XTR 9100 is Here - How Did it Remain So Secret?

May 25, 2018 at 15:52
by Richard Cunningham  
New XTR
The first spy shots of what looked to be a production XTR M9100 ensemble were published only days before the official launch.


Shimano is better than most at keeping secrets. Ask Pinkbike Tech Editor Mike Levy. He spent a good deal of time at the 2017 Eurobike Expo drilling product managers for any tidbit of intel that related to Shimano's upcoming XTR group. Levy was not very successful, but he took a flyer and used his often vivid imagination to paint a picture of how the new XTR might go down. It was 99-percent speculation, but it still caused quite a stir in Japan.

bigquotesTruth is, a hell of a lot of people knew about XTR 9100. How could an entire industry be trusted to keep a secret?

Bike brand product managers would be among the first to know. They must finalize their component specifications and estimate sales numbers six months or more in advance of production, so parts makers like Shimano swear them to secrecy before showing them pre-production samples, printed mockups, and specification charts of their following season's components. It's hard to believe then, with all that information floating about, that anything can remain a secret in this sport.

Shimano Prototype
The bolts are titanium, but the caliper is printed and painted plastic. The brake rotor is Mylar plastic and the spider is also printed.

Leaking next season's secrets can (and often does) backfire, when customers decide to keep their wallets safely in their pockets during peak selling season and wait until next year's models arrive. That alone is reason enough to zip your lips. But, do component makers have any recourse? I've never verified a single case, but rumors (there's that word again) persist that critical product deliveries and special race team deals have been known to "fall behind" following major intel breaches.

Shimano
If your name is Joe Murray, you probably would have put five hundred to a thousand miles on a fully functional prototype M9100 drivetrain like the one you see here. Shimano's design team develops the visual appearance parallel with prototyping and testing efforts.


Hiding in Plain Sight

Test Pilots: Innovators need real-world test riders, so another option is to hound dog the sponsored racers and hired guns who are paid to evaluate prototypes and early production samples. You'll have to be fit, though. In just a few seconds, the likes of Ritchie Rude can make you very small in his rearview mirror. Test session are usually staged in remote locations, but you'd be surprised to know how much goes on in plain sight. It can get comical. Last time I was riding in the woods near Santa Cruz, California, Ibis, Specialized, and Santa Cruz Bikes were all testing secret stuff. Everywhere we went, someone was hiding behind a tree - including me, riding a prototype Ripmo.

Shimano
I operated a pre-production drivetrain using a similar derailleur and it was perfect.


Detectives: Playing detective is a great game for the media, but we are bound by secrets as well. If someone shows up with it at an event or Whistler bike park. it's fair game. Spy shots are always in demand. Visit a factory, however, and you don't have to look far to see unreleased models in production, often from a handful of brands. To gain access to a story, we often agree to not see this, or speak about that. They trust us not to divulge that knowledge and most journalists don't.

New XTR
Jolanda Neff was caught practicing with the new XTR drivetrain at the Nové Mesto World Cup round.

Sneak Previews: Often, bike and parts makers will bring in journalists well ahead of production, sometimes before the patent processes are complete, so there are no surprises when a potentially revolutionary concept is going to be released down the road. Wholesale rejection is easier to deal with before a business commits a few million dollars to full production. Occasionally, that trust lasts for a number of years before a word is spoken.

Embargoes: Media Embargoes are the present rage. It's like a time-release promise. Bike and parts makers use them to corral a number of media outlets in one location for a dog and pony show, tell them all of their secrets, and then schedule an advantageous embargo release date for all parties to publish their stories. Bike brands like embargoes, because they provide time to put out fires from any negative impressions at the launch, and it gives media a grace period to access them for more information.

Media tour
Touring Shimano's Osaka factory - no cell phones, no cameras and we were kept at a distance from the production line,


So, back to Shimano's big secret. To begin with, in a conversation I had with Nick Murdick, the mountain bike product manager for Shimano American Corp, XTR9100 was on schedule for a redesign this year. Shimano's time frame for discussing what changes or improvements may be necessary begins shortly after a new XTR group debuts. Reportedly, it takes about four years from "napkin sketches" to first production, but the heavy lifting begins about two years before the upcoming version's release date. That's when design teams must commit and start making prototypes.

