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SRAM vs. Shimano MTB components

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm sitting here comparing the new shimano and sram components. It looks like shimano has stiffened up their derailleurs to compete with Sram.

Here's my gripe: A brief semi accurate history of my components, (not all-inclusive).

1996 My first MTB: Shimano and Suntour components. Friction shifters. 6 speed cogs.
1998 Shimano components. Rapid fire shifters. Suntour MTB components all but disappear. 7 speed cogs. Sram on the scene but doesn't work well. Many enthralled with the new Grip shifters.
1998-1999 Shimano components. Birth of the 8 speed XTR rapid-rise derail. JZ has to learn to shift again.
2000 Shimano components. Conversion of 8 speed to 9 speed. Piles of 8 speed XTR rapid rise derailleurs and rapid fire shifters gather dust in JZ's garage. Conversion to regular rise 9 speed XTR shifters and derail. JZ has to learn to shift again.
2004 Shimano components. Two finger XT shifter/brake combo's come on the scene. JZ has to learn to shift yet again. XTR low normal derailleurs on the scene.
2005 Shimano XTR low normal derailleurs not up to par with Sram XO. JZ learns to shift yet again with XO shifters and derail. XTR low normal derail and XT 2 finger shifters gather dust. Shimano attempts to pull JZ over to their brakes and center lock hubs.
2006 JZ dodges center lock hubs. Compatibility issue between XT chainrings and Sram PC series chains shifting nicely. Sram XO shifters and derailleurs continue as a mainstay.
2007 Mixture of Sram and Shimano components. Looking at 2008, Shimano is changing their component line yet again! :
post #2 of 6
The new XT/XTR line do look nice. Especially that new hanger design.
post #3 of 6
epic has bikes with M900, M950, M965 and M975. Happy with all of it. Converted to rapid-rise this summer. It took all of two rides to become second nature.
post #4 of 6
I have a love/hate relationship with Shimano.

I hate it when they force me to change. I mean, I was quite happy with 8 speed. Now I am using 9 speed. But I have to admit that I love the 9 speed stuff. Better quality than the old 8s. Especially the shifters derailleurs and the crank/BB. Not to mention the 9s 11-34 gear spread compared to the 8s 12-32. I call the 34 cog my bail out gear.

I am forced to change, but 90% of the time the new stuff is better. I run Shimano, but I think Sram is good also.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
I was quite happy with some of the shimano 8 speed stuff. I liked the all steel XTR cogs, regular rise XT and XTR derail, and rapid fire shifters. I think the 8 speed suff is less likely to clog up with leaves and stuff. If you really wanted a lower than 32 tooth cog you could simply get a 20 tooth chainring.
My relationship with shimano really started to sour when they started to spec. rapid rise XTR derails on the higher end bikes. The reverse spring action is stronger as you go down from from the larger cogs to the smaller cogs. With a regular rise type derail, gravity already assists with this. So with the Rapid-Rise, (and later Low-Normal 9 speed) if you are trying to shift into a lower cog, against gravity, with a spring tension that is optimized to go the other way, in less than clean conditions, they don't work well.
Then' with the advent of 9 speed they made 8 speed components hard to find. I tried converting the 8 speed rapid rises to 9 speed ie switching jockey wheels and adjusting the derail stops. They will work, not great though.
Then later there were compatibilty issues within shimano's components 9 speed IG and HG stuff.
Then shimano reinvented the rapid rise in 9 speed as the low normal. Rapid fire 9 speed shifters, and regular rise XT and XTR derails became scarce. I believe shimano was going to start phasing them out! Then Sram started making their trigger shifters, shimano lost market share, and the rapid fire shifters started appearing on the shelves again.
Indeed, I have this love hate relationship also.
Mostly hate on the shifters and derails.
My shifter and derail $ is going X9 or XO.
post #6 of 6
I use SRAM cassettes and chains exclusively & love them. My shifters are Shimano LX or above and my rear derailleurs are all Shimano Rapid Rise XT or above. I have no aversion to using SRAM shifters or derailleurs, its just that I've found better deals for Shimano since they are always phasing things out.
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