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Thread: Shimano Zee

  1. #1
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    Shimano Zee

    What's up with this Shimano Zee stuff? I just heard about it the other day. The stuff looks nice. And cheap. Hows the compatibility with LX/XT shifters, etc? And cassettes? Hows the build quality and durability compared to LX/XT?

    After my Alfine 11 disaster, I'm VERY hesitant to be the first guy to jump on a new shimano thing.

    Plus its about time Shimano offers a short cage derailer! They only do mid and long cages with their standard MTB stuff, so you could only get a short cage with Saint stuff. Or if you were building from scratch, you'd just use SRAM.

  2. #2
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    Running a Zee Derailleur with XT shifter - only smiles so far. Couldn't beat the price and seems to be durable as hell.

  3. #3
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    Zee is Shimano's discount DH/FR/AM line of components. Think of Saint as XT level and Zee as SLX level, except Zee incorporates much of the new technology that Shimano has infused into XT and XTR (such as the Shadow+ derailleur clutch).

    Shimano claims Zee has been optimized for single-ring drivetrains. Since I'm in the process of converting from 3x9 to 1x10 and needed a new rear shifter and rear derailleur, I decided to go with Zee. The price was right (especially at Jenson), and from what I've been reading, the stuff is bombproof.

    A shorter, sturdier derailleur can only be a good thing, right?

    I'll know more once the trails around here thaw and dry ...

  4. #4
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    I went from 3x9 to internal 11, and from that to "cheapest possible because I'm sick of giving drive train companies all my money for crap drivetrains" aka 1x9. I went with SRAM X9 because shimano has no xt/lx short cage derailers. But I definitely like the feel of shimano shifters better than SRAM. And the flexibility of shimano shifters, with multi directional upshifting. And I like cheap because I'm still sick of giving up all my cash for drive trains that last two weeks.

    ^ given all of this, i'm happy to see this Zee. If theres one thing most of my riding buddies would agree on, it's that bike parts are too expensive and are not durable enough.

  5. #5
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    I hear ya. My spending threshold seems to increase bit by bit, year over year, but I doubt I'll ever buy anything beyond XT/X9 level because the higher-grade, race-ready stuff doesn't have a very good reputation for durability.

    I'm normally the farthest from anything new, so investing in Zee componentry is a bit of a departure for me. But it doesn't seem like too much of a stretch.

    What happened with your 1x11 setup? Again, I tend to avoid the latest trends, so I'm in the dark on the "Alfine disaster" you mentioned earlier.

  6. #6
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    Shimano said the hub was good for my application. After killing 5 hubs in about 6 months, shimano said the hub would not work for my application and that I'd keep on killing them if kept on. My application is mountain bike use with a 36/22 gear ratio. It gave a pretty good range and was great when it wasn't dead. But it was dead more than it was alive. I got to be Shimano's beta tester, and it only cost me a few hundred dollars for the privilege. Which is why I'm in no rush to jump on this Zee stuff. I'll happily ride my current X9 into the ground while we see whats up with Zee.

  7. #7
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    Yeah, if the 1x9 setup is working for ya, there's no reason to invest in a 1x10, especially if you have doubts about those 1x10 components.

    I considered 1x9 since I was already in a 3x9, but my existing 9-speed cassette is an 11-32T, and I just wanted something toothier to run with a 32T ring up front. And since I was going to replace the cassette, I thought I might as well replace it with a 10-speed one. It sort of cascaded from there.

  8. #8
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    My 1x9 has a custom hacked 11-36 casette, so I get the same range as a 1x10.

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    I might've gone that route if my existing cassette had been 11-34T, but the 11-32T would've required too many new cogs to make the array progressively smooth, so I figured it'd be best (and more cost effective) to replace it.

  10. #10
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    No no, you start with the shimano 12-36, then you just replace the 12 with an 11. It's easy, and cheap.

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    Ah, see, that would've required a replacement cassette, anyway. And if I'd had a 12-36T, I would've left it as is; 32-12 would be plenty of gear for even the flattest, smoothest trail stretches that I ride.

    But that does sound like a very economical solution.

  12. #12
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    Shimano Zee

    I was tired of messing around with all the 2x9/1x9 stuff. Got rid of the 12-36 Shimano cassette ( was tearing up my aluminum hub anyway)
    Traded someone for a 11-36 slx 10 speed cassette, purchased a Zee derailer, shifter and an xt chain. So far it's flawless and shifts super smooth. Next purchase is the crankset.

