Opinions wanted switching to SRAM

If you say so. :laughing:

My girlfriend an I wanted to switch our main road bikes to the same group set. So we tested both Shimano and SRAM. The testing day was a rather cold day where we road with Winter gloves. Sram was a bit easier with gloves. I like the simplicity and intuitive nature of shifting on SRAM.
The main driver in the end for us was availability…
We found SRAM equipped bikes available nearly immediately. During Winter, these wouldn’t be the main bikes anyway, turbo rides etc. This is TrainerRoad after all…

Relevant to my list: @GPLama did a quick test of Shimano’s new power meter it has released alongside its 12-speed drive trains, and the results are not pretty. I’m really surprised Shimano did not figure this one out, it had had enough time and has enough engineering talent.

Is that really a problem in practice if you service your brakes once or twice a year? This is my second pair of hydraulic disc brakes with DOT fluid (the first pair were Hayes FX-9 some 15 years ago, which were great brakes at the time), and so far I can’t tell any difference to be honest.

Well, the price you pay for that are brake levers that swivel side-to-side — which is something that drives me up the wall. Modulating my braking while shifting becomes quite difficult, I wonder who in Osaka thought this is a good idea. I come from the mountain biking side, and we have different fingers for braking and shifting, as it should be. :wink:

I haven’t used DoubleTap shifters for too long, but I can’t remember misshifting on them. But YMMV and I can understand it is also a matter of personal taste.

PS Just to clear, I am not a Shimano basher. I love my XT drive train on my mountain bike, apart from a failed trigger 1 year in, it has been extremely reliable in its >9 years of service. For mountain bikes, I don’t have a strong preference the way I do on drop bar bikes. Only if my next mountain bike bike were to get a power meter, though, I’d be partial to a Quark, because I don’t want a one-sided power meter anymore (if budget allows).

Sure, if you bleed your brakes on regular intervals, you’re totally good.

Mis shifts, it happens, not a lot, but if going really hard, it has happened enough.

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I’m looking at a bike with Force eTap AXS 2x12 and my only experience with electronic shifting so far has been Di2. Can anyone help with 3 questions?

  1. I LOVE full synchro shifting with Di2 since I don’t have to worry about the front derailleur. Is there something comparable with SRAM?

  2. You can get left side power pretty economically for Shimano ($300-350). What’s the most cost effective way to get power on a full SRAM Force eTap set up?

  3. Do the cassettes last longer? You can get Ultegra cassettes under $100…but Force are $200+?

For my Force AXS eTap 2x (46/33) crank I bought this:

and it provides total (left + right) power.

  1. Yes

  2. See @WindWarrior comment. I believe you can also get Stages L crank arms too.

  3. not significantly IMO.

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Switched from Shimano to SRAM Force and have never looked back.

The main difference, braking (rim brakes) so much better, gears… quicker cleaner shifts, less dropped chains (pretty much none) and easier to setup, (more margin for error.) But I am talking only about mechanical group sets, can’t talk about Etap and Di2. Most recent bike is SRAM red mechanical and totally amazing, can’t fault it. Looking back, after a RED front derailleur, the Force is a bit lacking but with comparable Shimano at the time still much better.


Irrelevant, if 11 speed you can mix and match. I sometimes run Ultegra cassette on a SRAM groupset or if money is tight. If there is a deal SRAM cassettes are similar prices and but I use SRAM for important or ‘A’ events.

I always have spares bought on a deal, and can always until now in the UK get either cassette within £10. Not sure what is going on with that USD price difference, I have never seen that.

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As someone has already responded, yes, there is an equivalent.

However, having used both systems, I have one nitpicky item of caution. With Shimano, when you drop down from the big to the little ring (in either syncro mode), the Shimano shift logic waits for a few moments for the chain to drop down into the little ring before it drops the cogs in the rear. When shifting up to the big ring, the Shimano shift logic simultaneously shifts up to the big ring and to the larger cogs. With SRAM, the timing of the shifts is the opposite. Dropping into the small ring and moving down the rear block to smaller cogs in the “sequential” or “semi-sequential” mode happens simultaneously. On the other hand, there is a slight delay between the shift up to the big ring in the front and the accompanying shift to larger cogs in the rear.

