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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to rerig my 2006 Madone and have whittled the choices down to 2 component groups - the SRAM Red or the DA 7800 group. My major considerations were quality, reliability and price, though I must admit I am being swayed by the hidden cabling of the SRAM shifting system. Would love to hear any/all feedback from forum on preferences and experiences you may have had with these groups. I am replacing an Ultegra 6600 sytem, btw - thanks.
 

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I just installed Red on my bike to replace the Ultegra ten speed I had. It shifts well enough - though I am still getting used to it. I keep hitting the brake lever to down shift.

Anyway, from my limited experience, they're both good. Dura Ace will be quieter - Red shifters click loudly, and maybe a bit smoother in the front chain ring. Rear seems to shift the same to me.

That said, I really do like having hidden cables.
 

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If those are the choices

then Red, if your hands like it.

The shifters are TOTALLY different shapes, though, so pick the one that fits you best. Of course.

If you're open to other thoughts, though, I'd say get 2009 Force unless you're getting a steal on the Red. It's cheaper and functions exactly the same. They added the cool details like adjustable levers and a better front throw to ALL of the new SRAM stuff.

It's still lighter than D-A, unless you're building a weight weenie bike just 'cause, and obviously you're not, or you wouldn't have considered 7800, or you just happen to like Red's NASCAR-lookin' stickers, which do look sweet on some bikes.

I think 2009 Rival is the best deal of any groupset on the market, for that matter.
 

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dura ace sux, 7900 is a step up but those 7800 levers with the old school exposed cables are just plain ugly, heavy, and uncomfortable.
 

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I never even thought about the exposed shifter cables. I've been using the 7800 for years and will continue to do so as I have three more sets of new 7800 shifters and lots of derailers, new cranks.

I've never thought about the exposed cables being old school, but I guess most people have moved on to having their cables hidden under the bar tape.

What about the 7800 shifters made them uncomfortable for you guys. Do you have small hands?

Where are SRAM components manufactured?
 

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kenyonCycleist said:
dura ace sux, 7900 is a step up but those 7800 levers with the old school exposed cables are just plain ugly, heavy, and uncomfortable.
Yes, those levers that weigh about half as much as a large bottle of water really drag me down. Especially on a 1% grade. If I had any strength at all, I could probably ride faster, but they are SO HEAVY once the grade is 2% I am screwed, yeah, it totally sux. Maybe I should spend more time in the gym doing some 14oz bench pressing and curls.
 

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kenyonCycleist said:
dura ace sux, 7900 is a step up but those 7800 levers with the old school exposed cables are just plain ugly, heavy, and uncomfortable.
Yeah those insect antenna cabling is really making my riding damn uncomfortable... Why are they in the way of my butt? :mad2:
 

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b) feels good in your hand.

I switched to Red from Ultegra last spring. It was the ergonomics of the shifter that did it for me. I had never once considered switching until I was hanging out at my LBS getting a spoke replaced and was chatting with one of the sales guys. He showed me a BH with Red shifters and I had the upgrade on within a week. For me SRAM's shifters fit my hands way more comfortably than Shimano ever could, even the new electric shifters.
 

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the 7800 shifters are a bad design, they curve too much, they arn't long enough to get a proper grip, the best you can do is get a few fingers around them and then the curve forces you to push forward on them when climbing when your force could be better directed downwards with a design like camp or sram. ummm....yea theres a reason they changed the design..they were losing sales to the superior ergonomics of sram. call it what you will sram red saves a ton of weight over dura-ace, and those grams add up. sure a light bike isnt gonna win a race but when your 6'3" and 170lbs and restricted to larger frame sizes, while shorter guys can ride much lighter frames than you every bit helps.
 

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I have used Ultegra and DA 7800 extensively. I cant complain with the DA. I dont mind the exposed cables, and the hoods fit my hands well. I also prefer the two different levers for up and down shifting over Sram's double tap. Get whatever feels best in your hands. Red is obviously way lighter as many have mentioned. DA 7800 is also much cheaper at present time.
 

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kenyonCycleist said:
yea theres a reason they changed the design..they were losing sales to the superior ergonomics of sram.
Observation at the Walburg race yesterday doesn't support your hypothesis.

I'd say there were around 400 bicycles there. 95% were Shimano equipped and probably 80% of those were Dura Ace 7800. One of the teams (I think Colavita) had new 7900 equipped bikes for the season. The remaining 20% of the Shimano bikes was mostly Ultegra and small amount of 105.

