SRAM Red or Dura ace 7900

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by DJT21

The easiest thing to do would be to get a 5600 or 6600 shimano front mech and use that. Perfect shifting.

by Weenie

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by 53x12

irf3 wrote: And just to clarify, everything but the FD is the old 2011 style.

That is great news to hear that you haven't had any issues.
"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."

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by mellowJohnny

This is not a "which is better" post, but rather a solicitation for opinions. All I'm looking for is what you like or dislike about each. I don't care if you've ridden both, or just one, or none but have a riding buddy who loves (or doesn't) one of them.

What do you like? More importantly what don't you like?

Note: if I run Red I"ll be using the Exogram crank, if go DA I'll be using an SL-K crank. Both options will be running a DA cassette, and KMC X10SL chain.

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by justinn

I have the 2012 red with a kmc x10sl chain and a red cassette, it shifts great, but the chain runs louder than the 1071 I had before it. Not sure if there's a break in period or something, but that would be my only complaint

The group is spot on, my two other bikes have force and ultegra, the front shifting is nowhere near as good on the either. You can shift to the big ring going uphill with no problem, I haven't felt completely comfortable doing that on either of the other groups. Rear shifting is comparable to force, snappy, loud and precise. Either you like it or you don't.

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by addictR1

i have the red on my addict R1. i love it... it does make a loud click sound when shifting, but i love that. is the DA cassette lighter than the RED cassette?

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by NealH

3 years with 7900 and not an issue or noise. Very refined and accurate. I tried Red and did not like it (pre-2012). Noisy and unrefined. Many like the new Red though.

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by addictR1

I have the new red cassette ad haven't noticedthe noise issue. Maybe ill borrow my friend DA cassette and test it out. Would it make it shift even smoother?

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by Svetty

Are you cool with Double tap? If so then it's 50/50. If not then DA7900 all the way....

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by fa63

I run 2011 Red with the 2013 Yaw FD, a DA cassette, and KMC X10SL chain. Shifting is great front and back, it is quiet, and I like the ergonomics so it works very well for me. I especially like the rear shifting; DA to me is very vague while to Red is very positive in this aspect (some call it clunky).

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by mellowJohnny

Svetty wrote:Are you cool with Double tap? If so then it's 50/50. If not then DA7900 all the way....

Yep, completely fine with the Double Tap. Come to think of it I switched from XT thumb shifters to GripShift back in the day and never looked back.

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by Imaking20

I don't like the look of the 7900 crank but it seems that won't be an issue!

I really like how quiet the SRAM combo is with red cassette and 1091r chain. I had a 7900 cassette and KMC x10sl TiN chain but switched back to the SRAM due to less noise. The 7900 chain runs quieter with praxis rings and 1050/1070 cassette but I've found best results with all new RED when using the exogram

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by cerro

Red all the way.

red pros:
fast, straight on, light

red cons:
crappy front derailleur if you don't go steel

D-A pros:
love the front derailleur as it is so stiff and good, gears really soft

D-A cons:
slow without feedback

But can also depends on frame, if you got bottom bracket for 24mm it doesn't matter but if you got an oversize like BB30, PF30 or OSBB Red has an advantage with the crankset with any need of strange adapters and extra weight.
/jonas l (my cyclingblog)

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by prendrefeu

Largely agreeing with what cerro posted, but here is my take regardless:

Mix-match-compatible (for the most part, it's relatively friendly to mix years/levels/components, including SRAM's mountain range if you want to do something unique)
Light weight ; Fast gear changes ; Double-tap shifting. I love it. It's personal preference, however ; Adjustable reach on the levers, for people with small hands. I don't use this function, but know people who do ; Very tunable. It might be a combination of availability, comparatively-low price, lack of 'auspicious reverence' for the brand/heritage, or the nature of people who tend to buy it anyway, but it certainly has the greatest amount of tuning done to the its components compared to other brands ; The exogram crank is ridiculously awesome. Possibly one of the best single components I've ridden in the past decade and all the more valuable when I consider the price it sells for.

I don't like their graphics too much. The newer (2012-present) derailleurs have improved. ; The spider orientation of their Exogram crank isn't the greatest, but then again DA9000 went to their own unique BCD (with justification), Campagnolo has had a strange compact BCD for quite some time with little justification, and the BCDs on both the standard and compact Exograms are still industry standard ; You will get a lot of people who don't ride their bikes (seriously) enough whinging about you riding SRAM.


Pro: To be honest, I prefered 7800 over 7900, but it was largely the same. The looks grew on me, but I eventually stopped riding it. The shifting is typically supreme, as are most Dura-Ace lines. I can't really say for certain that any front derailleur was better than another brand because I've found steel-red, dura-ace and record all pretty much equal when it comes to the most basic of the derailleurs: the front. (However their 9000 is a lot like the 2012+ Yaw in having an improvement in the Front Derailleur category.). 7900 Cranks are pretty awesome for stiffness, not so much for lightness.
Their design is very modern with flashes of metal and coated-metal, a bit 'samurai sword' like, which is nice. While not necessarily any more 'strong' than the carbon competitors, the metal components lend themselves to a feeling of solidity and durability. (However, everything in this world will break at some point in some way)
Dura-Ace also seems to be available everywhere, which is a plus. It's not like SRAM nor Shimano are in the way of scarcity (some might say 'exclusivity') that Campagnolo is, but most places will have Dura-Ace spare parts on the ready.

Cons: Heavy - (ier than Red). Expensive. Didn't see too much tuning going on in the Dura-Ace world.

Mixed/wash comparisons:
-set up. Some people (and mechanics) will state unequivocally that Red is finicky to set up. I completely disagree with them and found it no more difficult than any other group, and no more or less necessary to adjust/maintain through use compared to other drivetrains.
-Sound. As for sound, that's a personal decision. Some people really love the Dura-Ace/Shimano silent shifting, some don't. I felt the shifting was slower compared to Red, but 7900 felt just a little bit smoother. Red has a very distinctive 'thunk' to it, which I love. While it is certainly a fast shifter (especially in sprinting), each shift has such a beautiful, very mechanical sound to it. Kind of silly, but last weekend I found myself shifting through gears while slowing up for my ride mates to catch up to me while on a double, just so I can hear that sound.
-More on sound: some have said that older Red cassette was loud. I guess so, but I wouldn't really know. I tuned the old OG1090 cassette and made it really darn quiet, quieter than the Dura-Ace cassettes of my friends. I now run the 2012+ XG1090 cassette and it's even quieter.
Exp001 || Other projects in the works.

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by Imaking20

I couldnt state it better myself. Cheers.

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by oreoboreo

prendrefeu... great post

I have Da 7900 on my 2011 Addict R1 and 2012 Sram red on my Cannondale EVO with the steel front dr. I do like the shorter throw on the red shifters, however would not trade one for another. My Cannondale I call my weekend Century hill climber and the Scott is the group mid week throw down bike.

Let's finish the ride with a 20% grade.

2011 Scott Addict R1 DA 7900 Matt black
2012 Scott CR1 Pro Ultegra 6700
2015 Specialized SWorks Tarmac Da 9000
2016 Specialized SWorks Tarmac DA 9100

by Weenie

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