2000 ton forge
Shimano's 2000 ton forge (center) was busy making XTR drive-side crankarms from cylinders of aluminum alloy.


Eight years ago, the landscape was much different, and as Shimano's XC/trail heavy M9000 series reached completion, the long-travel trailbike began driving the market in a different direction. Shimano knew early on that they had missed the mark, so there was consensus (not the rumored shakeup) at the planning meetings, that the upcoming XTR series had to be completely refocused.

"Enduro, the EWS, made it easy for us." says Murdick. "We could get back to XTR's purpose and redesign it purely for racing, because enduro had turned all-mountain into a competitive sport. Now we only had to make XTR to do two things: cross-country and enduro."

XTR M9100
This beat to death production sample Hyperglide+ cassette was mounted to the only running XTR M9100 drivetrain in Shimano's Osaka factory showroom during the press launch.


How did Shimano keep XTR 9100 under wraps for so long? The answer is, "All of the above." Only the most trusted were allowed in on the planning stages, but ridable prototypes and visual samples have been circulating for quite a while. Chances are that nobody would have seen a finished product until this week anyway. Shimano manufactures XTR in its Osaka, Japan, facilities and almost every step is automated. A recent factory visit revealed that first production of the new XTR was just rolling off the production lines - a testament to the lengthy setup times required for robotics, and also to Shimano's ability to manage "just-in-time" manufacturing. Nobody saw XTR 9100, because essentially, the real thing didn't exist. If you don't have it, you can't show it off - maybe that's the big secret.

And, Mike Levy's predictions? If you want to see how well Levy's crystal ball was working back in August, 2017, click here and see for yourself.






202 Comments

  • + 158
 I really like shimanos behavious regarding releases, i've grown to despise all those BS leaks and teasers. Give me the facts, or shut the f.... up. Stop wasting my time with this social media crap. I still check some of those teasers, and hate myself for getting played afterwards.
  • + 102
 Even better, i like when stuff is released only when its available to buy...or soon after, not months.
  • - 81
flag raditude (May 25, 2018 at 17:32) (Below Threshold)
 Step 1: release press info

Step 2: release to chainreaction.com

Step 3: Buy Sram
  • + 11
 @raditude: I would think that would depend on which year you are still living in.
  • + 3
 Any body remember who Gwin was gong to sign with?
  • - 25
flag scary1 (May 25, 2018 at 18:24) (Below Threshold)
 4 years....and..."just in time manufacturing "
Uh...ok
  • - 21
flag chize (May 25, 2018 at 19:08) (Below Threshold)
 It probably remained so secret because no one cares
  • + 3
 @raditude: step 4 have your head examined for supporting sram..
  • + 31
 It's also true that although Shimano sometimes seems a little late with stuff compared to the competition, Shimano's usually works first time round. Prime example was hydraulic STi levers - Sram were roughly 18 months ahead with the release of theirs, but it was 18 months of problems, disappointment and recalls.
  • + 11
 I like that it is a full group set complete with dropper lever to match and knowing Shimano it will work well with little maintenance.
  • + 2
 @IllestT: except of course 11 speed had all sorts of issues with noise that sram didn't. I see what you're saying though. Sram sucks because it doesn't set up and work like shimano, it makes perfect sense.
  • + 16
 @IllestT: This is how Japanese companies work (from someone who works for one such company who is often in the same position as The Shimano vs. Sram thing. Japanese companies wont be the first to market with stuff like this. But you can bet your ass that when it is released, it's released working flawlessly, not some half-baked "we were first!" attempt such as you might see from other companies.
  • + 10
 I farted at least 35 times yesterday.
  • + 4
 @isolationismdivision: Yes the fowl winds are heading your way.
  • + 11
 @scary1: The automotive industry depends on just in time manufacturing and cars are designed 5-10 years out. You might want to do research on what just in time manufacturing is about.
  • + 2
 Nice, I wish I were there@fecalmaster:
  • + 2
 @fecalmaster: I live in a motorhome.
  • + 1
 @isolationismdivision: You better get that mofo in 5th gear. I'm on the flatulent frenzy again today!
  • + 1
 Mike Levy, Or Mike LeftyDamus ?
  • + 33
 Oh and BTW did you fix your phantom bite point on your brakes or same old issues.
  • + 44
 What you don't love the fun game of "where will my shimano brake engage this time"? Smile
  • + 9
 Yup a lot of us dumped Shimano stoppers for this reason, not to mention the still on going i-spec blunder.
  • + 6
 @dirtdoctor: I just upgraded from Smuggler to Sentinel and moved from some Saints to the new Codes and they are great.. A bit bummed I could only afford the R, and wish I had the RSC, but they are worth it!
  • + 7
 “Best brakes ever” - all bike media who want to be on Shimano’s good side.

