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  1. #1
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    SRAM vs. Shimano question

    Hey everyone, I'm pretty fammilar with SRAM's products but when it comes to Shimano I'm lost. Could anyone give me a list that's setup like a comparison chart? For example:
    x5-Deore
    XO-XTR
    etc.
    I know that these are two different companies and have different products but if anyone could give me an idea of what I was asking I would really appreciate it... Thanks!

  2. #2
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    There's a list here somewhere,try the search?

  3. #3
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    Shimano from Lowest (cheapest) to highest:

    Deore
    (Deore) SLX
    (Deore) XT
    XTR (Available as a 1X11 or 2X10)

    (Shimano Downhill range from cheapest to highest)

    Zee
    Saint



    Sram from Lowest (cheapest) to highest

    X3
    X5
    X7
    X9

    X1 (Available as a 1X11 drivetrain, below X0 level)

    X0 (Available as a 2X10 drivetrain, or 1X11 Drivetrain)

    XX (Available as a 2X10)

    XX1 (Available as a 1X11 drivetrain)

    As you can see, Sram has a much better product range than Shimano. Also to note, Shimano's 1X11 drivetrain has less of a gearing range (11-40), then Sram's 1X11 (10-42).

    Shimano's SLX and XT range offer similar performance, with the XT being a little lighter, and cleaner visually. However, XTR is about twice as expensive as XT, and obviously there is a massive difference in weight and performance. You can't compare the 2 different brands' groupsets apples to apples, but I would say there are about this:

    X3, X5 = Deore

    X7 = SLX

    X9 = XT

    X0 = XTR

    XX1 = ...? (Shimano doesn't have anything this good yet)


    (Downhill groupsets)

    Hussefelt = Zee (Zee is better than Hussefelt)

    X0 (1X10) = Saint

    X01 (1X7) = Saint (X01 is better than Saint)



    I prefer Sram, partly because of their many groupsets. However, if you are buying a premium drivetrain, you CAN'T go wrong with a 1x11. Points go to Shimano for reliable, good-value drivetrains. Sram is a little more exensive, but you get the benefit of cutting-edge technology. Some people prefer one over the other, however, most new high-end bikes are being specced with Sram than Shimano.



    Hope I helped!


    ~MAX~

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    Last edited by ~MAX-Moab~; 07-11-2014 at 08:42 AM.

  5. #5
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    Disagree on "Shimano doesn't have anything this good" (in reference to XX1)... SRAM just has smaller incremental steps for which Shimano does not always have an equivalent.

  6. #6
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    MAX you forgot Shimano Tourney, Altus, Alivio, and Acera.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Disagree on "Shimano doesn't have anything this good" (in reference to XX1)... SRAM just has smaller incremental steps for which Shimano does not always have an equivalent.
    I'm with you. XTR is equal to or better than XX in many respects, especially the brakes. Another important note is that there is very little performance difference between SLX, XT, and XTR other than weight. Every few years or so, XTR gets a new feature that's unavailable at the lower price points until a year or two later, though. Same goes for SRAM and the new features they introduce at the XX level.
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  8. #8
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    XTR has always been equal to XO. SRAM just has more options above XO that Shimano has no answer to other than XTR Di2.
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  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    Crikey not another SRAM vs Shimano thread-
    Comparing XO to XX is not apples with apples - XX is a minimalist uberlight race drive train, XO more of a mountain drivetrain - XTR Trail and race are the similar top end Shimano offerings. As to which is better personal choice - people are winning races with both. For many applications X0 or XTR Trail would be the better drivetrain.
    Some like the buttery smoothness of shimano others the positiveness of SRAM - I am happy with either to be honest.

    Shimano do not have a 1x11 (even the new XTR doesn't really do it) that match the XX1/X01 etc.

    Having used both I would say Shimano hydro brakes (XT and XTR) are a lot better in terms of reliability and less fiddly than Elixir plus I much prefer the feel of the levers.

    Most of the high end bikes seem to come with an option of SRAM or Shimano these days up to the banker with $10K to drop on a bike what options he wants.

  11. #11
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    I've owned both in shifters and brakes. For the trails SRAM's product doesn't hold weight against Shimano's. Brakes/Shifters mounted & tuned and have had zero issues.

