Choosing between Shimano and SRAM is nigh on impossible these days, as they’re both offering incredible bits of kit, and if one company wins out in one particular area you can rest assured that the other will pip them in another.
It really goes without saying now that XTR works like a dream and weighs next to nothing, but if there’s one part of it that really deserves a mention it’s the new Shadow+ rear mech. With its unique ‘stabilising’ design it puts an end to chain slap in one fell swoop, and in the process it also does a bloody good job of helping to keep your chain on. It is without doubt the best rear mech available at the moment, and hopefully it won’t be too long before we see the technology trickle down to the better value Shimano groupsets.
So yeah, XTR might well be beaten by its cheaper siblings in terms of value, but has cutting edge technology ever been cheap? No, but in this case it’s pretty bloody special.