Nobody in the bike industry will call Shimano on their BS. Shimano knew they screwed up four years ago. The bike media knew they screwed up. All we got was some dancing around the edges of the problem. Nobody called it out for being what it was.
  • + 27
 You kids crack me up. I can say with 100% certainty that none of you are bike mechanics.
  • + 2
 @marseer: lols! So true. A new, re bled (with upgraded pads) XTR is ideal for manuals. Is it rock solid from the start or does it pull to the bar, who knows! They really are gash. Shame as I much prefer Shimano to Sram. But, my trail bike has Hope on & I simply won’t go back, they are THE only high end option, besides Trickstuff at twice the cost.
  • + 12
 @wibblywobbly: LOL. Call them out? This isn't World Star. What do you want? RC shouting into a live stream on instagram "SHIMANO, you listen' You shit's weak"

Plenty of people have been asking for these updates, thus why Shimano released a 46t 11 speed cassette, launched a 42t 10spd deore drivetrain. Made lots of improvements to what they already had because the market "Called them out".

Haha.
  • + 2
 are those the SRAM dev team accounts?
  • + 3
 @wibblywobbly: every review of the last series of shimano brakes, particularly the m8000 marked down for inconsistencies and unreliability
  • + 1
 i haven’t hated a brake anywhere near as much as I hate my m8000 even after a fresh bleed which you have to do after a handful of rides they’re nowhere near the performance of my guide RSC’s which I only ever bleed when I change my pads as a precaution.
  • + 3
 I was ready to throw the towel in and ditch 3 sets of XT from our household, all with inconsistent bite. I have owned and bled many brakes and these were by far the least consistent. I got used to a 'double pull' on descents. Gave it one last shot with a combo Marshy's gravity bleed followed by a lever burp. Took my time, burped it for a good 10 minutes! Over the last 6-7 rides they have been faultless. I have fingers crossed and credit card ready but I hope it lasts!
  • + 10
 @Powderface: that's the beauty of the internet, everybody can be a seasoned brake technician if they want. However, in my limited unprofessional experience, the last few sets of XTs I've owned have been full of reliability issues. Meanwhile the 3 sets of Guide RSC brakes ive owned have not only stopped me better, but they don't fade, pump up, or have inconsistent bite points.

People have blindly followed Shimano brakes for so long (and with good reason) that they won't accept that SRAM has actually put out a stellar product line with their new brakes. Oh that 12 speed drivetrain they released a year or two ago seems to be decent too.
  • + 7
 @cunning-linguist: I’m running Hope stuff as well. Their products are bulletproof. Great value for the money. Small manufacturer with great customer service. What’s not to like about Hope?
  • + 1
 @gravityslaves: when did you do this? Recently done this method to SLX brakes and they feel mint going to see if this method makes any difference to my XT’s.
  • + 0
 @gooutsidetoday: sram is cheap garbage, belongs in the garbage can
  • + 5
 @Powderface: I'm a bike mechanic and i honest to god hate shimano. Once you take the time to learn setup of both systems sram is better. Usually anyone who hates sram think that because they set it up like shimano and in stunning turn of events it doesn't work like shimano therefore it must suck. It honestly blows my mind how people can't even consider that the issue is them.
  • + 1
 @gooutsidetoday: now i agree with you but in full disclosure sram does have an issue with their internals but the update is perfect.
  • + 6
 @thenotoriousmic: Did it a couple of weeks ago and restored 3 dodgy brakes. My old SLX have always been awesome. Currently my M8000 feel as good. I was hugely sceptical it was down to trapped air, but it could be. Tap the hoses and master cylinder with something metallic while burping and loads of tiny bubbles came out for ages. So far so good, at least if is comes back I have a fix.
  • + 0
 @CosmoJKMJ: SRAM definitely needs to be set up right especially the brakes.
  • + 0
 @gravityslaves: I’m going to give it a go now
  • + 7
 What kills me about all these comments is that if this were an article about Sram brakes, everyone would be going on and on about how terrible Sram brakes are — all the jokes about how they don’t stop, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, yeah. We know everyone on here is so hardcore that no brakes stop them ever.
  • + 1
 Norbs got robbed@wibblywobbly:
  • + 1
 And the issue of grit having an easy time getting into MC and wearing scars into its walls making it leaky. And the issue of plastic servo wave plates snapping and not being available as spares even though the pivot pin is.
  • + 1
 @CosmoJKMJ: I guess sram quality is good now, it used to self destruct!!
  • + 0
 @markar: yes it is. Used to be shit now awesome.
  • + 15
 Shimano, you may have kept us waiting, but you never disappoint... I even love your loose bearing hubs.

