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  1. #1
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    Shifters: LX M580 vs XT M770 vs XTR M970

    I'm trying to build a bike for someone else and bought an LX M580 shifter set on Jenson for cheap. It's a 1x9 setup so I'm only using the 9sp rear shifter. I'm really unhappy with the thumb lever throw - it just takes a ridiculous amount of throw to get the first click. By comparison, my old XT shifter (SL-M751) gets the first click in like 60% of the motion of the LX. Can anybody compare the XT M770 with the LX M580? Are the XT M770 and XTR M970 about the same in lever throw when using your thumb? If I have to push the thumb lever until I'm under the finger trigger to get the first click, that is not acceptable.

    Any help so I don't have to buy all 3 and then start sending things back?

  2. #2
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    The LX (and the SLX shifters for that matter) have a fairly long throw. I think the older XT 751 or XTR 752 shifter pods would be a better option over the new LX or SLX. Although I have ridden and tried the SLX (and was not impressed) I have yet to try the new XT 770. I have equipped two different bikes with the XTR 970 though, and I can tell you that it is noticeably better than the older XT and XTR and I would consider them the best shifter I have used over the past 26 years of riding.

    I have heard that the XT 770 is similar but without the alloy levers, and without the multi-gear shift capability. There is a thread somewhere on the forum outlining the procedure for modifying the XT for multi-shift capability, although the results appear to be spotty and not as consistent as the XTR 970. The ability to run through several gears at one lever throw is nice for a 1x9 which is what I run personally. I have never been a big fan of paying the extra $$ for XTR over XT, but with respect to the shifters and rear derailleurs I think the performance value is compelling enough to warrant the higher price for the 970 XTR.

  3. #3
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    The geometry of the 770 and 970 shifters is very similar, and much better than the 580 IMO. I've found the 970 to be much smoother, as well as lighter action and more precise. The 770 feels slightly more vague. I modified a 770 and get good reliability out of it, but not the same feel as my 970. The 970 also lasts longer; the 770 starts to get sloppy and wears out sooner.

    To answer your question directly, I'd say that you need the same stroke to get the shift out of the 770 and 970, which is a fair bit less than the 580, but the 970 moves through that stroke with less effort and more smoothness.

  4. #4
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    So, apart from the lever throw and relative lack of smoothness, the 580 is fairly good? That is to say they will reliably shift but just without some of the refined feel of the higher end shifters?
    "Bikes aren't fast--people are fast. Bikes are overpriced. It's an important distinction."---BikeSnob NYC

  5. #5
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    I like the feel of my Sram Attack (shimano compatible) better than LX/SLX level shimano shifters. They should be a lot cheaper for you, since you can get the rear shifter by itself.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrantB
    So, apart from the lever throw and relative lack of smoothness, the 580 is fairly good? That is to say they will reliably shift but just without some of the refined feel of the higher end shifters?
    Hey GrantB, I posted in your other thread to give you a link to XT shifter deals. I meant to get back to you over there. Seems you really don't want to have to spend the extra $50 for XT. Now that you've read a number of people who prefer XT via both threads, I think the best advice would be to think about how much shifting you do during your rides. I happen to live where I ride a bunch of short rolling hills. I generally only shift one or two gears up or down, and not that often. I don't race, and ride really slow. Maybe I wouldn't need the added performance benefits. If you ride in such a way as to require top-notch shifting, you should upgrade. If you just want something that works, and need the extra $50 elsewhere, then you should go with LX.

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