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Old 10-12-06, 12:25 AM   #1
wroomwroomoops
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What's the straight dope on Deore VS. XT drivetrain components?

Having to take care of several bikes, I am mulling to make a larger purchase of cassettes, chains and a few chainrings/cracksets, as this would save me money (one larger contingent). I am seriously considering standardizing on Deore components, as they offer the best value while shifting is still good enough for our needs (neither I, nor the other cyclists are racing).

(All except one of the bikes have XT front and rear derailleurs. Shifters are a combination Deore, LX and XT.)

As you can see, my main criterion is how long the components will last divided by the cost of such component. So, unless I am made aware that, for example, an XT chain (HG-93) will outlast TWICE a Deore chain (HG-53), I'd stick with the latter. And my humble impression is that a HG-93 won't last twice as much as a HG-53, nor will an XT cassette last twice as much as a Deore cassette.


Is that impression a correct one?
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Old 10-12-06, 12:40 AM   #2
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XT rear derraileur is better designed, XT shifters same thing, and other than this the rest has a valid enough performance that would not matter as much unless it is for the esthetics.
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Old 10-12-06, 01:01 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by rmwun54
XT rear derraileur is better designed, XT shifters same thing, and other than this the rest has a valid enough performance that would not matter as much unless it is for the esthetics.

Thanks, but my question only concerns chains, cassettes and chainrings/cranksets, and more specifically their durability.
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Old 10-12-06, 01:23 AM   #4
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You'll find a lot of Shimano part numbers are the same through the Deore/LX/XT lineup. Not 100% sure which ones but I have run across it. In any case, main differences are the LX/XT chainrings may be a CNC'd piece whereas Deore is stamped, chains really don't matter for durability, and cassettes durability wise are about like chains.
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Old 10-12-06, 01:27 AM   #5
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  1. Chains - I have never been satisfied with Shimano chains. I always opt for SRAM or Wippermann over Shimano. The removable links alone increase the life of your chain by allowing you to easily remove it to better clean it. If anything, get a SRAM PowerLink for your Shimano chain and with regular cleaning and lubing the HG-53 should last almost as long as the higher priced chain.
  2. Cassettes - Other than weight, there's really not that much difference between the Shimano cassettes. The only exception might be the XTR cassette which has a slightly different sub-carrier spider design.
  3. Chainrings/cranks - I haven't been impressed with the Shimano cranksets. I usually opt for RaceFace, Stronglight or FSA instead. At this point, their shifting performance is on par if not better than Shimano. As far as Shimano goes, I don't know much about the Deore cranks but there's really not that much difference between LX and XT.

In general, from what I know about Deore as compared to XT is that they cut corners in things like bearing quality and material (heavier, cheaper). Also for some components such as shifters, Deore doesn't have as many adjustment features.
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Old 10-12-06, 03:07 AM   #6
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Thanks guys, for your kind and useful answers - much aprecciated! Conclusion: Deore all the way.
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