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SRAM APEX or Shimano 105

Discussion in 'Bike Buying Advice - What Bike?' started by BSRU, 10 Feb 2011.

  1. BSRU

    BSRU Two Wheeled Commuter

    Location:
    Swindon
    Does anyone have any opinions/experience of SRAM APEX or Shimano 105 equipment?

    Are they pretty similar or is one better than the other?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. ianrauk

    ianrauk Tattooed Beat Messiah

    Advert
    This months Cycling Plus reviews both, along with Centaur.

    In a nutshell

    105
    Pros - Smooth Shifts and excellent build quality
    Cons - Heavier then it's rivals

    Apex
    Pros - Superwide ratio will improve your climbing prowess
    Cons - Slow upshift and flexy large chainring
  3. BSRU

    BSRU Two Wheeled Commuter

    Location:
    Swindon
    Cheers for that, I'll go and have a read.
  4. GrasB

    GrasB Veteran

    Location:
    Nr Cambridge
    There's no real substitute for riding a bike with your target group sets.

    Personally I find the Shimano group sets are so smooth they're vague, often I'll miss-shift on downshifts as there's very little feedback to the indexing points when making a fast shift, the SRAM system is more positive & so get on with it much better. That said my partner is the other way round, she much prefers the feel of Shimano shifters & find the SRAM clunky.
  5. nr.

    nr. Active Member

    Location:
    The Fens
    I have Apex, have ridden 105, and of the two, prefer Apex. There's nothing objective about this 'test' - I haven't counted the number of missed shifts or anything. I just prefer the feel of Apex, and I really get on well with the double tap shifters. I haven't felt any of the 'large chainring flex' as mentioned earlier. Perhaps I'm just not pedalling hard enough.

    For the price (I paid £399 for the full groupset) I think it's excellent value for money. The 32 tooth cassette is a nice thing to have, and I don't find the gaps in the ratios to be particularly irritating. But then again, I'm just pottering around at my own pace in my own time. In a race, it may be different.
  6. Garz

    Garz Squat Member

    Location:
    Down
    I was going to try apex on my new build. I have used 105 stuff in the past and tbh it's absolutely great. The only reason to try apex was intrigued about the double tap system and having the possibility to tap into a 28 or 32T cog.

    In the end I got offered an Athena groupset at cost price so made a decision not hard to make.
  7. sardinical

    sardinical New Member

    Just wondered how people are getting on with the apex set.
    I've got them and the idea is good, the ratios are OK, when it works as intended it's fine.
    But most of the time the shifting is appalling with missed changes the norm. I've tried a lot of adjusting and trimming, which makes a difference but not enough.
    Anybody else struggling or is it just me?
  8. PaulSecteur

    PaulSecteur Specialized fanboy

    I havent used apex, but I wuld doubt that missed shifts would be the norm.

    Either its not set up right, or you are not quite shifting right. Either way, someone with a little knw how and maybe a maintenance stand should be able to put it (or you) right in a few minutes. Maybe time for a trip t the local bike shop.

    Just out of interest, what bike do you have?
  9. sardinical

    sardinical New Member

    I think the system itself is at fault. It simply doesn't work very well. I do have a little know-how and a stand! And the makers fitting instructions.
    I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has actually used the apex set up with the low gears. Haven't found anyone yet on other forums so I guess there aren't a lot of them about.
  10. the_mikey

    the_mikey Tea master

    You could always use a SRAM APEX wide cassette, with Shim105 shifters, 105 front Derailleur and Chainset, and use a shimano MTB 10 speed rear derailleur that can accomodate the super wide range of speeds(check for compatibility)
  11. sardinical

    sardinical New Member

    So that's dump the whole set-up except the cassette?
    You are probably right but I haven't given up on getting it working properly yet!
  12. cyberknight

    cyberknight Veteran

    Location:
    South Derbyshire
    My apex has worked out of the box since day 1 on my (gasp a halfords bike ) Boradman Comp which is fitted with the 11-32 cassette,maybe you have not heard of people saying it works because most people like to highlight faults with anything in life rather than saying "It is ok "

    I have tried tiagra but not 105 and i prefer sram method to the shimano system.
  13. nr.

    nr. Active Member

    Location:
    The Fens
    I'm still using Apex, and after ~3000kms can report that it's still working faultlessly. No missed gears, never dropped a chain.

    Boringly reliable in fact. Nothing to complain about at all. I think in that 3000kms I've had to adjust it once (a single click on the rear barrel adjuster) to take up a bit of slack in the cable that had developed. Nothing to write home about really.

    Ta,
    nr.
  14. sardinical

    sardinical New Member

    OK I'll try a bit more fine tuning. So far I haven't managed 10 miles without a missed change. Miss one and it seems you then miss the next three.
  15. smokeysmoo

    smokeysmoo Jaffa Cake Apprentice

    Location:
    Bolton, Lancashire
    As GrasB says, try and test the groupsets you are interested in, it really is a personal choice.

    I've always liked Shimano, my CAAD is full DA and I love it.

    Then I decided to try Campy on my winter build, but this has ended up having to be tweaked/modified & fettled. So it now consists of Veloce cranks and small ring, Stronglight big ring, Ultegra cassette and KMC chain, and it all works flawlessly, go figure, but I still personally much prefer Shimano overall.
  16. tigger

    tigger Über Member

    Probably just personal preference - they are both good reliable sets with different characteristics. See if you can get a test on them
  17. Muttley

    Muttley Active Member

    I've got the Felt f6 with Apex on a compact and I love it no problems at all.
    My old bike had Tiagra which was also faultless but I love the Sram double tap.
    Also I have fairly small hands and I find the Apex shifters easier to reach but that's probably just me!
  18. Robwiz

    Robwiz Regular

    If you're constantly tweaking and still not getting good shifting then something else is out. Is the front derailleur cage properly aligned? Is the rear hanger true or has it been bent out of shape? As mentioned earlier, there comes a point where it's worth swallowing your pride and going to your LBS.
  19. Zakalwe

    Zakalwe Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Barnsbury, London
    Holy thread narcolepsy batman!
  20. Kiwiavenger

    Kiwiavenger im a little tea pot

    Location:
    Roche, St Austell