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Currently on a Bronson v1 nonboost. Not gonna upgrade cranks until I get a new bike so it's still on the OEM GXP cranks. 30 tooth.

Currently has SLX shifter, and XT shadow rear derailleur. It was originally 2x and I went 1x and I love the simplicity but missing range at the top I'd like to get back. Right now it's 1x10 11-42.

Options:

1 - 11 speed Shimano XT M8000 shifter and RD, sunrace 11-50T. about $214

2 - GX eagle chain, shifter, rd, cassette. $236 shipped.

3 - XT 8100 shifter, RD, SLX cassette, chain $308

#2 and #3 would require me to buy a new freehub as I have a Roval/Dt swiss 350. So would need XD or microspline adding to the cost.

Range is essentially the same (11 smallest tooth on the 11 speed), just a question on the smoothness of the large Sunrace cassette but a lot of reviews say it works great.

Is the XT shifter better than the GX shifter? I'm on a very cheap SLX so anything would be great. The two gear shift is pretty cool but I have no issue just hitting the button again (I didn't even know I had the ability to shift two gears down until recently when I told my friend it was broken).

Hyperglide+ sounds cool, but is it worth an extra $200? Torn right now. Cranks will come later when I upgrade my bike.
 

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In my opinion, difference between SRAM and Shimano shifter is personal preference only. I had SLX on my bike until I broke it. I changed it out to an XTR.
I like the multi-release of the XT/XTR. I too figured "how hard is it to shift twice". I was very fast at shifting and figured multi-release has no place in the world. Until I tried it. I have to admit, as perfect as I could shift several gears with the SLX, the first thing I miss when on the SRAM bike is not having multi-relase. To me, it really IS that good. Probably best place I notice it is when struggling to top a hill then suddenly crest and grab 2 or 3 gears in short order. Or when descending I can give a quick finger pull and get to higher gears so it's ready when I need to pedal next. Also what I seriously prefer with Shimano shifters is the finger action instead of the thumb to shift to high gear. I like it for climbing, when I have my hands draped over the bars, thumbs on top and I want a gear. A quick flick of the finger and the shift is complete. On the SRAM bike I need to reposition my hands so thumbs are wrapped around the grip to push the lever. The feel is nearly identical, maybe the XTR is a tad lighter feel on the thumb. As for performance, the SLX is not at all a bad device and to say you'd notice a major difference between an XT/GX would be misleading.

My other bike has NX shifter (SRAM drive train). I sort of prefer the fast shifting and positive engagement of the SRAM, this is my first experience with SRAM shifters.
I think it's the geometry of the derailleur that offers the faster shift. I could definitely be wrong, and the system as a whole could be the difference, from a different pull ratio/throw at the shifter to spring tension of the derailleur to the parallelogram design.

The Shimano/SRAM debate is ongoing and will be until the end of time. You won't go wrong with either system, in my opinion.

Today, if somebody asked what I wanted specd on my bike, the only two things I'd say is that I want Shimano brakes and SRAM drive train. If they didn't allow me to select a drive train, I wouldn't care.

I'm comparing a Shimano 2x10 which works perfectly and an NX 1x12.

Can you get a 28t for the front ring on the GXP crank? That would give the low range but would be a big sacrifice for high side.

Some people say they can fly on a 30/11, I on the other hand feel like I will bounce myself off the bike trying to go 20mph on a paved road, on my plus tire hard tail.


I went off base a little on this response, not at all what you were asking. But the point is that we all have our personal likes and dislikes, and preferences. I ride both drive trains well but I prefer Shimano shift features just a tad more. SRAM seems a bit more positive in the feel at the lever though.
 

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XT is a better shifter due to instant release and double up shift, which SRAM doesn't offer.

You can use SLX RD with XT shifter to save some $. The shifter makes all the difference. An RD also gets destroyed more often.

If you want 12 speed depends on your riding. But if you for, 8100 probably is better.
 

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For the money...i'd just go Shimano. I recently moved up from 10 to 11sp on one of my bikes. ZTTO 11-46 SLR2 cassette, XT derailleur, and XTR shifter (second hand). It all cost me just over $200.

My GF just picked up a bike with GX Eagle...and it shifts quite well. Lighter and smoother than my 11sp Shimano...and it also shifts cleaner than the 11sp X01 SRAM I've got on another bike.
 

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XT is a better shifter due to instant release and double up shift, which SRAM doesn't offer.
And the counterpoint is that SRAM is not as hard on my thumbs and can downshift more gears at once. I have bikes with M8000 and X01 and I greatly prefer the X01 shifters due to to this. I can also "rapid fire" upshift easier on the SRAM (like a light action gun trigger), although the shimano does the double-release, the heavy action cancels that out from being a definite advantage.
 

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And the counterpoint is that SRAM is not as hard on my thumbs and can downshift more gears at once. I have bikes with M8000 and X01 and I greatly prefer the X01 shifters due to to this. I can also "rapid fire" upshift easier on the SRAM (like a light action gun trigger), although the shimano does the double-release, the heavy action cancels that out from being a definite advantage.
Do you really find XT that harder?
I have XT, XTR and GX 11...I had a X01 bike.....the difference in thumb pressure was so minute...I never gave it any thought.
I preferred the shape of the XT shifters....but that too was minute.
And I'm an old man with wrecked hands.
 

