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EDITORIAL

XTR vs. Deore - Can you tell the Difference?

Words Cam McRae
Photos Deniz Merdano (unless noted)
Date Oct 6, 2021
Reading time

The high level of praise I originally heaped on Shimano's most recent update to XTR wasn't surprising considering the. background. As part of the lead up to the release of XTR M9100, I had the pleasure of being wined, dined and toured around Osaka courtesy of Shimano. It was impossible not to be impressed with the operation, particularly Shimano's "Intelligent Plant," featuring some of the most advanced and futuristic facilities you could imagine, complete with automated drone trolleys to deliver raw materials to various locations around the factory for machining or forging. We also learned of the history of Sakai, home of the Intelligent Plant and the birthplace of Shimano's founder, Shozaburo Shimano, where metallurgy has been practiced since the 5th century AD. It's an impressive resume.

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TBH I wasn't particularly excited about the brake and drivetrain spec of the Kona Honzo ESD... until I started riding it.

But the products' solid impression outlived the glow of excellent sake and sushi and M9100 was a much needed home run for Shimano. The M9120 dual piston brakes are excellent. The lever action is both light and positive, power is plentiful, and modulation is superb. The wandering bite point, while not entirely eliminated, has been reduced to the point that it no longer bothers me at all, and reliability has been flawless.

The real highlight however, is the drivetrain. The action at the lever is incredibly precise and, like the brakes, light and smooth, but it's what chain does that seems magical. The 'feature' that is new to XTR M9100 was actually Hyperglide + but that's not where things go all David Blaine. The original Hyperglide system used ramps to ease the chains ascent up the cassette, from smaller cogs to larger, but the + adds the opposite function, to make the shift to smaller cogs more seamless and smooth. This works pretty well, but it pales in terms of any real world performance benefit when compared to how well XTR moves the chain to larger cogs under power. It actually changed the way I ride and enabled me to more often be in the right gear, or to save myself if I got caught in the wrong cog because of a sneaky uphill. To me it feels revolutionary. High fives all around.

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It's pretty clear which one of these is prettier to look at.

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The difference in performance is surprisingly more difficult to discern. Photo - Sterling Lorence

But then Shimano did what it does best and began to trickle these new features down to lower priced groups, first to XT and then SLX, and eventually to Deore, a full three steps below XTR. I'd had some opportunities to fondle Deore (aka M6100) components but my opportunity for a real world bashing came when I put my hand up to test Kona's Honzo ESD - a modern geo steel hardtail that I became quite enamoured with. I wondered about the M6100 components because this seemed like such a special machine; would Deore level bits be able to match the performance of this slim-tubed thoroughbred?

Alas I needn't have worried. I got the bike in over its head, and mine, on several occasions, and the Deore brakes were there to save my ass. I wasn't able to adjust the lever position without tools, but as it turns out, that didn't matter. They looked very much like their more expensive counterparts, particularly the levers, and the performance was remarkably similar as well. At that point I was comparing Deore brakes on a hardtail to XTR brakes on a modern enduro sled, so the speeds and descent durations were more modest, but I couldn't help but wonder how they would compare on the same bike.

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One of these things is quite a lot like the other. An advantage of XT and XTR over SLX and Deore is that the clutch can be adjust easily with a 2mm hex wrench with the upper groups while a cover needs to be removed to access the adjustment on the lower two. Photo - Sterling Lorence

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The appearance and material quality on the Deore is quite remarkable considering the price difference.

The Deore shifting also impressed me much more than I expected and the ease with which the chain climbed up to larger cogs, all the way to the 51 continued, still felt like wizardry. At the time I didn't think it wasn't quite as smooth and the lever seemed slightly less positive, but it was damned close. Far too close considering the price difference.

As I was moving components around from one bike to another, I saw an opportunity to adorn the Honzo ESD with componentry that I felt better matched her pedigree. I moved the Deore bits (and the XT shifter) to my wife's bike, knowing they would perform much better than what she was coming off, and strapped the XTR components onto the Honzo.

And then I kind of forgot about the swap. I'd made some other changes that were noticeable, like a couple of different forks and different pairs of wheels, but I literally forgot that I'd changed the brakes and drivetrain. Failing to notice a different pair of cranks is understandable, but brakes... and running gear? Changing brakes on their own can mess up your next few rides as you grow accustomed to the differences in lever feel, power, pad contact, and modulation, but I didn't notice anything. And to be truthful, I wasn't very happy about it. How could it be that all that extra engineering, the higher quality materials, the more advanced production equipment, and all that extra cash, failed to make any significant difference I could notice?

