Review: Shimano's XT 12-Speed Drivetrain is Smart Money

Nov 15, 2019
by Richard Cunningham  
Shimano Deore XT 8100


Deore XT is destined to live under the shadow of Shimano’s over-the-top XTR trust-fund baby. Don’t shed any tears, though, because XT may be the more stable and trustworthy member of the family. XTR’s creators occasionally overreach in their quest to out-perform their last opus. When they return to craft the next XT components, the engineers address those issues. As a result, XT can perform as well (sometimes better) as its haloed brother.

PB showed you Shimano’s 12-speed XT 8100 back in May, 2019 when it was first released. We were duly impressed with its performance and promised a long-term review to see if we could sus out any chinks in its armor. This is it.


XT 8100 at a Glance

XT 8100 is as close to an all-new component ensemble as Shimano dares to release. Special ramps now ease the chain both down and up the 12-speed cassette. Assisted by a scientifically curated 12-speed chain, shifting speed is claimed to be over 30 percent faster.

The new Micro Spline freehub allows for a ten-tooth cog and the XT version provides a lightning fast (for Shimano) ten-degree engagement. Maximum gearing range from its 10 x 51-tooth spread is 510 percent and its shift levers can click off two gears in each direction with one push. In addition, the hollow aluminum cranks fit all popular widths and have direct-mount chainrings with steel teeth.
Shimano XT 12 speed prices

The brakes are new as well, copying XTR’s stiffer mid-clamp lever perches, while the brake rotors share XTR’s cool running stainless steel/aluminum sandwich technology and feather-light aluminum spiders. Two- and four-piston calipers are sold, and feature cooling fins on their newly-formulated brake pads. We reviewed those earlier this year. The focus of this review is on the XT 12-speed drivetrain.




Shimano Deore XT 8100


Hollowtech II Crankset

Shimano fans will recognize the Hollowtech II crankset. It’s basically the same hollow-forged aluminum design that the previous XTR ensemble used, upgraded with a direct-mount chainring. The non-drive-side still clamps to the splined axle, which has proven to be bomb-proof and simple over time.

Steel Chainring: The chainring teeth are tall and pointy, with profiles that stop short of the classic narrow-wide design, but still mirror the skip-tooth architecture. Shimano calls it “Dynamic Chain Engagement plus.” A lightweight aluminum spider is fixed to a plastic-encased steel sprocket with
Key Features

• Hollow aluminum crankarms/direct-mount chainring
• 28, 30, 32, 34 & 36-tooth options
• Tubular steel axle
• Supports 142, 148, or 157mm axle spacing
• Q-factor: 178mm (narrow, 172mm option available)
• Weight: 616 to 660g (depending upon gearing)
• MSRP: $219.98 USD
tamper-proof screws. Reportedly, the small weight penalty of those steel teeth saves half the cost of an XTR chainring – and they last longer too.

Ride Report

Our Pivot Switchblade review bike had 175 millimeter crankarms, with a 30-tooth chainring and was configured for a 157-millimeter rear hub. The 178 millimeter Q-factor is the same as a standard 148-millimeter rear hub, so that was a non-issue.

First off, I expected to toss the chain at least once, but such was not the case. Shimano, it seems, has finally bridged the technology gap to SRAM’s narrow-wide tooth profile. The steel teeth run quietly too, and once the dust and grit polished off the sprocket’s black coating, there has been no further appreciable wear. Call me optimistic, but SRAM’s steel sprockets can go two seasons, so I expect XT to perform at least as well.
XT 8120 crankset
Plastic film applied to the crank arm wards off scratches.

I am not sure why the plastic on the spider is necessary. My guess is that it’s a cosmetic treatment to hide the hardware at the four spider attachment points. Okay, but it looks a little cheap. Ending on a higher note, Shimano applies clear protective “helicopter tape” to the outer surfaces of the crankarms, which should keep your shoes from scuffing off the anodized coating. So far, they're looking fine.

Bottom line? One-by drivetrains have eliminated the need for bike makers to serialize chainrings and cranksets, so this is one of the first components they'll switch to save a few bucks. Shimano's Hollowtech II crankset design, however, has proven itself in all forms of competition. Add the more secure tooth profile and expected longevity of its hybrid steel chainring and it could prove to be a performance value in the long run.


Pros

+ Proven performer
+ More secure tooth profile
+ Long-wearing chainring

Cons

- Hard for me to get excited about the aesthetics.
- If you're a carbon fan - Shimano only makes aluminum cranks.



Shimano Deore XT 8100


12-Speed Cassette

Heart and soul of XT is its 10 x 51-tooth, 12-speed cassette. Shimano's Achilles' heel in the one-by drivetrain battle was its Hyperglide freehub cassette, which limited its smallest cog to 11 teeth. The addition of the smaller Micro Spline freehub cassette enables a more competitive, ten-tooth cog and a proper 510-percent gearing spread. Hyperglide + shifting ramps now guide the chain up and down the cassette cogs, which might be its most important improvement.

XT lacks the titanium middle cogs that XTR touts.
Key Features

• Requires Micro Spline driver
• 10 x 51 or 10 x 45 gearing options
• Maximum, 510% range
• two aluminum and ten steel cogs
• Ramps for both up- and down-shifts
• Lightweight aluminum 7-cog spider
• Weight: 461g ,10 -45t, 470g, 10-51t (reviewed)
• MSRP: $159.99 USD
The first two cogs are aluminum, riveted to a lightweight spider, along with five steel cogs. In Shimano tradition, the remaining steel cogs slide on individually. The XT vs XTR penalty is nearly 100 grams, with XT's 10x51 option weighing in at 470 vs 367 grams. Weigh the MSRPs, though, ($160 vs $380 USD) and that 100 grams should be no imposition.

Compare Shimano XT's 10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-33-39-45-51 ratios to SRAM Eagle' s 10 x 50-tooth (500% range), which is 10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32-36-42-50. The limitations of 1/2-inch pitch chain dictate the first eight steps be the same. The remaining four reveal different thought processes. As explained to me by a secret development rider, Shimano's 18-percent jump from the 33 to a 39 was chosen to keep the first nine steps as close as possible, while segregating the three largest cogs (clustered in even, six-tooth jumps), specifically as climbing gears. SRAM's gearing, on the other hand, was intended for riders who prefer a more sequential gearing progression across the cassette. True or not, Eagle and XT cassettes have distinctly different personalities on trail.
Shimano Deore XT 8100
Almost every tooth is modified for smooth shifts.

The numbers game: Even number jumps do not calculate to even steps. The six-tooth step between Shimano's 45 and 51 cogs is actually a smaller percentage than the six-tooth step from the 33 to the 39 cog. Increasing the number of teeth between shifts to larger cogs helps to keep the delta between gears at the same percentage. Counterintuitive, perhaps, but that's why wide-range cassettes have parabolic curves.

Ride Report

Shimano rises to the top on shifting performance. SRAM has also included ramps to ease the chain down to the smaller cogs, but XT is next level. Full power climbing shifts occasionally will emit a grunt from the cassette, but for the most part, the cassette runs quietly. Pop off a couple of up-shifts while powering over the top of a rolling climb and you'll feel nothing but a smooth transition to a faster gear. XTR introduced Hyperglide + shifting, but XT seems to run even more quietly, and that improved as the cogs wore in.

Did I notice the ten percent lower gear? Not really, but it was nice not to run out of shifts at high speed and still have a stump-puller climbing gear. Shimano's switch to a ten-tooth top gear has been long in coming. In his First Look, Mike Kazimer preferred Shimano's six-tooth gear spacing at the larger end of the cassette, because the 45 to the 51 felt like a smaller step than SRAM. I found more instances where I was clunking back and forth, spanning that mid-cassette jump than I did wishing my largest cogs were closer. Not huge, but worth noting.
Shimano Deore XT 8100
Seven largest cogs are fixed to an aluminum spider.

Shimano does an incredible volume of real-world testing, so I assume there's a sizeable number of riders out there who will disagree with me. I would rather ride a cassette with more sequential steps. That said, I wasn't bothered enough to remove it for another option. Superlative shifting handily trumps a minor mid-cassette dead spot.


Pros

+ Best shifting cassette I've ridden
+ Silent running

Cons

- 470 grams is a little clunky at this level



Shimano Deore XT 8100


Micro Spline Rear Hub

There's nothing massively special about Shimano's new XT hubs, besides being built well and the fact that they run glass smooth. The show is about the rear hub, where Micro Spline makes its debut on a more affordable platform. The main reason for Micro Spline was to adapt a smaller ten-tooth cog in order to bring Shimano up to speed in the one-by marketplace.

Micro Spline debuted with Shimano's not-quite-ready Scylence ratchet clutch. The noise-free system was pulled from the market, and may not return - which is a shame. Coasting without the buzz of ratchet pawls was a beautiful thing. XT, however, is nearly silent. It feels quick and positive, but Shimano worked some magic on the ten-degree engagement ratchet to reduce the pawls' contact pressure. Uncanny, but as speed picks up, the XT freehub ratchet sounds softer until it fades into the background noise. Exactly the opposite of other ratcheting hubs. I'm a fan.
Key Features

• 36 points of engagement (10 degrees)
• 23 tooth Micro Spline freehub
• Shimano compatible only
• 142, 148 and 157mm (boost plus) widths supported
• 110 and 100mm, 15mm-axle front hubs
• Centerlock brake rotors only
• J-bend or straight-pull spoke flanges
• Weight: 147g (110mm F), 303g (148mm R), 310g (157mm R reviewed)
Deore XT m8100 hub
Micro Spline freehub has a 10-degree engagement.

Enough wheel makers have been granted use of Micro Spline to assuage customer fears of being trapped into purchasing Shimano hubs and wheels for life. The up side is that the new spline design will take massive amounts of torque when constructed from aluminum - so, lighter and stronger, and no more galled freehub splines.


Pros

+ Smooth rolling and user rebuildable
+ Very quiet freehub ratchet.

Cons

- No XT six-bolt brake rotor option



Shimano Deore XT 8100


Rapidfire Plus Shift Lever

After many experiments with indexing and ergonomics, and some dark periods of indiscernible feedback, Shimano gets it spot on with XT 8100's shift levers. Shifts are crisp and each gear change is telegraphed to the rider with a distinct feel and an audible click. Both the thumb take-up and finger release operate with similar pressure and throw distance, which makes shifting intuitive and precise.

"Instant Release" triggers shifts to smaller cogs with the first movement of the release lever, which is claimed to improve up-shifting by 20 percent. Two shifts can be executed with one movement by either lever, and firm index points eliminate any guessing.
Key Features

• I-Spec direct-mount or discrete clamp options
• Shifts two gears with one push in either direction
• Contoured plastic touch points with rubber coated thumb paddle
• Trigger or push action release lever
• Positive feeling action with more defined index points
• Weight: 120g average
• MSRP: $60.99 USD
Shifting firmness feels similar to SRAM's Eagle XX1 or X01 triggers, but with better ergonomics at the touch points. Shimano fans will be happy to know that the release lever can still be operated by thumb or forefinger action.

Ride Report

These are the best feeling shifters I've seen from Shimano. I like the firm feedback the index action translates with each gear change. I wear gloves, but the ergonomics play just as well with bare hands. In combination with Shimano's double action Hyperglide + cassette ramps, the new XT 12-speed lever's feel and performance are top notch.
Shimano Deore XT 8100
Two-sided release lever.


Pros

+ Best feeling analog shifter Shimano has produced
+ Consistent throw and intuitive feedback.

Cons

- Why did we have to wait so long?




Shadow Plus SGS Derailleur

Shimano's most recent improvement has been to tuck as many of the rear changer's vital parts out of harm's way as possible. What does protrude beyond the XT 12-speed derailleur's pivot knuckle is angled to ensure a glancing blow. Larger diameter 13-tooth jockey pulleys ride on sealed ball bearings inside a sturdy cage that is also designed to withstand a beating.

Key Features:

• Long or mid-cage options
• Larger, 13-tooth ball bearing pulleys
• Adjustable band clutch
• Reduced cage tension in low gears
• Recessed architecture
• Sturdy steel and aluminum cage plates
• Weight: 284g
• MSRP: $114.99 USD

This changer shares XTR's adjustable band type clutch and reduced cage tension in lower gears. The SGS model reviewed here handles the wide-range 10 x 51 cassette. A mid-cage option is available for customers who choose the close-ratio 10 x 45-tooth cassette.

Ride Report
Shimano Deore XT 8100

One indicator of a stable rear derailleur is how well it can handle adversity, like brush winding into the pulleys, or leaf litter clogging the cassette. Few disturbances can ruin a mountain biker's flow faster than a chain randomly skipping over a tiny stick lodged in between cassette cogs or a jockey pulley. Autumn in Southern California guarantees those moments, so it came as a pleasant surprise that the XT cassette and derailleur shrugged off the barrage of dry brush and prairie grass leaning into the singletracks. A couple of chain skips, then silence, and my precious flow would resume. I could count on it. That's not how it normally goes.

Typically, you can set and forget a Shimano derailleur. Maybe you'll need to turn an adjustment barrel once to compensate for compressed housing, but that's it. So it was with my XT review. I needed one-half turn of the adjustment barrel three rides in and shifting has remained stable to date. My SRAM X01 Eagle bike is about the same age as the XT bike and it's already developed the usual free play at the upper pivot where the derailleur mounts to the hanger. I've been riding the heck out of both bikes this season and XT's pivot bushing is still like new.
Shimano Deore XT 8100
Body designed to deflect impacts.


Pros

+ Sturdy and stable
+ Tucked in design incurred minimal trauma

Cons

- Matte black finish top to bottom always looks dirty



Shimano XT vs. SRAM X01

SRAM's and Shimano's halo analog groups are Eagle XX1 and XTR. Their second-tier groups are Eagle X01 and XT 8100, so I'll throw them into the ring together. XT may be closer in price and weight to SRAM's GX group, but this fight is about how XT stacks up against X01.

Shifting performance of the two contenders is close, but Shimano has slightly better shift ergonomics. While both cassettes use ramps to guide the chain in each direction, Shimano's is the smoother and faster shifting of the pair.

Starting with the basic drivetrain (crankset, 32-tooth chainring, chain, rear-derailleur, and cassette), X01 comes out swinging, with an average weight that is
SRAM Eagle Review
Eagle X01 sits just under XX1, the top dog in SRAM's cable-actuated range.
almost 250 grams lighter. Shimano takes the first hit in the crankset (620g vs 483g) boom, and then another punch in the 12-speed cassette (470g vs 357g). Ouch! But, the weight advantage of SRAM's carbon cranks and one-piece CNC-machined Powerdome cassette can't hold up to Shimano's MSRP - a $650 USD blow to the head from XT. Ba-boom! X01 wobbles back towards XT, swinging wildly for 650 bucks worth of tangible performance, but can't quite connect. The decision goes to XT.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesMany joke that XT is the poor man's XTR, but in this case, that statement could be amended to "smart man's XTR." XT 8100 components are not inexpensive, but their performance is so close to XTR that emotion may be the only motivation to buy Shimano's premier group. Part for part, you'll spend around $1,000 USD more to ride XTR, (or SRAM XX1) and your bike will weigh about a half-pound less.