    SRAM, on the other hand needs constant adjustments.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197 View Post
    XTR has always been equal to XO. SRAM just has more options above XO that Shimano has no answer to other than XTR Di2.
    That's not true.
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  13. #13
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    Yes, it's apples and oranges at times. I have the XX1 carbon cranks. Shimano doesn't make carbon cranks, but shimano does and always has made a better BB-crank interface with their hollow forged cranks, which are a much better value in terms of stiffness/strength to price. So which is better? Matter of opinion and experience in many places. I wouldn't put sram/avid brakes on my bike again ever.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197 View Post
    XTR has always been equal to XO. SRAM just has more options above XO that Shimano has no answer to other than XTR Di2.
    I'll take XT/XTR over ANYTHING SRAM can throw at it for the brakes alone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by In-Yo-Grill View Post
    I've owned both in shifters and brakes. For the trails SRAM's product doesn't hold weight against Shimano's. Brakes/Shifters mounted & tuned and have had zero issues.

    SRAM, on the other hand needs constant adjustments.
    Agreed. Never had to do anything besides replace worn pads once initial setup is done. I have XT and XTR mix for brakes and drivetrain on my trail bike.

  16. #16
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    Re: SRAM vs. Shimano question

    Quote Originally Posted by 7daysaweek View Post
    I'll take XT/XTR over ANYTHING SRAM can throw at it for the brakes alone.
    This.

    I have. I have a set of rs9 carbon brakes from SRAM and a set of elixir 7s. My xts are in a different universe. The SRAM brakes just don't work.

    I leave my bike in the house for more than 3 days and I have to spread my brakes because they have clamped down on the rotor by way of some expansion. My rs9 barely stop my bike without really wrenching on them. My xts could stop my car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoNin9r View Post
    This.

    I have. I have a set of rs9 carbon brakes from SRAM and a set of elixir 7s. My xts are in a different universe. The SRAM brakes just don't work.

    I leave my bike in the house for more than 3 days and I have to spread my brakes because they have clamped down on the rotor by way of some expansion. My rs9 barely stop my bike without really wrenching on them. My xts could stop my car.
    Yep, this. Different manufacturers are just bad at some things.

    Shimano is great at drivetrain and brakes but is bad at freehubs.

    I almost went OTB the first ride on XT brakes after switching from avid

  18. #18
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    Sorry Max, good attempt at explanation but can't say I agree with it all.

    x3 stuff is more equivalent to alivio/acera
    x5 deore
    x7 slx
    x9 xt

    I personally dont like sram shifters because of the double thumb push. Shimano gives you the option of a pull/push.

    Shimano brakes is a whole different story, you'll have a hard time finding people who say sram brakes are as good or maybe as reliable is a better wording

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by hankscorpio View Post
    Sorry Max, good attempt at explanation but can't say I agree with it all.

    x3 stuff is more equivalent to alivio/acera
    x5 deore
    x7 slx
    x9 xt

    I personally dont like sram shifters because of the double thumb push. Shimano gives you the option of a pull/push.

    Shimano brakes is a whole different story, you'll have a hard time finding people who say sram brakes are as good or maybe as reliable is a better wording
    I would agree with you if you are talking about hydraulic disks but mechanical disks avid bb7 is definitely the smoothest, most powerful and most reliable mech disk I have ever used. SRAM wins in the mech disk category.

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    Re: SRAM vs. Shimano question

    Quote Originally Posted by ~MAX-Moab~ View Post
    I agree, the lower elixir brakes were rubbish, I had a set of Elixir 1s, and they didn't work when they were new. BUT, the new Elixir 9 trail, and X0 trail are great brakes. Yes, they are a little more finicky to set up (I bled my rear brake 2 times before riding it), but I have put over 1000 miles on my Elixir 9 trail's, and the have felt amazing, never faded, and they have not needed to be bled. Sram's new Guide brakes will hopefully bring the ease of maintenance to their brakes.


    People have opinions, but if you haven't tried the latest from both companies (I have), you can't really make a judgement of current brakes, based on your experience with past products.



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    (Fan= someone who appreciates a product, but doesn't defend the company if they make a crappy product, and who also acknowledges if another product is better)
    Yeah I'm gonna bleed both of mine soon hopefully that will help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoNin9r View Post
    This.

