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  1. #1
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    SRAM front mechs and an XT differences ?

    Getting a new frame to build up my road based mountain bike with the plan of swapping all the stuff from the old bike over onto the new one. The only thing I have to replace is going to be the front mech as the new frame has a larger diameter seat tube. I need a top pull mech and I prefer the conventional swing ( bottom swing )

    The existing setup is XT mech's and XT shifters ( 8spd ) and LX hollowtech 2 cranks. So far its been a real good combination.

    When looking round at the possibilities, the current XT front mech seems OK but nothing special , but I also see the SRAM X.Gen mech which catches my attention. Just wondering if the collective masses have any thoughts on whether either one would be better. ( Would the SRAM one work with the XT shifters? )

    To fill you in, the mech will have to put up with not so much with mud, but wet road grime off the back wheel, so the ability to clean and maintain it fairly well its up on the list of priorities.

    cheers,

    Donald

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Joules's Avatar
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    front derailleur is the least important component on a bike - it's really just a pair of mechanical fingers that (unelegantly) move the chain. In other words, pretty much anything will work as well as anything else (no front derailleur is anything special), what makes front shifting work well or not is the chainrings.

    when building my latest bike I looked into Shimano front derailleurs a bit, as far as I could tell from Shimano's info the only differences between XT, LX and Deore are the finish. Maybe if the bike isn't getting dirty that matters more?

    Anyway, yes the Sram will work just as well as the XT, which won't work any better than a Deore.

  3. #3
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    Pretty much confirms what i had been thinking.

    I think i may try the SRAM. purely for the fact that its something different to try.

  4. #4
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    The sram is heavier and doesn't shift quite as well as the XT due to it being narrower inside (meaning it will rub more on the chain).
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  5. #5
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    There was actually only one front derailleur that I know of that's not in production anymore that was superior to any of the others that was the Shimano XTR M951 model, currently my favorite, but can't find any that will fit my current 2003 GT Ruckus I-drive and is a bottom pull variant.
    Anything worth doing is worth overdoing...

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  6. #6
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    The SRAM front derailleurs are the old style that require considerably more force to shift, frequently destroying MTB shifters. The Deore, LX, XT, XTR are simply the best front derailleurs. Even the Shimano Tourney FD-T?22 beats SRAM's front derailleurs.

  7. #7
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    My experience

    First off, I hate front derailleurs. As Joules intimated, they are by nature the most rudimantary moving component on the drivetrain. I had an XGen front derailleur for a while and found it to be beefy and competent, but "clunky" in it's shifting. I have LX and XT on other bikes, and I'd take the XT at $15.00 (ebay dollars) hands down over spending $25.00+ (again, ebay dollars) on the SRAM. This coming from a person who is very pro-SRAM, too. If they've changed the XGen since it's original iteration, and have smoothed out the shifting, I'd give it a second chance. If it's still the same mechanically, I'll pass.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  8. #8
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    Well to fill folk in, I just plonked for the plain deore spec top pull, bottom swing front mech.

    On looking at the pictures of it, there was no real discernable difference between it and the XT mech i had before. With the 2 parts in hand, there is little visual difference either other than colour. Fitted and working in no time atall, so i'm perfectly happy with it.

    When I thought about it and its application, as its for a mainly road bike, the majority of the time i spend on the large chain ring so it really wasn't worth the money to get something that i would use very very rarely. For example, i cycled 85 miles on Sunday, and i didn't change the front gear atall.

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