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  1. #1
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    Cassettes and Shifters, SRAM vs Shimano

    Hi guys, I'm building my first new bike. I currently have XT shifters, but I am curious about the X.0 or even X-9 by Sram. I am now used to the push/pull shifting with Shimano.

    Has anyone switched over to Sram and liked it? The push/push seems weird to me now, but I am thinking of giving it a try.

    Also, for AM, do I need the 11-34 cassette or 11-32? I currently use a 22/36 in the front. Or is there another combo for cassettes that would be best for AM?

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
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    Also, for having 22/36 in the front, is Medium the right Cage Size for my rear derailleur? Will a short cage work?

  3. #3
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    I used Shimano shifters for years and didn't think I'd like the Sram push/push method very much. Recently I got a set of 08 XT shifters that allow you to upshift both ways, and I find myself shifting the Sram way more and more. I use my index finger for braking, and using my thumb I can upshift and still be on the brake. It was a pretty easy system to learn and I think it has its advantages.

    The 11-32/11-34 question is a matter of personal preference. Not really much difference in gearing btwn the two, although if you want the absolute lowest gear for when you're feeling gassed go for the 11-34. The 11-32 saves you about 30-40 grams I think.

    If you're using 22/36 and 11/34, you can use a Sram medium cage, and you might be able to get away with a Shimano medium cage. See this thread: When to use a Long Cage vs Short Cage Derailleur?

  4. #4
    LCW
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    you should try the SRAM shifters before buying... you may not like the dual thumb shifting setup on the SRAMs (X9, X0, etc.).... i thought i'd like the Shimano thumb/forefinger shifting, but when I tried the SRAM, I preferred the dual thumb... and on the trail, alows me to use my forefinger on the brake lever (single finger braking), my thumbs for shifting and still maintain three fingers wrapped around the grips for better control...

    but it's all personal preference...

    btw- i switched from 11-32 sram pg970 to an 11-34 pg990... i found it to give much better ratio spread - no having to shift to granny as often... but again, personal preference and depends on terrain you ride in, as well as physical shape to an extent....


    cheers

  5. #5
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    I may have gotten lemons a few years ago...I had XTR shifters and did they $uck. Now run X9s - unbelievably good.

  6. #6
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    You should also consider what feel you want out of em. Shimano shifters usually are a little less responsive, but much quieter when you shift (or so I experienced with my XT's). Sram shifters (like my X.9's) are very responsive (you click and BANG, its there) but are louder. My personal preference is the Sram because the shifter will stop at the end of it's run instead of allowing you to keep clicking the shifters even though you were at the end of your gears (easier to diagnose problems). Also, the Sram shifters tend to shift better under load.

    11-34 will move a heavy AM bike a little better when you get into a bind, but an 11-32 will give you more speed, so it is a preference i guess.
    "Well, now we know what NOT to do..." - Me and my Friends

  7. #7
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    Hi, thanks for all the help. My bike was at my cousin's when I posted, but I just found out the my current Heckler has the 11/32 setup which explains why I have a hard time keeping up on the long climbs we do, and also on some of the super steep single track. We had an older XTR 11/34, so I put that on, and what a difference. I am glad that I have been training on the 11/32 though, it makes me appreciate the 11/34 more. The onlly problem is that making the change is causing my chain to come off. When I get to the lowest gear, the chain keeps ending up behind the cassette and gets stuck in there. Is that from the chain length or do I now have to adjust the rear derrailer?

    Has anyone used both X-9 and X.0? I think I am going with SRAM just because I have already tried Shimano, and I want to experience both. Now I just need to make a choice between the Sram lines.

    Thanks for the comments, they are great.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by moozico
    The onlly problem is that making the change is causing my chain to come off. When I get to the lowest gear, the chain keeps ending up behind the cassette and gets stuck in there. Is that from the chain length or do I now have to adjust the rear derrailer?
    My first thought is that you should check your limit-screw settings. Does your shifting otherwise work well?

    Here are a couple of videos on Youtube showing how to adjust deraillers:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0Xt_QCHD1U
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkGBa...eature=related

    Quote Originally Posted by moozico
    Has anyone used both X-9 and X.0?
    I have X.0 on one of my bikes, just because the bike came that way. IMHO, x.9 and x.7 are really the sweet spots in terms of price and features. X.9 has zero-loss travel the same as x.0, whereas x.7 does not. With x.0, you end up spending HUGELY more money for slightly less weight You get adjustable lever position too, but how badly does anyone really need that?

    Oh, and with x.9, you get indicators on the shift levers. So if gear indicators matter to you, then don't go x.0.

    On my next bike build, I'm going to do either X.9 or XT. I'm a bit torn right now, as I like Shimano's new Shadow derailler.

  9. #9
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    I went from a bike with 01 XT, to a bike with 07 X9 and then got another bike with 07 XT. The SRAM 1:1 stuff works well, but I just preferred the push-pull option of the XT shifters. The XT rear mech is a tad slower than the X9 because of the longer cable loop (but I *think* this has been addressed in a more recent XT iteration?)

  10. #10
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    +1 on the '08 XT shifters. Th puch method makes shifting while braking MUCH easier but I still prefer the normal pull method when not braking. AND, they have a removable optical gear display so they can be run inboard OR outboard of the brake levers. Best of both words, IMO.

  11. #11
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    I just finished building my first bike and I took the advice of a friend and went with sram xo grip shifters cuz I found a great deal. i will never go back to shimano or even trgger shifters. The grips give you incredible play with your gears. Instead of having gears 1,2,3, ect.; you have two extra clicks between gears to tweak any rubbing going on. Awesome!!

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