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Talked to owner at LBS. He is in believe that the current XTR Group has been designed for ultra wieght saving, therefore is not as durable as the XT Group. Quite simply he implied that it will break! We all understand what he is saying, but I would assume the for true XC riding, the XTR group would perfrom for fawlessly for many years.

I have experience with the 2nd generation XTR, it was bomb proof for XC.

If you own 3rd generation XTR (current design), how well at has it held up?
 

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Fine

Mine has held up fine in over 2 years of riding it daily... A couple of things to watch out for:
1. Clean cables and housing are critical to good performance. In summer, I replace the housing and cable every 3 months or the shifting goes south. My old XTR was better (replaced once a year).
2. Be wary of the older "new" versions of the XTR caliper. Some pistons do not retract all the way out (SPS).
Other than that- it has been pretty durable. It's time to replace the cassette-chain and chainrings however (actually, it was time 1.5 years ago) but I just can't imagine how much that's going to cost so I'm going to wear them out completely until I invest in new parts...
 

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That is a common misconception that typically comes from people who have no clue what they're talking about. XTR parts are neither stronger nor weaker than XT or other groups. It is balanced for racing and will make parts lighter where necessary and heavier or stronger where reliability is more important. Many XTR parts have actually traditionally been heavier because they use stronger materials, less plastic, all metal, etc. Crash damage prone parts like derrailleurs and shifter clamps are actually stronger. XTR uses forged aluminium here where XT and lower are weaker die cast parts. Cassettes are optimized for lighter weight yet a bit weaker and faster wearing because they use Ti cogs. Saving weight is more important here. The XT cranks are a bit stiffer but XTR cranks are by no means weak. Its one of the stiffest and strongest cranksets ever made. The brake calipers are functionally identical to all other groups but have more material shaved to save more weight. More material on the brake caliper hardly makes it any more reliable. Its not very common for calipers to suffer crash damage. Overall XTR is actually the strongest groups where it counts (with the obvious exception of Saint/Hone). Rather than making oversimplified generalizations I would recommend you understand the differences between each parts and spec your bike out with whatever best suits your goal and budget.
 
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