Sram, you can add one more gear, and ,make it bigger. Now what?
  • + 10
 13 spd = Bad luck
  • - 22
flag DriverB (May 25, 2018 at 21:26) (Below Threshold)
 And you are not disappointed becuase... it's Shimano and its 12, several years too late? Where have they actually advanced the ball here? This is shameful. Sticking with Eagle.
  • + 23
 I've allways said Sram innovates Shimano perfects
  • - 8
flag wipz07 (May 26, 2018 at 0:08) (Below Threshold)
 @nojzilla: I can't believe how many Shimano fanboys are left after all the years where they completely failed to see what mountainbikers really need.
  • + 14
 @wipz07: what mtb'ers really need ? Stuff that is robust, lasts more than one season an doesn't break for no apparent reason... an wether I run the 50/50 risk of buying a part that is F'ed from new (sram brakes, reverb, charge damper)
I'm not a shimano 'fanboy' by any means.. I'm just not gonna buy sram with my experience of them an they're reputation
  • + 24
 @wipz07:
SLX is all I need. Always works and dirt cheap.
  • - 12
flag thenotoriousmic (May 26, 2018 at 2:40) (Below Threshold)
 @nojzilla: you’ve always been wrong then because at the moment shimano aren’t even in the same league as SRAM. If you want something cheap that does the job then get shimano if you want something good get SRAM. Obviously not tried the new XTR but currently there’s nothing shimano makes that’s close to matching what SRAM are putting out.
  • + 9
 @thenotoriousmic: You must be one of the lucky ones. Every Sram product I have owned and I've owned alot has either failed in less than one year or has underperformed. This includes their brakes, suspension and drivetrains. After so many failures I avoid them like the plague now.
  • - 3
 @MrDiamondDave: after Sram eagle, Sram Phoenix 13sp and Sram pigeon 6sp !!!
  • + 8
 @thenotoriousmic: I've had two sram shifters break for no reason, that's my real experince
How it that wrong?
I needed new jockey wheels for a sram mech, they cost nearly as much as a new mech. Again, real experience
Again, tell me how that's wrong
You only have to read a few mechanic forums to know about the problems with sram brakes, charger dampers an reverbs...
Again, please tell me how peoples real experiences are wrong.........?
  • - 8
flag thenotoriousmic (May 26, 2018 at 4:17) (Below Threshold)
 @nojzilla: SRAM innovates shimano perfects clearly isn’t right. Actually laughable. Performance wise shimano currently aren’t in the same league as SRAM. Besides shimano only really make gears and brakes SRAM make so much more. I hope shimano get their act together though as they’re normally cheaper in this county and SRAM need so real completion which they don’t have hence why they keep pushing the prices up on everything.
  • + 5
 @nojzilla: You are not wrong but what is a bizare is people tend to either have a good experience or multiple issues, I have run shimano and sram and have had zero problems really with either (apart form a reverb, not a fan of those) Most of the people that I have come across that have had failures (both brands) do bugger all maint and thier bikes were in shit state.
  • - 6
flag CosmoJKMJ (May 26, 2018 at 7:02) (Below Threshold)
 @nojzilla: its weird because sram stuff is robust and stable you just have to follow instructions. Hey you know setting it up like shimano then moaning it doesn't work like shimano works to....i guess.
  • - 2
 @CosmoJKMJ: you think I don't know how to set a bike up? Big Grin The f*ck you chattin son?? damnn that's laughable. yeah you guessin