I emphasize cost versus performance in this review, because I believe that the design and function of the modern trail bike has stabilized. This presents an opportunity for bike and component makers to strip off the excess of their halo products, and to distill the price of pro-level performance to a more attainable figure. The concept is picking up momentum. Shimano XT 8100 is exactly what the sport needs more of. 
RC







548 Comments

  • 390 3
 Cons all read to me like: I had to put in something here
  • 62 3
 Agree. Basically no cons. For me, the most desirable groupset out there. Of course, xtr may be better, but I would feel extremely uncomfortable taking a xtr equipped bike to the bike park
  • 178 1
 Pros: lighter than SLX. Cons: heavier than XTR
  • 44 1
 That's how I read it too. Hurry the hell up Hope and release a microspline freehub body!!!
  • 6 4
 @Davec85: Bitex too, please!
  • 23 7
 Pinkbike - where is the fkking field test?

Why do all the xtr equiped bikes not have xtr cranks?
  • 23 2
 especially the con for the crank:
If you're a carbon fan - Shimano only makes aluminum cranks.

I'm asking myself, if RC would write the contrary: "If you're a aluminum fan - brand X only makes carbon cranks"?
  • 151 2
 IF you're concerned your rear derailleur looks dirty...take up golf.
  • 4 1
 @Davec85: January 1st.
  • 7 2
 @harrybrottman: Remember reading somewhere that Shimanos anodising plant caught fire, hence less XTR cranks getting out there
  • 39 4
 Hubs still cup and cone bearings? Seems like that would warrant a comment.
  • 2 5
 I agree, but I think we waited really long to get a “pretty good” drivetrain
  • 4 2
 @Davec85: be a little patient, Hope will offer them on 02.01.20 Wink
  • 8 0
 @ReformedRoadie: Totally agree if it doesn't have dirt and scratcsh your are not using it. I went through two XT derailleurs and a hanger this year if it was XTR I would be crying and broke.
  • 3 0
 @Davec85: It supposed to be in January 2020.
  • 14 2
 @harrybrottman: because the "xtr" crank was re-designed and replaced with a non-series crank after they announced the groupset. That's Shimano...they're slow to release, but when they do, they like to get it right.

So I feel most of the OEM's who would've spec'd XTR cranks said "We're not going to put a black non-series crank on that build...we can't justify $10,000 with a non-series crank" and instead decided to spec their bikes with a crank they knew they could reliably source in time for production, and justify the price tag of those Gucci builds. I believe many went to something like a Race Face Next SL on those builds. Because carbon....
  • 2 0
 @powderturns: Good point. Not a pro or a con (that really depends on what you're comfortable servicing) but probably worth noting.
  • 4 3
 Agree! I just got my new XT (XTR rear) on my Rallon. So far I love it. Also, have the new Hightower w Xo1, and hate it. Works well now but its new. It should work great! however, Sram wears out bad and is always needing some love! Wish more companies would give XT as an option! Soon, im sure! and yes I have 2 bikes! Lots of OT and selling all my older bikes and saving!
  • 12 2
 That chainring looks like it was pulled off a 1990’s off-brand hybrid.
  • 9 0
 @harrybrottman: Shimano XTR cranksets are two forged aluminum pieces bonded together. The manufacturing process took longer to perfect than anticipated, so Shimano shipped XT crankarms with XTR chainrings while they sorted it out.
  • 16 3
 @ReformedRoadie: Not worried about dirt and scratches. Matte black finishes, however cool they look when the product is new, never clean up after the first dirt ride.
  • 13 1
 The review still manages some real gems: like claiming that Shimano drivetrains dropped chains before 12 speed ("First off, I expected to toss the chain at least once, but such was not the case. ", what?) or the pearl of confusion: "Increasing the number of teeth between shifts to larger cogs helps to keep the delta between gears at the same percentage. Counterintuitive, perhaps, but that's why wide-range cassettes have parabolic curves." or the "different personality" that SRAM and Shimano cassettes have.

An editor would really help. but it makes for good fun ... just for info, these are the % gear ratios increases:

Shimano: 20 17 14 13 17 14 17 18 18 15 13

SRAM: 20 17 14 13 17 14 17 14 13 17 19 ------- which are indeed a bit all over the place ...
  • 5 1
 @dans160: my birthday Smile . Nice birthday present for me!
  • 12 1
 @harrybrottman: I second this - it's been two days with no new field test! You kissed me with the first one, PB, and reached down my pants with the second, but now you've left me high and dry.

Great XT review though, RC. Love the XT vs. XO play-by-play.
  • 6 3
 @ReformedRoadie:
If you're concerned about your derailleur looks dirty...take up track cycling.
  • 10 0
 @powderturns: yes, like "cup and cone is so reliable with minimal friction that there's no reason for a change".
  • 1 0
 @Davec85: January dude
  • 6 1
 @harrybrottman: Think there is some negotiating going on with Pole before they release the review. Pole had an instagram post yesterday apologizing for the breakage of their swingarm during the Pinkbike drop to bottom out test of the bike. Mentioned they accidentally shipped a bike with an XC swingarm vs the part that is supposed to be on there. But I can't find that post anymore.

Think maybe Pole was trying to get ahead of the release... but maybe last minute negotiations have changed how the bike will be talked about/presented?? Idk... all speculation on my part... but it is weird...
  • 1 0
 @harrybrottman: XTR cranks are crazy expensive, my guess is that most companies see the cost savings in that area ... or people want carbon so they swap in that? Just my thoughts.
  • 13 3
 @JCO: and just like someone predicted if anything breaks it automatically a prototype that accidentally got shipped.


Classic excuse Pole classic.
  • 1 0
 @powderturns: yup - I've never had them but loads of mechanics I know like them. Anyone else used them and liked/hated?
  • 1 0
 @Davec85: my thoughts exactly ,only thing stopping me from splashing the cash.
  • 2 0
 @powderturns: mine run forever and service easy enough. If it had been working for Shimano that long I can't see why they'd change it.
  • 4 0
 @powderturns: I’ve been inside a few of their new hubs. Serviced a couple, they’re a bit of both actually. The freehub is a seal bearing affair and the hub is cup and cone.

Really nice hubs, have stepped their game up big time.
  • 4 6
 The lack of the standard brake bolting pattern is huge.
  • 9 0
 @JCO:
so you are trying to block pinkbike from showing that your product has failed.

Lost respect for you pole!
  • 13 3
 @Queixo: yep I'll never buy a Pole now.

Not because it broke but because they can't be honest and just admit.

Everything can break nothing's perfect

It's how you respond that matters.


Ask Enve.
  • 4 1
 @JCO: genuinely makes me like companies even more that are willing to face their criticism head on with an explanation, not the hide/avoid/we dont care mentality you see commonly in corporate environments
  • 45 3
 Ya everybody should go read that Pole article.

They actually get to accusing pinkbike of "scandalous stories" to make money.

Pointing to the Enve story where their wheels keep breaking.

They come off like they love the smell of their own shit.

Pole its your fault you can't send the right bike when you knew months in advance of the Huck to flat test.

And why the f*ck did you not just send a production bike like you were supposed to?

Trying to cheat and got caught.
  • 8 3
 Shimano XT 11-speed prevails over the 12-speed in my opinion. Shimano XT 12-speed is solid, but the proprietary hub body, clutch, and weight are the cons.
  • 3 5
 @ReformedRoadie: I ride mountain bikes and play golf. Is that not allowed?
  • 20 1
 @reverend27: that’shit on the Pole website definitely qualifys as a FULL BLOWN MELTDOWN!
  • 5 0
 @tacklingdummy: It is frowned upon because it messes up the turf.
  • 9 1
 @ismasan: i guess my issue with cup and cone, and admittedly this is maybe overly cautious, but I worry that i'll let maintenance go too long and then the cups will be worn, then i'll have to toss the hub and rebuild the wheel.

with a sealed bearing hub, you can let the bearings go to utter crap, and still just replace the bearing and be up to 100% again.
  • 18 0
 @powderturns: Sealed bearing hubs are like putting a backup camera on a car, sure it helps but it just covers up the fact that you don't know how to do it. Cup and cone hubs need to be overhauled about as often as sealed bearings should be replaced. If a cup and cone hub is properly adjusted it will ALWAYS outperform a sealed bearing hub. I've had Saint hubs on my DH bike for nearly ten years, I have never had to replace ball bearings. They get an overhaul with fresh grease about once a season( now that I don't ride the DH rig as often maybe every two years) and they still roll smoother and faster than anyone else wheels. Of course, this is measured on the very scientific gravel road no pedal roll test we do every lap, I have never lost. How's that for a comment.
  • 1 0
 @pakleni: One con for me was the rotor compatibility with the 6-bolt (read: cheaper) versions. The rest are pretty nitpicky. XT is my go-to for price vs. performance balance.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy: see Vince Vegas’ analysis of Elvis vs. Beatles
  • 4 0
 @xeren: different approaches, I guess. In my case all I do is keep to the hose away and once a year dismantle and regrease. Tighten only if play develops. Never had any problem.
  • 5 0
 btw, every cup and cone is angular contact, which is probably better for mtb wheels sliding/landing sideways all the time.
  • 12 1
 @reverend27: Spot on!

That Pole response uses variants of the word "scandal" toward Pinkbike four times in one paragraph.

It's the Pinkbike Field Test! No scandal needed to gain clicks: It's already a red-hot series.

The response reads like a juvenile cover-up.
  • 2 0
 @ismasan: yeah, i guess it comes down to my, at times, lazy maintenance schedule. the last sealed bearing in a hub i replaced was probably a thousand miles overdue, and yet i didn't notice it on the bike, only when i happened to be doing other work on that wheel. if it were a cup and cone, i'm afraid it would have been toast.

it's a shame, though, the XT hubs are only an ounce heaver than DT swiss, and less than half the price
  • 5 1
 @xeren: replace the cups. I personally can’t be arsed anymore but back when I did all shimano hubs had the same cups. So I’d buy a deore front hub (£5) and get the cups out with a heat gun. Then use the axel to pull the new ones back in again.
  • 8 2
 @reverend27: The article is titled "we are not perfect after all" tells us right away that they are coming from a place of self-righteousness. Weak sauce indeed.

Pole, you're basically asking Pinkbike to redo all of the testing on your bike because you guys screwed up. Doing one huck to flat with a reworked swingarm won't prove anything.
  • 2 0
 @ReformedRoadie: I hate when my clubs are dirty!
  • 8 5
 @nickfranko: centerlock is standard....a superior standard.
  • 2 0
 @JCO: Uhhhh! Good read and find. Poor Enve rim test is coming back to the surface.
  • 1 7
flag tacklingdummy (Nov 15, 2019 at 18:33) (Below Threshold)
 @huntingbears: I also bass fish, snowboard, run and workout at the gym. Uh, oh. Is that offending people? Lol.
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie: The similarities keep getting harder to ignore.
  • 1 1
 @ReformedRoadie: I did a search on your command and found nothing relevant to that.
  • 1 0
 @pakleni: i need gold tho!
  • 1 0
 @Davec85: Shimano has changed the licensing restrictions, pretty much everyone can get a license to sell a Microspline cassette from January 1st next year.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy: it’s buried in a deleted scene from Pulp Fiction

Actually Mia asking Vince
  • 1 0
 @bonfire: do you have experience riding the new XT hubs?
  • 1 0
 Black cranks was my only gripe.
  • 1 1
 @ReformedRoadie @PinkyScar That analogy and other analogies like it don't work. In the US, 45% of people are independent, 29% democrat, and 23% republican. So, the overwhelming majority are independent thinkers not picking a side and like both the Eagles and Beatles. Lol.
  • 2 0
 @Actually it does. It’s not politics.

I’ll simplify this for you. If it’s a beautiful Saturday morning, are you loading up the bike or clubs.
OR
If you had to give up mountain biking or golf, or which one is it?
  • 1 0
 @Lando406: One ride on one. Sold a few to customers and they’re liking them. The internals are pretty slick, for the cost of the hub and the manufacturing complexity, it’s pretty stunning.

Looking at either a hubset or their XT Wheelset for my Chameleon if I go 12spd XT on that.
  • 1 0
 @Davec85: I mean you could run it with a different cassette, but I suppose agreed
  • 2 0
 @neons97: They were slow to release and also got it wrong in this case though.... (if we're talking about their cranks)
  • 1 2
 @ReformedRoadie: I don't have to give up either, so it doesn't apply and not based in reality. I have golfed and mountain biked on the same day countless times. I spend pretty much equal time, mountain biking, bass fishing, and golfing right now and not giving up anything. Haha. Sorry.
  • 2 1
 At first I thought it was a translation thing. But by the end it sounded like my 6 year old trying to outsmart me why she drew on the tv with a permanent marker. @reverend27
  • 5 3
 @tacklingdummy: so you didn’t give up, but you can’t grasp the point either. Congratulations for doing more than one activity in a day...what’s next, combining them? Ride your bike between holes? Fish in the water hazard?
The inability to have any sort of philosophical discussion makes your political affiliation an easy one...
  • 1 0
 @pakleni: CONS: I have to buy a new rear wheel if I want to use it. No thank you. People will look at replacing the cassette by a Sunrace instead if they want to go XT.
  • 4 0
 @zoobab2: You think like we all did within 2 years when xD came out?

Let's be honest about this. If you're out on the market for a new bike and you want Shimano, you won't go and buy a Sram bike and then change everything.
Also, if your Sram drivetrain is working properly there's absolutely no reason to change it for Shimano. No matter how much better it may be
  • 1 1
 @ReformedRoadie: It is fun messing with trolls. Keep the game going. Lol.
  • 1 1
 @ReformedRoadie: Anyone who is offended by activities that I do, that has absolutely nothing to do with them or even affect them in a minute ioda is so hilarious. Lmao.
  • 1 2
 @pakleni: agreed, but in all honesty I see little difference in action between SRAM and Shimano shifters/mechs. It is the Shimano XTR cassette that you may want over everything else, XX1 and XT included.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I agree with waki dream transmission would be xtr cassette and shifter xt mech and cranks xtr bb threaded of course.

