while they were 'just riding along'? i don't have much experience w/ rival, we use it mostly as spares. since 2006 i have not seen a single derailleur just break. i'm sure it's happened, somewhere. i've heard of shifter paddles breaking, but i've never seen one myself. not one rider on any team i've worked for in the last 5 years (all SRAM equipped teams) has had either of these things happen, nor have we had anyone bring anything like this into the shop. but if you say so...
    I'm not saying I know hundreds of people with SRAM, but I know enough to think there is a problem with under building or a QC issue, especially with the shifters. In a day of disposable components and frames though, I'm not really surprised.

  17. #17
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    316
    Quote Originally Posted by medimond View Post
    I select Force over Ultegra due to the hood shape. It took a few hundred miles before I eliminated miss shifts. The drive train is a bit nosier than the Shimano drivetrain I was use to before.
    FWIW, about 1 year ago I considered a change from Ultegra to Force. My LBS discouraged it: Noisy, harder to adjust and keep adjusted, clunky shifting, no trim. In general, their comment was: "we have more trouble with SRAM". Anyway, that was then... things may have changed. Remember that any opinion is bound to have a strong subjective component. I'd say try it and if you like it, get it.

  18. #18
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    8,657
    damn, i kinda hate to keep posting on this thread, but your local shop seems to have pretty much the opposite experience of most. sure, lots of people feel SRAM is noisy, and it does make a little more noise when shifting than shimano. this make explain their 'clunky shifting' comment. no trim? really? pretty sure it's there, i have it. i definitely agree w/ your comment on opinions!
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  19. #19
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    75
    Not my experience but my friends who is a master mechanic, he never discourage either one, he said is all about preference, and this is a guy that works on both every day. He dose prefer Shimano, but he is straight up about stating that either one is just as good and comparable. The small differences that people talk about are mostly personal. So if you want to try SRAM I say go for it and let us know. BTW I have Ultegra and I don’t have the issues you describing, but then the only person that tunes my bike is my friend with over 20 years of experience.

  20. #20
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    192
    As mentioned earlier, I had Ultegra and changed it out to Force. Also have Sram Red on my other bike. I have found the "noise" issue that people talk about with Sram to really be a chain issue. While I love Force and Red, I am not a big fan of the Red chain (haven't tried the Force chain). As soon as I changed the chains on both my bikes to a KMC x10sl the "noise" issue dissappeared. Not that it was really that big a deal in the first place. It wasn't a bad or obnoxious noise, just a little more mechanical sounding. And no, the "noise" issue is not due to the Red cassette, which is usually blamed. The Red cassette is great. Another simple fix to the "noise" issue is changing your chain lubricant to Chain L. A great lubricant that silences chains on all bikes. As to things on Sram breaking. I have over 12,000 miles on Sram Force and Red and have'n't broken anything.

  21. #21
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    47
    I really like the doubletap shifting of SRAM Force but I've already had one right shifter break off (less than a year old) and the warranty replacement shifter is starting to feel a bit dodgy. A couple guys on in my club have had Force and Rival right shifters break off as well.

    Love the feel and shape of the hoods too but for me it has not been as reliable as my Ultegra stuff. Have heard that Red is more solid.

    Can't wait for Di2 Ultegra!

  22. #22
    Stumpcake!
    Reputation: tconrady's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    5,906
    I'm another guy here that's had a Force shifter paddle break...after about 1200 miles and less than 6 months (winter months - that's the reason for the low milage) on the bike. I like the Doubletap shifting ok but I really love the ergonomics of the shifters. I don't really expect the remplacement shifter to last all that long but all the rest of the groupset has been really solid. I'm thinking really hard about buying a second set of shifters to have on hand when the next one breaks. That 3 weeks of waiting to get my replacement really sucked.

    All in all, I'm not too disappointed as I got the Force groupset for $520 delivered last year. With a receipt even!




    Last edited by tconrady; 08-24-2011 at 12:41 PM.
    "Indecision may or may not be my problem."

  23. #23
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    8,657
    Quote Originally Posted by tconrady View Post
    I'm another guy here that's had a Force shifter paddle break...after about 1200 miles and less than 6 months (winter months - that's the reason for the low milage) on the bike. I like the Doubletap shifting ok but I really love the ergonomics of the shifters. I don't really expect the remplacement shifter to last all that long but all the rest of the groupset has been really solid. I'm thinking really hard about buying a second set of shifters to have on hand when the next one breaks. That 3 weeks of waiting to get my replacement really sucked.

