First Impressions: Riding Shimano's New XTR Components

Jun 26, 2018
by Mike Kazimer  


There's plenty of buzz surrounding Shimano's upcoming XTR 12-speed group, but most of that speculation is based on the photos and information that were released back in late May, rather than real-world experience with the new parts. (If you missed it, RC covered all the details in his First Look article). Even now, there still aren't that many groups out in the wild, and it's looking like it'll be late fall before there's any sort of widespread availability.

Despite the production delay, Shimano was able to build up a fleet of bikes with the initial run of parts, and invited a group of journalists to Crested Butte, Colorado, to try out the new components for themselves. Crested Butte may be short on oxygen (most trails begin around 9,000 feet above sea level) but the trails are incredibly scenic, with fast, flowing singletrack that winds through aspens and across open meadows. I was able to get in four days of riding, which was enough time to start forming some early impressions of this exciting new component group.






2018 Shimano XTR Launch in Crested Butte Colorado USA
Thanks to some clever engineering, Shimano has made it possible to still have smooth shifting even when you're putting down the power.

You Can Change Gears Whenever You Want

When Nick Murdick, Shimano's North American Product Manager, was giving the brief rundown on the new drivetrain, there was one point that caught my attention – the Hyperglide+ cassette is designed to shift well under load. Theoretically, the shaping of the teeth on the cassette and the chain design should make it possible to crank up a steep climb and shift whichever way you want without needing to soft pedal, and without causing horrendous metallic noises to come from the derailleur and cassette.

To test that theory, I purposely shifted poorly, waiting until I was in the middle of a climb to shift the cassette into an easier gear. The result? Quick, smooth, and precise shifting every single time, and it never felt like I was doing any damage to the drivetrain.

Riding XTR
Want to shift in the middle of a steep climb? You can, and the chain will gladly move right on over.

The shift up into that 51-tooth cog from the 45-tooth cog felt just as smooth as all the other jumps on the cassette. I was aboard an Ibis Ripmo, and the chain stayed securely in place even when I backpedaled more than I ever typically would. Shimano has a well-deserved reputation for paying attention to the steps between gears (although their 11-46 M8000 cassette might not fall into that category), and the new XTR cassette is a prime example. The tooth count difference between the cogs makes a lot of sense, with the bigger jumps positioned closer to the middle of the cassette, rather than having one monster shift into the easiest gear.

2018 Shimano XTR Launch in Crested Butte Colorado USA
Shimano's new dropper lever works with a variety of posts and mimics the feel of the shifter.
2018 Shimano XTR Launch in Crested Butte Colorado USA
The shifter has rubber pads on each lever for extra traction.

Shifter and Dropper Lever Ergonomics

Each click of the shifter is positive and well defined, and it takes less force on the lever to shift up into an easier gear than before. I'd say that SRAM's Eagle X01 shifter has a lighter action, but the XTR shifter has a more solid, distinct click when pushed. You can still shift down two cogs on the cassette with one push, but the second click is more noticeable than before, which makes it easier to avoid inadvertent shifts.

A new dropper post lever may not be as exciting as a 12-speed drivetrain, but the SL-MT800 lever has a nice feel, with a lever shape that mimics that of the XTR shifter. It was mounted up to a Fox Transfer post, a pairing that worked very well – even if none of the other new products described here pique your interest, this could be an upgrade worth considering.

2018 Shimano XTR Launch in Crested Butte Colorado USA
2018 Shimano XTR Launch in Crested Butte Colorado USA
The lever has been designed to provide better modulation, while the four piston caliper provides more power.

Saint Power With More Modulation

All of my ride time was spent on the four-piston XTR caliper, although there is a two piston version for cross-country riders who don't need massive stopping power and want to save some weight. The increased amount of modulation was immediately noticeable; there's not as much of an on / off feeling, and it's much easier to feather the brakes, which can come in handy in loose, slippery terrain.

The lever feel remained consistent over the course of the four days of riding I got in, but keep in mind that that the trails didn't have that many sustained super-steep sections – I'd need more time and a wider variety of conditions to make any sort of call as to whether or not the changing feel at the lever that was present in previous versions has been fixed. As far as power goes, I never felt undergunned, even in some of the steeper rock garden sections found in Crested Butte's Evolution Bike Park, but it'll still take more testing to really see how they stack up.

The only thing that's still missing is some sort of pad contact point adjust – I'm pretty picky about where my brakes start to grab, and even with the updated amount of free-stroke on the XTR levers I still found myself wishing they engaged just a little bit quicker.

2018 Shimano XTR Launch in Crested Butte Colorado USA
The Scylence freehub is completely quiet when coasting.

The Sound of Scylence

The vast majority of freehub designs currently on the market make some kind of noise when freewheeling, ranging from a quiet 'click, click, click', to what sounds like a swarm of angry bees. Shimano's new Scylence freehub sounds like... nothing.

That's right, the rear wheel is completely silent when you coast, and it might just be my favorite feature of the new gruppo. It's amazing what happens when those clicking sounds are eliminated – it was almost disconcerting at first to not have an audible speed indicator, but within seconds I was reveling in the silence. The lack of noise makes it easier to hear the sound of your tires grabbing at the ground, your brake pads contacting the rotors, and the rest of the world around you.

Sure, there's no longer an early warning system to alert hikers of your presence, but that's what a bell is for. I'd rather have the option to be noisy instead of being forced to make a racket all the time. And if you really miss the sound of a loud hub, a baseball card and a paperclip is all it takes.

Thomas Vanderham at 2018 Shimano XTR Launch in Crested Butte Colorado USA
Thomas Vanderham hits warp speed through the aspens.


bigquotesDrivetrains, hubs, and brakes all take much more than a few days to review – those are the types of components where long-term durability is of the utmost importance. Will those rubber pads on the shifters hold up? How will the hub's bearings fare after months of wet rides? Will the cassette and chain handle miles and miles of hard riding without wearing too quickly? I'm curious to find out, which is why we'll be getting a group in for testing as soon as possible in order to start a long-term review. Mike Kazimer









MENTIONS: @shimano



231 Comments

  • 88 9
 I'm a Sram guy, because I know a time when there was nothing else but Shimano. I like the look and feel of Sram, but this new XTR is looking very sleek. I especially like the shifting under load! Like to see how it holds up after a real world long term review!
  • 61 79
flag WAKIdesigns (Jun 26, 2018 at 1:19) (Below Threshold)
 I’d love Shimano to release a clunky version of XTR shifters. Currently it’s crispy and nice, none of that buttery rubbish of 960 and 970 but I do prefer clunky hard feedback like 9sp X0 had.
  • 45 171
flag seraph (Jun 26, 2018 at 2:11) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: Shimano already has a clunky shifter. It's called "everything they currently have".
  • 23 3
 @WAKIdesigns: building a dualslalom / bermslash hardtail right now with my old 9spd xo and 11-23 cassette -feels like really pulling a trigger. best ever
  • 21 3
 I'm a Shimano guy, but gotta admit the action feels better on a SRAM shifter. The new XTR groupset sounds overall brilliant though.
  • 58 6
 @excavator666: I feel completely the opposite...the shifter action is what made me a Shimano fan to begin with. SRAM's action feels clunky and plasticky, while Shimano's shifters feel like the switchgear on a Rolls Royce. Well...XTR at least...SLX not so much but then again the entire groupset is like $300 so what do you want.
  • 22 14
 @TheRaven: it's either engineered feel or whatever feel. XTR is distinctive, crispy, and I could argue that X01 and higher also have a nice touch to it. XT is almost there but SLX/ GX NX is fkng plastic mousse. It's about preference sure and I think desire for smooth shifts come from road bikes. I personally wouldn't care much IF I wasn't riding in chunky, ,undulating terrain where I shift extremely often, I need distinctive and solid shifts, I need to feel that it got in and how many shifts I have made per one pressing of the thumb. For that reason the 60 and 70 series of XT and XTR were preposterous for me, felt like having a soft dick in a condom. It coincided with clunky hard shifting of SRAM that i loved. Now Sram lost a bit of that feel while Shimano has stepped it up.

