05 March 2015

Brifters -- SRAM 1, Shimano 0

Last week as I was heading home one evening on the Yamabushi, I tried to downshift hard, pulling in the right hand brifter of my SRAM Rival double tap derailleur.  I heard the sound of a cable pulling apart, metal threads shredded, and rear shifting done for the evening.

No time to replace the cable that evening ... and I would not get around to trying until beginning of this week.  When I did, I could see that there was still at least a couple centimeters of cable attached to the brifter.  But I could not pull this severed cable out.  The repair was again delayed.

This morning, got the right tools and carefully removed the 3 screws securing the hard plastic plate on the inside of the brifter, then tried again.

Wow.  It was easy to dig out the parts, and to see out the brifter works.  Installing a new cable also was easy.  So unlike the two times I have gotten severed shifter cable stuck in a Shimano 7800/6600 series brifter and been left with an unrepairable piece of metal, plastic and rubber, the SRAM Rival double tap brifter looks incredibly resilient.
Well used, grimy SRAM brifter with severed shifter cable end.
To be fair, I have not (yet) had any broken cables with the Shimano 6800 brifters I have on the Canyon Shark ... so all my negative experience is with older 7800/6600 series.  But so far, SRAM has the edge in terms of each of repair and reliability.  Aesthetics also.

What don't I like about the SRAM brifters?  The rubber hood covers wear out way too fast.  I used this occasion to replace them with a set of spares I got a few months back.  But my SRAM Red brifter hoods are tearing as well.

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