  13. #13
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    That's virtually the same setup that I'll be using once all my parts are in--Zee rear derailleur and shifter and an SLX HG81 11-36T 10-speed cassette. The only difference is I'm using a SRAM PG1051 chain (I like SRAM chains better ... just seem a bit more durable ... plus the PowerLock is ).

    Please let me know how that Zee crankset works out.

  14. #14
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    Shimano Zee

    Quote Originally Posted by hdparrish View Post
    That's virtually the same setup that I'll be using once all my parts are in--Zee rear derailleur and shifter and an SLX HG81 11-36T 10-speed cassette. The only difference is I'm using a SRAM PG1051 chain (I like SRAM chains better ... just seem a bit more durable ... plus the PowerLock is ).

    Please let me know how that Zee crankset works out.
    Will do.
    Yeah, this is actually my first Shimano chain. I miss the power link from SRAM already.

  15. #15
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    U can use a SRAM power link on a Shimano chain with no problems. I have 2 bikes with the links on them no problems over 2 yrs. The Zee cranks are great too have 2 cranks on my Treks. Also if u get the ZEE derailleur Down hill version u can use 105 cassette on it.

  16. #16
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    I'm running 1x10 w/

    Zee rear derailleur
    XT m-780 10spd shifter
    XT 11x34 cassette
    SRAM PC 1091 chain
    Chromag 32t chainring
    Blackspire Der guide
    Truvativ Descendant crankset

    I typically ride SS and this is my first geared set up in years - I am very satisfied so far. Only issue has been with the GXP bb

  17. #17
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    Thought I'd throw my setup into the mix, been riding it for a couple months now and love it! Went from 2x9 to 1x10 and couldn't be happier.
    Zee rear derailleur (Freeride version)
    Zee shifter
    XT 11-34 cassette
    XT chain w/ KMC missing link
    Race Face 32T chainring
    MRP G2 SL guide
    Using stock Shimano crank (M542 I think?) for now, looking to upgrade this at some point though...

    Installation was a breeze and I was able to drop quite a bit of weight off the bike by removing the front derailleur and shifter. Also replaced a Blackspire Stinger + e13 turbocharger with the MRP guide/guard.

  18. #18
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    Shimano Zee

    Shimano Zee-imageuploadedbytapatalk1361079189.456538.jpg
    Got the crank installed. Will be taking a ride tomorrow.

  19. #19
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    Zee is not really new; it is a new combination of existing bits. SLX derailleur, short cage and shadow plus clutch. Love mine. Works great. Buy with confidence.

  20. #20
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    Shimano Zee

    Yeah, was everything I wanted in a drivetrain. Great price, simplicity, no noise, get to strengthen my legs, and smooth operation. Great kit.

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    Any idea why, if they were going to focus on the 1x crankset concept, they stuck with the 104 BCD and it's inherent limitation on chainring size?
    Seems like a lot of people are reluctant to go 1x specifically because they can't get the gearing low enough. Especially with 29ers.
    I know Zee is "all about the down", but really most folks go back up occasionally.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm2e View Post
    Any idea why, if they were going to focus on the 1x crankset concept, they stuck with the 104 BCD and it's inherent limitation on chainring size?
    Seems like a lot of people are reluctant to go 1x specifically because they can't get the gearing low enough. Especially with 29ers.
    I know Zee is "all about the down", but really most folks go back up occasionally.

    You got it, DH has been doing 1x applications for a while and so this is just keeping along with what works in this category.

    Pure speculation on my part but I think Shimano has to be cooking up some new stuff that addresses the popularity of smaller chainrings for those who climb and all the big wheels out there. It'll come soon enough.

    In the meantime just go for a different crankset (such as Sram spider-less) and the many new small ring options out there. No need to stick to a dedicated drivetrain of all one brand.

  23. #23
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    The Sram XX1 is a 76mm BCD and rings are offered down to 28T. Maybe a new standard?

  24. #24
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    Yea, that sort of summarizes to me a difference between the two companies. Sram seems to let the market go where the demand is but hold the value as high as possible as long as possible, keeping it a rich mans game where the less fortunate are left with purposefully old or poorly engineered products. Shimano on the other hand doesn't like to let the market tell it what to do and instead tries to convince the market where it should go. But when they get there, they let the trickle down begin so that the common man can indulge while there's still a few special treats at the top for those demanding the best.
    At the end of the day, they're all just looking for something that will look good on a poster and will provide a catch phrase that your local shop lackey can regurgitate when pimping entry level bikes to bikepatheletes.

  25. #25
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    "1x9, Give Us Less of Your Money!"

    That should be Shimano's slogan for Zee.

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