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The Best MTB Shimano Gear Sets

by
author image Raymond DeWire
Raymond DeWire has worked in the fitness and recreation industry as an aquatic supervisor and swimming coach. He is a former college swimmer and current competitive cyclist. He has a Bachelor's degree in sport and recreation management and a Master's degree in sport management and coaching leadership.
The Best MTB Shimano Gear Sets
Shimano offers gear sets for every rider and budget. Photo Credit Thinkstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

The sport of mountain biking offers you a variety of options to meet your riding style. Shimano is one of the largest and most popular producers of mountain bike components. They offer components for your every riding need. Understanding the purpose and difference between each of their product lines will help you decide which is best for you and your mountain bike.

Shimano SLX

Shimano's SLX product line offers performance and quality to riders who are looking to upgrade their current setup. The SLX components come in a 2 x 10 or 3 x 10 speed option. New on this product line is also the addition of their Shadow+ technology which grants your ride with smooth and quite shifting. Additionally, the SLX line offers disc brakes which maximize your stopping power. Your entire bicycle can be built with SLX components, or you can mix and match which components are right for you.

Shimano Deore XT

The Deore XT product line utilizes some of Shimano's most advanced technology at a friendlier price point for avid mountain bikers. Its gear sets are offered in 2 x 10 and 3 x 10 options, and its composite chain rings allow for a light, reliable and sturdy crank. The combination of the shadow rear derailleur and RapidFire Plus shifters creates a smooth shift every time. The Deore XT braking system uses ceramic pistons and Ice-Technologies rotors and pads for superior braking in all conditions.

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Shimano XTR Trail

Shimano's most advanced technology is found in its XTR line of products. They offer a trail version of these products designed with all of the XTR technology but focusing on the demands of trail riding. The XTR product line is made with carbon fiber and titanium to maximize weight reduction and stiffness. The trail version is available in a triple front crank, but with its optimal gearing, you may use your small granny gear less often. The XTR shifters and front derailleur make it easier than ever to get into and out of your big ring quickly. The trail line is designed for riders that spend hours on single-track cross county trails.

Shimano XTR Race

The XTR race line of products offers riders with the lightest option of all the Shimano products. The XTR race line offers riders with a double crankset, which cuts down on weight, but does not offer you that easy, small gear. This line of products is designed to be ridden hard and fast. Its brakes offer superb stopping power through use of ceramic pads and discs that limit power-sapping heat production. The brake levers are ergonomically designed to be used at full power with just one finger. The XTR line offers everything from brakes and derailleurs, to wheels and pedals, but their quality is seen in its price point and may not be for every rider.

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