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This was one of those times when I wouldn't have been able to notice any difference at all.

Part of the issue was that Kona hacked the system a little bit by replacing one part that may have stood out; the shift lever. Kona was astute enough to spec. an XT 12x shifter to pair with the Deore derailleur, which preserves the dual release shifter function that disappears below that level.

After that I resolved to pay attention, (which is sort of my job) to notice every shift and each panic stop and slimy green rock face I attempted to feather my XTR brakes down. And they worked stunningly well. In fact they worked every bit as well as their predecessors, even when I was hyper aware.

If I dug into the finer bits, there were a few small things. The XTR brake lever action was lighter and little more precise feeling, but the pad contact actually felt a little more positive on the M6120 brakes, although that is more of a parking lot benefit in my estimation.

Again I preferred the lever feel of the XTR shifter, which is lighter and more precise than the XT, but there is less difference than that in terms of shifting performance. The Deore (w/XT shifter) drivetrain is very good indeed, and it shifts almost as well under load, and almost as smoothly. Before I started paying close attention, I genuinely wasn't alerted to the fact that I'd supposedly gone up three quality levels.

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If weight is important to you, it's easier to see the value in Shimano's higher-priced groups. Image courtesy - World Wide Cyclery

Of course there are some weight differences. Deore cassettes - the 10-51 version, weigh a rather portly 598 grams vs. 367 for XTR. That's half a pound. I didn't notice that either, but I also didn't expect to. Prices for those components differ vastly however. In fact it's pretty shocking when you consider how close the performance is. XTR brakes and drivetrain, without cranks, will punish you for about 1675 USD at full bike shop retail, while the Deore equivalent is an astounding 602. USD. If you add the price jump for the XT shifter you're looking at 635 USD.

For me the take home isn't that XTR isn't an impressive and high performing achievement in engineering and manufacturing. Instead the lesson is that even when you bump the performance of Shimano brakes and drivetrains down three notches, it retains world class performance.

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Comments

Bikeryder85
+5 Mark trailrange7 Velocipedestrian mrbrett Marc Fenigstein
Bikeryder85  - Oct. 6, 2021, 3:43 a.m.

This is where Shimano always seems to win... SRAM falls off considerably as you move down price wise, at least IMO. I love the shifter feel of SRAM, but will not pay for top level...I am eager to see what SRAM will do to answer this group though...

Reply

tehllama42
+3 Vik Banerjee Dogl0rd Mark
Tehllama42  - Oct. 6, 2021, 4:19 a.m.

GX is still impressive... but the existence of SLX/Deore is really what takes the shine off that.

Reply

FlipFantasia
0 4Runner1 mrbrett Dogl0rd trailrange7
Todd Hellinga  - Oct. 6, 2021, 7:48 a.m.

GX isn't that good, it's crisp for a couple months and then the slop in the derailleur comes on strong and results in pretty sub par performance very quickly.

Reply

JVP
+10 Todd Hellinga Dan Conant Cam McRae Mark Pete Roggeman Vincent Edwards Speeder1 cornedbeef Marc Fenigstein Tjaard Breeuwer
JVP  - Oct. 6, 2021, 10:30 a.m.

This is true. But buy the $30 X01 b-bolt when your GX is new, and it'll go the distance. And then keep that b-bolt for future GX derailleurs. Or find a friend who nuked their X01 and poach their bolt.

The GX is metal-on-metal at that joint, and it wears down the actual derailleur body. The X01/XX1 version has a nylon sleeve on the bolt, and is a direct replacement.

Reply

FlipFantasia
+1 YDiv
Todd Hellinga  - Oct. 6, 2021, 10:43 a.m.

good tip for the future if I ever find myself with a GX again, but I generally choose to run Shimano as replacements for sram since for me it's been way better performance, at a way better price point.

Reply

YDiv
0
YDiv  - Oct. 6, 2021, 2:01 p.m.

Agreed. Deore 12spd derailleur is much cheaper to replace and the clutch can be tuned with wear. And plenty of people have run it with Eagle drivetrains with no problem.

