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Ever bought a bike you didnt like and sram shifters, really?

m_cozzym_cozzy Posts: 132
edited November 2013 in MTB general
I have just got back from a ride on my new commencal meta am1 and have to say I'm disappointed.
I have come from a 4 year old gt sanction 1.0, my 1st proper fs mtb, and its been awesome. Slick xt gears and shifters, sharp xt brakes, Everyone who has ridden it comments on how good it shifts and stops. The 160mm lyrik's were lovely, plush with great control fast or slow. I even treated it to a dropper, 55mm stem and wide bars this year and thoroughly enjoyed every ride, having recently come back from a weekend at coed y brenin & llandegla.
I didnt need to replace it, but had been lusting after the meta for a while & eventually couldnt help myself!

Now I admit riding at a qecp on wet chalk & roots, covered by wet leaves wasn't ideal for the first ride, but its been in the garage for nearly 3 weeks and I had to get out!

The gears, sram x9 & x0, just useless. I could perhaps get used to the ludicrous push/push gear change arrangement (although not sure I want to as I have a hardtail with slx), but it feels like a 9spd shifter coupled with 10spd mech, either nothing happens, or it jumps, skips & grinds on each press up and down, no amount of twiddling the adjuster seemed to make any difference. Are they really this bad? Can I fit xt shifters & retain the x0 mech perhaps?
The fox float 32 ctd fork seemed poor, very harsh even on the softest setting, despite using all the travel. The rear felt ok although maybe too soft, I kept catching the pedals on the ground, this never happened on the gt. The formula rx brakes seemed on par with the xt, so that was good at least. Another plus point was it feels lighter and therefore easier to pedal than the gt.

Just feeling a bit deflated after a slow unpleasant ride today, I had hoped for so much more :(
Banned from singletrack forum again :-)
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Posts

  • Did you test ride before you bought it? Lot of money to piss away on a bike you don't like.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Bits will bed in but the fork isn't a patch on the lyrik.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    You can't use Shimano shifters with a Sram mech, so all or nothing.

    When my Shimano shifter died I bought a Sram Rocket just to see how it felt, and absolutely love it. Shifts like a dream.
    But the Shim had been dying for a while and would only shift push/push so I was used to it.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

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  • gears will bed in and some adjustment will be required to take account of any cable stretch, but shimano gearing is a million miles better than SRAM!

    The fork is also a downgrade from what you had before.
  • Got Sram x9 2x 10 and love it. Once set up it doesn't miss a beat.
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 14,770
    I thought my X0/X9 set up was censored when I got it but when you get it set right (its a fine balance) they work really well.
    There is a recall on Fox CTD Evolution forks, apparently they can over extend and come apart!
    If you liked your old bike so much why did you replace it?
  • duskdusk Posts: 583
    I was a Shimano bum boy but bought a bike with Sram gearing and have to say that I'm a convert, it's got by far the best gear shift I've ever used.

    Also push/push shifters are more sensible, why else would Shimano copy Sram. Means you can always cover the brakes
    YT Wicked 160 ltd
    Cotic BFe
    DMR Trailstar
    Canyon Roadlite
  • 97th choice97th choice Posts: 2,222
    I find SRAM more sensitive to dirt and cable stretch, plus it's got a firmer action than shimano. Nothing wrong with it but I would change when it gets worn out.
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 14,770
    Only the X0/XX SRAM stuff is any good (except the brakes)
    I have also had X7 which is similar in cost to SLX but closer in performance to Alivio.
  • BigAlBigAl Posts: 3,122
    1) No, but I test ride before I buy. I'm assuming you didn't?

    2) Nothing wrong with SRAM gears though I prefer Shimano.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Her's the real deal with shifting - it doesn't get smoother or better as time goes by - it just gets different. Yeah sure we have tucked away mechs, clutches, and multiple shifting (which can be faster), but as the physics go they just like to change it and claim its better. Lower end stuff may have play in the shifters and mechs, but top end stuff? They can claim as much as they want they have changed the leverage for an easier shift, but that alters throw, you don't get owt for nowt. Same with cable pull. They engineer it in and alter it, and then change it back.

