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Thinking of switching to SRAM drivetrain... cassette questions

Discussion in 'Cross Country, All Mountain & Trail Riding' started by slyfink, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. slyfink

    slyfink Turbo Monkey

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    So I've been thinking of switching to a SRAM drivetrain, mainly because of the weight of the cassettes. I've been riding Shimano for a really long time, I've always liked the feel of them, but I'm not too hung up on Shimano vs SRAM, I figure they're both pretty close in terms of performance.

    I've been thinking of going 11-speed lately, if only to get Shimano's wider range cassette (I've found 11-42 is just about right for 1x for me). But then I'd have to change shifter/derailleur as well as cassette. So if I'm going to change my whole drivetrain, I figured this is the time to look at SRAM. I looked at the weight of the cassettes, and the SRAM cassettes are about 200g lighter than Shimano's. Given this is unsprung weight, this is pretty darn appealing... but...

    When I last used to ride SRAM cassettes (maybe 4 years ago), I used to bend the cogs on a fairly regular basis, like at least once a year. Given the costs of these suckers, it's not a wormhole I'm willing to go down unless I'm reasonably certain this isn't an issue anymore...

    Does anyone have any insights? Why are the SRAM cassettes so much lighter? Besides the manufacturing process, do they use lighter/softer materials?
     

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  2. canadmos

    canadmos Mater Slayer

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    Keep in mind that SRAM 11 speed cassettes will require an XD driver or whatever the thing is called for your hub.

    I haven't seen bent cogs in a long time and have never personally bent mine. Only one I can think of recently is a buddy who bent his e-thirteen add-on ring. Not sure how that happened...

    I used Sram 10 speed stuff for a while and it was all fine and dandy; though my derailleur did end up with quite a bit of play in it and became super noisy. I switched to all Shimano stuff last fall and it has been good.
     
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  3. slimshady

    slimshady Turbo Monkey

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    The e-13 cog is made of butter and snots, that's why it bends. I've bent mine and I'm no Clydesdale . The SRAM cassettes are lighter because of the lack of spiders connecting the different cogs, and the smaller driver. That's why they are so expensive too.

    Pay attention to what @canadmos says, your rear hub must have a XD compatible driver.
     
  4. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    and at least the highest end stuff (like eagle, possibly some of the 11spd stuff) is machined from a single piece, and isn't an assembly component. which makes the prices SUPER high.
     
  5. jstuhlman

    jstuhlman We noticed.

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    i really see no reason to go to 11sp when i can get 11-42 with 10sp and have had no issues bending, etc...granted i run some "low end" x9 and would have to go gx now...

    you can get xt 10sp pretty cheap right now too...
     
  6. StiHacka

    StiHacka Compensating for something

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    I am totally happy with a Shimano 1x10 drivetrain with this cassette: http://www.jensonusa.com/Sunrace-MX3-10-Speed-Cassette My next upgrade is going to be a steel RF cinch chain ring. If I remember correctly you didn't have much luck with that cassette but I cannot find any fault with mine.
     
  7. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    After setting up a 1x11 shimano (XTR derailleur, XT shifter) drivetrain a few weeks back and as compared to my Sram 1x11 XO setup on one bike and an X9 1x10 on another....F-shimano drivetrains. I've been riding the setup around for a few weeks and raced it hard this weekend. It shifts ok, it isnt super heavy, but that clutch level is dumb as hell, it's cheezy, it flexes when you try to turn it on/off like it's going to break instead of flip, and most of all, the derailleur does not drop out of the way when you turn it off, when you have to remove your wheel. This has the effect of jamming the wheel against the chainstay yoke anytime you are trying to remove the wheel, which with studded tires=scratches. I've been trying to figure out for a few weeks how to do this without scratching the chainstay, but I'm still batting zero. I don't take the rear wheel off all that much, but enough that I don't want to have to deal with this every time I do. The SRAM setup is hands down better. The SRAM style cassettes are also significantly lighter, but you don't need to run a SRAM cassette with a SRAM derailleur, you can mix and match the 11spd stuff and there's a few new cassettes that are about as light, like my Hope 11spd, E-13, etc. I'm also trying to track down an issues with my other wheelset on the Shimano setup, which has an XTR 11spd cassette. I get some pretty crazy knocking/creaking under power in the 2nd easiest gear, which just seems weird. For the race I got a new chain and used my wheelset with the hope casestte, so I haven't revisited that yet. Yes, I know to check the usual stuff like lockring, etc. I'm thinking it may have been my chain, it was used, but only for maybe two months, which I thought would work. I'll figure that out maybe tomorrow.

