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Reverse Gear Snobbery?

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
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So I was in Waynesboro, VA the other weekend visiting my folks for the 3day. We were out looking for cigars and we passed by a cycle-recycle bike shop. We stopped by to check it out, and after looking over the parts and being relatively unimpressed with most of their prices, I asked the guy for some 8 speed parts, since I figured they might have some cheap old stock that they'd like to get rid of. He refers me to this other guy who runs the inventory, and he asks me what I'm looking for. I reply "Chain, cassette, and shifter, XT or higher". He proceeds to go on a rant about how #1, Any derailleur will shift any speed setup, and #2, it doesn't matter what level you buy, it's all the same.

Out of pleasantry I went to look at what he had, but I wasn't buying it. I don't go into shops to be berated for my choices. I didn't ask for a friggin' derailleur and if I wanted cheap chrome steel and plastic spacers, I'd have asked for it. I'm sorry, but there's a pretty big difference between dura-ace quality and huffy quality...and I'm not putting the latter on a $4000 DH bike.

Sorry for the rant, but I couldn't believe that the guy was belittling me for wanting decent parts on my bike. I understand that there's not a huge difference between XT and XTR level parts sometimes, but there's a giant leap between XTR and sub-alivio stuff.
 

mobius

Turbo Monkey
Jan 25, 2003
2,160
0
Around DC
Those guys are crazy anyway. I remember all of them coming to Wintergreen back in the day and i swear the cast of deliverance had just arrived.
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
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Bullsh*t there isn't a difference between XTR and Alivio.

Whoever said that or thinks that, go to your best bike, the one you depended on and ride the most, and replace your XTR or X.0 with an Alivio or an SX.4 derailleur.

In the stand it will work great, and on your first ride, spectacular.

Keep riding on it for a year. Then when the poor machining and inferior materials start screwing up, then you realize the difference between good and bad parts.
 
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jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
32,034
5,368
Portland, OR
For some people, it doesn't make sense because they don't notice a difference. In the past I have run Deore for most everything because I tend to break stuff before it wears out. I have never run XTR, but I have had some LX/XT that worked quite well.

When I upgraded my DH rig from X7 (SRAM was stock, I doubt I will ever use Shimano again) to X0 shifter and X9 dérailleur, I was personally blown away at the difference. I wouldn't run the X0 dérailleur because they seem to break off in crashes easier, but the shifter made a huge improvement. I got it for $100 of ebay and had a hard time justifying the price until I rode it.
 

BurlyShirley

Rex Grossman Will Rise Again
Jul 4, 2002
19,185
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TN
IMO, XTR and Alivio.... sure there's a noticable difference.

XTR and LX or even Deore... meh. If anything Id say the XTR is more prone to explosion. But if buying XTR makes you feel faster, then by all means, go for it.

I actually have an XTR der. on my MTB, but I bought it used and cheap right off RM's classifieds.
 

sanjuro

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Sep 13, 2004
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P.S., I can't tell the difference between XTR and XT. I did smoke a 105 drivetrain in a season, but I am still using my 2003 Dura-Ace stuff.
 

BurlyShirley

Rex Grossman Will Rise Again
Jul 4, 2002
19,185
17
TN
P.S., I can't tell the difference between XTR and XT. I did smoke a 105 drivetrain in a season, but I am still using my 2003 Dura-Ace stuff.
I broke new XT der. the first day I bought it, but ran an LX for 3 seasons once.
 

HAB

Chelsea from Seattle
Apr 28, 2007
11,084
1,380
Seattle
I broke new XT der. the first day I bought it, but ran an LX for 3 seasons once.
And I blew up a Deore front derailleur in a week. I've never broken another FD, high or low end. Does that mean anything? Nope. I just got unlucky, and happened to be running a Deore when it happened.


I think shifters make a bigger difference than derailleurs. Lower end stuff starts to feel/work like crap after a season or so. My X.0 triggers are flawless. No way in hell I'm spending $150 for a rear derailleur though. X.9 for me.
 

