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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm after a general feel from anyone that what's to give advice or experience to better help my decision making. I have always been using Shimano in the drivetrain department but have been sticking the toe in SRAM and taking a peek.

I'm going to be doing a whole new rebuild off F/R Derailleur, Cassette, Chian ,Shifters but being happy with shimano again was leaning towards that company to fit me out.

However SRAM have no doubt being excelling over the years so what would you folk be looking at because as of now my the contenders are Shimano XT or SRAM X-9.

I am tempted to give SRAM a try this time around so thanks to anyone that can offer up pros/cons or advice to help in the decision making.

Current bike a Orbea HT used for mountain biking, trail riding, on/off road and some DH.
 

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offroader
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I've got XTR, XO and XT.

Here's my take. XT and XTR are similiar. X0 and X9 are almost identical.

X9 gets no props where as X0 is bling king.

XT is still well respected, but still sits a stool behind the XTR brother.

If you like Sram and don't want to spend wads of money X9 should give the same performance as X0 without the bling.

Try them both and see which one you like.
 

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Note on the shifters.
I started life as a Shimano trigger shifter, loved it to death. The second bike I got had SRAM thumb shifters on it. For the first couple rides it was a little unusual, but now there's no way I'd go back. Not for any real performance reasons. Other than I think the SRAMs are a little more responsive to adjustments, but that could be me getting better at adjusting. I love having my fingers only on the brakes and my thumbs only doing the shifting.

My .02
 

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Kyle88 said:
Note on the shifters.
I started life as a Shimano trigger shifter, loved it to death. The second bike I got had SRAM thumb shifters on it. For the first couple rides it was a little unusual, but now there's no way I'd go back. Not for any real performance reasons. Other than I think the SRAMs are a little more responsive to adjustments, but that could be me getting better at adjusting. I love having my fingers only on the brakes and my thumbs only doing the shifting.
Of course now with the current crop of Shimano shifters you can shift both ways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@CupOfJava Bling isn't something I'm after nor is weight so XTR and XO have been ruled out not to mention price the XTR and XO stuff is pricey.

@Kyle88 the more I understood adjusting the better it became for me too on the shimano equipment but that isn't too say that SRAM did in fact give that feeling you got.

@lyndonchen on the shifters that was something that interested me way the two way so you get best of both world.

I have read the reviews that are on this site with SRAM X9 X7 and there are some slamming issues with broken parts or unhappy users but it's hard to gauge if the riders are just rough and careless hence the issues. Many went back too XT but again was it because SRAM was just too different feel wise and quality wise? Maybe the 2009 SRAM have had these complaints sorted out but for me I maintain my equipment and rarely damage anything so I'm no extreme rider that thrashes my bike.
 

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Former Bike Wrench
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I've been using SRAM rear dérailleurs and shifters since 1997. I've slammed them into rocks, branches, and other trail obstacles. Not one dérailleur failure ever...not a single one.

I haven't had any bikes (MTB) with Shimano since 2002 so I can't speak for the current generation of XT stuff. But my SRAM always worked WAY better in wet weather and required less frequent adjustment and cable/housing replacements than Shimano.

In fact, the last two bikes I have purchased had SRAM and it was one of the key selling points to me.
 

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X-Ray Guy
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I havent had shimano for a few years now and then i only tested out mostly Deore and XT rear derailleurs.

I have ridden x9 parts and never had any real problems. Shifts are smooth and engage every time.

I found myself adjusting alot when i had shimano. Ive only had to adjust my sram parts when ive wiped out or smashed a rock.

Things may have improved with the newest generation parts from shimano but ive not been let down by sram.
 

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EDR
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}SkOrPn--7 said:
I have read the reviews that are on this site with SRAM X9 X7 and there are some slamming issues with broken parts or unhappy users but it's hard to gauge if the riders are just rough and careless hence the issues. Many went back too XT but again was it because SRAM was just too different feel wise and quality wise? Maybe the 2009 SRAM have had these complaints sorted out but for me I maintain my equipment and rarely damage anything so I'm no extreme rider that thrashes my bike.
I've ran xt for 2 years and in '06 moved to X9 stuff. I much prefer the X9 1:1 actuation and the thumb shifters. I won't go back. That being said, I see no advantage in durability on either. Both held up just fine. I leave my shifters and brake levers loose enough so that they move rather than break in a crash.
 

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If you run full length shifter housings, i don't see any advantage to x9. The shimano stuff shifts more smoothly, which is annoying when the cable is all gunky, and cool otherwise, and it seems to take a lot longer before the pivots slop out. Since sram makes grip shifters for both shimano and sram, i see no advantage either way on the shifter side :)

currently running xt on one bike and x9 on the other.
 

