Well… No, I don’t think it is. That is probably where I could leave it (and claim the shortest review ever) but I can justify this conclusion.
First, the set up. As I blogged at the weekend I’ve finally gone Shimano 1×11. After kid wrangling all weekend I’ve managed to get out for a decent ride today and I have to confess, I was a bit nervous – “would I spin out?”… “Would I be able to climb?”… “Will I miss the granny ring?”
The answers were no, yes and oddly no. I did find myself ‘lazy spinning’ quite a lot which is the best way I can describe suddenly realising I should shift up and dig in some more. I suspect getting my cadence right is going to take practice BUT at no point in the 19 miles did I sob at my rash purchase.
The XT shifters are flawless – crisp gear changes with the lightest flick of the finger and as for the Blackspire 34t – solid as the proverbial rock – no chatter, no jumps. That chain was not going anywhere and it got a spanking down “Marbles” just to be sure.
I’ve read much on the SLX vs XT kit debate and I agree – I don’t think there is much of a difference in performance. But they are just a tiny bit quicker to shift and a tiny bit smoother. And as for the SLX vs XT brakes, again I think the feedback and reassurance of the bite is just that little bit better. For those reasons alone I’m glad I upgraded.
So I can conclude 1×11 is great – it’s not just marketing hype. I’ve a long way to go in terms of learning to use the gears I’ve got but I see no downside for me and the way I ride.