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Shifter vs Derailleur Upgrades

2478 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  North woods gal
Hey Everyone, I'd love some help!

I recently upgraded my bike, and I'm pretty stoked on the new rig (Evolve Alpha 29). However, the one thing I'm not stoked on is the shifting. The bike is currently running a Sram NX 12 spd groupset (its got a gx chain though). I've tried everything to get the shifting dialed in, but its still really slow to shift. My previous bike had an older Shimano XT 11 speed, and I absolutely loved it. It was pretty easy to dial in, and the shifts were buttery smooth and super fast.

I would love to try and get closer to my past shifting experience, so I'm thinking about upgrading. I'm wondering what contributes more to the overall shifting performance, the shifter or the derailleur?

It seems like I can get a gx shifter for ~50 bucks, or an X01 for ~75

Would the shifter give me a good performance upgrade, or do I need to upgrade the derailleur as well. Is it worth it to spend the extra and get an X01?

Thanks for the help!
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
I usually go with the highest level shifter you can afford. The derailleur will simply be fancier metal or carbon cage. The shifters often go from using bushings to bearings, which can improve smoothness of shifting.

Also, bike yoke makes shifty (pulley for the rear derailleur that replaces the plastic wheel and bushing the cable routes around with a metal pulley and bearings). That can make a big difference

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Shifters are more important that derailleurs. Go for the shifter upgrade first, then the derailleur if you want to spend the moolah.

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Slow shifting can be caused by sticky shifting cables and housings. Make sure that's not the issue first. Might be all you need to smooth up that NX. Recently used a take off NX shifter and derailleur on another bike, but changed to a new cable and cable housing and the NX is very smooth, now.
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