Shimano Puts XTR on a Diet, Intros New Brakes, 29er Carbon Tubulars, More

Shimano Puts XTR on a Diet, Intros New Brakes, 29er Carbon Tubulars, mo

Matt Robertson gives the run down on the new XTR Parts

While many may have been expecting the release an 11 speed or electronic mountain bike drive train, Shimano’s latest product release is all about weight – the weight of the XTR Race component group to be specific. Thanks to the introduction of new brakes, bottom brackets, a chain, and tubular carbon 29er hoops, Shimano’s top tier build kit continues to hone the racer’s edge.

In addition to the new, lighter XTR parts there were a few other goodies floating around the launch like a new 650b wheel…

Shimano Puts XTR on a Diet, Intros New Brakes, 29er Carbon Tubulars, mo Shimano Puts XTR on a Diet, Intros New Brakes, 29er Carbon Tubulars, mo

All of the new parts are exciting in their own rites, though for most of us the most interesting bit of new kit are the all new M987 disc brakes which shave 40 grams per wheel off the previous XTR M985 Race disc brakes – which makes it the lightest XTR disc brake, ever.

Shimano Puts XTR on a Diet, Intros New Brakes, 29er Carbon Tubulars, mo

Built with magnesium calipers and master cylinders for weight reduction and heat management, further weight is trimmed with the addition of (their first, ever) carbon brake levers and titanium and alloy fasteners throughout. According to Shimano, they had to crash and break a lot of carbon levers until they got to the point where it was a viable material that met their standards for production. The lever is apparently strong enough that if you crash hard enough to break it, you probably will have done damage to the rest of the brake as well.

Magnesium does not like heat, so when asked how Shimano made the material work for the new brakes, we were told that it was all a matte of heat management – basically that the Shimano Ice-Tech system keeps the heat down to a manageable level to use the Magnesium parts. M987 brakes will be shipped with standard pads to keep the weight down, though they will  be compatible with the radiator finned pads and will be iSpec compatible as well.

Shimano Puts XTR on a Diet, Intros New Brakes, 29er Carbon Tubulars, mo

Shimano Puts XTR on a Diet, Intros New Brakes, 29er Carbon Tubulars, mo Shimano Puts XTR on a Diet, Intros New Brakes, 29er Carbon Tubulars, mo

To further help with dumping heat during braking, the M987 will be paired with the SM-RT99 aluminum finned rotor which has proven itself in World Cup Downhill competition. Now available at the XTR lever, the new rotor will be offered in 180/160/140mm options in Center Lock only and are said to lower the temperature an additional 40 degrees compared to the previous SM-RT98 rotors. Used together with the M987s you have one of the lightest, coolest running brakes Shimano has produced. According to Shimano, the addition of the cooling fin ripples allow the rotor to absorb the same amount of heat as the next size up in a traditional rotor. The rotor on the scale is a 140, but it doesn’t have the correct spider. The actual spider for the SM-RT99s will be hollowed out like the rotor on the bottom right, dropping the weight even further.

Shimano Puts XTR on a Diet, Intros New Brakes, 29er Carbon Tubulars, mo

For the true XC racers in the crowd, Shimano will now be offering a limited edition carbon tubular wheelset in 29” only. Already proven at World Cup and Olympic XC mountain bike races, amateur racers can roll the same carbon tubulars provided you have the cash, of course.

Shimano Puts XTR on a Diet, Intros New Brakes, 29er Carbon Tubulars, mo Shimano Puts XTR on a Diet, Intros New Brakes, 29er Carbon Tubulars, mo

Shimano Puts XTR on a Diet, Intros New Brakes, 29er Carbon Tubulars, mo Shimano Puts XTR on a Diet, Intros New Brakes, 29er Carbon Tubulars, More

Built with a crazy light 280g full carbon, offset rim, the WH-m980s have 28 spokes and a 36 point engagement freehub body. When it comes to hub compatibility, the front axle is only offered in a 15mm thru axle, while the rear is offered in 12×142 or standard QR, but is not convertible. Total weight for the wheelset is 1349 for the 15mm/12mm combo and 1298 for the 15mm/QR combo.

Shimano Puts XTR on a Diet, Intros New Brakes, 29er Carbon Tubulars, mo

The drive train is not completely ignored, though additions are limited to the chain and bottom brackets. For 2014, Shimano is introducing the CN-M981 which they call a super narrow HG-X chain. Plated with a new technology termed Sil-Tec that was developed for Dura Ace 9000, the chain is said to hold lubricant longer, sheds mud better, and will run smoother for longer than the previous gold standard, the CN-M980. Essentially, it is the same chain with the same nickel plating, but with a new Fluorine component that increases the performance of the chain especially when cross chained. The coating will make its mountain bike debut with the XTR chain, but will find its way onto XT, SLX, and Deore chains in the future.

