XD vs Shimano freehub... pros & cons?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    JTW
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    XD vs Shimano freehub... pros & cons?

    I'm getting close to ordering a new custom wheelset, and until now I just planned to order the rear hub with an XD driver so I can re-use my current stock SRAM 11-42 cassette that is nearly new. But, I know almost nothing about XD drivers and SRAM cassettes, so if there's a good reason to jump ship back to Shimano I need to determine that now before buying an expensive rear hub (Onyx) with the XD compatible driver. The bike (2016 Santa Cruz 5010 C) is fitted with SRAM shifter & derailleur, if that matters.

    So, is this just a matter of preference like Coke vs. Pepsi, or are there real advantages of one over the other?

  2. #2
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    XD.

    Was a long time Shimano holdout, and I still use their shifters and derailures, but the XD design is better.

    The range and weights on the SRAM cassettes have Shimano beat, and you need the XD to run higher end SRAM cassettes.

  3. #3
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    Last I looked, Shimano was cheaper. By a pretty big margin. It doesn't even seem like anyone is holding Shimano in higher regards, it's just cheaper.

    If you already have all the SRAM stuff I think it's an easy call.

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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Last I looked, Shimano was cheaper. By a pretty big margin. It doesn't even seem like anyone is holding Shimano in higher regards, it's just cheaper.

    If you already have all the SRAM stuff I think it's an easy call.
    If you ever intend to ride SS shimano is very easy to shim and run SS. Not an option with Sram I don't think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    XD.

    Was a long time Shimano holdout, and I still use their shifters and derailures, but the XD design is better.

    The range and weights on the SRAM cassettes have Shimano beat, and you need the XD to run higher end SRAM cassettes.
    This.

    If you're running 1x def. sram. Need that 10t.

    I also use a sram cassette with Shimano mech


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  6. #6
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    Shimano Cassette 11-46 is cheaper and has the same range as Sram 10-42 but is heavier too and looks ugly

    It's like someone using technology from the 90s was forced to develop a competitive product to Srams offerings and only ended up with something roughly twice the weight (but half to quarter of the price...)

    Shimano XT used to be a respected component group 10 years ago now it's just poor man's best friend who cannot afford Sram 1x11/1x12

    Srams XG-1150 cassette is slightly more expensive than Shimano XT, but has all steel cogs at still lower weight

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    Quote Originally Posted by JTW View Post
    ... so I can re-use my current stock SRAM 11-42 cassette that is nearly new.
    Isn't the SRAM 11-42 cassette for Shimano freehub and 10-42 for XD?

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    XD vs Shimano freehub... pros & cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by arnea View Post
    Isn't the SRAM 11-42 cassette for Shimano freehub and 10-42 for XD?
    Be careful here: the "shimano freehub" we're refering to is actually a universal standard where as the xd driver is a sram proprietary component.

    Not sure if they still do but sram at least used yo make cassettes that fit the shimano "freehubs". I believe that now everything they make goes on an xd driver.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Calf View Post
    Shimano Cassette 11-46 is cheaper and has the same range as Sram 10-42 but is heavier too and looks ugly

    It's like someone using technology from the 90s was forced to develop a competitive product to Srams offerings and only ended up with something roughly twice the weight (but half to quarter of the price...)

    Shimano XT used to be a respected component group 10 years ago now it's just poor man's best friend who cannot afford Sram 1x11/1x12

    Srams XG-1150 cassette is slightly more expensive than Shimano XT, but has all steel cogs at still lower weight
    Don't count out the 10t though!! On xc bikes not all are able to fit a big enough chain ring to get the same ratios between the 11t and 10t.
    Check out a gearing calc. That 10t makes a big difference.

    I would buy sram if they made their shifters functionality the same as shimano's... why they don't boggles my mind ...


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    Quote Originally Posted by Toot3344556 View Post
    Don't count out the 10t though!! On xc bikes not all are able to fit a big enough chain ring to get the same ratios between the 11t and 10t.
    Check out a gearing calc. That 10t makes a big difference.
    You only need a 10% bigger chainring front to compensate for the bigger 11 cog when switching from a XD Sram to a Shimano cassette, so say if you're running 34T / 10-42 Sram setup going to a 38T / 11-46 Shimano could only be an issue if the needed 38T chainring doesn't fit the frame anymore (which is very rare) but most people are using 30T on Sram and 32T on Shimano anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toot3344556 View Post
    I would buy sram if they made their shifters functionality the same as shimano's... why they don't boggles my mind ...
    patents...

  11. #11
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    I don't even use my 11t as is. The 10t doesn't mean anything useful to me. I understand the intention to decrease the front ring, but I'd end up with a 30t anyway, and 30/11 works for me. Works for a ton of people really. The difference between a 42 and 46 ends up being significant if you know you're running a 30t either way.

  12. #12
    JTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by arnea View Post
    Isn't the SRAM 11-42 cassette for Shimano freehub and 10-42 for XD?
    Yes, I mis-spoke in my original post. My stock XD cassette is a SRAM XG1150 10-42.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toot3344556 View Post
    I would buy sram if they made their shifters functionality the same as shimano's... why they don't boggles my mind ... Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I hope Sram don't shift like Shimano. I went Sram because I don't like how Shimano shifts.

    As for the cassette driver, Sram all the way. One piece cassette, no different sized splines to line up, no loose cogs/spacers, and no lockring. You install it as one piece.

    You can find the GX cassettes for around 100 bucks. Actually the entire GX group works pretty damn well.

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    SRAM cassettes are mega expensive and have almost no material in them for reinforcement; it's just the minimum to get teeth where they're needed. If you're a big guy, or run really high traction tires, or ride terrain that goes up and down a lot with a lot of grip that requires a lot of shifting, I can see the replacement costs getting out of hand (broken teeth, folded cogs, etc.). People tend to bargain hunt SRAM parts, since their aftermarket prices are so ridiculous, but some of those don't come with warranty, which you'd likely need if you're hooked on riding. They last no longer than Shimano's, and honestly it's that alloy cog that wears out soonest.

    Honestly, I'm still on 10 speed with Shimano freehub. I don't think technology on the newer 11 and 12 speed stuff is must-have at all. Just adds more unsprung weight and cost needlessly. I think it's more like SRAM couldn't compete with Shimano on value, and decided to target the high end market and give racers an advantage and win them to their side and get a ton of promotion, which enthusiasts went gaga over. Shimano die-hard fans demanded a competing product, and Shimano reluctantly met the demand. Don't see any value in 6/7/8/9 speed over 10 either. Can get decent SLX level cassettes for $33 and seriously good HG95 chains for $20, and the shifter action on Shimano 10 spd shifters totally won me over.

    Also, doesn't the Onyx hub use steel for their shimano freehub, and alloy for the XD freehub? I think their centerlock splines are steel too. I'm not too familiar with those hubs, but keep eyeing them because of the allure of silent coasting. I figure if you're getting a hub like that, you value things other than weight more, such as long term costs related to durability.

  15. #15
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    All the bro-science aside (like saying a 10t is needed, not for 99% of riders) Shimano did it smart for the masses, don't require new hubs to get 11 speed. Shimano simply filled the request of the wider gear range for 1x. And really this new 12 speed is just a "hey Sram, wtf are you smoking and how can you afford to waste all this money trying to cram that down ppls throats?"