@thenotoriousmic ever hear any complaints about shimano releasing a product loaded with inherent flaws.....?
nope me niether.
sram will release an innovative product early just to be the first, whereas shimano will wait untill that product is perfect
THAT is what I mean when I say sram innovates an shimano perfects. Eagles durability issues are well known in mechanics forums. same for a lot thier stuff at all price points.
sure shimano brakes have gone a bit iffy in the last couple years but they're so cheap theyre almost disposable. or they used to be anyway before the £ shit the bed. please feel free to compare the level of sram brake issues to the level of shimano.
I cant guess as to why your'e having/see'ing performance issues with shimano stuff but, my experience is that both brands perform equally (when set up correctly) sram is a bit lighter an smoother but in NO way to a level that justifies the low durability an inherent QA problems sram are having atm

@Johny-W Nail on the head there, I see it as QA problems at sram. consumers run the risk of getting a sram product that works or, has problems. friday afternoon bike parts maybe Big Grin
shimano stuff.. just works an keeps on working
but, hey. that's just my experience, with no bias towards either brand. Just a bias to bike parts that don't wear out prematurly or fail for no reason
  • - 8
flag thenotoriousmic (May 26, 2018 at 8:42) (Below Threshold)
 @nojzilla: what planet are you living on? Have you even read a single review of any shimano brake released over the last three years? Have shimano done anything about it? Not just that on the odd occasion where the bite point isn’t all over the place they’re still nowhere near as good as a guide or a code. GX works better than anything shimano makes its actually laughable. You’re clearly a deluded shimano fanboy. Enjoy your ignorance while the rest of us are enjoying better preformance. Even shimano know they’ve been shit recently hence why the new XTR blurb basically says ‘we promised we’ve improved’. Personally I think shimano have fallen to far behind to ever catch up but if they ever do I’ll be right back on it but up until then I’m sticking with SRAM.
  • - 7
flag nojzilla (May 26, 2018 at 9:45) (Below Threshold)
 @thenotoriousmic: can you even Fkng read??
Seriously??
Or did you just choose to ignore the issue with shimano brakes I brought up in my last comment???
Fkng retard
  • - 8
flag thenotoriousmic (May 26, 2018 at 11:25) (Below Threshold)
 @nojzilla hilarious but seriously there’s a big difference between a bit iffy and downright dangerous that shimano haven’t done anything about so yeah that’s an example of shimano releasing a product that’s flawed so that’s something else your wrong about. Anyway I clicked on your profile and see you live in Sussex so it’s not like your riding decent trails anyway so what do you know? I’m sure they’re fine for what your doing so I wouldn’t worry.
  • - 3
 Sorry Suffolk
  • - 3
 My crystal ball thinks, the next big thing in drivetrains will be an internal BB with only 2 or 3 gears and 8 or 9 speed cassette. Like a Pinion but only a couple gears in front and will be a similar weight to drivetrains now. Could be Shimano, SRAM, or another company.
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic: have you never heard of these things called.... Cars
Also
Ooohh stalker
Prick
  • - 4
flag CosmoJKMJ (May 26, 2018 at 16:59) (Below Threshold)
 @nojzilla: anyone saying that sram is not very rugged doesn't set it up correctly. Ive worked with many mechanics and when they say oh sram sucks they always set it like shimano and then are stunned when it doesn't work. Also anyone convinced that they know how to set something up yet millions of people have zero issues tells me you set sram like shimano.
  • + 8
 @CosmoJKMJ: how the f*ck can you set sram like shimano????
What is the f*cking difference. You either set gears properly or not. In ALL my years bike meching this is the first time I have EVER heard this
  • - 8
flag thenotoriousmic (May 27, 2018 at 3:43) (Below Threshold)
 @nojzilla: stop talking.
  • + 1
 @nojzilla: My SRAM Eagle X01 drivetrain and Guide brakes have been bomber for a season and a half now with 0 issues. Totally agree with you on the Reverb though, I'll never run one of them.
  • - 4
flag thenotoriousmic (May 27, 2018 at 13:32) (Below Threshold)
 @tgent: no problems with SRAM here myself guides are 18 months old bleed them when I put new pads in though I don’t think I need to.
  • + 1
 @nojzilla: so shimano 10sp shadow and shadow plus is 6mm from largest cog same with sram (fundamentally more important on sram). Older shimano rear mech as close as possible sram still 6mm. 11sp shimano 11-40 & 11-42 3-6mm sram 14mm. 11sp shimano 11-46 is 6-9 mm sram 14mm. 12sp sram 12mm as general rule need to consider sag. Fronts are very similar but they vary about 0.5 mm
  • + 5
 @CosmoJKMJ: so seting correct B adjustment..........
I fail to see how that's gonna help issues with brakes, charge dampers reverbs etc etc
  • + 1
 @nojzilla: in caseyou didn't see the article, we are talking about drivetrains.
  • - 1
 @nojzilla: the brakes as well there's different systems for brakes. Just because one system doesn't it one way you can't moan that the other system is different.
  • + 5
 @CosmoJKMJ: again, congrats on pointing out the obvious..............
an the conversation at this point has turned towards srams obvious QA issues
  • - 5
flag thenotoriousmic (May 29, 2018 at 2:59) (Below Threshold)
 @nojzilla: wasnt you told to stop talking?
  • + 5
 @thenotoriousmic: yep an I asked you why then.....................?
prick
  • - 4
flag thenotoriousmic (May 29, 2018 at 4:07) (Below Threshold)
 @nojzilla: read your comments and pretend it was someone else saying it and I think it would be pretty obvious why it’s better for everyone that your stopped contributing.
  • + 7
 @thenotoriousmic: again why?
because I have an opinion based on experience that doesn't match your own?
because I've offered valid basis for that opinion based on many others similar experiences?
valid points you have chosen to ignore when I do agree with you because that suites your cognitive bias
when you based your debate on where I live in the country means that I don't require as good bike parts as you so my opinion is therefore invalid????? (despite me having transport to ride any where in the UK........)