(On a side note I wonder how many people agree with waki on a regular basis)
  • 3 0
 @RichardCunningham: *Finally* someone says something about the stupidity of "murdered out" component groups, especially w/ matte/satin finishes. Polished aluminum sheds dirt quick & easy - should we use it on modern bikes? Nah, teen fashion victims in the bike park want parts that match their black T-shirts & skinny jeans.
  • 3 0
 @Veloscente: it all depends how much metal is used and in which places but with rear mech, that's a no brainer. All metal bits there should look like metal. Same with crank arms, it's just silly to not have polished face of the arm. Like XTR 970 and 980 cranks. I have two M770 cranksets. One silver, one black. Both just as old. Guess which one looks just like new.
  • 2 0
 @vhdh666: I’d look at it from a different viewpoint too - if shimano don’t think you need carbon cranks, you don’t need carbon cranks.
  • 2 0
 @powderturns: How many times do you have to do maintenance on Shimano's cup and cone angular bearings hub - once every 20 years if you don't submerge the axles in water or pressure wash the bearings? Even if you have to repack and regrease the bearings, this overhaul is simple and very cost effective as long as the cone and cup walls are not pitted. The angular bearings can take more force than the replaceable press fit cartridge bearings from the likes of DT Swiss or other manufacturers. Simple and durable is always good, especially when it's maintenance free.
  • 1 0
 @CSharp: I had a couple of sets of XTR hubs from the previous generation. Honestly, lifespan was less than spectacular. Not saying DT swiss are any better, I am far from impressed with current generation of hubs but the Shimano ones are not perfect.

The big benifit of Shimano hubs is you can maintain them, which is good because you need to.
  • 2 2
 @vhdh666: Shimano's groupo's turn out to be just as light as SRAM's in the end. Carbon cranks or not
  • 1 0
 @Davec85: Happy birthday for then Sir!
  • 1 0
 @nickfranko: DT Swiss makes an adapter to fit 6-bolt rotors on a center lock hub. It weighs much less than the problemsolvers version. I've been using it over a year now with no problems.
  • 1 0
 Ugh, they look dirty (on a mountain bike ffs!) because of the color.
  • 131 2
 Uhh guys, you do realize we can now buy Raceface stems in 9 DIFFERENT COLOURWAYS RIGHT??
  • 7 0
 ^^ this guys gets it Big Grin
  • 5 4
 More like DownhillFloozy, amirite?!?
*no offense intended - just making a joke on your username and this comment.
  • 11 0
 @shredddr: how dare you. Downhill Floozys are to be cherished for the rarity they are and not to be joked about.
  • 1 0
 I'm a simple guy so I'm just happy to have the stems available in different colours!

WTF is a colourway of a stem?!
  • 6 0
 Innovation, lol
  • 1 9
flag Svinyard (Nov 15, 2019 at 21:33) (Below Threshold)
 @bogey: what's a colour?
  • 11 1
 @Svinyard: ya, we all know Mericans can’t spell in English.
  • 1 0
 NINE!?
  • 61 0
 The main thing stopping me from buying this is that the previous version XT just wont quit. I run XT on three bikes, the oldest of which is 5 years old, in that time I have had to replace one rear mech, which was due to major rider error.
  • 93 0
 But how are you supposed to ride a bike with only 11 gears? Unpossible.
  • 13 2
 @stevemokan: get this, I ride one with NINE
  • 2 1
 @stevemokan: Yeah, ever since this came out I just hate the way my bike shifts.
  • 12 0
 @stevemokan: **obligatory elitest singlespeeder comment...** You only need one!
  • 16 0
 Five years and you've not replaced a single cassette? Ride more!
  • 5 2
 @just6979: I built my bike frame up
About 4 or so years ago sram xx1...ride pretty consistently 4times a week. Same cassette and chain ring from day 1....

I have a new cassette / chain ring / chain sitting in my drawer but have never needed.

My chain ring is missing teeth and my cassette is worn, but it shifts perfectly fine...maybe my standards are too low? I dno, it still feels borderline perfect.

Granted I live in SOCAL so weather is nice and easy on my parts, but I’m always surprised to hear how often people are swapping drive train parts like this.

I’ve broken a few brake/shift/dropper levers here and there over the years, but the mech and other parts are holding strong.

We don’t have a lot of variable terrain though, mostly just a full climb then full descent, so I guess less wear and tear on the mech.

I’m a light guy at 160-170lbs too...


No idea, makes me scratch my head
  • 4 2
 @nvranka: 15 minute rides around your block with the dog don't count.
  • 3 0
 @just6979: I ride twice a week for 1-2h per ride and the 10 speed SLX cassette that came on my bike lasted 4 seasons (can only ride 7 months of the year or so) ! It had been showing signs of wear for a while but never stopped shifting properly. Ended up getting replaced when the derailleur finally snapped in half after much abuse. That being said the big gears on the last gen of XT 11 speed are showing much more considerable wear after a single season.
  • 2 2
 @steveczech: saw this one coming. I invite you to come ride with me any time brother...we’ll see how that works out for ya.

PM me for my cell.
  • 3 2
 @nvranka: Haha...it has been a while. I invite you to do the same. Plenty of great trails in NM (not to mention Angel Fire Bike Park). The elevation will be an adjustment, but you'd love it. If not that, then there's always the bike festival in Sedona. My number is on all my listings. Have a good one, dude!
  • 1 0
 I have over 8500 miles on a Deore-ish Crank and Octalink BB from 2013... I blame Shimano.
  • 1 0
 @BCtrailrider: as do I. and I use DEORE!
  • 3 0
 @fruitsd79: I use saint because GOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD
  • 2 0
 I’m with you. Full Sram XO1, 4yrs old, 3-5 days a week and if it doesn’t feel great I replace the cable. Like new again. Low standards?
  • 1 1
 Not feeling a 36lbs short travel bike but alot of great tech improvement's and cheap for the groupo.
  • 1 0
 for the right price you could sell a few to me Wink
  • 1 0
 Yep M8000 still feels great. Not to mention I've seen complete groupsets, with brakes, for under $350usd. How could you not build a frame up with that!?
  • 58 0
 And where is the new Saint set?
  • 10 1
 Asking the real questions. I want me some new brakes
  • 19 0
 Gonna wonder if need for Saint-weight products will actually happen and instead we will see XTR-7spd and XT-7spd drivetrains for DH use.

World Cup DHers are already using XTR brakes and Enduro bros are using full XTR set-ups. If this stuff is strong enough, why bother with updating Saint?
  • 3 2
 @ka-brap: Because the market it waiting for a new saint group, & maybe the new one will be slightly less than 'saint weight', what ever that is..
  • 5 2
 @ka-brap: just bought a new set of leftover saints, xt is cool but flexy and i aint about that kind of flex.
  • 2 2
 cranks*
  • 4 3
 *Zee
  • 1 3
 @colincolin: uhhh no their saints
  • 1 2
 No need for a setup that has an extra gear, so it’s just waiting on brakes.

I gave up waiting and bought Formula Cura 4 brakes and haven’t looked back. I just need to decide on nice cranks, the race face that came stock is heavy and flexing.

Upgrade as I break stuff...
  • 1 6
flag just6979 (Nov 15, 2019 at 9:02) (Below Threshold)
 @ka-brap: Smaller sized World Cup DHers are using XTR. Tell us when a beast like Brook or Amaury is running XTR (by their own choice)
  • 2 0
 @yzedf: I hope your experience with the Cura 4's is significantly better than mine....never again.
  • 1 0
 @Hookem34: so far so good. 1/2 a dh season (from dusty and blown out to sticky mud) in the same set of pads and no need to bleed after the initial trimming for installation.
  • 4 0
 @just6979: brook runs xtr..
  • 4 0
 @zyoungson: and Amaury is on sram
  • 3 0
 @just6979: the syndicate are all on xtr brakes as well
  • 1 0
 @yzedf: out of interest what do you weigh? My cura 4s were garbage
  • 1 0
 @yeti-monster: almost 210 pounds with dh gear on
  • 58 7
 Analog: relating to or using signals or information represented by a continuously variable physical quantity such as spatial position, voltage, etc.

Digital: (of signals or data) expressed as series of the digits 0 and 1, typically represented by values of a physical quantity such as voltage or magnetic polarization.

PLEASE stop referring to non-electronic shifting as "analog". It is not correct.
  • 9 0
 Glad I'm not the only person who's anal about this! I'm guessing people are generalising from watches, where the analog vs digital distinction happens to coincide with the electrical vs mechanical distinction. But unless someone invents a CVD gearbox for bikes, it makes zero sense to talk about analog drivetrains.
  • 3 0
 @JCO: Record players are analog, yet electric powered...
  • 8 10
 "Acoustic" would be better!
  • 4 0
 @ReformedRoadie: They're not though, they're mechanical - you amplify the vibration coming off the needle electronically but you can very much listen to a record if you turn the platter with the needle dropped while the power is off.
  • 1 1
 @JCO: my singlespeed feels analog, full on or coasting lol
  • 36 0
 And to make matters worse, I perform all my shifting digitally! ...Cause fingers are digits... I'll just let myself out.
  • 4 0
 By those definitions we could probably call indexed shifting "digital". So analogue is friction shifters!
  • 3 0
 @just6979: The cassette is still digital though, so indexed shifting in this case is basically just noise filtering. You'd need a continuously variable transmission to have a truly analogue drivetrain...




...I need to do something more constructive with my time.
  • 5 1
 @JCO: I'd say the cassette is "discrete", but the shifting is still "analog" in that the inputs are not discrete but continuously variable.
  • 2 0
 (delete double-post)
  • 1 0
 IDK about you guys, but my rear derailleur continuously shifts around my cassette, and with no rider input at that!
  • 3 0
 Agreed. There is no inherent relationship between "electronic" and "digital", nor between "mechanical" and "analog". They are completely independent. You can have an electronic but analog computer, for example. Or a mechanical but digital computer, for that matter.
  • 2 1
 @just6979: Since we're going there... Wink

If we're talking about digital vs analogue CODES then the distinction lies in the interpretation of the signal, not in the properties of the signal itself. A continuously varying voltage can still be quantized and interpreted as a digital code.

So, I'd argue that your definition depends on giving the shifter a semantic interpretation independent from the rest of the system, which is a weird thing to do. Yes, a friction shifter can represent a continuous value, but it doesn't mean anything to the rest of the system, it only means something to you, an external observer of the system.

If we view the system as a whole, we can call the shifter a transmitter, the cable/derailleur a channel, and the cassette a receiver. The fact that the receiver can only interpet discrete values means that the system as a whole can only express digital codes.

Coincidently, this is pretty similar to the way a lot of real-world digital codes are transmitted: the quantization is mostly in the receiver - since the receiver needs to deal with noise introduced by the channel anyway. That means you can get away with transmitting a surprisingly continuous looking signal. This is convenient since things like electrical components tend to be quasi-discrete at best (e.g. transisters give you a discrete-looking threshold, which is useful for binary switching, but above that threshold their behaviour is essentially analogue).

So, yeah, I don't think you can call a drivetrain an analogue system untill you get rid of the cassette. You'd need something like a CVT.
  • 1 0
 @just6979: "but the shifting is still "analog" in that the inputs are not discrete but continuously variable"

Except it's not. A mechanical indexed shifter creates discrete ("digital") shift points: the "click stops". (An old-style friction shifter is truly analog, though. But few on this site will have ever seen one of those.)
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: Please don't give them any ideas.
  • 1 0
 'Analog' gears are changed by the spatial position of the cable.
  • 1 0
 They're acoustic. Gah everyone should know that by now.
  • 42 1
 Hard for you to get excited about aesthetics...
How are cogs and a chain supposed to look?
  • 42 2
 Anodised in a fetching shade of grurple with built in colour changing led lights and short back and sides please,
  • 11 2
 Oil slick or gold?
  • 5 12
flag spencebwell (Nov 15, 2019 at 4:51) (Below Threshold)
 Agreed, but srams nx or even sx cassettes look better
  • 9 2
 That 'con' is for the crankset. The cranks look good, but that DM chainring design... no bueno.
  • 2 0
 @spencebwell:
They do look good. Those chic ‘turbine’ cutouts give a nice light appearance. Too bad the N/SX block is the chunkiest of the lot. I also wish mine didn’t shift like hot garbage, and need constant barrel adjustments.

Are there any photos of the oil slick cassette after some abuse? Obviously it’s a piece of jewelry out of the box, but does the look hold up when it’s covered in black grime?
  • 1 2
 @bigtim: HOPE that never happens
  • 6 0
 @alreadyupsidedown: Checked your mech hanger lately? Or your mech? Or your freehub? A cassette shouldn't really have much to do with constant adjustments. That's more often because something is loose and letting either cassette or mech move laterally in a way it shouldn't.
  • 39 1
 So we're calling cable actuated gears "analog(ue)" now? Ugh.
  • 1 13
flag klondike08 (Nov 15, 2019 at 7:32) (Below Threshold)
 With electronic (digital) becoming more prevalent, sure why not? "Analog" is a clean way to convey cable actuated - times be a changing just like audio equipment did.
  • 4 1
 Yeah, interesting word choice. Analog also includes hydraulic. Not sure if that's what RC was going for?
  • 28 2
 @klondike08: Except it's silly, and, to be pedantic, inaccurate (indexed shifting is discrete/digital). Just call it mechanical, FFS, and stop being cute.
  • 36 1
 And for the smartest of the smartest they build the SLX version. That, if it gets combined with the XT shifter, feels exactly the same as the XT group. At least for me :-)
  • 25 0
 SLX everything, your preferred brakes, XT shifter and XT/XTR Cassette for any meaningful weight loss
  • 9 3
 This is what I always say to people when they ask what group to buy. I run an XT derailleur with XTR shifter, KMC chain and Sunrace cassette.
  • 6 2
 @GumptionZA: the trick has always been xtr shifter. The mechs are all the same - then you buy the most expensive of everything else you can. But it starts with the shifter for the premium feel.
  • 5 43
flag thenotoriousmic (Nov 15, 2019 at 3:05) (Below Threshold)
 @browner: shifter makes absolutely no difference. It did back in the day but not anymore. All your getting is the same shifter but with a bearing and nicer paddles and at best a lighter shift. It’s the cassette and chain that makes the difference, followed by the mech.