I'm sure there's probably some small issues, but the compatibility seems good enough that it's hard to notice at all.

cam@nsmb.com
+1 Marc Fenigstein
Cam McRae  - Oct. 6, 2021, 10:46 a.m.

Excellent tip JVP. That is another differentiator; SRAM seems vastly better with small parts availability.

Reply

ohio
0
Marc Fenigstein  - Oct. 12, 2021, 2:19 p.m.

Yeah, this. I'm running Shimano right now bc of HG+, but I really appreciate that SRAM makes their stuff rebuildable, and encourages it with the small parts distributed directly. It's economical, environmental, and just a better philosophy.

Vikb
+3 finbarr Nologo Sean Chee
Vik Banerjee  - Oct. 6, 2021, 6:27 a.m.

I buy Shimano simply because of SRAM's distributor system. It doesn't matter how good their stuff is if I can't get it from the vendors I want to buy from because I live in Canada. I am not horribly picky about shifting and braking [wandering bite point aside] so at the end of the day I don't care what I hang on my bike as long as it's available for purchase, it works and the price isn't crazy.

Reply

tehllama42
+3 Dan Conant Mark Velocipedestrian
Tehllama42  - Oct. 6, 2021, 4:18 a.m.

For me, the takeaway is that you can cost min/max and still be a weight weenie with this and do quite well.  XT Shifter, SLX Crankset, and XT (or e13) cassette and you can knock back half of the weight delta while only spending a C-note more.  Spending the remainder keeping the rest of the bike ready to ride is going to make a far larger difference in my limited ability to function as a passable meat servo power source, so this type of article really tells me that there's some brilliance to be achieved on the part of product managers.

Reply

fartymarty
+1 rolly
fartymarty  - Oct. 6, 2021, 4:25 a.m.

Cam, how long did you run each drivetrain?  I wonder if Deores shifting prrformance degrades with time quicker than XTR.  

I ran a XTR rear mech many moons ago (rapid rise days) and it never had any lateral slop after many years of abuse.

Reply

sanesh-iyer
+5 Metacomet Nologo JVP YDiv Pete Roggeman
Sanesh Iyer  - Oct. 6, 2021, 6:10 a.m.

That's been my experience (personal and in shops), Deore and SLX durability is lower. Not enough that I'd care to prematurely upgrade, but when it broke I would.  Durability really is min/maxxed with XT. I can't stand bushings on my derailleur pulleys. 

My magic combo is XT everywhere, XTR or XX1 chain, Deore cassette. I also can't stand loosing a cassette to a few worn aluminum cogs and can't spring for Titanium. I have two 12spd bikes with that setup (and turbine cranks and blackspire rings... When it works it works)

Reply

YDiv
0
YDiv  - Oct. 6, 2021, 2:08 p.m.

Interesting choice, I've heard of a few people running XX1 chains in place of XTR. Is this mainly from a durability standpoint? Curious to know how the shift quality compares. Seems like you would lose the benefits of Hyperglide+ (ie shift under load).

Reply

Jenkins5
0
Jenkins5  - Oct. 12, 2021, 9:10 p.m.

I’m with you on XT everywhere, but I’m sold on pairing with an e13 Helix cassette. Saves a half pound over Deore and can change just the 2 alu big cogs when they wear out. Win win….

Reply

tehllama42
0
Tehllama42  - Oct. 13, 2021, 5:51 a.m.

Agreed - as much as I hear amazing things about shifting performance on Shimano cassettes, the honest answer is that I spend around a third of my time in the extreme two gears, because having that much range is just massive, more so than most any other performance aspect of the drivetrain... the fact that it's half a pound lighter is similarly mindblowing, and I've actually gotten pretty excellent lifetime out of my aluminium big cogs.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - Oct. 6, 2021, 10:01 a.m.

That is indeed the big question FM. SRAM’s upper level derailleurs continue to perform well long into their service life and they can take a hit like no changer I’ve used before. The XTR gear has seen quite a lot of action but the Deore stuff much less. My wife rides a lot so her bike will be a good crucible for that. So far so good though.

Another thing to add is that XT derailleurs in particular seem prone to exploding. We’ve had several go on test bikes. If you are a derailleur smasher that’s an area where in my experience SRAM can’t be beat.

Reply

fartymarty
+1 papa44
fartymarty  - Oct. 6, 2021, 10:58 a.m.

