Thanks for the feedback. Yeah i knew about the rear d. compatibility.
1. Why do you think the sram front mech's are awful?
2. Do you consider kmc superior to sram and shimano chains?
3. Is there a big difference between the sram and shimano cassete?
4. What about the cranks?
Thank you for your time and knowledge
My findings from working in a bike shop & personal experience are...
1) They're just nowhere near as good a quality as Shimano the tolerances in build are quite low, clunky looking & don't shift as well
2) KMC are better value & seem to last longer (KMC do make some Shimano chains so I'm told) Sram chains are OK, better than Shimano in my opinion
3) Shimano cassettes are generally lighter and shift better than Sram cassettes at the same price point XT being my favourite cassette
4) Shimano chainsets are damn good SLX being the best value closely followed by XT, I also love Middleburn cranks but they're not cheap!
Shimano's SLX is probably the best value groupset, closely followed by XT but I'd swap out the shifters & rear mech for Sram X9!