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Next Drivetrain

Feb. 2, 2021, 10:14 a.m.
Posts: 462
Joined: Nov. 25, 2013

I think its time to throw down some $$ on a new drivetrain...which is annoying due to low stock of everything. Background - I've managed 3 chains and 2 chainrings on this cassette (GX), but now the derailleur clutch is going and I hear the odd "Twang" which I think is the chain skipping on a worn out cassette. And the drivetrain has led a tough life, North Shore, life for a few seasons. 

Options: GX or SLX

- Replace GX cassette, derailleur, chain (would end up being a mix-match of NX/GX due to stock issues and likely a 1-2 month wait)

- get a new freehub (micro) and a full SLX drivetrain (re-use same crankset)...and I found it in stock.

Upgrade cost to switch to Shimano would be ~$50-60 all told and I hear nothing but good things. My road bikes are all Shimano, and mountain are SRAM (with Shimano brakes)... Has anyone made the switch from GX to SLX? Thoughts/opinions/epiphanies?


Feb. 2, 2021, 10:43 a.m.
Posts: 1485
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Dropping $100 for that microspline driver when you already have a functioning XD driver is painful though eh.

When the clutch wore out on my GX derailleur a few months ago I threw an XT on there I found used. 

Missed having some of the little SRAM details like the button to hold the derailleur up, the cable routing via the roll-a-ma-jig, the bigger pulleys, etc. 

How's the weight penalty going from GX to SLX?

Feb. 2, 2021, 11:37 a.m.
Posts: 462
Joined: Nov. 25, 2013

~120 grams 

Yeah its painful, and more like $125 in this case for the new driver.

The other idea is Shimano rear and keep the GX shifter (which I really like the positive click of the shift). Apparently this configuration is doable,

Feb. 2, 2021, 1:39 p.m.
Posts: 4953
Joined: Nov. 25, 2002

or keep your freehub & run sram cassette w/ shimano shifty bits? what i've got currently (albeit 11 spd xt); works great.

Feb. 2, 2021, 5:31 p.m.
Posts: 429
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

E13 cassette?

Feb. 2, 2021, 7:57 p.m.
Posts: 1081
Joined: May 11, 2018

^ this

Why bother with eagle? It weighs more. You don't really need the range unless you are racing XC. Get a sram cassette and if you like shimno shifters (I prefer them) pick up some 11 speed xt (or xtr). Jenson has xtr 11 speed derailleurs on sale that I've been thinking of getting just for back up.

Feb. 2, 2021, 9:44 p.m.
Posts: 4889
Joined: July 9, 2004

Posted by: Kenny

E13 cassette?

I have an E13 12 speed cassette on the XD driver but with shimano derailleur and KMC chain. So far it seems good but I haven’t any appreciable miles on it yet. Crisp and precise shifting  

I had to do it because I couldn’t get a hope hub stock with a microspline and figured out the cost of an SLX cassette with additional driver would be nearly the same as just trying the E13 cassette. Super light too.

Feb. 2, 2021, 11:14 p.m.
Posts: 143
Joined: May 1, 2018

SLX. It works better, it's cheaper for parts down the line.

Feb. 3, 2021, 5:02 a.m.
Posts: 136
Joined: March 1, 2017

I've had two bikes with GX Eagle, one with an XT/SLX 12sp mix and then back to GX Eagle. While the Shimano set-up feels a bit more positive and precise, I think either option is perfectly good for the purpose. Especially if you are not having to use the 'high end' Shimano Microspline freehub.....

Feb. 3, 2021, 6:29 a.m.
Posts: 694
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

The only 12 speed setup I've used is GX Eagle and it works really well, has been durable and trouble free. I'm getting close to needing a new cassette. I'll just slap another GX cassette on there. If I had a new bike come with Shimano 12 speed that would be fine, but I wouldn't pay extra to change over from SRAM.

Feb. 3, 2021, 8:44 a.m.
Posts: 1212
Joined: May 4, 2006

If it's just down to a GX Eagle stock issue, I suggest you call Norco (aka John Henry Bikes) because they told me they had plenty of SRAM stock (I just walked in a picked up a cassette and chain last week)

Feb. 3, 2021, 11:02 a.m.
Posts: 462
Joined: Nov. 25, 2013

Thanks for the JH idea. They are pretty well on par price-wise and they seem to have stock, so I feel better about supporting local.

Feb. 3, 2021, 7:55 p.m.
Posts: 2406
Joined: Sept. 5, 2012

I have always preferred Shimano drive train and Sram for brakes. My Kona was all SRAM and I went thru more parts . Than I have with a Shimano drive train. I think the derailleurs and shifter are more durable. Drive train choice was key with my new bike. Cheaper to swap out the brakes. Than the drive train/hubs.

Seeing you have a SRAM hub. I would work with whatever is compatible.

Feb. 4, 2021, 4:09 a.m.
Posts: 176
Joined: July 24, 2009

Went from GX to SLX (DT hub), with a Wolftooth chainring. Apparently, Shimano 12sp-chains don't play nice with any old chainring, and the WOlftooth was the only compatible one I could find that would fit on a SRAM crank. Like the SLX much better (mainly the steps, but also shifting action), but had the clutch die on me after 3 months or so. Seems to be a known issue. For me, the difference would not be big enough to change a hub. Driver yes, but hub, no.

Feb. 4, 2021, 1:45 p.m.
Posts: 1485
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Anybody had luck extending the life of the 12spd Shimano derailleur clutch? What are you supposed to do, just cram it full of grease?

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