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  1. #1
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    Shimano vs. SRAM cassettes

    I'm looking to replace my PG-950 Sram cassette. From what I've heard, Shimano XT cassettes shift better. Is this true with the lower shimano stuff too?

    I'm looking at either a PG-980 or SLX HG-80. Or should I just jump to XT right away? The price difference is about $40 (not counting ebay).

    Bryan
    Last edited by Bryank930; 01-21-2010 at 01:17 PM.

  2. #2
    Vaginatarian
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    I've never noticed much difference in shifting , I have had problems with the bigger cogs bending on the high end Sram
    I've tried most and seem to always come back to xt

  3. #3
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    Good deal. I just 'price smashed' a 11-32 XT cassette at cambria down to $59 and put my order in. They price smashed from ebay!!

  4. #4
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    wow, you opened a can of opinion and dumped it on the floor. it is correct to say usually spending more yields better shifting. it is silly to buy a cheaper part only to upgrade it ten minutes later. personally, i like shimano cassettes and chains better but that is strictly my opinion.

  5. #5
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    What is this 10 minutes you speak of? The PG-950 has been on my bike for 2 years now.

  6. #6
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    XT cassettes from a few years back were trash. Make sure to get 2008 or newer if you go XT

  7. #7
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    I prefer the PG-980 cassettes over the XT cassettes. The XT cassettes - to me anyway - are noisier when shifingt than the Sram cassettes.

  8. #8
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    The proprietary shift ramps each company uses are a bit different, but within their various models believe the system remains the same, you mostly pay for material & weight differences within each company's model range. Compare weights and prices of specific models from each and you get a better idea of where the value is.
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  9. #9
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    i cant tell a difference what so ever between any of the upper end cassettes. i like the 970/980 because its usually dirt cheap and performs identical.

    difference between a 970 and 990 cassette is about 25 grams.

  10. #10
    bike-zilla
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    I have both the pg980 and the slx hg80, I haven't had any problems with either, I cannot really comment on shifting smoothness though because my pg980 is 11-34 and the slx is 11-28, both where used on the same bike and everything else was the same. I say whichever you find cheaper...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot
    difference between a 970 and 990 cassette is about 25 grams.
    according to sram the difference is 105 grams on an 11-34 and 55 on an 11-32

  12. #12
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    I think they all shift the same, but the cheaper cassettes with no spider can be difficult to remove and will gauge your freehub body. And of course they are heavier.

    Anything beyond XT or PG990 level is not a good value for money. This coming from me who is using an XTR one

    If was buying one today, I would be looking an XT and PG990 deals.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tussery
    according to sram the difference is 105 grams on an 11-34 and 55 on an 11-32
    oops, looked at a 32 970 vs 34 990. 980's are even closer.

    i think the carrier issue is the real deal.. i dont think id even consider the 990/xt's without an alloy freehub. even with one.. eh. im reusing my 980 on my wtb.

  14. #14
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    I've owned SRAM PG970, 9.0 (pre PG990), Shimano HG61 currently, and XT 9 speed cassettes...they all shift the same and seem to wear equally more or less.

    Since I'm no longer playing the weight weenie game, I don't bother buying high end cassettes (or the hubs that require them). I have felt absolutely no difference between the mid level and high level cassettes in shifting.

  15. #15
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    Well, If there's no noticeable shifting difference between low-end and high-end cassettes, I'll just pickup another 950 for $20 and be done with it.

    Thanks,
    Bryan

  16. #16
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    i'd say that if you have powerful legs you better stay away from srams pg970 and above....ive seen too many bended rings (sram's).
    Specialized - SJ Marathon 29" (2010) ||| KHS - Solo One 29" (2007) ||| KHS - Alite 3000 (2000) ||| Kona Kula Supreme (2008)

  17. #17
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    From Sram & Shimano's site, and Jenson's pricing... (11-34T)


    PG - 990 = 305g @ $70
    PG - 980 =310g @ $41.95
    PG - 970 = 410g @ $35
    XT = 297g @ $69.99 (used weights from Jenson, Shimano didn't have it listed)

    Pesnally I'd go with the 980 unless you have something agaisnt SRAM.

    Though the XTR is almost 100g's lighter for a little over $100 more which really isn't too bad compaired to some other ways in saving weight...
    Mike

  18. #18
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    here is what i have and have had no problems with it yet after a year still going strong. just get what you like but i think scram shifts better or i should say smoother not really better.

    Photobucket

    Photobucket

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghaleon109
    XT = 297g @ $69.99 (used weights from Jenson, Shimano didn't have it listed)
    http://cycle.shimano-eu.com/publish/..._mountain.html "Average Weight - 256g (11-32T)"

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by frdfandc
    I prefer the PG-980 cassettes over the XT cassettes. The XT cassettes - to me anyway - are noisier when shifingt than the Sram cassettes.
    Not mixing of components = quieter drivetrain. Mix of cranks, chain, cassette, RD from differerents manufactures make noiser drivetrain. Nothing strange by the way...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeon
    Shimano still doesn't have the 11-34 listed...there's a 298 and 296 listed on weightweenies so 297 works...
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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  22. #22
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    i think if you're weenie'ing over the grams, just get the 32 tooth

  23. #23
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    I was wondering the same thing Sram Vs Shimano.
    I've got a Shimano (HG70 I think? anyway it's LX) 11-32 362g
    And Sram PG 950 11-32 366g

    I'm selling up one bike so deciding which cassette to keep. The shimano one is shinier (nickel coated I guess) and the weight difference is hardly worth a mention.
    Biggest difference between the two is that the cogs are riveted together on the shimano (bar the last two) whereas the sram one is held together by one pin. So the shimano is easier to take off and on but the sram offers more flexibility if you like to play around with your gears, ie only run 7 and a spacer etc.

    I guess I'll run the shimano and keep the other in the spares.

  24. #24
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    Ok just adding my 2p.

    If you are a very powerful rider the difference between a bad cassette and a good cassette is significant.

    The biggest thing is using the top end SRAM cassettes, those rings are feeble!
    XT gives a very crisp shift, indestructible, long life and from the above table, is the lightest.

    Low end cassettes wear faster making it a pain matching chain and chain ring wear to cassettes.

    If you put a lot of force through your cranks you cannot do better that XT. SLX is going to be the next thing I try, so might be worth a look.

    The KMC X9 is the best chain out there, pay the extra for the gold version if you live in a wet climate.

    Feel free to take the piss on this one, but I like Deore chain rings the most, they are steel.

    I have tried lots of components from real cheap to boutique crap, the above combination is the best (if you don't mind the weight of steel rings)

  25. #25
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    +1 on XT cassette. I've had a lot better shifting using the XT vs. the SRAMs. Although, I like the SRAM rear derailleur a lot.

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