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  1. #1
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    Am I a fool to buy an entire XTR group?

    I am in the process of purchasing a new frame, fork, group, etc., etc. In the end it will all add up to a complete bike. I live on the Colorado Front Range and typically ride 5-6 days per week with slightly less than half of the riding on my MTB. I race my MTB about every other weekend during the summer months but consider myself more interested in XC riding than XC racing.

    My question is: Am I a fool to buy an entire XTR grouppo or are there better manufacturers to be spending my cash on (e.g. Hope, Magura, SRAM, DT Swiss, others I am unfamiliar with). The main benefit I see to the XTR group is that I know it will work relatively well and I don't have to scour the internet every night for the next month or two to familiarize myself with all of my other options. Any opinions on what you would do? Cost is not such an obstacle but the time required to research what to buy is an obstacle.

    Right now my thoughts are:
    Wheels Options:
    Industry 9 Ultralight (don't know anything about Stan's ZTR rims so I am leery about them)
    Mavic Crossmax SLR: I assume like most Mavic products they will take a pounding and they won't break.
    XTR Wheelset: They look trick but an $800 wheelset with $250 XTR hubs. Stupid?

    Brakes, Shifters, Crankset, Derailleurs, Cassette: XTR

    Thanks for your time.

  2. #2
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    If you have the money why not? You could mix and match or go with an SRAM drive train but that's all a matter of personal preference.

    If you're considering whats the best then XTR isn't too shabby. There's not much out there that's better. I'm not familiar with the newer XTR brakes but you might want to consider Magura Marta as an option.

    As for wheels I hear the Industry 9 is about as light as they get. But for reliability I would choose the Crossmax SLR because of their reputation. The XTR wheelset might be overpriced considering other options.

    Also, the new XTR 970 crankset rock from what I read (Titanium and Carbon super light).
    The XTR Cassette is the best out there
    I like the look of the new shifters and derailleurs.

  3. #3
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    I'm on the new XTR and love it! The shifting was almost too fast at first, the cable releases very fast, and you can shift up shift two shifts with one lever throw. I love the new SRAM style trigger. The brakes are nice too, but not as nice as Juicy 7's. I have my hardtail built up with XO, and my FS is XTR. You really cann't go wrong at this level of components. Overall, I like the more positive shifting of SRAM, and I like the Juicy 7's alot more. If the XTR brakes had a pad contact adjustment it would be a little closer comparison. If you decide on the Juicy's, I like the feel of the standard alloy lever better than the carbon ones, its like 10 g difference. Just my two cents.

  4. #4
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    I think if you want light and fast then XTR drive train is the way to go. (I personally don't like mixes cause I beleive the Shimano engineers are smarter and better than me).

    I would not include the wheelset in the above, just cause the Mavic is a very good, so I would make that decision separate from the drive train.

  5. #5
    Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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    Hmmm

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyK
    I But for reliability I would choose the Crossmax SLR because of their reputation. The XTR wheelset might be overpriced considering other options.
    Mavic Wheels are about as overpriced as they come. The old XTR wheels were a pretty good deal. I'm not familiar with the pricing on the new wersion though.
    Also Mavic wheels require specialized parts and generally have to sent into the factory for service.

    Pre-built wheels are generally bad news.
    *** --- *** --- ***

  6. #6
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    My Experiences

    I owned a pair of the 1st generation Crossmax wheels and they were bombproof. I did bend some spokes on the rear wheel when my upper derailleur pulley screw backed out and got caught in them and took out 4 spokes. I bought new spokes from my local bike ship and laced them in. The wheels never failed. And I pitched them in the trash when I wore through the sidewall two years later. I easily got the $600 I paid for them out of them. The new versions are quite a bit different but is it common for them to fail? The spokes look like they would be really easy to replace from the pictures.

    I have also had wheels made from every generation of XTR hub and both Mavic and DT rims that I have built myself. They all worked ok but were nothing special. My first pair of DT-Swiss rims were warrantee replaced when the rims shredded (metal shards were literally getting gouged out of the sidewall from my brake pads). DT replaced them for free but I had to ship them back ($20), buy new nipples ($30) and rebuild them. My road bike has DT-Swiss 240 hubs, revolution spokes and RR1.1 rims. The front rim is not flat at the weld and my front brake grabs hard every time the pads hits that area. So overall, I am not too impressed with their rims. Their hubs, well who notices a hub unless it fails or looks pretty? I have built up lots of wheels with Mavic rims, and in addition to being very round and true out of the box, they also seem durable. Are their pre-built wheels different?

  7. #7
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    I am not really driven by low cost.

