XT or XTR for trail riding?
I’m in the mood for a new bike, not decided yet but I fancy splashing out on something fancy – not really justified as the last year has been a bit mince for my biking and the previous 4 years have been dribbles of cycling time at best. However, now things are changing and I’m hoping for more time to get out on the bike so thought I’d start with a new purchase.
I’ve got a couple of bikes in mind to consider and one of the bikes is appearing twice – one in XT guise and the other in XTR guise. I don’t race, it will be a 5″ full bouncer – but I am looking for lightweight (within reason).
So what I’d like to know is XTR any better/good for trail riding? It saves almost 1lb on the overall bike weight so can’t be a bad thing (other than cost), but I don’t know how long it would last for trail riding and faffing? I’ve always liked XTR but always considered it racer only…but the latest What MTB review on cranks reckoned the XTR was the a very good chainset – which got me wondering about the rest of the gear.
I’m more than happy to use XT (if I was given the option of either bike), but I’m just wondering what the running costs/longevity and ruggedness is of the XTR kit – I’m not a smooth rider (but don’t deliberately go looking for airtime).
Cheers.Posted 8 years agoDibbsMember
I like XTR, but I tend to pick and choose what parts of the groupset I use eg I wouldn’t use an XTR cassette it doesn’t shift any better than XT, it doesn’t last any longer and its not a great deal lighter. Bear in mind the cost of replacement parts with XTR too, don’t come on here moaning when you need a new XTR middle ring and its 120 quid.Posted 8 years ago
Buy a 2 litre camelbak, and only half fill it. 1Kg saved, for free.
Drink the remaining litre, sweat some of it out – even more weight saved.
I really fail to see how 1lb really makes that much difference when the bike, rider, kit, water, tools, etc adds up to over 100Kgs. I can understand spending money on the ‘best’ functionally, and wouldn’t want a 5Kg rear mech, but I have always felt that the huge price increase from XT -> XTR really was hard to justify. Fair enough if there is some functional reason as well as the weight saving.Posted 8 years ago
So is it XT or XTR for you Dave? You’ve had a small rant and question but you haven’t given your preference 😉
A lb in bike weight can make a difference – get a set of wheels a lb heavier than your existing ones and you will feel it more…extra weight on the rider isn’t the same as extra weight on the bike…extra weight on the bike is felt more readily as your body is being used to move the bike…
I’m posing the question as I’m curious – I was pretty much decided on the XT-specced machine but thought I’d have a look at the XTR version anyway…and that tickled my fancy but my practical head tells me XTR isn’t worth getting as it is expensive/doesn’t last any longer and doesn’t have any functional improvement over XT…so I thought I’d ask as I’ve no real experience of XTR (other than the XTR rear mech on my bike – which works just as well as the XT mech on my commuter).
Saying that, although I fancy a new bike, I’m needing to find the cash to purchase it so no doubt this will all fritter away to nothing…Posted 8 years agodruidhMember
I’m running XTR on one bike, XT on another. There are some other benefits – for instance the XTR generally shifts better. I’m not aware of any longevity issues either. The majority of the XTR kit I have was obtained 2nd hand though – thereby reducing the cost difference.
Given the current cost of components, I suspect that you’ll be getting a better deal buying it as part of a build than you would on its own.Posted 8 years agoFuzzyWuzzyMember
If you have the money to burn and fancy XTR then go for it, if you’re just trail riding though I don’t think you’d lose any sleep if you settled for XT (or even SLX for that matter). As someone else mentioned, make sure you can afford the replacement stuff as well not just the initial purchase cost 😉Posted 8 years agoakiraSubscriber
Get the XT version and upgrade the shifters, XTR is lighter and does shift a little bit better but in terms of actual fun there’s nothing between them, go for XT and then upgrade a few things on the bike as an off the peg machine is never perfectly set up, what bike is it because sometimes the extra cost is worth it if there is an upgrade in wheels etc between the two models.Posted 8 years ago
Dick – For my money it’s XT, or SLX in fact.
Not really a rant though, I can quite understand people using XTR on a general use trail bike, even on a going to the shops bike if they want to. The few times I have used XTR it’s been older kit inherited on bikes, and didn’t seem any better functionally than XT, so to my mind it was just a weight thing. I’ve always considered XTR more fragile though – based on talk more than experience though.
Fair point that weight in certain places is more noticeable than in others – there’s no doubt that weight at the wheel rim is far more important than anywhere else. But an extra 1lb over the groupset or in my rucsack whilst general trail riding?
My choice would be go for the XT and spend the savings on personal preference upgrades (wheels?)Posted 8 years ago
Only differences between the 2 bikes is the XTR has carbon brake levers/fancier saddle/carbon seatpost and bars plus RLC forks instead of RL…saying that the price is significantly more.
