a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: September 13, 2003
Strengths: its light, works.
Weaknesses: very very poor. It broke in two pieces in less than 300 km. The plasme plastic is simple to weak. I only had problems with this gear. Too bad.
When I broke it, it was three days before a race, so I had to get a new one fast, and cheapest fastest way was to buy a new 9.0 sl. But next time I will go for a XT or XTR with rocket shifter, never sram 9.0 sl again.
Bike Setup: Pincipia msl. fsa and sram 9.0 and 9.0 sl. rockshox sid Team. Ritchey.
from Flagstaff, AZ, USA
Date Reviewed: June 19, 2003
Strengths: Shifts better than XTR ever has. lighter, and stronger(read sidenote). This is a blessing to those looking for something different or better.
Weaknesses: none after two years Free yourself from Shimanos integrated marketing scam!!
I have ridden XTR since '94. I was narrow minded and refused to try SRAM stuff. Well after Shimano jerked me around on there warranty(There stuff was cracked from factory and refused to warranty it) i called SRAM and asked them some questions...
I probably never would have spent the money on 9.0SL because i had no idea how well it worked. Well next thing i knew the guy on the phone was sending me the 9.0SL groupo free(probably because i worked in a bike store).
Honestly i didn't like it much at first but i just needed to get used to it. After 2 months of using SRAM i couldn't believe the difference. I will NEVER use shimano again. I even tried the new 2003 stuff and it is inferior.
With SRAM you can dump gears from 1-9 or 9-1 instantly. You also have a 1:1 ratio which makes shifting so much faster. If you are thinking about SRAM just do it and give yourself a month or two to adjust. If i had the money i would buy all my friends SRAM. But they are to stubborn to know what they are missing.
SIDE NOTE: I have a friend who rode XT rear derail on his downhill. He went through 15 XT (not exagerating)derailers in one year!!! He decided to try SRAM just for fun and that same derailer lasted over a year on downhill.
a Cross Country Rider
from Chicago, Il.
Date Reviewed: February 4, 2003
Strengths: Unquestionably, and excitingly, a far superior shifting system to Shimano's best. Fantastic, fast, smooth, quiet shifting. Lightweight. Ability to instantly shift across a wide band of gears, e.g. from 1st to 9th with one quick, ergonomically sensible twist. No laborious click, click, click Shimano thumbshifting to get to the gear you need to get to. Price was a definite plus, because I bought the entire 9.0SL Upgrade System for $140-rear der., chain, cassette, and shorty shifters.
Weaknesses: I haven't encountered a weakness, only superior operation. This product is excellent, so if there is a weakness it is Sram Corporation's mystifying inability to get their superb system spec'd on more new bicycles. Shimano is everywhere. Why so, Sram, when your product so clearly has the edge?
I can't understand how anyone who has actually ridden a bike using Sram's 9.0SL, or XO, or any Gripshift system, wouldn't recognize it's obvious advantages over Shimano's thumbshifters. If you need 1st gear to 9th, 9th gear to 1st, or any gear in between, BAM you're there in a smoothly operating instant; no problem for Gripshift. Wideband, instantaneous, buttery quiet shifting. And then there are the user friendly ergonomics; Gripshifters make for an uncluttered handlebar, a clean sweep, with no (Shimano) thumbshifting pods hanging jaggedly down. Simple and sensible. The combination of the PC99 Chain with the 9.0 Powerglide II Cassette is silky, and completely silent-the best I've used.
Similar Products Used: Nothing is similar to Sram's shifting. I've used everything Shimano.
Bike Setup: 9.0 Shorty Shifters. 9.0SL rear derailleur. 9.0 Powerglide II Cassette. PC99 Chain. Marin Eldridge Grade Bike. Columbus Steel Frame. Avid brake levers. IRD Carbon Handlebar. Cane Creek Thudbuster that saves my bad back(also a terrific product).
a Cross Country Rider
from New York, NY USA
Date Reviewed: July 9, 2001
Strengths: Very easy set up, very easy maintenance and not much to break.
