Single Ring: Removing the Double and Tap from SRAM Double Tap

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CXM’s Josh Patterson hacks his SRAM Double Tap levers for our readers. Update: As of 2010, SRAM offers several singlespeed brake lever options (the S900 and S500) that don’t require gutting a DoubleTap.

SRAM Double Tap Shifters Gutted

SRAM DoubleTap Shifters can be converted into singlespeed levers.

Many racers find running a single front chainring an effective means of saving weight and lessening the chance of mechanicals — a single ring setup can be a blessing when race conditions turn muddy.

It makes sense to dispense with unnecessary weight and unused mechanical parts when simplifying a drivetrain. You can achieve this without running a left shifter, but many folks don’t like to do this because of the different shape and feel of a plain left brake lever when compared to the right shift/brake lever. Your solution? Gut that fancy left shifter. It’s possible, and has been a common hack with Campy. But now cyclocrossers running SRAM components are in luck! All SRAM Double Tap levers, Red through Rival, are user-serviceable. The shifting mechanism and shift lever can be removed. And, if done properly, they can be reinstalled.

If you’ve ever called SRAM Tech Support, the lively voice on the other end of the line is often that of SRAM technical guru Ed Nasjleti. Ed was kind enough to explain the procedure for removing the internals from a Double Tap lever. He also wanted me to convey the following to our readers:

Removing the internals from a SRAM shifter does not negate the warranty. However, damage to shifter resulting from the removal or installation of the internals does not constitute a warranty claim.

In other words, attempt this procedure at your bike’s peril. And furthermore, don’t go whining to Ed if you bite off more than you can chew!

So with that in mind, away we go!

Level of difficulty: 4/5
Estimated time required: 20 minutes

Tools needed:

  • Small Philips screwdriver
  • Small flathead screwdriver
  • Small punch or a 4mm allen key
  • 2mm allen key
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Hammer
  • Magnetic parts tray (optional)

Step one: Remove the left Dual Control lever from your bike; remove the brake and shift cables.

Step two: Remove the brake hood. This is best accomplished by sliding the hood forward and over the lever blade.

Remove the Double Tap hood

Step three: Take off the cover. Once you have the brake hood removed, you will see three small screws on the inboard side of the lever. These screws secure the plate that protects the internals. Unscrew them and set them aside, preferably in a magnetic parts tray.

Remove the three small screws and remove the protective plate

Step four: Remove the brake lever blade. To remove the lever blade, the brake lever pivot on which the lever pivots must be removed.

Tip: Before you begin, pivot the Dual Control lever out of the way. Use a small flathead screwdriver to gently pry open the plastic sleeve that fits over the brake lever pivot. Gently spreading it will allow you to use less force to remove the brake lever pin.

Removing the brake lever pin

Place the shifter so that the inboard side-the side with the now-exposed shift mechanism-is facing up. Place the shifter on top of a vise or a surface that will allow the pin to slide out the bottom while supporting the lever body.

Tip: I used a vise, but if you don’t have one handy, a roll of tape duct tape will support the body of the Dual Control lever while allowing the pin to slide out.

Using a punch or a 4mm allen wrench, give this pin a few good taps to dislodge it from the body of the lever. Place the pin in your parts tray.

Punch out the brake lever

Now you can remove the brake lever from the shifter. Make sure you don’t lose the small plastic washers on the ends of the lever blade. You’ll need to make sure they’re in place when it’s time to reinstall everything.

Double Tap lever after removing the brake lever

Step five: Remove the shift mechanism axle. Here’s where the fun begins! On the outboard side-opposite of the internals-you will notice there is one screw. This screw keeps the shift mechanism axle in place; we don’t want to keep the shift mechanism in place. Back the screw out just enough to make the shift axle visible.

Remove the screw that holds the axle in place

Use a 2mm allen to push the axle through the back of the shifter.

Removing the axle

Remove the axle by sliding it out using needle nose pliers.

Remove the axle with needle nose pliers

Step six: Remove the Double Tap lever and take-up reel. Now that the axle that holds these two parts in place has been removed, the Double Tap lever and take-up reel can be removed by hand.

Remove the shift mechanism by hand Remove the take-up reel

You have now removed all of the guts of the front shifter with the exception of the holding pawl, which stays in place.