I’m going back to my XT choice…practical head has won out rather than the need to waste more money after reading the comments…biggest issue wouldn’t be the initial purchase but the on-going costs…which is a very fair point, I don’t have the cash to waste on replacing XTR with XTR…XT is more manageable…Posted 8 years agoclubberMember
XTR is like having a really nice car to commute to work in – nice but doesn’t really make your commute any better.
Get XTR if you fancy some nice kit on your bike (hey, I love it as much as anyone) but don’t pretend that it’ll actually make you ride better/enjoy your riding any more, just appreciate it for what it is – nice kit.Posted 8 years agoOnzadogSubscriber
I’ve been using XTR for trail riding for a while now but as above, I pick and choose the bits. Shifters, both mechs and chainset. I don’t bother with the hubs/wheels, brakes, cassette or chain. If you look after it, like any bike bit, longevity doesn’t seem to be an issue.
Having said that, given the current shift in market prices, if anything does need replacing for the next few years, it’s more likely to be XT than XTR. No one needs XTR, but if you’ve got the money, why not.Posted 8 years ago
XTR is nice, that’s about it. Why buy a BMW or Merc? I find it interesting that you never need to justify buying a nice car to anyone, but if you mention on here that you like nice kit or light weight people jump down your throats.
I really fail to see how 1lb really makes that much difference when the bike, rider, kit, water, tools, etc adds up to over 100Kgs.
It does. You might fail to see it but it does, sorry 🙂 And as for half filling a camelbak, you can do that as well as saving money on your bike. And you’d only have half the water. FAIL (to get the point)!
but don’t pretend that it’ll actually make you ride better
I don’t think anyone actually thinks that. Maybe this mythical marketing-led gullible fool who thinks that nice bikes go faster (as if that were the point).. but not real people!Posted 8 years agoFOGSubscriber
Oh I don’t know, I find it considerably harder to justify a BM than XTR!Posted 8 years ago
I have always wondered about flash cars. I have never heard anybody say,’I’ll bet he’s a really good bloke in that Porsche’
My only criteria in car choice is to find one that is cheap to run and you can stuff loads of gear and bikes in.OllyMember
doesnt xtr require xtr specific rings?
im not paying a small fortune for a consumable thats marginally lighter.
mechs and shifters, maybe, ide go forthe cranks, if they were 104bcd, but i think shimano may have shot themselves in the foot there…
so if its a whole bike build, do you.
buy XT and upgrade over time
buy XTR and sell of the crank while you can get rid of them shiney and unscratched.
Ide go with XT myselfPosted 8 years agothe_lecht_rocksMember
i use xtr shifters and chainsets.
i use xt cassettes and rear mechs.
i have used xt shifters – not as good as xtr.
i have used xtr rear mechs – no gain over xt.
i used RF chainsets – terrible reliability and fit issues.
go for performance as opposed to weight.
hth dick.Posted 8 years agoCountMember
I prefer XTR shifters by a mile, I always think the key contact points you have with the bike need to be as best you can get so pedals/shifters/grips/saddle I take care over what I choose.
XT/XTR/X0 on the other bits is down to weight/cost/longevity etc. I think XTR is aimed at trail riders first, not racers. There are a lot more riders who are casual than racers and Shimano want to sell them XTR. In my experience, XTR lasts really well, performs great and of course looks the biz – it is not just for racers.Posted 8 years agoanotherdeadheroMember
I’ve always used the mix n match XT this, LX that, SRAM or middleburn the other approach for my bikes for a mix of pimp/cost effectiveness/weight.
Then last year I just splooged some cash on a complete XTR drivetrain for my 5″ trail sofa. Awesome, simply awesome. It looks dead tatty now, becuase I’ve battered it, still works fabulously and I’m kinda proud to be running round on XTR that has obviously been used and abused, not polished each weekend.Posted 8 years agoigmSubscriber
I’m 100kg before I get the bike, kit, water, tools, etc taken into account.
XT for me, ‘cos I know it works with minimal maintenance and pretty much utter dependability and until recently the prices were not ridiculous if you looked around.
Thought SLX does look pretty good
Weight, though not the primary issue for me, does make a difference, particularly in wheels, but also at the end of swing arms and on forks (it’s the sprung to unsprung weight issue, which makes the susspension work (slightly) better). So no heavy LX cassettes (they may be lighter now but the one I just took off was horrendous compared to the XT I stuck on).Posted 8 years agoDougalSubscriber
epo-aholic – Member
no significant difference in shifting quality or weight.
Anyone who thinks that XT shifts as good as XTR is kidding themselves. The cassette makes no difference as someone has pointed out above, but XTR shifters, mechs, chainsets and cables are so smooth it’s almost zero effort. Oh, and over 400g in weight is considered a significant weight saving on a trail bike.
XTR is more expensive, that’s the only excuse anyone needs to plump for the exceptionally good XT.
My preference? XTR on the race bike, and a mix of XT and XTR hand-me-downs on the trail bike.Posted 8 years ago
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