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Best drivetrain for a new Yeti SB130 build? 11 or 12 speed? SRAM or Shimano?


New Member
Jul 28, 2021
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houston taxes

I’m building up a Yeti SB130 frame, but I am in a quandry over what drivetrain to fit.
Any insight and advice would be extremely welcome.

Here’s the deal: I’ve ridden twist shifters for decades, and my current ride has a 1x9-speed SRAM XO setup with a twister. So, my instinct is to go for SRAM. And I might as well get 12-speed, since that’s the latest thing.

However, I’m not convinced that 12-speed offers the best value, or even all that good value in terms of what you pay and the range of cogs you get. Especially at the bigger end of the stack which gets you up the steep pitches,

The latest SRAM 10-52 cassette jumps from 42 to 52 teeth, and the gap in the older 10-50 version is almost as wide (42-50).

However, Shimano’s Deore M5100 11-speed cassette goes 33, 39, 45, 51. That sounds like a much more progressive range to me.

Also, drive trains wear out (I ride a lot) and it costs a more to replace the chains and cassettes on a 12-speed system compared to 11-speed.

BTW: I’m not married to the idea of using twist shifters forever, so I don’t mind shifting to Shimano triggers. The double upshift on the XT shifter sounds sweet.
Plus, I get along fine on a cassette with a 50t big cog. I mainly sit in the next biggest gear.

My thinking is that Shimano has the edge over SRAM where it counts – at the big end of the block where the progression is 33-39-45-51. And that is the same for Shimano’s 11-speed and the 12-speed cassettes.

I think I’d be better off going with Shimano to get a more progressive drive train. Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm not seeing a compelling difference between 11-speed and 12-speed in Shimano.
The difference between Shimano and SRAM seems to be a 51T top gear vs a 52T gear. But I can’t see that making much of a difference.

Weight could be a consideration. But likely less important than performance and value.

If anyone has any advice or insight on the best choice, I’d love to hear it.

Last edited:


Active Member
Feb 8, 2018
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Pure gibberish to me but as far as his suggestion regards choice, RCZ all the time.