The internals of the SRAM Double Tap levers

Step seven: Reassembly. SRAM recommends the shift mechanism axle be reinstalled, as it plays a structural support role. Slide the axle into place, then tighten the holding screw down. Once the axle has been replaced, you can install the cover.

Step eight: Reinstall the brake lever blade.

Check two things before installing the lever blade: First, make sure the plastic washers are in place on both sides of the lever-where the pin goes through the lever blade.

Check the lever for washers and correct cable stop aligment

Second, check to make sure the beveled side of the brake cable stop is facing towards the outside of the shifter. If you install a brake cable with the stop rotated backwards, it will rattle.

Reinstall the lever blade; use a hammer to tap the lever pin back into place.

SRAM Double Tap lever ready for single ring or singlespeed action, and guts

Step nine: Almost done!

SRAM Double Tap lever without shift mechanism or lever Now that you’ve successfully taken apart and put (most of) your shifter back together, put the brake hood back on and reinstall the brake on the handlebars.

Tip: For safekeeping, keep the internals you removed in a baggie. You may want to run a double ring again someday.

 

 

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10 comments
globecanvas
globecanvas

I just removed the guts from a 2012 Apex shifter.  It took about 15 minutes, and I did it without removing the brake cable (so the shifter was still hanging off the bike).

 

The pin holding the brake lever might be different on my shifter, it seemed like it either had a cap over it or a mushroom head that I didn't feel comfortable beating on with a drift.  So I performed the shifterectomy without removing the brake lever.  I pushed the take-up reel axle out with a piece of bent wire.  It came out easily.

lazyjacques
lazyjacques

Hi, does this work for the right handside brifter? ie the rear derailleur one? I.E. I am trying to get that brake lever pin out and despite that being a so called easier part of the operation it just won't shift... Is there a chance that i need to knock it out via the outside of the brifter rather than knocking it via the "inside" side of the brifter?

Nathan Balsdon
Nathan Balsdon

Does anyone know of a guide for doing the same procedure to campy shifters? Its mentioned in the article but I cant seem to find anything online.

Thanks

Josh
Josh

Nick,

Putting the Double Tap lever back together is no harder than taking it apart. It takes about the same amount of time -- 20 minutes or so.

If you left the shift mechanism axle in place, you will have to remove it prior to reinstalling the lever and take-up reel.

kiwi nick
kiwi nick

How difficult is it to put everything back togehter?

Josh
Josh

"How many grams are saved by removing the FD shifter guts and lever?"

The approximate weight saved by gutting the shifter is 30 grams.

The total weight saved by running a 1x10 setup is very subjective: The single chainring used, weight of the front derailleur and chainrings you were using, and the method you use to keep the chain on the chainring are all variables that will determine the weight savings.

For me, running a 1x10 setup is less about weight savings than it is about simplicity.

Look for a tech article on the various single-ring setup techniques in an upcomming issue of CXmagazine!

CC
CC

How many grams are saved by removing the FD shifter guts and lever?

Chris
Chris

What a really cool article! I currently am running a single-ring set up with Centaur. Could you post the instructions for gutting this shifter as well?

Michael
Michael

dood, rad. Single ring up front is the only way to go. and that sram stuff is stupid light...hmmm, might have to give this a whirl.

cyclocross
cyclocross moderator

 @lazyjacques we think it's the same - inside out, but which model lever and which year? there's a chance they've changed things.  we'll try to find out. is your punch small enough? 

lazyjacques
lazyjacques

 @cyclocross Thank you so much for answering I am working on what appears to be 09 force as in before they sexed up the graphics and went for naked carbon rather than a weave effect. See I agree with you guys that this must be possible as SRAM are selling the lever kits right across the current range as well. I am trying to use an alen key  to do this and mainly seem to be scratching the anodised metal and plastic surround! Thanks so much! 

globecanvas
globecanvas

 @lazyjacques  @cyclocross Hi lazyjacques, please see my comment just above.  It's not necessary to remove the brake lever.  With the brake lever in place, it's a little trickier to push out the shift mechanism axle, but the axle does come out easily once you get something in there to push it toward the back.  All of the other steps are just as in the walk-through above.

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