Meanwhile the finish has gone down for both Shimano and Sram. Gone are the days of fkng solid make of X0 and pre 970 XTR. XT looks like first SLX, and when I saw the orange plastic engagement lever for the clutch, I thought that somethign is seriously wrong here. pay premium for that, come on... Same with SRAMs 12sp rear mechs, ugh... dressing plastic up with gold elements, give me a break. Look at 2009 X0 and XX, that's fkng quality. Pure quality.
  • 6 0
 @WAKIdesigns: spot on with the feel of the 09 era Shimano vs SRAM. Not to mention the 2:1 vs 1:1 actuation ratio, IIRC. That super positive almost violent trigger shifting of SRAM was unmistakable and converted me to SRAM to this day. My 09ish XO rear mech was the best performing AND longest lasting mech I ever owned. At that time I figure Shimano fine for road or pure XC, but too delicate and sensitive for more aggressive terrain and gravity rising. Haven’t tried the latest SRAM or Shimano yet, but sounds like the gap has closed in terms of shifting feel/feedback.
  • 4 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I have always found the shift/feel of Shimano to be superior to SRAM. Granted I was away from the scene for a while so I missed a few gens of gear. My intro to SRAM was in the early/mid '90s with that horrible grip shift, and now on my Kona it has an x9 type 2 rear mech and x7 shifter which feels like garbage. My mid/late '90s rigid with original Xt mech and STX shifter feels/shifts much better. The mech/combo shifts Ok, but it's no Xt. That's for sure. As soon as Shimano releases a wide range 10spd Xt I'll be putting it on my HT and swapping the std Xt over to the Kona and ditching SRAM.

I find it hard to trust a company that advertises so much. Good products sell themselves.
  • 11 4
 My drivetrain gets busted up so quick that I really care less what brand it is as long as it still shifts after I use a rock to bang and bend the derailluer back into place. Fukng archaic tech. Or maybe I should choose better lines?
  • 3 1
 @Boardlife69: Maybe just accept that you tend to destroy things? I ride with more than one such a rider. They aren't bad riders they just seem to have really bad luck. One cant get through a ride without a flat and the other can't get through a ride without damaging his derailleur. Both have just accepted that that's how it is. Meanwhile i'm riding the exact same trails, right behind, aside, or in front of them, and haven't broken a derailleur in a decade. I've had like two flats in that time too.
  • 4 0
 @TheRaven: Lol I'll tell my buddy he's not alone...seems to get a flat every time, one time he got 3, in relatively rapid succession. Meanwhile I'm riding harder through the same stuff... nothing. Just the way it is sometimes.
  • 12 0
 @Boardlife69: You should try the Park Tools Derailleur Rock.

They're amazing.
  • 3 0
 @Boardlife69: or get a gearbox Big Grin
  • 10 0
 @excavator666: Ah yes, the DR-5, also handy for fixing people who leave dog poop in plastic bags on the trail.
  • 1 1
 @TheRaven: its all bout being smooth and riding with finesse I think!
  • 3 5
 @bohns1: ughm weren’t you the one saying you were destroying alu rims and that’s why you went for carbon? Big Grin
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I think your smoking crack dude! Haven't been on ALU since 2011..????
  • 1 0
 It is beautiful groupo and the shifting under load has me intrigued. I've been caught shifting late on my GX Eagle many times and I curse at it just as it curses back with metallic rage. Still I can't afford to drop that much coin on a groupo upgrade and a new wheelset to make it all work.
  • 2 0
 @optimumnotmaximum: New Bike Category: Bermslash Hardtail? Trek, are you listening?
  • 1 0
 @excavator666: I have the original Park Tools DR-5 prototype and the Park Tools Stick ST-D. Wink
  • 1 0
 @TheRaven: Can't get through a ride without a flat? Is your friend Greg Minnaar?
  • 40 8
 I’m a big fan of Shimano hubs for their rock solid dependability, price and weight. Looking forward to trying these quiet ones out.
  • 15 69
flag Nella-Bella (Jun 26, 2018 at 0:34) (Below Threshold)
 I think the brand is to old to understand cartage bearings
  • 75 10
 @Nella-Bella: or perhaps they understand that their own implementation of a simple cup and cone system is superior in just about every way Wink
  • 15 86
flag scottzg (Jun 26, 2018 at 0:59) (Below Threshold)
 @ThomDawson: You were whining about being a little dude on the Guerilla Gravity review, but nothing says 'tiny human' like being OK with shimano hubs. Stop using Reach as a size tool buddy, it means nothing in isolation.
  • 14 61
flag deadmeat25 (Jun 26, 2018 at 1:02) (Below Threshold)
 @ThomDawson: Cup and cone hubs are superior to a furry dog shit, but are inferior to everything else in the universe... What the f*ck are you talking about??? Smile
  • 31 6
 @scottzg: never had a problem with cup and cone myself. They always last forever and they couldn’t be easier or cheaper to replace.
  • 18 6
 @scottzg: that makes perfect sense....I see now that Shimano hubs only make sense for small riders. How blind I have been.
Stop assuming you know more than me buddy. If you wanna chat about geometry there’s a thread for that somewhere in the GG below thresholds lol
  • 18 4
 Ahhh hubs with non-replaceable bearing races.... in the Peak District.... where its wet and gritty all year round.... errrrr no
  • 24 6
 @ThomDawson: "in every way"; I wouldn't be so affirmative. Sure the cup cone system is excellent in many aspects.

However let's face it, the system requires a lot of extra care compared to indus. cartridge bearings due to its high exposure to water and contamination.

I know that people who were not especially aware of that burned a few XTR hubs...

You need to service (repack with fresh grease) those hubs way more often than standard hubs. If you ride in UK style conditions this can be quite a PITA.

When cartridge bearings are toasted, you change them and you're good; when cups gets corroded or damaged due to poor service, your hub is basically done.

Now if only the cups could be changed that would be another story...
  • 4 6
 @thenotoriousmic: Agreed, cup and cone is great. Shimano freehubs are reliably inadequate for anyone who makes good power. I'm excited about this new hub too, but i'll wait to see how they hold up.
  • 3 7
flag iqbal-achieve (Jun 26, 2018 at 1:14) (Below Threshold)
 @Barkit: “in just about every way”
See, we agree!
  • 27 3
 Cup and cone make perfect sense, and as long as it stays in perfect operating conditions, like the box it came in.
  • 12 4
 @Clarkeh: .....and the shelf it stays on
  • 2 2
 You can change the cups and yeah the freehubs were never the best. I’ve not used a shimano hub for a while have they not sorted this out yet?
  • 3 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Have you ever done it?

I'm genuinely interested, I mean are you sure Shimano really sells the cups as aftermarket items? To my knowledge it is not possible to change the cups inside the hubs (as with campy hubs for ex.) so are you sure they are removable?
  • 2 3
 @Barkit: Ive done it but never found a source of new cups though it was a while ago. I have swapped a few cups from different hubs though. I think you can buy a deore hub and use the cup from that (very cheap hubs). It’s easier than rebuilding a whole wheel. But I’ve only swapped like for like (saint-saint) so cant say with certainty about cross compatibility but it’s likely doable as the shells are alike for many across the range.
  • 1 0
 @ThomDawson: Thanks for the info. I've never tried to remove them as spares are nowhere to be found. Why on earth can't they sell fresh cups as well as beads and cones?