    Mavic Crossmax XL rear 2006 and Crossmax SL front 2006.

    Light tight and bombproof, I have tighten a couple of spokes on the XL, Original bearings lasted 6000 km, now on ceramic hybrids probably out at 2000 km on them. New XL rear free body.

    All LBS carry spokes, and can order in hubs

  8. #8
    Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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    Just Personal Preference But...

    Pre-built wheels are just blah. Just like built bikes are blah and cookie cutter frames are blah.
    Quality is fair but they are generally heavier and more expensive than wheels you build yourself (or have a competent builder assemble).
    I'm a cheapskate. I could never justify $600 for a set of wheels, not when I can get some built for half that that will be lighter and last just as long or longer.
    Maybe Mavic's repair policy has changed or maybe its just local reps in the area, but several different shops wouldn't supply replacement parts for both Crossmax and Crossride wheels. They had to be sent in to Mavic for spoke replacement and freehub maintanence. One of my buddies was without his rear wheel for 6 weeks.
    *** --- *** --- ***

  9. #9
    MC MasterShake
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    If money was not an issue for an XC bike I'd:
    -Go with XTR for Drivetrain (Cranks, Der's, shifters, chain)
    -Go with either Hope Mono's or Avid Ultimates (I've heard that XT and XTR brakes are so so)
    -Go with a custom built DT Swiss 4.1 rims and I9 hubs by a reputable wheel builder. (Custom wheels are the bomb. Stiffer, stronger, more reliable than pre-built).

    I'm going for light and reliable vs. the lightest I can find.

  10. #10
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    You definitely need wipperman titanium chain. It is only $300 and fit nicely with $1000 I9 wheels.

  11. #11
    President Skroob
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    For both my Stumpy race bike and Soma 29er I used wheel builders. I paid I think 700 bucks for a set of Speed Dreams by Dave (he is local for me though) and for my Soma I dropped 900 but got two sets from MC (one heavy duty for training one light for epic rides). I prefer to use small builders since they have the time to a customize the set to your riding style, size, type of trails, even type of bike you will use them for.

    Plus anything I can do to help out the little business guy, I try to. Ignore my specialized frame.

  12. #12
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    If money is plentiful?

    X.0 triggers and mid cage rear derailleur
    Formula Oro Puro discs front and rear
    XTR cranks
    XTR cassette
    Wipperman chain
    For wheels: King or Hope hubs with DT rims.

  13. #13
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    Are I9 hubs proven? Have they been tested over the course the past 5-10+ years? I thought they only have been around for a year or so.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by E46_M3
    ......Cost is not such an obstacle ......

    Wheels Options:
    Industry 9 Ultralight (don't know anything about Stan's ZTR rims so I am leery about them)
    If price was no object these would be my choice or Kings

    Mavic Crossmax SLR: I assume like most Mavic products they will take a pounding and they won't break.
    They are nice for sure and durable to a point after all they are race wheels. If you have cracked rims before you will crack these

    XTR Wheelset: They look trick but an $800 wheelset with $250 XTR hubs. Stupid?
    Ya at $800 the I-9 seem like a better buy. But they do use their cool looking splined rotor and probably the fastest rolling wheels out there on their ceramic balls.

    Brakes,
    If you look at the German torque tests the '07 xtr test near the top, if you look at the British torque test they test near the bottom. Just goes to show you even 'objective' tests can have different opinions. To me Shimano brakes are great they just lack some 'bling' when compared to Hopes or red anodized Maguras.

    Shifters,
    I've alway preferred trigger shifters and like the index finger shifting of the Shimano over the Sram.

    Crankset,
    Price is no object for sure it would be these

    Derailleurs, Cassette: XTR

    Thanks for your time.
    .....

  15. #15
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    The following is my setup and why I recommend it, your millage may vary:

    For cassette don't use XTR unless you're a lightweight person and not a clyde cuz those big Ti cogs aren't built as tough as the steel cogs, for clydes use XT instead. Sram cassettes are generally heavier than their Shimano counterparts.

    Chain again I'll go with XTR for max torque capability at 300kg・f・cm whereas the weight weenie stuff like KMC SLs or SRAM PC-89R can only do 250kg・f・cm or less.

    Wheels I like Mavic Crossmax, they rarely need any truing and straight as an aero. Their hubs aren't very reliable tho you gotta mineral oil lube the freehub body every once a while (I have yet to lube mine and it has done 1500km problem free). The old XTR wheelset should be very strong too due to its high tension spokes design.

    Brakes I like Magura Martas due to their nice feel and modulation, becareful that not every shop actually knows how to bleed Maguras properly so only goto an authorized dealership or ask around.

