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  1. #1
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    SRAM X0 or Shimano XT/ XTR drivetrain? Which one and why?

    I'm going to upgrade my shifters, derailluers, crank, casette to either a full SRAM X0 or Shimano XT or XTR system.

    Which one would be the best for a 210lb XC rider? I ride 5 to 6 times a week, lots of technical and XC stuff. I'm afraid the XTR would be too fragile but I want an opinon from the masses.

    I'm worried about durablity and ease of maintance.

  2. #2
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    If really is personal preference. I have bikes with both groups here at home, and they both perform great. I do seem to have to do fewer adjustments with the sram groups I have, but part of the problem is that I use the shimano shadow rear derailleur, which is know for losing adjustment easier. So pick which you like and run with it.

  3. #3
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    XTR is not fragile, its lighter because it uses more expensive materials that are equal or stronger to what it use on XT. The only weak part on the XTR group is the carbon cage of the shadow derailleur but you could use an XT or Saint here. The XTR cranks are probably some of the stronger cranks you can buy other than Saint which are made of the same alloy, XT are made of different alloy that not as strong or as light. If you go Shimano you could do XTR cranks with XT everything else since they perform about the same. I have been using a complete 07 XTR drivetrain on my bike since it came out and the only thing I have replaces is the rear derailluer because I wanted the Shadow.
    If I disagree with you, it's because you are wrong.

  4. #4
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    X0 triggers and rear derailleur, XTR front derailleur, XTR crankset, and XT cassette. I like SRAM shifters/derailleurs a lot more for mountain (the 1:1 ratio is a lot less finicky) but shimano cranks and cassettes are my favorite.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by theextremist04
    X0 triggers and rear derailleur, XTR front derailleur, XTR crankset, and XT cassette. I like SRAM shifters/derailleurs a lot more for mountain (the 1:1 ratio is a lot less finicky) but shimano cranks and cassettes are my favorite.
    I've just ordered this exact setup!! Thanks guys for the help.

  6. #6
    I should be studying...
    Reputation: frank daleview's Avatar
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    I agree with this setup, you practically never have to adjust the shifters esp. if you use a sealed cable system. You're probably not going to notice much of difference between XT or XTR for the FD. If you can afford XTR cranks than those are great, but I think Raceface Deus cranks beat the rest of the shimano line esp. when you consider the price.
    Formerly known as iceaxe

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaxe
    I agree with this setup, you practically never have to adjust the shifters esp. if you use a sealed cable system. You're probably not going to notice much of difference between XT or XTR for the FD. If you can afford XTR cranks than those are great, but I think Raceface Deus cranks beat the rest of the shimano line esp. when you consider the price.
    XT cranks are just a good too, just heavier. I prefered to lose the grams in my belly instead of my wallet. It's still tempting to buy but no benefit other than weight doesn't make much sense.

    I run XTR RDR with XT cassette and shifters. I am thinking about switching to twist shifters because alot of racers I know use them and swear by them. A lot of pros use them. They are crazy light too and very inexpensive. XTR triggers are stupid expensive.

  8. #8
    willtsmith_nwi
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    The best bang for the buck: X-9 Derailleur, X-0 Shifter, XT Crank, Shimano Cassette, SRAM Chain.

  9. #9
    Neg reppers r my biatches
    Reputation: FoShizzle's Avatar
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    flip a coin, both great. i used to be a bandwagon anti-shimano guy but i LOVE the 2009 stuff and am now sold on shimano for sure, and that includes Hubs and Brakes and in fact Shimano brakes are my favorite now for sure

  10. #10
    Meh.
    Reputation: XSL_WiLL's Avatar
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    I'd rock the Shimano cassette, cranks, and front derailleur. I'd use SRAM shifters and rear derailleur. I've never been able to justify the cost of the x0 for the marginal weight savings. x9 works just as well.

    I feel that the Shimano cassettes and front derailleur shift better. The SRAM cassettes seem to have the occasional QC issue and wears out quicker. But I prefer the crispness (almost clunkiness) of the SRAM rear derailleurs. The new Shimano Shadow stuff is pretty good though.

    I've never liked Raceface cranks because of the crank/spindle interface. It can wear out and develop slop. The Shimano design with pinchbolts is much better. Though the new XTR still seems to do quite well without them.

  11. #11
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    I had a really good set up on my Commencal last year: SLX crank (cheaper than XT, arguably better looking and just as stiff at only the slightest weight penalty), xt cassette, front d and rear d (shadow) and xtr shifters. System worked very well, have since switched the bike to full XTR which I prefer, but this one is waaaay more affordable. Chuck sram in for shifters/ rear der, - go shimano xt ish for front d, if you go sram.