Why does this matter, you may ask? When dropping to smaller ring/cogs simultaneously (SRAM), there is a lot of tension being taken out of the chain all at once, “on both ends,” so to speak. In my experience, this increases the risk of a dropped chain when compared to Shimano’s shift logic. Presumably, Shimano handles it differently for this very reason. I am not sure why SRAM decided on this logic, unless it was to avoid some sort of patent infringement on Shimano’s system. When it comes to syncro/sequential shifting, I preferred Shimano’s, and regularly used “semi-syncro.” I no longer use sequential with SRAM.

This may seem nitpicky, but it stood out to me upon switching systems.


Which Force 2x crank? The power meter I mentioned is not compatible with the Wide 43x30:


Oh…it’s the 43/30!

The SRAM option is to put a Rival power meter crank on it.


Yeah, and the Rival power meter is as cheap as Stages or 4iiii, perhaps even a little cheaper. Shimano should copy SRAM here and release a native power meter for its 105 groupset.


$349 is crazy cheap, even if it is one-sided. My Tarmac SL7 came with a Rival crank and costs $249 to upgrade and add power.

@FrankTuna I’m also a bigger/heavier rider and have done major climbs in the mountains on Shimano 34x32 and 34x34. Now that I’m on SRAM I’ve thought about the 43/30 but putting it on my bike means:

  • its wider pushing the pedals out a bit
  • requires a different derailleur
  • Rival for power

FWIW this is a cadence chart for my typical climbing speeds, comparing 36x36 (current crank/cassette) with 33x36 and 30x36:

I still have the $450 power meter and will likely pick up a Force AXS 46/33 crank ($350 on sale) for a little better gearing on big mountain days. Most of my big mountain climbs have been ~65rpm and that hasn’t been an issue with knees/legs, but every little bit of extra cadence does help.


I wouldn’t mind the 46/33 if I can get my fitness where it needs to be, but the bike (Checkpoint SL 7 eTap) comes stock with a 43/30. The Rival PM looks OK but it feels like a downgrade, and I guess the alternative is a new crank and spider PM like you’d mentioned earlier. I’ll have to look into what that all might end up costing I guess. Think there’s a market for a 43/30 take off crank?

My bike shop had the bike in a 61cm…I was drooling over it…but I need to sit down and think through this rationally :rofl:

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This summer I tried putting my Stages dual-sided Ultegra 8000 crank on a Checkpoint SL4 or SL5, and the non-drive side wouldn’t clear the chain stay. Thats when the LBS manager asked if I had checked for Tarmac SL7 stock in the area…

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For comparison: I paid $300 or $330 for my 4iiii (including an Ultegra crank arm) after a 10 % discount. If you are buying a new bike, you’ll get a (good!) power meter for $250. That’s really a bargain.

Gearing is more important in my opinion. You could get a pedal-based power meter, according to the usual suspects, Assioma’s pedal-based power meters seem to be the ones to get.

Another option is to go for a 1x configuration with a Quark DZero.

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Ive had both, and don’t plan to go back to Shimano. I think di2 is great and in some ways it has advantages over Etap. I went from Ultegra 11 to Force AXS 12. The biggest benefits to me are: the ergonomics of it and ease of use. The shifting is more intuitive and you dont mis-shift by accidentally hitting the wrong paddle. The app is 10x better than etube. It pairs incredibly easily and works pretty much without issue. Also, its truly wireless. I now have 2 bikes with Force AXS and one with XX1 Eagle AXS. No problems with any of it.

Finally, and it may seem silly and stupid, but I love the batteries. More than once (twice, actually) Ive shown up to a group ride across town and had my di2 go dead after a shift to the big ring. 100% thats on me- totally get it and own it. However… With my AXS, I just pop the battery off the rear, but it in the big ring, swap the battery back and off I go. No worries. Or, worst case, have a spare in my saddle bag. With di2, youre S-O-L if it goes dead mid-ride.


For all those who switched to SRAM, did you change/upgrade the current groupset on your bike or did you make the change on a new bike.

Reading this thread has made me want to change my Shimano 105 for Rival or Force AXS on my current bike but it seems so $$$ to change groupsets.