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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am building a bike and wanted to ask those with more experience which cassette is a safer bet for durability? Since I am no weight weenie, weight is a bit less important. Looking for a solid cassette and trying to decide between Sram and Shimano 9 spd.
11-34. Which model do you prefer and is best value and does specific alloy matter in terms of wear based upon your experience?
Many Thanks.
 

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Hybrid Leftys aren't real
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I've not found any appreciable difference in terms of performance. Assuming you're willing to go XT'ish level though? I'd go XT all day. Yes, the 990 weighs and costs just about the same, both work fine, but the XT has pins on the back side that catch the chain should it overshift, and keeps it from jamming in your spokes. Nice, and no extra cost.
 

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I've not noticed a difference in performance between the XT and 990. They weigh about the same also. I have been able to find the XT much cheaper than the 990 (check CRC) so thats what I've been running.
 

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Way back in the way back....

My component approach is durability over weight as well. When I first became addicted and was upgrading everything I could, I was a huge SRAM proponent. Over time, I settled in on a drivetrain mix of SRAM and Shimano.

Ten years ago I switched to XT cassettes because the comparable SRAM cassettes weren't as durable for me and the type of riding I prefered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everybody. Ken based upon the reviews I've read, seems as though a mix of Sram and Shimano is the ticket....Shimano cranksets/BB's and cassettes seem to be preferred to Sram counterparts and conversely Sram shifters, derailleurs and brakes are many times preferred.
So what say yea?...give the nod to XT as opposed to 990 cassette?...price point of each on line is pretty close. Thanks also about the tip on the pins...maybe the defining difference.
 

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I tried a SRAM cassette once (I think it was the 990), and it broke apart. Sure, SRAM said it was no big deal, but it still broke. I went straight back to Shimano and have not looked back.
 

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I'll be replacing mine soon (SRAM 7.0, oldie I stole off my girlfriend's bike for the lighter weight) and it's held up well for me. Just needs replacing due to wear. Probably go with Shimano this time, just not overly impressed with the new SRAM offerings.
 

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Yep I gots to agree with most--it just don't matter I own XTR, XT, & a 990 all 11-32 and once they are on the bike I couldn't tell you which one is on there, they all shift the same (shimano chain) and have not had a problem with anyone of them. Buy what ever is cheaper at the time.
 

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My experience...

dirtrider7 said:
Thanks everybody. Ken based upon the reviews I've read, seems as though a mix of Sram and Shimano is the ticket....Shimano cranksets/BB's and cassettes seem to be preferred to Sram counterparts and conversely Sram shifters, derailleurs and brakes are many times preferred.
So what say yea?...give the nod to XT as opposed to 990 cassette?...price point of each on line is pretty close. Thanks also about the tip on the pins...maybe the defining difference.
The set up on my geared bike is exactly as you've described above. So we're all clear: I'm not suggesting that my setup is "best" or that it's the right setup for anyone. It's the group of components that I found provided me with the best durability and long term value:

Shimano
XT hollowtech crankset/bb
XT Cassette
XT front derailer

SRAM
XO gripshift (I won them, otherwise it would be X9)
X9 rear derailer
chain
Avid mechanical discs (pre-SRAM, but I'll throw them in here)
 
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