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  1. #1
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    Drivetrain/brakes

    I just bought a new Santa cruz blur. It has the sram nx shifters and level T brakes. I am not impressed at all by either. The shifting is sub par at best. The brakes squeal when dry or wet. I'm ready to upgrade. I run shimano slx M7000 drivetrain and brakes on my hard tail and have had zero issues with anything over the past 2 years and I have beat the hell out of them. I'm wanting to go with shimano XT M8000 or give sram GX a try on the blur. What is everyone's experience with either drivetrain and brakes. Thanks in advance. Looking to stay under 500 for the upgrade.

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  2. #2
    Wanna ride bikes?
    Reputation: *OneSpeed*'s Avatar
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    NX is terrible, GX is a nice step up and pretty good.

    Sram brakes I avoid like the plague, especially the low level variants.

    Your SLX stuff is way better.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  3. #3
    There's always next year.
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    Since you just bought the bike by the sound of it, I'd go talk to the shop and see if they're willing to wheel and deal a little for you.

    Personally, I'd upgrade only the shifter, and wait until the rest of the drivetrain wears out. I've gotten the best bang by upgrading the shifter over the derailleur. I've done the opposite, and never felt like it was worth the $$$$, especially as it's far easier to smash up the derailleur than shifters. Run the chain/cassette til it's worn and then replace and upgrade as needed/wanted. Not sexy, but I wish I would have listened to this advice years ago.

    If the SLX brakes work well for you, I'd go back to that well once more. If you want more bling, go up to XT. Bonus: you're cross-compatible with the hardtail (if you kept it). I've found that as I have more than one mountain bike in the garage, it's nice to be using similar/same parts across them in case I ever need to steal from one to make the other roll out for a planned big ride or race the next day.

  4. #4
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    I got a bike for my wife with NX RD and shifter and swapped them out for GX. The NX RD is really pretty sloppy/chintzy. The GX is my closer to the high end stuff. I'm happy with the Level T brakes and like them better than the XTs on one of my bikes, which are too grabby and have bite points that vary all the time.
    What, me worry?

  5. #5
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    An XT derailleur will work with your setup. That's all you need to replace for drive. SLX brakes.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by padrefan1982 View Post
    Since you just bought the bike by the sound of it, I'd go talk to the shop and see if they're willing to wheel and deal a little for you.
    I don't understand this. Negotiating after the sale is completed? Not cool.

    If you discuss swapping out certain components with your shop ahead of time they can price out upgrades and sell the new takeoffs without losing money. Once the bike leaves the shop the parts are USED and can't be traded.

    If you determine you don't like the parts that you purchased, sell them on eBay and buy new parts.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  7. #7
    There's always next year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    I don't understand this. Negotiating after the sale is completed? Not cool.

    If you determine you don't like the parts that you purchased, sell them on eBay and buy new parts.
    Wasnít super-clear, which Iíll own. Iím not advocating for the shop to take parts back, but maybe theyíre willing to do the Ď10-15% offí for accessories that frequently occurs with new bike purchase and apply it to a shifter or brakes. I figure it couldnít hurt to ask.

    It canít happen now, but itís too bad the OP couldnít have swung the upgrade to the next level Blur (looks to be just 200 more than their $500 budget for upgrades).

  8. #8
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    Ah, yes, sourcing your new parts at the LBS for a little discount is totally cool. Thanks for clarifying.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  9. #9
    jcd's best friend
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    I've ran XT 1x11 and SRAM GX Eagle setups. I had nothing against the NX 1x11 when it was installed on my bike. It worked like a charm. I loved how crisp the XT drivetrain shifted!

    I upgraded to GX Eagle so I can have more range to climb. On both of my bikes, I run SRAM GX Eagle and love it to death. My legs are much stronger these days and I don't use my low gear too often, but it's nice to have it when I do some really long and big climbs.

    For $500, you can check out Pink Bike for a new take off SRAM GX Eagle drivetrains. That's how I picked it up for my Scout build. I scored it for $315 shipped and it was never used.

