I bought a bicycle last summer a Specialized camber comp and it mounts Shimano SLX as rear derailleur. My intention is to change it for a xtr derailleur (from 2009) which is mounted in a bicycle I barely use, the derailleur is as new.

do you think is worth to swap them? I am also planing to change the alivio shifters for a better ones since I think the whole set won't be balanced.

  • IIRC XTR is racing spec and thus not designed for everyday use. I would stick with the SLX. Jan 22, 2012 at 9:23

4 Answers 4


In my experience, the differences should be so small that I wouldn't botter the trouble just for the sake of change.

But, if you have a GOOD REASON (noticeable performance or weight difference for intended use), then XTR, even 2009, should be better than a brand new XT, although I think both are very nice - to the point you cannot tell the difference if you couldn't look at them or know which is which while riding.

In the end, personal taste and preference would determine the best option, I think.

  • My apologies @heltonbiker .Big mistake from my side, the camber is mounting Shimano SLX Shadow M662 as I see in the specs since I don't have it with me. What do you think now?
    – yeforriak
    Jan 19, 2012 at 19:57
  • I don't think I can give an absolute opinion since I don't know SLX models, but XTR would be great even if it was a '96 model! I happen to have a very old XTR crankset, and it seems like it's going to last forever! And AFAIK, 2009 was a very very nice year for XTR derailleurs. Jan 19, 2012 at 23:51

Technology in bicycle components, like other technology, is trickle down. This year's XTR technology trickles down to next year's XT, XT's technology trickles down to SLX, SLX to Deore and so on.

If it were my components do with what I please, I'd sell the XTR derailer and buy an SLX shifter set to use with the SLX components on the bike. SLX is nice, plenty nice.

  • Reasonably true. Depends on the dividing line...
    – zenbike
    Jan 22, 2012 at 8:38

There are at least 2 components to this.

First, 2011 SLX had the option to be 10 speed. 2009 XTR is 9 speed, and so would not work with the 10 speed drivetrain. It will if you have the 9 speed SLX.

As far as the actual performance difference, XTR gains its high level of performance from a lot of finely machined and (possibly over)engineered components working together.

If you don't have all of the XTR components, you will gain only a very small performance difference.

  • Alivio shifters, so not a 10sp group.
    – joelmdev
    Jan 22, 2012 at 15:45
  • True, sorry, missed that in the first post. But that just means that the benefit gained will be nonexistent. The shifters will degrade any gain from the derailleur, unless he matches the XTR derailleur with 9 speed XT or XTR shifters.
    – zenbike
    Jan 23, 2012 at 5:37
  • My sentiments exactly.
    – joelmdev
    Jan 25, 2012 at 15:42

Get the shifters changed out first. You're unlikely to notice any difference with an XT rd if you've got budget shifters. On the flipside if you've got the part sitting around already, there's no harm in changing it out - it's just not worth your time.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.