I'm stuck on 10 speed Zee / Saint* mechs / 11-42 cassettes / XT shifter but one day I may need to upgrade to 12 speed.  

As such looking forward to hearing how Deore performs long term.

* can certainly take a beating and are nice and tucked away.

Reply

xy9ine
+1 Karl Fitzpatrick
Perry Schebel  - Oct. 6, 2021, 9:34 p.m.

i love those wee zees. wonder if they work 11 speed? one of those with a compact 9-36 would be the bees knees.

Reply

GiveitsomeWelly
0
Karl Fitzpatrick  - Oct. 7, 2021, 10:50 p.m.

I've got one of them in my parts bin as I want sure if it'd cope with an 11-42... if so, that's me. 

The long m6000 deore derailleur gives me the willys. Even though I haven't had an issue with it in the last two years 👍🏼

Reply

velocipedestrian
0
Velocipedestrian  - Oct. 8, 2021, 3:19 a.m.

If it won't deal with the 42t on your frame, a Wolftooth Goatlink will make it happy.

Reply

rolly
0
rolly  - Oct. 8, 2021, 11:08 a.m.

Just sold my 2005 Rocky ETSX-70 with the original XTR rapid-rise derailleur on it. That had countless hours of ride time on it, including Shore lines.  That Rapid Rise still shifted beautifully.  Shifting up (big rings) has never been as good until this iteration of XTR.

Reply

Mbcracken
+3 Metacomet Cam McRae Pete Roggeman
Mbcracken  - Oct. 6, 2021, 6:15 a.m.

I have had the pleasure of running 12 speed XTR & XT for a little bit too.  For me, the most noticeable improvement area is to run an XTR chain on which ever Shimano drivetrain bits you have loaded on the bike.  That chain really is the highlight of the improved shifting.  Plus, it tends to last longer for me.

Reply

mammal
+1 Mbcracken
Mammal  - Oct. 6, 2021, 12:50 p.m.

Interested if you've run a new 12spd SLX or Deore chain in comparison. They're all specifically made for Hyperglide+.

Reply

Mbcracken
0
Mbcracken  - Oct. 6, 2021, 1:25 p.m.

Have only had a chance to compare XTR & XT 12 speed chains.  In the past though, I have also run Shimano XTR 11 & 10 speed chains and they seem to last a tad longer plus shift a bit better when dirty too.

Reply

4Runner1
+3 Nologo Mammal Sean Chee
4Runner1  - Oct. 6, 2021, 8:42 a.m.

I just spent two years on a full X01 setup with Code RSC. While the brakes were good (still not enough power) I was never too impressed with the drivetrain.

I’m a few months in on SLX and believe SRAM should be embarrassed. The shift quality is noticeably better with the SLX. Also, after a brief adjustment to the SLX brakes, I also prefer them to the Codes. They are certainly more on/off than the Codes, but the Shimano’s power is awesome.

No more $$ drivetrains for me. I will be adding that XT shifter soon, though.

Reply

Bad-Sean
0
Sean Chee  - Oct. 7, 2021, 7:19 a.m.

Embarrassed is right. My newest bike (about a year old) came with xo1. I tried for about a month to tweak it until I gave up and went with deore mech and shifter (later xtr) that out of the box worked impeccably. I was honestly shocked that new xo1 was so poor in comparison to well used slx on one of my bikes and really worn out xtr on the other.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - Oct. 7, 2021, 11:03 a.m.

Sean, do you have SRAM's b-tension tool? The new one is easiest to use but both work. Without nailing b-tension an XO1 is not going to work well. Even having it slightly out is enough to mess up your shifting significantly. Shimano is certainly much easier to set up and more able to continue shifting well after being banged or when attached to a bent hanger.

Reply

Bad-Sean
+1 Cam McRae
Sean Chee  - Oct. 8, 2021, 6:59 a.m.

My LBS used it when I gave them a chance with the bike. It helped but I just wasn’t happy. I cut my losses and sold the stuff before I put too much wear on it.

Reply

Bad-Sean
0
Sean Chee  - Oct. 7, 2021, 7:19 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

khai
+1 Cam McRae
khai  - Oct. 6, 2021, 9:14 a.m.