    Here's the vendor I bought it from: https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2505791/

    Just go shopping for a GX Eagle crank (if you want one) and you are set!
    Salsa Timberjack | Salsa Cutthroat

  10. #10
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    I have the Blur and love it! Mine has GX Eagle on it and even though I've always preferred my XT drivetrains I was willing to give the bird a try. I can't say I like it as well as XT, but I'm not displeased with it. The GX feels pretty decent and works very well. I'll likely step op to the xx1 stuff as I wear out or break things.
    The brakes are a whole other story. Throw that stuff away. Mine came with Level TL. They were never installed. I race for the shop I buy through and had them order me XT brakes to install when the bike came in. The level brakes are still sitting in my bike cave. I need to throw them up for sale to see if anyone wants some weight to add to their bike that may or may not slow them down.

    Sent from my moto z3 using Tapatalk
    2018 Santa Cruz Blur
    2015 Santa Cruz Highball
    2016 Jake The Snake

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemons87 View Post
    I just bought a new Santa cruz blur. It has the sram nx shifters and level T brakes. I am not impressed at all by either. The shifting is sub par at best. The brakes squeal when dry or wet. I'm ready to upgrade. I run shimano slx M7000 drivetrain and brakes on my hard tail and have had zero issues with anything over the past 2 years and I have beat the hell out of them. I'm wanting to go with shimano XT M8000 or give sram GX a try on the blur. What is everyone's experience with either drivetrain and brakes. Thanks in advance. Looking to stay under 500 for the upgrade.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
    I'm having the same issue with my new Giant Trance 29er, guide T brakes just aren't giving me enough breaking power on the downhills and find myself having to pull the leaver with 2 fingers really close to the bars. Is there any way I can increase the breaking power without just swapping breaks as I was thinking about purchasing Shimano XT's but would rather save money if possible. I do like the idea of the more modular guides but they just don't stop and feel spongy when I most need them. I took it back to the shop a few weeks ago and had them bleed the brakes but this still didn't fix the spongy feeling or the lack of breaking power it just made the leavers feel more stiff.

    Have you swapped yours yet?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eliot1555 View Post
    I'm having the same issue with my new Giant Trance 29er, guide T brakes just aren't giving me enough breaking power on the downhills and find myself having to pull the leaver with 2 fingers really close to the bars. Is there any way I can increase the breaking power without just swapping breaks as I was thinking about purchasing Shimano XT's but would rather save money if possible. I do like the idea of the more modular guides but they just don't stop and feel spongy when I most need them. I took it back to the shop a few weeks ago and had them bleed the brakes but this still didn't fix the spongy feeling or the lack of breaking power it just made the leavers feel more stiff.

    Have you swapped yours yet?
    I'm a long time XT brake user. My newest bike came with the Guide T brakes and initially I thought I was experiencing a dual brake failure on them. After a couple of rides, though, I got used to them and thought they were fine, with sufficient braking and quiet operation. It just took a couple of rides. I did replace them with XT's though to maintain consistency between bikes and because I had a spare set.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eliot1555 View Post
    I'm having the same issue with my new Giant Trance 29er, guide T brakes just aren't giving me enough breaking power on the downhills and find myself having to pull the leaver with 2 fingers really close to the bars. Is there any way I can increase the breaking power without just swapping breaks as I was thinking about purchasing Shimano XT's but would rather save money if possible. I do like the idea of the more modular guides but they just don't stop and feel spongy when I most need them. I took it back to the shop a few weeks ago and had them bleed the brakes but this still didn't fix the spongy feeling or the lack of breaking power it just made the leavers feel more stiff.

    Have you swapped yours yet?
    Yes I have. I went with a full Shimano XT M8000 drivetrain and brake setup. It was well worth the upgrade. It's very hard to beat Shimano Brakes.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemons87 View Post
    Yes I have. I went with a full Shimano XT M8000 drivetrain and brake setup. It was well worth the upgrade. It's very hard to beat Shimano Brakes.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
    Sounds like they way i'm going to head, Thanks. I used to have Shiamno brakes on my old hardtail and do miss the way they felt. Where did you get yours from?

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