    Is mostly about cables above a certain level, but my 8 speed Alivio with an 1996 LX rear mech is the best I have.
  • dhooper7dhooper7 Posts: 156
    Got a pair or Lyriks on my Enduro and love them. Longer breaks between services too (compared to Fox).
    I run 1 x 9 SRAM X0 and love it. The shifter is great. So smooth and the mech is always quick to move the chain. Shimano cassette for me (SRAM chain) everyday though.
    2011 Specialized Enduro Comp
    2014 Boardman Hybrid Comp
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,756
    Sounds like the biggest issue with the shifting is censored indexing or other issue, it works just as well as Shimano it just feels slightly different, I like the Push Push and like CD had rocket shifters on mine driving an XT rear mech (I now have a Shimano ST combined lever/shifter), my commuter runs on X0/X9 and has barely been touched in 4 years and when I set it up it took a fraction of the time of Shimano.
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 24,072
    Sounds like you/the LBS did nt set it up very well really.

    Not the gears should not be that bad

    Sounds like the fork needs to bed in a bit

    Sounds like you ve not got the suspension 100% right for you yet

    I felt the same when I got my Cotic Soda, Going from a cheap Alu, super stiff frame to a noodly flexy Ti Frame felt incredibly strange. It took me a few weeks to get it to feel right. When I got my new Canyon it felt right from the first pedal stroke. Just luck I think
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • sofaboy73sofaboy73 Posts: 574
    as other have mentioned, don't get dissapointed in your new bike after the first ride. i find it takes a good half a dozen or so rides on a new bike to get used to it and a true feel for it capabilities. It will feel different to your old biuke which you are very familiar with, but that doesn't mean that it's worse. TBH i'm still 'learning' my 'new' bike (18 months old now) after 6 years on the last bike, that's part of the fun of it - pushing it harder and gfinding out that it will do it

    it does sound like you need to do some tuning on the drive train and sort the suspension out. the feel of the CTD forks may not be a well damped or sensative as the lyriks, but they're not bad forks, give them cahnce to bed in.
  • kammybearkammybear Posts: 500
    I have a hardtail with SLX/XT setup and just bought a Boardman Team FS with SRAM X5/X7, lower quality stuff than yours and have come back with exactly the same experience and thoughts on SRAM. For a brand new bike, the gearing feels very rough and noisey :(
  • Kowalski675Kowalski675 Posts: 4,412
    X7 shifters and mechs on my Team FS. No complaints.
  • Sorry to hear that the bike isn't all you'd hoped...

    As others have said, did you get a chance to test ride before you bought?

    To be honest - and I should make it clear that we sell these bikes - the transmission on the stock Commencals is pretty poor. It really lets them down, as they are fantastic bikes overall. It seems to be a combination of low/mid-range SRAM not working as well as comparable Shimano kit, and the convoluted internal cable routing adding friction (esp the rear mech). We find if we fit top quality cables, Shimano Deore and above transmission works really well.

    For 2014 we've decided just to stock the frames, and recommend custom builds which we know will work well.

    Sadly, my advice would be to consider swapping the shifters and mech for Shimano stuff, and fitting the original Shimano spec cables - I'm pretty sure that'll sort your shifting woes.

    Regards the suspension - running 25% or so sag in the rear seems to work well. Maybe get the fork tuned somewhere like J-Tech or by Mojo themselves? They're not bad forks, so should be able to be made to work well for you.

    I think you'll find it's worth persevering as the bikes themselves are well-designed and ride really nicely once you sort the niggles.

    Hope that helps!
  • m_cozzym_cozzy Posts: 132
    Thanks for all the advise, especially the post from drover, very interesting!
    I didn't get a chance to test the bike before I ordered it, if the local bike shop doesn't sell what you want, then there is not much opportunity to is there. Having said that I've only ever rode one bike before I bought it and that was just around the block. All my other bikes have felt just fine from the word go, even straight out the box for ones that have been delivered rather than being shop bought.
    Of course I will persevere with the bike, I'm sure a bit more air in the rear & the front bedding in a bit will resolve these minor issues.
    I have already priced up replacing the gears with xt kit, so if its still junk this Saturday then they are going straight on ebay.
    Its a cracking looking bike and I guess as it was £1000 more than the sanction, I just thought it would be £1000 better as well!
    If you see someone kicking a luminous yellow am1 at swinley this Saturday, that will be me and it will be safe to assume the gears still dont work :)
    Banned from singletrack forum again :-)
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 24,072
    m_cozzy wrote:
    I didn't get a chance to test the bike before I ordered it, if the local bike shop doesn't sell what you want, then there is not much opportunity to is there.