    I have. I have a set of rs9 carbon brakes from SRAM and a set of elixir 7s. My xts are in a different universe. The SRAM brakes just don't work.

    I leave my bike in the house for more than 3 days and I have to spread my brakes because they have clamped down on the rotor by way of some expansion. My rs9 barely stop my bike without really wrenching on them. My xts could stop my car.

    I agree, the lower elixir brakes were rubbish, I had a set of Elixir 1s, and they didn't work when they were new. BUT, the new Elixir 9 trail, and X0 trail are great brakes. Yes, they are a little more finicky to set up (I bled my rear brake 2 times before riding it), but I have put over 1000 miles on my Elixir 9 trail's, and the have felt amazing, never faded, and they have not needed to be bled. Sram's new Guide brakes will hopefully bring the ease of maintenance to their brakes.


    People have opinions, but if you haven't tried the latest from both companies (I have), you can't really make a judgement of current brakes, based on your experience with past products.



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    (Fan= someone who appreciates a product, but doesn't defend the company if they make a crappy product, and who also acknowledges if another product is better)

  22. #22
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    Re: SRAM vs. Shimano question

    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    Yeah guys, Avid has made some really good stuff. SD's AND BB7's.

    IMHO XT to XTR is a large jump in price for small weight savings and performance gains.
    I dunno even slx brakes are far superior to anything SRAM. I'd take them over my high end SRAM

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    Yeah guys, Avid has made some really good stuff. SD's AND BB7's.

    IMHO XT to XTR is a large jump in price for small weight savings and performance gains.

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    I've owned both in shifters and brakes. For the trails SRAM's product doesn't hold weight against Shimano's. Brakes/Shifters mounted & tuned and have had zero issues.

    SRAM, on the other hand needs constant adjustments.
    So you are saying Shimano's 2:1 actuation ratio is better than SRAM's 1:1 ratio: I think not. SRAM clearly makes a better drivetrain. With every Shimano 9 speed drivetrain I have owned there were issues. SRAM is set it and forget it. SRAM shifts with more authority and shifts clean every time.

    I would agree that Shimano makes a better hydro brake, SRAM has the best mech brake.
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    I've run tens of thousands of miles on Shimano 3x9, many thousands on 2x9. SRAM shift levers I tried lasted less than half as long as the Deore 'equivalent'.

    Everyone has different experiences, I suppose.

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    I can't speak about how long SRAM triggers last, I don't have enough miles on a set to give a valid opinion. I can say that Gripshift does last just as long as Shimano shifters. You have too admit that SRAM rear derailleurs with the 1:1 ratio shift with more authority and precision.
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    Re: SRAM vs. Shimano question

    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197 View Post
    I can't speak about how long SRAM triggers last, I don't have enough miles on a set to give a valid opinion. I can say that Gripshift does last just as long as Shimano shifters. You have too admit that SRAM rear derailleurs with the 1:1 ratio shift with more authority and precision.
    This I agree with. More of a "thunk" feeling

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoNin9r View Post
    This I agree with. More of a "thunk" feeling
    Thunk as in "it feels like its gonna break" lol

    I've demo'd several X01 and XX1 bikes and even the top tier feels so crunchy and nasty compared to Shimano. Could be bad adjustment but I don't see a bike shop doing a bad job setting up a $6k+ bike they're trying to sell.

    Everyone has their preference though, not saying SRAM is crap, just not my choice.

  29. #29
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    Also SRAM's RD do not pivot at the mounting point. Therefore they aren't as flimsy as Shimano offerings with the exception of Shadow RD.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spazzy View Post
    I would agree with you if you are talking about hydraulic disks but mechanical disks avid bb7 is definitely the smoothest, most powerful and most reliable mech disk I have ever used. SRAM wins in the mech disk category.

    yeah, if it was 2003 and there were still people talking about mechanical disc brakes, that point would be valid. So in the 'below entry level' category, sram brakes are tops...
    I'd still take Deore hydros over anything Sram has ever made.

  31. #31
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    Name a hydro brake that retails for as much or lower than the BB7 then your point will be valid.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197 View Post
    Also SRAM's RD do not pivot at the mounting point. Therefore they aren't as flimsy as Shimano offerings with the exception of Shadow RD.
    The shadow RD still has the pivot and b-angle adjustment, it's just moved off of the mounting bolt.

