Just like Shimano’s SLX has pinched technology from XTR, SRAM’s X7 has taken a load from XX and the result is an equally good–value groupset. Making a call between SLX and X7 is a tough one, and to be honest much of it comes down to personal preference about which shifter you prefer, but there are two significant differences that might swing it for you. First SRAM have seen the light and produce the X7 rear mech in no fewer than three different lengths (Shimano please take note), but then on the other hand they seem to have stuck their head in a cave when it comes to cassettes.
We don’t know why, but for some reason SRAM are not offering a ten speed 11–36 cassette (the widest ratio) in anything below X0, and that’s the whole reason why we want to go 10 speed. The reason we’ve still included X7 though is because we love the way it works and there’s nothing stopping you from running it with a Shimano 11–36 cassette.