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  1. #1
    That's right....
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    Alright! so what the hell is the difference?

    theres a thread in the WW forum about the lightest shimano shifters and the LX lineup seems to be the lightest, so.....

    what the heck is the difference between LX, XT, and XTR mega-9 shifters?
    theres significant differences between cranks, brakes, derailleurs..... whats the difference between shifters?

  2. #2
    wannabe corporate shill
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    i'll go ahead and guess that the difference is a combination of build quality, smoothness, and durability.

  3. #3
    Meh.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey
    theres a thread in the WW forum about the lightest shimano shifters and the LX lineup seems to be the lightest, so.....

    what the heck is the difference between LX, XT, and XTR mega-9 shifters?
    theres significant differences between cranks, brakes, derailleurs..... whats the difference between shifters?
    Weight, materials used, quality. All of them come together and the higher end shfiters can produce a cripser more precise shift.

  4. #4
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    Differing amounts of plastic might be the best way to think about it; as you go up the ladder you get more quality innards and maybe some lighter hardware. You're still talking only a couple grams between the three. If you look at the listings on weightweenies.starbike.com you might see that the xtr's still come out slightly lighter.
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  5. #5
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    so xtr shifters WILL shift better due to a more robust body which translates into less flex and better performance?

    oh, and is it true that XTR derailleurs springs are stiffer than xt and lx, or is this a myth?
    i worked retail bike sales for 4 years and i never really had a good answer for people. ive had full LX setups that were dialed in perfectly and shifted better than some xtr drivetrains ive tried.

  6. #6
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    Imho

    ive had full LX setups that were dialed in perfectly and shifted better than some xtr drivetrains ive tried.
    I've worked on a few bikes with SRAM and Shimano and will have to say that new (Dual Control) XTR shifts incredibly well ONLY IF the cable and housing are clean and fresh and the adjustment is perfect. SRAM on the other hand is a little slower but the 1:1 ratio for the X shifters and r. derailleur is a no brainer to install and adjust. I have XTR on one bike and X.0 on another and would have to say that I prefer the XTR but it is a lot more work to maintain the crisp shifting.

  7. #7
    All 26.5" all the time!
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    XT and XTR spin on ball bearings, while LX and below use plain bushings. As the plain type bushings wear, slop between the internal parts develops and shifting performance declines.

    Edit: I was referring to the rapidfire shift levers. The derailleurs have bushings across the entire line.
    Last edited by Zanetti; 01-22-2006 at 05:44 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanetti
    XT and XTR spin on ball bearings, while LX and below use plain bushings. As the plain type bushings wear, slop between the internal parts develops and shifting performance declines.
    ahhaaaaaaa, see, i didnt know that! thank you Zanetti!

  9. #9
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    There is no set rule as to what is different in LX, XT, or XTR parts. Shimano makes choices as to where the think weight reduction vs durability is more important. For example, older XT front derailleurs were lighter yet more flimsy than XTR ones. XTR rear derrailleurs are forged so they are stronger than XT. XTR cassettes use Ti on the four biggest cogs so they are lighter yet wear down and bend easier than XT.

    As far as the shifters, the most immediately noticeable difference between all three is XTR uses a one piece metal thumb paddle. On XT the paddle is mostly metal with a rubber boot at the thumb end. On LX its a piece of plastic that screws on to a metal stub at the pivot. LX is lighter because of the plastic paddle. There is no real difference in feel since all share the same internal mechanism. Oh and I believe the XT pods don't have Flight Deck computer attachments (not like anyone uses this anyway).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey
    so xtr shifters WILL shift better due to a more robust body which translates into less flex and better performance?

    oh, and is it true that XTR derailleurs springs are stiffer than xt and lx, or is this a myth?
    i worked retail bike sales for 4 years and i never really had a good answer for people. ive had full LX setups that were dialed in perfectly and shifted better than some xtr drivetrains ive tried.
    Just what did you learn in 4 years of being in bicycle sales? That's scary...and why I never bother talking to someone who is only a salesman in a bike shop.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikinfoolferlife
    Just what did you learn in 4 years of being in bicycle sales? That's scary...and why I never bother talking to someone who is only a salesman in a bike shop.
    to be honest with you i happen to be a very good salesperson. i know the retail industry and bike parts better than most people in this forum. im sure theres a handful of parts that would stump you as to their specific operation and difference in design. Shimano shifters just happened to be something i never really looked into until know after thinking about it for a few minutes.
    so my advice to you is lighten up, dont dismiss a good sales person so quickly and stop making assumptions as to my knowledge regarding the trade.
    theres always someone who knows more and there is always something to learn.

    ass.

  12. #12
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    Just one more thing...

