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Been searching like crazy to sort out the difference between the XT vs. XTR pulley replacement options.... can't find the answer...

Does anyone know the difference besides the price (about $16 for XT vs $28 for XTR). Is the XTR made from unobtainium or some other magic material? Better bearings?

I have the XT RD -M8000..... just did a rehab and noticed a few of the guide pulley teeth are beat up.
 

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The XTR has a ceramic bearing in the guide pulley and a normal sealed bearing in the tension pulley. The XT has only sealed bearings in both pulleys.

Edit: oh! And reported weights are 22g and 18g for XT and XTR respectively.
 

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No the guide pulley goes at the top and its the smaller one.

XT pulleys can be used in the XTR Derailleur. You can also use SLX pulleys if you like.
the 11s pulleys will not work in the 12speed derailleurs though
 

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Are Shimano pulleys interchangeable?
Top and bottom are not. But 11T pulleys are interchangeable freely - Altus to XTR and vice versa. There is a very simple hack using that - use Deore RD-M6000-GS pulleys on any shimano RD with 11T pulleys ( exception are 11speed MTB RDs, as they alraedy have those ) and recieve better shifting for $8.

 

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I have the XTR M952, old school Mega 9 RD. Will other speed pulleys work, as long as the tooth count is the same? I broke my chain on yesterday's ride, and upon inspection, was riding on a cracked tension pulley.

9 speed XTR pulleys are available on eBay, but if I can get something compatible locally, I'd rather go that route and fix my bike asap.

Thanks for any feedback, friends!
 

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Is it possible to upsize the tension pulley on an m9000 derailleur? Would anyone happen to know what the max pulley tooth size would be if so? Trying to take up more chain on the small cog without doing so on the big cog. Looking at the 13/15t Altus or maybe a sram eagle tension pulley.
 
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