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Thread: Shimano vs SRAM

  1. #1
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    Shimano vs SRAM

    Hi guys

    I am a bit confused by the number of different versions in drive trains between shimano and SRAM. Shimano has basically 2 ( xt and xtr). SRAM has more (x9, xo, xx).
    At competitive cyclist, xo is about same price as xt. XX is more and finally xtr is most expensive.

    Is there a good summary table outlining pros and cons of each set? Xtr is rather expensive, but would it be worth combining with some xt parts? Given price, is XO a better setup than XT?

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Former Bike Wrench
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    Shimano =SRAM

    XTR = XX/XO
    XT = X9
    SLX = X7
    Deore = X5
    Alivio = X4

    There are more but that covers it for most riders

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlange
    Hi guys

    I am a bit confused by the number of different versions in drive trains between shimano and SRAM. Shimano has basically 2 ( xt and xtr). SRAM has more (x9, xo, xx).
    At competitive cyclist, xo is about same price as xt. XX is more and finally xtr is most expensive.

    Is there a good summary table outlining pros and cons of each set? Xtr is rather expensive, but would it be worth combining with some xt parts? Given price, is XO a better setup than XT?

    Cheers
    Whether SRAM or Shimano is better is mostly personal preference. Both work well, in slightly different ways.

    I have trouble justifying buying anything higher than X-9/XT level and even X-7/SLX works great.
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  4. #4
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    +1 for they both work well and X9/XT is more than adequate for the vast majority.

    Been using XTR cassettes lately for less weight and reduced stress on freehub body (waited until sale prices le$$ened the PAIN); otherwise SRAM drive train and chains on both my 29er's. D'oh- I just put an XTR chain on my DS bike come to think of it I ride it like 75% of the time.

    I have X7 everything on my HT and primarily X9 (X7 F der.) on my DS. Both work just fine through ~500 miles of riding so far this year and somewhere around 1300+ miles last year.

  5. #5
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    Ford vs. Chevy.

    I run all Shimano on my bikes, and everything works PERFECTLY. But I will admit that the machined surfaces on Sram components make my Shimano gear look like Tinker Toys. My solution is that I don't park my bike close to Sram equipped bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyIron
    Ford vs. Chevy.

    I run all Shimano on my bikes, and everything works PERFECTLY. But I will admit that the machined surfaces on Sram components make my Shimano gear look like Tinker Toys. My solution is that I don't park my bike close to Sram equipped bikes.
    well said lol

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    I hate sram triggers, push/push just doesn't do it for me. I love grip shifts and shimano triggers.
    The xx trigger is the exception for sram shifters. The adjustable position of the upshift trigger is the best feature sram has come out with in a long time. Hope it trickles down.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ratmonkey
    I hate sram triggers, push/push just doesn't do it for me. I love grip shifts and shimano triggers.
    The xx trigger is the exception for sram shifters. The adjustable position of the upshift trigger is the best feature sram has come out with in a long time. Hope it trickles down.
    My xo shifters have it.

  9. #9
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    I personally cant stand shimano shifters, think the whole trigger thing is garbage sram xo for me im affraid easy to set up very direct and stays that way. the shifters are the best available in my opinion push push and in the perfect position, rear mech is also superb and very easy to set. i would never go to shimano again i have it in my DH bike and cant wait to get rid of it.

  10. #10
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    Like others have said, I dont think you can really go wrong with either choice. I have a hodge podge of sram/shimano stuff on my 3 bikes- road, cross, and mtb. They all seem to do fine.

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    I love both and run both on both my bikes, but I lean towards shimano. Can't complain about the Saints.

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    Run both and like them both. Have to give the edge to Sram. Not because it shifts better. Just like the shifters a little better. And that could be familiarity. I have my controls set with shifters closer to the grips (for one finger braking) And rotated so I can push with my thumb and pull with my middle finger, without changing hand position too much.
    As far as X9 vs XO goes. The XO has a more positive feel. Again my perception. However,on the trail when theres a lot going on. You'd be hard pressed to notice a difference.

