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over researcher
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's time to finally upgrade the drivetrain. Current setup is Shimano M951 shifters, M950 12-32 cassette (top 3 are Ti), M952 rear derailleur, and M960 (or whatever it was in 2006) front derailleur. My cassette is completely hammered, with the teeth literally getting wider where the chain makes contact due to the peening of the teeth. Despite this, it actually shifts quite well. There is no gear skipping, or hanging up, or any major issues for that matter. This is why it makes it so difficult to justify the upgrade.


I've been happy with Shimano, but I think I'd like to see what the 1:1 SRAM fuss is all about. I also like the idea of getting rid of the rear derailleur cable loop. I realize the Shimano Shadow rear derailleur would resolve that problem, but I've heard the SRAM is good stuff and I've read about a few issues in my limited reading about the Shadow. I'm also wondering if I should use a SRAM PG-990 cassette, or if I should continue with Shimano and use an XT M770. Which seems to shift better? Which has more cogs on the spider? The 11-32 cassettes are even in spread, but the XT 11-34 spread is more even than the 990 11-34 spread.
XT 11-32: 11-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32
PG-990 11-32: 11-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32
XT 11-34: 11-13-15-17-20-23-26-30-34
PG-990 11-34: 11-13-15-17-21-23-26-30-34

I'll just stick with my RaceFace 94/58 5-arm Turbine LP cranks, and I'll just pick up some new RF 22-32-44 9sp chainrings. Regarding chains. PC-991, PC-991 Hollow Pin, or PC-991 Cross Step? As a reference, I've been plenty happy with the PC-68. I'll also keep my current front derailleur.


Anyway, thanks for the advice.
 

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Pivoteer
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3,445 Posts
You will be happy with the SRAM shifters and derailleur combo. I switched a few years back and have nothing but great luck. The new Shimano stuff is sweet as well, can't lose either way. Just a note, I bought XO shifters and run an X9 and an X7 rear derailleur. They shift the exact same. I think the shifters have more to do with it than the derailleur. I run an X7 on my RFX becasue it seems like I rip a few off every year, and at $45 to replace, I feel better about it. I did have an XO on it originally, I cant say it is any better. I did originally run X9 shifters on my Sultan, and XOs are far superior. Great deals on Ebay.

As for the cassette, I have never liked SRAM. I recently bought a 990 and took it back immediately. I run Shimano XTR chains and it shifted like crap. I could get it shift really well in 1-6, but 7,8,and 9 would skip like crazy under load. And yes, I did a complete rebuild, new rings, cassette, and chain. So I went back to a XT cassette and all was well. It seems as though the SRAM cassettes are softer as well. Anyone who has run them in our group either bends the cogs, or breaks them right off.
 

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Bite Me.
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The standard set up on the last few bikes I've built has been XT or XTR cassette 11-34, X9 shifters and rear derailleur (Pricepoint deal), XTR chain, , X9 or XTR front derailleur, XT cranks - completely bomb proof IMO. I like the SRAM shiters and deraiileurs but prefer the Shimano drive train stuff.
 

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Baked Alaskan
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1,810 Posts
I think everyone is going to have different experiences here so I'll throw in my .02...

Started with XT front and XTR rear der's mated to sram attack (I'm a twisty guy, have to be able to trim the front der.) and an XT cassette in the rear - ran them for 3 years and they were ok, but I could never get shifting perfect, or shifting would be great but I'd get ghost shifting in some gears over certain kinds of bumps. So I just figured it was something I'd live with and everything was tolerable.

Then a couple seasons ago I got a mad case of UGI and switched to all Sram, Xgen up front, X-9 out back, 990 cassette and X-9 twisties and its been nothing but love - easy to setup, precise shifting and no ghost shifting. I'm now a Sram convert and will not go back to the Big S for shifter stuff. That being said I run LX HTII cranks - absolutely the best crank bang for the buck IMHO - and its been flawless.

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When I get my hands on a Sultan frame I'm going to run the same setup and I may try to scrape up some deals for the GF's bike to get hers close to mine. I think my shift quality would be the same if I had an XT cassette too, just got a better deal on the 990 so that's why I switched. But I'm X-9 all the way from now on.
 

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over researcher
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, I already have the PricePoint X9 combo in my shoping cart. I just needed to figure out whether to go with SRAM or Shimano on the cassette. It sounds like I'll go Shimano.

Hmm, now to decide on 11-32 or 11-34. When I first started riding after the snow melted and the trails dried out, I really wished I had the 34 cog, but now that I'm in better shape, I find myself several cogs down from the 32 I currently have.

