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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There has been lots of discussion about using SRAM with the Specialized cranksets (or bikes) and I wanted to pass along my experiences.

I purchased an S-Works SL2 Module in early 2008 and built it up with my SRAM Force components. I purchased the Module instead of the frame because I was intrigued by the S-Works crankset. Front shifting performance in the configuration was never ideal but I was able to get by. During this time I read many stories about problems with the Specialized chainrings and Red front derailleurs (Pro Tour teams using Force instead of Red, Specialized dealers using Force instead of Red, QuickStep abandoning the Specialized crankset because they were folding chainrings, etc.). My problems were never this severe.

About a month ago I got a good deal on a Red groupset so I purchased it and replaced the Force components on my SL2. If my front shifting was not ideal with my Force derailleur then it was pathetic with the Red derailleur. At first, I was getting a lot of chain rub in about half my gears. I took it back to my LBS and had it adjusted. No more chain rub, but the chain would not shift from the small chain ring to the big chain ring. The derailleur would push the chain into the ring and it would just grind away. I took it back to the LBS and my mechanic decided that I need a SRAM chain ring (currently using the S-Works chain ring that came on the proprietary crank set). I was bummed (chain rings are $90 USD) until my mechanic told me that Specialized would be buying my chain ring. In his words, "we end up having to replace about half of these". We put the Force derailleur back on to limp by (it would eventually shift, but it is finicky) and rode that for a while. On Wednesday my new chain ring was installed and the front shifting is superb. I absolutely love it. I have no chain rub in any gear and the shifting is automatic. I am running the Force derailleur until I get through these 3 weekends of racing and then I will try the Red derailleur again. The thing I found interesting is that the new chain ring is the “SPR” from SRAM (I hadn’t even hear about this option until about a week ago).

I thought some of you might find this interesting so I am passing it on. Sorry about the long right up. You can learn more about the SPR chain ring on CyclingNews.

BTW...the SRAM chain ring doesn't look too bad on the S-Works cranksets but I hear the Dura-Ace ones "look like crap". I am going to post this in the SRAM forum as well.
 

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S-Works Tarmac SL3
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Maybe the DA crankset look like crap but it shifts superbly, every time. For me, its function before beauty - which means I prefer DA.

The SRAM shifts pretty good on the rear though. Also, I think the newer Spec rings shift Ok on the front with the Force derailleur.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I wasn't trying to turn this into a Shimano vs. SRAM debate. I agree that if the SRAM rings didn't work then to hell with asthetics...go with the Dura-Ace rings (on the SRAM forum a dealer mentioned that he has been using Ultegra since they are a little more durable and look a little better on the Specialized spider). But since my Red chainring shifts like butter I think this is a great option especially for those of us running SRAM components.

It is also my understanding that the Specialized chainrings around the March 2008 timeframe, so maybe this is no longer a problem. I guess my point was: if you are using the Specialized cranks and you are having problems with your front shifting, please contact your dealer because I think there are some viable, no-cost options available to you.

NealH said:
Maybe the DA crankset look like crap but it shifts superbly, every time. For me, its function before beauty - which means I prefer DA.

The SRAM shifts pretty good on the rear though. Also, I think the newer Spec rings shift Ok on the front with the Force derailleur.
 
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