My son's mudbike, his former race bike, is an old M2 frame. It has a lot of XT on it and when last used had his new DT Swiss Chris King wheels and nice bits.
When he moved onto his Yeti Arc the M2 got the left-overs which included a nice Marz Bomber shock. His 8-speed chain and cassette finally gave way and I moved to 9-speed, Deore cassette and LX 9-sped shifters. The XT shifters still had a a lot of life in them but cut my losses.
After I went to the more modest level I added about a pound of weight for economy's sake. I'm sure the LX stuff will be durable and effective but the whole weight thing was amazing.
Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups
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Thread: Just changed to 9 speed