There were some Southern California trails that I wish I would have had the 34, even when I was in riding shape, but where I ride in Utah, I'm thinking I can get away with the 32.
 

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trail fairy
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9,546 Posts
What AK said, Ive also been a long time Sram covert and more than likely won't change back on my bikes! unles Sram do something wierd or stupid, like the bi S did a few years ago!

AK touches on a point Ive tried to push for as long, keep al your Sram Sram do not mix n match Shimano!, Ive had none of theissues people describe with shifting or with wear, on either my 990s/ 991 chains Ive only ever broken one Sram chain and that was a 950, because there were no 991s available at the time!

I'm sure lots of other issues come into play, like cranks, alignment, mainentance! But I ride or used to allot in mud and nothing has ever worked so well for me, my DTs run as sweet in mud as they do in the dry, Ive done many events where I see gearing lets many people down, Ive never had that issue, no matter the conditions!

Others will disagree, but if you wear your components in evenly there will be no issues, I run
X9 RD/Xgen FD with dual ring on the RFX XO shifters impulse!
XO/XO/X9FD on the Spot!

There's some god stuff coming out of Shimano for sure, like there new XT cranks, new Saint, I want to have a closer look at the splines etc at some stage, but gearing Sram takes it for me, its like campy in road the more you ride it the better it gets, shimano for me has always been the opposite works well new when adj correctly, but the more ride time or adverse the more worse it becomes and also requires more consistent adjustments to keep running well, well thats my experience for pre 08 stuff with Sram barely ever need adjustment, its a riders groupset!

It may take you some time to adjust to the fast precise shifts, and if using impulse or thumb triggers, but its very intuative in about and half hour!

X9 for value front to back the shifters have the same clamping and adjustment as the fancier X0 and no disrespect to X7 or less but there bar clamp is weak its ok if ya don't overtighten it or crash too hard, so even if ya get X9 shifters and X7 rear etc you'll be all good, course you may want twist!

Go for it:thumbsup:
 

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over researcher
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
tiSS'er & cuthroat - XTR chains over SRAM? Really? I switched from Shimano to Sachs back in the 90's and never looked back. Let me know why you're Shimano chain fans.
 

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royta said:
Yeah, I already have the PricePoint X9 combo in my shoping cart. I just needed to figure out whether to go with SRAM or Shimano on the cassette. It sounds like I'll go Shimano.
Before you press the buy button, call Larry. I was going to buy the same combo from PP, but ended up going with Larry because his price was pretty close.

The X9 shifter/der combo is the shizzle--I cannot believe how crisply it shifts. In fact, I am beginning to prefer the X.9 triggers over my X.o gripshifters.

And while I run SRAM 991 chains, I have also been fairly happy with the Dura Ace chains. Really, I think they are interchangeable, as are XT/990 cassettes.
 

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Pivoteer
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royta said:
tiSS'er & cuthroat - XTR chains over SRAM? Really? I switched from Shimano to Sachs back in the 90's and never looked back. Let me know why you're Shimano chain fans.
Yeah, really. I much prefer the XTR chains. When paired with an XT cassette, seems like the shifting is much more crisp, smooth and faster. I have never had a Shimano chain fail on me. I do use the SRAM quick link as well. Also, the Shimano chain seems quieter.
 

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Baked Alaskan
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1,810 Posts
One other thing I forgot to add is I run a medium cage rear deraileur. Since I don't have a big ring there's no need for a long cage and it doesn't seem to flop around as much as the long cage does. That might be helping my overall success - though my previous setup with the XT was a short cage so maybe not. :confused: I run a Sram chain too.
 

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trail fairy
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9,546 Posts
Dam AK is gonna think I'm stalking him, :lol:

again what he said!

What bike are we talking about here anyways!

If Spot above I'd definitley go Dual Ring! Tscheesy covered this off a few years ago with a very good thread, at the time I wasn't doing this on the spot, RFX above it made total sens, but I converted anyways and its definitley the way to go,27psds is way overkill unless ya seriously racing then I'd still check your gearing!

Go for something like 36/22 or 24 gr up front put a bash on where the 44t ring was, Heim or Blackspire or DRS chain guide and medium cage!

I'd be weary running short cage derailuers with a dual ring setup you may struggle with jockey wheel clearance on ya biggest rear cog on yer cluster even with clearance it will be tight a small bit of crap and it will be oh crap esspecialy if ya have a sweet XO on there! Unless ya running anything less than 32t rear in the biggest then ya gearing is gona be pretty tough, people forget DHers doing thins run max usually 27t usually a 11/23t just some added thoughts! It can be done, just don't see the point myself.

