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  1. #1
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    sram hierarchy....

    Hello,

    Despite my wife being in nursing school and wanting me to wait until she graduates in December, I think I'm close to being able to build up the NOS Bandersnatch I have sittin' in the garage. With that said, I'm trying to learn about components and I keep reading XO is equivalent to XTR and X9 is equivalent to XT. If that's true, what are XX and XX1? In general, what is the hierarchy of Sram v. Shimano?

    Also, can the component groups within Sram be mixed and matched to save money? I have a set of Truvativ Stylo Team cranks that to my untrained eye look like they're in really good shape and would like to incorporate them into this build but I don't know what level Stylo Team is and if they're compatible with Sram components, though I think I read Sram owns Truvativ.

    Finally, can you save money by procuring your component group, Shimono or Sram, in Taiwan or Hong Kong etc? My wife has family and friends living in and around parts of Asia. My connections are even better in S. Korea. Are there any MTB components manufactured there?

    Thanks in advance for any and all help.

  2. #2
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    Not sure. Pretty sure XTR and XO are the same level and as far as I know Shimano only goes to the XTR level, so I'm guessing that the SRAM XX and XX1 stuff is just even a couple steps up from XTR with no rival. I don't know if there's a performance improvement but the XX and XX1 stuff is lighter.

  3. #3
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    Re: sram hierarchy....

    I think it's more like XX=XTR AND XO=XT. Maybe not weight wise but performance & durabilty wise. My .02¢.

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    Depends on which components you are talking about. And there are now multiple splits within the groups with rear derailleuers Type 1, Type 2, Shadow, Shadow Plus, carbon, etc.

    I'd back into it if I were you by making a list to meet your goal criteria. Something like:

    X handling characteristics
    X durability
    X weight
    X whatever you want to get out of the bike

    Then, build it based on meeting those criteria.
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  5. #5
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    Thx for the replies guys. I had read that X7 and SLX were the same caliber. Anyway, I'm most interested in how smooth and easily the shifting is for the rear cog and how durable the equipment will be. I'm concerned about durability and performance, not weight.

    With that in mind, what combination of components is the best for me and will my Stylo Team crank set be compatible?

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
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    Crank is independent of derailleurs. The shifters are more important when it comes to smoothness. Then cassette, then dérailleur then chain. People have traditionally used the derailleur as a correllary to smooth shifting, but the cause is the whole system. You can mix/match SRAM and Shimano as well as groups.

    SLX and X7 are both very capable groups.

    This might help as well.

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  7. #7
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    rear derailuer and shifter have to match.

  8. #8
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    sram hierarchy....

    Quote Originally Posted by PhxBuckeye View Post
    Hello,

    Despite my wife being in nursing school and wanting me to wait until she graduates in December, I think I'm close to being able to build up the NOS Bandersnatch I have sittin' in the garage. With that said, I'm trying to learn about components and I keep reading XO is equivalent to XTR and X9 is equivalent to XT. If that's true, what are XX and XX1? In general, what is the hierarchy of Sram v. Shimano?

    Thanks in advance for any and all help.
    All three are basically top level.
    The main difference between XX and XO is XX is only a 2 ring crank group. You can get a XO triple.

    XX1 is a different concept, 1x11 gearing being the most visible.
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  9. #9
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    So then what are the components you would spend more on -- the rear cassette, rear derailleur/shifter etc? Which components ware out the fastest?

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    sram hierarchy....

    Quote Originally Posted by PhxBuckeye View Post
    So then what are the components you would spend more on -- the rear cassette, rear derailleur/shifter etc? Which components ware(sic) out the fastest?
    Shifters. Even then rarely top of the line.

    Maybe cassettes, if I have hubs with aluminum FH bodies, to get ones with the cog carriers.

    Otherwise I buy mid level parts. Work fine. Cost less.

    Chains, cassettes, chainrings--in that order--are the wear components. Though I tend to replace rings more often than cassettes because I have multiple wheelsets.
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  11. #11
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    ^^logic being spend less on parts that wear out faster? or vice-versa? I buy slx/x7 stuff with longevity in mind.

  12. #12
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    sram hierarchy....

    Quote Originally Posted by ElwoodT View Post
    ^^logic being spend less on parts that wear out faster? or vice-versa? I buy slx/x7 stuff with longevity in mind.
    Sort-of-not-really.

    Minor functional gains and weight loss are not worth the price.

    At the mid range most of the components work very well and are as or more reliable* than the high end (which can be more fragile to drop weight), and cost much, MUCH less.

    You need to find where your balance point is.