    XTR and Dura Ace are made in Japan. all the rest...taiwan i believe. And the XTR has more bearings making it more durable for long turn performance and smooth. Shimano stats there is only a 5% performance difference is thier lines. Manufacturing tolerances materials, and forging make up a lot of the differences so you get better longevity, lighter weight, etc.

  13. #13
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    The funny thing is that IMHO SRAM makes a better if not lighter product in the XO series as opposed to the XTR stuff.
    My Bike: '03 Specialized HardRock FrankenBike
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    The funny thing is that IMHO SRAM makes a better if not lighter product in the XO series as opposed to the XTR stuff.
    The real funny thing is that my LX shifters are the same weight as the $200 XO shifters, now that's value...
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  15. #15
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    Interesting. I didn't know that. Be that as it may I say this once again: Dual Control is evil.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey
    to be honest with you i happen to be a very good salesperson. i know the retail industry and bike parts better than most people in this forum. im sure theres a handful of parts that would stump you as to their specific operation and difference in design. Shimano shifters just happened to be something i never really looked into until know after thinking about it for a few minutes.
    so my advice to you is lighten up, dont dismiss a good sales person so quickly and stop making assumptions as to my knowledge regarding the trade.
    theres always someone who knows more and there is always something to learn.

    ass.
    That's a bit harsh Jersey, one would think that someone working in a bike shop for four years, would be giving us technical advice. I think Bikinfoolferlife was just making that observation.

  17. #17
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    '98 Xtr

    I'm still running 1998 XTR 8 speed brake/shifters, 1998 XTR rapid rise rear derailleur and 1998 XTR vee brakes on one of my bikes. The vee brakes were tightened up last year, now are as slop-free as when new, the derailleur has never missed a shift and the brake/shifters work as crisply as ever. New cables every few years seems to be the only maintenance item needed.
    That and judicious lubing with Finish Line Dry. Am I just lucky, or is 1998 XTR the best gruppo ever? I took that bike (2000 Sugar 2) to Moab last September just for the helluvit and was grinning the whole time. Didn't lust after my disc brake bike(s) at all. Am I being off-thread by confessing all of this?

  18. #18
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    As I understand it the XTR shifter uses 4 balls, XT 2 balls and if I remember correctly LX uses ceramic bushings similar to XT jockey wheel bushings. I realize others in the thread have already said something similar but I hope this clarifies. I have used LX shifters 6+ days a week for the past three years in all conditions with little more than an occasional squirt of tri flow and no problems. They are very good shifters but very good doesn't mean the best.
    Last edited by OnTheMoment; 02-12-2006 at 10:37 PM.
    Off season? What off season?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey
    to be honest with you i happen to be a very good salesperson. i know the retail industry and bike parts better than most people in this forum. im sure theres a handful of parts that would stump you as to their specific operation and difference in design. Shimano shifters just happened to be something i never really looked into until know after thinking about it for a few minutes.
    so my advice to you is lighten up, dont dismiss a good sales person so quickly and stop making assumptions as to my knowledge regarding the trade.
    theres always someone who knows more and there is always something to learn.

    ass.
    Glad you have self confidence, but sorry your very question and statements in your OP tell me you are not likely able to stump me on anything bicycle related but you're welcome to try. I never even worked in a shop so you should be at an advantage here. Maybe starting with explaining some of those differences between Shimano cranksets, derailleurs and brakes....FWIW I always knew more than the salespeople in my industry because I was doing the hiring, evaluation of performance and, all too often, firing them (few knew as much as they claimed and few aspired to learn more than looking good).
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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  20. #20
    Linoleum Knife
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hecubus
    Oh and I believe the XT pods don't have Flight Deck computer attachments (not like anyone uses this anyway).
    I use this.

    All the X5X pods can use the flight deck. You remove the gear indicator and put a little gear mechanism & cover where the indicator connects. I'm actually running mine on a pair of the 752 integrated levers.

  21. #21
    I like to ride my bike.
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    Yeah, you are right. Some people just have an intrest in some things more than others, therefor, they learn more about that subject. I myself am pretty dumb when it comes to shifters, cabels, derailleurs. But am great when it comes to suspension.

    Everyone has their specilty.
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  22. #22
    SLX
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    They all work the same at first but with the ball bearings and better innards the XTR shifters wear better. The LX is still a better value cus you can get 2 pairs for 1 xtr. Chances are youll crash and kill the xtr before you wear it down.

    I broke my XT shifter and replaced it with a deore (not LX or XT or XTR!) I found in a parts bin a year ago. Worked great at first but after several thousand miles they are wearing out but still intact!. Plastic Rocks. But the flimsy shifting forces you to plan ahead and shift first so you dont get stuck in gears.

  23. #23
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    >>>>But the flimsy shifting forces you to plan ahead and shift first so you dont get stuck in gears.<<<<

    Good riding technique says you should do that anyhow.
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