I run med on all my bikes with backsire chain guides and raceface cranks, and as A said all Sram transmissions no mixing, Sram and RF rings work very well together, Sram chains and Shimano tolerances are not exactly the same so this maybe why I have different experiences to most peoples mixed combos as they more than likely run XT cranks, hence why they like XT/XTR clusters and chains, Shimano do this for that reason!, Srams 1:1 is very tolerant of anything ;)
 

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Bite Me.
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4,531 Posts
royta said:
tiSS'er & cuthroat - XTR chains over SRAM? Really? I switched from Shimano to Sachs back in the 90's and never looked back. Let me know why you're Shimano chain fans.
Probably more habit than anything - I have them lying around because I run Dura Ace 9 speed on the road bike. But it's more than that too - I have nothing against SRAM chains per se; however I think it's important from a theological perspective not to mix and match drive train components. Cogs, chain and cranks should come from the maker - shifters are agnostic and don't fall into the "drivetrain" dogma for me. I read a pretty comprehensive article awhile back that went into detail on how Shimano designs the ramps and pins on their cogs and chainrings - there are pretty sophisticated engineering principles that go into making the shifts as smooth as possible and the design changes are extrememly subtle. The designs get patented as soon as they come out. I like Shimano's cranks, so that leads me to their cassettes which in turn leads me to their chains - I figure if the stuff is engineered that precisely, I should be running all the same parts that come from the same design team. It's called "marketing" :D I'm sure I wouid have little trouble with a SRAM 991 chain, but I'm in the good graces of the church of the bicycle and I intend to stay there. I last broke a chain in 2001. Now on my SS I run the KMC Z610 HX chain - that is one component that I will never betray - it's absolutely the bestest 3/32" SS chain in the world bar none, no exceptions.
 

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Bite Me.
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trailadvent said:
If Spot above I'd definitley go Dual Ring! Tscheesy covered this off a few years ago with a very good thread, at the time I wasn't doing this on the spot, RFX above it made total sens, but I converted anyways and its definitley the way to go,27psds is way overkill unless ya seriously racing then I'd still check your gearing!
Hmmmm, been there done that. :bluefrown: For predominantly gravity based tech riding I would agree; however, there were too many times after I went to a dual ring set up that I couldn't keep up the pace on longer rides. When I did the Monarch Crest Trail last fall, I was probably in the big ring, 3 smallest cogs for 15 out of the 30 miles we rode that day - just hauling a$s, same on most of my other rides. I just love the high speed big ring grinding and swooping too much to lose those top 3 or 4 gear ratios at the high end - not that there's a right or wrong, because so much of it is driven by what and how you ride. Those top end gears on the Sultan are just like smoking opium now!:p
 

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Baked Alaskan
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trailadvent said:
Dam AK is gonna think I'm stalking him, :lol:

again what he said!
Great minds think alike???

If I see you on the trail I'm gonna start to get a little spooked... :thumbsup:
 

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trail fairy
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9,546 Posts
cutthroat said:
Hmmmm, been there done that. :bluefrown: For predominantly gravity based tech riding I would agree; however, there were too many times after I went to a dual ring set up that I couldn't keep up the pace on longer rides. When I did the Monarch Crest Trail last fall, I was probably in the big ring, 3 smallest cogs for 15 out of the 30 miles we rode that day - just hauling a$s, same on most of my other rides. I just love the high speed big ring grinding and swooping too much to lose those top 3 or 4 gear ratios at the high end - not that there's a right or wrong, because so much of it is driven by what and how you ride. Those top end gears on the Sultan are just like smoking opium now!:p
True greatly depends where ya riding and who with, to be fair, I don't do allot of that type of riding anmore and if Ido I switch back to the 44 and remove the CG 5min job,, so fair call, I agree totally with ya Shimano assement and find exactly the same in reverse with Sram, I been trying to say it for years mostly to save people pain, I mean it dosen't bother me if people realy want to mix, but I know it causes issues, becuase Ive solved mine and others doing this, but everyone to there own:thumbsup:
 

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Registered
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Lone voice in the woods here, apparently, but i got a new race bike this year with X0 stuff and after 5 months had still never felt the love. Switched to XT. Much happier.

I absolutely HATED the push/push XO shifters. The push/push was not intuitive, but I could live with that. What I couldn't live with was the frequent double shifting when going for one more gear while pedalling down a rough trail.

Cable changes on the XO stuff are much more annoying than XT, also, and front derailer performance isn't even on the same planet.
 

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Expert Crasher
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6,359 Posts
Kosmo - did you go 08 XT? If so - that shifter (770 I believe) can be used push/push or pull/push out of the box. Coming from SRAM, I use it push/push exclusively.
 
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