Rans Rockst (Retro rocket) Rans Enduro Sport (Retro racket) Hase Kettweisel Tandem (redundent recumbent), Merin Bear Valley (The gopher).
How thinly can you slice the balogna?
Shimano has what, seven mountain component groups? Frankly, I think that they all work pretty well. As you move up the food chain, the components are made of slightly better materials and with slightly better manufacturing processes. The upshot is that they become progressively lighter in weight, crisper operating and better looking.
The improvements in operating crispness can be pretty subtle. My rule of thumb is that I can't sense the differrence if I move up or down only one group but I can tell when I move up or down two.
Last edited by Retro Grouch; 11-13-04 at 06:47 AM.
Haha, ok, I take this as it is no greater difference between Deore LX and Deore XT. Am I right?
With the new stuff no. This "Rapid Rise"stuff is all crap in my (never so) humble opinion. With the previous versions the difference was a slight weight difference and the action was a touch more refined feeling in the XT.
Some call it God's country. I call it Acton, Maine
Too Many - 7 or 8
The addition of Disc brakes to hubs has definitely changed the dependability factor of all hubs. The narrower center to flange distances and the addtional reverse torque from braking forces seem to be the reason. And while I was a fan of the Shimano looseball and cup systems, I now believe that cartridge bearings work better in hubs with disc rotor mounts.
My advice if anyone is running discs and planning on a new wheelset. Get the highest level you can afford and go for cartridge bearing systems. The "deal" ones will only become a problem sooner than later. I built myself up a XT disc rear laced on a Ritchey OCR rim. In the 2 seasons I have used this wheel (about 1000 offroad miles), I have replaced the axle 3 times, the cones twice and had to adjust it on a regular basis. In contrast, one of my older bikes has conventional XT hubs. In over 5 years of use, I have only had to change out the Freehub and the bearings. The disc wheelsets I have built and sold that are sporting cartridge bearing systems seem to be holding up better.
Bottom line, don't get cheap with wheels. Spend the big bucks and usually you will not be disappointed.
Based on my experience it depends on the component. XT BB spindles are significantly better than LX, Deore, etc, Deore Crank sets are fine, LX rear derailures work & last as well as XT. However, I've only been satisfied with XTR front deraillures. Even the new XT design, which looks like an XTR, doesn't do it for me. Deore f derailleurs just falls apart and won't hold adjustments if you ride a lot (same happened on my wife's mountain bike).
I really enjoy my XTR shifter pods, but only because I got them and my wife's XT's at a very cheap package price from a shop owner who wanted SRAM for his bikes. LX pods seemed OK on my wif's road bike. Deore pods aren't too bad either, but they get kind of imprecise with a lot of use rather quickly.
Don't forget to factor in wash-down technology. I recently replaced my '92-'93 Deore LX rear derailleur with a new 2004 Alivio. That new Alivio is much nicer than that LX ever was. Last years innovation is this years affordable technology. I truely believe that an entry level bike today is better than a $1500 model of 10 years ago.