I find it quite baffling that high end parts like are not backed up with aftermarket stocks of such basic and essential spare parts...
  • 1 1
 @Barkit: yeah it is daft. I’ve only ever seen one cup completely toasted though and plenty of cones. The one cup that was dead was on a wheel I bought second hand, god knows what the guy had done to it (exactly nothing I assume) but I’ve never had a pair of my own wheels get near as bad. In fact I’ve never even replaced a cone on wheels I’ve owned from new.
I agree completely the cups ought to be available but like many other parts of the bike if you look after em I don’t think the cups are likely to die before your rim/ wheel is ready for the bin. But maybe I’ve just been lucky? I’m sure there are some with bad experiences too (looking at you Waki).
  • 2 0
 You can change the axle nut cups, but not the inside hub cups. They're pressed in and not removable
  • 3 2
 @IllestT: If they are pressed in, they should be removable in some way (just like cartridge bearings or campagnolo cups) unless the hub would be purposely designed to prevent this.

Heck even fork stanchions and steerers can be changed (companies like ND Tuned can do that) so these cups are probably removable. The issue is to get new ones...

Now Thom I fully agree with you, any part that is properly maintained can last for years especially with XTR build quality. It is just that the cup /cones system has much smaller service intervals in wet conditions than cartridge bearing style hubs.
  • 6 1
 @Barkit: in 20+ years of cycling I've never once heard of someone removing the pressed in hub bearing races in a Shimano hub. There's nothing to push against, no way of getting at them. Not possible
  • 4 1
 @Barkit: quite possibly but I haven’t used anything other than Shimano since I bought some hopes in like 2013 that just fell apart all the time so went back to Shimano. Service schedule is once a year, new bearings and grease (often they’re still fine) and I’m obvs riding in the U.K. and more often in winter than summer (I’m a gardener). Are Shimano bearings bigger than anything in cartridge type hubs? I’d think they probably are? Either way I’m much happier trusting them than any of the trendy barnoldswick rubbish in our weather. I’m not gonna try and tell people they’re better (I’ve tried that in the past!) but personally I really like them and will continue to use them very happily in all conditions.
  • 1 0
 @ThomDawson: First time I hear bad things about Hope, interesting to have a different opinion on their products though.

Yes, you are correct, the beads diameter in Shimano hubs is significantly bigger than in most if not all cartridge bearings.
A once a year service only O_o ??? I'm truly impressed.

We have a bunch of customers who are able to kill them (bike wash) in less than that. I guess you are using a very good and tenacious grease.

@IllestT : apparently ThomDawson managed to do so... I can't remember if there is a ridge to push them out once they are pressed in though. If you are right, then indeed it must be a real hassle to take them out, presumably with a bearing exctrator + slide hammer...
  • 2 0
 I always had problems with exploding Shimano freehubs, possibl because I am big, heavy and not particularly smooth with my pedalling. The actual hub bearings never gave me any trouble, in fact the XTR hubs I had way, way back when glided like a dream, but I blew out three freehubs in a year, after fitting number 4 I splurged on a King hub and eight years later it's still going, only needed one bearing and an end collar in that time.
  • 1 0
 I have just had a set of Deore hubs dissolve on me within 1k km Frown

Started to make slight noise at ~300km, started to make a weird grinding noise at 500km, at 1000k km there is so much movement in the hub that it's causing the brake disc to rub the calipers.

Off to the shop tomorrow - put on my immortal Hope hub based wheelset to get there...
  • 1 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: same here! it's a piss when that freehub just skips...or blocks! worse when you're like 3 to 4 days riding....
other than that - shimano over this side
  • 2 0
 I'm getting old and thus have used a whack of hubs thus far in my life. I recall when sealed bearing hubs were the hiball hubs in BMX and only the less costly ones used cup and cone. I;m sure it's still the case as it is on all hubs, really, Who else is producing high end cup and cone other than XTR?

Fast forward to now and I will go out of my way to spec Shimano hubs on my road bike. Plus they are f*cking quiet! Another thing one appreciates more, I believe, as they get older is silence. Or I should say, less noise. But they last forever and once properly lubed and set up need next to zero attention even riding year after year in the Vancouver rain.

Mountain bike hubs? I'm not as big a fan due to free hub issues. I'm sure Shimano has long since ironed out the issues but those first years of 12mm axle rear freehubs were junk.
  • 2 0
 @ThomDawson: yeah having started spannering recently Shimano hubs are a dream. I spent years concerned about the maintenance but new bearings can take 15min per wheel and put on a podcast or mixtape and I'll do that twice a year (not that I think you have to with the better sealed versions). It's not superior to other hubs but at least there is no hunting for bearings, or down time.
  • 1 3
 You're all f*cking mental, replacing bearing cups? What a load of bullshit, not one person here has ever done that.

If cup and cone hubs are better, then Chris King hubs must be shit i guess, oh and every other quality hub manufacturer.

f*cking moronic...
  • 1 0
 you buy a deore hub heat the outside with a heat gun and it actually drops out... brand new cup to replace your broken one.

Cup and cone hubs are better in so many ways all you have to do is undo two bolts every 6 months to replace some very cheap ball bearings. They roll faster, don’t bind on side loads it’s just shimano’s freehubs can’t be trusted not to slip when you’re about to crank of a drop.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I had completely forgotten about the freehub thing as it’s never caused me any problems. I am light but I used to ride trials when I was a kid so they get some abuse every now and then. Would be interested to know if they changed/ improved them or if there are still problems with the more recent ones.
  • 22 3
 Nice review! 1x done right! 510% range, perfect gear spacing, flow less shifting under power, and silent hub ... what more would one want! Oh, yes: four pistons XTR brake!
  • 31 14
 ''Shut up and take my.....wiat, no hub sound? completely quiet? Sorry mate, bye bye. Hello Hope / E*Thirteen / whatever hub with loud scary as f&$k sound''
  • 8 2
 Check out the Project 321 hubs. They've got a 216 POE with a "loud" option that will deafen you.
  • 8 0
 Profile hubs make a beautiful noise as well
  • 25 6
 @seraph: and enough rotating resistance you'll save money on brake pads
  • 6 0
 @Mngnt: their new hubs were tested as rolling faster than any hub on the market except onyx.
  • 6 0
 @Mngnt: @Mngnt: Project321 hubs are up there in the best hubs you can buy. They have the least rotating resistance of any other bike hub and they have the most points of engagement.
  • 21 0
 I've been on Onyx for a couple years now and I love the silence. I still have bikes with Hope and King hubs that I think sound cool but hearing my tires shredding is way better.
  • 4 0
 @Ride406orDie: onyx on my dh rig currently. Rode the trail bike with a 54t dt the other day, all my builds will have onyx now. Loud hubs were great when bikes were clacky and loud, now all I hear is tires and the hiss of oil in an ohlins. Pure bliss...
  • 4 0
 @dwmetalfab: Project 321 are nice. The stock Japanese EZO bearings are quite nice (not far behind CK imho) and the magnetic engagement is pretty low drag. But, I would have to say Onyx takes the cake for best engagement and lowest drag.
  • 1 0
 @Mngnt: disassemble, degrease, lube with Dri Slide, problem solved. Mine rolled for days.
  • 1 0
 @Mngnt: Too right I've a wheel set I swap between bikes one has a DT Swiss 350 with the regular star ratchet which is almost silent, the other hope Pro 4, the difference in how they roll is huge, the pro 4 makes it feel like the brakes are dragging in comparison to the DT Swiss.
  • 2 2
 @StevieJB: there is a lot more contact going on inside a DT. There is more drag, but also more durability in the engagement. With DT, keeping up on refreshing a light lube between the star ratchet can make a bit of a different.
  • 6 1
 Loud hubs save lives !
  • 1 0
 @dwmetalfab: these shimanos will have lower resistance, check out the mechanism
  • 2 0
 @FLATLlNE: no your wrong,
look at an actual test
www.fanatikbike.com/blogs/engage/onyx-racing-products-mtb-hub-review

half way down the page theres a chart the chart shows onyx and dt are head and shoulders lower drag than the rest

this shimano mechanism should provide similar or better than onyx, it FULLY RETRACTS the ratchet.
  • 1 0
 @englertracing: I'm actually correct as I said Onxy had very low drag.