I’d avoid slx everything. It’s cheap and doesn’t last.
  • 1 1
 Exactly what I did to (+ freeza xt rotors). Very good setup !
  • 9 1
 @bonkywonky: I run xtr cassette and once had to switch rear wheel during an xco race. The spare one has sunrace cassette and its shifting performance was terrifying compared to xtr. No sunrace, better cassette worth the spent money!
  • 1 1
 @bonkywonky: that's what I run too. You may save a few grams off pure cry, but you're not missing much.
  • 3 3
 @lettak: most likely your low speed limit screw was off...
  • 3 0
 @clink83: bike was perfectly prepared for national series race Wink
  • 2 1
 @GumptionZA: Well, there's a pretty hefty difference in crankset weight between SLX and XTR or carbon cranks (150-200g). If you're looking for weight loss, this is an easy place to save and a component that does not wear like a cassette.
  • 2 0
 This is exactly what I did on my new build; SLX everything (including 4-pot brakes) with an XT shifter. I also went with the 10-45 cassette to test out the "rhythm step" (coming from a 1x10 with 11-36 cassette), but may buy an XT 10-51 to have on hand for really big days. Bigger range with no weight penalty.
  • 2 0
 I just bought SLX 4-piston brakes (the new ones), XT shifter, and XT rear derailleur. Unfortunately I'm going to be running a GX Eagle cassette since Sun Ringle doesn't make microspline drivers yet.
  • 1 0
 @lettak: My Sunrise has been flawless for ~800 miles.
  • 1 1
 @cool3: Next SL to XTR is 80g. If you use a Wolftooth ring on SLX, you'll only gain 35g from XTR. The mass difference in 12s cranks is smaller than prev gen.
  • 2 0
 @JohanG: Next SL : 453 g XTR : 530 g SLX : 630 g Even with a WT chainring, you won't be 35 g away from an XTR crankset with an SLX crankset.
  • 3 0
 @cool3: Next SL Crankset = $430
SLX Crankset = $105

It's expensive being a weight weenie... I can buy a lot of post ride beers with $325
  • 1 1
 @MantanaB6: To each his own. Once you've bought it, it is on your bike for a long time. I'd rather have a better bike built and drink less beers... Wink
  • 1 0
 @cool3: Already done and weighed on mtbr. Fact.
  • 1 0
 @JohanG: Link?
  • 2 0
 @cool3: For sure. If you've got the cash for the initial investment and want a dream build, then may as well swing for the fences and throw down. But if you are trying to build something solid on a budget, then spend the extra money on a better wheelset or suspension components. 190g at the cranks isn't going to be too noticable. For me, I'd rather save the $325 since I can't tell the difference in performance between the two cranksets.
  • 24 5
 My GX drivetrain has been pretty good, but if I backpedal when in my largest cog, the chain will derail all the way down the cassette. This is super annoying because on long steep climbs, I sometimes like to rest against a tree and backpedal to keep the blood flowing in my legs.

Also... I made the mistake of buying a Reverb dropper post this year. It developed some vertical play which really sucked, so I sent it back to Sram. They said it was "within spec" and sent it back to me without fixing it. After that, I bought a Fox Transfer post (which has been awesome) and I will never buy a Sram seatpost again because they would not address the problem.

I really wanted to like Sram's stuff, I even bought an expensive rear Onyx hub with an XD driver... but they are pushing me back towards Shimano/Fox.
  • 49 0
 You're the first reverb owner I've stumbled upon who's willfully decided for this product.
  • 17 4
 The backpedaling problem is probably a setup issue. The Reverb problem is how Reverbs be.
  • 8 6
 Set up as in SRAM can’t make a good cassette @jeremy3220:
  • 10 1
 hey its built in seatpost suspension. You should be grateful.
  • 1 1
 @colincolin: Yeah I should have known better. But I was happy with my previous two Reverbs.
  • 2 0
 @jeremy3220: GX came stock on my Trek Remedy. It would be interesting to see if a Shimano drivetrain would do the same thing.
  • 3 2
 @axleworthington: still fox seatposts are not that good overall. If I compare my dropper to the Revive from bikeyoke it is a joke for the price indead. Not forget you can not service the post by yourself. Not all of it for the fox , bikeyoke makes it very easy. I still destroyed every post I had.
My xx1 can back-pedal but yeah much higher quality ..
  • 2 0
 @freeridejerk888: 12 speed chain lifespan can be shockingly short
  • 5 0
 @freeridejerk888:
I had the back pedal issue, did some research. Brand new derailleur hanger (properly aligned with a DAG 2.2), made sure mech cage was straight, rear wheel trued, set b-gap sagged (and normal proper limit and index setup) and no more backpedal issue.

I was about ready to throw out my gx drivetrain as I previous had ghost shift issues. SRAM eagle is picky. My previous deore 9-speed never needed adjustment. NEVER (no exaggeration). But apples and oranges. That bike had a steel deraileur hanger (pretty sure current is either butter or chinesium) and the long-ass 12-speed derailleurs put a lot strain on the hanger. I'm not sure it's even worth reusing a bent hanger (i.e. anything that requires more than a slight alignment). My experience is once it's been bent a bit too much it's too weak to hold good enough alignment. My prior understanding was if a hanger isn't broken or doesn't break while aligning, it's fine to reuse. I'd try an aftermarket billet hanger, but they are tough to find for my model and year. Heck OEM is a PITA to find.
  • 4 0
 @colincolin: every time i see a great deal on Reverbs on the IBC I'm like 'nice try RS, nice try'
  • 4 0
 Back pedal issue is not normal. Seatpost play is normal. My transfer has play too. It does last longer than reverbs though, for me.
  • 1 0
 @yzedf: Does that mean you're breaking them more often than 10 or 11 speed? Or that they actually wear ("stretch") faster? Because I highly doubt they wear significantly faster just because they're skinnier, because the rollers are the same width and the roller/pin/inner-plate interface is where wear/stretch actually manifests.
  • 3 0
 I've learned that the backpedal issue is B screw adjustment. I tried using that little red plastic thing for that but couldn't ever get it where it wanted to be.
Try this:
Pedal it on the stand and turn the b screw a half turn
Then backpedal it
If it chain derails then make another half turn of the b screw in the same direction
After two turns if its not getting better then go the other way

Works perfect for me and I get no dropped chains and the system shifts like a top
  • 14 1
 Backpedal issues are chainline, not mech. The mech can't help with backpedal problems because it's not at all involved with what the chain is doing on the top of the cassette, which is wear it would fall off when backpedaling. You found only correlation, not causation.

If you have backpedal issues you need to either shim your chainring (4-bolt systems) or your adjust your crank (RaceFace X-type has spacers that can be adjusted to adjust chainline by 1mm at a time, up to 3mm on some cranks), or shim your (thread-in) BB (68mm shells can have the spacers swapped around, and some BBs have one spacer even for 73mm shells).
  • 1 1
 @just6979: every single one I’ve used has been loud, shifting that is slow/clunky, very finicky in the wet. I’ve snapped one chain and destroyed the jockey wheels on a rear mech. I don’t own any of these, just my experiences riding demo bikes and riding with friends that have x01 and xx1 Eagle setup’s. They seem to be better than the dumpster fire that was the 11 speed stuff. I’m still waiting for something to work as well as xtr 10 speed stuff...
  • 1 0
 @just6979: This guy knows what's up Smile
  • 2 0
 @just6979: backpedal problems are also worsened by short chain stays. The shorter the chain stays, the more acute angle the chain has at the largest cassette cog. Making the chance of it falling to smaller cogs upon back padel greater.
  • 1 0
 @just6979: Thanks! I'll give that a shot
  • 1 0
 @Serpentras: back pedalling has a lot to do with the specific chainline on the bike, it’s not all about the group.
  • 1 0
 @heinous: chainline is the first thing , still my bike is horrible for the eagle. I downgrade as soon as this cassette is done to 9 speed.
  • 19 2
 “Assisted by a scientifically curated 12-speed chain, shifting speed is claimed to be over 30 percent faster.“
How the f*ck do you scientifically curate a chain? Were traditional phrases not an option?
  • 4 0
 Welcome to the world of RC prose...
  • 9 0
 It's also artisanally crafted and sustainably sourced
  • 1 0
 It sounds like if they test the chains, and pick the absolutely best one, they can get the 30 percent number they were looking for. Which means most of us aren't going to get that 30%. And since they won't tell us the improvement for the average chain, that probably means it's probably not worth mentioning, aka not really an improvement.
  • 2 0
 Reading well written prose is a sensuous experience for the discriminating aesthetist.
  • 12 1
 Thank you Shimano* (All the People form All Departments involved)!

Not only for the product itself, but also for the Value & Price it can be implemented in such Segment, and showing all competition that being First doesn't mean anything!
  • 2 0
 100%! I was not in the market for a new groupset but I found online the full XT Priority Box for £550 inc. 4 pot brakes. Hard to say no at that price! Looking forward to getting my ride this weekend.
  • 12 0
 Where is the massive word up for not needing a shitty piece of plastic tune b limit? And the fact Shimano b limit doesn’t wind out constantly like Eagle?
  • 9 0
 Shimano applies clear protective “helicopter tape” to the outer surfaces of the crankarms, which should keep your shoes from scuffing off the anodized coating. So far, they're looking fine.

From the picture of the crank, I'm not sure I can agree with that statement.
  • 3 0
 I agree. It’s one of the first things I looked at because Shimano cranks are notorious for wearing in that area and looking bad. I think the photographer should have used a diffuser to knock down the glare to get an accurate photo of the crank.
  • 5 0
 @EnduroManiac: Light flare, not crank wear. That was the best image I had. I am notorious for scuffing cranks (heels in) and these still look new beyond the bashing at the ends of the crankarms.
  • 1 0
 @RichardCunningham: Thanks for clarifying. Every Shimano crank I have used looks embarrassing after a little while. I always thought it was ironic for Shimano- their forging and anodizing looks great, but they never used to put anything over the wear areas to protect them. So your XTR cranks look awful after a short time. It's tough to shoot photos outdoors with no clouds! An assistant with a light diffuser can help with that stuff, or reflector in other cases. Thanks.
  • 14 0
 I actually like the finish rubbing off. Makes it look like I actually ride my bike.
  • 3 0
 @Almazing: Absolutely. I have a 4 year old set of XT cranks that look beaten to hell (also on the ends from rock strikes) and think they look great.
  • 2 0
 @BigAlfonz: Yup. Have a set of M8000 cranks that has been on 4 different frames. The more faded and tarnished it becomes, the better it looks.
  • 12 4
 The biggest "con" is that it took Shimano so long to come out with it. Even if it's better than XO1 tonnes of people are running eagle drivetrains right now just because Shimano didn't have a wide range 12spd at the time a lot of people were buying new bikes.

That said I will be buying this groupset, so they clearly didn't mess up too bad.
  • 5 5
 A lot of sram 12sp gear will be flogged out by now & people are likely to make the switch to shimano.
  • 11 5
 @zyoungson: nobody’s selling their whole drive train and buying new wheels just to run XT. The run what comes stock on their bike and upgrade or replace what they already have.
  • 2 0
 so true! i would love to change to shimano but getting a new wheel /hub just for this is way to much extra money and pain ...got my new bike in april with gx just to find out there is the new xt 12spd in may...damn
  • 1 1
 @thenotoriousmic: You're right. It's a big commitment to change when you have to change the freehub as well.
  • 4 0
 @tom666: You don't have to change the entire hub, just the driver.
  • 2 0
 @tempest3070: I think this is why so many people, myself included, are anxious to see aftermarket Micro Spline drivers. Sounds like Hope is working on it, hopefully something for DT 350 hubs is in the works too!
  • 4 0
 @highfivenwhiteguy: I've been running a 12 speed XTR cassette on a DT 350 for nearly a year, DT were the first company to get a microspline license.
  • 2 0
 @jabbi: Well nevermind then, guess I'm all set
  • 3 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I did, right when XT dropped this summer. I sold my 2 month old GX Eagle drivetrain and I couldn't be happier.
  • 2 0
 @highfivenwhiteguy: DT were one of the first to make the driver. That's the only extra thing I had to purchase. I was not impressed with GX so it was definitely worth the little bit of fuss to switch.
  • 1 0
 @zarban: Gotcha. For some reason I totally spaced about DT making the MS drivers, very exciting to see I have the Shimano option when my current stuff wears out.

What's the shifting under load like? As good as the reviews seem to say?
  • 2 0
 @highfivenwhiteguy: Shifting under load was one of the biggest selling points for me so I probably went in with really high expectations. Possibly because of that it wasn't as good as I expected at first. Now I really like it, maybe because it wore in or really notice it when I come off my other bike. After making poor shift choices coming into a climb on my other bike really shines a light on how much smoother it is.

It's not going to completely erase a bad shift and feel like you can just constantly shift through while cranking under serious load but I never get that sinking feeling like I messed up when I do end up shifting like that. So yeah, I guess I'm saying it does work pretty much like the reviews say.
  • 1 0
 @zarban: I agree. shifting under load on my 11spd sometimes felt like something broke it shifted so hard. Now it may clunk just a tad, but nothing major, almost like a normal shift on something else. lol. My experience nearly mirrors yours. Not a stand out until you get on something else. It just works.
  • 1 0
 @zarban: obviously some people will but most people don’t have a dog in the fight and will just replace what’s worn or broken that fits with what they’ve already got and because that’s a 80% chance of being sram because that’s what comes on most bikes.
  • 1 0
 @tempest3070: are drivers interchangeable on most hubs? Makes sense, the hub body would be the same regardless of what driver is on there, I would think. But how do they attach? For example a lot of bikes that used to come with SRAM GX now come with NX. Can we just change the driver to upgrade? Can we just change the driver to Microspline?
  • 7 0
 When is Shimano going to finally just drop the word Deore from the XT level? Nobody says it anyway, it looks cheaper than just having XT written on components and makes the groupset order confusing since SLX is sandwiched between Deore XT and Deore.
  • 3 0
 SLX used to be called deore LX. I have no idea why they changed it.
  • 1 0
 @font style="vertical-align: inherit;">font style="vertical-align: inherit;">thenotoriousmic /font>/font>:


Super LX
  • 2 1
 Hopefully never. Deore XT is the OG since the 80's
  • 9 1
 "...the engineers address any bleeding-edge issues."