maybe you could take a bit of your own advice or, please continue to embarrass yourself
  • - 3
 @nojzilla: yeah I’m definitely embarrassing myself with my internet hardman act... no wait that’s you.

Well if you live in a area where you can’t really even go mountain biking then your opinion has no value even before you started spewing your retarded bullshit.

Listen to people who know more than you and maybe you might learn something. Anyway I’ve had my fill off silly little children. Have a nice day.
  • + 5
 @thenotoriousmic:
nice
How am i being a hard man? do you not like being being called a prick when your being one? It's you that's TELLING other people to stop talking because you don't like their opinion....

how can i not ride a mountain bike in or out of where I live?? You have stalked my profile so, see the cover pic? Yeah That's in Suffolk.......

silly little child??? i'm 44. An even though I'm providing legit arguments in this debate. It's you that coming with the "I know you are but, what am I" attitude..... niiice

I always listen to people that know more than me, an learn things but unfortunately. In this case that isn't you. You are just spouting un'supported rubbish arguments

I'm having an awesome day, there is nothing like getting paid to troll idiots like you when I should be working.

please, keep digging your own hole
  • - 4
flag thenotoriousmic (May 29, 2018 at 9:48) (Below Threshold)
 @nojzilla: Well lets just agree to disagree then. Anyway I’m off up hellveyn for an after work ride I’ll leave you to talk shit about bikes that you have nowhere to them on. Hahaha
  • - 1
 @tgent: Those who don't like the Reverb, don't know how to bleed hydraulic lines properly.
  • + 1
 @aliikane: To each their own, I like having a dropper post I don't have to think about and always works, much less bleed. I have 2 Fox Transfers going strong since the day they were released, never touched either of them with over 2k miles.
  • + 11
 It still isn't here. It actually wont be here until fall of '18, so not likely to be seen very much in N.A 'till spring of '19. This is just an NDA lift and product reveal. Just give me 10 speed wide range XT Shimano!
  • + 5
 They do an 11-42 in 10 speed. That's pretty good considering it was maximum of 36t cog for a long time.
  • + 0
 @ChazzMichaelMichaels: Yes, but it's only Deore/SLX. I want wide range XT damnit! LoL
  • + 2
 Surface also do one but the Shimano is cheaper and probably shifts better.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: Sunrace? I don't want a cobbled together system running goatlinks, and/or crazy Bscrew adjustments. I'd like Shimano to simply release a wide range, 10spd XT.
  • + 1
 @m1dg3t: hold your breath but I agree
  • + 2
 @m1dg3t: works fine on my HT with a Zee mech without goatlink etc. You need a little more B tension but not the end of the world.