    My bike is full XTR too (952 RD and RF Shifters, 960 Crankset and FD, SP41 cableset)aside from the XT cassette, Marta brakes and Crossmax SL wheels, they work like a charm!

  16. #16
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    One thing to keep in mind if you get into the XTR family of parts is that the replacement
    parts are "moocho" expensive just like the assemblies .

    I had the tension spring in my rear XTR derailer brake .
    When I enquired about the replacement spring price I went .
    How about using an XT spring then ?
    They are a lot less money then XTR ones .
    Nope , not compatible .

    I could be wrong but I understand the same is true with some (all?) XTR cranksets . You have to use XTR replacement sprockets as well .

    This is kinda like marrying the Godfathers daughter , your not just marrying into the family , your marrying the whole Mafia

  17. #17
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    Yes. Crazy.

    I changed from XTR to SRAM for the rear derailleur last year. What a difference. 1:1 shifting is the way to go. Of course this means XO or X9 triggers, and that means separate levers for the brakes (I was running gripshift anyways).

    If racing is not the ultimate goal, go with XT parts. Cheaper, more plentiful, and you don't give up much in terms of weight.

    Good wheels are the key to a bike. I am still running Campy 8 speed on the road, and I have a set of hubs on their third set of rims (since 1995, they must have 30000km or more on them, maybe this year 10 speeds? Then again, nothing wrong with them).

    In fact, you could buy a XT/717 set of wheels for the weekdays ($250ish and 1900grams), and a set of American Classic/Stan's ZTR's for the weekend races ($650ish and 1400grams) for almost the same price as 1 set of mavic Crossmax SLR's ($1000 and 1550 grams) and still save 150 grams on your race set! And run lighter tires! And have two wheelsets! And not pay $20 for a new spoke! And support your local wheelbuilder! OR do it yourself and have the bragging rights!

    But the SLRs are very posh. Carbon fiber hub! Just the thing for mountain biking.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccaddy
    One thing to keep in mind if you get into the XTR family of parts is that the replacement
    parts are "moocho" expensive just like the assemblies .

    I had the tension spring in my rear XTR derailer brake .
    When I enquired about the replacement spring price I went .
    How about using an XT spring then ?
    They are a lot less money then XTR ones .
    Nope , not compatible .

    I could be wrong but I understand the same is true with some (all?) XTR cranksets . You have to use XTR replacement sprockets as well .

    This is kinda like marrying the Godfathers daughter , your not just marrying into the family , your marrying the whole Mafia
    thats only true for pre 07 cranksets, the 07s have a standard bolt pattern

  19. #19
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    i don't have money.

    i'm running SRAM shifters and rear derailleur with an XTR front.

    but it's good.

    just real expensive.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shayne
    Pre-built wheels are just blah. Just like built bikes are blah and cookie cutter frames are blah.
    Quality is fair but they are generally heavier and more expensive than wheels you build yourself (or have a competent builder assemble).
    I'm a cheapskate. I could never justify $600 for a set of wheels, not when I can get some built for half that that will be lighter and last just as long or longer.
    Maybe Mavic's repair policy has changed or maybe its just local reps in the area, but several different shops wouldn't supply replacement parts for both Crossmax and Crossride wheels. They had to be sent in to Mavic for spoke replacement and freehub maintanence. One of my buddies was without his rear wheel for 6 weeks.
    the crossmax series are all ust double wall rims so you can use ust tires without rim strips
    the slr are racing rims the st all mtn, deemax DH Ive had nothing but good luck with my xls, so I just ordered a set of sts. they changed the hub this year and made them lighter and stronger. If youre worried about breaking a spoke you can allways buy a couple and keep them in your toolbox, Ive used my xls for a year and a half and ahve been checking the spokes with a tensiometer after allmost every ride . results are no noticable change, straight , true and solid.
    you can also get the mp3 warranty at the time of purchase , no questions asked replacement , for mine it was $59

    PS what width tire do you run? becaause the sl series only goes to 2.1

  21. #21
    dog meat ankles
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan0
    you can also get the mp3 warranty at the time of purchase , no questions asked replacement , for mine it was $59
    it's awesome.

    trash a wheel.

    free replacement.

    no questions.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaLegba
    it's awesome.

    trash a wheel.

    free replacement.

    no questions.
    you could even run over it

  23. #23
    what nice teeth you have
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    xtr drivetrain sounds great.

    My friends are into mavic 717 rims on dt revolution spokes with chirs king hubs and having it built by local builders. And for some reason they like to use purple nipples.

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