  13. #13
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    I have full XTR on one bike and XO/X9 on the 29er. I really like the Shimano triggers a little better than the SRAM, but like others have said I too think it's just because of familiarity...both will get the job done.
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    If your on a budget, and trying to upgrade your ride, is it better to go with Sram or Shimano?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tealtrack View Post
    If your on a budget, and trying to upgrade your ride, is it better to go with Sram or Shimano?
    It depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Last year when I built my Lenz I was able to get a complete 2010 9spd X0 drivetrain for less than a 2011 X9 drivetrain. I ended up going that way because the crankset I was interested in (RaceFace) wasn't going to be available. I'll probably put another year on this equipment and then look at upgrading.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyIron View Post
    Ford vs. Chevy.
    There's something funny about comparing Japanese drivetrain components to American cars...but well-said nonetheless. People have been debating Shimano vs SRAM for years and no one's come out with a definitive answer, and honestly they probably never will. Most of it is preference. As for ponying up for XTR...unless you're racing a lot, XT or X9 should be more than enough. Sure, they're slightly heavier and slightly less technologically advanced, but they're the true workhorses in my opinion.
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  17. #17
    Mountain Man Dan
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    Best quote of the thread.

    But I will admit that the machined surfaces on Sram components make my Shimano gear look like Tinker Toys. My solution is that I don't park my bike close to Sram equipped bikes.
    The bike is nothing more then circles turning circles, It's the human motor that makes it elegant.

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    I ride both, full XT on the XC bike and sram on the dh. To me the shimano stuff feels more solid, but the shifting on the sram x9s on the dh bike are way faster but feel "flimsier" like i could break it off or something.

  19. #19
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    I have all XO on one bike and all XTR on the other. Well, not all XTR...I run a SRAM chain and XX cassette.

    I actually prefer the XTR but they both perform nicely.

  20. #20
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    is it worth to spend the money on a xtr, 1080 or xx cassette? are there much more weight savings with xt or sram 1070 cassettes?

  21. #21
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    XT/X.9 or SLX/X.7 are a pretty solid level of components. XTR/X0/XX are lighter and are slightly more refined. If you ride hard enough to brake drivetrain parts then you'll want to go with the lower level parts. I remember snapping an XO der. 1 week after putting it on. I was very glad I got it used.

    As far as Shimano vs. Sram goes Shimano has the Shadow der which doesn't stick out like the SRAM does. This is fantastic if you live in rocky areas. I used to go through a der. a season and 3 or 4 hangers a season. I've had my Shadow der for 2+ years now and no damaged hangers.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ban View Post
    is it worth to spend the money on a xtr, 1080 or xx cassette? are there much more weight savings with xt or sram 1070 cassettes?
    Based on what I've read (I haven't used XX so I can't speak for how it feels) unless you are using all the components (shifters, deraileurs, crankset, cassette and chain) it is not worth using them as they are engineered to work together. I've ridden various Shimano components over the years and personally don't like the way they shitft/feel. Part of that is because of their 2:1 actuation ratio vs. the direct 1:1 of the SRAM. I've ridden X.7, X.9 and X.0 components and can vouch that they all work very well, and as you move up the line I've noticed that there is a little more refinement in each. If you're concerned about weight, but don't necissarily want the replacement cost of the X.0, go with X.9, or even mix X.7 shifters and front derailleur with X.9 rear. There is nothing wrong with mixing components, as long as yo ustick to SRAM or Shimano throughout except in the case of front derailleurs.

    One thing I will say is that I wrecked during a vacation to the U.P. of Michigan last year snapping the barrel adjuster off my X0 shifter. Not only was I able to continue riding/shifting without issue (not possible with Shimano from what I've been told), I was able to get a replacement adjuster. In fact, I didn't even notice that the barrel adjuster was broken off until I was home cleaning my bike. My understanding with the Shimano shifters is that if you break a part off the XT/XTR shifters not only do things get a bit out of wack but you can't always replace the broken part costeffectively.