Weaknesses: Usual weaknesses of indexed shifting on a mountain bike - needs small adjustments to keep working well.
A great working, great shifting, lightweght gruppo, and no more self-destructing Shimano rear derailleurs. The rear derailleur is beefier than XT/XTR, but considering how much it will get banged around off-road, I'll take the extra 40 grams. Rear derailleur also has the best cable routing I've seen. Shifters are simple and bulletproof.
Only complaint is with the chain, but I think it's a problem with nine speed chains in general - they're to fragile to squeeze between granny gear and frame, which will happen when the chain drops. I killed one chain after five months and am waiting for the second to arrive.
The comments about the front derailleur rubbing can be easily fixed by adjusting the limit screws.
Similar Products Used: Various shifting systems in the last 11 years.
Bike Setup: Cannondale F1000 with a motley selection of parts
a Weekend Warrior
from New York, NY,USA
Date Reviewed: June 26, 2001
Strengths: Products: SRAM 9.0SL half pipe shifter, 9.0SL rear derailleur, 9.0 front derailleur, 9.0SL rear hub and 9.0 cassette 9 speed, PC 99 chain. - Very light products at a affordable price (lighter than XTR on your bike and on your wallet!!!!). - Very easy set up. - Super fast shifting up and down even in muddy conditions. The rear shifting is amazing in speed and precision. - Ultra smooth and quiet shifting. - The power link on the PC99 chain makes the cleaning of the chain and the derailleur so easy.
Weaknesses: - If you do a lot of big jumps, go for the rocket shifters.
An affordable alternative to shimano XTR with similar if not higher performance. Have used it for three months in muddy and very dusty conditions. Easy to clean and work as well as the first day! The hub can be easily upgraded to a disc compatible if you like. Carry on SRAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bike Setup: Cannondale Super V, Psylo Race, Full SRAM as decribed. Coda one piece crank.
a Cross Country Rider
from Toronto, Canada
Date Reviewed: June 19, 2001
Strengths: Simple Excellent Performance Quality Value Customer Service
Weaknesses: Need SRAM cranks!
True, tried, and tested great alternative to Shimano! Built my Rocky Mountain Instinct bike up with as much SRAM as possible. I have the 9.0 components and have nothing to complain about. Works just as good as the XT stuff, maybe even better. You have to be comfortable with composite construction though.
SRAM, unlike Shimano, reponds to customer requirements and doesn't dictate what you need (like this 9 speed push).
Similar Products Used: SH-TMANO A LONG, LONG TIME AGO.
Bike Setup: BULLIT, BOMBERS, RACEFACE & SRAM
a Cross Country Rider
from Blacksburg, VA
Date Reviewed: April 5, 2000
Strengths: Quick, fast, smooth shifting
Weaknesses: can't use Gore cables with it,
Our team is sponsored by SRAM and I just put on their 2000 ESP 9.0 shifters and rear der. this is my first time on halfpipes and haven't ridden them under really technical conditions yet so I can't speak about mishifts.
But so far they are incredible. The shifting is so quick and spot on. The halfpipes feel very comfortable and like the ability to shift w/o moving my hand. I've always been a grip shift fan, but these are better than I could have hoped for.
SRAM's support for the regular guy is evident in their awesome grass roots sponsorship, product donations as prizes at local races and tech reps like Edmund who give us the straigt up on the product.
Similar Products Used: Grip shift x-ray, Esp, Rapidfire
Bike Setup: Custom BREW, '99 SX ti, Avid lever/Arch 50's, Cane Creek wheels, Race Face crank/rings, Real BB, XT cassette, Thomson post,SPDs,
from Grayling, Michigan
Date Reviewed: March 28, 2000
Strengths: Extremely light and fast. The action is smoother than any other product on the market. Best of all the performance is superior and the weight is lower than an equivalent shimano groupo. The savings in weight alone is a great selling point but along with that it is much less expensive than the shimano counter parts. This is a great racing setup that is very low maintainance making it great for everyone from the weekend warior to the competitive racer.