    Shimano style freehub:. Universal standard for everything. Even Sram is offering cassettes that fit it now in 11s. Fit 8-9-10-11 speed Shimano, sunrace etc all on the same freehub.

    Sram XD:. Just to have a 10t cog and be stuck with the proprietary system. Truly reminds me of a cheap freewheel set up but as 2 pieces ( cogs and internals being separate). Still just threads on. So no "great new technology". Just a new standard that is going backwards in technology. Just adding more cogs and not as heavy/crappy.

    Don't think most people realize the truth of the XD drivers. Just a light weight 2 piece, wide range version of freewheel hubs they use on cheap bikes.

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by zooey View Post
    SRAM cassettes are mega expensive and have almost no material in them for reinforcement; it's just the minimum to get teeth where they're needed. If you're a big guy, or run really high traction tires, or ride terrain that goes up and down a lot with a lot of grip that requires a lot of shifting, I can see the replacement costs getting out of hand (broken teeth, folded cogs, etc.). People tend to bargain hunt SRAM parts, since their aftermarket prices are so ridiculous, but some of those don't come with warranty, which you'd likely need if you're hooked on riding. They last no longer than Shimano's, and honestly it's that alloy cog that wears out soonest.
    Did you just make that up?

    You do realize that the 1150 XG cassette is all steel and that you can pick one up for $80? It's also lighter than a 11sp XT cassette.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    All the bro-science aside (like saying a 10t is needed, not for 99% of riders) Shimano did it smart for the masses, don't require new hubs to get 11 speed. Shimano simply filled the request of the wider gear range for 1x. And really this new 12 speed is just a "hey Sram, wtf are you smoking and how can you afford to waste all this money trying to cram that down ppls throats?"

    Shimano style freehub:. Universal standard for everything. Even Sram is offering cassettes that fit it now in 11s. Fit 8-9-10-11 speed Shimano, sunrace etc all on the same freehub.

    Sram XD:. Just to have a 10t cog and be stuck with the proprietary system. Truly reminds me of a cheap freewheel set up but as 2 pieces ( cogs and internals being separate). Still just threads on. So no "great new technology". Just a new standard that is going backwards in technology. Just adding more cogs and not as heavy/crappy.

    Don't think most people realize the truth of the XD drivers. Just a light weight 2 piece, wide range version of freewheel hubs they use on cheap bikes.

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    Shimano wasn't expecting widespread market penetration of 1x drivetrains so quickly while their main developing efforts were focused on electronic shifting (DI2) so they got caught off guard.
    1x11 was more a quick afterthought as the market moved faster than anyone had expected including Sram.

    You cannot construct a lightweight wide range cassette cassette based on the old freehub design. To compensate for the missing 10T you'd need a 10% larger cog at the other end + the cassette will be inevitably heavier just based on the principle how the cassette connects to the freehub.

    The XD driver with the respective cassette is a clever design that is clearly superior to shimanos 1x11 solution, you may have your own opinion about this but Shimano got you covered anyway.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JTW View Post
    So, is this just a matter of preference like Coke vs. Pepsi, or are there real advantages of one over the other?
    In practical terms there is no difference. Both mount a cassette to a hub with a cassette lock ring and both are reliable. However, Shimano drivers and cassettes are much cheaper.

    As for the weight argument, a XX1 Eagle cassette is 360g, XTR is 334g and XT 11-46 is 450g. Anyone who claims they can feel the difference in weight is fantasizing.

    Since you already use an XD hub, I'd say keep using it, although you might change your mind when it comes time to replace the cassette.

  19. #19
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    Everyone is making good points:

    Pros of Sram XD:
    -weight( Shimano cassettes typically weigh more)( XD driver is lighter than shimano freehub)
    -10t Capable(Shimano max is 11t)
    -Easier to remove and put on cassette
    -Does not gouge splines like Shimano freehub does
    -Looks cool

    Cons:
    -Price
    -Must buy XD driver to use
    -Reliability if you're a heavier rider

    Shimano definitely hit the nail with their economical approach.

    I was a 2x hold out for 2 years, since I live in a mostly flat state and commute to the local trails via bike I did not want to let go of my 40-28 x 11-36. The 10t was the selling point for me to convert to 1x to give me that top end.
    Also, I compete in some Gravel Races every year.

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    Ya, tbh I didn't like the early revisions of the mechs but nowadays I'd spring for either one in terms of feel.

    Just want that functionally. I hate those little sram buttons.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fix the Spade View Post
    However, Shimano drivers and cassettes are much cheaper.

    As for the weight argument, a XX1 Eagle cassette is 360g, XTR is 334g and XT 11-46 is 450g. Anyone who claims they can feel the difference in weight is fantasizing.
    US Pricing Jenson / EU pricing bike-components

    Shimano XT 11-46 cassette
    range 418%
    weight 439g
    price 78$ US / 70€ EU

    Sram XG 11-50 cassette
    range 420%
    weight 394g
    price 117$ US / 90€ EU
    (the 42t cog is steel thus it will last longer than the Shimano XT)

    As you can see in the EU the value of Sram products is much better.

    One could argue if the Sram cassette is worth the price increase,
    I own both Shimano XT and Sram XG 1180 cassettes and the Shimano one is a pretty embarrassing product (from a technical standpoint) for a company that was once undisputed technology leader in the business.

    BTW The Sram Eagle you mentioned above is a 12 speed cassette with 500% range! Misleading!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Calf View Post

    The XD driver with the respective cassette is a clever design that is clearly superior to shimanos 1x11 solution, you may have your own opinion about this but Shimano got you covered anyway.
    This.

    There's a cool vid somewhere showing how SRAM makes the 1x11 cassettes, CNCed from a massive steel blank. CNCing something that complex is expensive, not to mention CNCing steel, but it's a cool vid to watch.

    That said, the driver is the issue here. The XD driver is simply far superior. A fatal flaw IMO to the shimano system is that their last 4 gears, even on XTR cassettes, are loose (not pinned to a carrier). Especially the gears 3 and 4, as they are thin and the part that grabs the splines is no thicker than the actual tooth. This causes mega scoring in any lightweight (alloy) carrier. Here is the scoring on my Hope cassette after about just six rides:
    XD vs Shimano freehub... pros & cons?-014469c2e0b639142c39058ca40f78380f1a175fdf.jpgXD vs Shimano freehub... pros & cons?-019eb60f45143fd3f0bac202b6bb4117a9200c2bba.jpg

    The XD system lets you crank away all day in those gears without worrying about what it's doing to the carrier. On these shimano-spline carriers, I often have to hit the cassette and try to rotate it backwards to free it up, sometimes having to pry the gears off with a screwdriver, and eventually, it just gives up and your splines are too worn to reliably get the thing on and off and have any kind of security. I think a lot of these hubs came out (years ago of course) with these alloy carriers to try and undersell shimano, who only sold steel and titanium for the longest time, but this issue was never really addressed. Moving to carrier-style cassettes made it better, but the problem still exists on the 4 loose gears on all shimano cassettes, so it still happens, just not as fast.

