Even before the new bike was delivered, I already had a plan of what I wanted to upgrade.  I know I am not the only one who does this, am I?   Well my first thought was I need some XT 11 speed pieces because this Santa Cruz 5010 C R1 build came with SRAM brakes and 11 speed shifting setup.

While I was out west in Colorado and Utah, I rented bikes that were either Shimano or SRAM so I was able to get a decent comparison.  For one I really liked the way Shimano shifted and the brakes were top notch.  One thing I noticed though is the SRAM didnt ‘lock-up’ as easily as the Shimano. From reading more on the web about this on forums and different write-ups, I came to find out the ‘modulation’ for SRAM is more forgiving.   This basically means that the harder you pull the brake lever the more stopping power you get but it’s in a linear fashion.  Alternatively it seems to be more difficult to control the point where Shimano brakes hit that sweet spot between stopping and locking up.  It could be just me, but I felt more comfortable with the SRAM so I kept them on the SC5010.

This first upgrade included an XT 11 speed rear derailleur and XT 11 speed shifter. This seemed to work very well with the SRAM cassette and chain that came stock.  The rear cassette is the SRAM XG1150, 10-42t, 11-speed and the chain is the SRAM PC1110, 11-speed.

The Race Face Aeffect, 32t front cranks that came with the bike were not touched and are working well so far!


I am really happy with this setup giving me the extra spread on the rear cassette that SRAM offers and also the crisp shift and trigger option that Shimano gives you.

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