Deore drivetrain with an XT shifter is my go-to build.  I generally run Magura MT5s but I've got Deore 4pot brakes on my DH bike due to internal cable routing stupidity and they work really well.  I was surprised at how much I liked them.

Reply

dbozman
+1 Cam McRae
dbozman  - Oct. 6, 2021, 10:49 a.m.

I’m fascinated by user experiences. Clearly a lot of riders like new Shimano stuff. My experience is distinctly opposite. Of the bikes I’ve owned this year, one was full XT 12-speed and one was full SLX. Surprisingly for someone who prefers Magura, both brake sets performed much better than previous Shimano brakes.

For me, the drivetrains were OK. SLX even more so when upgraded to an XT shifter. I wouldn’t immediately pull it off, but I definitely don’t see a performance advantage over Eagle. I have experienced no performance degradation with any SRAM drivetrain GX level or higher and my experience is they Eagle mechs take rock strikes much better than Shimano ( an issue in Phoenix). And I strongly prefer the solid shifting action vs Shimano’s more, uh, delicate approach.

Reply

khai
0
khai  - Oct. 6, 2021, 11:08 a.m.

To be fair, my limited experience with SRAM drivetrains (ancient GripShift notwithstanding) comes from demo bikes several years ago where I wasn't exactly impressed with GX.  AXS seems cool and all, but $$$.  I did  however, just recently go to an XD driver & SunRace cassette on my 11spd FS bike as I had cut some pretty deep notches in the oe HG carrier.  I've been told that the XD design is far superior in that regard.  We'll see how it holds up over time.

Reply

Speeder1
+2 Mbcracken Pete Roggeman
Speeder1  - Oct. 6, 2021, 12:44 p.m.

Fun read. 

For decades whenever anyone asked me any question about drivetrain recs, I said you only need to know 3 letters, XTR. But I am getting old, and that was a while back. 

Having been on Eagle for years, I am astounded by the life of the XO chain, cassette, and shifter. The derailleurs get hammered after a while and oval frotn rings seem to hasten the wear on the parallelogram pivots and clutch. So I now just buy a GX rear derailleur every season or season and a half, pair that with a fresh Shimano SP41 cable and housing, and the setup seems to shift perfectly again. This is my third season on the cassette! I thought for sure it wouldn't last this season, but it keeps on shifting well. There is visable wear on the big alum 50t, but less so elsewhere and it doesn't seem to affect performance. 

I looked hard at the new XTR 12 speed when it came out. I wanted it. But I couldn't find sufficient fault with the XO Eagle stuff as it just keeps working well. Weight does matter to me as I ride a lot of high country terrain (10-13000' elevation) and the XO stuff is pretty light compared to XT and very close to XTR. 

Can anyone report in on the lifespan of XT or XTR? Can you get 2-3 seasons out of a cassette, for example?

Reply

ackshunW
+1 Speeder1
ackshunW  - Oct. 6, 2021, 1:16 p.m.

As an armchair engineer, I have to point out that mass does not change at elevation vs those of us stuck closer to sea level... ;)

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+2 Speeder1 Mbcracken
Pete Roggeman  - Oct. 6, 2021, 3:40 p.m.

That's no consolation when you are struggling up high and taste metal on your tongue!

Reply

Mbcracken
+1 Speeder1
Mbcracken  - Oct. 6, 2021, 1:33 p.m.

I have XTR 12 speed on my Tallboy3 with just over 2000 miles on this drivetrain.  This has been two winters and two summers of PNW (Seattle) riding too.  I also run the Silca wax chain lube which does a great job of keeping crap out of the rollers on chains to help them last longer.

I was like you too, I thought my drivetrain would have bit the dust by this point but it only measures out .5 on Park chain checker (long one) and shifting is still flawless.

Reply

IslandLife
+1 Vik Banerjee
IslandLife  - Oct. 6, 2021, 1:32 p.m.

I'd be interested to here a long term drivetrain durability comparison, not just between XT, SLX and Deore (don't think there's much to be gained from XTR for the price) but also against and between NX/GX/X0 (again, not enough gain from what you spend on XX1... and SX isn't worth talking about is it?).