    Hope also has an XD style interface, while it's not XD, it's similar and their cassette design is similar. I have the Hope cassette, an X01 and an XTR, all 11spd. I also like that there are a few other choices now for 11spd cassettes. Yes, they are a little pricey, but the fact that the XD interface gets around this problem and SRAMs system does so at a significantly lighter weight is pretty impressive to me. It doesn't mean you need to buy the XX1-level cassette, but this is progress IMO and shimano is playing catch-up in the drivetrain area (where they used to be the driving force).

    You don't have to use the SRAM derailleur obviously, but I like that a lot better than the XTR I have too, as the XTR has no function to release the tension when removing the wheel like the SRAM and it ends up always jamming my studded tire against the chainstay yoke when I'm trying to remove/install it. It's a quality derailleur, but overall, I think SRAM has this stuff better figured out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    This.

    This causes mega scoring in any lightweight (alloy) carrier. Here is the scoring on my Hope cassette after about just six rides:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    While this is an issue to be noted about the shimano freehubs I wouldn't categorize this as a" fatal flaw".
    ... The rings can still be removed with a chain whip, it just takes more time and effort.

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    Sram allowed me to run an E-13 9/44t wide range cassette. I have no problems removing a Shimano freehub but chewing the freehub was annoying.

  25. #25
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    Having just switched over to my first "high-end" hub (DT 350) this is an interesting conversation. I purchased the 350 used with a XD driver on it already, since I am only 10spd this was a no go to me and ended up purchasing an alloy freehub (which I had gone steel now though). After removing my PRAXIS 11-40 cassette from the old wheel that has been on there since the PRAXIS first came out 2yrs ago and having had a shimano 11-36 on there before, the freehub body was so gouged that I had to take a metal file to the splines to knockdown the gouges enough to get the last two carriers off.

    I will be a 10spd holdout for a while but eventually will go 11sp or higher (when prices have dropped some to my liking). I had contemplated selling the XD driver with endcaps on eBay but due to this thread I will probably hold on to them.

    Great info guys!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toot3344556 View Post
    While this is an issue to be noted about the shimano freehubs I wouldn't categorize this as a" fatal flaw".
    ... The rings can still be removed with a chain whip, it just takes more time and effort.
    Eventually it'll stop working, even with a chainwhip, but the real issue is that it's simply an inferior system. It's not that it's going away, I still use it on two wheel sets, but if I buy a new one and the economics work out, I'll upgrade.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Eventually it'll stop working, even with a chainwhip, but the real issue is that it's simply an inferior system. It's not that it's going away, I still use it on two wheel sets, but if I buy a new one and the economics work out, I'll upgrade.
    Agreed.

    But the price of a 2nd shimano freehub is still only half of that to upgrade to an XD driver. May take you a couple of years to even destroy one.

    I just don't think it's a "catastrophic" type issue.

    But watch out, SRAM will come out with something new in the next couple of years to get 15 gears in the back and all of our XD drivers will be obsolete!!!!


    I have 2 I9 wheel sets and I can pop off the freehubs without removing the cassette hehe....
    one has an XD the other is a Shimano.

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    Since this turned into a weight quoting mess, I'll add this:

    XG-1099 - 185g (11-32), 208g (11-36t)

    Do you really need wide range? I personally think 32t up front is too small with 11-36. SRAM encouraged riders to stay in the big ring on their 2x10 system (39t or 42t), which I found I was fit enough for my terrain to have no problem doing, though I did have a habit of quickly dumping down to the granny up front it for steeps, as an alternative to shifting the rear under power.

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    XD vs Shimano freehub... pros & cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by zooey View Post
    Since this turned into a weight quoting mess, I'll add this:

    XG-1099 - 185g (11-32), 208g (11-36t)

    Do you really need wide range? I personally think 32t up front is too small with 11-36. SRAM encouraged riders to stay in the big ring on their 2x10 system (39t or 42t), which I found I was fit enough for my terrain to have no problem doing, though I did have a habit of quickly dumping down to the granny up front it for steeps, as an alternative to shifting the rear under power.
    This point is irrelevant to the discussion however I do agree 32x11 is too small...

    Point is, every one is different, rides different, rides in different locations, has different fitness levels and goals and weighs different.

    What gear range that is needed is preference based all upon rider.

    And to answer your question I would say yes, you do need a wide range if you're dumping into granny up front.

    A 1x 10x42 has pretty much the same range as a 2x11-36.

    Check out a gearing calculator, google it.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Toot3344556 View Post
    Be careful here: the "shimano freehub" we're refering to is actually a universal standard where as the xd driver is a sram proprietary component.

    Not sure if they still do but sram at least used yo make cassettes that fit the shimano "freehubs". I believe that now everything they make goes on an xd driver.



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    Everything but the NX, but that's heavier than the Shimano 11-cog offerings.

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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Eventually it'll stop working, even with a chainwhip, but the real issue is that it's simply an inferior system. It's not that it's going away, I still use it on two wheel sets, but if I buy a new one and the economics work out, I'll upgrade.
    Not inferior by any stretch, I posted above, take a second look at the XD driver design. More like someone drinking way too much SRAM koolaid. Just offers another option if you want to drop the coin to go that route. If you need a 10t for what you prefer for your set up, you got it. Though you loose out on durability. Everything is a compromise. And I won't buy a bike with an XD driver because it will be made "obsolete" in not too long anyway.

    All it is, the old freewheel units but lighter weight and 2 pieces. Still threads on etc. Basic design is no different, just updated and better materials used. And everyone called that design junk for what, the last like 20 yrs.....

    There is gains to be had for some, but it requires deep pockets both to start and to keep using. If you already have it and like it, by all means. But no reason to spend the money unless the Koolaid is stronger than you.


    And I have NOTHING against Sram, just pointing out XD driver is way overrated for half the riders out there. My road bike is Sram RIVAL 1X and my fat bike is 1x10 GX. B+ bike is Shimano Xt 1x11. Each is it's own deal, both work great and I have standard freehubs on all 3 bikes. Cassettes are disposable, don't care about saving 50g there, rather they last longer. My preference, nothing more.


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  32. #32
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    Think also a lot of this depends on the wallet pain ratio that the owner has... You CAN go to a 9/4X or 10/4X type cassette but they are $$$ (like $150+ from what I have seen) or you could grunt a little more and go with a standard 11/4X or 11/50 for that price or significantly less.. All depends on how much pain your wallet can handle (e.g. eThirteen TRSr 9/46 is $350 or TRS+ 9/44 is $280)

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    Well, to prepare you for potential problems, learn from the past. SRAM fans will tell you their cassettes work fine, if you're careful:

    Stripped XD cassette, needed new XD freehub replacement due to lack of spline engagement on removal tool
    - http://forums.mtbr.com/sram/xx1-clus...ed-867454.html
    - SRAM XD cassettes/freehubs, heads up...! « Singletrack Forum

    Bent/Broken teeth XD
    - http://forums.mtbr.com/drivetrain-sh...de-996198.html

    10 speed, non XD.
    - http://forums.mtbr.com/drivetrain-sh...t-1006010.html
    - http://forums.mtbr.com/drivetrain-sh...ow-970950.html

    Shimano not free from design failures. One I remember was how their 4-arm spider cassette carriers cracking, which they addressed with 5-arm spiders. Not sure what's up with their early M8000 batches having wandering bite point, but that's been hammering their image for over a year, and SRAM's been completely forgiven for their Guide brakes.