Is that a little dig at the still wandering bite point of the new XT Brakes?
  • 7 1
 I went from GX to the new 12 speed XT and it is night and day difference. I prefer the push/pull shimano shifting versus the sram push/push. I was lucky to have a bike equipped with DT 3 pawl hubs, it was a easy upgrade to microspline. I kept my cheap sram truvativ stylo cranks and changed the spider/chainring to wolftooth. XT is a higher quality level than GX but price is similar. Upgrading to a I9 hubset will be next.
  • 6 1
 I think the underrated groupset is not XT, but SLX. It does everything you need at great quality, but still seems to be hard sell. You rarely see a serious rider using it, and looking at the performance (easily better than GX) this makes no sense to me.
  • 7 0
 @cru-jones: Good call. I'd love to do a back to back with SLX and GX. Seems Shimano has worked hard to get back into the game.
  • 5 1
 I’ve just spent about 2 months on an Orbea Oiz TR with XT 8100 (XTR derailleur), after several bikes with 11 spd XO. I agree with most of RC’s comments, with a few exceptions. The shifting quality is unsurpassed, both up and down the cassette, under power or not. Everything seems durable so far. But the shifting effort is much heavier than SRAM, and has gotten tiresome after long rides. I remember feeling the same heavy shifting on a demo ride on XT 11 spd. Maybe an XTR shifter would make a difference? Also, the helicopter tape on the crank arms lasted about 2 rides. The direct mount chainring is a nice addition, but I hear you need a special tool to change out the rings, unlike the simple SRAM system with 3 Torx screws.
  • 2 0
 The tool for the chainring should be in your box, unless orbea or your lbs didnt gave you one Wink
  • 5 0
 In regards to the effort to shift, a lot of that comes down to the clutch tension. If you notice when the clutch is turned off the shifting should be much easier. I would recommend loosening the clutch tension on your derailleur (look up a video if your not sure how), as as adjustable clutch tension is one of the great features about shimano and should make shifting way easier. Hope this helps!
  • 4 0
 havent seen anyone address this yet. does microspline make removing the cassette easier? with the classic design, the cassette would engrave itself into the splines and made it quite difficult to remove the cassette after a bit of riding. i'm curious if the microspline design resolves this issue.
  • 1 0
 This is a part if why I changed. My I9 hub was boogered up from the 11 spd cassette. The microspline spreads the load over more contact points and the cassette is designed with more gears on carriers. It should be better. I am not concerned at this point.
  • 1 0
 Read. RC mentions this in the article... With the increased number of splines, stuck cassettes are apparently a thing of the past.
  • 1 0
 @sspiff: "apparently". Not proven yet, but should be a nonissue unless your cassette loosens up or similar. I spoke to I9 about it before going this route. It was either going to be another 11 spd drivetrain with stainless freehub or 12 spd with Microspline. I was happy with the 11 spd, but I like the 12 speed better and glad I went this route. Being able to shift whenever needed is nice.
  • 1 0
 If the cassette used has individual cogs and the freehub is aluminum, i'd say it's very likely we could have the same issue. However the splines are deeper and there's more of them, so it's entirely possible i'm wrong.
  • 1 0
 @TheRaven: time will tell. Won't be any worse than the HG freehub, that is for sure and was my justification.
  • 1 1
 Not sure why you're having difficlty removing cassettes from freehubs. I've been running Shimano, Hope & King hubs for dedacdes with various Shimano cassttes with zero issues removing any of them. Are you chucking on a bit of grease between the two parts?
  • 1 0
 @derekisrad: my CK hubs did this in the early 2000's. I always were able to get them off, but the single cogs can dig into the hub with enough torque, over time. My I9's did the same. I weigh 215 lbs and maybe put more down than I think, IDK. Just because you have not dealt with it doesn't mean it does not happen. I9 makes a stainless freehub for a reason. Pretty well known issue. It is the ONE thing I like about SRAM.
  • 1 0
 @derekisrad: It is not about grease. If you have an alu freehub, you can definitely put enough power down regularly to cause the cassette to start digging into the aluminum freehub. The notches that develop in the freehub are what make it difficult to get on/off.
  • 1 0
 @cgdibble: Oh ya I understand (I've been repairing bikes for years), I just haven't had it happen to me. I'd geuss because I'm constantly swapping parts on my bikes. On one of my older Pro2 Hope hubs I noticed a small amount of spline wear. Not enough to cause a problem. But with enough time & weight behind it...
  • 5 1
 I'm collecting parts to ditch the SRAM my bike came with already, but this just verifies I'm on the right path. I've only had one bike with SRAM parts on it and I will never buy another. SRAM works okay, but it's just not as good as Shimano.
  • 4 0
 "The limitations of 1/2-inch pitch chain dictate the first eight steps be the same." What? You're saying there was only ever one single 8 (or less) speed cassette layout?

There is absolutely nothing about the chain pitch that is stopping them from doing a corn-cob (1 tooth jumps) first 8 (10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-1Cool , then jumping 8 at a time for the remaining 4 (26, 34, 42, 50 or 51). Yes, that's a pretty brainless layout, but it has nothing to do with the chain pitch.
  • 1 0
 That section left me wondering if the author thought cassettes require even numbers of teeth so the chain's inner and outer links always line up the same (like narrow-wide chainrings).
  • 5 2
 Only real "Cons" is the lack of six-bolt option.
Bought a pair of DT-swiss whit Centerlock and regret it, rotors are fewer and expensive, adapters wobbly.
Also I could do fine with a 10 speed with 42 max cog, but with the slx 12 speed coming stock on new bikes and holding no resell value I'll stick to it and whatever. Maybe it will even be good hahaha
  • 5 1
 Nothing stops you using a different hub and rotor with xt brakes.
  • 2 1
 @heinous: absolutely right!
  • 2 3
 Just buy centre lock adapters.
  • 3 0
 Biggest takeaway for me is that theres a new switchblade coming. The old one is one of my favorite bikes I've ever ridden. Sad to hear they're still using 157mm super boost plus, as all my wheelsets are 148mm. I'm excited to hear more about this bike...
  • 2 1
 I won't buy a bike with thuperduperboost and I own two Pivots.
  • 3 0
 If only we'd just gone straight to 157mm, rather than wasting our time with another pointless in-between standard.
  • 1 0
 @slimjim1: agreed... yet here we are.
  • 1 0
 @slimjim1: you mean like knolly did?
  • 4 1
 @Richard Cunningham : do you have a test or are you testing the Box Components 9speed group? Does anyone have a return about it? This is really the kind of system I`d like to buy instead of 11 or 12spd. I saw on their website that they even make a 8speed system. So smart.. :-)
Cheers!
  • 10 4
 GET THE F$CK OFF MY BIKE GX!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You can also leave codes...
  • 5 0
 I just want a 10-44 10 speed cassette with hyperglide ramps and a mid cage derailleur Frown

never going to happen.
  • 4 0
 I’d upgrade tomorrow if I wasn’t so attached to my Chris King ISO-B rear hub laced to WAO rims. Luckily my 11 speed XT drivetrain just keeps working extremely well.
  • 3 0
 Let's hope shimano can get their OEM production up.
Since having been OEM force fed GX 12 sp I haven't had to continuously dial my gears this much since Campagnolo MTB & Suntour acushift.
SRAM =Sachs
  • 1 0
 Sachs>Sram
  • 2 0
 "XT takes that hit, but strikes back with an adjustable clutch on the derailleur, and that it's possible to drop down two gears with one push of the shift lever."

I must be reading this incorrectly. My GS Eagle can drop FOUR gears with one swipe of the lever. Somebody help me out.
  • 4 0
 He means go up two gears. Shimano drivetrains can do 2, Srams only 1.
  • 2 0
 One of the main advantages of the new Shimano Hyperglide+ the earlier reviews mentioned, compared to SRAM, was how seemless it was to upshift under pressure. No need to change the gears before the climb when you can adjust gears during the climb!

This review doesn't highlight that at all. Wonder whats going on.
  • 5 4
 Bought the last gen 11 speed XT group (because I didn't want to pay more for the new one when it came out), and it's good. It really brings to mind, "white/asian and nerdy" but works really, really well. Honestly couldn't imagine it working any better, the cassette looks like it was designed by a spacestation engineer, and same with the shifter, like couldn't imagine shifting being any easier/better.
  • 5 0
 Dude, the xtr 11 speed shifter makes the xt shifter feel like a happy meal toy
  • 1 4
 @browner: go grab the paddles on a xtr shifter and give them a wiggle.
  • 2 2
 @browner: Well whatever, I was laughing at the increase in gears when I was 7, so, here we are in f*cking joke land.
  • 2 0
 @kramz I 110% agree. Though I've switched to 12 speed shimano (and have tried 12 speed sram), the 11 spd shimano was/is really what I would go for if I didn't want the extra range to get up these mountains (30x46 was fine on most days, but sometimes you want a little more). The 11 speed shifts so fast and easily. In my mind, it will remain one of the best groups for years to come. And now it is so cheap to buy 11spd parts.
  • 4 0
 I am assuming if I want an oval chainring for the 12spd setup I will need a ring specific to the new chain?
  • 3 0
 Yes. I just ordered a Wolf tooth oval. I ran the Wolf Tooth 11 spd ring I had before converting but I see it wearing because of the 12 spd profile. I don't want to wear out my XTR chain prematurely.
  • 2 0
 @gmoss: Thanks, I am suprised the 12spd chain even fit the 11spd ring in honesty, its meant to have that unique inner shape / a thinner internal width.

Wolf Tooth stuff is good, would rather go there than the narcissistic absolute black.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: The Wolf Tooth ring has a bump on the "wide" tooth that was wearing the black off with the 12 speed. When I read about the difference, I made the change before any more wear occurred. The RF 11spd ring fits much better because it does not have the "bump", but it is still not correct.
  • 2 1
 i dont know if this is just my inexperience or lack of knowledge in setting it up but i'm airly confident i've sone everything correctly, but a con for for me is that when it gets very muddy, gritty and wet, the chain on the chainring gets very loud and loses its smoothess.

it could possibly be due to the new chain shape and width and the way it engages the chainring which is where grinding and sticking occurs, but it doesn't feel nice out on the trail and i get some funny looks when i ride past people sounding like a clockwork owl with arthritis.

any else experienced this?
  • 1 0
 Did you have a previous setup that didn't get louder when very muddy, gritty, and wet? I'd wonder if it being a newer setup to, thus less worn in space between things, generates more noise with the muck.
  • 1 0
 Until my xo eagle cassette/der/chain go, I'll stick to using it with my 12spd XT shifter and Saint Brakes. Works flawlessly and love the push pull light action of the XT shifter this past year. Just a bummer that I'll have to drop even more money on a new RF microspline driver to make the switch.
  • 1 0
 The XT shifter works with Eagle derailleur?!? If so, cool! I thought you'd have to change shifter and derailleur together.
  • 3 1
 Weight weenies, elitists, the fortunate, or early adopters are riding XTR. Everyone else should be eyeing SLX or XT. There is virtually no performance advantage to buying XTR at this point.
  • 2 0
 Except for maybe the shifter. XTR shifters are noticably smoother for some reason.
  • 3 5
 You misspelled xx1 Wink
  • 1 0
 I have both shifters, both bar-mount. I haven’t noticed a significant difference in smoothness and I actually prefer the XT’s ergonomics (the release lever is bigger, more Saint-like).
  • 1 0
 @JLW124: Interesting. Maybe my XT is stiffer than usual. My XTR is smoother.

But, that's why I said "maybe". In the past (10 and 11 speed) versions, the XTR was a much nicer shifter and usually worth the upgrade.
  • 1 0
 @drpheta: agreed, that is normally the case. Maybe it’s my XTR that’s off!
  • 5 3
 Looks nice, but that 470gram cassette spoils it, and also sucks they didn't license XD and went with a third standard for freehub instead. At least make it light if you're going to introduce a new standard.
  • 6 2
 Buy the XTR cassette then. This XT cassette is a substantial cost saving over lighter models from SRAM.
  • 2 0
 @alreadyupsidedown: Not only that, but the XTR cassette is pretty much the same weight as the XX1 Eagle cassette, and STILL a substantial cost savings. In fact, you can buy the XTR cassette AND Microspline driver (cause lets face it it's very unlikely anyone has it as this point) AND STILL save a substantial amount over JUST the XX1 cassette.
  • 1 0
 I’ve been running XT on all my bikes (Cool since 1987 ????.
Happy to see that won’t change!
My ‘14 FatBike came with SRAM 2x10; my only experience.
While I was impressed with the Light Crisp action of the rear mech,
it only lasted 6 months before turning to sh!t.
Then I converted to 1x M8000 & haven’t had any issues.
Been running M8000 11-42 DTs on 2 bikes since 2015 - Bombproof!
  • 1 0
 I completely agree with you final sentiments about future development being focused on bring prices down for a quality trail bike.

I'm still running 11 spd XT with a SRAM XX1 10-42 cassette. It's never shifted great and I've been contemplating the jump to Shimano 12 spd, but the choice between the two cassette options (45 or 51) and the weight of those cassettes has been holding me back. My bike is already over 31 lbs and adding close to 200g to the rear wheel doesn't sound great.
  • 3 0
 I have xo1 right now. It is hard to justify replacing my cassette for almost the cost of the xt group shifters cassette and rd.
  • 1 0
 If i am no wrong (and right now i am not going to get out all the old manuals to confirm this) Mama Shimano was suggesting to avoid using the whole range of the cassette with all the discs.

--This suggestion was following all models of their systems from the 8-speed cassette up to the 11 speed one.--

What has changed now? New chains, more flexible?

Just a question. I am currently using a speedhub. I am out of the cassette game for a long time now...
  • 6 3
 I still refuse to even ride on a Sram kit.
It just feels like ass to me.
I own 6 SLX/XT eleven speed drivetrains and love them.... hello 12
  • 5 1
 Preach it. I had Sram on one bike and I was so happy when I busted the derailleur because then I had an excuse to replace the entire drivetrain.
  • 5 1
 @jrich2095: almost every Sram product I have owned gave me grief and the lone part left, a crankaset, will most likely bite my ass soon.
  • 5 0
 This gives me GAS! gear acquisition syndrome
  • 1 0
 Looks like the SLX Cassette is only about 50g heavier and about 40% cheaper? Any huge disadvantages to running the SLX cassette with the XT drive train other than the weight? I always struggle with Cassette purchases as I know the product will wear out quicker than other parts in the drivetrain...I think especially now that we ask so much from those big ol' dinner plate 51 teeth aluminum cogs.
  • 1 1
 remember, 12 speeds means less wear on each cog, and also that shimano (unlike sram last i checked, though I haven't checked in a while) sells the smaller cogs separately, so if you wear the 10T out too quickly, you can replace it much more cheaply and less wastefully than replacing the whole cassette
  • 2 0
 @xeren: great points- and the xt is still very reasonably priced compared to the eagle alternative
  • 1 0
 @xeren: the trails I ride are usually a long steep technical climb followed by a long steep technical down hill. Most people only use their 3 or 4 easiest gears. 12 speed won't mean any less wear under these conditions.
  • 1 0
 I’ve been running this drivetrain with my Onyx Vesper rear hub for about 4 months and have been very happy.
Quiet, concise shifts in nearly every every situation.
Price point was excellent through Jenson USA especially with their 20% off coupon sales.
Well worth the wait.
  • 1 0
 Cup and cone hubs for me FTW. I regrease every year adjust twice a year. Sealed bearing hubs are nice but a pain to service and bearings are pricy. Bearings for cup and cone hubs are $.20 each so about $6.00 to replace. Judging by the title os the article. I said to myself so its just xt as usual heavier than xtr but reliable its why I always have shimano on my bikes. right now I have an old 10speed setup haven't had any issues and it's 5yrs old and been on three bikes
  • 4 1
 What a dream to read. Great review of the worlds best bike components. Shimano rule the roost. Who wants a pic of my Sram graveyard bucket? (I’m a pro mechanic..)
  • 3 3
 I'm a pro mechanic and I prefer SRAM. Have to admit I don't work on shimano stuff much lately, you know, because of being out of the game for the last several years. Road stuff is ok I guess.
  • 1 0
 In the past someone from Shimano stated that the performance of Ultegra and Dura-Ace is the same. DA is just made from more premium materials and thus it is lighter and much more expensive. I'd say it would be similar when you compare XT and XTR.
  • 1 0
 I bought a GG trail pistol and it's going to have this drivetrain along with the 4 piston brakes. It'll be here tomorrow. Really excited to see how it does. I have always been a Shimano guy. I've tried SRAM and they just don't do it for me.
  • 1 0
 Great to see Shimano being a contender again because SRAM handed their taints to them on a platter for the last couple of years.

