Worth upgrading from Shimano 105 to SRAM Force?
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  1. #1
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    Question Worth upgrading from Shimano 105 to SRAM Force?

    I recently started road biking and my bike came full with Shimano 105s. I came across a good deal for a full 2010 SRAM Force 8 piece component group for $700. $700 is a lot of money, but seeing what retail goes for, I'm drooling over it. I don't think I will notice the difference much in the performance and will only be saving around .4-.5 lbs. If anything, they just look much better with updated graphics for 2010.


  2. #2
    The Cube
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    save the money for tires, riding gear, entry fees, or gifts for your significant other to keep them from getting upset about all the riding time you'll be able to put in on that perfectly fine 105 gear. unless you have 10% body fat, its much less expensive to lose a half pound from your body than from the bike. if you just started riding, you'll get lots more performance gain from using would be shop time, riding.
    K$

  3. #3
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    While I miss my SRAM, my new bike came with 105 which I am very happy with. That is a big expense that I am not taking. While SRAM is hard to get used to and difficult to fine tune, it is visually very nice. It is also impossible to fine tune your shift while riding SRAM or trim your shift. SRAM has to be completely dialed in to enjoy the ride, and that is difficult to do.
    Last edited by Hooben; 10-18-2009 at 12:20 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sf_loft
    I recently started road biking and my bike came full with Shimano 105s. I came across a good deal for a full 2010 SRAM Force 8 piece component group for $700. $700 is a lot of money, but seeing what retail goes for, I'm drooling over it. I don't think I will notice the difference much in the performance and will only be saving around .4-.5 lbs. If anything, they just look much better with updated graphics for 2010.

    Save your $.
    I doubt you will not notice much improvement other than the benefit of double tap.

  5. #5
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    I recently switched from Shimano to the Sram Force.

    For me it was a big difference. The double tap shifting I think is much easier to use. The shifting is faster too. It has better ergonomics (for me) than the Shimano did. The Sram is also wider and fits my hands better. When braking on longer descents, the Shimanos would cramp my hands more than the Srams. I have small hands...and I no longer have to change my hand position on up shifts...especially from the drops.

    I had no problems getting used to the double tap shifting. As for dialing it in...if your bike mechanic knows that they are doing...it won't be an issue.

    Go to a bike shop and test ride a bike with the Sram setup...let that determine if you buy or not.

  6. #6
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    $700 dlls. will get you a pair of nice , light custom made wheels, you will enjoy the investment, and the weight reduction wont hurt.

  7. #7
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    If you're a SRAM nut or enjoy the feel of it all, then there's a reason to get it and keep the 105 as an extra component group for anything. Otherwise, it's hard to justify buying it in a "just because" scenario.

  8. #8
    Rub it............
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    I just switched from 105 to 2010 Sram Force. Even though I've only have a couple of miles on it, I feel that its much better than the 105 stuff. But I've been using SRAM on my mountain bike for 2 years now, so I prefer how SRAM shifts over the Shimano stuff.
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  9. #9
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    For the record, I've never ridden SRAM. I currently have a 105 bike. All I'm going to say is read up and see if you find any bad stories about SRAM and increasing cable friction after a few months. I don't know if all SRAM's groups suffer from the issue but I've heard several accounts of how bad the friction gets (where it bends out of the lever). I recently heard John G. (2 Johns Podcast) publicly "call out" SRAM on this since he's claiming to need to change cables and housings every few months. He's up until now been pretty favorable to SRAM. (around 1H:18M into http://www.twojohnspodcast.missingsa...odcast-091008/) They come down pretty hard on SRAM chains and cable problems for about 20 minutes.

    Again ... just saying what I heard, not what I personally experienced. It may be a non issue but you asked so I figured you might want to know and look into it for yourself

  10. #10
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    sf_loft...your upgrade should be to wheels. $700 will get you the new Shimano tubeless wheels. That is where I would spend the money.

    PS. I just took my old 105 downtube shifter bike out for an hour this evening. It felt great...I missed the brifters but my 20 year old 105 is still hanging in there and still giving me perfect shifts.

    PPS...if you upgrade your shift cables to SP41's it'll likely feel like a whole new group...this is a really big upgrade that doesn't cost much.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterMike
    For the record, I've never ridden SRAM. I currently have a 105 bike. All I'm going to say is read up and see if you find any bad stories about SRAM and increasing cable friction after a few months. I don't know if all SRAM's groups suffer from the issue but I've heard several accounts of how bad the friction gets (where it bends out of the lever). I recently heard John G. (2 Johns Podcast) publicly "call out" SRAM on this since he's claiming to need to change cables and housings every few months. He's up until now been pretty favorable to SRAM. (around 1H:18M into http://www.twojohnspodcast.missingsa...odcast-091008/) They come down pretty hard on SRAM chains and cable problems for about 20 minutes.