    Don't forget all the issues that Eagle fixed, if you're thinking of going 11spd.
    - Fuller range 500 vs 420%
    - Issue with RD loosening, since it had no way to cope with bumps causing it to rotate, solved by adding a pivot bushing and knurled washer
    - Backpedal chain drop in largest cog issue, addressed by further improving chain technology
    - Issue with how worn X-Sync chainring teeth caused the chain to rattle due to how unsmoothly it disengaged, solved by X-Sync2 tooth profile
    - Improved clutch strength and larger pulley for less chain friction
    - Issue with upper RD pulley's narrow wide teeth mis-meshing/de-syncing with the chain solved by removing the wide profile teeth

    Eagle RD seemingly has less ground clearance, so that may be an issue if you go that route. Then there's also the increased cost and weight. I still think that plastic cable routing guide wheel for the RD is a pain to deal with. Though, it could just be me who struggled to push a fresh cable through that thing.

    That all said, I have to admit, I'm honestly impressed with Eagle's technology. I will say it's overall *clearly better than Shimano's current tech*. The price/value seems to be based heavily on what kind of peace of mind that warranty gives though. In the end, it seems like this is all being used as fuel for a branding image war between the 2 giants and the fans on these forums... I should just back away, instead of just trying to fill in the story bits being left out, as that makes me look like an enemy.

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    We dont need to make removing shimano cassettes infomercial-hard. Every few *thousand* miles you'll need to use a chainwhip. If its really bad, you'll need to spend 2 minutes with a small file to knock down the ridges. After many many thousands of miles, you'll need to replace the freehub body, but that might take years if you ride a lot.

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    Oh ya, the Sram 11 and 12s RDs....omfg, those things are huge (not necessarily heavy, just way bigger) because of the goofy ass cable routing going through it.

    People get so overly concerned about weight then get upset when parts fail because you loose durability when you go lighter. Can get by with it a lot more on road bikes but mountain Sram has exceeded the capabilities of materials at a useable price range.

    Truly I could have money to burn and still not spend it myself. Rather not be adding to reasons to be walking home.

    Funny thing is only time I EVER use a chain whip is taking off a cassette for the first time. I don't crank the lock ring on so all I have to do is put a thick rag under my hand, clamp that hand down on the cassette and undo the lock nut.

    In 5 years of beating the hell out of my bikes (275 lbs on xc trails and some of the rougher tech alternate loops) I've NEVER had an issue. The lock ring is splined with the 1st position cog, so takes little torque to hold it there for years.

    So the only "improvement" there is the lack of lining up splines which takes an extra 10 seconds which is even then averted buy turning the line up spline to the top and look at the cassette and have that line up. I put mine on as one piece no problem.

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    XD driver is a solution to a problem that SRAM inflicted on themselves. Since the splines are only on the last 2 or 3 cogs, the rest of the cassette now has to transfer torque to those 3 cogs, which is why they have to machine the damn thing out of a single block of metal in the first place. Instead of stamping out cogs with a set of dies and then assembling them into a cassette, they have to machine it from a solid metal block, chew up a bunch of machine tool bits, and turn 90% of that block into worthless waste metal chips. Which is just a really expensive and dumb way of doing things, and all that so you can have a 10T small cog.

    As for XD vs Shimano style freehubs, the Shimano driver body gives more space for larger and more widely spaced bearings. Rear hubs take a ton of abuse so you want the largest bearings you can cram in there and space them nice & wide to support the hub as well as possible. Several people have brought up gouging on alloy Shimano freehub bodies, but this is NOT an issue with Onyx hubs since they use steel inserts on the splines to keep the cogs from digging into the metal.

    Since you're on an 11-42, there's no gearing range issues going over to Shimano, you're just out the cost of a new cassette and you can probably get it all back if you sell your lightly used SRAM cassette.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    XD driver is a solution to a problem that SRAM inflicted on themselves. Since the splines are only on the last 2 or 3 cogs, the rest of the cassette now has to transfer torque to those 3 cogs, which is why they have to machine the damn thing out of a single block of metal in the first place. Instead of stamping out cogs with a set of dies and then assembling them into a cassette, they have to machine it from a solid metal block, chew up a bunch of machine tool bits, and turn 90% of that block into worthless waste metal chips. Which is just a really expensive and dumb way of doing things, and all that so you can have a 10T small cog.
    Not correct, actually the cost of a bit to do the CNC machining is equivalent to that of a die used to stamp/cut-out the items. The remaining waste that most machine shops have from CNC large pieces of material is recycled and used for other items, most metal being melted down to create another, lower cost cassette out of the cheaper pre-machined material. Also, you would be amazed at how little waste there really is from these items that CANNOT be recycled in some way OR the fact that these machines are precise enough that they can machine from a block that is on the order of only a few millimeter wider/larger than the final product.

    Having worked with a machine shop that did LOTS of custom CNC machining (mind you I was a purchasing agent, not a machinist) many times machining bits can be resharpened multiple times to extend the longevity of the bit, however that same cannot be said for dies as they compress, fracture, and generally deform after use, making them wasted. Most shops send these back to the mfg. so that they can be melted down and turned into another tool. For much of the process for such items, CNC Machining is much more precise, cost-effective and timely than stamping out of a die that has to be sent to multiple stations to have different sections worked. Think assembly line of items vs. one machine that does a large majority of those assembly line stations.

    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    As for XD vs Shimano style freehubs, the Shimano driver body gives more space for larger and more widely spaced bearings. Rear hubs take a ton of abuse so you want the largest bearings you can cram in there and space them nice & wide to support the hub as well as possible. Several people have brought up gouging on alloy Shimano freehub bodies, but this is NOT an issue with Onyx hubs since they use steel inserts on the splines to keep the cogs from digging into the metal.

    Since you're on an 11-42, there's no gearing range issues going over to Shimano, you're just out the cost of a new cassette and you can probably get it all back if you sell your lightly used SRAM cassette.
    Agreed on the freehub companies catching on. They are starting to come up with ways, like BITEX with their ANTI-BITE tech, that they can prolong the life of an alloy freehub without the significant weight gain of the full steel/titanium shell.

    OP - think of it this way, you already have a good freehub setup, albeit a proprietary, with an acceptable gearing range for you. So you can go forward with your build with minimal investment in "other" parts. Whereas, if you decide that you want to switch back to a Shimano style freehub, that will require an additional investment in a new cassette (anywhere from $80-$400 depending) at minimum. Of which you can get a minimal return by selling your used items. Sometimes there is money burning a hole in your pocket, and then sometimes there is a raging debate of Cost Benefit Analysis between the Ego wanting a Lobster and New York Steak dinner and the Wallet saying you need to be on a Top-Ramen budget.

  38. #38
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    "Sometimes there is money burning a hole in your pocket, and then sometimes there is a raging debate of Cost Benefit Analysis between the Ego wanting a Lobster and New York Steak dinner and the Wallet saying you need to be on a Top-Ramen budget."

    This sentence defines not only my current wheel build, but most of the buying decisions I've made in my adult life. Bravo!

    To clarify, I'm not really looking to go back to Shimano for the sake of spending more money in this case, but I was concerned about spending good money on high-end hubs with an XD driver if Shimano was a better choice in my particular case. I think since I already have a low-miles XG1150 cassette that I'm happy with, I'll stick with the XD on the new build. This entire wheel build process has been a textbook case of analysis paralysis. I've overthought everything, right down to the freehub body.

