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Old 08-16-16, 06:05 AM
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badger1
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
If I have been of help to you, that is great, as many people have been of great assistance to me in this forum, so it is nice for me to be able to help someone else out.

In Shimano's Mountain Bike range of components, from their low end to their high end goes something like this:

Tourney
Altus
Acera
Alivio
Deore
SLX
XT
XTR

Now whilst the products get "better" as one works their way up the Shimano range, one of the ways a product is "better", is often because it is simply lighter and that appeals to the Weight Weenies.

That doesn't mean there isn't better engineering involved, but for some of the products like Cranks, the biggest difference between a Deore crank and an XT crank will be weight, as opposed to noticeable performance.

Things get a bit trickier when it comes to derailleurs and shift levers, as it isn't just a weight difference here, but often smoother operation. Still it is often hard to tell the difference between components that are only one rung up the ladder higher, you may need two or three rungs to really appreciate a difference.

Having said that, the SLX is probably the sweet spot in Shimano's range, very close in performance to the XT, which itself is very close in performance to XTR.

XTR seems outrageously priced, considering that XT is available, so when it comes to buying components from Shimano's mountain bike range, I personally won't buy below SLX and will probably just go with XT most times.

SRAM is a bit trickier for me, as I am not as familiar with them, as I am with Shimano and SRAM seems to have even more rungs on their ladder, often making comparisons harder.

Where as once SRAM had X5, X7, X9, X0 etc, they now have lines called GX, S1000, SL-700 etc and it just feels to me like it isn't as clear as the Shimano line up.
Really good post, Colonel. Might I add one comment re. shifters?

The dividing line in Shimano is between SLX and XT: SLX down, shift levers use bushings (and more plastic). XT and XTR: ball bearings. SLX is great, but XT is noticeably better: smoother, lighter effort, more durable.

Same applies to SRAM: GX, and X7 down, bushings. X9 up: ball bearings.

It's really not a huge thing, but is something to keep in mind if one tends to keep -- as I do -- stuff for a long time.
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