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SRAM It Man!

Updated on November 4, 2010

I've always hated the "two party system" !

Even back in the seventies I didn't like the "two choices".

I need more choices - better choices.

Back in the seventies and eighties, most of the racers and the pretend racers, like me, loved Campagnola parts.

Many liked Shimano.

Even then I would choose the best component for the job.

Oh wait! You thought I was talking politics!

No no!

Even in cycling I have disliked monopolies!

Tulio Campagnola invented the "quick release" mechanism for the bicycle wheel. I'm telling this story from memory and hope it holds up. Tulio was racing many decades ago and had a flat. His hands were too cold to use a wrench (spanner) for removing his wheel and he watched as he was passed.

This led Tulio to manufacture the greatest components of his time. His company, Campagnola would build fast sports car wheels, and some of his products went to the moon.

Shimano components took a great deal of the market with great products and many, many cheaper products.

Suntour came to be a great choice for me after a while. Suntour was lighter and really pretty.

Campagnola was the standard with its beautifully etched carvings on their products. Campy hubs and bottom brackets would last, honestly, indefinitely if you maintained them. Once a year or so we would tear down the hubs and bottom-bracket, clean, and grease it all up and make the "proper" adjustments.

Campy, for many years, was THE way to go.

Suntour actually made a better gear lever (shifter) than Campy or Shimano. Suntour was making the only "ratchet type" shifter instead of the "friction type" shifter that Campy and Shimano incorporated.

Some smart racers, like 13 time State Champion of South Carolina, Chris Harwick, used the Suntour and I followed Chris' lead and used the ratchet myself.

But Shimano and Campagnola had the lion's share of the market and Suntour quit importing to America.

Back to the two party system!

SRAM it man!

In 2010, Micky Dee says, "SRAM it!"

One of the "tightest" racer/riders in history just left the "main" road and took the route better traveled. This "frugal facade of a racer" upgraded his bike to SRAM components.

My friend and adviser, Tod, pointed me toward the SRAM and some other upgrades.

I am a good mechanic. I have been the best mechanic. What makes one a great mechanic is not necessarily knowledge or experience, but the DESIRE to the GREAT job NOW!

I could still do many obsolete jobs that Tod has never known but would have little difficulty in learning. He is GOOD!

I am slower. I am not knowledgeable about the new world of components like Tod is.

Tod has also given me prices and respect that I will NEVER forget!

So Tod has HOOKED ME UP!

SRAM Groupo

The Groupo in the words from SRAM:

The Pro Gruppo. SRAM RED is the first choice for riders and racers who won’t accept any compromise. The most challenging races in the world have been won on SRAM RED, including the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Paris-Roubaix. Exactly seven teams in the 2010 Tour were SRAM RED-equipped. Its success in the pro peloton speaks for itself, delivering best-in-class performance, weight and function that the world’s best riders rely on.

For more about SRAM components please visit:

Red shift levers, in the words from SRAM:

Competition improves the breed: SRAM Red DoubleTap® controls break new ground in materials applications and design for even better performance and customized comfort. The SRAM Red Shifter uses a highly developed version of DoubleTap®, which is enhanced by a specific pawl geometry that results in zero-loss travel.

Proprietary DoubleTap® mechanism with ZeroLoss™ technology delivers smooth up and downshifts in one motion.

Revolutionary ergonomic design is comfortable, with the added benefit of custom-tunable reach adjust, while weighing only 280g.

Ultra-strong carbon brake lever and shift lever are light, stiff, and comfortable.

Micky Dee bought the Red (top of the line) shifters.

The Red rear derailleur in words from SRAM:

Material makes the difference: Exact Actuation™ combined with materials upgrades yields world-beating performance and weight savings. Light weight, precision, and fluid performance put the new SRAM Red Rear Derailleur in a class of its own. Based on the already-superior design of the SRAM Force Rear Derailleur, the Red offering delivers even greater advantages thanks to a diet of structural carbon and titanium. Hybrid ceramic bearing pulleys and the titanium parallelogram spring further supercharge the overall component speed, accuracy, and durability. Amazingly, these design choices yield an astonishing 153g mechanism.

Exact Actuation means precise, even gear changes throughout the shifting range.

Carbon-fiber cage and carbon-fiber inner link provide strength and light weight.