    * I say reliable rather than durable. Better to have a part that does not fail easily but may wear out quicker than a fragile part.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElwoodT View Post
    rear derailuer and shifter have to match.
    Clarification: must have SRAM shifter and SRAM R/D. You can have XX shifter and X9 RD or XTR shifter and XT RD as long as it is the same number of speeds.
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  14. #14
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    RE: sram hierarchy....

    XX1 - nothing
    XX - XTR race
    X0 - XTR trail / saint
    X9 - XT
    X7 - SLX
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  15. #15
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    I like this article about where to spend money on the drivetrain

    Ask a Mechanic: Shimano XTR ? Where To Spend Your Money | Art?s Cyclery Blog

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    sram hierarchy....

    Quote Originally Posted by goodmojo View Post
    I like this article about where to spend money on the drivetrain

    Ask a Mechanic: Shimano XTR ? Where To Spend Your Money | Art?s Cyclery Blog
    I disagree a bit about the front derailleur. Any mid level FD can shift very well if setup by a good mechanic that learned the tricks in the mid-'80s or earlier. Tweak the cages a bit and you have solid, instant shifts. Front indexed shifters actually make it tougher to get a clean front shift. I will take a friction front shifter any day.
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    That's a very interesting and helpful -- assuming he's right -- article. However, he doesn't address brakes. Anyone got anything there? I see BB7 on this board a lot.

    Anyone know of a dealer who's willing to put together a customized group like that and what would you expect to pay?

    Thanks for everyone's replies.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodmojo View Post
    I like this article about where to spend money on the drivetrain

    Ask a Mechanic: Shimano XTR ? Where To Spend Your Money | Art?s Cyclery Blog
    Thank you for posting that article. Very helpful.

  19. #19
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    thought the article doesn't make any sense. I shift my rear derailleur 10x the amount I would shift the front derailleur.


    right now the 2012 and new xt/lx/xtr hydraulic disc brakes are considered the best. bb7 are the best mechanicals but are inferior to hydraulics. hydraulic vs mechanical can be personal preference with most users preferring hydro.

  20. #20
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    Okay, so if I'm concerned about durability, performance and price and not weight, which brakes are the right ones?


    TIA.

  21. #21
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    Latest release of SLX are supposed to be fantastic for your description. Last year's XT are also exactly that.
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  22. #22
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    Okay, so if I'm concerned about durability, performance and price and not weight, which brakes are the right ones?
    high end is mostly about weight. I run bottom end shimano stuff and they shift fine. Shifters have to be adjusted and tweaked just like my XTR bike, but they all shift good enough and are durable. In fact, the highest end stuff are often less durable than the cheapy stuff. This is why shimano has a xtr race and xtr trail in some components (trail is more durable while race is less weight)

    Spending money does not make you a better rider. Ride more. I would rather run a decent fork (unlike shifting, better forks work a lot better AND save a lot of weight), and run Deore-SLX level rear derailleur and shifter.

    Personally, I'd just buy whatever parts I could find deals on in the deals subforum here, or do some ebay hunting. My mountain bike is dedicated trail bike, and I'm in reasonably good shape, so I have converted to 1x9.

  23. #23
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    Shiggy why is the shifter so important and also how is the performance from SLX to XT in terms of shifters?

  24. #24
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    sram hierarchy....

    Quote Originally Posted by Liternit View Post
    Shiggy why is the shifter so important and also how is the performance from SLX to XT in terms of shifters?
    Generally, the higher end shifters are more precise, durable, feel better than the low end. They are what controls the derailleur.

    Not a lot of difference between XT and SLX shifters
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  25. #25
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    I just replaced my SLX shifters that came on my '12-model bike with new XT. I think there is a big difference. Maybe they upgraded the SLX for '13 or the factory put older shifters on my bike?

    Easier lever pull and more precise feel and smoother quieter shifts on the XT.

    On the rear I can shift two positions per pull of the trigger when going to a smaller cog, where the SLX could only go one. When going to larger cogs I can move 4 positions, where the SLX would do only three. (It is quite awkward to move the lever that far. 3 positions on the XT and 2 on the SLX is all that is practical.)

    The front XT has a 2x/3x switch that the SLX does not have.

    In case anyone cares, the XT set is 20 grams lighter than the SLX. I'm just happier they aren't heavier .

    -------

    I have SLX brakes -- they are awesome and everyone that rides it comments on how good the brakes are. I have ridden a bike with XT brakes and couldn't tell any difference.

  26. #26
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    Depends on which components you are talking about.