Glad Shimano didn't lose the push/pull on the shifter. That and being able to shift two gears in one motion makes it a no brainer for me if I had to choose.
  • 3 0
 Really wish I could swap out my GX for XT. But that rear hub is gonna be a problem.
  • 4 0
 Can you not just use a XD 12 speed cassette?
  • 2 3
 @bmied31: yes, but then you wouldn’t get the advantages of hyperglide.
  • 3 1
 @Upduro: I don't have any experience with the new Shimano stuff, but all modern cassettes have Shift ramps, is hypderglide really that much better or is it just marketing bs.
  • 3 0
 I had the same problem and tried the E13 9-50 12 speed cassette. Works great. Might be a hair less smooth than the XT cassette, but it was cheaper than an XT cassette and new freehub, and weighs a good chunk less than XT. Pleasantly surprised.
  • 2 0
 @bmied31: from the review: "SRAM has also included ramps to ease the chain down to the smaller cogs, but XT is next level."

Honestly, I can't tell. But it sounds like especially shifting under load is great with Shimano, and I can't really say the same about the cracking noises GX makes. But every review of new XT I saw mentioned how great and smooth the shifting is, so I guess there's something to it.
  • 2 0
 @covekid: Yea, I love my 11 speed e13. Just as good as my stock GX was in terms of shifting, but way more range (Eagle level) cheaper and lighter.
  • 1 0
 @Upduro: makes since, I guess trying it will be the only way to see. Currently have 11 speed XO1 drivetrain, but open to trying Shimano on next bike or build
  • 1 0
 Does the new 12 speed shifter really only support 2 shifts with one movement in both directions? The 11 speed version supports 2 up and 5 down with one movement. This would be a real bummer.
  • 1 0
 I think that means 2 up for both directions on the up lever. In contrast to the 11sp XT, which I believe only does 2 up when you push it. I rode one recently but didn't pay enough attention.
  • 4 0
 @boozed: down cog is either pull single or push 2 gears. Up cog is up to 4. I have XT 12 spd and just confirmed on the pull shift.
  • 1 1
 @gmoss: I'm talking about the upshift (or down cog, if you like) lever only; 2 in one direction, 1 in the other on 11sp (at least the one I've used), 2 in both directions on 12sp (as you say).
  • 2 0
 @boozed: I don't follow what you mean "2 in both directions"? My 12 spd xt shifts the exact same way my 11 spd XTR did. I went in the garage and confirmed before I posted that last night. LOL
  • 1 0
 @gmoss: I'm admittedly working off a very brief test ride but it sounds like the 11sp XT and XTR shifters are different, which wouldn't be a surprise.
  • 1 0
 @boozed: Different how? The XT shifts the same as the XTR in 11 spd. I installed an XT 11 spd system on a buddies bike and had an SLX on my son's. Same shifting pattern for XT and XTR. If I understand correctly, you believe the down cog shifting to go 2 shifts with either push or pull. That is not the case. 2 shifts with push, one with pull. SLX 11 spd is only 1 shift push or pull. Not a huge deal, but this may help you or someone else in the future.
  • 1 0
 @gmoss: "2 shifts with push, one with pull" on XT 11sp is what I've been trying to say the whole time. Seems we're saying the same thing.
  • 3 0
 SLX with XT shifter seems to be the ticket for saving good cash while not sacrificing any performance whatsoever.
  • 1 0
 XT rear mech has better pulleys. The ones on SLX will wear out quicker than those on XT and demand cleaning to reduce drag, at least where I live. They cost more or less difference in price between SLX and XT mech. XT used to be more solid too, especially the cage on SLX tends to be crap. Small hit and the chain goes between the pulley and the cage, you have to take it apart and straighten with pliers. It is worth the extra cash. Which cannot be said about XTR mech.
  • 4 1
 470g for a Cassette when SRAM offer multiple cassettes under 400g & 300g ?
  • 4 0
 Look at the price difference!
  • 2 0
 @jaame: That's the thing, isn't it? And you could always opt for an XTR cassette, which is pretty close to the weight (and price) of XO1.
  • 1 0
 @MtbSince84: or if you were that bothered, get a Sram cassette. I admit, they look sweet. Way out of my price range though, especially given I would coat it with water, grit and mud, then radge a metal chain all over it with my full weight
  • 2 0
 @jaame: I've been on XO1 Eagle for the last year and a half (after a lifetime on Shimano). It works just fine, and I don't mind going through chains twice a year, but having to replace chainring, chain AND cassette a few weeks back really hurt. :-0
  • 2 1
 Or put it this way - $450 for a cassette when Shimano offers multiple cassettes under $200?
  • 1 0
 @MtbSince84: I bet it did. The sram cassettes are like a Ferrari to me. Lovely to admire the engineering and aesthetics, but something I could never afford
  • 6 4
 I remember a few years ago, Shimano geeks be like, "50 teeth?! You're weak if you need 50!!!" Now, they be like, "take THAT SRAM! We got 51!!!"
  • 6 2
 I don't think that was Shimano geeks. Just geeks in general.
  • 1 0
 I've been riding new XT since August and have noticed that towards the end of long, dusty rides, the chain is slow to release from the chainring (something like mild chainsuck). Anybody else run into this issue?
  • 2 0
 The chain is directional. You may have it mounted the wrong way.
  • 2 2
 I rode SRAM for years, mostly because it worked and because it was the most common groupo included with complete bikes. The last straw was Eagle, got it on a new bike thinking it was gonna be the best of the best, instead it was the worst of the worst!

With Eagle it was challenging (impossible) to find the perfect adjustment, mid ride lubes were required to keep things running smoothly ... so I went back to GX 11sp with a wide range cassette.

I took a chance on XT 12speed and so far it hasn’t failed to please. I scored a drivetrain groupo, a second cassette, and two DT micro drivers for $400 direct from China/Taiwan, after a six wait I had all I needed.

The drivetrain has a bit of a “rumble”, but this doesn’t affect chain retention or add any drag, shifting is smooth even under power, dropping to gears works awesome and ya gotta love the index finger shifting option (kinda like a twist shift). I have yet to drop a chain and I have certainly tried.

Count me as a satisfied customer.
  • 2 0
 10 degree freehub engagment can _never_ be called "lightning fast", doesn't matter who it is that finally catches up to everyone else's "decent".
  • 1 0
 What I'm curious about @RichardCunningham are the pull/actuation ratios. Are they the same for SRAM Eagle and the newer Shimano? I certainly know I'd prefer Shimano shifters over my GX.
  • 1 2
 No.

(I don't know, but they have absolutely no reason to make them the same, so they won't be)
  • 1 0
 @just6979: It's happened in the past. Likely coincidence.
  • 4 0
 Yes they are the same,so you can mix and match Sram 12 speed with Shimano 12speed.
  • 1 0
 huge ergonomical advance : im thinking that shifters release lever has a blunt shaped tip that wont gouge into my thumb like the pointy ones do when i slam with my hands on the grips, ouch. but seriously, anyone?
  • 2 0
 Yes, I shrink wrap mine. The Oneup dropper lever is worse for this.
  • 1 0
 This! More times than I remember have I stabbed my thumb bloody om pointy, sharp ends of shifters and dropper controls when adjustments inbord wont go thurther because brakes lever clamps issues.
  • 1 0
 Hubs, you guys are talking about hubs? No one cares about hubs, especially SRAM and Shimano hubs, mostly cuz they suck! This groupo is all about the 12 speed. I run SRAM cranks and DT Swiss hubs. Love it!
  • 1 0
 XTR only if you're professionally racing (because of the weight), or don't care about spending money.
All other Deore lineup (SLX, LX, XT) is more than good enough for whatever needs.
  • 2 2
 The last XT I had lasted three years with no problems whatsoever. I am going to get this new gearset soon. Not the brakes though. Will wait to see if the reliability has improved.
  • 3 6
 I dig that XT, The cassette is heavy, may just grind off the last sprocket. I hope they fixed the chainline on the crankset too. Their cranksets were notorious for having 49-51 chainlines which suck for tech climbing where you spend most of the time on largest sprockets. 46-47 like HOPE please.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: 52 only I think
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: The cassette is heavy but you can get them for a little over £100. A tasty SRAM cassette is a piece of art and it's priced accordingly. And according to this review, it won't shift as well either.
What I plan to do is get the XT cassette, shifter and chain and maybe an SLX derailleur because there is only about 4g weight difference to XT and I expect it to work the same.
Then find a noice light crank that's a takeoff from something else.
  • 3 4
 @likehell: A shame because i do believe their crank arms are the best if you consider price/weight/durability. let’s hope that since Shimano finally made spiderless cranks, companies like wolftooth or OneUp will make chainrings with more offset.
  • 3 4
 @jaame: the main reason to get XT rear mech over slx is pulleys. XT pulleys are awesome but cost some when you want to buy them separate.

I don’t need 51 cog so I may just grind it off and save some 40g. Shimano thought of making 11sp xtr race in 12sp spacing. They could have just made the last chainring attached with damn bolts so that you can remove it.

And not a single Sram cassette for me until they improve their shitty shifting
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I also like the twin pinch bolt cranks that last forever. Too heavy though and they don't look good in XT trim. XTR look rude but they're too expensive and don't have the pinch bolts.
What are your thoughts on an XTR shifter upgrade? Worth it over XT?
  • 1 4
 @jaame: not sure if they changed something for 12sp but with 9-10-11 there was no point going XTR since XT has same functions. I mean in both 10 and 11 the finish quality went to the level of Deore and XTR just looked better if it tickles your bore. I think SLX missed the multiple downshifts. But XTR rear mech is not worth it the extra. It is better due to a more durable cage. You can always try to get used ones while owning XT
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: complete nonsense. Im sounding like a nutter here for the xtr 11 shifter but it is noticably better. Double shifts in each direction, better ergonomics and much less play + bearing inside means super crisp shifts. Probably similar to the xt reviewed above...
  • 5 4
 @browner: XT just like XTR downshifts 2 gears up or 3 (if not 4) up. I have 11sp XTR on my bike and rode 11sp XT on other bikes...I can't comment on bearing on 11sp XT but 10sp XT sitting om my wives bike has the bearing... they differ only in weight and material. Feel is in the thumb of the beholder. Much less play... you gave yourself away with this one. I may put sht into my mouth when we speak about transgender rights or geometries but not when I speak about sht I actually own.

so... shall we settle for "nuance" instead of "nonsense"? Smile
  • 1 3
 *meant to write 2 gears down 3-4 up
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I currently have a 7000 slx shifter on my mega and had the 8000 xt on my nomad. XT was night and day better in build quality and materials. The slx works fine, but the levers are pressed steel covered with plastic.
I was under the impression only Saint and XTR got the bearing at the pivot. I had a ten speed Saint five years ago or so and it was super sweet. Really nicely made and worth the extra, but it wasn't a lot extra. I think I paid about £40 for it.
  • 4 1
 @WAKIdesigns: why not just the 10-45 cassette instead of grinding off a whole cog
  • 1 0
 @browner: The 11spd XT shifter release lever could push 2 cogs but could only pull 1. M770 and M780 (both 10 spd) could also pull 2 cogs.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: last year I built up about 90 bikes with xt, 100 with deore, and 30 with xtr. The xt paddles may be able to shift 2 but only if you pull it with the braking finger. You can judge both triggers xtr with your thumb...
  • 1 2
 @browner: I do shift down with brake finger, haven’t then noticed xt not being able to shift down with the thumb. My apawlogies Wink still wouldn’t tell anyone that XTR shifter makes any bigger difference. 10sp XT shifter is as crisp as 11sp XTR. Haven’t tried 12 sp XT and don’t remember anything worth writing home about after using the 12sp xtr shifter. The cassette is even better at shifting than 11sp in my opinion. You can mash pedals hard while standing, it will still shift. All in all , even deore and skx are not like spongey, rubbery 9sp xt/xtr with almost zero feedback. If Shimano made 10sp xtr cassette in 10-42 shifting as well as 12sp, I’d buy it and use with 10sp Sram x0 and x9/x0 type 2 medium cage. Best shifter/der combo I ever owned
  • 1 1
 @hamncheez: does 10-45 xtr cassette exist? Shimano rep told me it doesn’t
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: to be fair I would run the 10sp 10-42 also with a smaller ring at the front. All round lighter and all round cheaper too I'd bet. Looking forward to the 11spd with the 12spd chain but it's not gonna be cheap
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: It says in the article:

"10 x 51 or 10 x 45 gearing options"
"Weight: 461g ,10 -45t, 470g, 10-51t"
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Actually, I get what you're saying. 11 speed gives far superior steps; I'd take a 10-45 11 speed over a 10-45 12 speed anyday, and it would be lighter
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Getting back to the crankset offerings - Shimano has three:

1. 52mm chainline - 172mm q factor
2. 55mm chainline - 178mm q factor
3. 56.5mm chainline - 181mm q factor
  • 1 0
 @kwapik: disappointed really, it’s weird to say the least. In order to place the chainline in the middle of the cassette, (preferably closer to the flange due to biggest chainring crossing the chain more than smallest one) following chainlines are desireable (68-73BB)
142 spacing: 48
148 spacing: 50
150-157: 52-54

DH bikes use smaller cassettes with fewer cogs and 83BB so they can take 55>, or... use 142-148 spacing
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: the chain is specifically designed to work on those chainlines though. Noticeably smoother in all gears than the 11 spd versions. No issues back pedalling in any gear. The upside of the wider chainline is more flexibility of chainring sizes on more frames.
  • 1 0
 @davechopoptions: I heard the exactly same thing about 11sp. It’s a lab tech talk that doesn’t always reflect reality. 11sp XT cassette was a mess, already in 11-42. So was 11-40 XTR M9000, then they quickly released corrected 9001. With XTR chain, 438 stays, 142 spacing and 46 chainline I had big issues with XT 11-42, which got much better with 11-40 9001. Then bought SLX crankset with 49 chainline - same again. Not even half of backpedal and chain was derailed. Installed 3mm worth of washers that gave me 46 chainline and it got better instantly. For some reason Sram 10-42 cassettes were much better at it.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: In 2015 I bought an m8000 11-40 cassette, and it would jump off after less than a quarter of a turn of backpedaling. In 2018 I changed to the m8000 11-46 and it would backpedal no worries.
They obviously changed something. Everything else was the same.
I always wondered why the straight run of chain was in something like gear no.8 or 9 when logic tells me it should have been gear number 6 on an 11 speed cassette. I've never messed around with the chainline though because it always works when you're pedalling forwards.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: if you look how chain rolls off the top of the biggest cog in the cassette towards the chainring, you will see that with big saucers, chain rolls up to 3cm further ahead. The shorter the CS, The bigger the saucer, the smaller the chainring, the worse it gets. It all depends how much you grind on which gears but I assume people make most crank evolutions on last 3 tallest gears the more crossed the chain is, the less efficient the system is. A lot has changed since 2010, the tooth shaping has surely been made more optimized so as the chain changes direction from straight on cog/chainring to angled between them, it happens smoother. However There is no going around angles.