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    I have peasant grade SRAM X5 group. Today I went OTB and my rear derailleur ended up in my spokes. I literally yanked it out once and miraculously hit the sweet spot and didnt miss a shift for the entire rest of the ride. I dont know if I was just lucky or what, but I am happy with my setup.

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    My bike came mix matched. Sram shifters, sram rear deraileur, shimano cassete and shimano front deraileur.. then they decide to put a p.o.s suntour crankset on witch is going to a raceface evolve this week. But i like both shimano and sram. Gotta love rockshox too thats a sram product. Those things can take a real beating!

  25. #25
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    Might pick up a new bike and it comes with X7 shifters....but on a test ride on another bike, I prefer the SLX shifters since I can use my thumb and index fingers to up/down shift. Anyone else share the same opinion? Seems like it would be faster to shift on the SLX. This new bike is my first upgrade in a long long time....coming from grip shifters.

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    Ended up doing xt rear d, slx cranks, deore 9 speed shifters, and a pc991 chain on a 29er specific cassette.... seems to work pretty good... little surprised to the cost of this stuff, knowing now what I know, should have just spent 2,000 on a fully set up bike......

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    I have full SLX 3 x 9 on my 26er HT and X7 2 x 10 with X0 crank on my 29er HT. Both seem to work equally well.

    The SRAM shifters seems smoother, I'm talking about the way the shift lever pivots when you make a shift, not the actual shifting of gears.

    Feels like the SRAM shifters pivots on bearings whereas the Shimano makes do with a plastic bushing or something.

  28. #28
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    Old thread, happens when you use the search function

    Quote Originally Posted by tracke30m3 View Post
    I have full SLX 3 x 9 on my 26er HT and X7 2 x 10 with X0 crank on my 29er HT. Both seem to work equally well.

    The SRAM shifters seems smoother, I'm talking about the way the shift lever pivots when you make a shift, not the actual shifting of gears.

    Feels like the SRAM shifters pivots on bearings whereas the Shimano makes do with a plastic bushing or something.
    The newest SRAM shifters XO and X9 do pivot on real ball bearings, and it's the reason I went with them. The rear derailleurs XO, X9, and X7 are now "Type 2 Roller Clutch" which makes chain-slap a thing of the past, and they have this neat little "lock" to hold up the pulleys for easier maintenance. I love that little "lock" function.

    After shelling out a ton of money for Shimano's Alfine 11 speed system, and how terribly sloppy and whack that shifter feels, I vowed never to give Shimano another cent (if I can help it). I've went full-on SRAM, and it's been a great decision. I realize Æleven I.G.H. isn't their "high-end" stuff, but it was expensive, but felt like Acera or worse. I just can't support a company who makes such low quality componentry for such high prices.

    My favorite disc brakes are AVID BB7's, so matching up the drivetrain with the stoptrain works very well together.

    Except for that stupid Alfine Æleven set-up (currently in the warranty abyss, waiting for Shimano to fix their crappy hub while my bike is immobile and an eyesore), I have ZERO Shimano parts hanging on any of the other four bikes. No Shimano chains, pedals, shoes, cleats, hats, shirts, hubs, freehub bodies, brakes, gears, nothing. I boycott Shimano.

    Does AVID even make super-low-end-department-store components? I don't think so. Even X3 components are way better than those "Shimano equipped" bikes at Walmart.

    SRAM's AVID shares the same name as AVID's Pro Tools music software - though I don't think they're related. I prefer similarities to Digital Audio Workstations, as opposed to fishing reels, but that's just me.

    As soon as that Æleven hub comes back from warranty so I can SELL IT, my entire stable will be completely free of anything from Shimano.

    Forever SRAM,

    Gritter

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gritter View Post
    The newest SRAM shifters XO and X9 do pivot on real ball bearings, and it's the reason I went with them. The rear derailleurs XO, X9, and X7 are now "Type 2 Roller Clutch" which makes chain-slap a thing of the past, and they have this neat little "lock" to hold up the pulleys for easier maintenance. I love that little "lock" function.