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    So despite that article, is it most people's opinion here that you would spend more on the rear derailleur than the front? Could I just go 1x10 using my Stylo Team cranks and eliminate the whole issue?


    TIA.
    Last edited by PhxBuckeye; 07-02-2013 at 07:03 AM.

  28. #28
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    ^Depends on how strong a rider and the difficulty of the terrain. FDs are pretty cheap compared to RDs. For your purposes, X-7 or X9 or SLX or XT should be fine.
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  29. #29
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    Plus FDs are less exposed and less likely to get damaged, so I am inclined to spend more on it.

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    Re: sram hierarchy....

    Dennis, have you ever changed your shifting cables and housing. Its recommended to change housing every year, sometimes sooner based on conditions. Maintaining housing has always made a huge difference to me, far more difference than my bottom end to xtr shifter and derailleur. In fact, my acera is shifting easier than my xtr because it had a more recent housing change. Xtr can shift multiple gears at a time and have bi directional triggers, but that is a whoopTdoo feature. Maybe your new xt shifts much easier because you also changed your housing?

    I think this whole top of the line shifting crap is way overrated. Looking at some data, the single speed riders were only 5% slower than the geared riders in the last sea otter xc cat 2 race. You can find my numbers in b the single speed forum.

    Going a 1x9 or 1x10 setup depends on the stuff you ride your bike in. If you need to ride your bike on street and up mountains, I would not recommend because you need the range in gears. I have a separate bike for streets so I converted my mountain bike. All you need to do is remove front shifter and derailleur and the middle and large front rings (or keep the middle ring and remove small and large). I love it so far and there are pretty significant weight savings.

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    Yes, I did change the cables and housing at the same time. It definitely needed it.

    My comparison is based on memory from when the bike was new last year, plus riding a bike with XT shifters back when my cables were still good. So my evaluation is admittedly suspect. Anyway, I can't imagine anything shifting easier unless they read my mind or something

    Thanks.
    Last edited by DennisF; 07-03-2013 at 07:57 AM.

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    I'm a SRAM kinda guy just because my first bike had it and through upgrades I'm too invested to change. My buddy has Shimano, but cheap stuff. I studied and studied, read articles and tech notes from lots of experts. I know now I wasted money in some areas for nothing. I'm not a guy who's going to notice if my bike is 20grams too heavy- I spent hours looking at specs and details between all of them and forgotten most of it- but in the top tiers of SRAM for example, there's not much difference other than price and minimal bling. I did however spend my money on shifters, RD and cassette going XO - X9 FD and the best chain, XO shifters have several cool features like adjustability and the possible integration with brake levers that cleans up the bars nice. I saw absolutely no advantage to XX for the money-
    In summary-at a point it's expensive to shave a few grams going to the top floor- just my limited experience view at this point in life.

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    To add a thought to what Bob said about housings- he's right, the difference is amazing. I absolutely hate exposed cables- it's a stupid idea for mountain bikes and I'm amazed it hasn't worked it's way out of the norm. I'm building a new bike right now and was doing a happy dance that it uses internal cable routing which utilizes full length housing. I just hope it's not difficult to establish good travel and indexing with the cables- who knows, I might be eating crow- will find out this weekend

  34. #34
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    I want to thank everyone for responding and participating in this thread.

    I don't know how much the components advance and change year by year. Is a 2013 XT group a better group than an XTR group from 2010?

    TIA.

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    Depends. I always follow up those types of questions with, "better for what?" When buying components for a bike, make a list of requirements of what you want the component to do. Then find the component that fits those requirements. If you don't know enough to make a list, then it probably won't matter what you buy.

    Without being too harsh, at those levels of group set, if you can't look at the spec sheet and know the difference, you will likely not be able to notice any difference when riding.
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  36. #36
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    I don't know how much the components advance and change year by year. Is a 2013 XT group a better group than an XTR group from 2010?
    ask in the components subforum. you won't get good responses in this one.

    Without being too harsh, at those levels of group set, if you can't look at the spec sheet and know the difference, you will likely not be able to notice any difference when riding.
    I think this is true for a lot of components but definitely others do make a difference. a newbie doesn't know why a higher end shock is better, but can tell the difference because of substantial weight savings (3lbs lighter) and suspension performance. Anyone can feel a significant weight difference as well.

  37. #37
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    ^I meant between 2013 XT and 2010 XTR or 2013 XT vs 2013 XTR for that matter. Other than a pound, the new groups are almost identical in functionality. Then you get into Shadow vs. Shadow + etc. If the question was Alivio vs XTR, we'd have the same conversation we already had above.
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    Bump... Thanks for the info guys!

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