Now that I offered up the road bike components, here we go with a mountain bike comparative. What is pretty evident off the bat are the range and the technology of both groups. Shimano offers the XTR in racing and trail modalities while Sram ups the game with a 1x11 drivetrain. And nothing puts a bigger smile on my face than someone pushing the technology envelope.
There are several differences between the Shimano Race and Trail components. A major difference is that Trail offers a three-ring crank whereas the Race has a two-ringer. The wheelsets are also slightly different in size and weight, in a disc brake option only. They have two sets of pedals as well, with the Trail pedals having more contact plate to pedal ratio and a mud-sloughing design in the pedal. The brakes are also hydraulic with IceTech rotors so that overheating brakes will be a thing of the past, giving you crisper action and more control over your biking. These also are the introduction to the first full ceramic caliper pistons, adding to the quiet and cooling properties of this system.
Sram, however, has also come dressed to impress with an innovative first of a one-ring crank that comes in six sizes to be paired with an 11-speed hollow cassette. This is a tech called the X-Dome which sheds the weight of individual sprockets, producing what is basically a cone with teeth on the outside. Shifters come in trigger or the Grip Shift. The rear derailleur has what is called a “horizontal parallelogram” mechanism, which moves parallel to the hub axis, all the while keeping the chain spacing even, reducing chain slap. And because the mechanism itself is perpendicular to the force of impact, very little of this force reflects in shifting flaws. The chain also nests neatly into the sprockets with specially designed grooves.
I was going to put in a comparative chart but since there are really only two points of actual comparison between the groups, I’ve decided to just write about the really exciting bits of tech and throw at you the videos on the web pages, describing these systems. Pretty impressive and frankly, I want these. Pretty bad.