People are unaware how messed up chainlines are:

instagram.com/p/B4IynGPH3d7

That is why my HT will have standard crankset, boost spacing, into which I will fit 150 hub Smile .
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: There is no getting around it is there, unless you get a single speed.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I had the same issues on 11spd XT and XTR and like you amended the chainline with 3mm spacers where I had sufficient clearance to do so which sorted the problem.

I’ve now got 12spd XT on one of my bikes and it doesn’t derail in any gear while back pedalling despite what looks like a crazy chainline on paper.

It also shifts much quicker and more cleanly than any other group I’ve had including XTR Di2.
  • 10 7
 Pro's,very quiet freehub ratchet ? I'm out Smile
  • 9 24
flag seraph (Nov 15, 2019 at 0:14) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah actually I was thinking the same thing. I can appreciate a quiet freehub for certain applications, but to me a loud freehub is a sign of quality.
  • 2 0
 So, do I understand correctly that there is the option to run a microspline freehub on a 142 axle?
  • 3 0
 Yep. I'm running this group on my 142mm DT 350 hubs
  • 1 0
 @likehell: wow. That is some big news for me haha didn't expect this to be possible (12speed on 142 axle).
  • 1 0
 @deesta: so you've bought a microspline freehub and mounted it on your dt hub?
  • 2 0
 @LukasN89: I have DT Swiss XM1501 142mm wheel, bought the DT MS freehub and it works - it's really easy to exchange the freehubs on DT Swiss wheels.
  • 2 1
 @deesta: For everyone's information: the new microspline freehub body does not fit on DT straight pull hubs. I bought one thinking it would work on my 240 S hub, and it does not fit. The freehub body sits on top of the groove it is supposed to fit into, and when the wheel is clamped into the frame, it pinches the freehub against the hub flange, so it will not freewheel. I ended up having to buy the XTR hub, which really is a work of art. I've been a lifelong DT hub fan, but the new design from Shimano is really great.
  • 1 0
 @rcybak: well the XM1501 does have straight pull hub IIRC and it did work in my case - maybe the factory wheels have different hubs?
  • 1 0
 @kyytaM: www.dtswiss.com/en/support/conversion-charts/rotor-kits-mtb-shimano-micro-spline

This links to the DT compatibility chart. Notice that every straight pull MTB hub is incompatible. I'm unfamiliar with the hub you mention, but good on you that it worked! I missed out on a few days of riding due to my issue.
  • 2 0
 Got 142 hub with nx casette. Slx derail and shifter. Works good.. Shimmed old bcd crankc.. 420 chainstays...
  • 2 0
 I almost feel stupid for asking, but Shimano claims the Crank won't work on an 11s set. Is this true?
  • 5 0
 I didn't notice that the last 500km Wink
  • 1 0
 Someone told me that the previous XT chainrings/crankset were to wide for the 12s chain. That's the only thing I've heard.
  • 1 0
 @t-stoff: 12speed chain on 11 speed crank won't work.. or maybe after some 100 km when it's grinded down by the chain
  • 1 0
 @likehell: maybe not shimano but race face narrow wide works as well as garbaruk,
I use 12s chains on my 11speed setups, they seem to grind less between cogs;
. sram x1 11s with a garbaruk f/r k7/ring
. xt 11s sram k7 and race face nw.
  • 1 0
 I thought the inner dimensions of the 12 and 11 speed chains were the same. Is 12 speed thinner sprockets as well as tighter spacing?
  • 2 0
 Works totally fine using 11 speed chain on a 12 speed crank. 11 speed chain rings are too wide for the 12s chain spacing, though.
  • 1 0
 @t-stoff: uh, for Sram/KMC yes, but for Shimano chains we made the experience that the 11spd rings would not work.. anyway.. I ride the 11 speed setup for a bit longer, don't need the 10 or the 51 rings.
  • 1 0
 @t-stoff: They're wrong. The inside dimensions of the inner links are the are the same. The outer links are a tiny bit smaller, so technically the 12sp rings might not hold on to an 11 sp chain quite as well, the rings aren't very narrow-wide anyway, so probably won't matter.
  • 1 0
 @just6979: haven't tested, this was said to me by a certified shimano service center mechanic and a rider himself with decades of experience, and he is not the type of throwing things just for the sake of it, but anyway, as anything you read on the internet, take it with a grain of salt ;D

@likehell: yeap! my experience is with SRAM GX 12 speed chains on both the setups mentioned above (on my XCm bike and on the enduro one). I must say flawless shifts on any conditions. I read it somewhere and decided to try and never looked back! ;D
  • 1 0
 @just6979: is it true the inner links of the 12 speed Shimano chain protrude a little bit into the spaces between the outer links? That could be a reason why the 12s chain isn't compatible with the 11s ring.
  • 1 1
 I used 12sp SRAM chainring with 10sp chain with no problems.
  • 2 0
 I’m gonna wait and hope that Hope come out with the micro spline free hub soon. Dear Santa...
  • 2 0
 They said it is coming January 1st so maybe you should ask someone else instead of Santa?
www.instagram.com/p/B3XbLr1B1bo
  • 2 0
 Cassettes with personalities and parabolic curves.. and here I thought I was just riding bikes.
  • 1 1
 Do you reach for the blue box or the red one? XT and GRX are just right for a whole lot of bicycles but It seems rarely either are offered on a stock build. OE accounts that don't have Shimano maybe?
  • 4 2
 Do people actually chose drivetrains based on weight?? I look at smoothness, price and durability. Nothing else matters.
  • 5 1
 Not everyone is a bro brah acting like they're too cool to care, so yeah some do.

But yeah say "nothing else matters" like it's a cold hard fact. haha
  • 3 2
 @nyles: Triggered
  • 6 0
 When you have potential to add/remove almost a half pound (~200 grams, ~15-20% of the wheel) of unsprung weight to the back wheel, weight should matter a least a little bit.
  • 4 1
 @just6979: A little bit is exactly it. Kinda like - "Hmm it would be nice to have a lighter cassette...WHOA 3 TIMES THE PRICE?!?! No thanks i'm good".

Spend $60 on a 70g lighter rear tire and you'll make a bigger difference than spending $250+ for a lighter cassette.
  • 1 0
 @jrich2095 It is also really easy to find XTR stuff on sale or use coupons if you want something lighter. I think I found my xtr cassette around $250 on sale. And really that goes with Shimano in general, finding discounts in the off season is pretty easy. I spent about 8 months on GX eagle and other than the gear range preferred my XT 11. I now have both an xtr and xt 12 groups and really like them. I find that when they get dirty there is no loss in shifting performance.
  • 1 0
 Oh, weight matters. Especially when you are spending half a G. Personally I don't want an unsprung boat anchor on the rear end of my bike.
  • 2 0
 @the-burd: No one's talking about putting "boat anchors" on the rear end of their bikes. This is about 100g at the axle. You can offset that by finding a 30g lighter tire. Or hell, just use less sealant and tape.

The bottom line is this - paying $300 to save 100g's is moronic. You can get that weight savings for next to nothing in other ways.
  • 2 0
 I have the same group set on my new bike. Love it. Just peel off the protective stickers on the cranks right away.
  • 2 3
 I was genuinely interested in going to XT 12sp 10-45 (at least cassette and chain), for both the tighter range (than my current GX Eagle, w/ 32t) and the reports of great shifting. I still had to work on a way to get a stupid Microspline freehub onto my wheel, but I was willing to deal with that, until I saw that cassette weight! I always aligned XTR with XX1, XT with X01, and SLX with GX, but this XT is definitely closer to GX at least in the weight department.

I've read the new Shimano 12sp shifts great, but I've been bashing through up- and down-shifts under power on GX 12sp and it's not complaining. Maybe a little noisy when actually shifting with a heavy load, but it still nails the shifts and it's solid and quiet when just pedaling which is really all that matters.

Looks like eThirteen's 9-46 cassette will get a try when this GX cassette wears out!
  • 9 1
 You are basing your opinion of the entire group off only the cassette's weight? Compared to XO1, XT's derailleur is lighter, the shifter is lighter, it's less than half the price, and it works better. Seems like that should make a measly 100g difference in cassette weights a non-factor.

I too am not sure about the XT vs XO1 comparison, because it was always my understanding that SRAM positioned XX1 and XO1 as two variations of a single group. XX1 for lightweight and XO1 for burliness. Otherwise they're both "halo" groups and both compare to XTR. Then it used to be X1 = XT, and GX = SLX. But now X1 is gone, GX still can't hold a candle to XT, and every aforementioned SRAM groupset is significantly more expensive than XT...so I dunno what to think.
  • 4 10
flag thenotoriousmic (Nov 15, 2019 at 15:25) (Below Threshold)
 Xx1
Xo1 = xtr
Gx = xt
NX = slx
SX = deore
  • 2 8
flag seraph (Nov 15, 2019 at 17:57) (Below Threshold)
 @TheRaven: the shifting on XT 12-speed is definitely not lighter than on X01. Not sure where you're getting that. XT is so hard to shift that it actually hurts my thumb. X01 shifts effortlessly.
  • 11 2
 @thenotoriousmic: a better chart is...

XX1 AXS = XTR Di2
X01 AXS = XT Di2
XX1 = XTR
X01 = XT
GX = SLX
NX = Deore
SX = ???
  • 5 0
 @seraph: he said the shifter weight is lighter. As in the physical weight of the shifter itself, not how hard it is to press the shifter to change gears.
  • 1 4
 @seraph:
Xx1 and x01 are nearly identical as are slx and xt.
Xx1, x01 and xtr can be grouped together.
As can gx, xt and slx.
  • 6 0
 @acali: too bad gx is poo.
  • 8 0
 @acali: SLX and XT are not remotely identical. There is a significant jump in quality and smoothness with XT as compared to SLX.

Furthermore, in terms of quality and smoothness, GX does not compete with XT. So yes, it appears that SRAM is trying to position GX as an XT competitor, but it's a terrible competitor because it's nearly twice the price of XT and you get roughly the quality of SLX.
  • 1 0
 @seraph: Just retail prices. Plus GX is just the new X9 which was always the XT equivalent as was X0 / XTR.
  • 1 0
 @acali: XTR is literally short for "XT Race", because it's XT with just some material changes for lightness and finish. And XX1 is literally X01 with just some material changes for lightness and finish.

Which makes XTR = XX1, XT = X01, and that leaves SLX ~= GX.

Also, even though Deore is only up to 2x10 and Alivio is only up to 3x9, Deore ~= NX, and Alivo ~= SX
  • 3 0
 @just6979: If you really believe that GX is even remotely as good as SLX then this place can't provide the help required.

I got take out the Ripmo AF with SLX for a whole day and there is no way on earth it's the same quality as GX. My bike with GX shifts like garbage compared to new Shimano 12-sp. For starters SLX doesn't feel like it wants to explode every time you shift under load unlike GX.
  • 1 0
 @gus6464: I think that's why he put in the "~" symbol. GX in some ways competes fine with SLX (weight, for instance). However it misses on price and quality. So it's a mixed bag. But I too would say that SLX is GX's closest competitor overall.

It's tough now to equate SRAM and Shimano groupsets. The only place it really works is at the top...XX1 is a worthy competitor to XTR in most aspects. Durability and price are the only real exceptions to that. Moving down the line it's a mess though, everything else is priced at least one tier above it's performance.
  • 1 0
 @just6979: let’s go of rear mech prices As they’re the most comparable obviously it’s not fair to compare shimanos cassettes with SRAM high end cassettes because they’re obviously built to a higher standard and priced accordingly.

Xx1 £305
XTR £189 = XO1 £185
XT £89 = GX £93

Shimano don’t have a XX1 equivalent.
  • 1 0
 @gus6464: I rode slx derailers for years and they’re shit. They’re cheap hence why I used to run them but they just fall to bits and bend really easy. I’d get through two a year with a lot of bending back and fixing in between. It’s a false economy your better spending the money on something that’s going to last and the shifters are rancid. Cranks and cassette are really good for the money.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: On price yeah. The problem is, no one goes out explicitly looking to buy the most expensive example of any given part. So while you're right that XX1 has no price equivalent, you aren't arguing for SRAM by saying that. Generally you want to compare things on positive attributes...in this case performance, weight, durability, value, etc.

And if you are killing SLX derailleurs, that's you. I have a riding buddy who keeps killing XT derailleurs, but even he knows it's him and not the derailleur. I ride the exact same trails RIGHT BEHIND HIM (on rare occasions in front even), been doing that for over 5 years now, and I haven't broken a derailleur in that time. In fact, in my entire 19 years of riding, i've killed one derailleur, and i've been on SLX, XT, XTR, XO, XO1, and GX.
  • 1 0
 @TheRaven: I’m killing them because they’re cheap. You only need to look at them wrong and they twist and if you do manage to get them to last they’re all wobbly after they’ve been rattled to bits. In all fairness I’ve recently killed an X01 mech from a stick through the wheel but it was absolutely solid before that after two years. I’ve got a GX mech that’s getting wobbly after three years but it’s been scraped and banged that many times. I can’t really complain at this point. For the extra it costs to get GX / XT it’s absolutely worth it.
  • 1 0
 @TheRaven: I’ve not used slx derailers for years for this reason but my mates still do and nothing’s changed, they’l still bend before the hanger and they’re loose and wobbly in no time where a XT mech will last for a couple of years until the clutch starts jamming.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: You are clearly in the minority.

I would agree that GX is worth the money over NX, and XT is worth the money over SLX, but XT is also worth the money UNDER GX.
  • 1 0
 @TheRaven: Whatever mate just don’t buy SLX / NX unless that’s all you can afford when it comes to mechs and shifters. The extra it costs for XT / GX more than pays for itself in the long run. I used to only run Zee / saint / XT but these days I’m a huge fan XO 11speed It’s absolutely bombproof, works the best even better the X0 Eagle and it’s super cheap online.

