Drivetrain: Shimano vs Sram

If you’re planning on upgrading your current ride with a new drive-train, should you go with Shimano or Sram components? Maybe you’re going for a custom build or getting a new bike altogether. I think most would agree that Shimano and Sram are the top contenders to consider. But which one is better?

Shimano Bicycle Components

Shimano holds nearly 90% of the entire world’s cycling component market and 97%+ of the worlds OEM market (not sure how current that is).  They turn over US $1 billion in bike components.  How could they not be good with numbers like that?

Starting in the 1960’s with a humble 3-speed hub, Shimano now sets industry standards for bicycle components and is everywhere in all aspects of cycling. By strategizing with elite manufacturers, Shimano remains in a constant state of progress, developing core components for everyday commuting. Through advocacy programs, commitment to environmental protection, and responsible business practices, Shimano contributes not only to cycling, but to the community as well.

SRAM Bicycle Components

SRAM is not as well known, but is a strong competitor and gaining unbelievable ground.  It has great ergonomics and a shifting mechanism that works great. Sram is aggressively and successfully increasing in the market share.

SRAM Corporation began with the goal of creating the absolute best drive-train system and has changed the cycling world forever with the introduction of Grip Shift. They continue to seek and introduce new technology and engineering advancements, as they compulsively refine and redefine the pinnacle of the ultimate ride.  And to genuine cycling enthusiasts, there is nothing more gratifying then achieving the ultimate ride. And Sram just keeps making it better.

Is One Drive-train Better Than The Other

Both SRAM and Shimano drivetrain systems work quite well. It is clear that you can adjust both systems to work reliably and consistently. Both systems also have comparable product levels with X-0, X-9, X-7 and so forth for SRAM and XTR, XT, LX and on down for Shimano.

Now, when you get right down to it, one seems no better than the other. Maybe the question should be, which drive-train is better for you? I wouldn’t let the shifter/drive-train question decide what bike to get unless you prefer the way one feels over the other. Either way, you pick a good quality product. How can you go wrong?

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