Shimano have released details of the next iteration of their top of the line XTR groupset and in doing so answered the question everyone has been asking: “How will the big S respond to SRAM’s XX1 narrow wide, 11 speed groupset?” The details are below but in quick summary: surprise surprise, Shimano have also launched an 11 speed option with a chainring that features a new tooth profile designed to better retain the chain (but not a narrow wide configuration).
Shimano XTR 2015

Shimano have also continued the move towards offering both ‘Trail’ and ‘Race’ specific versions of a lot of the XTR components, ‘Trail’ focusing on options, adjustability, and durability and ‘Race’ focusing on weight and performance. Other apparent highlights from the full groupset include; a very high tech front chainring made from a composite of aluminium+carbon+titanium, wheelsets featuring carbon+aluminium laminate rims, and a new ‘side swing’front derailleur that apparently “improves front shifting by 100%”.  I guess the proof will be in the pudding. We’re looking forward to getting our hands on some of these components to put them to the test. In the meantime we’d be interested to hear your thoughts. Have Shimano stepped up to the plate in response to SRAM’s moves over the last few years?


From Shimano:



Shimano’s unrivalled legacy in producing bicycle drivetrains is evident with the XTR M9000’s most notable rider benefit: ensuring pedalling rhythm. New XTR M9000 provides range and ensures rhythm for diverse riding styles and terrain to create smooth, harmonic pedalling – the ultimate goal of a drivetrain. The XTR M9000 drivetrain system maintains riders’ rhythm thanks to meticulously selected close step gearing configurations of the cassette and crank.

XTR Cranks


XTR FC-M9000 Race and FC-M9020 Trail cranks are modular, creating a Rider Tuned platform whereby single and double chain rings can be used on the same crank arm. XTR FC-M9000 crank sets debut the most advanced mountain bike chain rings ever produced that utilize combined titanium, carbon and aluminium materials. Dedicated XTR 1x chain rings debut proprietary chain ring retention technology in a tooth profile that eliminates the need for chain retention devices.



Rhythm is the essence of smooth power transfer and proper gear step is the key to maintaining rhythm over varied terrain. The XTR CS-M9000 11-speed 11-40T cassette is the widest range cassette Shimano has ever produced and also its most balanced. Thanks to its “rhythm step” progression, it maintains calculated, shock-free gear steps from one gear to the next, saving riders energy and helping maintain rhythm on the trail. Key features include:


Shimano introduces its premium new 11-speed chain that delivers overall better performance for mountain bikers. The CN-HG900-11 uses a HG-X11 special asymmetric plate design and Shimano’s new SIL-TEC surface treatment. Benefits of the new chain include:



Shimano systems engineering creates a new level of shifting precision in the M9000 XTR shifting system. With both lighter action and increased stability, Shimano’s M9000 XTR shifting system redefines gear change performance while introducing enhanced ergonomics. XTR M9000 debuts a bold new front derailleur design and approach for larger wheels and longer travel that delivers remarkable shifting performance.


Shimano XTR 2015


XTR M9000 offers Shimano’s most responsive mechanical shifting and controlling shifts is easier than ever thanks to a reduction in shift effort by 20 percent. The SL-M9000 shifters feature:


Shimano XTR Front derailleur 2015


Shimano’s new FD-M9000 masters front shifting for double and triple crank sets with a new, first-ever Side-Swing front derailleur design that increases shift performance by a staggering 100 percent. Designed specifically with modern trail bikes in mind, Shimano’s XTR FD-M9000 Side-Swing front derailleur provides 15mm of increased tire clearance, while new cable routing dramatically reduces shifting effort. Rider Tuned front derailleur options include:



With a refined Shadow RD Plus clutch rear derailleur, a new front derailleur structure and a new XTR chain (CN-HG900-11), M9000 offers the most stable drivetrain the industry has ever seen. A new Shadow design optimizes the slant angle, lowering shift effort while improving shifting and driving stability while the derailleur is even lower profile protected further from harm’s way. The new Shadow Plus clutch has a simpler external clutch adjustment, and the derailleur has a wider range of adjustment for easier setup.



New XTR M9000 hydraulic disc brake systems are also Rider Tuned in Race and Trail versions, as not all riders come down the same mountain at the same speed. Shimano’s legacy of leading brake design stems from its dedicated study of the components of control: heat, power and stiffness. New XTR M9000 brakes offer varying levels of heat control from an insulated piston (glass fiber phenolic) and insulated pad coating that created 10 percent more heat resistance. XTR M9000 brake levers also feature new handlebar-clearing I-spec II mounting.

XTR Brake Race

XTR M9000 Race brake system

Race-tuned power and overall lighter weight thanks to a magnesium caliper and master cylinder as well as a carbon lever blade.

XTR Brake Trail

XTR M9020 Trail brake system

Trail-tuned for power and stiffness using pre-loaded aluminium caliper and a new SERVO-WAVE lever with a powerful and stiff carbon-alloy structure. The XTR M9020 Trail brakes come standard with ICE TECHNOLOGIES radiator pads for further heat reduction.

XTR rotor

SM-RT99 rotor

With an increased surface area for heat dispersion, Shimano’s FREEZA rotor for XTR-M9000 remains the ultimate in heat control that is now available in smaller size options with a lighter weight spider. The rotor provides a 50° C reduction in heat giving riders more powerful braking and greater durability and longer pad life.

The SM-RT99 is available in 140mm, 160mm, 180mm and 203mm diameter sizes. April 12, 2014 5




The all-new XTR M9000 wheels mark a serious turning point for Shimano in premium mountain bike wheel sets. They are Shimano’s most advanced mountain bike wheels to date, and also the first featuring carbon laminate rim technology. New XTR M9000 series wheels are even more focused at each end of the spectrum, from ultra-light and durable race wheels to all-mountain tuned trail wheels. All new XTR wheels use 28 butted spokes both front and rear and include a new lightweight bearing and axle system.

XTR Wheels


Available in both a 27.5 and 29” option, the XTR M9000 Race wheels have a 20mm internal rim width and a new UST tubeless carbon laminated aluminum rim.


Available in both a 27.5 and 29” option, the XTR M9020 Trail wheels have an 24mm internal rim width and a new UST tubeless carbon laminated aluminum rim.


Carbon tubular wheels offer the ultimate solution for XC racers, in a 29” exclusively, ultra-light wheel set.


A cosmetic update, lighter rear axle system and a 15mm E-thru axle provide XTR technology at the center of the wheelset.



3 Responses

  1. Awesome…the difference with shimano is they dont throw shit on a shelf. Its functionally the bench mark and suitably priced. Cant wiat to get my paws on crank.

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