But I could definitely be incorrect about DT having more drag than Hope - but again, lube makes a difference in the star ratched, of that I am sure. So does tooth count - 54t has more drag than 18t, or so many perceive, including myself. 54t and old dry lube will definitely slow down a DT hub. Having a light fresh lube helps, a lot, I think.

The Shimanos seem like a great concept - no pawl or clutch induced friction should mean they will spin for days as Shimanos xtr level bearings have always spun well.
  • 1 0
 @FLATLlNE: drag isn’t just the amount of surface touching eachother. Good lube let’s the ratchets in a dt hub glide smoothly. I big part of drag in a conventional hub is the spring tension on the pawls or ratchets. The spring wants to push the ratchets or pawl back against the drive ring, this causes the wheel to slow down. Most six pawl hubs suffer from this to a more noticeable degree. The i9 torch and 321’s (quiet) do a good job at reducing drag by having well machined interfaces and good quality springs, as well as good quality bearings that have lower friction seals
  • 1 0
 @mountainyj: I didn't say it was the only factor in drag of a hun. But certainly a large factor in the drag in the engagement system.
  • 1 0
 @FLATLlNE: think you posted that last one while I was typing.
While we’re on he topic, one of the lowest drag hubs is the new zipp axial clutch system. We’ve had a couple out under customer bikes now, very similar to a dt but uses magnets to help keep the ratchets slightly apart. They’re also low drag at the expense of good sealing...the seal between the freehub and hub body leaves a lot to be desired, even for a road hub. Lots of grit can work it’s way in, not the end of the world as there’s lots of room for dirt and contaminates to get pushed out of the drive mechanism itself, but requires a fair bit of maintenance under riders that rack up the miles.
  • 1 0
 @mountainyj: I don't have much experience with Zipp.

Either way, I think real application there isn't a lot of difference. I have sets of DT 240 with 54t ratchet, Onyx, Hope, Shimano XTR m9000, and Factor hubs all in use in our household currently and I really can't tell the difference in drag on trail - only in the bike stand.

I'll take well sealed any day over drag free!
  • 14 1
 How much does SRAM pay PB to plaster their advertising all over the front page when a Shimano article is posted? Too funny.

How's that shifting when ever you want working out? Have they actually improved the ramps/gates, or whatever they're called, on the cassette?

How long before we see Xt & lower getting the new treatment? I'd be happy with an Xt 10spd wide range, not asking for much am I?
  • 8 0
 This really is the first XTR group that gets me excited. That is, XT always looked better to me. Less sleek, more industrial. Now that even XTR looks good to me, I should probably be really excited about the next XT group! Most of the appeal obviously is in the technology. Love the hubs. Silent and wider flange spacing for the 11sp version.
  • 1 0
 I like that the design is more of an evolution of M980 than M9000, which looks much worse than M8000, which, ironically, got overshadowed in the looks department by M7000.
  • 1 0
 I like xt and xtr. Looking forward to trying these brakes instead of my wandering xts. Can't wait to try this dropper lever too!
  • 5 11
flag WAKIdesigns (Jun 26, 2018 at 1:47) (Below Threshold)
 @vinay they still use cup and cone bearings, no way I am spending this money on something that can seize during few runs in the park or when shuttling. That is the exact reason why so many Saint hubs failed, you don’t feel it when doing assisted riding and by the time you notice the hub is busted
  • 5 0
 I do agree. This is the first XTR that have tickled my scrotum since the 1998 version.
  • 6 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Personally, I have only good experience with cup and cone bearings. Easy to service and adjust with cheap and easy to find tools and parts. But those are all with solid small diameter axles (nutted or qr). All my tru axle hubs are from different manufacturers (Hope, DT, Fire Eye, Syntace). I wouldn't mind trying these from Shimano though. What could possibly go wrong if I do service them properly? I think I first need to destroy an XT or Zee hub to actually believe there is anything bad about them. I only once broke the tiny bearings between the freehub and the hub shell of an old XT hub when sessioning a rough bumpy corner. And even then it was cheap and easy to replace and fix (replacing that freehub). If there is any bad experience I've had with rear hubs, it must be the cassette eating into the freehub body (making it hard to remove). So that's where Shimano actually gets a plus from me Smile . I'm not questioning the bad experience you've had with your Shimano hubs but it takes quite something for me to justify spending three times as much on those from other brands if they've not proven to be so much better. Sure the Shimano XTR hubs are about as expensive as those from Hope. But then again XTR is for racing. I'm not racing. I've not done the slightest attempt at saving weight on my bike. XTR is not for me. XT and Zee are what I should be looking at. And at that price point, no other brand has an alternative with comparable performance.

@megatryn : Sounds painful. Apparently the cassette is a tad too large for you. I recommend you check out the more compact version too.
  • 4 9
flag WAKIdesigns (Jun 26, 2018 at 3:23) (Below Threshold)
 @vinay: what can go wrong? You need to tighten them with a rather good tolerance and do it damn tight. It’s much more hassle than going to friends workshop, borrowing bearing press and changing bearings. Last time I did it, took me 15 minutes.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: As mentioned, I have no experience with their tru axle hubs but I suppose it should be even easier than with their bolt-on and qr hubs. With these, you need to compensate for the clamping force of the bolts or qr. Sheldon Brown has a good explanation on his website how to adjust the bearings when the axle is already preloaded. I don't know much about the tolerance. When preloaded, just set it just tight enough that play is just gone. And yeah, tighten the locknut as tight against the cone as you can. It shouldn't just come loose. Unless maybe the entire axle is spinning in your frame because the bearings are insufficiently lubed. No idea why Shimano consistently uses too little grease in their hubs. Whenever I have a new hub from them, I open it and add a good bit of bearing grease, spin it, add some more. Well over a decade ago we had a workshop in a local bikeshop during after hours. Bring your wheels, we're going to service bearings tonight. Of course we spent a bit longer that first time but after that it was easy as can be. It probably takes me less than five minutes to just pump in some more grease and adjust the bearings. In well under those fifteen minutes, I also clean it and pop in some fresh balls.

