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SRAM/Shimano Derailleur/Shifter compatability

jpack's picture

By jpack - Posted on 21 January 2008

Is it possible to use an XTR or any other shimano shifter with a SRAM X.0 rear derailleur?

Does SRAM have 2 way shifters like the new shimano ones (i.e. thumb/index finger downshift)?

Whats the difference between derailleur cage lengths? what are the advantages/disadvantages of a longer/shorter cage length?


Rob's picture

One of the selling points for SRAM is their 1:1 Actuation Ratio. I'm sure there are more technical descriptions out there if you want to Google this, but how I understand this is the cable needs to move further inside the outer in order to move one of their (rear) derailleurs (the fronts are no different).

Because of this you can't use Shimano shifters with an SRAM derailleur (least as far as I know) as they don't pull enough cable. I thought I did read that some SRAM shifters have a mode to allow them to move less cable in order to be paired with Shimano derailleur, but you might want to check that.

I don't think SRAM have 2 way shifters yet. FWIW, when I got the Rush I figured moving from Shimano thumb/finger shift to SRAM thumb/thumb would be a pain but it's not at all. In fact, I now much prefer the SRAM shift, even more so after upgrading to X0 shifters which I find much more precise than the X9 (well, that is now X7) that it came with.

Again, this might be complete crap - but the way I understand it is that longer cage lengths are necessary to accommodate more drive train teeth. Most drive chains use 11-32 (or 34) cassette and 22/34/44 rings so use long cage. If you use a compact cassette with a smaller lower cog (I see PG970 come in 11-21) and take your big ring off then the difference in chain length change between all your gears will be shorter and you won't need that long cage.

ScottM's picture

Yep, you can use SRAM with a Shimano front but not the rear.

I found that going to Shimano from SRAM was a huge step backwards, I much preferred the SRAM thumb shifting as you don't need to take a finger off the brake to change up gears when you're approaching a hill.

Today I ordered some new XT shifters - primarily for the SRAM style shifting, but also because they were cheap.

Buck's picture

SRAM can work with Shimano rear derailers.

They have an Attack range which is compatible with the 2:1 ratio of the Shimano's.

ar_junkie's picture

The Attack range uses the 2:1 Shimano technology... Eye-wink

hawkeye's picture

On the thumb/thumb SRAM shifting..

I have it thumb/thumb on my commuter. It's cool on the front DR but I don't like the high normal on the rear. I find that shifting to a lower ratio (bigger cassette ring) interferes with my braking modulation big time because I have to push quite hard with my thumb against the DR spring to make it shift to an easier cog. I end up jerking the front brake quite hard if try to shift as I brake. :~P

On my Jekyll I have Shimano Dual Control with a low normal rear DR. Shifting to an easier gear while braking is a lot easier to do without jerking the brake, IMO.

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