I did not buy the Red rear derailleur. This derailleur offers the ceramic bearings that will knock seconds off a 100 mile bike ride. There is a weight savings here but Tod's advice and my choice was to buy the Force rear derailleur. The Force was/is determined to be the "better buy" for Micky Dee.

The Force rear derailleur in words from SRAM:

Crisp, clean, correct shifting, always: the most precise gear change in cycling is here with the SRAM Force Rear Derailleur.

The SRAM Force Rear Derailleur takes advantage of Exact Actuation™, an actuation ratio that delivers precise 3mm shifts in every gear along with the widest range of adjustment available, delivering the best 10 speed performance in the sport. The SRAM Force Rear Derailleur is crafted with cutting-edge materials, including a unidirectional carbon-fiber outer cage and a magnesium inner link, resulting in an impressively light 178g weight.

Exact Actuation means precise, even gear changes throughout the shifting range.

Carbon-fiber outer cage and magnesium inner link provide strength and light weight.

The Force rear derailleur was/is Micky Dee's choice (and Tod's recommendation). This derailleur was everything I wanted and cheaper. Faster pulleys could be bought in the spring. I was able to spread my little bit of money toward other improvements.

The Red front derailleur in words from SRAM:

SRAM’s Red Front Derailleur takes precision shifting to its limits, offering the smoothest up - and downshifting. Bolstered by a hardened titanium cage, shifting and trimming are fast, easy, and smooth as silk across the entire range for both traditional and compact ring sets.

SRAM actuation maintains proper balance between upshifting and downshifting.

I have this derailleur but I have not installed it yet. The old Shimano Ultegra front derailleur works with the SRAM shifters. I may replace it to experiment with SRAM's newer front.

The SRAM cassette in words from SRAM:

OpenGlide technology allows for smoother transition between gears.

Stiff: 15% stronger than its competitor.

Durable: 35% harder than titanium!

Lightweight: Innovative CNC‘d chromoly steel construction.

Micky Dee bought it! It feels great! This is also a 10-speed or 10-sprocket gear cluster. My Shimano was 9-speed.

So with 2 sprockets on the front (X 10 + 20) I now have a 20 speed bike.

The largest sprocket is a 28. The larger the sprocket on the rear wheel, the lower the gear. My Shimano had a 27 for the lowest. This enabled me to install a 36 tooth sprocket on my front "compact" crank in place of the 36 tooth chainring. The drop down now is less extreme. And yes, this may be the Piedmont - but we have hills that are hard enough and long enough that this old man can appreciate this low gear.

The newest 1091R PowerChain in words from SRAM:

The newest 1091R chain features more heavily chamfered outer plates for improved shifting and quieter running. Other advancements include a new inner plate finish plus chrome hardened pin construction, both for longer chain life.

The HollowPin construction of SRAM's 10 speed PowerChain™ provides smooth, precise shifting and weight savings without sacrificing strength.

I have always loved the SRAM chain and its fore-runner the Sedis-Sport chain they took over. I love the connecting link.

Shimano chains and Cmapagnola chains use a "pin" to hold the chain where it is broken and/or attached. These Shimano and Campy chains fail - right there - all the time. Mechanics may say that "if installed correctly it works fine". These chains have broken or they are going to break in my opinion. I carry a SRAM connecting link AT ALL TIMES and never for a SRAM chain. It is ALWAYS the Shimano and Campagnola chain that breaks. I've used 2 of the connecting links in the last year. I can't remember the first but the second was for my friend Paul Cooke from Ohio. Over the years I have installed, maybe, a dozen of these links.

Another improvement I've made is to install a lighter stem but the purpose is to raise my head.

I also installed carbon handlebars to reduce road shock.

I'm doing what I can and spending what I can to make my ride less painful.

Injuries require "pain-management"!

I must thank God for someone like Tod (no rhyme or pun intended at all) for helping me with advice and price!

The improvements with all the SRAM components have raised the quality of my life - at least - on the bike!.

Yeah - Tod hooked me up with faster wheels too.

He'll still kick my hiney on a bike ride though!

The shifting is very distinct but very smooth.

The shifting takes no time at all to get used to.

Push once for a lower gear (larger sprocket on the rear)

Push it through to the second click for another gear.

Once you pause on a gear, push the lever once to drop down to a higher gear (smaller sprocket) or push it twice for a lower gear (back up to another larger sprocket) than you were in.

Once you have the levers in your hand you know what's happening.

I was delighted at how instantly felt at home. It didn't take a block.