But yeah, just use whatever works for you. I actually enjoy this process and don't like to throw away a complete cartridge bearing. I do understand it people just don't like the hassle and instead pop in new bearings and the hubs feel fresh again. As it is, I'm actually currently riding with cartridge bearings. I needed new wheels for my new bike anyway and came across a good deal for a wheelset that seemed pretty much perfect. Syntace W35, Procore compatible (so I'm running the tube at 6 bar without worrying that it will rip the rim apart, and an extra hole for a regular tube if I don't like or can't find the typical Procore tube with the silly valve) and they have a spare freehub body with steel ridges if the cassette eats the current one. Original plan was to build something with Shimano hubs though. Now I'm only going to do that if I can also find a new Shimano compatible replacement freehub for the Syntace hub so that I can actually swap back and forth between those wheels. Won't be soon either way. Oh, all these changing standards again!
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: that is true,totally agree. Cup bearings are cheap but it can´t compare to sealed one´s. If Shimano put sealed bearings,I´m very confidence it would be a best seller really quick.
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I can service and adjust a cup-and-cone hub in half the time of any cartridge hub i've ever replaced bearings in. I really really find it hard to believe that anyone could do a cartridge hub faster, at least without damaging it or the new bearings. All I need are two cone wrenches and some grease for the Shimano hub...not a $100+ blind bearing puller set (you assume everyone has a friend who owns one...I did not so I bought my own).
  • 4 5
 @TheRaven: I cannot adjust and service cup and cone because I do it once a year and it’s a relearning process every single time. It takes me same time to change bearings with parktool remover and press as it takes me to pick the fkng bearing balls and put them in place. My Shimano wheels got fkd in the park. 20mm Front seized a bit and that bit was enough, the rear died because the freehub got loose. I thought the play comes from bearings turned out it wasn’t. It was the whole thread holding the freehub that fell off os a result of rattling. I am not the only one with this issue. Every single person I know that got thwir DH bikes with Saint hubs got those hubs fkd, that includes girlfriend of of a mechanic. As far as I am concerned High end Shimano hubs have more failure rate than Superstar and there is always this dude who says it’s because he or she cannot adjust them properly. I saw countless fkd hubs and wheels in my friends workshop or on classifieds over here. I got 2 wheelsets with fkd hubs from my friend for free to serve as reserve parts if my XT wheels would get fkd. Adjust properly, fk yeah, because it takes a bloody fetishist to put up with doing it. I have no idea how this this even a subject of discussion.
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Conversely I used nothing but Shimano hubs for the first decade of my riding life and NEVER had a failure. When I stopped using Shimanos I still had two hubs that I bought used ten years prior and they spun like NEW. Nothing special - just full service each winter, adjust properly, ride all season, repeat. I have NEVER seen or heard of a performance like that from cartridge bearing hubs.
  • 8 14
flag freeridejerk888 (Jun 26, 2018 at 6:50) (Below Threshold)
 Just shut up @WAKIdesigns:
  • 6 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Seems you have some bad experience with them so I understand you may not like them anymore. Not all of the issues you mentioned there seem to be related to the cup and cone bearings though.

A long while ago I crashed because I got hit by a car while I was at speed, about the left end of the front axle. I had a bent 180mm brake rotor and a broken axle of the Deore hub. So he had to pay me for a new brake rotor and a new axle (which came with new cones). Ever since, I kept breaking axles in that hub. After a couple of axles, I realized the hub shell may have been bent too which caused the axle to fatigue over time. I replaced the hub with a new Shimano hub and have been fine since. So it could be that you may have some alignment issues in your frames or fork, causing stuff to break? It is a mystery to me. You and people you ride with break them, many others don't. Either way, I hope you agree that those who don't have problems with them (and are fine with the service routine) have every reason to be happy with the Shimano hubs as they are.

@freeridejerk888 : That wasn't nice.
  • 3 2
 @freeridejerk888: his batting average is declining for sure.
  • 9 0
 “There's no longer an early warning system to alert hikers of your presence, but that's what a bell is for.” I can’t wait for the release of the matching XTR bell!
  • 4 0
 It'll be cup and cone, just sayin'
  • 6 0
 Imagine a high quality wide range group that isn’t a two person job to set up on a long travel bike, doesn’t need a ridiculous proprietary piece of plastic as a guide and works consistently well across changing conditions without a wacky narrow wide jockey wheel...
  • 8 2
 I like how Shimano press releases/reviews on PB are preceded by SRAM Eagle ads compelling me to look the other way.
  • 6 0
 “a baseball card and a paperclip is all it takes. ”

@mikekazimer you meant to say hockey card, right?! Wink
  • 17 1
 Nope, I’m an American.
  • 7 0
 @sospeedy 2 point demerit for mixing up the Pinkbike Mikes.
  • 4 1
 People familiar with adjusting cups and cones: "Shimano hubs are great!The seals keep the majority of crap out, and they are easy enough to service if need be. Cheap and cheerful!"

People not familiar with adjusting cups and cones: "Fu$% this $hit! Shimano is crap, hubs destroyed themselves! Yadda yadda"

I was a little leary, but just rode through one of the wetter winters here in Vancouver, and my Deore 12x142 hubs are spotless.

As mentioned, Shimano is usually pretty good with gear ratios, so why the MASSIVE jump on the M7000 and M8000 cassettes between the 37 and 46t. WHY! TELL ME WHY!

Hopefully this is the comeback of Shimano after some spotty years with regards to reliability and product quality. And that migrating brake engagement point thing....
  • 6 0
 I Hope Noyse Micro Spline hubs get released
  • 6 4
 Please can we get a long term review on the brakes?

The levers on the previous generation are shockingly unreliable for the price. The only consistent thing about them is the ever changing biting point as air makes it's way in through the lever (You can physically see this after a few months of usage when you bleed them yet again), and shifts around the system - If you're really lucky you can get one ride from a bleed or new set before the issues start again.

Yes, they have a 3 year warranty, but that's because you bloody need it! After 3 sets on warranty, I have lost hope... At least they looks cool though?!
  • 10 12
 I recently tested the method called neglection and the inconsistent feel nearly disappeared. Maybe they designed them that way Smile still... want tge new Guides or Hopes
  • 4 1
 I bought Zee brakes a couple years ago and they were inconsistent and I told everyone who got close to my bike that shimano brakes are inconsistent and would not buy them again. And then one day I watched all the bleeding methods on youtube, tried even the most ridiculous ones, and guess what no inconsistency since then. I mean it's a closed system, if air comes out during bleeding then it's still not bled properly.
  • 4 0
 @rawrr: LOL - The point is they're bled properly, it's the design of the lever and sub-standard seals within them that subsequently allow air back in over a short period of time (Which decreases with use).

If you are willing to put up with them for long enough, you will literally see fluid / air leaking from the lever.

I have had saints, XTs and the previous generation XTRs with minimal issues (Though I know many others who have had the same issues on them), it seems to be related to the design / materials of the current generation XTR levers specifically.
  • 2 0
 @tristanpalmer: Sorry I totally missed the point that you're talking about an XTR specific issue. I just had my first coffee and I'll be fine now.
  • 8 11
 @rawrr: everyone I talked to, who is knowledgeable, mainly mechanics say it is the lever design on ALL recent Shimano brakes that causes the problem. The 5 minute bleed works because it removes air from the master cylinder, still you need to make those bleeds where in many other systems you don't have to. Also every single time I bleed my XTs there is cloudy sht in it, even if the fluid is a month old. Are aliens from Arrival communicating with me? Then I personally haven't found bleeding recent Shimanos ANY easier than SRAMs, it USED to be easier when you were bleeding it top down, then top up, then eventually left open for the night. My older Saints were working great every single time i bled them with my poor skills and that was also once per year. But then the old ones were suffering from either leaking or easily seizing pistons. I really do not know where the fanboism for Shimano brakes come from. I am really tired of people who behave like they are master mechanics while vast majority of riders in the world are scared to open ANY brake. yes you can make them work, you just need to do it more often than other brakes.
  • 1 0
 @rawrr: It is, and it isn't but that's a whole extra can of worms, as eluded to by the comment above, and I'm still on my first coffee! I've just found through experience (Read: Costly mistake) it effects XTR more than the other levers.
  • 4 1
 This. I have yet to see any explanation in any of the Shimano sponsored media pieces about why the last generation of brakes had that problem and what they did to fix it.

