Home Forums Bike Forum Custom build drivetrain ( Should I build it with Shimano XT or SRAM GX Eagle)

  • This topic has 28 replies, 23 voices, and was last updated 4 days ago by nickc.
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  • Custom build drivetrain ( Should I build it with Shimano XT or SRAM GX Eagle)
  • benjamin_mtb
    Free Member

    Should I build my custom build with Shimano or SRAM what would ypu choose and why ?

    honourablegeorge
    Full Member

    Sram cassettes are better, they’re lighter and last much longer. I’d always go for a GX-level Sram cassette over an XT, and a higher-end SRAM chain

    Beyond that, it’s whatever you prefer for mech and shifter. Sram NX and especially SX I’d avoid, they’re not great for durability.

    I like the AXS stuff, but it’s obviously a bit more pricy.

    andylc
    Free Member

    I don’t have experience of AXS but for mechanical
    drivetrain I much prefer Shimano. Shifting is more intuitive and like the double down shifting. For long term use I’ve found it more reliable than SRAM.
    Guide brakes are a plus for SRAM but newer XT brakes are excellent.

    Gribs
    Full Member

    I use a XT shifter and mech, SLX chainset, and a X01 cassette and chain. Shimano mech and shifters are nicer to use and last well. I utterly hate non HT2 chainsets. SRAM chains and cassettes seem to last much longer (and are lighter) which more than makes up for the extra cost.

    devash
    Free Member

    Always been an XT fanboi but my last bike came with GX Eagle and its been totally bombproof. Would happily run either. I’ve got an X01 cassette, shifter, mech and chain ready to go on but the GX stuff refuses to die.

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    whatyadoinsucka
    Free Member

    XTR shifter is cheap on merlin £60, feels so much better than deore/slx or XT

    derailleur i’d go XT as the sweetspot.  XTR not worth the premium

    nickc
    Full Member

    Was a long time Shimano fan, but having used a mix of GX and XO1 for 5 years or more, Shimano would have to be pretty special to get me back. Having said that, I’m not a fan of SRAM shifters particularly for changing cables, and they feel a bit plastic-y by comparison, but it’s really nit-picking. Everything else, there’s nothing in it.

    andylc
    Free Member

    Ref SRAM cassettes: other than weight etc Shimano has a nicer gear range than SRAM, without the big jump at the low end, which might be a minor issue for some…?

    bikesandboots
    Full Member

    I much prefer the Shimano ratios between the lower gears. Hate that SRAM big drop into 1st especially when you think you’re shifting 3rd to 2nd.

    XT shifter feel and double click upshift is nice.

    oldfart
    Full Member

    I bought a complete XT Groupset and brakes from Merlin for under £500 for my Curtis ?

    joebristol
    Full Member

    I’ve got both – happy to run either.

    XT 12 speed cassette has better ratios at the low range end of things which is better on a big bike with loads of draggy climbs. GX cassette is lighter and lasts better.

    On balance I slightly prefer the snappiness of the GX shifting.

    Cranks I’m all in with sram but Shimano is decent with the ht2 standard but their 12 speed chainrings have a stupid design.

    Sram or KMC 12 speed chains over Shimano everyday – the Shimano ones don’t like mud / grit / moisture as they have a smaller gap for the chainring / cassette teeth to go in.

    stanley
    Full Member

    Sram GX and above all the way. I find it nicer to use, more durable and good interchangeability. And I’d definitely suggest going with AXS if within budget.

    sillyoldman
    Full Member

    12 speed Shimano shifts better and lasts way longer than 10/11 spd stuff. The chainrings last forever too.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    XT Mech and shifter.

    Cassette and chain, it’s a coin toss. Shimano definitely shifts better, I’m not sold on the longevity being different, maybe it is maybe not I doubt many people have actually done statistically significant testing on it.  I’ve mixed and matched with no issues at all as well.

    I think if IK was building from scratch it would be all Shimano, but if I already had a wheelset I’d not loose sleep over the cassette.

    Cranks, I’d go 3rd party, either Middleburn or someone still using a standard chainring interface that’ll still exist in a few years time.

    nickfrog
    Free Member

    XTR shifter is cheap on merlin £60, feels so much better than deore/slx or XT

    Very tempted to upgrade my SLX shifter.

    However is it really “so much better?