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I've always run Shimano and only this year decided to try out the SRAM X9 rear mech and shifters. I've had no trouble with either brand from a reliability point of view (yet).
In the really muddy conditions it all gets gunked up and neither seems to have a clear advantage over the other, regardless of all the hype. When cables on both are clean, I think the Shimano probably edges it being smoother/crisper but the X9 isn't far behind.
One thing I do like about the X9 mechs is that they have a larger "total capacity" than the Shimano mechs.
A disadvantage of the X9 stuff is the pricing compared to XT; way too much!
Currently running a mix of X9 rear mech and shifters with Shimano front mech, chain, cassette on one bike and all SRAM (bar front mech) on another.
 

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I ran XTR for a year then switched to X9. That was 3 years ago. I have had no issues whatever, and couldn't be happier. I like the solid "clunk" of the X9 when it shifts, tho some prefer the smoothness of XT/SLX/XTR for sure. The exception is the Front Derailleur. SRAM FDs are OK, but Shimano's FDs shift much smoother. Regardless of what brand you go with, you owe it to yourself to buy either an XTR or SLX front derailleur.

I've ridden the XT stuff and like it a lot. I don't see how you could go wrong with either.
 

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TLL said:
I ran XTR for a year then switched to X9. That was 3 years ago. I have had no issues whatever, and couldn't be happier. I like the solid "clunk" of the X9 when it shifts, tho some prefer the smoothness of XT/SLX/XTR for sure. The exception is the Front Derailleur. SRAM FDs are OK, but Shimano's FDs shift much smoother. Regardless of what brand you go with, you owe it to yourself to buy either an XTR or SLX front derailleur.
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+1 This is close to what I was going to say. The only difference is I ran XT. No looking back after the switch to x9 shifters and RD. XT front der. on one bike and SLX to go on next weeks build.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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SRAM.

The reason I post this picture is because it's the most common type of sram breakage, and I've had plenty of similer derailer breakages on their stuff. Realize that there isn't a whole lot of "invention" that has happened with sram, they rebadged Sachs stuff (sram bought sachs a long time ago) for the most part. The derailer in the picture (x-series) uses the same mechanical design as the last generation of sachs stuff.

Sram does make some good stuff (heck, RS is turned around big-time), and not all of shimano's stuff hits the mark, but I think shimano has a far greater ability to do R&D and testing, resulting in more solid products. They do give and take a bit more these days.
 

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X.9 and XT

I built up my bike with the X.9 drive train. At first it was great, but within 2 years, the shifters were not as smooth. It got to the point where I could barely shift. Took it in and the shifter pod was full of dust, grime, crap. My last 2 bikes had XTR with XT shifters and never had any problem. Swapped everything back over to XT.
 

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Probably drunk right now
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Both...

For years, my drive train has looked like this:

- Shifters: SRAM gripshift.
- Crankset: Shimano XT
- FD: Shimano XT
- Chaim: SRAM
- Rear Cassette: Shimano XT
- RD: SRAM X9

Seems to have worked out well for me over the past several years.
 

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Jayem said:
SRAM.

The reason I post this picture is because it's the most common type of sram breakage, and I've had plenty of similer derailer breakages on their stuff. Realize that there isn't a whole lot of "invention" that has happened with sram, they rebadged Sachs stuff (sram bought sachs a long time ago) for the most part. The derailer in the picture (x-series) uses the same mechanical design as the last generation of sachs stuff.

Sram does make some good stuff (heck, RS is turned around big-time), and not all of shimano's stuff hits the mark, but I think shimano has a far greater ability to do R&D and testing, resulting in more solid products. They do give and take a bit more these days.
So what? Any design is going to have a weak point that it breaks, shimano does too. Until shimano released shadow they were reinventing the same parallel-linkage-with-a-loop-in-the-back derailleur design for the last 30 years. High end derailleur? More forged aluminum. Low end? plastic at the pivots and stamped steel linkage. No breakthrough design.

SRAM, or sachs, whoever you want to assign credit to, had a design that worked better than shimanos continually repackaged design. So now we have shadow.

There's good reasons to dislike sram drivetrain- plastic pivots, little circlips that shoot off when you remove the derailleur, no B spring, horrible trigger shifters, pullies that get gummed up easily, machined instead of forged parts, x-9 short cages made out of plastic..... but you can't accuse them of lack of innovation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well today I got to try some SRAM X9 shifters and to be honest I don't think those ones are for me they just didn't feel right or I wasn't using them in the correct manner. For me the levers where not at your finger tips hence cumbersome which felt like I was doing thumb aerobics just too use. Looks like XT shifters now to test out the rest of SRAM.
 

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they're both good. theres thousands of people running both without any issues at all.

ive had no problems with my x9 drivetrain. i had no problems with my old shimano drivetrain either. they both work well. if i was building up from scratch and the price was the same, id probably stick with x9 because im used to it by now. if shimano stuff came out cheaper i probably wouldnt hesitate to go back to shimano either.
 

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local trails rider
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I managed to get my X7 shifters set up right for my thumbs. Haven't shifted with Shimano for a couple of years now, but my impression was that Shimano tries to shift smoothly while SRAM is more positive.

If you need cranks, take whatever Shimano that suits you wallet.
 
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