Just that things are “better”.

I’m sorry, but I just can’t see dropping real money on these until I’m confident they have fixed the problem. No more “stealth recalls”, no more telling me to bleed them once a week. I’m skeptical.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Is obvious that many Shimano brakes fails. I think the point being a close circuit is to stay close,Shimano brakes can deal positive pressure,from inside to outside but negative pressure let some air go inside and mix with the oil. Only way I think you can avoid this,is never let brake pad wear too much,maybe it sound stupid but that way you are avoiding too much negative pressure when releasing the brakes or let the bike rest for a few days. I always check brake pads and use them 50% or less,then replace it. In 1 year I wear like 8 sets of pads and bleed the brakes 2 times only.
  • 1 0
 @homerjm: That is ridiculous, Homer. No one should have to fiddle with brakes like that. The system is designed to work when sealed and contaminant free. What we have with Shimano brakes is...something else. I haven't messed with the Guides I have on my YT, but I'm afraid of the hassle I'll encounter when it is time to bleed the lines. I just wish these guys would build a proper master cylinder with an external reservoir. And smaller versions of banjo bolts. I'll take the extra grams to have an easier time bleeding.
  • 2 5
 @rawrr: then why does Shimano suggest a full bleed every few rides and a bubble bleed at the lever before every day of riding?

And yes they do, call and ask
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I have the same experience. The brakes feel great after a fresh bleed, but they lose power and bite point over time and need re-bleeding every ~4 months. I've heard the black cloudy stuff in the fluid is plastic from master cylinder that wears, but I don't really know. I do a full fluid flush till it runs clean, and it'll be 100% black the next time I bleed.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: I took my XT master cylinders apart when one was sticking. It was screwed, but I was amazed by the amount of black gunk that it produced - inside the mater cylinder. Dust gets into the lever, it gets ground into the cylinder, and ends up in the fluid. No doubt in my mind.
  • 2 0
 @dthomp325: The funny bit with mine is that I haven't touched it since December and suddenly it settled for only slightly incosistent feel. Have just been to Hafjell bike park and it's still working. Last year I got it bled, perfect for 2 weeks of local riding, got to the bike park, 3rd run of the day and the lever goes anywhere from slightly bubbly Sram Guide to Formula The One in a matter of few brakings. Back to current state, it goes between slightly bubbly Sram Guide and newly bled XT, doesn't go to that awful Formula on off feel. it's like 90% consistent. My experience with various brakes over the years leads me to think: doesn't need to be perfect, don't touch it until it goes bad again. I don't mind it getting slightly soft sometimes but if it grabs hard immediately after I pull the lever, that thing is fkng dangerous. Sram may not be best, but hwen I had Guides they never did that, they just went slightly too spongy at times which was acceptable.
  • 1 0
 @Poulsbojohnny: something else is air inside the "close system"?The real problem in bike brakes is the tiny amount of fluid in the system and the feel it has in your finger. You can make more complex brake,with more fluid or an external reservoir but I think it is not necessary. Hope brakes are well known for the long term reliability,it is obvious to me Hope brakes are far superior to Shimano or SRAM in quality&source material choice. Shimano brakes are cheap and powerful but lacks in any other aspect like long term reliability,or service time. To me Shimano need to improve material choice like better rubber seals and probably more precise machining,not a new design. Not wearing the pad too much is the only way I found my brakes stay clean inside (fluid is not chocolate drink or baby poo color) and the lever feel is OK. For me is working very well,my local dealer always ask me if I use the brakes while ridding! Big amount of free play in the lever and a lot of travel is in my opinion what make shimano brakes fail really quick.
  • 4 0
 Video: can you make the words louder than the music, pretty please? Might be a language barrier thing, but I couldn't make out a word of what was said.
  • 2 0
 How much are these hubs? Looked at stealth and onyx but got mixed reviews massive weight and crazy expensive.
Sorry hope but I can't stand the racket anymore. If I have to grease bearings instead of free hub pawls all the time it's no difference maintenence wise and cup and cone have less drag.
  • 2 1
 I have no idea on how much the XTR hubs are, but check out DTSwiss hubs! I have them on 2 bikes and love them. They have the right blend of volume (definitely on the lower side), ease of maintenance (done at home, not a shop), and affordability (looking at the 350s). The base engagement is sub-par, but the 54T upgrade is awesome and is a tool-less install.
  • 1 0
 @cgdibble:
Na had a spin before on them still annoying. Admittedly I'm overly sensative about most/all noise. I'm all about the peace and quiet or I get head aches. Bar the odd bout of ac/dc and
sweet engine noise blasts.
  • 1 0
 @markg1150: That is fair, figured it was worth mentioning. I have 2 sets and I think I need to clean and re-grease the loud one as they are pretty different noise levels at the moment. The loud one being the one in need of some love.
  • 4 2
 How is the engagement on these hubs? On paper it’s a step below the King’s and I9’s. Is it a big deal? Love the idea of silence. Even if it’s not a big deal, I don’t like the idea of downgrading engagement to get it. These are XTR, they should be “the best”.

