Spring brought something new from Shimano also in terms of mountainbiking with the fully revamped and upgraded XTR groupset. Very much a legend among mountain bike components, XTR is the subject of a long story, but we’ll cut it as short as possible: if you’re willing to spend for high tech, you came to the right place. And, once again, the top-end groupset manages to leave us in awe.
Upgrading to 11-speed
An important thing about the new XTR is that it will feature various drivetrain options, but the 11-speed one sits above all, and its compatibility with a single-, double or triple crankset. The 11-40 cassette will require a special, narrower chain, which will have its own asymmetrical design, and name: HG-X11.
Shimano introduced two basic types of cranksets in the new XTR line-up, the M9000 and M9020. The first is orientated towards XC racing, also having a race specific crank arm with a Q-factor of just 158mm, supporting one or two chainwheels, while the other has a more all-mountain destination, featuring a trail specific crank arm with a cold forged and strong construction plus a 168mm Q-factor for 1x, 2x or 3x setups. Both cranks have one PCD so if you want to change from a single ring to double or triple you only have to change the chainrings, so there we have a lot of possible configurations. As for the single chainring situation, the special construction of the chainwheel ensures smooth functioning, without the need of a chianguide.
Shimano XTR crankset weight (w/o BB):
- Single chainring M9000: 561,6 grams
- Single chainring M9020: 587.6 grams
- Double crankset M9000: 626.6 grams
- Double crankset M9020: 652.6 grams
- Triple crankset M9020: 652. 6 grams
- Press Fit BB: 57.1 grams
- 11-40 cassette: 321 grams
New wheelset as well
Through constant improvement along the years, Shimano succeded in manufacturing top-end wheelsets that can take on at any given moment a premium manufacturer. This thing can be seen very clearly in the new XTR range, with its M9000 wheels that use the same carbon laminated rims that proved succesful in the road segment. Further specifications of the mountain bike set includes 28 spokes for each of the wheel, 27.5 and 29 inch sizing, and a weight of 739/719 grams for the front and rear wheels in the 29er tubular version.
The new brakes will feature both in the XC and in the all-mountain versions, and both offer varying levels of heat control from an insulated piston (glass fiber phenolic) and insulated pad coating that creates, according to the manufacturer, 10 percent more heat resistance. Shimano also underlines XTR M9000’s (the race version) balance between weight and power thanks to a magnesium caliper and master lever body as well as a carbon lever blade. But the M9020 trail brake doesn’t lag behind having a stiff monobody caliper and coming in standard with Ice Technologies finned brake pads for further heat reduction. Not least, the rotors used by the two brakes are part of the FREEZA SM-RT99 family.
- XTR M9000 weight: 191,4 grams, w/o rotor
- XTR M9020 weight: 238,5 grams, w/o rotor
And how could a new line-up miss the all-important derailleurs? Shimano claims the new XTRs shift faster, and the shifter will feature a dual-textured anti-slip surface, featuring multi, instant and 2-way release, in the meantime being made of carbon in order to save weight.
Shimano also considered that possibility of damage while riding, so shrunk the rear derailleur’s size for having better odds against menacing objects, and improved the Shadow RD+ clutch by adding a simpler external clutch adjustment. As for the front derailleur, other than providing an extra 15mm for tire clearance and the two versions suited for the double, respectively triple crankset, nothing really changed.
- XTR M9000 rear derailleur: 214 grams
- XTR FD-M9000 front derailleur: 103.6 grams
- XTR M9000 shifters: 199,5 grame
However, pricing is currently missing from the picture, but we’re still expecting it.