    How many Shimano RD's you broken the knuckle on? I have 2000 era XT that looks like it went through a wood chipper... still shifts four gears in a split second--but only when it's properly set up.

    If you want to talk about how this tech is better than that, I'll certainly smile and nod, but it's rather unlikely to change what I'm riding.

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    SRAM vs. Shimano question

    Quote Originally Posted by 7daysaweek View Post
    I'll take XT/XTR over ANYTHING SRAM can throw at it for the brakes alone.
    Spot on with the brakes..

    Run sram drive on my stumpy but replaced the avid brakes recently with XT and they are worlds apart. Decent sram drive chain (x7 and above) is perfectly fine IMO. X9 even better if well looked after.


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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by In-Yo-Grill View Post
    I've owned both in shifters and brakes. For the trails SRAM's product doesn't hold weight against Shimano's. Brakes/Shifters mounted & tuned and have had zero issues.

    SRAM, on the other hand needs constant adjustments.
    Hmmm how about ... no ?

    Have 3 bikes, all with SRAM shifters, never had to re-tune anything in any of the bikes and i really REALLY mistreat them, they function as good as they did when i mounted them when new, i only had to substitute one frayed cable and that was my fault.

    Derailleurs/Shifters ? SRAM hands down, have one XO and 2 X9 derailleurs/triggers, 1 SLX shifter.
    Cassetes ? Either one, i have SLX on 2 and XT on one, chosen purely because i found deals on them.
    Cranks and BB ? Either one is fine, i have 3 SLX cranks but will change one of them to SRAM X0, SRAM BB's are absolute crap though ....
    Chains ? neither, KMC is better.
    Brakes ? Lol neither, hands down Magura. Although Shimano brakes are a LOT better than Avid's.

    That said, Shimano still doesn't have a solid alternative to SRAM's XX1.
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  35. #35
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    Re: SRAM vs. Shimano question

    Brakes-shimano, hands down
    derailleur-sram x9
    shifter-sram x9
    cranks/bb-shimano, hands down
    Cassette-shimano xt
    chain-kmc

    Love this setup

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197 View Post
    Also SRAM's RD do not pivot at the mounting point. Therefore they aren't as flimsy as Shimano offerings with the exception of Shadow RD.
    Yeah, but shimano made stuff like this:
    SRAM vs. Shimano question-rr_026.jpg

    Shimano's R&D and product development is simply on a totally different (higher) scale than SRAM. SRAM has had a few good ideas, but they also ran for a while on their acquisition of Sachs, who did all the "legwork" for many of the products that SRAM got known for, as well as a few problems that SRAM wasn't able to fix for a while due to inability to design and test their own stuff. SRAM finally has a little more ability to design and make stuff that isn't trash, but they struggle to offer as wide a product range as Shimano does, with groups and parts specific for specific kinds of bikes and riding. Again, SRAM has come a long way, but they've traditionally done it with acquisitions, like Avid, etc, rather than coming out with more SRAM product lines.

    That derailleur above was a godsend for aggressive riding. It would literally smash THROUGH rocks and was super stout, since it mounted to the thru-axle. Not every product Shimano makes is a home run of course, but you can usually rest assured that they've designed and tested it to high enough standards that it will do what it was designed to do. That was the strongest derailleur I've ever used, but that was years ago when Shimano understood there were different genres of riding that needed different products.
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    Not every product Shimano makes is a home run of course
    Dual Control anyone?

    You would have to agree that SRAM X5 beats anything Shimano of the same level.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197 View Post
    Dual Control anyone?

    You would have to agree that SRAM X5 beats anything Shimano of the same level.
    Funny you mention that, I used DC, it worked well, it wasn't for everyone, but it worked. With "rapid rise" it was a pretty good combo, but again, rocked the boat a little too much.

    X5? IDK, I have an X5 shifter. It's ok, I have an X7 too. Funny thing is that the X9 T2 derailleur just doesn't like to shift a close-ratio cassette, despite being a mid-cage. It does ok on a 36t, but on a 30t it really doesn't know what to do and the sifts are far from "crisp". Running the X5 shifter and "standard" rear derailleur outperformed my X9 for quite a while, causing me to rip out the cables and replace everything on the X9 setup a few times, only when I discovered it just doesn't like to shift the close-ratio cassette did my problems go away. The X7/9 combo requires a little more thumb effort, but at least it works decently now, except for the time last season where the internals on the X7 failed. Supposedly it's happened a few times and due to it being a new bike, the shop hooked me up, still, I've never had shimano shifters completely crap out (no resistance, shift paws became completely disconnected). Now I'm running the X5 with an X9 derailleur and again, a close-ratio cassette. It doesn't shift all that well, but hey, it's SRAM.

