On the Double On the Double

On the Double

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

When SRAM ‘Made the Leap’ into the road market with SRAM Force in 2006, the component that set the group apart from other offerings in the marketplace was its unique DoubleTap™ shifter mechanism. Elegantly simple, yet robust, DoubleTap allowed riders to use a single shift lever to move a derailleur both inboard and outboard. One click to move the rear derailleur outboard, two clicks or more to move it inboard. 

While the DoubleTap shifter mechanism is incredibly durable—tough enough to bring home a truckload of cyclocross titles—regular maintenance is required to keep the shifter mechanism in top working order. Performing regular lubrication will ensure optimal performance and light shifter action. Proper maintenance can also breathe new life into contaminated shifter mechanisms that have become stiff or jammed.

The first step in restoring proper function to your SRAM DoubleTap shifter is to replace shift cables and housing on a regular basis. Cables and housing should be replaced any time that shifting performance suffers or shifts require excessive hand effort to execute due to cable contamination.

When replacing cables and housing does not fully restore the performance of your DoubleTap shifter, it is time to perform maintenance on the shifter mechanism. Often all that is required is to re-lube the shifter mechanism with common white lithium bearing grease. Spray lubricants might give acceptable short-term results in a CX pit, however they will gum up quickly and leave the mechanism even stickier than before. If spray lubes or chain oils are used in a pinch, always follow up later with a thorough cleaning and re-lube with white lithium bearing grease. Moreover, most spray lubricants are not compatible with HRD (Hydraulic Road Disc) brake lever seals and due to the close proximity of the shift components to the brake's seals there is a risk of contamination. Therefore spray lubricants should never be used in an HRD shifter. 

To restore “good as new” shift performance complete the following steps. These steps can be performed with the shifter still attached to the handlebar, but in the example below we've removed the shifter from the bar for clarity.

  • Remove or roll the hood cover forward to expose the hatch cover screws as needed (shifter shown with hood cover removed for clarity)

  • Remove shifter mechanism hatch cover. The hatch prevents the shift lever from rotating far enough to damage the shift lever return spring, so do not rotate the shift lever more than about 45 degrees when the hatch is removed.
  • Apply a light coat of white lithium grease to mechanism (do not use a substitute grease) 
  • Reinstall hatch and hood cover

When shifters become contaminated, the mechanism needs to be cleaned and then re-lubricated. This can be done with the shifter still attached to the handlebar, but in the example below we've removed the shifter from the bar for clarity. To clean and re-lube your doubletap shifter:

  • Remove or roll the hood cover forward to expose the hatch cover screws as needed (shifter shown with hood cover removed for clarity)

  • Remove shifter mechanism hatch cover. The hatch prevents the shift lever from rotating far enough to damage the shift lever return spring, so do not rotate the shift lever more than about 45 degrees when the hatch is removed.
  • Use soap and water solution and a toothbrush to remove old lubricant and contaminants. 
  • Rinse out soap and water solution from shifter mechanism with water
  • Allow mechanism to dry. If you have an air compressor, blow out any remaining water with compressed air.
  • Apply a light coat of white lithium bearing grease to mechanism (do not use a substitute grease)
  • Reinstall hatch and hood cover

Following these simple procedures will keep your DoubleTap shifter in proper working order while extending its usable life. 

For more maintenance and installation tutorials, subscribe to our SRAM Tech YouTube channel here.

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