    What’s different? The SLX shifter seems fine in isolation.

    whatyadoinsucka
    Free Member

    XTR vs SLX    feels better slides rather than tap tap

    3 downshifts in one throw, 2 upshift in one throw [hyperglide]

    some reviews say for ebikes best to stick to slx/deore

    nickfrog
    Free Member

    ^^ thank you. Merlin are out of band shifters now anyway so that’s a choice easily solved lol

    oceanskipper
    Full Member

    I’ve found low end SRAM stuff to be garbage up to X0 level, cassettes, callipers and rotors specifically. AXS GX derailleur and Rival shifters /levers on the other hand, very nice. Swapped my Rival callipers and levers for Red and there is no difference other than they work instead of having sticky pistons all the time – and they look nice. I had 2 GX cassettes that were bent and replaced under warranty but I had already put X0 spec on which is straight and offers superb shifting with AXS.

    Test rode a Tarmac SL8 with Force groupset on and that cassette was bent too.

    munrobiker
    Free Member

    Shimano cassettes and chains shift so much better than SRAM ones, and the gear ratios are better. SRAM is really clunky by comparison, but the cassettes last a long time (which they should, given what they cost).

    Sram mechs and shifters don’t seem to last anywhere near as long as Shimano ones either, although I can’t comment on the new AXS stuff.

    gowerboy
    Full Member

    I ended up with SRAM on one bike and liked it so now I have it on three bikes and put it on a couple of bikes I built for others.  We tried one of those bikes with Shimano SLX stuff on an NX cassette on a HG hub.  It didn’t change very well so we changed it all to Eagle GX and it works much better.  That may be a cassette/rear mech/shifter compatibility issue though. I have an NX mech on my Longitude that gets abused all through winter and has been really robust.

    in summary, I think SRAM eagle is great and am happy with it.

    bensales
    Free Member

    I’d put XT on, but that’s because I have an irrational dislike of all SRAM products.

    1
    sillyoldman
    Full Member

    Not irrational ;-)

    1
    onewheelgood
    Full Member

    I was looking to replace the 10-42 11 speed X01 on my Jeffsy recently. The choice came down to GX AXS or XT – I went with XT, for these reasons

    – Already got XT on the hardtail

    – Better ratios on the cassette with no 42-52 jump

    – Unconvinced by electronic shifting for offroad – love it on the road bike

    – Irrational dislike of SRAM products

    Apart from some issues with initial setup, which turned out to be caused by a bent derailleur hanger (12-speed is very fussy about the straightness of the hanger.), I’ve been really happy with it. Shifting is light and accurate and usually quiet and I think it looks nicer and feels nicer to use than SRAM.

    beer247
    Free Member

    SLX or Deore rear mech (i’ve smashed 2 XT mechs in the last 6 months…)

    Shimano chain

    XT shifter

    Gabaruk Cassette –  cheaper/lighter than SRAM and lighter than Shimano (they come in microspline and XD now)

    XT crank arms with SLX ring.

    martinhutch
    Free Member

     use a XT shifter and mech, SLX chainset, and a X01 cassette and chain.

    Similar here – XT shifter, SLX Mech and chainset, and a GX cassette and chain. Much prefer the two-way shifting and multiple shifts in one push of Shimano, really don’t like the Dub BB system, but am willing to concede that SRAM cassettes are superior (although they should be at that price).

    thepurist
    Full Member

    I put GX on my bike as Shimano was only selling XTR at the time. I expected to replace it with XT as stuff wore out but it’s still going strong and hasn’t really missed a beat (now running X01 chains which last and last). I put Shimano on MrsPs bike when I built it and she’s had one XTR shifter fail under warranty and the clutch on the XT mech needs regular servicing to keep the shifting sweet. Based on that I’m now thinking of migrating her bike back to SRAM.

    nickc
    Full Member

    really don’t like the Dub BB system

    The BB themselves last equally well/bad (depending on your price point) as 24mm Shimano HT2. The requirement for 50NM on the chainset can be a faff to remove unless you have a decent extension bar and technique in which case its no bother. Chainring fittings are better designed/easier on the SRAM/Truativ system. Slack take-up/bearing pre-load is easier on Shimano.

    Swings/roundabouts.

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    I have both as it’s what came fitted to 2 different bikes. They feel different to use but I don’t have a favourite. They’re both perfectly adequate.

    I’m tempted to go GX AXS on the trail bike and move the GX cable to the play bike. Then I’ll have some XT bits for sale for the people on here who still think Shimano is the only option.

    nickc
    Full Member

    I would say though, if I was building to a budget but still wanted wide range , then I probably go for 11sp Deore/Cues. If money was no object then XX1/XO1. If my choice is either XT or GX then it really comes down to personal preference, they both work really well.

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