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    All this suspense build-up just makes the feeling of relief, to actually analyze the ride, rather than the specs, feel even better.

    This is normal in these days of freedom, where the burden of choice is given to the one who knows hardly anything about it, and the ones who do know something about it just tell you A) has these benefits and drawbacks, and B) has these benefits and drawbacks, but it depends on your needs regarding which is better and can't make that choice for you.

    Sometimes you just have to go with your gut, with what little info you have, and move on. How much does a ~$700 decision affect you in your life long term? Give it a proportionate amount of time/effort to think it through.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    XD.

    Was a long time Shimano holdout, and I still use their shifters and derailures, but the XD design is better.

    The range and weights on the SRAM cassettes have Shimano beat, and you need the XD to run higher end SRAM cassettes.
    I'm in the same boat. The problem with the Shimano set up is you're limited to a 11 tooth small cog (high gear). That limits your range unless you go MUCH MUCH larger (more weight). So small changes on the high gear end (10 and 9 tooth gears) give you more range without having to go much larger on the low side.

    There is Hope and stuff like that but again, you have to buy in to a proprietary set up. I went that route a few years ago with Canfield Brothers' Micro-drive 9 tooth set up. They chose to stop supporting it so that was an expensive route down a dead end.

  41. #41
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    XD vs Shimano freehub... pros & cons?

    I like the range of the 10-42 more than the 11-42 for sure. Now that shimano has the 11-46 i would run that with 2 teeth more on the crank than a sram over buying a xd driver and so on if i got a wheelset that came shimano.

    Im hoping if sram doesn't trickle down eagle they come out with 11 speed 11-46 and 10-46 cassettes. The e thirteen is an option but if heard it wears fast, my all steel gx cassette is fine for me.
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    XD.

    Was a long time Shimano holdout, and I still use their shifters and derailures, but the XD design is better.

    The range and weights on the SRAM cassettes have Shimano beat, and you need the XD to run higher end SRAM cassettes.

    I agree. The XD design is better in terms of how the cassette is installed. The Shimano freehub with the lockring is not great and should be improved. I have had problems with lockrings.

    However, I like the Shimano drivetrain better now. I have XX1 setup one of my bikes but still like Shimano XT 1x11 better because of how smooth and precise it shifts.

  43. #43
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    How do you have problems with a lock ring? It works so well they made brake rotors use the same setup.

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    I'm not going to say SRAM is better. Just an observation and I would love to read form someone who has more of a clue than me....why is it Stand Neo hubs seem to have had issues with Shimano freehub and not SRAM. Maybe its been dealt with, but I searched and couldn't find anything on it.
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    So going back to the OP and your new custom wheel set.
    Pick a cassette and get the driver you want for it.

    You can always go back and order a 2nd freehub of the other style. Problem solved.


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    I'm firmly in the camp that believes the xd driver to be superior. In addition to several good points made I see the biggest benefit is moving the torque forces inboard.

    In the xd system the entire cassette is driven by the splines on the tallest cog which significantly moves the torque inboard. I'm not an engineer, but no doubt this will increase drive side bearing life. Furthermore, to a lesser extent, it makes for a "stiffer" engagement.

    Another benefit is with the higher end sram cassette's the tallest cog is easily replaced. Seeing as the tallest cog wears the fastest, I got about 4 cog replacements before the cassette was shot. When you juxtapose that with the "value" of shimano it's a moot point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    Another benefit is with the higher end sram cassette's the tallest cog is easily replaced. Seeing as the tallest cog wears the fastest, I got about 4 cog replacements before the cassette was shot. When you juxtapose that with the "value" of shimano it's a moot point.
    I have to ask, since you went through 4 of the biggest alloy cogs on 1 cassette, how's the replacement process go? Just want to get an idea of how easy and what the cost of the replacement cogs are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zooey View Post
    I have to ask, since you went through 4 of the biggest alloy cogs on 1 cassette, how's the replacement process go? Just want to get an idea of how easy and what the cost of the replacement cogs are.
    Gravy to change. I think I paid $48 for my last GC. That's in 11speed
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    This.

    There's a cool vid somewhere showing how SRAM makes the 1x11 cassettes, CNCed from a massive steel blank. CNCing something that complex is expensive, not to mention CNCing steel, but it's a cool vid to watch.

    That said, the driver is the issue here. The XD driver is simply far superior. A fatal flaw IMO to the shimano system is that their last 4 gears, even on XTR cassettes, are loose (not pinned to a carrier). Especially the gears 3 and 4, as they are thin and the part that grabs the splines is no thicker than the actual tooth. This causes mega scoring in any lightweight (alloy) carrier. Here is the scoring on my Hope cassette after about just six rides:
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    The XD system lets you crank away all day in those gears without worrying about what it's doing to the carrier. On these shimano-spline carriers, I often have to hit the cassette and try to rotate it backwards to free it up, sometimes having to pry the gears off with a screwdriver, and eventually, it just gives up and your splines are too worn to reliably get the thing on and off and have any kind of security. I think a lot of these hubs came out (years ago of course) with these alloy carriers to try and undersell shimano, who only sold steel and titanium for the longest time, but this issue was never really addressed. Moving to carrier-style cassettes made it better, but the problem still exists on the 4 loose gears on all shimano cassettes, so it still happens, just not as fast.

    Hope also has an XD style interface, while it's not XD, it's similar and their cassette design is similar. I have the Hope cassette, an X01 and an XTR, all 11spd. I also like that there are a few other choices now for 11spd cassettes. Yes, they are a little pricey, but the fact that the XD interface gets around this problem and SRAMs system does so at a significantly lighter weight is pretty impressive to me. It doesn't mean you need to buy the XX1-level cassette, but this is progress IMO and shimano is playing catch-up in the drivetrain area (where they used to be the driving force).

    You don't have to use the SRAM derailleur obviously, but I like that a lot better than the XTR I have too, as the XTR has no function to release the tension when removing the wheel like the SRAM and it ends up always jamming my studded tire against the chainstay yoke when I'm trying to remove/install it. It's a quality derailleur, but overall, I think SRAM has this stuff better figured out.
    I think this sums it up perfectly. Sick of trashed shimano splines and having to fork out $100 to get a steel replacement.


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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    How do you have problems with a lock ring? It works so well they made brake rotors use the same setup.

    Squeaking, loosening, and a few aluminum lockrings have striped on me over the years even though they were torqued right because they have so little threads. If they make the lockrings with more threads, they would be better. What is funny, is the hubs on most Shimano hubs have threading in the hub that goes pretty deep but the lockrings are still very shallow with only two-three lines of theads.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    I'm firmly in the camp that believes the xd driver to be superior. In addition to several good points made I see the biggest benefit is moving the torque forces inboard.

    In the xd system the entire cassette is driven by the splines on the tallest cog which significantly moves the torque inboard. I'm not an engineer, but no doubt this will increase drive side bearing life. Furthermore, to a lesser extent, it makes for a "stiffer" engagement.

    Another benefit is with the higher end sram cassette's the tallest cog is easily replaced. Seeing as the tallest cog wears the fastest, I got about 4 cog replacements before the cassette was shot. When you juxtapose that with the "value" of shimano it's a moot point.
    Good points.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aliikane View Post
    (...) What is funny, is the hubs on most Shimano hubs have threading in the hub that goes pretty deep but the lockrings are still very shallow with only two-three lines of theads.
    Blame the WW crowd for that.

