36/52 SRAM Red rings are pretty bad. I can swap out to my specialized s-works rings, and get much better shifting. The stronglight CT2s are pretty similar shifting, but seem slightly worse - that may be a placebo effect of never running them on my allez though.
Old Red front derailleur is finicky to setup, and the ti cage is subject to wear. Force/rival shifts better. This is somewhat dependent on the frame though: my aluminum allez is a lot more precise on the front than the s-works tarmac sl3, even with the same crankset/ derailleurs. I should probably run the s-works crank on the tarmac, but the colors on the cranks match the bikes perfectly, and look moronic when swapped.
so configurations I've used with 36/52, rated from best to worst shifting: Both bikes are using old Sram Red levers (Allez is black, the Tarmac LTE if that matters)
good: (the configuration I currently run)
Tarmac w/ red crank/ stronglight CT2 rings and yaw red fd:
Allez w/ s-works crank/rings and force fd:
Tarmac w/ s-works crank/rings and force fd:
Tarmac w/ red crank/ s-works rings and force fd
Tarmac w/ red crank/ stronglight rings and force fd
Allez w/ s-works crank/ red rings and force fd
Allez w/ red crank/rings and force fd
Tarmac w/ s-works crank/ red rings and force fd:
Tarmac w/ red crank/rings and force fd:.
Tarmac w/ red crank/rings and old red fd
My recommendation would be to buy a set of Stronglight CT2 rings and a Yaw front derailleur. The rings alone would make the shifting much better, but the new yaw derailleur adds quite a bit. You might try just the yaw derailleur though, as it may be enough to make you happy.
- in the industry
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- Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:59 pm
- Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Santa Cruz County, CA
Santa Cruz, CA
I don't have any Red, but I have been running entirely Force and my front shifting is OK.
I switched from Force chainrings recently to new Red Black chainrings (50/34) and they shift no different. (shift fine)
I have run Force, DA 7800, DA7900, and the KMC DX10SL chains with little difference in shifting performance.
AptosBigRing wrote:Wcl4 - Check your chain. If you're running a SRAM chain you will not get the fastest shifting on your Praxis forged LOOK ZED rings. We highly suggest running a KMC/Shimano/Campy chains.
Santa Cruz County, CA
Great to know. Thanks!
My new bike is the Lynskey Helix OS.
A couple of observations:
1) The SRAM Red Aeroglide brakes are absolutely fantastic with my custom-built HED C2 rimmed wheels - so much so that I cancelled the eeBrakes that I had on order. Previous SRAM Red brakes did not work well with wider rimmed wheels but these new brakes were made to work with the wide rimmed Zipp Firecrest wheels (no surprise since Zipp and SRAM are the same company now). I believe that this is the sleeper component of the new 2012 SRAM Red groupset.
2) I use the SRAM Red YAW FD clamp with the SRAM Red FD with the chain catcher. The old SRAM FD clamp is not the same as the new SRAM Red YAW FD clamp. I had them side by side and my bike mechanic tried both for comparisons sake. I think this might be an overlooked reason why front shifting of the previous SRAM Red FD was less than perfect. Yes, set up is critical. Yes, the titanium-caged SRAM Red FD might have been flexy. Yes, the Sram Red chainring and crankset might not have been the stiffest. Yes, the new steel/aluminium-caged SRAM Red Yaw FD might be stiffer. Yes, I also have the steel-caged SRAM Red FD for comparisons sake. But, for a lot bikes that have on-bike FD clamp/brackets, I think that these on-bike FD clamp/brackets might not have been the best connecting points for the SRAM Red FD that come as a braze-on unit. So, my recommendation is to use the SRAM Red YAW FD clamp with the SRAM Red FD. Btw, I am using the Cannondale Hollowgram SISL 50/34 170mm crankset. I also have the SRAM Red Exogram 53/39 170mm crank in a box (bought the whole groupset for a nice discount). So for front shifting - perfect, quick, no-hesitation with the double-tap SRAM Red Ergodynamic brake/shifters. No chain rub with the big-big ring but I have not had the opportunity to try the small-small combination.
3) I am using the complete SRAM Red set up for the rear dérailleur: SRAM Red Aeroglide RD, SRAM Red X-Dome 11/23 XG1090 cassette, and SRAM Red PC-1091R chain. Shifting with the SRAM Red Ergodynamic brake/shifters is perfect. Exact actuation works - shifting up and down is immediate. No chain rub and the drivetrain is quiet. The cassette is quiet. The whole drivetrain is amazingly quiet, compared to old SRAM Red. I was riding next to Shimano Dura-Ace and Campagnolo Record-equipped bikes and we could hold a conversation while going at 20 mph. We were all at about the same noise level - perhaps Shimano and Campagnolo might have been slightly quieter but not by much. Of course, the silence was broken by the clunk/clunk shifting of my SRAM-equipped bike. But, the SRAM exact actuation was much, much faster. We tried synchronising the start of our shifting - SRAM Red was immediate up and down with a clunk/clunk announcement. Shimano took about a half-second later and was so quiet - so much so that my friend said he would only know there was a shift after his pedalling got easier or harder with the cadence change. I shifted under light load a bunch of times - 4% grade - and everything was okay. I shifted under a sprint to 45 kmh and everything was okay but a bit louder. Yes, there was the loud clunk-clunk shifting that SRAM is known for.
But, I have to admit that the smoothest and best-balance drivetrain groupset was the Campagnolo Record - like butter.
That's it for now - if this thread is still active in a month or two when I past a 1000 km, I will post another update.
2013 Parlee Z1 with DA 9070
2013 Lynskey Helix OS II with SRAM Red
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