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My XTR 10 speed multi-release is way easier than my NX 12 speed. I wonder if it has to do with the model of XTR that makes it a light action. Seriosly, he lever action on my XTR's are so light it feels like it's broken. But it is positive, not sloppy.



I think (hope) OP is getting the idea that there is no right answer to his question -pesonal preference and budget is probably going to drive the decision.

One thing I'll say, the clutch of a SRAM derailleur, in my opinion, is better than Shimano's clutch. And he Shimano clutch likes routine grease maintenance.
 

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I think (hope) OP is getting the idea that there is no right answer to his question -pesonal preference and budget is probably going to drive the decision.

One thing I'll say, the clutch of a SRAM derailleur, in my opinion, is better than Shimano's clutch. And he Shimano clutch likes routine grease maintenance.
Perfect answer for the OP.

But....clutch maintenance?
What do you mean by that?
I did have a clutch issue on a SRAM unit a few years ago...but since then, I haven't even thought about it on either brand....and I ride 10-20 hours a week in New England crap.
 

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Do you really find XT that harder?
I have XT, XTR and GX 11...I had a X01 bike.....the difference in thumb pressure was so minute...I never gave it any thought.
I preferred the shape of the XT shifters....but that too was minute.
And I'm an old man with wrecked hands.
I found that my 11sp XT shifter to be really stiff. So much that I took it off and tried an XTR. Nothing I did was able to alleviate the stiff shifting. The XTR did improve on the stiff shift...but not close to the much lighter feel of the SRAM.
 

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The clutch on the Shimano derailleur has adjustable tension. But also requires a smear of grease on the drum for the clutch mechanism. The drum is pinched by a piece of spring steel. When that interface doesn't move smoothly, the clutch operation becomes notchy. Shifting can suffer as the case doesn't move as smoothly.

They suggest a hub grease but a light duty grease is adequate. Slick Honey is not advised, too light. Last time I did mine I used a smear of BelRay waterproof grease. Time before that it was white Lithium. I don't think it lasted too long though.

I don't think the maintenance of the clutch is enough to sway a person away from a purchase, but is nice to know about. Many don't know it's a maintenance item yet still use it without any major issues (shifting/action).

Takes about 10 minutes once you've done it a time or two.
 

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I found that my 11sp XT shifter to be really stiff. So much that I took it off and tried an XTR. Nothing I did was able to alleviate the stiff shifting. The XTR did improve on the stiff shift...but not close to the much lighter feel of the SRAM.
Hmmm.
Not counting E-tap....the lightest shifting I ever had was the pre-clutch 10 speed XTR.
All the new 11 and 12 Shimano or SRAM stuff are a little stiffer....but still pretty light and equal to me.
Hell...I've even kinked cables on rides and it's still easy (but not perfect)

Maybe you need to hit the thumb gym (just kidding)
 

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I've still got a bike from 2012 with the 2x10 XT. Shifting on that bike is super light. The tight shifting was something I noticed when I demo'd a few bikes when the 11sp XT came out. I'll try putting some lube on the clutch drum like Forest mentioned.
 

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100% personal preference and where you think you need extra range in your drivetrain. Going up to 46T-51T via 11 speed or 12 speed will let you A) have a lower bailout gear for hills and/or B) let you put a larger chainring on (32T or 34T) to have more top end as well as a potentially lower bailout as well. Do you need that range? Depends on how you feel while riding.

Since you're currently on a 30T chainring, you have a fairly large large range of options for adjustment and would potentially notice the benefit. At the other end, someone who is already running 34T and rarely uses their 46T bailout on 11 speed probably doesn't "need" 12 speed, but maybe there's higher odds that they are fitter + more competitive and just want the latest and greatest.
 

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One could switch the clutch to 'off' on a Shimano derailleur to see if shifting lightens up. If that is a significant enough change, leave it off and install a chain guide.

A friend of mine didn't even know there was a clutch, his was switched off and he didn't know it. Because he'd never had chain drop with the chain guide that was installed by previous owner.
 

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Another option again is to use a 12sp XT/SLX/GX shifter & mech & chain & probably chainring? with the Sunrace 12sp cassette. Peeps here on MTBR are doing this with GX Eagle, it will probably work with new 12sp Shimano as well. The only question with adding in a different cassette (that has very slightly different spacing) is how well things work when stuff gets worn

From what I've read, you can use a GX chain on most chainrings, but not the new Shimano 12sp chain - which needs a chainring designed for this specific chain
 

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Do you really find XT that harder?
I have XT, XTR and GX 11...I had a X01 bike.....the difference in thumb pressure was so minute...I never gave it any thought.
I preferred the shape of the XT shifters....but that too was minute.
And I'm an old man with wrecked hands.
The advantages/strengths of the high end SRAM shifters simply negate the double-tap advantage IMO. Not that it doesn't work, you can dump gears pretty quickly, but again, firing off a shift here and there is more of a PITA (exaggeration, but definitely harder). I notice this trying to get into the optimal gear on some of the DH trails where you have to change gears very quickly in very short sections where the terrain allows.
 
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