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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?
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