It’s mystifying to me how Shimano gets some details so right (the rubber shift pads) and others totally wrong.
  • 4 0
 I'd like to see some metrics on the friction introduced by high engagement hubs, seems like the drag could outweigh benefits for gravity racing.
  • 4 0
 My only disappotment with the new group is that Shimano didn't celebrate XTRs 25th Birthday with a throwback blue and silver colorway.
  • 6 4
 On thing I really like about mountain biking UK magazine is that every measurement is always given in both forms. It's really helpful to see "100mm (4")". You should do it @pinkbike
  • 2 2
 25.4mm to an inch. Pretty easy conversion, if you round that down to about 25mm.
  • 6 2
 @seraph: Unless you are talking about the new metric inch standard which is 28.99mm
  • 1 0
 @harrybrottman: "Boostinch tm"
  • 1 0
 @harrybrottman: Lol... I thought those jokes died at least 28.99 days ago
  • 2 0
 @seraph: yeah I know, and I can convert 9000 feet to about 3000m, but it would be good if I didn't have to
  • 1 0
 Really excited about the whole shifting-under-load thing. I had planned to develop something to solve that problem, but hey, if this works and saves me the trouble, cool. Just so long as it becomes more widespread, instead of racer oriented.
  • 1 0
 I'm a serious Sram guy and thought to myself why even bother clicking on this. What could it have that matters to me? Well shifting under load is pretty appealing. I like the range of my E.thirteen 9-46 cassette even if it's not as smooth shifting as Eagle.
IF I just need a new freehub body on my DT350 hubs I might consider it if the long term reviews are good.
On the other hand reliable, powerful brakes are high on my list of wants. I can't get a good bleed on my Magura's so I have to pay someone else to do it. Will these brakes be the shit? Maybe we'll know by next spring.
  • 4 3
 OMG I just can't wait to see XT gruppo! Shimano is back on top! They just smashed the road world with R9000 & R8000 and now it's mtb's turn. So sick of Sram's domination and overpriced stuff that last barely a year. Say what you want, I'm yet to see an 11 or eagle cassette from Sram that last just half as long as a shimano xt or slx.
  • 4 1
 You must not be looking very hard then. Sram cassettes are made of rather nice grade of hardened steel that outlasts pretty much anything else. Hence why they are expensive. Though I suppose fanboy goggles distort vision.
  • 3 2
 Did I see correctly that the Scylence Hubs use an aluminum splined body ? Even though the are longer splines I have never known aluminum to endure over time. That's probably called "Planned Obsolescence" so you can buy more parts.
  • 3 1
 Can't wait to ride on Scylence hubs without the annoying buzzing! One reason I got into Mt. Biking to get away from the noise only to find Mt. bikers with loud speakers on their bikes!
  • 2 1
 Where are the new rotors though? I haven’t seen them on any bike equipped with XTR. Why aren’t they on any of the bikes? I was hopeful my question would be answered in this article but I guess the mystery remains unsolved...
Anyone have any ideas why I haven’t been seeing them on the test and pro bikes?
  • 1 0
 I've always been a Shimano fan boy. They may not be the first to market with new tech or have the most modern styling, but their products are bomb proof and in my experience, don't require as much upkeep as the Sram equivalent. Just set and forget.
  • 1 0
 as much cool as this is, i hate that its getting so much fame with everyone. i dont care about XTR, most people cant afford it. id love to see shimano bring out this 12spd drivetrain before the end of the summer so i can actually have it on my next bike!
  • 1 0
 I'll just put my comment way down here for nobody to care about it...
I miss the old XTR caliper that was one-piece, and didn't rely on flexy bolts and rubber to hold it together. That's why I switched over to Hope. That, and I roach mineral oil so fast it's not practical for a 235# rider. The day will never come when I can buy a sexy XTR lever, with a 4-piston mono-block caliper, DOT5.1, with a 6-bolt, 220+ rotor...
  • 1 0
 Im ready!! SRAM VENT.....and go... I just got a GX eagle as spare to my XO1 eagle and what a pile of dogshit. the amount of play between the main bolt and the derailleur body is unacceptable. Yet my XO1 has no play. How can this fly doesn't seem like something shimano would have settled with this regardless of the group set. 2 derailleurs i have had completely shredded the plastic pulleys right of the bearings. throwing the chain and conveniently ruining 2 wheel-sets. And whats up with a descent cassette that doesn't weigh a shit load costing 300 bucks its outrageous! Also lets not mention that SRAM just told my bike shop an acceptable amount of play in my dropper should be 7-8 mm !! come on, so the thing feels like a shock, f that. Cant wait until my one up dropper is in! My codes on the other hand those are awesome!
  • 1 0
 I have the ability to predict the future:
PB's long(er) term 'review' on the new XTR d-train is gonna (just like every other 'review') be full of flowery adjectives that are intended to make you wanna go out and buy the whole sha-bang including the requisite rear hub(which Kazimer being aware of, has already started glorifying) purchase.
Bonus prediction: The same day said "review" pops up, there will be an XTR banner ad at the top of the PB home page
  • 1 0
 I cannot see why some mates over here prefer the buzzing sound of a loud hub to the sound of nature and your wheels shredding the dirt.
I am completely sold to the silent hub. My opinion: The louder, the more friction. Do we need that?
  • 4 1
 Pull all the Xtra money out of your wallets kids, this ain't going tho be cheap
  • 4 0
 how am i going to scare the bears away with a silent drivetrain
  • 4 1
 why is there a massive attention grabbing Eagle AD on my page the moment this article is released?
  • 1 0
 Shimano has a good quality game, no replacement for their top of the line brakes in my opinion!

However let's be honest: pad contact adjustment and hubs are not so much in their bag of tricks.
  • 1 0
 I appreciate the forward looking details in the piece such as the brake consistency. Do you think you will have a longer term review answering those questions out before the groupset is available in late fall?
  • 1 0
 This group set almost makes me want to wait until next year to buy a new bike... just to see what comes with these factory. It all looks amazing. Especially the shifting under load and the scilence rear hub. Bikebonner
  • 1 0
 It's a small thing, but they moved the brake lever clamp towards the middle of the reservoir. This should be nice for folks running the integrated mounting, to move the shift pod or dropper remote inward towards the stem.
  • 2 0
 Still unsure if new 11spd cassette spacing has changed...but only moderately embarrassed
  • 2 1
 it probably the most awesome stuff, however WTF I cannot purchase that? WTF? Shimano - please make that publically available...
  • 3 0
 Baseball card in the spokes is classic.
  • 1 0
 Might make sense for a new bike, otherwise the transition to this group-set requires a new rear wheel/hub? (still on 11x for my bikes here).
  • 2 0
 Mike, on one of the photos, there is a knob on the left side of the axle. Numbered 1,2,3. What, pray tell, is that?
  • 1 0
 Hopefully they have a bit lighter weight 11 speed XT cassette without the stupid 37 to 46 tooth jump by the time I wear through my current 11 speed Sunrace Cassette.
  • 1 1
 SO what we have here is engineering vs winging it. No falling off the larger rear cog while backpedaling without resorting to a wide narrow cog that requires occasional slam err slide back into sync.
  • 2 1
 12 speed is so passe. I'll wait for Shimano's new 15 speed setup. It's set on a fatbike's axle, but designed for enduro. Eat that SRAM!
  • 1 0
 Shimano river runs deep. XTR is art expressed as machinery. If I had one bike, yup. So next year new, new XT with an an XTR shifter and maybe the hub.
  • 1 0
 Nice product promo. lol. How about you guys talk about _what you liked_ instead of rehashing the product specs and variations?
  • 1 0
 When I shift hard on any climbing with my xtr I break my chainFrown and I just got my xtr set a month ago not knowing this new shizz was coming,I want it!
  • 3 2
 I'm usually not very enthusiastic about drivetrains but I must admit I'm triggered.
  • 1 0
 will the shifter (@11speed set) + RD work on current 11speed cassete spacing?
  • 2 0
 Allegedly the new XTR shifter will still use 12-speed indexing when set to 11-speed mode.
  • 1 0
 I'm still not convinced. But those cranks would look sweet on a single speed.
  • 1 0
 Finally got rid of the titanium freehub body so hub prices won't be ridiculous. Nice.
  • 1 0
 Silent hubs? Well that killed my boner.

I'll stick to the gorgeous sound of a Hope pro or Mavic ITS-4 thanks
  • 1 0
 Just wanted to say, beautiful pictures! Love the motion blur in some of them
  • 1 0
 the hub looks very slick and modern, hard to believe it is cup and cone in there.
  • 1 0
 Sounds great. Let me know when I can get the same performance in an XT package/price point.
  • 1 1
 It's nice, but I wouldn't prefer a silent hub. It's nice having some hub noise to alert any animals, hikers, or climbers that might be just around the corner.
  • 1 0
 I personally really like a loud hub but one that is silent has me intrigued. Plus this whole setup looks rad AF.
  • 2 0
 Anyone else noticed the mech isn't direct mount?
  • 2 0
 Any talk of di2?
*puts on flame coat*
  • 1 0
 Sweet now I can 180 my full suspension and the fakie won’t kill my derailleur
  • 1 1
 A bike without sound, can be a problem in security issue. I think that the more you hear the better a bicycle comes for our safety and that of those around us.
  • 1 0
 Silent freehub? The two best sounds on my bike is the sound of my Chris king rear hubs and tyres ripping against the ground
  • 1 0
 Bar clamps still dont easily integrate with brake levers. And a new freehub. Sweet
  • 1 0
 Ooooh...46,47,48,49,50,51....
  • 3 2
 "Thats what a bell is for" what the f*ck is that?
  • 3 1
 Right? I totally want to clutter the bars and have another thing to think of coming down steep sections or around blind corners.

Coming out soon: shimano XTR wheel reflectors and dork rings!!!
  • 3 0
 @loganm2977: Something like a Timber Bell is not something you think about while riding. If you want, you can turn it off while climbing or whatever, then turn it back on for the downs.

