SRAM X.0 + Jtek Shiftmate Straight (2nd Follow-Up)

Nice… really nice.

Record Long Cage Rear Derailleur (As Was)

Wowzer!  What a pleasant surprise! While we’ve always enjoyed what I’ve characterized as good shifting with various combinations of our hybrid Campy shifters + Campy rear derailleurs + Shimano cassettes, good meant that the shifts were accurate but not always perfect. Instead, there were typically a few times every ride when you’d find yourself with a bit of chatter coming from the rear derailleur, i.e., the chain was tickling the next taller sprocket or wanedt to drop down to the next shorter one.  It only happened on one or perhaps two rear sprockets and was easily remedied once I could hear it by applying a little ‘English’ to the Campy shifter’s index finger trigger or the thumb paddle… just enough movement to settle the rear chain into the “groove” where it ran clean.

SRAM X.0 Rear Derailleur With ShiftMate Straight 5S (As Is)

Well, we logged a little over 84 miles over the past two days where the new SRAM X.0 rear derailleur and Shiftmate got a pretty good workout and I must say, the shifting performance and accuracy of the Campy Ergo 10 + Shiftmate Straight 5S + SRAM X.0 rear derailleur + Shimano XT 12x32t 10 speed cassette was wonderful!  As hoped, it performed as well as or better than it did in the workstand.

There was a moment early on Saturday’s ride where we had a little autoshifting between two rear cogs, but I suspect it was the result of some awkward front & rear shifting. It happened again while we were doing a half-hearted sprint near the end of a ride, a sprint that also caused the drive chain to derail from the large chain ring and fall into the crank arm under heavy load.  Kind of hard to fault the rear derailleur or ShiftMate for the derail as that’s clearly something else.

The X.0 derailleur also did a great job of accenting the rest of what Roger S. coined our “gold package” (with a wink and a wry smile).  As I told Roger, once I was committed to the SRAM X.9 / X.0 off-road rear derailleurs I didn’t think much about any alternative strategy with respect to adding the bling until I started looking for a good deal on the slightly older SRAM X.0 rear derailleur and found a rainbow of colors:

That pretty much cinched the deal, as the standard black and silver model just didn’t hold a candle to the anodized rainbow of color being offered for the X.O… and in particular the one with the gold trim.

But I digress (as usual)…  the bottom line remains that the SRAM 1:1 ratio rear derailleurs matched with a Jtek & SRAM X.O makes for a very crisp-shifting transmission on the Calfee: best yet!

P.S.  One more thing before I forget to mention it.  As mentioned in that same, earlier follow-up post I reported that I buggered-up an eccentric bolt during the re-installation of the Bushnell eccentric.   A day or so after I sent my request for a replacement bolt assembly to Dan Towle at R&E Cycles in Seattle, Washington, a replacement was on its way. For those who aren’t familiar with R&E Cycles, Dan has an amazing shop with an equally amazing staff and an intriguing history.  However, it’s the more recent history that continues to make R&E one of the coolest shops I know of: frame building, paint and repair on premises, several house-brands of bikes and tandems, all with their own unique heritage or features, always stuff going-on, and a great shop on top of all that.  Nice…  Thanks y’all!


About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
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5 Responses to SRAM X.0 + Jtek Shiftmate Straight (2nd Follow-Up)

  1. Pingback: Saint Augustine Weekend… A Geat Time « The TandemGeek's Blog

  2. Scott Harper says:

    I have been on a similar journey as you: using Ergo shifter on my tandem with Shimano wheels. We experimented with JTech for awhile, but found that the performance degraded over time. We have switched to the divinci modified SRAM derailleur, which I think is going to be a more reliable set up. I do not have enough mileage on it yet, but I am optimistic because there are less moving parts.

    • TG says:

      We previously used the traditional, right-angle Jtek Shiftmate designed for Shimano derailleurs and found the performance to be very good when you first adjusted it, but it would slowly degrade as you logged mileage and the cable “walked” on the cam. You could quickly restore the shifting quality by re-setting the cam to the 1pm position (or was it 2pm?), but on average it didn’t end up making the also ‘very good’ shifting performance you could get running Ergo’s to a Shimano cassette with a Campy rear derailleur and NO Shiftmate.

      But, at least so far, the Jtek Shiftmate Straight + the SRAM X.0 rear derailleur has yielded “excellent” shifting performance, better than we’ve had on our road tandems in over 12 years. It would appear that the in-line configuration and shorter cable run between the left chain stay cable stop and SRAM cable stop eliminate most of the play that would have contributed to the the cable “walk” on the original Jtek Shiftmate configuration.

      Regardless, we’re loving the current set-up. If the daVinci modified SRAMs perform as well, all the better since they don’t require an add-on adapter.

  3. Pingback: SRAM X.0 + Jtek Shiftmate Straight (3rd Follow-Up) « The TandemGeek's Blog

  4. Pingback: SRAM X.0 10-spd + Campy 10 Ergo = I’m Impressed (Final Update) « The TandemGeek's Blog

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