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  1. #1
    Super Clyde
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    X9 vs. X7, is there really a huge difference?

    I'm thinking about building a bike up, but this is purely academic for now. Up till now I've always been a Shimano Deore XT fanboy. XTR was always too expensive and unnecessary because I wasn't worried about saving weight so much. I've also never really been hard on my bikes off road. My current bike, that i built in 2001, has all Deore XT, except for the shifters, I have a set of old Grip Shift SRT-800s. That right there is the reason I'm interested in SRAM. I love my Grip Shift, mainly because I've never used trigger shifters. You know the old adage, "If it ain't broke...." I'm building a new bike because I want to get back into riding off road, and want to try a 29er. My current bike, a 26er has pretty much been relegated to on road duties.

    Which brings me to my current conundrum. When I built my current bike I bought most if not all of the parts from JensonUSA, so it was only natural that I went back to them for this one. Jenson has what seems like fair prices on build kits, one X7 build kit, and one X9 build kit in particular. The X7 comes with a lot of parts the X9 kit doesn't such as a stem, handle bars, a saddle, etc. The X7 kit also has Avid Elixer 3 vs Elixer 9s in the X9 group. I know the Elixer 9s are better, but what makes them better? The X7 group seems like a better value, but I'm the kind of person that likes to buy the best thing I can afford, so I'm not replacing in the near future because it broke. Of course this all becomes a moot point if i can't use the X.0 twist shifters with the X7 or X9 group. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    There's quite a bit of difference between the two build kits for sure. The X7 kit does seem like an excellent 'value'. The question is, what do you truly want? Great value or great performance? There's a very noticeable difference in shifting performance between X9 and X7 components and I always go for excellent shifting performance. I also noticed that the X9 rear derailleur is a Type 2 (clutch type) which is even better.

    I doubt you'd notice any difference between the cranks, chain or cassette in these build kits. Considering you'd save a TON by going with the X7 kit since it comes with a lot more components I'd suggest getting it, sell off the X7 derailleurs & shifters and pick up X9 parts. I think you'll come out way ahead. You could even do that with the Elixir 3's. They are an entry level brake but if you're OK with them then great. If not, sell 'em and get what you want.

    I hope this helps and good luck with your new build!

    JP

  3. #3
    Super Clyde
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    What's the advantage to a clutch rear derailleur and how does it work differently? I'm basically new to all this, since none of it existed 12 years ago when I built my current bike.

  4. #4
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    The clutch on the RD keeps the chain tensioned when the bike is going through rough sections (quick hits on roots, braking bumps). This keeps the chain slap and tossing the chain off the front ring down. Having ridden a type 2 clutch for a few months it's well worth it. The first ride was odd - No chain slap noise...

  5. #5
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    Ahhh... YMMV, but i did not like Avid brakes mated with the X0 Grip Shift set up. If the set comes with the internal reach adjust, you might find they will work better. I had the external knob adjust, and that made it hard for me to get the brakes where I liked them. Everyone is different - you may be ok with the position you can get. I wound up with Hope Tech X2 brakes. They fit nicely, and so far are holding up. I don't find any stopping issues, or lack of stopping power.

    I realize this doesn't fit into your plan, but I did want the GripShift for the same reasons - I have had them forever... Trigger and me are like water and oil.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremyp111 View Post
    There's quite a bit of difference between the two build kits for sure. The X7 kit does seem like an excellent 'value'. The question is, what do you truly want? Great value or great performance? There's a very noticeable difference in shifting performance between X9 and X7 components and I always go for excellent shifting performance. I also noticed that the X9 rear derailleur is a Type 2 (clutch type) which is even better.

    I doubt you'd notice any difference between the cranks, chain or cassette in these build kits. Considering you'd save a TON by going with the X7 kit since it comes with a lot more components I'd suggest getting it, sell off the X7 derailleurs & shifters and pick up X9 parts. I think you'll come out way ahead. You could even do that with the Elixir 3's. They are an entry level brake but if you're OK with them then great. If not, sell 'em and get what you want.

    I hope this helps and good luck with your new build!

    JP
    I agree with this.

    Sell the x.7 upgrade to x.9 or even x.0

    I had an x.7 shifter and scrapped it for an xtr shifter and xt rear derliuer with clutch

    havent been happier

    Elixirs 3's are great brakes

    they just get a bad rap cuz theyre not the "best" and make more noise than others

    little tip here, get semi metallic brake pads for them and scrap the stock pads and make sure you follow the bedding procedures out of the box.

    Also I WOULD NOT, go to x.7 if youve been using shimano xt components

    if you liked the xt stuff you will not like the x.7

  7. #7
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    Depends on what year the kits are , the 2013 X-7 is the exactly the same as the 2012 X-9 . If you us the 2012 SRAM part # you get the 2013 X-7
    2013 Ellsworth Carbon Evolve XT
    2013 Ellsworth Enlightment XTR
    2013 Ellsworth Enlightment SS

    Bike Shop Employee

  8. #8
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    X9 vs. X7, is there really a huge difference?

    What drive train setup do you want (2x9, 3x10, etc)? X.O is 10-speed, X9 had a 10 speed option (or is it all 10-speed now?) and X-7 is 8 or 9 speed. X.O grip shifters will not work with X.7.

    I can definitely notice a difference between X7 and X9. Most of it is in the chain/cassette/shifter combo though, the derailleur is only as good as the shifter in my opinion.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SenorSerioso View Post
    What drive train setup do you want (2x9, 3x10, etc)? X.O is 10-speed, X9 had a 10 speed option (or is it all 10-speed now?) and X-7 is 8 or 9 speed. X.O grip shifters will not work with X.7.

