If you love mountain biking, you probably would have encountered the names SRAM and Shimano. These are two big suppliers when it comes to groupsets and are considered two of the best brands as far as cycling components go.

If you’re looking at mid-range groupsets, the SRAM NX and the Shimano Deore are an excellent way to go. They are very similar groupsets, and here at Bike Test Reviews, we are often asked which will be the right gearing for you.

Source: Shimano

What Is SRAM NX?

SRAM NX Eagle is one of the best value-for-money groupsets on the market. It offers excellent shifting and 12 speeds on a 1X system. It not only looks fantastic, but it can shift, and it works excellently no matter how rough the trail.

This is generally equipped for mountain bikes and even flat-bar gravel bikes.

What Is Shimano Deore?

Shimano Deore comes in many forms. Like many Shimano products, you get a wide range of options from 1X and 2X and 10, 11, and 12 speeds. It’s Shimano quality, so you’ll get an excellent experience. You will find Deore on mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, and even some gravel bikes.

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Source: SRAM

Comparing These Groupsets

When it comes to comparing the SRAM NX and Shimano Deore, the best way to compare them is to take the closest two in price and groupset level, then stack them up against each other.

In this article, we will discuss the SRAM NX Eagle and Shimano Deore M5100. These will feel these are the most similar, and both use similar bikes specification such as matching freehubs.


Let’s start with the cost. Both the SRAM NX and Shimano Deore are incredible value for money. The NX comes in at around $275 (1X11), and the Deore comes in at about $230. The NX is the more expensive of the two.

The Shimano Deore is cheaper, but it would be roughly the same if you opt for a 2X11 Deore system. Plus, you have options such as 4-piston brakes that can make it more expensive if you choose to add them. There’s very little in it regarding price, and we both think they have great value.

Source: Shimano


As far as assembly goes, they are both very easy to install. You are going to be using cables on these systems. Installation is simple and can be done by a beginner. They both are very intelligent designs with easy installations. We will say that you might find the Shimano a little easier to index than the SRAM groupset.


As cyclists, we tend to choose a lot of our equipment judging by how much it might weigh, which isn’t always the best way to go, but it is important as it all adds up. The NX 1X12 comes in at 1400g, and the Deore 1X11 comes in at 1350g.

There are 50g in it, which is really nothing when it comes to bike weight. An energy bar is about the same weight.


We all like our bikes to look amazing, and the groupset is a big part of that. Both groupsets look pretty good. They are stealthy in matte black coloring and have light branding.

We think they both look excellent, but we love that the rear cassettes of the SRAM NX are black and not silver, making that chain pop.

Source: SRAM


When it comes to gearing, one of the most important aspects is range. This is how low and high your gears have the ability to go. The wider the range, the better climbing gears and descending gears you will get.

SRAM NX Eagle Crankset - 170mm, 12-Speed, 32t, Direct Mount, DUB Spindle Interface, Black

The SRAM NX Eagle is a 1X12 system, and the rear cassette ranges from 10t to 50t, it will typically come with a 32-tooth chainring on the front. This is an excellent range but does feel a little limiting on descents as it’s built more for climbing and rough terrain.

The Shimano Deore M5100 comes in both a 1X11 and 2X11. Depending on what you choose, you will either get an 11/42t or an 11/51t. They both offer an excellent range, and although they differ slightly, there’s very little in it.


When it comes to speeds, we are referring to the number of options these groupsets give you. The NX 1X12 will give you 12 options of ratio, while the Deore 1X11 will give you 11, while the Deore 2X11 will give you 22.

If you like having more gears, then the Shimano Deore could be more suited to you, but no matter if you are on a 1X12 or a 2X11, you still get a very similar range with just more options to choose from.

Source: SRAM


I have been lucky enough to ride both these groupsets, which are a lot of fun. They give you smooth and crisp shifting, and no matter how lumpy the trail, you don’t suffer from chain drop or feel out of control.

Out of both of them, if I had to pick one, I did feel the Shimano Deore was a little crisper, but unless you were riding them one after the other, I don’t think you would be able to notice much difference.

Source: Shimano

Which is better? SRAM NX or Shimano Deore?

There’s very little in this competition between the Shimano Deore M5100 and the SRAM NX Eagle. They both offer a very similar range, they look incredible and perform excellently.

Although there are differences, such as Deore offering more options as far as ability, we have to say they match up well, and we couldn’t pick a winner.

A Final Note

Whatever groupset you might plan to use, you are not going to be making a bad choice. There’s a reason so many riders pick the NX and Deore groupsets, and that’s because they are both excellent.

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