Tod Andrews works in Carrboro, North Carolina.

(He'll be eating lunch around noon at Weaver Street Market.)

For those who are unfamiliar with Carrboro - it's the center of the Universe!

Tod is one of the. absolute best mechanics!

Tod is one of the best ride leaders in the area.

Check out Tod! He'll steer you right!



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    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Bore da noremoretrucks! You write up some great stories Bud. Please keep me in your ride. I love your adventures. Going out for the day is a lark. Going out for a "tour" is work, dedication, sacrifice, the elements, etc. A tour is a big adventure! The tarmac calls. God bless nomo!

    • nomoretrucks profile image


      7 years ago from scotland

      Bore da(good Morning)MD- yes i guess it would be a good idea to take a spare.(silly prices permitting) I usually jack a job in before i go so i want the bike as light and reliable as pos- they are usually knackered at the end(and the rider) The Sram stuff looks solid and has a track record, i am gonna sell more 2nd hand m/cycle parts to get some- MD- you ride and ride and ride, i cant get over how beautiful it feels to ride. The roads go on forever & mix with those thoughts at the depths and height and width of whats inside our skulls. It does your heart good too, i can imagine the folk whoever eventually try to fit a bikey into a coffin- havin a difficult job!-what, with the bikey saying, hey there!hang on-theres just one more ride in me...dont nail it shut yet!..hey..whoa!...

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Yo Bro nomo! The rear mounts break off so that the frame doesn't. I take it you were able to replace the alloy part? I'm assuming this was rear too. It's not a bad idea to take one extra on a long trip. The parts didn't cost me too much actually. I consider them a "good buy". Everything's getting out of hand price-wise. That was lucky that it broke at home. God-speed BrotherMan nomoretrucks!

    • nomoretrucks profile image


      7 years ago from scotland

      That Sram derrailiur which the pros use mickey- i assume would cost the same as the nasa space shuttle bottom bracket! ive been looking at your bikey hubs-i should have of read 'em in detail before i bought a new cassette chain and bottom bracket-all worn out and very noisey after the last trip, (sleeping on sandy beaches didnt help iguess! I stretched the gearing at tooth more and a tooth less via the cassette because my legs were like pistons when the wind was in my favour between Toulouse and Girona but always struggled on the hills for the most part, what amzed me was after 3889 kms after i had the bike shipped back to Scotland- the alloy mount bracket(derrailliur) snapped off as i was cleaning it! I remember hitting the deck on ice when i collected the bike brand new and riding to Aberdeen the same day to test it out- it must have been cracked the entire journey to Portugal!- have you had to upgrade this item on any machines?(averaged 94miles/day for lots 'o'days-but they felt like 95)ps i never had this trouble from my 1980 Raligh Equipe!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      I love you Sister pmccray! I'm off to SC to try out this new equipment. God bless you Dear!

    • pmccray profile image


      7 years ago from Utah

      Congrats on your new ride brother MD! Look'n great hope it brings you years of riding pleasure. Voted up, marked useful and shared. Peace my friend.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Thank you Dear Katie! Peace my Dear!

    • katiem2 profile image


      7 years ago from I'm outta here

      Quality makes all the difference when you get on a bike and become one with it. Great product review as Sram is a great product! Thanks for the education and tips on bike care and performance! Peace :)

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 

      7 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you Micky, for extraordinary bike parts for bike riders. Thank you for sharing. Godspeed. creativeone59

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      You're a beautiful BrotherMan Saddlerider! I appreciate you so much! Bikes are technical although they reek of simplicity. I went to some bike schools/seminars such as Schwinn and Campagnola. I learned to tear down the three speed hubs and even manufacture frames, cutting and filing lugs and tubes then brazing them together. It's simple and it isn't. Today's road bike components are more technical but frame design hasn't changed greatly in a century. God bless Ken!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Hey Dim! I love you Girl! I bet you are the pretty European up-right three speed chick I remember over there. God bless you Dim

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Thank you Unchained Grace very much for your kind words. I have some days that contain less pain. I can ride.

      God will tell us to get up. My parts are wearing out. The bike parts will give me a little juice. I can use my energy better. I try to be frugal and make the most out of all my limited resources.

      It all belongs to God. I have no idea what God wants but for me to walk a tight-rope of truth.

      I believe in purity of the bicycle. I believe in keeping the body pure for the pure energy of God.

