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I am a pathetic rider...
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XTR = XT + a crapload of bling and no extra performance - durability.
XT is better for AM riding, adn XTR offers no performance beneift, just like 200% of the cost for 98% of the weight.
 

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FWIW, I snagged a branch with my XT shadow derailleur, stopped from a pretty decent speed in about 3', bent my dropout and the derailleur still works great. After replacing the dropout the derailleur didn't need any adjustment and hasn't shown any signs of damage.



The dead dropout is the blue one on the right with the small kink on the left side:

 

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I've got a shadow XT and got it when it first came out. It required very little adjustment out of the box, worked great with the 8 speed setup I was using, and of course worked even better when I went 9 speed. I've given it a pretty hard work out and it looks brand new other than the usual dirt.

I've never used XTR, but I feel no need to upgrade at this point. I LOVE the shadow xt that I have. i'd get the shadow version personally.

Of course as was said the new saint is a kick ass RD. If you're going to beat the ever loving crap out of your rig then you'd be better with the new saint. So your choice, I think, is between the saint, and the xt shadow RDs at this point.
 

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xt strong enough. i run one on my cc, fr and dh bike. full season on all three and still running and shifting strong. :thumbsup:
 

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squish is good
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XT is for trailriders or "all mountain". XTR is for XC racers. If you aren't racing you don't need XTR.

Or do yourself a favor and just get set up with a X.9 shifter and rear derailleur. I've found them to shift better and last longer than Shimano stuff. Matter of opinion though I suppose...
 

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I have both and the XTR does shift better for longer, both work really well and I've been pulled off my Heckler by a branch caught in the rear XTR mech luckily no damage to mech or hanger, the carbon cage is really stronger than you would think, both of mine are short cage GS version, the XT is on my DH/FR rig and was used for 10 months on my Orange 66 no problems, my XTR is 9 months old, done about 3500miles no problem. the latest xt shifters also do a double shift but not a slick as the XTR.
 

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jeffus said:
the latest xt shifters also do a double shift but not a slick as the XTR.
You can shift the lever in either direction (2-Way Release) on XT but you can't release 2 gears at once as you can on an XTR shifter...

I vote for XT, the jockey wheels don't last quite as long as XTR but the XTR RD just isn't worth it for a few grams, more bling and a little more life out of the jockey wheels when XT is already so good.:thumbsup:
 

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You can shift the lever in either direction (2-Way Release) on XT but you can't release 2 gears at once as you can on an XTR shifter
yeah sorry thats right, had to ride my bike to check , the XT just shifts so quick it feels like a double shift, the double shift on the XTR is really useful on the trails, when you need to get through the gears rapid. I think the XTR shifter with an XT mech would be a good match, I also like on the XT you can do away with the indicator pod.
 

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Clutchman83 said:
XT is for trailriders or "all mountain". XTR is for XC racers. If you aren't racing you don't need XTR.

Or do yourself a favor and just get set up with a X.9 shifter and rear derailleur. I've found them to shift better and last longer than Shimano stuff. Matter of opinion though I suppose...
+1 on the x9.
 
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