First Look: All-New Shimano XTR M9000 Race & Trail Brakes, Plus New Carbon Wheels
Like the all-new XTR drivetrains coming in 1x, 2x and 3x systems, the new XTR M900 brakes get both Race and Trail tuned iterations to fit different types of riders.
Their last major mountain bike brake update introduced the IceTech finned pads and Freeza rotors to drastically reduce heat build up. Now, they’ve further improved thermal management by 10% with insulated pistons and pad coatings. Other refinements make for smoother lever action and increased user tuning.
Grab a handful of info below…
Both the Race and Trail versions use an insulated carbon phenolic piston and coated pads. Carbon Phenolics were developed for rocket nozzles and thermal protective systems for spacecraft reentry. Namely, spaceship nosecones. If they can dissipate heat there, chances are pretty good they’ll handle anything you can do braking. Both levers get the new i-Spec II mounting with a slim band clamp.
The M9000 XTR Race Brakes get a lighter magnesium caliper and master cylinder with a carbon fiber lever blade and titanium mounting bolts to minimize weight. Total per wheel is claimed at just 190g.
The pencil-thin master cylinder makes for one heck of a clean cockpit when it’s all alone!
The M9020 XTR Trail Brakes use a preloaded aluminum caliper with the finned pads for more potent braking power. Up front, a new ServoWave lever design gets a Sil-Tec coated roller (same as their new chains) for decreased friction. It’s installed into a new alloy master cylinder body with a carbon lever blade for improved stiffness. Besides material changes, it also adds the tool-free reach adjust and tooled free stroke adjust. Claimed weight is 235g per wheel.
Both use the existing Freeza RT99 rotors, but there’s a new 140mm size for real XC weight weenies. Claimed weight for the 160mm is 125g. Available in 140, 160, 180 and 203mm sizes.
NEW XTR WHEELS
Back with a premium hoop set, Shimano’s new M9000 Tubular wheels use a full carbon tubular rim in 29er only.
It’s aimed at the XC racer with a 1,300g wheelset weight and just 28 spokes per wheel. Rim weight is a paltry 275g! In the back you have the option of 12×142 E-Thru or QR rear axles. Up front, it’s only 15mm front thru axle hubs. Which hubs? Why, these updated XTR HB/FB M9000 hubs of course:
Mostly getting cosmetic upgrades to match the rest of the new group, the rear does get a lighter bearing and axle system to drop 33g from the prior generation.
For regular XC and trail riders, they have two new carbon laminate wheel sets. The WH-M9000 TL is the Race version with a 20mm interior width, and the WH-M9020 TL is the trail version with a 24mm inside width.
It’s essentially the same carbon-laminated-over-aluminum rim design they’ve used on their Dura-Ace wheels for a while now. The benefit is lighter overall weight than just alloy but with the added stiffness carbon can provide.
The number on top is outside width, below it is inside width. Both of the tubeless models will be offered in 27.5″ and 29er sizes. Nope, no 26″.
As expected, the wheels and hubs are only offered with Center Lock brake rotor compatibility. Since Shimano’s new 11-speed cassette is the same width, these are automatically 10 and 11 speed compatible. Eleven mountain bike speeds, that is…they’re not wider like 11-speed road freehubs.
Photo Notes: Photos with predominantly blue background and studio shots are courtesy of Shimano.