    After shelling out a ton of money for Shimano's Alfine 11 speed system, and how terribly sloppy and whack that shifter feels, I vowed never to give Shimano another cent (if I can help it). I've went full-on SRAM, and it's been a great decision. I realize Æleven I.G.H. isn't their "high-end" stuff, but it was expensive, but felt like Acera or worse. I just can't support a company who makes such low quality componentry for such high prices.

    My favorite disc brakes are AVID BB7's, so matching up the drivetrain with the stoptrain works very well together.

    Except for that stupid Alfine Æleven set-up (currently in the warranty abyss, waiting for Shimano to fix their crappy hub while my bike is immobile and an eyesore), I have ZERO Shimano parts hanging on any of the other four bikes. No Shimano chains, pedals, shoes, cleats, hats, shirts, hubs, freehub bodies, brakes, gears, nothing. I boycott Shimano.

    Does AVID even make super-low-end-department-store components? I don't think so. Even X3 components are way better than those "Shimano equipped" bikes at Walmart.

    SRAM's AVID shares the same name as AVID's Pro Tools music software - though I don't think they're related. I prefer similarities to Digital Audio Workstations, as opposed to fishing reels, but that's just me.

    As soon as that Æleven hub comes back from warranty so I can SELL IT, my entire stable will be completely free of anything from Shimano.

    Forever SRAM,

    Gritter
    Yes, Avid makes some stuff that defines low end. I'm not sure if you're talking about "Walmart low end" or "real mountain bike low end", but their Elixir 1 brakes are pretty awful and the #1 reason I exchanged the bike I first bought when getting into mountain biking.

    Say what you want about Shimano, but at the very least their brakes are top notch.

  30. #30
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    Iv had experience with both shimano xt/slx and sram x9. I would go with shimano because i found the quality, function and feel much better especially with the brakes. I live in canada so me an my "crew" ride pretty much all winter #screwsnow lol, and yeah when i rode with elixer5 brakes by sram they were losing alot of power in the wet and squelling a whole lot. On the other hand when i was running with deore brakes they still lost power the same way as the elixers but didnt squell at all, and ooooh it was wet alright. For the shifting performance alot of sram users will bash on the trigger style shifting with your index finger, but there sorta forgetting the fact that with most shimano brakes from i think deore and up, when shifting to a higher gear you can trigger the upshift lever or push it with your thumb like a sram shifter. For the performance of the derailer the xt was a bit faster especially in the lower gears and there was far less chain slap because of the cluch system. I find alot of people go with sram just because the looks, but really the only thing i find that sram has really masterd that i would lile to try out is the new xx1 drivetrain, aagain mostly because of there looks. But whatever its most importantly about preferance those are just my own opinions. .... .. caugh caugh chose shimano lol

    Sorry for the misspelling its late and didnt feel like going back and editing

  31. #31
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    My bike came with SLX/Deore groupset, I found an incredible deal on Jenson so I picked up a complete XT drivetrain (less shifters) for just over $300. I didn't need to upgrade, but the price was right so I did. I know a lot of guys that prefer SRAM, but most of their arguements deal with pricing...and when you find a deal like I did, that arguement is null and void. As for the shifting, my SLX shifters have the push/pull tension release...I only ever use my thumb for that action when I remember its there...I was DIEHARD gripshift user until I got this bike last year. I didnt care for the "ratchet" action on the tension release side, I always prefered being able to span the whole cassette with one "twist of the throttle" (granted thats TERRIBLE for components and cable stretch) But even now I shift between rings more than I shift between cassette cogs. (If I could go to a 2x4 setup I would be happier than a pig in $h!t.)

    For some background I ride 95% aggressive XC and trail, a sport class race that I dont take too seriously here and there, so in my case I have little call for the Saint/Zee stuff (chain guides, 210mm brakes etc...or more than 120mm of front travel or rear suspension at all for that matter).

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