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I have been using my bike for about 10 years for daily commuting and occasional traveling. It is a "trekking cycle" with a flat handle bars. I use it mostly for road riding, i.e. on streets and paved ways.

At the moment, it has original Shimano Deore LX shifters which are totally worn out. I am emotionally highly attached to frame/handlebar, etc. so I think upgrading is the way to go for me. This time it will be a major overhaul, i.e. I would like to exchange everything related to shifting / gears, and also rim/spokes, bottom bracket, hub.

I am now wondering which components to choose. I want to assemble things myself, so I am 100% familiar with the setup. I have been told that maybe an SRAM x7 group might be good, as it should be easier to work with with its 1:1 ratio.

  • Are there limits to the brakes/brake levers that I can choose? Must they "fit" the shift levers?

  • Are there problems I do not see? I.e. when switching from a shimano to a SRAM shift group?

PS: Hope this is all understandable, English bicycle tech vocab is not one of my strengths (yet).

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  • Be aware that by the time you upgrade components and wheels you are close to the price of a new bike. Look around as there may be new bikes with the frame/bar you like. – paparazzo Mar 2 '15 at 14:38
  • Well, I doubt the handlebar is worn out. You could stick it on a new frame with little problem in most cases. – Batman Mar 2 '15 at 18:22
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    If you lace and true your new wheels yourself, the satisfaction will be over 9000. – Vorac Mar 4 '15 at 13:53
  • Good work for recognising the emotional attachment to the bike. I threw away the 12speed frame I rode to high school, and now I sorely regret it. – Criggie Sep 27 '15 at 1:20
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Well, going SRAM means new shifters and new derailleurs (and while you're at it, you may as well install all new cable housings and cables). Depending on your hub, you may need to get a new hub (or more likely, a new rear wheel) to fit a 9/10 speed cassette that the current x7 group uses -- however if you have an 8/9/10 speed freehub already, you should be good to go. Note that the # of gears in the front & back have to match what your shifter expects.

As for brakes/brake levers, depending on what levers you have, you may need new ones (if they're in the same unit as the old shifters, for example, you need new ones). You're free to mix and match the brands of brake levers with the shifters, but you may find that the proprietary clamp systems (e.g. Matchmaker/i-spec) will give you better positioning of the shift and brake levers than mixing and matching.

I don't think SRAM or Shimano will be "easier to work with" -- go with whichever one you prefer (usually dependent on brand loyalty/how you prefer to shift).

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  • I am actually planning to replace üthe wheels and hubs in the same step as at least the front wheels hub's bearing seems to be corroded (you can feel "friction" when the wheel runs freely without toughing the street). I plan on getting a group package like bike-components.de/de/Sram/X7-Gruppe-2x10-GXP-ohne-Naben-p32133 and then search for compatible components that can be used with them. For the rear wheel for example I have not really grasped the compatibility scheme. As I recall the type of cassette must match the hub, yet I hardly find information on compatibility... – wirrbel Mar 2 '15 at 15:38
  • Basically, you need to find a wheel with a freehub which is "Shimano Compatible". Then you can buy your cassette from Shimano or SRAM. Mavic and some others make both Shimano and Campagnolo-compatible wheels, but if you have a wheel and its unmarked, chances are its Shimano. – Batman Mar 2 '15 at 18:20
  • @wirrbel have you had your hubs serviced since you bought it? They may just need a little love and will save you all the trouble of replacing the wheels (unless you really want to do that). – BPugh Mar 2 '15 at 21:03
  • Wheel replacement is kind of due also because of the wear. – wirrbel Mar 2 '15 at 22:21
  • Also, a new x7 will likely be much better than a 10 year old deore xt system -- if you're going just commuting, you may want to go down to x5 or whatever. I'm currently quite happy with Shimano Alivio shifters and acera derailleurs on my winter commuter. – Batman Mar 3 '15 at 0:39

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