    I have to disagree with this a bit. If you re going to drop several thousand on something then it's worth spending some time to check that you like it. Obviously with Canyon or similar it's more difficult but I test rode a few 29ers then studied the geometry to work out if I'd like the Canyon or not. Otherwise, yes I'd have gone to a shop that had one i could ride.
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • m_cozzym_cozzy Posts: 132
    ^^^^
    Don't really have the time to do this unfortunately and have to rely on reviews. If the bike fits into my price range and is as I perceive reasonable value for money, has some decent spec components on it, has 6" of travel & looks nice, I kind of expect it to ride fine also.

    I have just spend an hour in the garden trying to index the gears by torchlight, there is a fundamental problem I think.
    I can either adjust them to change up fairly smoothly, or down, but not both at the same time.

    Will call chainreaction on Monday, I dont expect much help to be honest and for the sake of £140 or so I can get xt parts on it which I'm used to.
    Banned from singletrack forum again :-)
  • Kowalski675Kowalski675 Posts: 4,412
    m_cozzy wrote:
    I have just spend an hour in the garden trying to index the gears by torchlight,

    I built my bike in the front room last week. Much warmer, lol.
  • kirby700kirby700 Posts: 458
    I've found Sram gears (X7) on my Boardman team FS are quite fragile when it comes the claggy wet mud of East Yorkshire, not a patch on the giants LX shifters / XT mechs. But even then its not a massive issue if you clean them after every ride it will last a good 30mile ride with not many issues.

    I like them now too.
    GIANT XTC 2.5
    BOARDMAN TEAM FS - NOW GONE
    NUKEPROOF MEGA TR 275 COMP
    YT INDUSTRIES CAPRA
  • Kowalski675Kowalski675 Posts: 4,412
    I only started riding during the lovely dry summer we've had, but I've read that SRAM are a lot less tolerant of dirty cables than Shimano.
  • kirby700kirby700 Posts: 458
    not just cables...sh&t clogging the mech screws it up! but like I said not a massive issue
    GIANT XTC 2.5
    BOARDMAN TEAM FS - NOW GONE
    NUKEPROOF MEGA TR 275 COMP
    YT INDUSTRIES CAPRA
  • m_cozzym_cozzy Posts: 132
    I thought I would update this thread. On investigation during daylight it seems the b screw had been wound right in, which must have been throwing the stepping of the rear mech out. Once backed in to the recommended 6mm or so gap, shifting is quite a bit better. The downside being the chain hangs slack on the smallest front & rear chainrings.
    That said it was an absolute joy tonight to go out on my hardtail with xt/slx which I haven't ridden since I bought the meta, shimano shifting is SOOOO much smoother than sram.
    I did notice I was doing the push/push thing on the slx shifters, just felt more natural, so thats one thing sram have got right at least. :D
    Banned from singletrack forum again :-)
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    m_cozzy wrote:
    I did notice I was doing the push/push thing on the slx shifters, just felt more natural, so thats one thing sram have got right at least. :D

    When Shimano "developed" their 10-speed they stole almost everything from SRAM tbh... Switched to SRAM-like cable ratios (not quite identical to SRAM's 2:1 but very close, just so they can say "Hey, it's not the same as SRAM..."gave most of the shifters a more positive "clunk"... 10-speed Saint is the best Shimano have ever made, because it feels exactly like 9-speed X9. Ironically, this all happened at the same time as SRAM were making a bit of an censored of their 10-speed.

    IMO ;) Except the bits about the stealing ideas, that's just facts.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Sram 10 speed it's not 2:1!
  • Kowalski675Kowalski675 Posts: 4,412
    supersonic wrote:
    Sram 10 speed it's not 2:1!

    1:1, isn't it?

    Some people like blondes, some like brunettes. Some like shimano, some like Sram...
  • 97th choice97th choice Posts: 2,222
    There's not much to like about x5 and x7.
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
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