    All in all, I'm not too disappointed as I got the Force groupset for $520 delivered last year. With a receipt even!
    i'm guessing for that price you got your stuff online? and that's why you had to wait so long for the warranty part? if you had purchased at a shop, it would have been much quicker. SRAM will send a replacement part the same day the warranty is called in, they send a padded shipping envelope w/ a postage paid label for sending back the broken part.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  24. #24
    Stumpcake!
    Reputation: tconrady's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    5,906
    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    i'm guessing for that price you got your stuff online? and that's why you had to wait so long for the warranty part? if you had purchased at a shop, it would have been much quicker. SRAM will send a replacement part the same day the warranty is called in, they send a padded shipping envelope w/ a postage paid label for sending back the broken part.
    Crap! I realized I mistyped the price (trying to RBR at work) when I came back to this...meant $820. Yes, online but from a very reputable dealer. They were great and had the RMA right away. The distributor sat on their thumbs though. The retailer was great and in constant communication with me.

    I'm torn on Force. I really like it...the ergonomics of it for me work very well. Doubletap is overhyped a good bit IMO, but the rest of it is flawless, or rather, unnoticable...which is what I want in a drivetrain...for it to just work. I wish I had more confidence in the shifter paddle longevity and that's the part that bugs me irregardless of the time the warranty took. 1200 miles for a shifter to break is absurd...and the fact that its a common problem is maddening. It's great if it happens in the warranty period but I, like many people, don't upgrade my groupset every 2 years when the warranty period ends. I have bikes with Ultegra 6500 and 6600 that are 8 and 5 years old and never had to replace anything except chains, cassettes and chainrings.

    Again I really like Force...but I have reservations about durabilty especially with the shifters. I've got about 2 months of riding now on the replacement. If it lasts a year or so I'll change my tune and perhaps convert my other bikes as well. For now though, Ultegra is staying on my other bikes and I'll leave my main ride with Force. I really do hope I won't have any more problems with it because I do like it.
    "Indecision may or may not be my problem."

  25. #25
    Rub it............
    Reputation: frdfandc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    3,648
    I ride Sram Force and have over 3 years experience with both Shimano and Sram group sets since I'm the lead mechanic for a LBS.

    Product will not always be perfect. Never has, never will. But when the store I work for sells over 1200 bikes a year, 1/3 are road, 1/3 are hybrids, the last is MTB's and the component mix between Shimano and Sram is almost 50/50, I see way more problems with Shimano.

    I've only had 2 Sram lever issues. Both were earlier model Rival. I see more problems with Shimano stuff than Sram. Shimano is either a front shifter breaking the indexing pawls or a cable snapping inside the rear shifter.

    Sram is a tad bit noisier than Shimano, but I chalk that up to the cassette design. Red is very noisy due to the hollow cone shape of the cassette. Effectively makes it a megaphone.

    As for warranty concerns, both Shimano and Sram are great, but I have a harder time getting Shimano products because they seem to not manufacture enough products. Sram will also upgrade you automatically to the next level or 2 depending on the product.

    I had a co-worker with a set of Avid Juicy 7's that had sticky caliper pistons. After trying Avid's (Sram) suggestions, they sent him a set of Avid Elixer X0's. A huge jump in levels. Same with fork issues I've seen. I had a customer with a Dart 3 that seemed to keep having lockout damper issues. After the 3 damper replacement, Rock Shox (Sram) sent me a new Rock Shox Recon.




    Now to the OP, you still didn't state what SPECIFIC model of Ultegra you are currently using. If you are using Ultegra 6700 (hidden shifting cable system) I've found that the shifting is a tad sluggish then when compared to Ultegra 6600 (external cable shifting system).

    Now most bikes I've seen with Ultegra 6700 with shifting being really sluggish, has had the shifter cable routed along the front side of the handlebar, following the same path as the brake cable. Routing the cable to the back of the handlebar has all but eliminated any sluggish shifting.

    I hope this was include in "We've done everything" statement. If not, I'd complain to Shimano a little bit louder.
    You can't fix stupid.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeDaddio

    I kind of wish it were legal to staple people in the face.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Sram force or Ultegra?
    By arson1 in forum Components, Wrenching
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 07-07-2010, 12:04 PM
  2. SRAM Rival vs. Force vs. Ultegra
    By seattlesyclist in forum SRAM
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 07-12-2009, 03:15 AM
  3. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-18-2008, 05:43 PM
  4. SRAM Force vs. Ultegra SL?
    By MCF in forum Components, Wrenching
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 04-28-2008, 06:25 AM
  5. from ultegra to sram force?
    By naut395 in forum General Cycling Discussion
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 04-19-2007, 11:07 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Hot Deals

Contest

Tour De France

Latest RoadBike Articles


Latest Videos

RoadbikeReview on Facebook