BurlyShirley

Rex Grossman Will Rise Again
Jul 4, 2002
19,185
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TN
Yeah, I agree shifters are probably a bigger part of the equation. I have these Saint dual controls that feel wonderful on my MTB.
 

sanjuro

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I broke new XT der. the first day I bought it, but ran an LX for 3 seasons once.
LX to XTR is closer in quality, and I wouldn't sweat running an LX for a while.

As for shifters, the construction of the shifters is vastly different between the lower and upper models, and I try to run XTR shifters - XT deraillerus on my bikes.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
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see that's what I thought. I see little reason to go for an xtr chain and cassette over an XT, but for shifters the difference in feel can be huge. cassette parts are mostly about weight...same with chains.

The guy handed me this POS cassette with plastic spacers and the cheapest feeling steel rings...and then a dura ace with finely machined steel and smooth ramps and speed holes...and told me they were the same.
 

tmx

aka chromegoddess
Mar 16, 2003
1,683
2
Portland
Sammich, that shop guy was sent to you by me on behalf of the great humor you found in making fun of how someone looked after a ride. At least he had the nalgas to do it to your face.

Our perspective is as varied as our fingerprints. One man's trash is another man's treasure. Suck it up princess. etc etc etc. Yeehaw! You can neg rep me back now. :cheers:
 

sanjuro

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Sep 13, 2004
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see that's what I thought. I see little reason to go for an xtr chain and cassette over an XT, but for shifters the difference in feel can be huge. cassette parts are mostly about weight...same with chains.

The guy handed me this POS cassette with plastic spacers and the cheapest feeling steel rings...and then a dura ace with finely machined steel and smooth ramps and speed holes...and told me they were the same.
Then you tell this guy: that's why you work on Huffys and 20 year old POS, and I ride a Bike X. You can't tell the difference, but I can.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
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Sammich, that shop guy was sent to you by me on behalf of the great humor you found in making fun of how someone looked after a ride.
I'd make fun of her eyebrows whether she was riding or not. It wasn't the helmet that plucked her eyebrows that way.

I credit the guy for what he was saying...the average rider can't tell the difference and it's more important to ride than to talk about riding, but a serious rider could probably tell the difference in drivetrains just by feel.
 

HAB

Chelsea from Seattle
Apr 28, 2007
11,084
1,380
Seattle
I thought this thread would be about Rapid Rise. Rapid Rise sucks and should be punched in the mouth.
:stupid:


The worst is that one of the bikes we sell at the shop sometimes comes with a rapid rise derailleur, and sometimes dosn't. It's a cheap flat bar road bike, so many of the people who come to try one don't know anything about bikes, and need an explanation of the shifting. Since most of the bikes come with a high normal derailleur, I ususally forget to check if it's one of the oddballs with rapid rise, and occasionally confuse the crap out of someone. Even worse is when they come up and ride one one day with a high normal derailleur, and the next day end up one with with rapid rise. :disgust1:
 

BurlyShirley

Rex Grossman Will Rise Again
Jul 4, 2002
19,185
17
TN
The XTR der. I previously mentioned is a rapid rise, and I find that it functions just fine. Took a bit to learn to intuitively shift and tune it, but I really like the thing. Makes shifting the front and rear der. the same actions.
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
53,167
5,348
In a van.... down by the river
The XTR der. I previously mentioned is a rapid rise, and I find that it functions just fine. Took a bit to learn to intuitively shift and tune it, but I really like the thing. Makes shifting the front and rear der. the same actions.
My wife has RR on her Trance and likes it just fine...

It f**ks me up when I ride her bike... at least for a couple minutes. :D
 

I Are Baboon

Run, Forrest, Run!
Aug 6, 2001
30,380
3,589
MTB New England
IMO, rapid rise isn't well suited for the constant short, steep climbs in New England. I used a rapid rise rear derailleur for a couple of months before abandoning it. Then again, my bike skills are sketchy at best.
 