  12. #12
    Live Free or Ride!
    Reputation: GiantMartin's Avatar
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    Personally I run full XTR, used to run full XT. Never any problems, nothing ever broke. Both great stuff. The new SLX looks great too and is bombproof, just a little more heavy.
    2007 Giant Anthem 1
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnkiwi
    I had a really good set up on my Commencal last year: SLX crank (cheaper than XT, arguably better looking and just as stiff at only the slightest weight penalty)
    The weight will almost equal out if you get an XT aluminum small chain ring. You could get it even lower with an XTR BB.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    The best bang for the buck: X-9 Derailleur, X-0 Shifter, XT Crank, Shimano Cassette, SRAM Chain.
    I would change the shifters to x7!
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say. Joshua Stinebrink

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by theextremist04
    X0 triggers and rear derailleur, XTR front derailleur, XTR crankset, and XT cassette. I like SRAM shifters/derailleurs a lot more for mountain (the 1:1 ratio is a lot less finicky) but shimano cranks and cassettes are my favorite.

    Complete newby here.
    Can you mix and match SRAM and Shimano components?
    If I like a certain Shimano shifters, I can get those and SRAM rear Derailleur?

    Thanks
    WP

  16. #16
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    I am a twisty man, so my choice is easy, and I have enjoyed a painfree drivetrain for 15 years. Shimano FD's are on my bikes though, they seem to be the easiest to dial in for me compared to others.
    ... And I Am You,
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by widespreadpanic
    Complete newby here.
    Can you mix and match SRAM and Shimano components?
    If I like a certain Shimano shifters, I can get those and SRAM rear Derailleur?

    Thanks
    WP
    Yes and no... you can't mix and match the rear shifting because shimano has a 2:1 cable pull ratio, SRAM is 1:1. Front der. shifting can be mixed, though.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Call_me_Al
    Yes and no... you can't mix and match the rear shifting because shimano has a 2:1 cable pull ratio, SRAM is 1:1. Front der. shifting can be mixed, though.
    Unless you get the SRAM Attack shifters, they are used with shimano's 2:1 ratio.

  19. #19
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    Personally, i think you should look at the individual components as oppose to looking at the group (or brand), and i think that should go for all components. But as for the drivetrain...

    Crankset: XTR M970 - Ultra stiff, ultra light, superior shifting performance. Don't be deceived by it's lightness as most people associate this with having compromised strength. It in fact uses higher grade aluminum (duralumin or 2000 series aluminum) to achieve increased strength but lowering weight. This series of aluminum is second strongest to 7000 series, which is what Thomson stems use.

    Front derailleur: XTR M970 just to go with the crankset. But i'm not sure if there's much discrepancy between an XTR and XT FD, so i probably wouldn't notice the difference.

    Rear derailleur: XT M772 shadow - because i don't trust the carbon cage on the XTR and at the time of deciding which to get, apparently the XTR shadow had some manufacturing faults.

    Cassette: SRAM PG-990 - i like the red bits , but seriously, it's SRAM's flagship cassette and the XTR is much too expensive.

    Shifters: XTR M970 - Shifting features, such as double release shift, instant shift when you press the trigger (as in you don't have to press and release, it shifts as soon as you press), use thumb or finger for the trigger, buttery feel, ergonomics. Why not SRAM? I prefer the 2:1 ratio because it (inherently) allows me to shift gears with less stroke of the paddle, so i find that i can shift faster. Likewise, SRAM only 'inherently' has less margin for error in shifting because of it's 1:1 ratio, but if you tune your shimano stuff right, you will also achieve accurate shifting. I also don't like the ergonomics of the SRAM shifters.

    Chain: Not sure, i go with SRAM for some unknown reason.

    But anyways, this is me of course. Everyone is different.

  20. #20
    Ride Everything
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    I ran SRAM XO for about a year. It was light, and shifted fine in all kinds of conditions. After longer rides, I noticed that my thumbs were very sore. I attributed this to using my thumbs for both up- and down-shifting. I tried some XO twist-shifters, but that actually resulted in more soreness. Long story short is that I'm now running Shimano M771 stuff now because (1) my thumbs don't do all the shifting work, and (2) the spring tension is much lighter.
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  21. #21
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    I'm disappointed that I can't just get an xt shadow and keep my sram shifters. I dont really like the sram x9 I've got because it doesn't have bearings in one of the jockey wheels. When I pedal in reverse (as useful as that is : -p) the chain slows down and starts skipping over the jockey wheel instead of turning it. I assume this means there is some extra friction in the drivetrain which could be eliminated by bearings (cleaning helps for a little while). An XO is an option too but I like the shadow design.

    Sram chain all the way! The power links are great, its so easy to take the chain off for deep cleaning once in a while.

  22. #22
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    Tally after a weekend riding Welsh trail centres with an XTR equipped bike:

    1. A rock went through my XTR front mech bending the plate. Will replace with XT probably.
    2. I hate the unreliability I get from the XTR front shift lever. The thumb push to release does not work reliably. If you've come down a fast section which finishes with a braking area and then a steep technical climb, you need to drop the chain from the big ring to middle while braking. This needs a thumb release. The XTR design just doesn't work (on two of my bikes). I'm going to investigate a SRAM shifter option for the front.

    I have no issues with the rear shift with the XTR shadow mech/shifter combo.

    Chains I use are Shimano CN-7701 with SRAM power links.

  23. #23
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    Go to a LBS and ride a bike with each one and make your own decison based on physical interactio with each system. You will be able to feel more confident about your decision. Different spokes for different folks.
    ... And I Am You,
    And What I See Is Me!

  24. #24
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    sram only because it looks better than shimano.

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