The remaining 5% was split roughly evenly between SRAM and Campy. It doesn't look to me like serious bike racers see any great technological break through with SRAM. I don't think there were more than a dozen SRAM equipped bikes in the Pro/1/2 field.

If you ballpark guess that Shimano makes $800-$900 per 7800 group, that's roughly a quarter million bucks worth the Dura Ace parts in one location. And that's not counting wheels.

If there were any huge competitive benefits to be gained, these racers would be out buying SRAM in droves, not riding 7800.
 

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android said:
Observation at the Walburg race yesterday doesn't support your hypothesis.

I'd say there were around 400 bicycles there. 95% were Shimano equipped and probably 80% of those were Dura Ace 7800. One of the teams (I think Colavita) had new 7900 equipped bikes for the season. The remaining 20% of the Shimano bikes was mostly Ultegra and small amount of 105.

The remaining 5% was split roughly evenly between SRAM and Campy. It doesn't look to me like serious bike racers see any great technological break through with SRAM. I don't think there were more than a dozen SRAM equipped bikes in the Pro/1/2 field.

If you ballpark guess that Shimano makes $800-$900 per 7800 group, that's roughly a quarter million bucks worth the Dura Ace parts in one location. And that's not counting wheels.

If there were any huge competitive benefits to be gained, these racers would be out buying SRAM in droves, not riding 7800.
you missing a big point here. Being there, your wrong, and second of all, a majority of the P12 field get parts cheap or free............ I know this for a fact, especially in that field. The other side of the coin is that I'm able to make the same argument you did by using Astana. Levi, Lance, and Contadoper all say "how much of an advantage" Red is. Of course you cannot take that seriously, nor should you take seriously the field "choice" at a preseason P12 RR in Texas, of all places. I know most of those guys and they ride what they are given. Most of those guys are not "paid" to ride their bike and have real jobs. Speaking from experience, they do get kits, race entry, frames, parts, and some will get hotel and travel money. If the did/do have a choice, 7800 was/is cheaper than Red is/was. That being said, 7900 is $600-$900 more expensive than Red. Assuming that these guys actually had to pay for 7900 or Red, what do you think they'd pick?

To the OP. I switched to Red from 7800 and am pleased. Very actually. I much prefer then shape of the hoods to 7800. Additionally, I was a bit sKePtIcAl of the zero loss thing at first. Truth be told I didn't even notice it. Fast forward 5 months later and I was working on wifey's 7800 equipped bike and noticed how much you have to actually move the lever to get something to happen. It's not a bad thing, it's different. I switched her over to Red levers and cassette, and Rival everything else and she's a happy camper. This is probably the the best setup to save some cash. In my opinion, the Red group set's stars are the hoods and the cassette. They make the group.

Starnut
 

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Argentius is on the ball with this one, I have Rival on my cross bike and Red on my road bike and the difference is ever so slight. If SRAM Ergo's suit you well, save the money get a Rival/Force group, upgrade the cranks, and spend the savings on whatever suits your fancy.
 

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Well, if you think my estimates are that far off, feel free to correct me. I didn't take an exact count. But I worked this race, rather than raced it, so I was able to pay a lot more attention to why everyone else had rather than getting my own gear together and warmed up. The main reason all the DA stuff going by made such an impact was that I was expecting a lot more SRAM gear as much as it is hyped on RBR. I'm know some riders get free gear, but most only cat 3s and down only get discounts if anything, so I think free will is not too constrained by the financial considerations.
 

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SRAM is definitely gaining traction--and inspiring 2009 component changes by Shimano & Campy. DA 7800 is an awesome deal right now--but that's only because Shimano obsoleted it. DA 7900 is more expensive and only has mixed backwards compatibility.

The nice thing with SRAM is everything is compatible between different groups and years. I agree with some of the others--check out Force/Rival. Aside from weight and appearance, I think Red levers are the only thing that are notably different. Despite the closeout pricing with old Dura Ace, you can definitely get a lighter SRAM set for less money--and enjoy the great ergonomics that forced Shimano to change!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well - thanks for all of the advice - I went with SRAM Red, as I got the 8-pc set for $1150, which was the best deal I could find (Brand New - 2009). I did like the new DA7900 but couldnt find a kit complete for less that $1750 - so I went Red but really considered Rival/Force as well - the low Red price hooked me. Thanks again.
 

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Wow, that's a great price on Red. I've been resisting SRAM and leaning towards Campy 11 for my new Look, but I might not be able to hold back at that price. Where did you get it?
 
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