HAB

Chelsea from Seattle
Apr 28, 2007
11,084
1,380
Seattle
The XTR der. I previously mentioned is a rapid rise, and I find that it functions just fine. Took a bit to learn to intuitively shift and tune it, but I really like the thing. Makes shifting the front and rear der. the same actions.
My complaint is that I sometimes want to downshift a bunch of times quickly, but rarely want to do the same with upshifts. Rapid rise seems to have a hard time doing this. It also irritates me, since through working in a shop for years, I've gotten pretty much automatic about adjusting derailleurs. I've got a process I go through, and I don't really think about it at all. When I run into a rapid rise derailleur, it's a PITA because I have to think about what I'm doing, and I'm so used to not thinking about derailleur adjustments that I get confused.
 

BurlyShirley

Rex Grossman Will Rise Again
Jul 4, 2002
19,185
17
TN
I freely admit that before I'd owned a rapid rise, the concept of using one seemed foreign and difficult, so I fully understand why people dont like to use them or deal with one. But since I happened to have one,and now that I've gotten used to using it, normal derailleurs seem backward and inefficient to me. I figure downshifting should be the easier of the two options because consequences would be worse to not downshift in time than to not up shift, but Im no great cyclist or anything. I bought a second rapid rise der. (an LX) to have as a backup becuase I like using it.
My shifters (saint dual control) don't have a gear index, so it doesnt even look stupid or backward on the dial.
 

thebornotaku

Monkey
May 19, 2008
359
0
Northern Bay Area
I've got an Alivio even and I've had to have my shifters tuned five times in the four months I've owned the bike. It rides brilliantly for a week or so until it starts to wear and come loose.

Oh, and my TruVativ Blaze crank bolts keep backing out.


How much is a good XTR set, new? I'll probably end up looking into that. Can it handle a 330lb rider for lots of abuse?
 

BurlyShirley

Rex Grossman Will Rise Again
Jul 4, 2002
19,185
17
TN
I would say the XTR stuff is made for weight savings, no weight bearing, so maybe some Saints or Hones would fit the bill? No sense in shaving grams when you're 330.
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
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I've got an Alivio even and I've had to have my shifters tuned five times in the four months I've owned the bike. It rides brilliantly for a week or so until it starts to wear and come loose.

Oh, and my TruVativ Blaze crank bolts keep backing out.


How much is a good XTR set, new? I'll probably end up looking into that. Can it handle a 330lb rider for lots of abuse?
Frequent adjustment can happen with any drivetrain. It really is more of an issue with cables and housing.

I would the shop remove the endcaps from the housing and check if the outer plastic housing has pulled back from the inner metal housing. If the inner metal housing is exposed, then you will have poor shifting. You just clip the end off to fix this.

As for running XTR, I can't recommend it for you. While the shifting performance and weight is superior, durability has to be critical for big guys.

I would think about Hone or Saint for cranksets because they are much stronger and you will notice the difference in stiffness. Derailleurs and shifters you can run XTR since they are not weight bearing pieces, but I would avoid XTR cassettes because they use lightweight cogs and carriers.

Brakes you could run XTR, but why spend big $$$$ to save 20 grams?
 

thebornotaku

Monkey
May 19, 2008
359
0
Northern Bay Area
That's what I figured with the cranks, and I was going to look into Saints anyways. I just wanted to know what other options are out there.

As far as the casettes go: no. I have Alivio casettes right now and teeth STILL break on them.

As far as brakes go: I wasn't going to change my brakes atm. My Tektro Io Mech brakes work more than good enough, and new discs/pads are cheap.



Really, what I need to do, is look into a beefier frame with full susp. Oh, and a more rigid seat. My current seat is bowing and it's really uncomfortable. =/

But riding my Giant Rincon Hardtail is a PITA if I'm honest. It's a good bike for A to B riding (if there's some rocks or mud in between ;) ), but I like to ride hard and I really am feeling the limitations. Been looking at getting a Kona Dawg or Stinky, but hodamn, they cost more than my car and I only have $114 or so...

time to get a job, I guess.

Sorry for the thread derailment (lol dérailleurs).
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
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Except for the cranks, I would focus around XT components. I like that stuff the best from all eras (XT has 2 updates in the last 5 years).

Even the cranks would work but I would get a DH crankset to be safe.

And replace that saddle! Steel rails only!
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,967
35





Shifting performance is exactly how I like it - it doesn't.
:D