    I think pretty much everyone agrees​ that XD is a better design.
    SRAM did the right thing when decided to brake with backward compatibility with an obsolete design.
    With a small change they got bigger ratio and smaller weight. And this by simply milling some extra metal from a normal Shimano freehub. How good of a product engineering is that?

    The damaged on the Shimano freehubs caused by the cassettes is not a flaw in the freehub design, it's a flaw of the cassette, if the cassettes were done properly they wouldn't cause damage to the freehub. And if people didn't buy crappy cassettes, myself included, all the cassettes would be properly done. So, blame yourself for that, and me.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    XD driver is a solution to a problem that SRAM inflicted on themselves. Since the splines are only on the last 2 or 3 cogs, the rest of the cassette now has to transfer torque to those 3 cogs, which is why they have to machine the damn thing out of a single block of metal in the first place. Instead of stamping out cogs with a set of dies and then assembling them into a cassette, they have to machine it from a solid metal block, chew up a bunch of machine tool bits, and turn 90% of that block into worthless waste metal chips. Which is just a really expensive and dumb way of doing things, and all that so you can have a 10T small cog.

    Since you're on an 11-42, there's no gearing range issues going over to Shimano, you're just out the cost of a new cassette and you can probably get it all back if you sell your lightly used SRAM cassette.
    I know this is just a forum but still, you're making a lot of assumptions and state them as fact although being untrue.

    Your claim that all cassettes have to be made from a block of steel and that it is a technical necessity due to the XD driver is not correct, only their two most expensive cassettes XG-1199 and XG-1195 are made like that for weight saving reasons.

    XG-1180 largely consists out of stamped cogs apart from the three smallest cogs which form a small "mini driver"

    XG-1175 and XG-1150 consist only out of stamped cogs, the later one although being full steel still lighter (although more expensive) than a Shimano XT.

    If he's on a Sram 11-42 setup he probably runs a Sram NX 11-42 cassette on a Shimano style free hub, which is less expensive but much heavier too than the Shimano XT counterpart.

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    It is important to remember that the current Shimano free hub design was invented back in the 80s, together with 7s cassettes.

    That does not necessarily mean it's a bad thing and it was working fine for a long time but take a good look on a modern bike and try to find something else that has survived that long (bb standard, handlebar width and diameter,
    axle width and diameter, headset/stem assembly, wheel diameter...)

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toot3344556 View Post
    Don't count out the 10t though!! On xc bikes not all are able to fit a big enough chain ring to get the same ratios between the 11t and 10t.
    Check out a gearing calc. That 10t makes a big difference.

    I would buy sram if they made their shifters functionality the same as shimano's... why they don't boggles my mind ...


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    I'm just curious, because I've used both and have currently been on XO mech's for a couple years, but why all the hate on the SRAM mech's? My shifter works great, has never let me down, has taken a couple big hits and it's sealed very well, everytime I re-cable there's not a hint of dirt or oil has never whiffed a shift.

    I'm not really in either camp but neither SRAM nor shimano have ever let me down.
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Last I looked, Shimano was cheaper. By a pretty big margin. It doesn't even seem like anyone is holding Shimano in higher regards, it's just cheaper.

    If you already have all the SRAM stuff I think it's an easy call.
    Shimano is heavy and lacks that last bit of range (I couldn't care less, for how rarely I use my 11 or 42, I don't need 10% more).
    For my money the shimano cassette shifts better than sram. Plus it costs $300 less, and I go through at least one a year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattyice View Post
    I'm just curious, because I've used both and have currently been on XO mech's for a couple years, but why all the hate on the SRAM mech's? My shifter works great, has never let me down, has taken a couple big hits and it's sealed very well, everytime I re-cable there's not a hint of dirt or oil has never whiffed a shift.

    I'm not really in either camp but neither SRAM nor shimano have ever let me down.
    Not the mech.

    The shifter.
    Shimano shifters have more features. Going down you can click 2 at a time and can also trigger with your pointer figure on the opposite side.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aglo View Post
    And if people didn't buy crappy cassettes, myself included, all the cassettes would be properly done. So, blame yourself for that, and me.
    The "all loose" cassette problem hasn't really been the issue for years. I used an XT in the picture I posted earlier, as well as only XTs with the ones I've had problems with. The issue is that even the most expensive shimano cassettes still have 4 loose gears, and those gears happen to be located as far from the center of the hub as possible (see Whalenard's post about moving the torque inward). The issue still happens, even with "good" shimano cassettes.
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  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toot3344556 View Post
    Not the mech.

    The shifter.
    Shimano shifters have more features. Going down you can click 2 at a time and can also trigger with your pointer figure on the opposite side.
    Well, I can downshift with my knuckle with my X1 and X9 shifters without taking any fingers off the bar, the action is too heavy on my XT to do the same. That two gear function is nice, but not a deal breaker. Both the high end SRAM and shimano shifters are very good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    The "all loose" cassette problem hasn't really been the issue for years. I used an XT in the picture I posted earlier, as well as only XTs with the ones I've had problems with. The issue is that even the most expensive shimano cassettes still have 4 loose gears, and those gears happen to be located as far from the center of the hub as possible (see Whalenard's post about moving the torque inward). The issue still happens, even with "good" shimano cassettes.
    When I said crappy cassette I meant exactly that, they could bound together those last cogs, but they don't. It's not hard to do so, I can think of two ways they can do this without think too much, imagine what an engineer could do, but this mean they would lose profit margin with the extra time and work needed to do this. When the freehub was made of steel this was not a such a big problem, but still a problem, but as bike technology and materials evolved the way they built those last cogs should had also evolved, instead we have to consider the freehub body as wear and tear.

    Don't get me wrong, I use Dt 240s and Dt 350 with Shimano freehubs, but this don't mean I have to be happy about my cassettes gouging them.
    When the prices get more equalized I won't think twice on change my freehubs to XD drives.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Well, I can downshift with my knuckle with my X1 and X9 shifters without taking any fingers off the bar, the action is too heavy on my XT to do the same. That two gear function is nice, but not a deal breaker. Both the high end SRAM and shimano shifters are very good.
    Again, not talking about feel, All function here.
    Not even knocking Sram shifters.
    I really really prefer shimano shifters due to this functionality to the point where I won't buy Sram.

    It's almost like the argument of the Freehub's one has a better design...
    Let's just say Sram has a better freehub and shimano has better shifters hehe :P

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toot3344556 View Post
    Again, not talking about feel, All function here.
    Not even knocking Sram shifters.
    I really really prefer shimano shifters due to this functionality to the point where I won't buy Sram.

    It's almost like the argument of the Freehub's one has a better design...
    Let's just say Sram has a better freehub and shimano has better shifters hehe :P
    I can't tell any real/significant function difference between my X1 and XT. I hear people on both sides say each is smoother and I hear people on both sides say each is more positive. I'm at a loss to describe any real difference.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Eventually it'll stop working, even with a chainwhip, but the real issue is that it's simply an inferior system. It's not that it's going away, I still use it on two wheel sets, but if I buy a new one and the economics work out, I'll upgrade.
    No it won't. Stop working? Really?
    and if you've ever looked at one of the small cogs, you'd know the teeth are thinner than the cog base.
    Far from a "fatal flaw," this is a non-issue.
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  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by meltingfeather View Post
    No it won't. Stop working? Really?
    and if you've ever looked at one of the small cogs, you'd know the teeth are thinner than the cog base.
    Far from a "fatal flaw," this is a non-issue.
    So you can get cassettes on and off infinitely with alloy shimano drivers as they slowly get destroyed? Impressive. Perhaps your response didn't take into account that we were referring to the process of removing and installing cassettes?