    I can definitely notice a difference between X7 and X9. Most of it is in the chain/cassette/shifter combo though, the derailleur is only as good as the shifter in my opinion.
    +1 rear mech is only as good as the shifter

    x.7 makes 10 speed

    I'd go with either a 2x10 or 3x10 because that is the way the industry headed

    It will be harder to find replacement pars in the long run for 8 and 9 speeds

    or if they come out with new 10 speed compenets which is the norm, you wont be able to upgrade if you choose 8 or 9 speeds

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SenorSerioso View Post
    What drive train setup do you want (2x9, 3x10, etc)? X.O is 10-speed, X9 had a 10 speed option (or is it all 10-speed now?) and X-7 is 8 or 9 speed. X.O grip shifters will not work with X.7.

    I can definitely notice a difference between X7 and X9. Most of it is in the chain/cassette/shifter combo though, the derailleur is only as good as the shifter in my opinion.
    yup... shifters are more important to shifting "feel" really to only diff between the X7 and X9 of the same year is the material of the knuckle and the lower arm of the parallelogram which adds a few grams to the X7.. pivots, jockey wheels and cage design are all the same....mechanical operation is exactly the same, weight is the only diff in the rear derailleurs..

    shifters are diff and are noticeable but you said you want the grip shift so that doesn't matter..
    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look... http://trailtiretv.blogspot.com/

  11. #11
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    X9 vs. X7, is there really a huge difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by toot334455 View Post
    +1 rear mech is only as good as the shifter

    x.7 makes 10 speed

    I'd go with either a 2x10 or 3x10 because that is the way the industry headed

    It will be harder to find replacement pars in the long run for 8 and 9 speeds

    or if they come out with new 10 speed compenets which is the norm, you wont be able to upgrade if you choose 8 or 9 speeds
    I've been out of the game for too long, didn't know X7 had 10 speed!

    If that's the case (and the build kit is 10-speed, I'd go with the x7.

  12. #12
    Super Clyde
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    Right now I'm leaning to the X.7 and replacing things as necessary, starting with the shifters to twist shifters. I just priced out a set of built Clyde friendly 36h wheels and they are quite a bit more than I expected.

  13. #13
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    how much is the x.7 build is there a link to what youre looking at?

  14. #14
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    nvm found the link
    The x.7 is a 2x10 which is soild.
    Im leaning towards the x.7 cuz its got everything you need

    Some notes for you to consider:
    I highly recommend you follow my suggestions about the elixirs 3 because a 29er is going to roll faster and its harder to stop them
    And 11-36t cog is crucial when you ride a 29 cuz the are harder to get rolling
    shifters in general are more important cuz you shift more on a 29
    you may want different stems and handlebars for a 29 cuz the feel of the bike is different.

    you need room in your budget for upgrades and faliures

    price point has a 15% off till monday, doesnt sound like much but 15% off 600 is 90$$
    Check and see if you can get the parts you would want within your price range.
    (I just built my bike
    2x10 x.7 drive
    xt rear mech
    xt front
    xtr shifters
    xt 11-36 cassete
    xt chain
    hope m4's)
    and Im in ****ing love!!!

    Get the parts you ultimatley

    also contact jenson and find out what size the rotors are ...180 mm would be an added bonus for this quit assuming it comes with the proper adapters.

  15. #15
    Super Clyde
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    There's a link in the original post.

  16. #16
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    personally I ride the 2013 short cage 9 speed x9 rear with the x9 shifter and I really don't feel much of a difference between that and the 2010 x5 that came stock on my bike...

    There is still chain slap and im running 1x9 but barely....and id imagine that is from running a short cage as to a long cage which the bike came stock with....

    The only benefit the short cage x9 derailleur has: Is 2 yes two sealed bearings on the jockey wheels....this is only on the short cage option....med and long cage x9 still to my understanding have one sealed bearing jockey wheel.

    I run XTR shifter cable with the good plastic ferrules with metal washers in them and the system is great.....but im not sold on these super high end shifters and if I were to do it again would probably try an xt or xtr system next or run with the x7 which should be just fine!

  17. #17
    Trail Tire TV on blogger
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeRock98 View Post
    ...

    The only benefit the short cage x9 derailleur has: Is 2 yes two sealed bearings on the jockey wheels....this is only on the short cage option....med and long cage x9 still to my understanding have one sealed bearing jockey wheel.
    ...
    both X9 and X7 are full bearing, both top and bottom now.. as of 2011 I believe... my 2010 X9 mid is full bearing.. top and bottom.. X7 came the next yr..
    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look... http://trailtiretv.blogspot.com/

  18. #18
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    FYI - Sram just announced a X7 Type 2 rear derailleur. Should be avail soon if not now.

  19. #19
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    X9 vs. X7, is there really a huge difference?

    I believe X7 10 spd shifters are not ball bearings. X9 are. (At least for 2013 products.)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisInYpsi View Post
    I believe X7 10 spd shifters are not ball bearings. X9 are. (At least for 2013 products.)
    correct, for the shifters, Rear derailleurs are basically the same other than material in the lower parallelogram, knuckle and cage which makes it lighter in the X9.. mechanically they are the same.
    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look... http://trailtiretv.blogspot.com/

  21. #21
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    I just put a new 9 speed x7 rear and x0 twists on my old bike. I went x7 over x9 mostly out of cheapness. I figured a new x7 had to be at least as good as the XT from 2003 that I was replacing and so far it is way better. 9 speed stuff will be around for a long time.

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