The bell can be annoying to have going, but being heard is important. In my experience, hubs have done a sub par job of alerting other trail users while the bell works incredibly well.

Plus, I love me a quiet ride so quiet hubs and turning off the bell are the best, which is most of my rides.
  • 1 0
 Error mssg
  • 1 0
 @cgdibble: I definitely call out or flat out stop as I am always on the big bike and descending, and not always in a bike park.

To contradict myself I wouldn’t be above using a small cow bell or the bell you mention.

All that being said nothing stops the glares or negative comments no matter how nice I am so in certain places I do indeed just fly by people. If you see me coming from more than a hundred yards you’re best bet is moving.
  • 1 0
 @loganm2977: Yeah, there still is sufficient animosity going around that seems unavoidable.

The Timber bell seems like something you should try, it helped me enjoy the downs more at certain trail systems that are general laden with people. They just hear the thing coming and hell, now I more often than not get nice comments or folks giving thanks for the bell. It has made the experience of ripping down a multi-use trail far more enjoyable because it has taken the stress out of it.
  • 2 0
 @cgdibble: thanks for the info. I would love to be able to create more community and stoke on multi use trails. That and dial down my trail use dickish-ness. That and I FINALLY realized that maybe, just maybe, a guy on a dh bike wearing a full face and mirrored goggles whose low psi tires you can hear eating trail from a mile away does connote a certain attitude to those outside of the mtb community, and it isn’t a positive one.
  • 1 0
 Scylence won't make me feel cool cuz i can't bzzzz by people Frown
  • 1 0
 Wedge a crushed plastic water bottle in above the rear tire, or clip a playing card to a rear spoke, or... Imagination Big Grin
  • 2 3
 It would be the perfect group if they offered some decent size chainrings. There should be at least a 42t option to pair with that massive cassette.
  • 2 1
 Campy needs to get into this action.
  • 1 0
 Ummm... don't bother questioning the bearings.
  • 1 1
 Please see advertisements on the main page to see why sram is obviously better.
  • 1 0
 The new brakes look very nice.
  • 2 0
 Looks like SRAM.
  • 1 0
 Still no bite point adjust on xtr!?
  • 1 0
 Yeah no kidding and if you read between the lines the modulation isn't exactly amazing either. Shimano is still shimano. Im not a fan of traditional shimano light switches but in my mind I was thinking that these would finally be the ultimate brakes and I would have to have them. Missing bite point adjustment is a miss.
  • 1 0
 Blimey, they've nailed the look on this lot...especially the hub, damn.
  • 1 0
 finally super quiet wheels, defo be buying them
  • 1 0
 You mean it's not going to go *CRUNCH* like an eagle!? Count us in.
  • 1 0
 XTR parts look Trick..
  • 1 0
 Damn, want this ones.
  • 4 4
 What decent drivetrain DOESN'T shift well under load in 2018???
  • 16 1
 What decent rider shifts under load?
  • 3 4
 Dunno, (I 'll just stick with my 11-42 deore 10sp. As for the others, grow some legs and harden the F@ck Up [rule no 5]
  • 1 0
 do you even enduro?
  • 1 1
 @jtayabji: redirected to rule no.5 as immediately above
Good luck spending your quid to enduro with the XTR, unless you are a dentist.
Oh no wait, it has Hyperglide+! Just as my 8sp 1990 12-21 road cassette!
  • 1 1
 51 tooth pizza plates...Even roadies will be laughing at us
  • 2 2
 A hub without sound it's a hub without soul.
  • 1 0
 Bring us your XT!!!!
  • 1 0
 i'm wet already
  • 2 3
 Yes! Finally! Next gearbox!
  • 5 8
 And still, 100 years on we still get exciting about a derailleur and a cassette.
  • 26 0
 If all we had was gearboxes and someone said "Here is a system that can shift under load, is lighter, user serviceable and if you break one part you can replace only that part, yourself, at home in 10 minutes" people would actually be losing their shit.
  • 2 0
 @Patrick9-32: That's a pretty good summary of the problem.

I wait in vain hope of a gearbox drivetrain with the properties that you mentioned, but alas, it's never to be.
  • 3 0
 @tsheep: And not only that, but the derailleur based systems are getting better. It may be 100 year old technology in concept, but the same is true of today's internal combustion engines - and just like those, there's been a lot of progress. A current middle-of-the-road working man's 1x11 SLX drive train would blow a mid-90s rider's mind - you can get away with a fair amount of load on the chain while downshifting, something that back then would have caused serious damage. If they can improve on that on the downshifts, and even make it possible for the upshifts with those new shift gates, more power to them.
  • 1 1
 @g-42: All true. But i am seeing plenty of Teslas on the road yet i am not seeing many gearbox bikes. This industry needs some drastic innovation in terms of gear shifting tech. The talent and knowledge is out there. Its just needs putting into practice and breaking down barriers
  • 2 0
 RIP gearbox 2018! People cry about how heavy bikes are becoming, they don't realize there's too much material in a gearbox, is heavy...don't think they wanna be pushing 40-50lbs bike, unless e-bkes!
  • 1 1
 @drivereight: Lol they're not that heavy mate. The point you are missing is that the gearbox bike should have been introduced and refined many many years ago. Cassettes and mechs are ancient tech that should have died along with cantilever brakes, elastromers, flex stems and anything anodised purple!!
  • 1 0
 @Geochemistry: Lol Love it, brings back memories of my purple brake boosters!!
  • 1 1
 @Matt76:
You know the saying "talent follows money?" Well, there's a lot more money in the automotive industry than there is in the bike industry. Not to say there's not talented engineers working on bikes, but Honda's R&D department is probably bigger than the entire bike market as a whole.

If some miracle gearbox comes around that is light, efficient, and easily serviceable, it sure as hell isn't going to appear on a bicycle before it's on a car, truck, or moto. So no, the knowledge isn't out there, perhaps because it isn't realistically possible with the current state of materials science, and you'll know because your car has it first.
  • 1 1
 @tsheep: What a waste of two paragraphs. That is complete bollocks
  • 1 0
 @Matt76: All you have to do is look at all the standards out right now- there's your answer to why gearboxs won't become widespread.

The frame has to be built around it.
  • 1 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: But the frames have to be built to accomodate current set ups. No reason why same can not be done for gearbox and have a 'standard' attachment!
  • 1 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: And frictional losses are pretty big.
  • 1 0
 Of course you are all right and i am wrong. What was i thinking. Lets stick with cassettes and mechs and never innovate!
  • 1 0
 @Matt76: No one said that, but you're expecting a standard in an industry that doesn't like them.
  • 1 0
 @Matt76 Nice straw man.

You are saying they could just make frames with one gearbox standard and then everyone would use that. Even if you ignore the fact that there are around 5 gearbox manufacturers right now and 6 gearbox mounting standards (pinion has two) the bicycle industry can't even standardise bottom brackets which are incredibly simple by comparison. This is why: xkcd.com/927
  • 1 0
 @Patrick9-32: If thats the case then there is no reason not to have gearbox bike!
  • 1 0
 @Matt76: But there are gear box bikes. You can go buy one right now, the friendly folks at Zerode are more than happy to sell you one of theirs, and those get pretty nice reviews. It's possible that gear boxes for bikes are about to make another leap in performance that'll see them so superior, even the higher cost (due to lack of economies of scale) will cause more early adopters to buy one, and then they'll just slowly but surely take over the market. If so, great. Right now, it seems like even among early adopters with the means to buy them, gear boxes are not taking off yet. If you have one, and you want to change it, hey, be sure to let your friends ride it so they can see the light.
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