    If you ever read the rest of this thread, you'd see where I described the thin and slightly wider loose gears (4 total), as I said before, the inner most two are only as thin as the teeth, the outer (furthest from the hub) are wider, but I notice they still dig into the splines pretty well too, probably due to the distance from the center as mentioned before.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I can't tell any real/significant function difference between my X1 and XT. I hear people on both sides say each is smoother and I hear people on both sides say each is more positive. I'm at a loss to describe any real difference.
    Ya, i can trigger with my pointer finger and go 2 at a time .

    Those are two features that sram does not have.


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    People have definitely spun steel cogs on aluminum freehub bodies.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  68. #68
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    I always run Shimano because I understand it and my drivetrains are always 2x10 for bikepacking. So I don't have much to offer other than. Onyx hubs ROCK. They're a tad heavy but the sprag clutch is to die for. We have one on our tandem and it is bulletproof.
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    From a purely cost driven perspective (as I already had wheels with Hope and CK hubs with stainless steel freehub bodies) I went with Shimano XT. I upgraded from 1x10 SRAM to a 1x11 Shimano setup. The cost of SRAM XO level cassettes and having to replace two freehub bodies was the deciding factor for me at least.

    XT Shifter, cassette, rear derailleur
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    While it still has an 11T high gear instead of 10T, running the 50T Shark cog on the back let me increase the ring size up front from 30T to 32T. I will probably move up to 34T as I gain fitness. Frankly I don't use the high end much enoughto worry about the 10T.

    It's not as elegant or light but I didn't have to sell a kidney either, and I do prefer the Shimano shifter feel (at least compared to my SRAM X0 10 speed).

  70. #70
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    I use shimano now. I have had X1 cassette become very noise after 1k miles. Still shifted ok but made a racket. My XTs last a lot longer. Plus I have the XD splines break and there was no way to remove the cassette from the hub driver. I had to replace the driver on the hub when the Sram cassette wore out. Shimano is tried and true, might not be the lightest, but it works every time and lasts much longer

  71. #71
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    For people saying "I never use the 11T anyway, a 10T would be a waste!" why wouldn't you go to a smaller chainring? This would allow to actually use ALL of your cassette as well has have a better granny/bailout gear for when you're bonk at the end of a grinder day.

    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    People have definitely spun steel cogs on aluminum freehub bodies.

    I never went completely through, but came close. My last Stan's 3.3 freehub had to be tossed in the garbage still connected to the cassette. Haha
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  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalkerfiveo View Post
    For people saying "I never use the 11T anyway, a 10T would be a waste!" why wouldn't you go to a smaller chainring? This would allow to actually use ALL of your cassette as well has have a better granny/bailout gear for when you're bonk at the end of a grinder day.
    because some people like the idea of having a larger chainring up front. They then complain that the aluminum 42T wears out too fast.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalkerfiveo View Post
    I never went completely through, but came close. My last Stan's 3.3 freehub had to be tossed in the garbage still connected to the cassette. Haha
    Spun the 36t on a Roval alloy freehub (pins holding the cassette together broke). The Stan's 3.30 alloy is still trucking along.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    because some people like the idea of having a larger chainring up front. They then complain that the aluminum 42T wears out too fast.
    Lol
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  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toot3344556 View Post
    Not the mech.

    The shifter.
    Shimano shifters have more features. Going down you can click 2 at a time and can also trigger with your pointer figure on the opposite side.
    I honestly prefer the double thumb on the SRAM, and the XO has a double throw down. The thumb makes sense as you can keep a finger on the brakes when descending and up shifting. Seems more intuitive, at least to me. You never need to move your hand.
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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by zooey View Post
    SRAM cassettes are mega expensive and have almost no material in them for reinforcement; it's just the minimum to get teeth where they're needed. If you're a big guy, or run really high traction tires, or ride terrain that goes up and down a lot with a lot of grip that requires a lot of shifting, I can see the replacement costs getting out of hand (broken teeth, folded cogs, etc.). People tend to bargain hunt SRAM parts, since their aftermarket prices are so ridiculous, but some of those don't come with warranty, which you'd likely need if you're hooked on riding. They last no longer than Shimano's, and honestly it's that alloy cog that wears out soonest.

    Honestly, I'm still on 10 speed with Shimano freehub. I don't think technology on the newer 11 and 12 speed stuff is must-have at all. Just adds more unsprung weight and cost needlessly. I think it's more like SRAM couldn't compete with Shimano on value, and decided to target the high end market and give racers an advantage and win them to their side and get a ton of promotion, which enthusiasts went gaga over. Shimano die-hard fans demanded a competing product, and Shimano reluctantly met the demand. Don't see any value in 6/7/8/9 speed over 10 either. Can get decent SLX level cassettes for $33 and seriously good HG95 chains for $20, and the shifter action on Shimano 10 spd shifters totally won me over.

    Also, doesn't the Onyx hub use steel for their shimano freehub, and alloy for the XD freehub? I think their centerlock splines are steel too. I'm not too familiar with those hubs, but keep eyeing them because of the allure of silent coasting. I figure if you're getting a hub like that, you value things other than weight more, such as long term costs related to durability.
    You can get steel or alloy in both XD & shimano for your Onyx hubs. The alloy versions have replaceable steel pins that stop the gouging of the freehub. Plus you will love the Onyx hub the silence is deafening!

  77. #77
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    I also don't understand the shifter argument. Yeah, with SRAM you can only downshift 1 gear at a time. But my thumb will click and shift the gears afster than the RD will anyways. Seems like a moot point.
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  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliikane View Post
    Squeaking, loosening, and a few aluminum lockrings have striped on me over the years even though they were torqued right because they have so little threads. If they make the lockrings with more threads, they would be better. What is funny, is the hubs on most Shimano hubs have threading in the hub that goes pretty deep but the lockrings are still very shallow with only two-three lines of theads.
    King makes deep thread lockrings, but they aren't cheap. I have a steel Sun Race lockring that came on my wife's old road bike that has deeper than usual threads. The cassette was thrown away long ago but I'm still using that lock ring.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stalkerfiveo View Post
    I also don't understand the shifter argument. Yeah, with SRAM you can only downshift 1 gear at a time. But my thumb will click and shift the gears afster than the RD will anyways. Seems like a moot point.
    I don't get it either. The shimano paddles are way too stiff and feel gritty compared to sram.

  79. #79
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    XD vs Shimano freehub... pros & cons?

    Just got an XD for my DT350 hub. Have XT 11spd shifter and derailleur. Was running XT 11-42 cassette but tires of the gouging into the aluminum hub body.

    So got XG1150 cassette and XD hub driver. Of course I went and stripped the first one I got. 40 Nm my ass. I don't think it was take that much. So will tighten the new by hand. So didn't save much money lol.