    Anyway, I like most shimano stuff, but I feel they've been playing catch-up for a few years now in the drivetrain realm, my experience over the last few weeks confirms this. To be fair, shifting precision is fine, I find the action a little sloppier than SRAM XO level, but a little better than my X9 setup. The ability to drop more than one gear at once is nice, but I find the ergonomics of the push-push aren't quite as good as my SRAM. I can always do a cool "knuckle" shift with SRAM and just nudge it to change gears with the top of my thumb. Shimano is much harder to do this with and generally will just gouge my thumb instead. Good to prevent mis-shifting possibly. The push-push was another thing brought to you by, you guessed it, SRAM (thanks Obama :( ), and I happen to think that's the way to go now, because you never have to take your finger off the brake or sacrificing bar-gripping for shifting in the same way. The XTR derailleur was as claimed for weight, so that's nice. It seems generally pretty good, although the 2mm adjustment screws are TINY.
     
    #7 -   Mar 13, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
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  8. canadmos

    canadmos Mater Slayer

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    Could this be your bike? When I remove the axle from my rear wheel, the wheel slides out of the slots like butter. Doesn't touch the derailleur.

    Though this does remind me of one Sram feature, which might sound like a gimmick, but was actually pretty damn great to have; the cage lock thing. I miss that on my Shimano stuff.
     
  9. slyfink

    slyfink Turbo Monkey

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    I had this cassette for all of three weeks before bending the cogs. No thanks.

    Pretty much the only reason I'm thinking of going SRAM is because of the weight of the cassette. Otherwise I like everything else about Shimano stuff, including shifter ergonomics and function. But daaaaamn do their cassettes weight a lot more than Shimano. I wonder... can I run a Shimano 11sp derailleur on a SRAM cassette?! hmmmmm

    I have King hubs, so I can get an XD driver. Only question is... do I bother dropping the dough on an xd driver for a 142x12 hub?!?!!? how long will the goddam mutherfukkin bike industry keep the 142x12 standard around... It's bad enough I can't find a 26" frame anymore, alone 142 hub spacing. The only bike I can think of that still has 142 is Transition (thank the FSM it's a good bike, but damn... not many options!)
     
  10. canadmos

    canadmos Mater Slayer

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    http://bansheebikes.com/spitfire/
     
  11. StiHacka

    StiHacka Compensating for something

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    How did it happen? I am a fatass but a fairly strong climber, I broke a few hubs but never bent cogs on a cassette. Shifting under load?
     
  12. slyfink

    slyfink Turbo Monkey

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    There was a bit of bad luck involved for sure. I was going down a particularly rough section of trail that had rattled the cassette loose (the lock ring had backed off and there was a bit of play on the freehub body). I went to grab a couple of quick pedal strokes and the chain had jumped up a couple of cogs, so that when I dropped the hammer, the chain was a couple of cogs too high and was pulled straight down. So yeah, a bit of bad luck. But a) that locking shouldn't have backed off, and b) the force of my pedal strokes shouldn't have bent the cogs imo...
     
  13. Flo33

    Flo33 Monkey

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    1990 Shimano XT ST-M091, in a time when SRAM was a start up doing homemade grip shift shifters for roadbikes.

    On topic: XG-1180 10-42 315 g, CS-M9000 11-40 325 g at equal prices but a smaller range on the Shimano.
    To get a real difference in weights you have to step up to XG-1195 or XG-1199 coming at ~265 g but a higher price plus XD-driver.

    I ride a X01 derailleur/shifter combo with XTR cassettes, 11-40 is enough for me, but that's a personal liking thing.
     
    #13 -   Mar 15, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
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  14. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    I'm aware of those, they were funky as heck and I don't really consider them in the same line as the modern stuff. I've worked on them before in the shop.

    I run the same gear range too, it's plenty. There are also more lightweight cassette offerings now than just SRAM though, Hope is around @$240-250 and 268g, which isn't horrible cost to weight, there's also E13 and even a couple more now. The other thing is that the XD and the Hope driver get around the problem of the cassette scoring, which is due to shimano using loose-gears on their driver (gears 1, 2, 3 and 4, particularly 3 and 4 because they are as narrow as the teeth. Here's a Hope cassette with a shimano driver that I rode just 6 times (with XT cassette): 014469c2e0b639142c39058ca40f78380f1a175fdf.jpg

    So I believe SRAM is kicking shimano's rear end pretty badly when it comes to drivetrains. Not only do you not have this issue with the SRAM/Hope drivers, you get a lighter cassette too. I thought I'd try the Shimano drivetrain to see if it was worth it, but unlike my shimano brakes, hubs and chains, there seem to be hands-down better choices for drivetrain these days.
     
  15. Flo33

    Flo33 Monkey

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    True that, scoring sucks big time. On one of my wheelsets i have a Novatec 772 hub with their Anti Bite Guard freewheel, which is a clever solution IMHO. The Crossmax rear wheel has a steel freewheel body, not the lightest option though.

