Hack: How to prevent SRAM DoubleTap shifter levers from sticking (updated)

how to prevent sram double tap shifter levers from sticking at the top of the shift

The more I use SRAM’s DoubleTap road group, the more I like it, and I’ve been riding it for years on several of my road and cyclocross bikes. The one issue that’s persisted across groupsets during that time is the shift lever occasionally getting stuck at the top of its movement. That is, when pushed all the way in to move the chain up several cogs at once, the shift lever can kind of grab the rubber hood on the way back down and stick partially depressed. The shift action isn’t affected, but in the heat of a ‘cross race or group ride, it’s a mental distraction that takes its toll over time.

Also, it’s really easy to fix…

how to prevent sram double tap shifter levers from sticking at the top of the shift

Regardless of where I set my shift lever’s reach, it could catch. The solution was as simple as taking a pair of scissors to the bottom of the hood. The amount I removed here is probably even a little aggressive…about half as much should do the trick.

how to prevent sram double tap shifter levers from sticking at the top of the shift

Aesthetically, the missing rubber isn’t noticeable when the bike is upright, but more artistic removal could be done with an Exacto knife or grooming shears, wire snips, etc.

how to prevent sram double tap shifter levers from sticking at the top of the shift

And lest you worry about exposing the internals of the shifting mechanism, relax. They’re already exposed, and Shimano’s internals are at least 3x more exposed than these (scientifically proven by looking at them) and we’ve raced those in all manner of cyclocross muck and mud with no degradation in performance.

Just be sure, though, I took this bike to the local cyclocross race and splattered it with mud and all is still working just fine.

UPDATE: SRAM chimed in with the following, suggesting you take your bike into a dealer for evaluation prior to cutting the hoods or otherwise modifying your components:

SRAM fully supports all of our products. If you’re a user that perceives any product or performance issues we request that you please visit your local dealer for a complete technical evaluation.

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36 Comments
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bub
bub
6 years ago

In 3 years so far mine never stuck.. I ride 5h to 10h a week. Sram red shifters

Tyler
Tyler
6 years ago

I talked to several friends that ride SRAM and a slight majority had experienced the same stickiness, but not all. So, I thought this worth posting.

JFF
JFF
6 years ago

I’ve experienced this many times racing CX. Thanks for the tip.

Axel
Axel
6 years ago

Yes I have come across some also that have this issue.

pegleg
pegleg
6 years ago

ive ridden sram levers since 2011 and have never experienced this

cru jones
6 years ago

Easy way to prevent is to not use SRAM

Vincent C
Vincent C
6 years ago

Mine never get stuck! … Oh wait, I’m on Campagnolo group. 😛

Bill
Bill
6 years ago

@Vincent – the only bike my levers get stuck at all on is my 11 speed chorus bike 😉 Dropping the max number of cogs at once often makes the lever stick in the hood in the same way the SRAM one does here, only on the side.

bb_nl
bb_nl
6 years ago

@Bill,

I’ve also had that once or twice (but it’s easily fixed on the go by slightly pushing the other shift lever thereby ‘unlocking’ the indexing mechanism). Do you think this would be solved for good in a similar fashion as shown in the article?

WV Cycling
WV Cycling
6 years ago

Anyone ever have a shift lever break or shift linkage shear? My 2008/9 Rival did – right one in 2011, then the left about eight months later. Still love ’em though.

Drug E
Drug E
6 years ago

From the first picture, it looks like the hood isn’t completely installed properly. Same thing happens on Campy shifters. 1mm of mis-direction is all it takes.

Bob
Bob
6 years ago

Both hoods appear to be twisted to the inside of the bars, as @Drug E said. That would most definitely do it. Unless you’re referring to the double tap lever getting stuck while fully extended. For me I see them get stuck on the rubber pad between the brake lever and the double tap lever all the time. A very light film of grease fixes that very easily.

Bob
Bob
6 years ago

@WV Cycling – I have seen that 4-5 times on each side. So I wouldn’t say it is prolific, but based on how many systems are out there, and how many times I have seen it. It is probably not uncommon.

Thesteve4761
Thesteve4761
6 years ago

Only ever seen this when hoods aren’t installed correctly, across dozens of SRAM bikes since 2008….

Ol' Shel'
Ol' Shel'
6 years ago

Stop racing.

Problem solved!