    But will save a bit of weight and will keep roughly same high gear ratio by dropping chainring to 28 from 30, gaining some bailout.

    28/10 is roughly same as 30/11.

    I like the double shift in the Shimano and prefer the shimano clutch.

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  80. #80
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    I think XD's must be great, because they spend a lot on marketing.
    I've never tried one though.

    P.S. Alloy shimano carriers work fine for me too, MF.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    So you can get cassettes on and off infinitely with alloy shimano drivers as they slowly get destroyed? Impressive. Perhaps your response didn't take into account that we were referring to the process of removing and installing cassettes?
    I have no need to take them on and off "infinitely." Are we keeping our feet on the ground here or drifting into neverneverland to try and substantiate this ridiculous claim?
    I'm also not one to start worrying about what's going on with my cassette after 6 rides and pull it off to look at the freehub.
    They also don't slowly get destroyed. They bed in and then stop moving in my experience.
    It's a non-issue or Shimano would have addressed this "fatal flaw" before you were born, since that's probably how long bikes have been using this system.
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  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by meltingfeather View Post
    It's a non-issue or Shimano would have addressed this "fatal flaw" before you were born, since that's probably how long bikes have been using this system.
    It's a shame if they're not looking to redesign eventually. Maybe ebikes will have them thinking something new up, which could trickle over to mtb.

    There's seriously a lot of filler material on the back of the cassette, just to adapt to the old freehub standard, as shown by SRAM. It's the equivalent of Shimano trying to do triple direct mount chainrings on their crankset, all being fixed around the spindle.

  83. #83
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    OK, somewhat of a newbie question here. With the XD, does the cassette need to align with freehub in any specific way? Meaning is it keyed or the spacing between the splines on the freehub are all the same?
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  84. #84
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    On the XD, you don't need to 'key' the cassette like you do on a Shimano freehub..... just slide it on until the tabs mesh in any ol' position and then tighten her down.

    It's a great design.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by D Bone View Post
    On the XD, you don't need to 'key' the cassette like you do on a Shimano freehub..... just slide it on until the tabs mesh in any ol' position and then tighten her down.

    It's a great design.
    Awesome. That's what I thought but just needed confirmation. Thanks.
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  86. #86
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    So dumb question here... is it just me or are XD specific cassettes hard to find from anyone other than SRAM or the big $$$$ cassettes? Was hoping to go with like a Shimano XT M8000 11-46 or SunRace 11-46 but neither show an XD cassette. Am I missing something here?

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    We're all missing affordable XD cassettes. I'd love for others to adopt the standard, but it only works if you either pin your cassette together at 100+ diff individual spots, or machine from 1 giant piece, which makes it a time-consuming expensive process.

    Might as well make a single adapter that fits onto the XD freehub, that acted as a spider for individual stamped cogs. Can redesign the splines at the same time. Maybe something like e13's connection scheme, or even 1up's Switch. That or just make an entire new standard, one that is much less restrictive on the size of the axle, bearings, and freewheel mech in the rear hub.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    So dumb question here... is it just me or are XD specific cassettes hard to find from anyone other than SRAM or the big $$$$ cassettes?
    Yup, right now only SRAM offer the XD cassettes since it's their standard and is still relatively new. I don't expect Shimano to make any XD compatible cassettes but I don't see why SunRace don't.
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  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    Was hoping to go with like a Shimano XT M8000 11-46 or SunRace 11-46 but neither show an XD cassette. Am I missing something here?
    yes. Why would you want a XD kompatible 11-46 cassette? It's just heavier than a 10-42

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Calf View Post
    yes. Why would you want a XD compatible
    Maybe because he has a XD freehub.
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  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyride1 View Post
    Maybe because he has a XD freehub.
    if you have a XD compatible hub you would just buy a 10-42 cassette which leverages the advantage of the XD driver and not a heavy 11-46 cassette. What's needed here is a 11speed XD 10-48 cassette that would still work with Sram 1x11 rear derailleurs

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Calf View Post
    if you have a XD compatible hub you would just buy a 10-42 cassette which leverages the advantage of the XD driver and not a heavy 11-46 cassette. What's needed here is a 11speed XD 10-48 cassette that would still work with Sram 1x11 rear derailleurs
    This.... I am not really concerned with the 10t vs. 11t, more I want the granny gear up from a 42t. It is easier and cheaper to swap rings from 30-36t to get higher top-end speeds vs. trying to find a 10-46/48 cassette.
    For my DT 350 I have both the XD freehub and the Shimano, but I tend to tear through the splines in the shimano fairly quickly and haven't upgraded to the steel freehub as of yet. So looks like if I want to do the 1x11 then I am looking at Shimano style freehub for cheaper cassette or $$$$ for something like Hope or eThirteen.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    I am not really concerned with the 10t vs. 11t, more I want the granny gear up from a 42t
    If you're loosing the 10T you've to increase the 42T cog to 46T just to compensate for that. A 11-48 only got 3,9% more range than a 10-42 cassette, which equals about a 1/4 gear. Range is the objective here, not absolute numbers that appear huge

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    So, I recently ordered the new I9 trail 101 wheelset to upgrade on my Tallboy 3. I've been riding for a year and half and finally got to upgrade from my hardtail. I have the NX Eagle 12spd right now and I ordered the SRAM XD version, (they are back ordered). Is it worth buying just a gx cassette for another 200 dollars, or should I call back and just switch to the shimano HG wheelset that fits the NX? Looking to do what's better over the long term. Not that I wanted to spend more money but if I would eventually upgrade the drive train is it better to already have the XD driver?

  95. #95
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    Its going to depend on how much the 10T means to you. The GX and XD will be an overall lighter package than the NX and HG driver.

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    I just looked up the the prices of Industry Nine 101 drivers.

    It looks like they're all about $100.

    So if you want to upgrade to GX later on, you'll be out $200 for the cassette, and $100 for the freehub.

    Or you buy it now, and it costs you just the price of the GX cassette. So less total, but more upfront. Most would consider the GX an upgrade though, as it weighs less, and should/could/might shift better (I've never ridden a GX, so I can't confirm/deny that statement).

    I'm currently in the middle of a debate like that as well, except I was looking at the Industry Nine Hydra hubs, and noticed that their freehubs are ~$230. So ordering the correct one from the get-go is a big savings there, even if it means doing a full drivetrain upgrade first. But it also means a lot more money upfront :/.

    Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ocnLogan View Post
    I just looked up the the prices of Industry Nine 101 drivers.

    It looks like they're all about $100.

    So if you want to upgrade to GX later on, you'll be out $200 for the cassette, and $100 for the freehub.

    Or you buy it now, and it costs you just the price of the GX cassette. So less total, but more upfront. Most would consider the GX an upgrade though, as it weighs less, and should/could/might shift better (I've never ridden a GX, so I can't confirm/deny that statement).

    I'm currently in the middle of a debate like that as well, except I was looking at the Industry Nine Hydra hubs, and noticed that their freehubs are ~$230. So ordering the correct one from the get-go is a big savings there, even if it means doing a full drivetrain upgrade first. But it also means a lot more money upfront :/.

    Good luck.
    Thanks everyone for the info. I think I'll upgrade to the gx cassette now and when it's time to replace other components of the drivetrain I'll continue to move up the ladder. Definitely is a little hit upfront but see the long term benefit.

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