Weaknesses: None found after about 800 miles.
The absolute best shifting group on the market. Sram has their stuff together
Similar Products Used: Grip Shift 8.0, 9.0, Shimano XT, XTR
Bike Setup: '98 Rockhopper Nitaium Frame, Gripshift 9.0, Real hubs, Real ti BB, real machined cassette, cane creek Head set, Manitou SX carbon,sun sub IV rims, thomson elite, team control front velociraptor rear rubber.
a Cross Country Rider
from New England
If you're a weight freak and demand durability these things rock. In two years I haven't had any problems with them. Before I bought this bike I was anti-gripshift, but now I can't ever see myself going back to trigger fingers. I did have one little problem this past Fall. Late in November I was out riding and a stick kicked up snaging the rear derailleur and pulling it into the rear spokes. The carbon composit snapped at one of the pivot points, but amazingly it was still ride able. I brought it into the shop right before x-mass and was surprised to have a new part within a week. Thank you SRAM.
Bike Setup: Pro-Flex 957. Sram 9.0sl rear, xtr up front. kooka cranks and rings.
Date Reviewed: January 2, 2000
Strengths: Great Shifting Works well in mud Great with 9 speed no chainsuck
Weaknesses: Chain may buzz against front mech when in a high gear, if you do not flick the gripshift a bit more No breakaway bolt on rear mech DO NOT BUY BRAKES JUST DRIVETRAIN
A great group really light weight, the attention to detail and weight saving is excellent, even down to the rear block having holes drilled in it to stop mud clogging and the carbon sides on the rear mech, these grips are amazing. I rode rapid fire all my life, and was weary about changing but gear shifts are so slick and smooth it is unbelievable, you also get exceptional performance in the mud, and you wont have rode in as heavy mud as i have. I am putting my neck out but i say this kicks XTR every time, combine the gripshift with middleburn/race face and you have the lightest, slickest drivetrain you could imagine. Dont buy the brakes unless you are seriously strapped for cash. I would give 5 but brakes suck.
Bike Setup: Giant MCM frame Sid SL Race face everything Formula hydrolic discs
a Weekend Warrior
from Chapel Hill, NC
Date Reviewed: January 1, 2000
Strengths: Lightest mountain group Grip shifters Simple, durable
Weaknesses: Grip shifters
First of all, the choice between grip shifters and lever flippers is personal, so if you dont't like twisters, move along - there's nothing more to see here. This setup consists of SRAM's 9.0 sl shifters with the standard length body (NOT the half pipe) mated to a dedicated SRAM 9.0 sl rear derailleur. I use 8 speed by choice, though its getting hard to find. The 9.0 sl is lighter than XTR - it is the lightest mountain setup. I use an XT up front. Side by side, the ESP system shifts (to me) as well as anything. The composite is snazzy to look at. Like all SRAM shifters, there is virtually nothing inside to break or wear out. The grips are comfortable yet provide enough friction for shifts when really tired. Another benefit of gripshift is the ability to trim the front derailleur for a bad chainline, or to encourage the rear to shift (when it is under load or really muddy) by giving a half click extra twist. The cable routing is designed to minimize friction, but it is tricky to set up Gore cables and get them well sealed (1/2 point off). Also, I have not been able to find a breakaway derailleur bolt for them - it is a larger diameter than Shimano (why? another 1/2 point off). The last thing to be aware of is that you can only use another ESP derailleur. If you peel it off your bike with a big stick (since you won't have a breakaway bolt...) don't expect to find one in stock.
(asked over in the SRAM forum, but thought since it is 8spd someone here might know...)
rehab'ing an old 8 spd derailleur...
does the ESP 9.0 SL use 10 tooth or 11 tooth jockey wheels (or does it matter)?
thanks.Read More »