      Satan can bend both time and space,

      slow down or speed up our bicycle race.

      I want to ride in that other place,

      And bask in the true God's grace.

    • saddlerider1 profile image


      7 years ago

      You are the Spram man my man. Not having the knowledge or technical skills to write a hub like yours, I admire and respect the smarts you have on bike technology. Enjoy your rides, keep your metal to the pedal and cycle to your hearts content. Beautiful hub you are a winner in my humble opinion. peace and hugs

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      7 years ago from Great Britain

      I had no idea that a bicycle could be so complicated.

      Your passion for cycling always comes through in these hubs, that´s why a novice like me can still enjoy tha. love, as always, Dim x

    • Unchained Grace profile image

      Unchained Grace 

      7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      You know your craft well and are obviously one who leaves NOTHING to chance. I got an education, here, Mick as I never realized just how involved it all gets with bike racing and all the right components necessary to give you the edge you need.

      Still, at the end of the day, it all means nothing if you carry the heart and mindset of a loser.

      You, Mick, carry yourself for what you is. A winner and a champion. Perseverance in the face of obstacles. Strength to overcome in the worst conditions. The will to give it all you got and then go to reserve when what you brought needs just a bit more.

      You spoke more in this Hub than components, Mick.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I know you do and we get to see some of that beautiful scenery that you enjoy while on your bike. Thanks!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Yo Peggy! I have made much art out of these cog sets and individual sprockets. The entire machine is art to me. I do so love the bicycle.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      This is all very technical and I have now seen and heard of things that I might never have otherwise except for you, Micky. One comment...that SRAM cassette...if it was large (really large) and mounted on a would make a fantastic piece of modern art! Beautiful! Some button action to commence...

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      prasetio- I do so love my Nephew! My Nephew is a shooting star! God bless you Prasetio. I have to come see you soon to see what magic you have on your hubs now! Be safe Nephew!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Yo justom! Don't get all in a Huffy Man! You know- for a little more bike history -When the US held the Olympics in America, Huffy was a sponsor of the Americans in the Olympics. Serotta, the company that made Micky Dee's bike, made some bikes for the racers who rode for America. You could buy some Serotta made "Huffys". God bless you Tom. Say hey to Justin for me!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Martie!!! You are kewl! I'm so glad you learned a little about SRAM. Thank you Dear Martie. This makes me want to jump on yoor buttons! God bless Martie!

    • prasetio30 profile image


      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I learn much from you, my uncle. I am glad you want to share with us. Actually I don't have bike. But I want to buy soon after read this hub. You give a great spirit to all bikers (a person who love riding bike, not motorbike) and others who may love to ride a bike after read this hub. Bravo.....Micky. You are the best uncle I've ever had. I thought you have done great research to make this hub. I give my VOTE UP to the real bikers. His name is Michael Davis. Have nice weekend, my uncle.

      Your nephew, Prasetio

    • justom profile image


      7 years ago from 41042

      Huh??? Yeah well I had a Huffy, big shot:-) Peace bro!! Tom

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      This was quite an interesting and enjoyable read. Now I also know what SRAM is.

      I liked the way you have phrased the loss of your friend: “One of the "tightest" racer/riders in history just left the "main" road and took the route better traveled.”

      You are one of a kind. I took the route to your buttons and raced all over them. Take care.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      God bless sligobay! I appreciate your visit so much more!

      Dear daydreamer- thank you too! God bless!

    • daydreamer13 profile image


      7 years ago

      Very well written, great job!

    • sligobay profile image


      7 years ago from east of the equator

      Mickey Dee: I don't ride or have any interest in bi-mechanics. However, this is a great read and Hub and well-written and illustrated. Slainte.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Yoyoyo! I love you hubbers checking in on me!!! God bless!


      Always Exploring!


    • Christopher Price profile image

      Christopher Price 

      7 years ago from Vermont, USA

      More than I needed to know, Mick. But you know, this is just the type of useless information I'll retain while forgetting my neighbor's name! And you never know when it may come up in a conversation and I'll sound like I have a clue.

      Happy trails.


    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      7 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I only read this because it's from you. I don't know a stim from a rim, but i know you do. Happy trails.

