1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Help with Shimano dual controls

    I have a question about the Shimano dual controls. I'm looking to upgrade from cheaper components( Avid elixer 1 Brakes and Alivio Shifters)and I see some of these XT dual controls are still available. Are they Rapid fire? They sure don't look like the shifters I'm currently running.

    I see no Hydraulic lines included but only the stainless shift cable. I'm thinking it would be more trouble than they are worth to have to buy lines, Min oil and calipers and have to bleed when I could just but XT brakes already assembled.

    Is anyone running these dual controls? What are the pros and cons?

  2. #2
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    Stay away from them. There is a reason Shimano stopped making them.
    13 Lenz Lunchbox punkass

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Stay away from them. There is a reason Shimano stopped making them.
    Second.

    Though if for some reason you absolutely have to have them, make sure you're running the last generation of them as they are the closest to being functional that dual control ever got.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    One of my friends liked them when he screwed up his wrist. The ability to put both shifters on the same side of the bars is about the only justification I can see for them - I can't imagine I'd be able to brake and not shift by accident with that configuration, on a bumpy trail.

    What are you hoping to gain from this upgrade? I ask because I like my Elixirs fine, and the biggest difference I noticed from Alivio to LX shifters is that the throws are a little shorter and the effort's a little lower. I appreciate that, but as far as shifting well is concerned, that's all about setup, tuning and maintenance.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the input. I was trying to lose some weight while upgrading to better components. I thought being all in one it would also be lighter.
    The Elixer 1 brakes don't stop all that great compared to my friends XT brakes. There seems to be a big difference between the Elixer 1's and XT's.
    The Alivio shifters are pretty cheap and although they shift Ok along with the Deore RD I'm already looking to upgrade.
    Better Brakes will make me more confident and better shifting would also be a plus.

    I plan to upgrade and try to lose weight at the same time while waiting for my Wheeset/ tubeless setup next year. I'll avoid the dual controls.
    Thanks

  6. #6
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    It's persoanal preference. I had to laugh at tt and zeb's post. They are like twist shifters in that you either like 'em or hate 'em. I use them on my fs and regular clickers on my ht. Don't even notice the difference when switching between bikes because I'm used to them.

    One thing to note is that people typically use a rapid rise rear der. with dc shifters. Unless you try them and find that you then can't live without them, I think it's hardly worth the cost to replace all those parts when a shifter upgrade would likely yield the control improvement you're seeking.

  7. #7
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Quote Originally Posted by excaliber View Post
    Thanks for the input. I was trying to lose some weight while upgrading to better components. I thought being all in one it would also be lighter.
    The Elixer 1 brakes don't stop all that great compared to my friends XT brakes. There seems to be a big difference between the Elixer 1's and XT's.
    The Alivio shifters are pretty cheap and although they shift Ok along with the Deore RD I'm already looking to upgrade.
    Better Brakes will make me more confident and better shifting would also be a plus.

    I plan to upgrade and try to lose weight at the same time while waiting for my Wheeset/ tubeless setup next year. I'll avoid the dual controls.
    Thanks
    My mechanic was raving about Shimano's current disc brakes. Note that brakes are also sensitive to good setup and tuning, so give that a look before you throw money at it.

    For weight saving, normally this is where I try to talk you out of it because I don't think it'll actually effect much. But whatever. If you're going to do it, do it right. The $/gram on drivetrain and brake changes is pretty bad. $/gram on the frame itself is probably about as good as it gets, but tires will make a big difference and so will wheels. And with lighter wheels and tires, you will actually feel quicker handling, which is cool. When you get to trying to save a few grams from small things, start by disassembling your bike and weighing everything. Then you'll know what weight change you're looking at. OEM cockpit parts are sometimes shockingly heavy. The difference between cheap and expensive aftermarket cockpit parts can be shockingly small. So, figure out what you're actually doing. You can send me the Elixirs if you like.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    My mechanic was raving about Shimano's current disc brakes. Note that brakes are also sensitive to good setup and tuning, so give that a look before you throw money at it.
    Yeah this is true. Shimano's new brakes are really nice. They are really easy to bleed you don't have to do a 3 part bleed like avids. Problem with mine is you have to do it often and I find lots of bubbles, dunno if there is a valve leak or what.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by excaliber View Post
    Thanks for the input. I was trying to lose some weight while upgrading to better components. I thought being all in one it would also be lighter.
    The Elixer 1 brakes don't stop all that great compared to my friends XT brakes. There seems to be a big difference between the Elixer 1's and XT's.
    The Alivio shifters are pretty cheap and although they shift Ok along with the Deore RD I'm already looking to upgrade.
    Better Brakes will make me more confident and better shifting would also be a plus.

    I plan to upgrade and try to lose weight at the same time while waiting for my Wheeset/ tubeless setup next year. I'll avoid the dual controls.
    Thanks
    Some might considered going from hydros to mech disks a down grade, but you might be able to find a good deal on used BB7s and I would hazard a guess they would work better than the low end hydros.

    I found a full set, levers, rotors and calipers front and rear for $60 plus shipping on EBay. Got for my son's bike.
    13 Lenz Lunchbox punkass

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Stay away from them. There is a reason Shimano stopped making them.
    Last generation XT hydro are perfectly functional and very ergonomical.

    But.. 2012 XT brakes are better, and it looks the writing is on the wall for 9sp. Otherwise, if you get a set for the cheap, they work very well.

    Especially with Shadow rear derailler, as it seems to be with a stiffer spring - and no rapid rise.

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