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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I smoked my derailleur and wanted to switch to xtr but project 321 isn’t making micro spline drivers yet (coming soon). I saw a video on YouTube of someone that ran xtr with a sram cassette and chain and it seemed to work fine. I installed it yesterday and it does in fact seem to shift just fine, even with my cassette and chain that are near end of life. I’ll ride it today and see how it performs in the real world. Just figured I’d start a thread on it since I couldn’t find one.

Initial perks of Shimano
Double downshifts (man I missed that)
At least 10mm narrower profile (also huge in my book)

Negatives
Running the clamp version it’s a little further from the grip than I’d like (can be remedied with ispec once problem solvers releases the mismatch adapted)
No button to lock it open for wheel removal. Forgot how big that is until you don’t have it.

Ride report to follow.
 

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Previous to my current bike I rode a full Shimano XTR 11spd drivetrain for a few years and really enjoyed it. My '18 Genius 700 came stock with SRAM x01 and I've gotten used to it but will go back to Shimano as soon as it's time to replace anything. I do enjoy the slightly crispier/snappier feel of SRAM shifting but that's about where my preferences stop. The cassettes are wildly expensive. The "trigger shifter" ironically doesn't have a trigger at all (one of the parts of my Shimano shifter I had the hardest time letting go of). I know diehard SRAM-boys will argue but for me it's simply a better system allowing you to shift while maintaining a natural grip on the bars. The 12 speed x01 derailleur is so big and sticks out so far it's impossible not to collect all kinds of trail crap in the lower jockey wheel and listen hopelessly as it grinds its' way to a halt in your expensive derailleur.
When it's all said and done I'll probably replace the shifter, derailleur and cassette with XTR and continue running my KMC x12 chain. I think I'll be going with the GS derailleur on the new 9100 10-45 12 spd setup as a 51 tooth pizza tray cog is ridiculous and would also mean another SGS derailleur. Of course I'll have to also go with at least a new rear hub since nothing can just be universally standard but at the end of the day I've been considering new wheels anyway.
Like you said I think I might miss the lockout button on the derailleur but that'll be a small price to pay
 

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since 4/10/2009
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Previous to my current bike I rode a full Shimano XTR 11spd drivetrain for a few years and really enjoyed it. My '18 Genius 700 came stock with SRAM x01 and I've gotten used to it but will go back to Shimano as soon as it's time to replace anything. I do enjoy the slightly crispier/snappier feel of SRAM shifting but that's about where my preferences stop. The cassettes are wildly expensive. The "trigger shifter" ironically doesn't have a trigger at all (one of the parts of my Shimano shifter I had the hardest time letting go of). I know diehard SRAM-boys will argue but for me it's simply a better system allowing you to shift while maintaining a natural grip on the bars. The 12 speed x01 derailleur is so big and sticks out so far it's impossible not to collect all kinds of trail crap in the lower jockey wheel and listen hopelessly as it grinds its' way to a halt in your expensive derailleur.
When it's all said and done I'll probably replace the shifter, derailleur and cassette with XTR and continue running my KMC x12 chain. I think I'll be going with the GS derailleur on the new 9100 10-45 12 spd setup as a 51 tooth pizza tray cog is ridiculous and would also mean another SGS derailleur. Of course I'll have to also go with at least a new rear hub since nothing can just be universally standard but at the end of the day I've been considering new wheels anyway.
Like you said I think I might miss the lockout button on the derailleur but that'll be a small price to pay
For index-finger braking, the thumb-thumb shifting action is sure nice to have. I can keep the brakes covered and still shift no problem. I adapted to that FAST after using SRAM triggers for the first time. So now that Shimano has the ability to upshift either way, I'm happy with it.

Realize that one of the aspects of the new XTR is that the chain and cassette are shaped very subtly different than before, which allows for cleaner shifts under power. It's a real thing. I've got about 100mi on the new XTR now and it's legit. Click the shifter and it's almost like the derailleur is motorized to put the chain in place. Very little fuss at all after you click it. Granted, you CAN make it complain still. But I had to actively try to make the worst shifts possible (dumping multiple gears at once under heavy power on a steep climb kinda stuff) to get it to act up. Now that I know what the limit is, I don't think there will be a problem.

I do like the 10-45 cassette. I'm using a 30t Wolftooth chainring, which right now, seems to be the smallest I can get my hands on for a RaceFace crank. It's pretty good, except on the nastiest, steepest stuff, I could use a lower gear, so I think a 28t would be better for me. But my decision for running this setup had a lot to do with the fact that I simply didn't want to go back to long cage derailleurs, just as you mention. A 10-45 cassette covers about as much range as I use, even a touch more on the top end.

The writing has been on the wall for the Shimano HG freehub body for quite some time. Not many people want to run a steel freehub body anymore, and aluminum HG bodies get chewed up pretty easily unless you're running just the right sort of cassette with the right sort of carrier. But even then, you're limited to an 11t cog. Shimano had a hub years ago that let you run smaller cogs, the Capreo. I know of a couple people who experimented with those for mtb use, though they were designed for small wheeled bikes like folding bikes and mini velos and such. SRAM came out with xD after that and the wide range 1x drivetrain really took hold. It honestly looks like micro spline is a bit of a refinement on Capreo, looking at some old pics of that stuff and comparing them to my xtr bits.

With that said, I wouldn't have bought the xtr m9100 if I wasn't building a new high end bike, and already planning to build wheels based on hubs that coincidentally were among the first to get micro spline (Industry Nine). My other mtb has M9000 and a wheelset built on Hope hubs, so it's also a pretty nice build. I'm just not building a new rear wheel for that bike so I can run m9100. When Hope starts selling micro spline freehub bodies, and when I can get a less expensive micro spline cassette, like an XT or SLX, in a few years (that bike has been using Sunrace cassettes with good results for a couple thousand miles now), I might consider a change. Especially if I break/wear out the derailleur or shifter on that bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yea, I'm looking forward to getting the whole package. I think the jumps in the easier gears will be a lot more practical for me. From what I've read shifting under load is better with the xtr cassette and chain too. I've always preferred shimanos shifting and only went to sram fo the range which at the time wasn't there with shimano.
 

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For index-finger braking, the thumb-thumb shifting action is sure nice to have. I can keep the brakes covered and still shift no problem. I adapted to that FAST after using SRAM triggers for the first time. So now that Shimano has the ability to upshift either way, I'm happy with it.
I sometimes forget that I carried over middle finger braking from my moto days. Otherwise yeah I could see some preferring a thumb shifter to keep a forefinger dedicated to a brake lever.
 

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I sometimes forget that I carried over middle finger braking from my moto days. Otherwise yeah I could see some preferring a thumb shifter to keep a forefinger dedicated to a brake lever.
I've tried middle-finger braking when my index finger has been cramping up on a long descent, but I can't get the same level of control that way.
 
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