So far I've only been able to run SRAM (NX, GX and X0) for long periods.  NX = heavy... but actually just fine once you sort the B-bolt issues (either with a X0 or XX1 B-bolt or even just a good wavy washer... fixes it up nicely), GX - lighter, and seems to run forever, works great.  X0 - seems to run even longer than forever... is even lighter and works a tiny bit better than GX, but is it worth the hefty price bump from GX??  I think that entirely depends on what you do with your bike.  Keep if for at least 3+ years of heavy use?  Then X0 is might be worth the durability gains if budget allows.  Do you sell your bike after a year or two?  Then probably best to stick with GX (or even NX is you care little about weight + a b-bolt) I'd say... maybe mix in the X0 shifter.  

I also find so many anecdotal comments that praise a component for no other reason than that's what came on their bike or what they paid for and now feel they have to justify it's performance to make them selves feel good.  Thank you for articles like this... love it!

Reply

cornedbeef
0
cornedbeef  - Oct. 6, 2021, 1:47 p.m.

I enjoy the best of both worlds, aka the XTR brake lever with the Deore caliper for the positive (stiffer?) pad contact feeling and silky lever feel.

The XTR derailleur is also quite nice as you can straighten the aluminum inner plate while the outer carbon derailleur cage plate stays straight if you get into an accident. This would only work as long the threaded inserts for the pulley wheels are still bonded in.

The XT shifter has a really precise, but feels too stiff in the shifter stroke. When mine craps out, I'll go for the XTR shifter.

Reply

06hokie
0
06hokie  - Oct. 6, 2021, 4:54 p.m.

I believe the following to be the ideal Shimano 12 speed min/max optimized setup:

SLX crank arms + aftermarket oval ring

XTR shifter and XTR chain

XT cassette and XT derailleur

No joke, the bare SLX crank arms (no chain ring) weigh exactly the same as XT. The weight difference is all in the chain ring (which I don’t care as I run aftermarket oval rings)

I find the XTR chains last longer than XT or SLX and I appreciate the extra corrosion resistance that comes with the higher grade inner plate surface treatment.

Reply

Pizza-Diavola
0
Pizza-Diavola  - Oct. 6, 2021, 6:45 p.m.

"At the time I didn't think it wasn't quite as smooth"

Probably not what you didn't mean to write?

Reply

Coarsebass
0
Glenn Bergevin  - Oct. 7, 2021, 6 a.m.

I want to love Shimano twelve speed, but I went XT/SLX mix a little over a year ago and I am dissapointed.

-Blew an XT chain, out of the blue, in two places in the middle of a regular chunk of trail. About as JRA as you can get, and the chain disintegrated. It was ~a month old

-SLX chainring failed when a couple of those anti tamper bolts backed out, and the chainring bent in that area under power. Only Shimano could design a direct mount chainring with 8 bolts... Warranty was XTR, which is never worth the premium for me, but at least is a one piece part, as all direct mount rings should be (quick change,  CAMO/Switch aside). Failed a couple months after the chain.

-XT shifter stopped down shifting - lever just swung freely. Warranty took 4 months. It was ~3 months old.

- 9 months later, warranty XT shifter does the same thing. Warranty only took a few weeks.

- Two days ago, grenaded a year old, 2000 mile chain. Chain checker showed it about half life. 

I've also found that XT 12s chains rust, even in my dry midwestern US clime. I don't have that issue with any other chain in the fleet - some cheapy KMC, 11s XT, and a variety of chunky single speed chains.

-

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Bad-Sean
0
Sean Chee  - Oct. 7, 2021, 7:06 a.m.

Until recently I’ve been running a mix of deore and xtr. Deore mech and cassette with xtr shifter. It’s worked beautifully. I’ve switched to full xt 11s, and it’s even better.

Reply

Useless
0
Guy Elliott  - Oct. 7, 2021, 8:11 a.m.

Can echo the experience with the Deore M6120 brakes.  they are strong with good modulation, leaving little to want.

Reply

rockford
0
rockford  - Oct. 15, 2021, 8:03 a.m.

To be clear, your Honzo ESD came with an SLX rear der, no?

https://konaworld.com/archive/2021/honzo_esd.cfm

My '22 came with XT shifter/SLX derailleur, and I had the exact same thoughts - "damn those shifts are crispy."  I'm sure the Deore derailleur is just as tight, but looks like an SLX der with a Deore caption above. 

The Deore brakes are amazing and give Code's a run for their money in stopping power, with that smooth Shimano modulation.  I have G2 Ultimates on my full-susser and they are like using my shoes stuffed in the frame compared to the Deores.

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