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.
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.
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
• 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.
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.
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.
More secure tooth profile +
Hard for me to get excited about the aesthetics.-
If you're a carbon fan - Shimano only makes aluminum cranks.
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.
• 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.
The numbers game:
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.
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.
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.
Best shifting cassette I've ridden+
470 grams is a little clunky at this level
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.
• 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)
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.
Smooth rolling and user rebuildable+
Very quiet freehub ratchet.
No XT six-bolt brake rotor option
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.
• 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.
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.
Best feeling analog shifter Shimano has produced+
Consistent throw and intuitive feedback.
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.
• 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
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.
Body designed to deflect impacts.
Sturdy and stable+
Tucked in design incurred minimal trauma
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
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:
|Many 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
Why do all the xtr equiped bikes not have xtr cranks?
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"?
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....
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 ...
Great XT review though, RC. Love the XT vs. XO play-by-play.
If you're concerned about your derailleur looks dirty...take up track cycling.
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...
Classic excuse Pole classic.
Really nice hubs, have stepped their game up big time.
so you are trying to block pinkbike from showing that your product has failed.
Lost respect for you pole!
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.
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.
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.
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.
it's a shame, though, the XT hubs are only an ounce heaver than DT swiss, and less than half the price
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.
Actually Mia asking Vince
I’ll simplify this for you. If it’s a beautiful Saturday morning, are you loading up the bike or clubs.
If you had to give up mountain biking or golf, or which one is it?
Looking at either a hubset or their XT Wheelset for my Chameleon if I go 12spd XT on that.
The inability to have any sort of philosophical discussion makes your political affiliation an easy one...
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
(On a side note I wonder how many people agree with waki on a regular basis)
The big benifit of Shimano hubs is you can maintain them, which is good because you need to.
*no offense intended - just making a joke on your username and this comment.
WTF is a colourway of a stem?!
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
PM me for my cell.
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?
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...
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.
...I need to do something more constructive with my time.
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.
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.)
How are cogs and a chain supposed to look?
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?
I’d avoid slx everything. It’s cheap and doesn’t last.
SLX Crankset = $105
It's expensive being a weight weenie... I can buy a lot of post ride beers with $325
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.
My xx1 can back-pedal but yeah much higher quality ..
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.
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
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).
How the f*ck do you scientifically curate a chain? Were traditional phrases not an option?
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!
From the picture of the crank, I'm not sure I can agree with that statement.
That said I will be buying this groupset, so they clearly didn't mess up too bad.
What's the shifting under load like? As good as the reviews seem to say?
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.
Is that a little dig at the still wandering bite point of the new XT Brakes?
There is absolutely nothing about the chain pitch that is stopping them from doing a corn-cob (1 tooth jumps) first 8 (10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-1 , 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.
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
You can also leave codes...
It just feels like ass to me.
I own 6 SLX/XT eleven speed drivetrains and love them.... hello 12
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.
never going to happen.
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.
I must be reading this incorrectly. My GS Eagle can drop FOUR gears with one swipe of the lever. Somebody help me out.
This review doesn't highlight that at all. Wonder whats going on.
Wolf Tooth stuff is good, would rather go there than the narcissistic absolute black.
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?
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!
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.
--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...
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.
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.
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.
(I don't know, but they have absolutely no reason to make them the same, so they won't be)
All other Deore lineup (SLX, LX, XT) is more than good enough for whatever needs.
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.
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
What are your thoughts on an XTR shifter upgrade? Worth it over XT?
so... shall we settle for "nuance" instead of "nonsense"?
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.
"10 x 51 or 10 x 45 gearing options"
"Weight: 461g ,10 -45t, 470g, 10-51t"
1. 52mm chainline - 172mm q factor
2. 55mm chainline - 178mm q factor
3. 56.5mm chainline - 181mm q factor
142 spacing: 48
148 spacing: 50
DH bikes use smaller cassettes with fewer cogs and 83BB so they can take 55>, or... use 142-148 spacing
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.
People are unaware how messed up chainlines are:
That is why my HT will have standard crankset, boost spacing, into which I will fit 150 hub .
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.
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.
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.
@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
But yeah say "nothing else matters" like it's a cold hard fact. haha
Spend $60 on a 70g lighter rear tire and you'll make a bigger difference than spending $250+ for a lighter cassette.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Xo1 = xtr
Gx = xt
NX = slx
SX = deore
XX1 AXS = XTR Di2
X01 AXS = XT Di2
XX1 = XTR
X01 = XT
GX = SLX
NX = Deore
SX = ???
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
XTR £189 = XO1 £185
XT £89 = GX £93
Shimano don’t have a XX1 equivalent.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yet this article talks about weight a lot. So, is bike weight actually important?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s good that Shimano has finally made a competitive drivetrain. Now they need to beg and plead with the OEM’s to get it on bikes in the 4000$ range. This stuff is way better than NX and it is absolutely shameful that a brand new bike costing more than 3500$ has anything NX on it.
So the fanboys will be happy, it might put some pressure on the bike companies not to put junk on expensive bikes and it’s good to have choice but this is still a step below XO1 (no matter what RC says)
XT is both cheaper and lighter. Here are the current lowest new retail prices from reputable US sellers (not some random guy on ebay selling an unused part).
XT Total - $335
GX Total - $396
Weight (according to BikeRumor's calibrated system):
XT = 1123g
GX = 1136g
Also, the diagonal parallelogram has proven to be a much more reliable solution than X-horizon. Shimano derailleurs are simpler, and less prone to getting ripped off because they don't put themselves in harm's way like SRAM's derailleurs do.
Finally, the clutch is adjustable. They do often come set way too stiff from the factory. You or the the mechanic that sets up the bike are supposed to adjust accordingly.
GX msrp $545.
XT weight 1831 (see above)
GX weight 1754 (according to bike rumor's scales)
I might be too subjective here I don't know.
I have no issues adjusting my Shimano clutches so that they shift smoothly and do not drop chains. I do have to do this with every new derailleur however. It's specific to each frame and parts combination. The only time I experience ghost-shifting is with bent cassettes. Also, the diagonal parallelogram is what makes Shimano derailleurs so compact. SRAM derailleurs are a giant clunky mess, and it's primarily because of "X-Horizon".
As for weights and prices, I already posted the BikeRumor weights in my last post, and the itemized prices. My figures include the core drivetrain - again, the parts any of us here would buy. You are purposely including extraneous parts in order to skew the figures in your favor. Why not include the hubs while you're at it? The pedals? Wheelsets?
Having said all this, you are entitled to simply prefer GX. Plenty of riders just prefer one drivetrain or the other on it's particular feel, looks, availability...whatever. That's fine. I'm not here to tell you what you should like.