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Old 19.04.2011, 14:06
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Shimano vs SRAM gear choice for mountain bikes & servicing in CH

I'm hopefully looking at getting a new mountainbike this Summer to start biking in earnest, and am looking at models which have XRAM an Shimano chainset variants.

I like the look of the SRAM stuff and have read a lot of good feedback online about how the gear changes are smoother and snappier than Shimano, but my only concern is the servicing. If I am in some remote Swiss place, have a problem with the bike and the nearest place happens to be a backwater village with one little bike shop, what are the chances of them having SRAM components? I can't help feeling that Shimano is the practical choice for a bike in terms of it being the more common brand and the most likely to be the one in stock by the smaller bike shops scattered throughout CH. Does anyone have any experience or opinions on this please?

Last edited by Chuff; 19.04.2011 at 14:38.
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Old 19.04.2011, 14:28
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Re: Shimano vs XRAM gear choice for mountain bikes & servicing in CH

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I'm hopefully looking at getting a new mountainbike this Summer to start biking in earnest, and am looking at models which have XRAM an Shimano chainset variants.

I like the look of the XRAM stuff and have read a lot of good feedback online about how the gear changes are smoother and snappier than Shimano, but my only concern is the servicing. If I am in some remote Swiss place, have a problem with the bike and the nearest place happens to be a backwater village with one little bike shop, what are the chances of them having XRAM components? I can't help feeling that Shimano is the practical choice for a bike in terms of it being the more common brand and the most likely to be the one in stock by the smaller bike shops scattered throughout CH. Does anyone have any experience or opinions on this please?
First off I presume you mean SRAM!

Secondly for the most part Cranksets, chains, cassettes and cables are 100% interchangeable between the two. The only things that you cannot do is connect a rear dérailleur from one brand to an indexed shifter from another and vica versa. Even with 10 speed which is new this year the compatibility remains, but for the most part 9 and 10 speed components can not be mixed. This is not a reason for choosing one over the other.

In my opinion Shimano might be slightly longer lasting than SRAM, but unless you intend on doing A LOT of riding this won't be an issue.

As for servicing, there is nothing to servicing a drivetrain and the servicing of both brands is almost exactly the same. SRAM may be slightly easier (at least in 9 speed) as the chain can be opened and closed again without any tools if necessary.

Personally I use Shimano Cranks and front dérailleur with everything else SRAM. I know people that use full Shimano and I know people that use full SRAM. The only thing i'd be careful about is SRAM (Truvativ) cranksets as they seem to wear quite quickly and have questionable bottom brackets. Again this won't be a problem unless you ride a lot.

For both brands ALMOST everything that breaks can be repaired at least enough to allow you to limp home on the side of the trail if you are properly equipped.
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  #3  
Old 19.04.2011, 15:26
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Re: Shimano vs XRAM gear choice for mountain bikes & servicing in CH

Hi Eire, thanks for the detailed reply. Yup I meant SRAM... brain fart as a result of too little sleep.

That's good to know that it shouldn't be a real issue an has put my mind at rest somewhat... I was just worried about being stuck if something happened and the bike shop I ended up at didn't have the means to fix something. Glad to hear it's nothing to worry about.

Im looking at the Canyon bikes at the moment, specifically the Nerve XC 6.0 and 7.0 http://www.canyon.com/_en/mountainbi.../nerve-xc.html and the Nerve AM 5.0 and 6.0 http://www.canyon.com/_en/mountainbi.../nerve-am.html

Also looking at used bikes, but those seem to be fantastic value for the money spec-wise ocmpared to what i've seen here in CH.
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Old 19.04.2011, 15:45
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Re: Shimano vs SRAM gear choice for mountain bikes & servicing in CH

Personally of the bikes you've listed I'd go for the Nerve AM 5.0 and used the saved money for a dropper seat post. This is very much personal preference though. My personal reasons are:

  • The AM will give you more security on the trails than the XC and possibly be slightly more comfortable to ride for a long day.
  • The SLX drive train is very much up to the job, functional, long lasting and looks quite cool. For that you get a Crankset that I personally think is better than the X9 one provided with the more expensive bike and I'd be hard pushed to say any of the other components on the more expensive bike are better than the SLX.
  • The brakes are the same on both the AM 5.0 and 6.0.
  • The 5.0 comes with a Rock Shox Revelation rather than a Talas. This is purely personal preference. It's the dual position air Revelation which means you can adjust the travel it if you want to for climbing. It is a cheaper fork than the Talas, but I personally think it feels better. In fact I've just gotten rid of the more expensive Talas on one of my bikes and replaced it with a Revelation. There are a lot of people out there who prefer the Talas to the Revelation so again, not really a reason to buy one bike over the other. They are equally good, just have a very slightly different feel.
You'll save about 300Euro with the 5.0 over the 6.0 and you can pick up a Rock Shox Reverb seat post for about 350CHF. These things are magic, they allow you to get the saddle low for technical sections and without getting off the bike back up again to ride away at the bottom.
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Old 19.04.2011, 15:48
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Re: Shimano vs SRAM gear choice for mountain bikes & servicing in CH

I presume you can compose your canyon bike on their website and have the choice between shimano and sram, is that right?
I bought a Specialized Epic 2 years ago and it came with sram x.0. Flawless functioning, very precise and crisp gear changing. One seasonal control and some lubrification after cleaning the bike when dirty. Change of chain and cassette every 2 years (in fact, it is being done right now...)
I do some 2500km mtb/year.
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Old 19.04.2011, 16:30
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Re: Shimano vs SRAM gear choice for mountain bikes & servicing in CH

Maybe not so relevant as I have a trekking/hybrid bike, but it has SLX components and I love it. Gear changes are fantastic.
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Old 21.04.2011, 21:55
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Re: Shimano vs SRAM gear choice for mountain bikes & servicing in CH

I have no experiance of SRAM, but both my bikes are full of Shimano drive train components.

My XT stuff has lasted 8 years (it's old 8 speed) with regular DIY servicing, my newer bike has a mix of LX, XT and ordinary Deore - 2 years hard rinding an no problems.

Overall very happy.
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Old 21.04.2011, 23:23
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Re: Shimano vs SRAM gear choice for mountain bikes & servicing in CH

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Maybe not so relevant as I have a trekking/hybrid bike, but it has SLX components and I love it. Gear changes are fantastic.
Where did you buy your hybrid bike? I'm looking for a hybrid myself, not sure if I should buy here or on the Internet. any advice?
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Old 22.04.2011, 00:36
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Re: Shimano vs SRAM gear choice for mountain bikes & servicing in CH

I think the issue is more which of the Shimano or SRAM groups to go for rather than which brand. Both make top end stuff and both make very basic equipment for CHF 400 "mountain bikes" as well. Personally I would try to stick to at least either SLX on Shimano or X-9 on SRAM.
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Old 22.04.2011, 01:23
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Re: Shimano vs SRAM gear choice for mountain bikes & servicing in CH

Travnett - got mine in Germany in a bike shop near Stuttgart. I used to work in that area so that's why I knew it - I often go there to visit friends and the shop did all the MWST refund paperwork for me.

Depends on your budget and where you live. I'm in Basel, I recommend to most people to hit a bike shop in Lorrach or, if they really don't want to spend much but still want new, Marktkauf (Rhein Center) - otherwise buy second hand here in Switzerland.
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