Shimano vs SRAM

Ade's Road Cycling Blog

I’ve now been riding my Canyon bike with full Shimano Dura-ace groupset for enough time to form some opinions on it, versus the SRAM products on my Boardman.

It isn’t really a fair comparison as SRAM Rival is probably pitched more against 105 but as they’re all I’ve got to compare that’ll have to do – unless SRAM want to send me a Red group set 😉

Here’s my summary :

Gear changing – the Dura-ace is silky smooth, especially when moving from the small ring at the front to the big ring.  It works beautifully.  Rival also changes well but is quite clunky.  There’s pretty much always a noise, and moving from the small ring to the big ring requires some force.

Gear shifting – Shimano shifting uses two levers.  To change down the cogs you click the small lever, and to change up you move the whole brake lever.  It works well but frankly the SRAM double-tap system is much better.  It uses just one level and by means of a clever cam arrangement it means that a single click will move you down the cogs, whereas a “bigger” push of the lever will take you up.  Both systems allow you to shift two cogs at a time.

Brakes – I didn’t realise the SRAM brakes (actually Tektro) on the Boardman weren’t that good, until I pulled the Dura-ace ones with the same level of force and nearly went over the handlebars.  They are immensely powerful.

Levers and Ergonomics – The SRAM suits my hands and the way I position them on the hoods.  It wins “hands down” for me (sorry) being much more comfortable, with the hoods, the brake levers and the gear levers simply being better styled for comfort.  That’s not to say the Dura-ace ones are bad – they just don’t suit me as much.

Chainset – The Dura-ace feels a fair bit more robust but only time will tell I think.

Anyway, I’ll add any further thoughts as I ride the Shimano group set more


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