    Maybe I'll give the Hope thing a try.
     
  16. Electric_City

    Electric_City The orangutans are loose!

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    A heads up here- Not all Sram 11 speed cassettes need the XD Driver.


    My Spartan came with a typical splined cassette and its the GX 11 speed one. I think you only have to go that route to accommodate the 9 tooth cog. My cassette is 11-42t.
     
    #16 -   Mar 29, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017
  17. canadmos

    canadmos Mater Slayer

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    Veeery interesting. How many loose cogs are there on that?
     
  18. Electric_City

    Electric_City The orangutans are loose!

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    8 unfortunately
     
  19. slyfink

    slyfink Turbo Monkey

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    so after doing the math, and discovering that the 10-speed shimano cassettes are 100g lighter than their 11-speed brethren, I think I'm going to say fuck it. the XD driver for my King hub is nearly $300, $400 for the cassette, and then a shifter and derailleur on top of that, to save more or less $80g is ludicrous imo. I think I'll stick with 11-36 Shimano cassettes, and a 40 or 42t cog.

    However... can you use an 11sp derailleur (shimano, thinking the m8000) with a 10-sp shifter and 10sp cassette? My guess would be yes, the derailleur is "dumb", it's the shifter that does the work, and all you have to do is set the limit screws correctly. Yes?
     
  20. canadmos

    canadmos Mater Slayer

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    Unless the cable pull length lever arm magic magnets thingy is different...

    Though from a quick google and sifting, it might work?

    http://forums.mtbr.com/drivetrain-s...-derailleur-work-10-speed-shifter-988005.html

    http://blog.artscyclery.com/science...ce-behind-the-magic-drivetrain-compatibility/
     
  21. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    can get x01 level cassette for 299, same weight as xx1, but damn that's one expensive driver. What condition is your driver in meow?
     
  22. dustyyoungblood

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    As a long long time Shimano XT/XTR cassette fan, I switched to E-13 9-44 for my new bike.
    The e-13 is soooooo good. even through muck and sand and clay and water and dust.

    Pair it with a KMC DLC chain and you are butter
     
  23. StiHacka

    StiHacka Compensating for something

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    You run that with XD driver and Shimano 11sp RD/shifter, or full SRAM setup?
     
  24. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    The point I was getting to was that if your CK driver is all mangled anyway (because they are made of cheese), you might as well get a new XD driver. In the future, it won't get mangled anyway due to the better interface.
     
  25. slyfink

    slyfink Turbo Monkey

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    My driver is new from early last fall. I should get a couple more seasons out of it. Should've got the xd driver last year (D'oh!). Another reason I hesitate is that it's a 142 hub. I can only think of two bikes (Banshee and Transition) I would like to own that still have a 142 rear axle spacing. And how long are they going to stick to their guns?! I'm not ready for a new bike just yet, it's going to have to wait a while longer.

    @Jm_ , the XO1 is $350 Cdn, and when you factor in taxes, it's $395.50 :monkey:
     
  26. dustyyoungblood

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    Yes XD driver(on a hope hub but that does not matter)
    I actually use the BOX derailleur and 11 speed BOX shifter (so fucking good!!!!!!)
     
  27. slyfink

    slyfink Turbo Monkey

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    Why the DLC chain? what's the advantage?
     
  28. dustyyoungblood

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    Diamond Like Coating is not just cleaver marketing lingo, it's a real nanocomposite coating that is very high hardness, low friction, high abrasion resistance. I run through lots of sand, water and clay muck this season and the chain looks brand new.

    Plus amazon has them like 1/2 off most the time. Still a bargain at $98 for wear resistance/perfect shifting.
     
  29. dustyyoungblood

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    BTW, BOX has am 11-46 shimano hub cassette for $100.
     
  30. slimshady

    slimshady Turbo Monkey

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  31. slyfink

    slyfink Turbo Monkey

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  32. slimshady

    slimshady Turbo Monkey

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    I know, but SunRace makes the Box cassettes, that's what I was trying to show here.

    To be fair, I bent one tooth of the 46t cog -the one made of "7075AL"- last Sunday, thanks to a combination of my hackyness and being toasted, at the end of the ride.


    I made it straight again with a crescent wrench, but I'll be keeping my eyes on that cog just to be on the safe side.
     
  33. dustyyoungblood

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    • Funny Funny x 1
  34. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    Haha. No.
     
  35. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    $98... for a chain? :think:
     
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  36. StiHacka

    StiHacka Compensating for something

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    Diamond coated chain, dude, DIAMONDS!
     
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  37. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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  38. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    No, diamond-like coated.
     
  39. slimshady

    slimshady Turbo Monkey

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    Sooo... zirconium-coated chain?
     
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  40. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    It's nano, man. NANO-coated.