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GX vs SLX

Old 12-30-18, 10:33 AM
  #1  
captam3r1ca
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GX vs SLX

Hey peeps!


So I'm looking at building up a new mountain bike, and I'm trying to decide which drivetrain to go with. Based primarily on cost, it looks like my main options to consider are GX Eagle and SLX11. Here's my point of view.


For MTB, I've always preferred Shimano. They're always a little behind Sram in the tech race, but I feel like the result is a much finer tuned, smoother drivetrain. Sram always seems a bit clunky, especially as they keep increasing the size of their cassettes. SLX is a good, affordable option.


I work in the industry, and therefore get pretty good pricing. The SLX will cost me almost $100 less than GX Eagle.


While a 50 tooth cassette does offer a lot of range, something about having a cassette the size of a road crank makes me cringe. And SLX still offers options as big as 46t should I need the gearing. SLX also has the option of changing to a 2x. I know 1x is kinda taking over the market, but I've rediscovered recently how convenient it is to have the quick shift of a front derailleur, instead of having to jump 3 gears on the back mid-way up a hill. Also, this will be an xc bike, so I doubt I will need quite as much range as say an enduro bike.


From a resale standpoint, I know that GX Eagle is probably the way to go. That's what people want right now. The industry seems to be all about gearing range lately, even when it sacrifices performance.


11 speed vs 12 speed really makes no difference to me.


A coworker pointed out the other day that XD is a lot lower maintenance than the standard freehub body, mostly because an XD cassette doesn't really wear it's way into the hub body like a shimano cassette would. That's definitely appealing.


Weighing out the options, I definitely lean towards Shimano SLX. Is there something I may be missing?


Thanks everybody
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Old 12-30-18, 05:43 PM
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HerrKaLeun
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If you don't care about 11 or 12 speed and the range of a 11-speed is sufficient, 11 is the way to go as it is cheaper, especially for wear items like chain and cassettes. I wouldn't worry about resale since drivetrains are wear items anyway and something nicer will show up anyway. What you enjoy will have the best value.

you can have 11 or 12 speed with HG or xD hub body. HG is cheaper (like the sunrace 11-50T 12-speed cassette) and it obviously depends on what your wheels have. xD cassettes typically are more expensive by default. they are CNC-machines out of one block or have some other expensive assembly (riveted etc.). The HG (and the new microspline hub) don't have that inherent cost added.

If you go SLX for the RD, you may consider the XT shifter since it is nicer and has double-shift etc. All the current shimano 11-speed shifters and RD are compatible to each other. Same way some people recommend pairing the GX RD with one of the XO1 (or whatever) shifter.
keep in mind RD may get damaged from strikes, so saving money on the RD makes sense while the shifter lasts longer and is responsible for how shifting feels. The RD just moves around regardless.
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Old 12-31-18, 11:30 AM
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Gconan
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Originally Posted by captam3r1ca View Post
instead of having to jump 3 gears on the back mid-way up a hill.
I love that feature about Shimano, one long push of the lever for the three gear jump!

SLX all the way, but for cross country you may need the 2 for closer gear ratios .


*
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Old 12-31-18, 02:09 PM
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If gear range is a factor at all, the e*thirteen 11 speed cassette (9-46) has a slightly wider range than the GX. It pairs nicely with Shimano.
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Old 01-01-19, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by captam3r1ca View Post
While a 50 tooth cassette does offer a lot of range, something about having a cassette the size of a road crank makes me cringe.
I cringe too, and I don't like my mountain bikes to be back-wheel heavy. IMHO, it's hard these days to beat Shimano in terms of value for the money spent. I look at SRAM every now and then, but just isn't worth it and I always end up back w/Shimano.

Last edited by JonathanGennick; 01-01-19 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 01-01-19, 04:21 PM
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Kapusta
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Sounds to me like you want the SLX.

11-46 with an 32t ring is all the range I would need on an MTB. Same range as the 2x9 I run now.
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Old 01-01-19, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
I cringe too, and I don't like my mountain bikes to be back-wheel heavy.
This makes absolutely no sense.

Also, an Eagle GX cassette weighs ~ 448 grams, an 11 speed SLX 11-46 cassette weighs ~482 grams.
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Old 01-01-19, 07:44 PM
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I generally prefer Shimano and push-pull shifting, over Sram and push-push shifting, but my current bike came with the GX Eagle 1x12 and I like it. It took me a month to get it fine tuned to shift smoothly, but since it has worked very well, much better than I expected. I clean and lube regularly and I am a slow intermediate rider, so I am not very hard on drive trains and cannot really discuss how it would hold up under abuse of a fast rider. But so far I've got about 600 miles on it and it is still going strong. The one thing is seems to do is skip shifts, or phantom shift, if there is even the smallest amount of debris in the cassette. If I pick up some Spanish moss or any vines I have to stop. My other bike is Shimano 9 speed and it seems like it will shift through a stick, not sure if that is the difference between Shimano and Sram, or the difference of more gears being more sensitive? Never rode a bike with a Shimano 11 speed. I have demo'd a bunch of bikes and never noticed the sensitivity on either Sram 11 speeds or Shimano 10 speeds, but in just a short ride it might not be something that would get noticed..
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Old 01-03-19, 11:01 AM
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Pick what you like/prefer. But honestly you would likely have to shoot me to get me off of GX at this point. I love the bigger range with single ring and couldn't imagine going back to a 2x. The two biggest improvements to bikes today are the 1x and the dropper post. All personal opinion of course.

I would also say, I have always preferred SRAM over Shimano for shifting. The push push made for a much stronger position on the bar for me. (I do know shimano allows for push push now. )
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Old 01-03-19, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelstrom View Post
I would also say, I have always preferred SRAM over Shimano for shifting. The push push made for a much stronger position on the bar for me. (I do know shimano allows for push push now. )
I love push/push. I guess I have SRAM to thank for that.

Didn't SRAM also motivate Shimano toward stronger derailleur springs? I remember being all-in on SRAM until Shimano came out with stronger springs on their Shadow derailleurs.
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Old 01-03-19, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
I love push/push. I guess I have SRAM to thank for that.

Didn't SRAM also motivate Shimano toward stronger derailleur springs? I remember being all-in on SRAM until Shimano came out with stronger springs on their Shadow derailleurs.
I believe so. Also the direct pull vs the giant loop suited dh quite a bit more imo. There was also something about the ratio, 1x1 to 2x2 of shimano. That lingers in some dark spot in my old memory. I prefered that direct feel to that almost friction shifter feel of shimano back in the day. Lots of reasons I liked SRAM over shimano.

However, although nothing really beat a short cage shimano 105 for durability in rock gardens when I spent my time points downhill. I loved that derailleur. It survived some serious technical trails, and would shift cleanly.
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Old 01-06-19, 02:57 AM
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I have XT 11 and have run both 32 x 11-42 and 34 x 11-46 and went to the latter for more top end on descents and on flat trails--I'm very happy. My daughter has Sram GX Eagle 34 x 11-50 loves the range. She races XC and it's nice she has both climbing and top end gearing--sometimes I wish I had her one extra climbing gear. So, both are great, just get the range you need.
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Old 01-09-19, 11:38 PM
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Thanks for the help, everyone. I ended up going with the SLX setup. Looking forward to a new build soon
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