    • Sa`ge profile image


      7 years ago from Barefoot Island

      wow, I never read so much about a bike and it's works before. thanks, I do not think I understand much of it though. You really took then on a left ride there. :D Love what you did, great hub with so much great information. :D hugs :D

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Yo 50! Just smoothing out that ride. It's rough enough! Happy? It's just stuff. I'm still unattached to this world. God bless Brother!

      O 2 B 25! Thank you twentyfive! God bless!

    • twentyfive profile image


      7 years ago

      Hmmm interesting gadgets Mik. I smell perfect ride ;)

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      Mic, hows it set with a boner? Cool stuff no viagra needed, Ha! Man I'm happy your happy, and good things do come to those who are faithful, ride on Bro',Peace and Love! 50

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      You guys are so much fun to me!

      Petra you are a charm. I wondered how this would be received from the real readers. God bless.

      TonyMac BrotherMan! I'm full of "lore" Brother!

      Oh Freya! Bikes go for tens of thousands of dollars and I'm really stuck in the 70s, mentally. Back then more of the "poor" could get a sports car bike to race and have fun with. Bike racing has been, can be, an aristocratic sport. Some of my fortune or misfortune has been to work in and later own a bike shop and in that I've done okay. I've been able to own a "sports car" bike in the past by having no car. And- bikes were cheaper.

      I wish things were on a more level field, financially, for more people to enjoy the ride.

      I'm replacing the rear derailleur, sprockets, and chain because mine are worn and need replacing.

      But I thought now would be a good time to replace the shifters and they are the most expensive. I'm still riding the same frame I was riding in 1995. Some things are more "perishable" than others. A frame should last a lifetime. Some real racers might get a total bike every year.

      Most of my bikes have been destroyed by cars (and me), stolen, burned. I use everything up. I ride thousands of miles every year and a rider should replace the chain and sprockets occasionally.

      I don't want the "expensive". I just want quality. Sometimes better quality will last longer and feel better.

      I don't date. I don't even eat out much. I'm frugal. I'm doing without a few things to make this possible and- I have help. Tod has actually given me a little line of credit. God bless him. God bless my Freya!

      Thank you Carolina!

      Brother VietnamVet! I've lived. I've died. It's time to put the show on the road. Let's ride into the new world arm in arm! Peace my Brother!

    • vietnamvet68 profile image


      7 years ago from New York State

      Micky - get your sprocket out of your pocket and hit the road, for it's a long dusty trail leading to no where, Peace brother man

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 

      7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Cool, buddy!!

    • Freya Cesare profile image

      Freya Cesare 

      7 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

      Wow! I never know so much about bike. Thank you for this Hub. So, even bicycle can be really expensive, right?

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      Wow Micky, my bortherman! I am learning so much from you. This information is awesome and beautiful and all the rest!

      How do you manage to take photos while riding? And such awesome ones too.

      Anyways, I am grateful for all the bike lore I am learning from you. Thanks, buddy!

      Love and peace


    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 

      7 years ago from Los Angeles

      You know, Micky that I would have never read something that technical unless was written by you. Have fun with the bike and enjoy every ride.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Like I said you funriding guy- I think the world of you! You stay WELL! God bless you funride!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      I've been "in the business" for a long time. So I've had stores of bikes. These components were expensive but I spend a lot of time on the bike and my stuff was wearing out. The shifters alone sell for over $400. My frame is a 1995Serotta but it isn't wearing out. The frame is titanium. The entire bike could sell for thousands new.

      I've had a cheap Sears bike made in Austria for my first road bike after Vietnam. That was stolen by someone with a need and poor taste. I had a Browning Grade V after that - Belgium. Raleigh International- ruined by a dude that worked at a shop. My Teledyne Titan Titanium bike and ME were ruined by a guy who ran a traffic light. I lost a Bridgestone Concorde and many others in a fire and some hair. I had a Bianchi EL for years. Ruined in the fire. A friend loaned me a Fondriest for years. Aluminum- too stiff - bad ride for a small person like me. Nishiki. I'm running out of memory but there have been some more but for years now money has been tight and I'm still riding the Serotta from 95 that I rode Paris-Brest-Paris on.

      You can spend way less and have great stuff and kick my booty. God bless you DREAM ON!

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 

      7 years ago from Portugal

      Hey Micky, congratulations... you got yourself an awesome "new" bike! Sram rules ;)

      Thanks for adding those links. You`re a real buddy :)

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      7 years ago

      You once again lead people in the right direction.How expensive are bikes like yours now?How many bikes have you had in your years of riding?


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