    Deore/SLX would be about the same level as X5. Deore/SLX works good.
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    I have and use both Shimano and SRAM drive trains. They both work great
    and I don't have problems with them. However Avid brakes have never treated
    me good and sooner or later they give me problems. I use Magura brakes on
    most of my bikes and like them more than anything else.

  40. #40
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    Shimano vs SRAM.....
    29er vs 26er..............
    Fox vs CNN................
    Obama vs Bush...........
    Creationism vs Evolution.....
    God vs Allah....................
    This topic should be subject to the same forum rules as Politics and Religion.....

    (Shimano brakes are better though)

  41. #41
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    Dude forums are literally invented for that stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197 View Post
    Name a hydro brake that retails for as much or lower than the BB7 then your point will be valid.
    m395 69.00 w/rotors 57.00 no rotors
    m446 93.99 with rotors
    m596 125 with 111 without
    bb7 85.00 no cables

    I don't think the price argument holds up on these.

  43. #43
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    I spent 10 more dollars on my new deores (m615 I think) with the slx rotors than I could have had bb7s for

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    I don't think the price argument holds up on these.
    Don't know where you are getting your prices from. Check Pricepoint. BB7 starting at just $46.98.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197 View Post
    Don't know where you are getting your prices from. Check Pricepoint. BB7 starting at just $46.98.
    Your price is for one with no levers or cable, that would make the price for a pair 118 with levers and cable. The prices I listed were for pairs from amazon.

  46. #46
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    SRAM vs. Shimano question

    My experience is that Shimano has vastly superior shifting and braking performance at the mid- and High end level.

    If SRAM is superior outside of those areas, I wouldn't know...nor would it really matter.

  47. #47
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    I've been running SRAM since the very beginning, SRAM ESP. I have really got to like it ever since, you just set it up and go, never have to adjust my derailluers, btw, I run XX and XX1.
    The brakes are another issue all together. At first I ran the Avid XX World Cups, went through a couple of sets, even had a bad crash because I lost my rear brake unexpectantly in some tight, fast single track. After the last brake failure, I was pissed, SRAM sent me a set of XO Trails and have been happy since, these brakes are so powerful, so much in fact, I went from a 160mm rear rotor to a 140mm rotor.
    Still, my favorite brakes are Hope's, for the reason that you don't need special tools to bleed the brakes or cut hosing, etc, just like how they work, very consistent.

    I think you can't go wrong with either Shimano or SRAM, the reason I like SRAM better is because Shimano has this "planned obselesense" where it seems every few years, parts from the newer groups won't work with the newer stuff, especially on the road segment, but I run Campy on the road anyway.

  48. #48
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    Also... mineral oil

  49. #49
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    What's better...Chevy or Ford?

    Trek or Cannondale?

    Glock or S&W?

    Point is...who gives a sh!t. Each has their fans who will say there preference is better than the other, no matter what. I'm no different. I'm SRAM all the way, Shimano can go to hell...except for the brakes. I really like my XT brakes. But shifters and derailluers...meh. In fact, I got a brand new bike spec'ed out XT. Pulled all that stuff off and replaced with X9 pretty much day one. Why? because I like SRAM better. That's all it comes down to. We can nitpick all day long why we feel one is better than the other...in the end you need to just choose one based on whatever criteria you want and go with it.
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  50. #50
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    ^ Chevy
    Trek
    Sig

  51. #51
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    Re: SRAM vs. Shimano question

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kuhl View Post
    ^ Chevy
    Trek
    Sig
    More like....

    Neither
    neither
    Sig


  52. #52
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    Your price is for one with no levers or cable, that would make the price for a pair 118 with levers and cable. The prices I listed were for pairs from amazon.
    $106.94 from Pricepoint. That is the price for the pair plus Avid levers.
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
    My Blog: http://http://kona0197.wordpress.com/

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