Craig Riviera
Craig Riviera
6 years ago

The bar tape is covering up the hole in the shifter body that the big rubber plug inside the hood should be resting in – you can see the outline of the rubber plug clearly in the photo – when installed properly it would be flush and not noticeable – this allows the hood to easily twist.

kbr
kbr
6 years ago

@ Craig Riviera: you beat me to it, you’re correct, that first photo. Absolutely NO need to trim the rubber away, just make sure your hoods are installed properly 🙂

dorkdisk
dorkdisk
6 years ago

This is a hackjob, not a hack

bub
bub
6 years ago

these posts are cool no matter what. Just wanted to post my own experience so far. Might depend on models too

goridebikes
goridebikes
6 years ago

This post could be summarized as:
I did not wrap my bars very well or install my hoods correctly, so instead of using a pair of scissors to correct my bar tape issue, I just cut my hood, that way in a few weeks it will tear further and then I can call SRAM and complain.

Pistolero
Pistolero
6 years ago

what’s the point of this trick? I mean, if you use sram and not shimano, is because you enjoy poor performance, so why “fix” it? if you really wanted proper performance of the components you would choose shimano, so if ain’t broken don’t fix it.

Sspiff
Sspiff
6 years ago

Ah Pistolero, you beat me!

Clicked just to say, “Use shimano, problem solved!”

pTymn Wolfe
pTymn Wolfe
6 years ago

-goridebikes wins this round

John
John
6 years ago

I’ve seen this a handful of times on my first go around with DoubleTap shifters. The thing is, that one lever is both downshift and upshift, so when it gets screwed up it’s a problem. I finally swapped out the drivetrain for Ultegra on that bike, problem solved. At least with Shimano, it’s obvious if the hoods aren’t situated correctly.

Tomi
Tomi
6 years ago

I have never experienced this. However I have more issues with the shift lever getting stuck on the handlebar tape after a hard braking. I just push it back manually but it is annoying. Same happened a few times with campy levers but only when I was riding with double coat of bar tape.

shanana
shanana
6 years ago

Never experienced it on my first Sram bike.
Always experience it on my second Sram bike.

nightfend
6 years ago

Oh, I’ve had the shifter lever get stuck on the bartape like Tomi mentioned. That’s because I like having a little more modulation in my brakes than some other people, so you really have to pull the lever all the way for a major stop. This can sometimes wedge the shifter lever into the bartape.

John
John
6 years ago

@goridebikes: Or they could engineer their products for the real world. Replacing a hood shouldn’t get in the way of proper shifting, either there should be enough of a gap that it’s not in the way of the shifter action or it should be obvious that the hood isn’t fitted correctly. Is that’s too much to ask? As stated earlier, this is a solved problem for their competition.

YetiRider
YetiRider
6 years ago

Four bikes with Sram Red, two with Sram Force.

Tape and hoods always seated correctly, never had an issue in the 13,000km I commuted last year, and nothing yet this year either.

crackedframe
crackedframe
6 years ago

I have 10spd Rival and never stuck. However, I just got Force 22 Hyros (only two rides at the time of this writing) and they stick A LOT. Different shaped rubber hood covers.

This write up could not have come at a better time.

I love my SRAM, and I really like 22.

Thank you.

goridebikes
goridebikes
6 years ago

@John, I believe @YetiRider covered this for you, but I’ll just re-iterate.

Requiring users to follow directions for proper performance is not a design flaw.

It is, in fact, completely obvious that the hood is not seated correctly, regard how many commenters here have pointed out the exact cause of the issue based solely on some photos on the internet…

Also, SRAM shifters have never had a profound, widespread issue with snapping rear derailleur cables inside the shifter. And if they did – they would recall them, unlike their competitor, who chooses to deny the issue.

Equally interesting, the comments on bikerumor would certainly wail on them for acknowledging a legitimate flaw and trying to correct it, because as it turns out, denial is a better business practice.

Sspiff
Sspiff
6 years ago

@YetiRider, Damn! That’s quite a fleet of commuter bikes you’ve got there. I’m jealous… 😉

Interesting
Interesting
6 years ago

Never once had this issue and I’ve been riding SRAM shifters for years, including cross racing applications.

Darryl
Darryl
6 years ago

(deleted)

MaraudingWalrus
MaraudingWalrus
6 years ago

Popcorn, get yer popcorn!

David
6 years ago

In a couple months, SRAM eTap will hit the shops and all stickiness and worries will melt away. With a demo in our shop, it impressed us quite a bit and I would imagine the technology will quickly work into their other groups.