Shimano Puts XTR on a Diet, Intros New Brakes, 29er Carbon Tubulars, mo Shimano Puts XTR on a Diet, Intros New Brakes, 29er Carbon Tubulars, mo

Bottom brackets also get some love with the introduction of the SM-BB93/94. The new BBs are said to be around 19g lighter and will be offered in both threaded and press fit options that claim lighter rotation and better sealing than before. This marks the first time that there have actually been different bearings between the road and MTB press fit bottom brackets.

Shimano Puts XTR on a Diet, Intros New Brakes, 29er Carbon Tubulars, mo Shimano Puts XTR on a Diet, Intros New Brakes, 29er Carbon Tubulars, mo

Shimano Puts XTR on a Diet, Intros New Brakes, 29er Carbon Tubulars, mo

Shimano Chain Guide

Ah, the elusive Shimano chain guide. It was brought out to show, and mentioned that they were starting to ship to athletes. Though, you probably shouldn’t hold your breath on this one as it sounds like the decision has been made not to bring it to market which is a bit of a bummer since it has some smart features – like the spring loaded lower guide. It’s also pretty light at 120 grams for the guide and 31 for the micro bash guard. But again, probably not gonna happen.

Shimano Puts XTR on a Diet, Intros New Brakes, 29er Carbon Tubulars, mo

650b/27.5 XT Wheels

Something that is happening though, is Shimano’s recognition of the 650b. Hand delivered just before the show, XT is going 650b. Identical to the current XT wheels, just a bit bigger, the XT 650s will be rolling out with a selection of axle options along with some new thru axle XT 29er wheels not currently offered.

Claimed Weights

In addition to the few parts we got on the scale, Shimano provided their claimed weights for the new product below.

  • XTR M987-kit w/G01A resin pad, w/o adapter, for front , 800mm, postmount, W/RT99S : 305 grams
  • XTR M987-kit w/G01A resin pad, w/o adapter, for front , 800mm, postmount, W/O RT : 186 grams
  • XTR WH-M980-F15+R12 : 1349 grams
  • XTR WH-M980-F12+QR : 1298 grams
  • CN-M981 HG-X, 114L, w/o ampoule type connect pin : 259 grams
  • SM-BB93, thread type : 71 grams
  • SM-BB94-41A, pressfit type : 58 grams

 

Comments

vhom - 04/19/13 - 11:31am

Those brakes…..I need em so badly!!!!!

dirtysanchez - 04/19/13 - 11:50am

I personally don’t want a tubular mtb wheelset, but wow……..1300 gram 29er set. That’s impressive.

Kenny - 04/19/13 - 12:09pm

Any release date given?

x - 04/19/13 - 12:11pm

Classy black plastic tarp :-)

Still love me some Shimano XTR.

Matt - 04/19/13 - 12:49pm

Maybe the most important piece of information is when will these items, especially the brakes, be available?

Chase - 04/19/13 - 12:57pm

Will the carbon levers be available seperately? And will they fit XT master cylinders? I use to love my Hayes carbon levers.

Brad - 04/19/13 - 1:45pm

Egad- Looks like I’ll have to pick up another set of the 985 brakes. Magnesium parts are semi-disposable to me, not something for the long haul.

Padrote - 04/19/13 - 1:59pm

death to press fit

Chasd - 04/19/13 - 2:20pm

Brake price and availability?

mateo - 04/19/13 - 2:21pm

Availability should be July/August on the brakes. I wouldn’t think the carbon lever will work with other brakes since it is has the tooled reach adjust and all other Shimano brake levers are tool free.

Gillis - 04/19/13 - 2:44pm

I’m interested as to when that chain will be available.

Myke - 04/19/13 - 2:52pm

Really, tubular mtb never caught on except for those rich roadies on mtb. Great way to save weight and waste money! Yes death to press fit! Another horrible marketing idea. All it will take is one lawsuit!

RUSTYDOGG - 04/19/13 - 3:26pm

Saweeet. It’d be nice for my next build. What is that full bike rig? A Trek? Damn that thing looks silly light.

Seraph - 04/19/13 - 4:21pm

Two piece calipers? Seriously? That’s very early-2000s of you, Shimano.

Bazookasean - 04/19/13 - 4:47pm

Yeah, what’s with the bike? What wheel size is that? Looks like 29″. Is it an old Superfly prototype? It doesn’t look like ABP. The chain stay looks like it pivots above the dropout. New platform?

Brad - 04/19/13 - 5:58pm

@Seraph – good catch, I didn’t notice that. My prediction: some day we’ll look back on the M985 brakes as the zenith of Shimano disc brakes.

drewandnotu - 04/19/13 - 6:16pm

@ Seraph: Probably for easier and more consistent bleeding. If you look at one piece calipers like the Maguras, the complex internal machining creates a lot of places for air bubbles to get caught, and can make bleeding a pain. Shimano definitely focuses on reliability so not that surprising.

g - 04/19/13 - 6:47pm

@brad – couldn’t agree more. The 985 seemed like perfection. I don’t see these as an improvement.

alex - 04/19/13 - 8:10pm

@RUSTYDOGG its a Scott spark 900
http://www.scott-sports.com/global/en/products/227681007/bike-spark-900-sl-m/#.UXHcsbXqmSo

Double D - 04/19/13 - 8:24pm

Looks like the new Scott Spark 900 to me. Under 20 pounds with pedals!

eric - 04/19/13 - 8:52pm

cool to see shimano cranking out the tubulars. i just built up a set of 29er tubulars with enve rims @ 1,155 grams. center lock-only hubs limits some choices…or adds weight if one is forced to use adapters.

the brakes sound interesting, but they still sound a bit heavier than formula r1 racings. mine, with uncut lines, come in at 168/183 (front/rear).

great to see they are making them lighter, though. we know they will have great shimano performance and durability.

the fact that the RD & shifters were not made lighter makes me feel better about a 2nd set of XTR gear that i just purchased a few months ago.