    Again ... just saying what I heard, not what I personally experienced. It may be a non issue but you asked so I figured you might want to know and look into it for yourself
    I've not heard of that problem at all. I have 2008 Force on my bike with 3500+ miles not including the miles put on the previous jittery joe racer. $700 is an awesome price for an 8 piece group. Take it and resell it just to make a profit. I love my SRAM stuff. I'm just finishing piecing a Rival group for my steel bike. I wouldn't change if you don't need. 105 will be sufficient and great for many years. Get used to the bike, forget the upgrades and save it for something better down the road. Looks are definitely part of the sport. Take it from a beginner who is doing a full season of racing for next year and save the money.....
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  12. #12
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    Thanks for the feedback guys. I think I'll keep my 105's for some time and save the money. I just came back from a quick 20 mile ride today and the 105's are smooth and perfect. I'm in the process of upgrading my wheelset, replacing my stock Bontrager SSR wheels and Race Lite tires with Mavic Ksyrium SL wheelset and Conti GP4000S tire combo. With some ultralight tubes, I've knocked off 1+ lbs of my bike.

  13. #13
    Captain Obvious
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    i put sram rival on my wifes 'cross bike last year. i don't have any problems setting it or tuning it. i had to tweak it when she changed cassettes, but that only took a couple of minutes.

    she likes sram over shimano because of her small hands mostly. although she really does love having the rival.
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  14. #14
    Dr. Flats a lot
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    If the question was "should I get a SRAM bike or Shimano" I'd go for the SRAM. I have a DA 7900 bike and a SRAM Red/Force. Despite the earlier post I have had no issues with SRAM and have been running it for 3 years. Requires much less effort to keep it working properly. Shifting is much more intuitive, and particularly awesome if you ride in the hooks.

    That being said Shimano 105 is nothing to sneeze at, and I wouldn't shell out $700 for a new group.

  15. #15
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    FYI. I put SRAM Rival on my wifes bike a couple of years ago. I am not an expert mechanic but have been doing my own wrenching for about 15 years including installing many groupos. The friction on the FD is an issue with my wifes set-up. i have replaced cables and it gets a little better but then there are problems again. It frustrates her so much that she has gotten in the habit of hating to shift to the large chainring. She has small hands (which is why I bought the groupo in the first place) and the force required to shift takes a toll on her. At this point I am looking to replace the groupo. Not fully condeming all SRAM just offering my story.

  16. #16
    Dr. Flats a lot
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    Forgot about that one. The original SRAM ft. shifting stank. I had a compact crank and it never worked properly. The new stuff with the ft. der trim solved that problem totally. But I you're right, it doesn't work.

  17. #17
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    The Rival and Force cranks are a step up from 105. The 105 cranks and the stamped chainrings are pretty poorly made. Very flexy, and when you push hard, you can get the chainrings to rub against the front derailleur from flex. I had '08 105 cranks on my winter bike for a few weeks before switching them out for Rival. Noticed the difference right away.

  18. #18
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    I don't get the problems with the Sram shifters?

    I'm running the 2010 derailleurs, but my shifters are the 07/08 ones without the trim on the big ring. I have a 52/36 in the front and 11/26 in the back.

    I'm not having any issues with my shifting. Even when I'm crossed (big ring/cog). I get no rubbing no the FD.

    I did have to take it back once after the initial install and adjustment for the FD...

  19. #19
    Beetpull DeLite
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    Nah, stick with your 105 if you like it and it works.

    FWIW I switched from Tiagra to Force last year and love it - no issues at all with setup, cable friction, front shifting, etc.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightfend
    The 105 cranks and the stamped chainrings are pretty poorly made. Very flexy, and when you push hard, you can get the chainrings to rub against the front derailleur from flex.
    I don't know how to put this politely: I don't believe that.

  21. #21
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    SRAM is definitely an upgrade. It is easier to set up and works better.

  22. #22
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    As a relative new biker, your bike taste will change as you gain experience, strength, and develop personal preferences. Eventually, if you are like many of us, you will be upgrading your bike/frame, getting better quality frame and components, and better personal fit.

    I would invest in a nice set of wheels for 700-1000, that will dramatically improve what you are riding now. Better wheelset will make your bike faster, climb better, and will improve handling.

    If you do upgrade bikes in the near future, you could use the new wheels also for your next bike.

    Joseph

  23. #23
    A Story of Love
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    Quote Originally Posted by sf_loft
    I recently started road biking and my bike came full with Shimano 105s. I came across a good deal for a full 2010 SRAM Force 8 piece component group for $700. $700 is a lot of money, but seeing what retail goes for, I'm drooling over it. I don't think I will notice the difference much in the performance and will only be saving around .4-.5 lbs. If anything, they just look much better with updated graphics for 2010.

    I don't know that it's worth $700 to upgrade from what is already a pretty good component group (105), but the weight-savings in going from 105 to '010 Force is more than you say, I think.

    IIRC, Shimano 105 is around 2600 grams, and '010 Force is around 2100. So, you'd be saving about a pound, or more precisely, 1.1 lbs.

    That said, there are other considerations, and it still isn't necessarily worth it.
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