Ask a Mechanic | Adjusting Reach On SRAM Road Shifters & Mountain Derailleur Compatibility

Welcome to our Ask a Mechanic column where our expert mechanic Daniel Slusser answers your bike maintenance questions. If you have a question for Daniel, please post it on our Facebook Wall or e-mail Daniel directly at daniel.slusser@artscyclery.com. Today’s column discusses how to adjust the reach on a SRAM road shifter and which SRAM mountain rear derailleurs are compatible with SRAM 10-speed shifters.

Question

How do you adjust the reach on a SRAM road shifter? I want to bring the levers in closer to the drops. From: Alex

Answer

SRAM makes this adjustment very easy to do. First, peel back the top of the lever hood to expose the plastic body of the lever. On the top side you will find a 3mm allen head adjustment screw that can be turned clockwise to bring the lever in closer to the bar. There is a big range of adjustment so you should have no problem finding a setup that works for you.

Question

I’m converting my Mongoose Otero to 10-speed. My current setup consists of a double Shimano SLX Crank (38-26t), SLX front derailleur, with SRAM X4 rear derailleur and SRAM X4 shifter, and 8-speed Shimano cassette. I am replacing my 8-speed cassette with an 11-36 10-speed cassette and changing my chain to 10-speed also. I’ll also replace my shifters with SRAM X5 10-speed. Will my old X4 rear derailleur be compatible with the whole set up or will this need to be replaced too? From: Nuri

Answer

SRAM 10-speed rear derailleurs require a 10-speed shifter. If you take a look at the different 8, 9, 10, & 11-speed SRAM rear derailleurs you will notice that the loop at the rear where the cable passes through has a different arc to it that corresponds to the amount of cable pulled per shift. You might take this opportunity to upgrade to a Type 2 rear derailleur for better chain retention and a quieter ride. If you go for an X9 Type II, the medium cage is the right size for your gearing setup.

Daniel Slusser is a professional bicycle mechanic with over ten years of experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from HSU and a master’s degree in history from Cal Poly University. When he is not riding, wrenching, or writing he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.

2014-03-05T16:05:31-08:00