Greg - 04/19/13 - 9:58pm

odd about the two piece caliper. some companies have gone back n forth on whether 1piece is better or worse. avid had 2piece calipers on the juicy, then 1piece on the juicy ultimates, then back to 2pieces on the elixir. not that they know a thing about good brakes, but…
interesting that shimano chose a giant aluminum bolt to hold it together, plus the banjo bolt. i wonder if they were able to machine within the contact surfaces to lose weight, something you wouldnt be able to do if it were one piece.

iwouldratherbemakingprn - 04/19/13 - 11:29pm

@Bazookasean. That frame is one of those Chinese open mold frames. It looks like the FM036. You can get them on the net and ebay has some. I love my chines open mold frames
http://xmiplay.en.alibaba.com/product/650589583-214527424/Best_sale_carbon_29er_suspension_frame_fm036_full_carbon_suspension_mtb_29er_frame.html

Jaltham - 04/20/13 - 1:37pm

Might just be me being a roadie again, but is that a Di2 battery on the downtube?

Derek - 04/20/13 - 2:21pm

Looks like the frame has a battery mounted by the BB and in the first close up of the levers you can see what looks like a DI2 front wiring harness…

Greg - 04/20/13 - 9:05pm

battery is for the fox shock

chasejj - 04/21/13 - 10:47am

No 6 bolt Icetech rotors is a huge FAIL!

They would have a masive run on those rotors if they had the option for 6 bolt.

Bummer.

NSXTC - 04/21/13 - 1:25pm

@mateo…the current race has the tooled reach adjust albeit using 2mm key inside the levee..The trail version uses easy to reach knobs. It looks like its swappable but its riveted?

CXisfun - 04/21/13 - 1:43pm

@iwouldratherbemakingprn: I don’t think that’s the same frame. Very similar, but the shock mount looks a little different.

Bazookasean - 04/21/13 - 9:41pm

Ha, definitely is a Spark frame. With a Trek shield head badge and logos. Too funny.

steve - 04/23/13 - 8:04am

There are two different bikes there. The Trek is a hardtail. Look at the top/seat tube junction of the Trek. A Superfly I presume.

Woof - 04/23/13 - 12:25pm

@chasejj

Totally agree !!!

No 6 bolt Icetech rotors is a huge FAIL!

Drew - 04/24/13 - 1:10am

Hey guys the comment relating to the chain guide device availability sounds a little misleading as they are available. You can order them either with or without numbered specific guard. The options on the guard are to suit 34t/36t/38t c/rings.
Parts numbers for device with one 36t guard are either ISMCD506G105 or ISMCD506G103, part numbers for those devices without the guard are either ISMCD50X03 or ISMCD50X05.
Trust this all makes sense.

As for 6 bolts systems one word, agricultural!

dw - 04/24/13 - 10:56pm

So shimano overlooks doin a legit tubeless 29r carbon wheel set and instead decides to make a 29er tubular wheelst that, at most, less than 1% of the mtb cyclists own or even want for that matter. this makes no sense

Limba - 04/26/13 - 1:39pm

They will have clincher carbon wheelsets in the future and they will be awesome. Bet on it.

Jim Rawson - 05/07/13 - 1:00pm

dw,

You are not seeing the big picture of the “29er” tubular disc wheels. If you pay attention to the latest sneak peeks of 2014 cross bikes being made, you will notice they are all disc and 135mm+ spacing. Many new cross bikes will feature thru-axles also.

There will be a larger market for 29/700 135mm+ disc wheels than you think.

coating for tubulars - 05/15/13 - 11:18am

For most individuals and racers, clinchers are generally exactly where it’s from with regard to value. 1 high-quality tubular can expense up to the very best pair of clinchers.

Bobby Mutola - 08/12/13 - 9:51pm

Carbon ! We want carbon ! Mooooooore carbon!

Fabricio - 11/29/13 - 9:11am

OK 1 carbon lever (all the brake manufacturers have them years ago), one chain (many betters than Shimano), brake rotors (ice tech is crap many came bent before install them, buy a rotor tool and carry it in your pocket if you like them), chainguide (e13, MRP, Gamut build better first row pieces), carbon wheels (after years in cycling Shimano decided build a piece in carbon a rim and a brake lever …. sooooo great investment in technology). These hubs looks like the same old design with NO sealed bearings and hope that the spokes design are changed for one more friendly and no the kind off Shimano.

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