Rode the new XTR around a car park the other day and that felt mint as well, keen to have a proper go on it.
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: There's nothing wrong with SLX/GX if that's what you've got the money for. SLX derailleurs are not "cheap" they're just not made of carbon and titanium, and they're no less durable than XT or XTR. As I said, I do agree XT is worth the money over SLX...not for durability but for performance.

The bottom line here is that XT gives you XO1-level performance and quality (seems like Pinkbike would even argue "better than XO1 performance") for like half the price. That's incredible and I would expect that SRAM is going to be forced to make some price adjustments in the near future.

I was a big fan of XTR up until this generation but it's getting near-impossible for me to justify it anymore. XT is just too good for it's price bracket. As a result, over the winter i'm selling off my XTR 11-speed kits and replacing them with XT 12-speed with XTR shifters.
  • 1 0
 @TheRaven: GX derailers are decent I've had two now and they’ve both taken an absolute beating. I’ve had one for three years now, I’d have got through six SLX mechs in that time. Just grab a 6 month old SLX mech by the bottom jockey wheel and give it a wiggle, f*ck it do it from new and feel the play. Made from cheese.
I’ve run XT loads in the past and still do run XT brakes and a cassette on one bike and definitely prefer X0. Way better quality and it simply works better. I think XT / GX is the bare minimum if you want something that’s going to work well for a long time.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I have a two-year-old SLX mech on my fatbike in fact, no play. Feels exactly like the one-year-old XT unit on my wife's bike and the four-year-old XTR unit on my bike. I've been through two derailleur hangers on the fatbike with this derailleur...the latest bent one is still on there waiting to be changed actually, and the derailleur is perfectly fine.

In the 11-speed generation, it was my evaluation that XO1 was closer to XTR than XT. However, Pinkbike is not the first reputable outlet to make the claim that XO1 Eagle is not quite up to that level. It seems that SRAM took a step backward with Eagle and it appears that Shimano has taken a step forward with the X100 generation which is why i'm making the decision to ditch the XTR 11-speed for XT 12-speed.
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: So wait, SLX is trash but GX is good? So a RD which sounds and feels like it's going to literally explode when shifting under load is good to you?

Pretty much every single publication that has reviewed the new XT and SLX has said that in a blind test they would be very hard pressed to tell the shifting between the SLX and XT RD.
  • 1 0
 @TheRaven: closer to XTR? Sorry what year do you think it is? It’s 2019 not 2009. It’s shimano that’s playing catch up not the other way round. The new 12 speed shimano still isn’t built to the same standard as x0 it might work as well I don’t know but the quality isn’t as good. Next time your in a bike shop look at the quality of a x sync chainring, XO1 cassette or mech and compare that to XTR and it’s nowhere near.
  • 1 0
 @gus6464: I agree in a blind test it would be hard to tell the difference between and brand new slx mech and a XT. Only a XT mech lasts longer before it bends or rattles to bits so yeah pay the extra £25 it pays for itself in the long run. Do a blind test with 6 month old gear and it would be way more noticeable.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: That you are trying to make these claims in a comment thread of an article where the Pinkbike editors compared XT 8100 to XO1 Eagle and found XT to be better speaks volumes. There's really nothing else I need to say here.
  • 1 0
 @TheRaven: I’m talking about the previous generation we’re yet to see what’s next from sram and with eagle going all the way down to SX now I doubt it will be long until we see the new xx1 / x01 but like I said I’ve not ridden the new stuff other that around the car park and they’ve definitely addressed a lot of the issues I’ve had with them. The XTR brake levers feel absolutely class no flex at all and really feel nice without gloves. Loads of power and didn’t feel grabby at all. You can now shift gears without fumbling for the paddles. Shifting is super smooth but the quality still isn’t up to par. It’s not built as well or as nicely as X01.
  • 1 1
 Most trail and enduro bikes are quite heavy comparatively. Weight doesn't seem a consideration when reviewing and buying a bike.
Yet this article talks about weight a lot. So, is bike weight actually important?
  • 2 0
 Abso-fuckin-lutely. Gotta keep that enduro bike under 33lbs, know what I'm saying
  • 2 0
 Am I the only one here with my popcorn waiting on the Pole field test review?
  • 2 2
 A 28t up front on a 29 inch wheel or a 30t paired with a 1x11 yields essentially the same range. In the highest gear, the difference in cadence is so nominal. Just get a 28t and save some money.
  • 1 0
 That'll be my next derailleur and shifter. It's a bit boggling how they could design such an ugly chainring. MT900 cranks are much nicer.
  • 1 0
 Chainring doesnt look that bad, but I did opt for a wolftooth one
  • 1 0
 Would this setup work on a Sram 12sp casette, I currently have a Sram 11sp setup and would love to upgrade to shimano 12sp but do not want to buy a new wheelset.
  • 2 0
 I don't know that I'd call 6/51 6/39 "counterintuitive"
  • 1 0
 There should be a "less than" sign in between those two fractions.
  • 5 3
 30/52t ratio?!? For the chicken-legged non-cycling cyclists
  • 4 2
 No, low gears are for riders who have real mountains and steep climbs. I run a 26 x 11-51, works great for climbing in the Sierras, beats walking with my buddies.

Don’t be jealous, you can always visit these places, just bring your extra lungs and be prepared to walk ... or demo a bike with low gears Wink
  • 2 1
 I'm not even sure how you stay upright going that slow unless your climb is glass smooth. I use 32/42 on 30+% grades and it's perfect. If you slow down too much, your front wheel hits rocks and stops! lol.
  • 2 1
 @JohanG: There is this thing we call cadence or ppm. Some people spin a higher cadence and therefore don't fall over.
  • 1 1
 @the-burd: exactly, cadence, skill, technique, whatever you call it. I ride a lot of tech, never have problems moving slow and keeping my balance, might help that I rode muni for years.
  • 2 1
 @the-burd: Yep, definitely a groomed trail rider. oh, a root! now it's "tech".
  • 2 0
 @JohanG: I’m pretty sure your tech is not my tech, but cruise on out west and check it out. It’ll be scary for you, but just tighten up those sphincters and hold on!
  • 1 0
 Any word on a wireless version of XT to compete with SRAM's AXS? Now that'd be interesting to me.
  • 2 0
 The third paragraph of Xt vs X01 was rad! Nice work RC.
  • 1 0
 Hope the 12 speed SLX is good as the XT, because thats my plan for next spring... Big Grin
  • 3 2
 Nice of Richard to write an entire article even when he was out off his mind on peyote.
  • 1 0
 Nothing with derailleurs is "smart money" right now unless what you got is broken.
  • 1 1
 Hahaha, I always wondered how Walmart makes essentially the same thing for like a fraction of the cost. Like I know they're not, "as good" but they're the same thing for 1/10th the price. Surely they could double their costs, and blow away the entire industry.
  • 1 0
 Has anyone run Eagle shifter and derailleur with Shimano 12 spd chain, chainring, and cassette?
  • 1 0
 Absolutely hate the look of that two tone cassette. Makes it look very cheap.
  • 1 0
 wide range 10 speed with full steel cassette sprockets, please. Not sure why I need 12 gears if I'm not XC racing.
  • 1 0
 So what would happen if I used a Sram cassette with the rest of the shimano drivetrain.
  • 1 0
 I'm using the xt shifter/der with a gx cassette/chain, zero issues.
  • 1 1
 Its just sad that the cassete works only with MicroSpline driver. I have Hope hubs on all my bikes and I am forced to go with EAGLE cassete and the rest from Shimano Frown
  • 2 0
 Hope will have the freehub body available in January.
  • 2 1
 Good review, thanks Richard.
  • 2 1
 i really want XT on my next bike…
  • 1 0
 Why was the brake left out of the review? Would have been interesting Smile
  • 1 0
 @nsp234: Levy already reviewed XT 8120 brakes earlier this year.
  • 2 0
 Shimano doing it right..
  • 1 0
 Does the plastic in the chainring have any structural function?
  • 1 0
 I asked Shimano about the plastic and did not receive a clear answer. There is a lot going on behind the sprocket with two screws at each spider junction. My guess is that the fiber reinforced plastic is cosmetic to mask the mounting hardware.
  • 2 0
 @RichardCunningham: It really is a negative. If you're going to add something purely cosmetic, then that something should actually look good, not cheap. Say what you will about Eagle, but the cranks/chainrings look simple and clean.
  • 1 1
 Does the shifter do double up shift AND double down shift? The previous one only did double upshift.
  • 1 0
 And quadruple downshift
  • 1 0
 Would rather see a comparison to GX eagle alloy vs alloy cranks etc.
  • 1 0
 SLX
  • 1 0
 What's with the rubber bands on the grip?
  • 1 1
 Nothing like a diy'er to complain about their stuff not working as advertised,
  • 1 0
 Nothing wrong with some home wrenching.
  • 4 4
 I don't think the SRAM X01 is comparable to Shimano XT. More like SRAM GX is comparable to Shimano XT.
  • 2 1
 I can see Pinkbike's dilemma. It's tough because SRAM has done a poor job of positioning their groups. In the last generation, XX1/XO1 competed with XTR, and X1 competed with XT. But now SRAM has eliminated X1 leaving a hole where XT sits. Based on that and the price of GX, it appears they want GX to compete with XT. The problem is, it doesn't. It was barely equivalent to SLX in the last generation and hasn't gotten any better with this generation. So it's more expensive than XT while being heavier and of lesser quality. So then what to do? Compare XT to XO1? Much better comparison until you take price into account. Then XO1 looks terrible.

So PB couldn't win with this one. Compare XT to GX and GX gets trounced. Compare XT to XO1 and everyone complain's about the price difference.
  • 1 1
 @TheRaven: I think you are getting the comparisons incorrect. XT is definitely on par with GX. I have both right now on different bikes. They are very comparable in terms of weight and performance. XT derailleur weighs 284 grams. GX weighs 265 grams. GX is definitely better than SLX. SLX is on par with NX. I have owned pretty much all the drivetrains. Right now, I also have a XX1 drivetrain that was on a previous bike that is sitting in my garage, but actually prefer the shifting of GX. I am not basing my comparisons on price, only on performance, weights, features, and experience riding them.

Derailleur weights.
XX1/X01 (245 grams) compares to XTR (240 grams).
XT (284 grams) compares to GX (265 grams).
SLX (316 grams) compares to NX (322 grams).

SRAM does not really have any gaps. They do have the new EX1 that replaces the X1. Not sure if it is necessary since GX is mid-range. However, it is supposed to gap between XX1/X01 and GX.
  • 2 1
 @tacklingdummy: I’d agree with TheRaven
  • 2 1
 @tacklingdummy: I'm sorry but you'd have to be crazy to hold a GX derailleur in one hand, and an XT derailleur in the other hand, and tell me with a straight face that you think the GX derailleur is as high quality as the XT derailleur. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt as much as I possibly can, and I realize that i'm not the authority on what's a quality piece, but it's not close. The GX derailleur is a pile of plastic. It doesn't compare to the XT unit. And NX? Whoa. NX is a collection of boat anchors. I'd be surprised if it could compete with Deore but I can't say because I haven't messed with Deore since the 10-speed generation.

I posted the BikeRumor weights of each drivetrain in another thread, XT is lighter:

XT = 1123g
GX = 1136g

In the 11-speed generation, SRAM positioned GX as an SLX competitor...and it was barely that. It hasn't gotten any better with the 12-speed generation...in fact the prevailing opinion appears to be that it's gotten worse. The XT > XO1 comparison in this very review is all the evidence I need to present to make my point there.

The bottom line is that SRAM is slipping and needs to get serious or Shimano's going to take even more of their marketshare. They need to stop focusing on being the first to check all the boxes and instead focus on getting it right because riders are noticing.
  • 1 0
 @TheRaven: 13 grams is negligible for a drivetrain. Haha. Those weights you show is basically the exact same. Like I said earlier, I have both. GX shifts as good if not better than XT. XT has issues with the clutch squeaking. You have to do maintenance regularly to by taking it apart, re-greasing, and re-building. GX clutch is better and has a derailleur lock. I do like XT, but GX is slightly better and that is why they are competing groupsets.

GX is much better than SLX. SLX stuff is heavy, heavy, and more heavy. SLX = NX. SLX is better than NX slightly due to cassette being much lighter by 80 grams, but derailleur/shifter weigh the same.

Shimano is mainly beating SRAM because of the prices. Much lower. Also, people dislike SRAMs brakes because the bleeding process is much more difficult than Shimano. However, SRAM has very good stuff. SRAM has much more options though. NX, GX, EX1, X01, XX1.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy: I agree 13g for a derailleur is negligible. Just like 80-100g in a cassette...especially when you consider that cassette is mounted to wheel carrying a 1000g+ tire. But i'm routinely told that i'm wrong.

The overall group weights between XT and GX are very close, but i'm being told all throughout this thread and others that "GX is lighter". It's not. XT is actually slightly lighter.

XT does not "have issues with the clutch squeaking". YOU might, but that doesn't mean XT does. The GX clutch is one-way and non-adjustable. If you like that better, great, but it doesn't make the GX clutch better. Technically speaking, it's an inferior design and it has shown itself to be inferior in performance.

Once again, GX was created as an SLX competitor and has not improved. It's still an SLX competitor. NX does not compete with SLX. NX barely competes with Deore. It's silly to have this argument in a comment thread of an article where PINKBIKE just compared XT to XO1 and liked XT better.
  • 1 0
 As far as I can tell, the GS cage is only available as XTR.
  • 1 0
 You can get the crank down to 570g with a Wolftooth ring.
  • 1 0
 Wow 450 posts by Saturday 4:20 pm EST record?
  • 1 0
 release the microspline to Hope already!!
  • 1 0
 Anyone know if the XT shifter be used on a SRAM drivetrain?
  • 1 1
 but a 10 degree engagement on the hub?... THAT IS A LOT OF DEAD SPACE!
  • 1 0
 Meh, no one will actually buy Shimano hubs. Pretty sure there is nothing inherent to Micro Spline that will prevent licensees (DT Swiss King, I9, etc.) from making finer engagement.
  • 1 0
 Shimano lists 7 degree, which is 51 point engagement. 36 was the previous generation.
  • 1 0
 I counted clicks to be sure.
  • 1 0
 @RichardCunningham: Shimano is highly inaccurate in the literature because they list the MT901 as 51 poe also but it has 100 poe, counted by a poster on mtbr wheels and tires section.
  • 1 1
 @RichardCunningham Here is the torch, time to move on!
  • 1 3
 Stick that rear hub under a Clydesdale and see what happens to it.
  • 5 0
 so far so good.
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