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  1. #1
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    CRASH Course in SRAM/Shimano requested...

    Hi,

    I am new to mountain bike riding and have a few questions.

    I just bought a low end giant revel and have the option to upgrade whole bike to better bike.
    I am trying to figure out what sram/shimano shifters, derailers,etc... are equivalent or what is the hiearchy?

    It seems so confusing to me , I do IT support and thier marketing reminds me of how intel markets thier i3,i5,i7 processors because depending on what i7 processor you get it , a i5 processor can actually out perform the i7...

    I am wanting to upgrade to a better componentry bike, I dont really care about name brand, although the store I bought the bike from I am limited to Giant or Kona mountain bikes.

    I will only be a medium grade/ intermiate user, no competitions, expert mntn biking etc.. as I am older guy and still out of shape but want to make a good, long lasting purchase with smooth solid shifter, brakes, derailers,etc...

    The sram shifters appear to be xx1,xx,xo,x9 etc.. descending to lowest grade?
    the front and rear derailers appear to be related by same? xx,xo,x9,etc...
    Is this correct? What is rule for compatibilty? if they are made for same cassete? 10, 9,8, etc...?

    Shimano I really know even less about.

    Thanks,

    Wayne

  2. #2
    Plays with tools
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    Shimano is XTR, XT, SLX, Deore

    SRAM is XX, XO, X9, X7, X5, there is also XX1 that runs parallel to XX and XO, it's not better or worse than those groups, just different.

    There are a ton of threads discussing the pro's and con's of each system.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    There are a ton of threads discussing the pro's and con's of each system.
    Agree in concept.

    To quickly summarize though:

    1. Components are nearly always lighter in the higher trim levels compared to lower.

    2. Some features are found only on higher-end models.

    3. Faster, less clunky shifting is a typical benefit of higher-end models.

    4. Brakes definitely get better when you get more expensive.

  4. #4
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    Summary
    (~= "Roughly equivalent to")

    XX ~= XTR (Top end)
    X0 ~= XT (High end)
    X9 ~= SLX (Performance)
    X7 ~= Deore (Entry)
    X5 ~= Alivio (Recreational)
    ~= Acera (8 speed)

    Hierarchy
    SRAM
    Price : XX > X0 > X9 > X7
    Weight : XX < X0 < X9 < X7
    Features : XX > X0 > X9 > X7
    Functionality : XX = X0 = X9 = X7
    Looks (Aesthetics) : XX > X0 > X9 > X7

    Shimano
    Price : XTR > XT > SLX > Deore
    Weight : XTR < XT < SLX < Deore
    Features : XTR > XT > SLX > Deore
    Functionality : XTR = XT = SLX = Deore
    Looks (Aesthetics) : XTR > XT > SLX > Deore

    Compatibility (Shimano/SRAM)
    Front Derailleur/Shifter : Yes (2x or 3x)
    Rear Derailleur/Shifter : No (Different actuations ratio)
    Cranks : Yes*
    Chain : Yes*
    Cassette : Yes*
    Brakes : Yes**
    * Relative to the number of gears
    ** Not match maker compatible

    Performance Characteristics
    Shifting:
    SRAM - Has a more positive feel when shifted. Springs feel tighter and shifts land with a characteristic "clunk".

    Shimano - "Softer" shifting than their SRAM counterparts. Shifts tend to sound crisp rather than thuddy. Springs feel lighter.

    Cranks:
    SRAM - Uses either GXP or BB30 standard which are compatible with PF30, BB30 bottom brackets or GXP outer bearing bottom bracket depending on which cranks are purchased. BB30/PF30 cranks are very stiff and well made but can be a challenge to fit properly. The use of non standard chain rings (other than 104BCD) on SRAM cranks can make it a challenge when trying to find replacement parts. Newer SRAM cranks have replaceable spiders which can add to the customizability of the crank to fit just about any setup. On average SRAM cranks tend to be more expensive than their counterparts.

    Shimano - Cranks use Hollowtech II 24mm spindle standard which are compatible with either Hollowtech II compatible outer bearing bottom brackets or PF92 bottom brackets and are not available in BB30/PF30. XT and SLX cranks tend to be more value oriented than their SRAM counterparts. Shimano cranks generally use standard dimensions for chainring (104BCD) which makes it easier to find replacement parts. Fitting to a frame is usually not very difficult. XTR cranks tend to be very expensive relative to what's out there. In the past XTR have been known to use proprietary standards making fit and finding replacement parts more difficult.

    Brakes:
    SRAM - Brakes are light weight but lack modulation and feel compared to that of the competition. Tend to squeal after use and can be a bit of a challenge to get dialed in. Uses DOT fluid which performs well in just about all temperatures but can strip paint off parts and poses health risks if not handled properly

    Shimano - Brakes are slightly heavier than average but have a very nice feel. They are easily dialed in and rarely if ever squeal when installed properly. Stopping power is as good as their SRAM counterparts. Uses Mineral oil which is relatively safe depending on what additives where added to increase the boiling point of the fluid. Drawbacks is that mineral oil can loose performance in cold weather
    Last edited by Lemonaid; 07-12-2013 at 11:52 AM.

  5. #5
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    ALL, Thanks so much fo rthe replies!
    Now I have a good baseline to start investigating as I had no knowledge of brands/series until now!

    Much Appreciated.

    Thanks, Wayne

  6. #6
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    Informative thread, especially Lemonaid's post.

    When shopping for a new bike, I wouldn't worry too much about what drivetrain components it comes with. You will end up wearing them out or breaking them and replacing them eventually anyway.

    Shop for a good frame and fork. Forks are expensive and last a long time, so it is something you will have to live with.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisF View Post
    Informative thread, especially Lemonaid's post.

    When shopping for a new bike, I wouldn't worry too much about what drivetrain components it comes with. You will end up wearing them out or breaking them and replacing them eventually anyway.
    I agree, as long as you get your preferred configuration from the start. Upgrading parts as they wear out is cheap, until you decide you want to trash your 3x8 system for a 2x10. That gets expensive, so make sure it comes with 2x10 or XX1 or 3x9 or whatever from the start, so you don't have to upgrade (most) everything all at once.

    I'm running XO rear derailleur and shifters, X9 front derailleur, X7 cranks, and 1050 cassette on one bike - X9 rear derailleur and shifters, X7 front derailleur, X5 cranks, and 1030 cassette on another (one step down at every level). Love the crap out of both rigs. SRAM > Shimano (just my opinion).

  8. #8
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    Good point Gritter. Sorry, it won't let me rep you again.

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