Hopefully Shimano will release a 10 speed XT wide range when it gets updated as I don't really need 11 speeds and like the gaps between gears.
  • + 3
 @fartmarty I actually have to vouch for the Sunrace cassette as well. I’ve been using one for a year although I found the need to modify my XTR mech with a One Up cage. Def an improvement still shifts better than any SRAM drivetrain
  • + 3
 XT 10 speed shifter. XT 11 speed Mech. Sunrace 11 43 10 speed cassette. Works flawlessly.
  • + 10
 Coolest thing they did was the 10-46 for xc racing. Was wondering why sram hasnt done this for nino. Guy can pull a 40T front ring... you think he ever touches the 50t? Shimano sponsored racers were still rocking the 11-40 xtr cassette...
  • + 2
 @solarplex im always surprised pro XC racers dont change out cassettes more often based on the circut, why pedal around the extra weight of a 12spd 10-50t when some courses only need a simple 9 spd 38t it would surely save on weight i would imagine. Your right though the top flight riders never need the 50t unless its a marathon race
  • + 4
 Does marathon racing include running?@grundletroll:
  • + 6
 Ever thought that there were no leaks because nobody gives a f*ck? Or because we all knew it was coming eventually and they would have been the most unhype leaks ever? Here's an idea, make a 10/46 speed 11 speed cassette, it will suit 99% of riders and weigh less than any 12 speed, it wont cost a fortune, and you will sell a truck per day. Maybe then bike manufacturers will use your drivetrain and I won't have to put up with every bike I buy having those f*cking guide brakes. Jesus, how can companies be so disconnectes from what people actually want?
  • + 4
 ok they launched a 10-45 11s cassette, I am now satisfied and Shiman is the greatest company of all times
  • + 2
 @davidfregoli: yes but i believe the new 11 speed casette requires the new driver (for the 12 speed)? I hope im wrong though.
  • + 7
 I feel like the only reason Levy got away with making such close predictions is because he put it in an article in a very Levy way. Slightly sarcastic.
  • + 5
 "The bolts are titanium, but the caliper is printed and painted plastic. The brake rotor is Mylar plastic and the spider is also printed. "

Colin Chapman style :-)
  • + 2
 Lotus ftw
  • + 2
 just add lightness
  • + 7
 Plastic calipers and mylar rotors?

Someone else can guinea pig that sh!t.
  • + 1
 Pretty sure that's a printed mockup (not a functional prototype), as RC mentioned in the article.
  • + 3
 Mmmm....will be another few years before Shimano 12 will be prevelant. Can’t see a lot of rider forking out for whole new hubs.......SRAM with just a free hub body was bad enough
  • + 3
 Thank god, now bring me m8100 please. Just fitted a new 12t cog to my m8000 cassette and new jockey wheels in the mech so it'll probably last another 12 months. #onlyxtcassettesandcockroachesleft
  • + 6
 Maybe they used that invisible camouflage thing Predators have
  • + 4
 Or maybe they just haven't jumped on the "leaking" bandwagon, to make their product more interesting, because they know that it will get the press anyway.
  • + 5
 Shimano was stealth about it because it is a Japanese company. Japanese are really disciplined.
  • + 5
 Have to buy a shimano rear hub to get the 51 cassette .....nice i will throw my i9 hub away tomorrow
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham

Plastic caliper and mylar rotor? That seems like a fair bit of false info?

Even Shimanos techsite states "New high rigidity brake hose and 1-piece aluminum caliper" and i seriously doubt that the braking surface is Mylar, Perhaps the cooling fins are wrapped in it.
  • + 4
 it's for show purposes only, not for usage Big Grin
  • + 1
 As An act of caution I do when anything "new" comes on the market ( especially cars ) is to wait 6 months and let let all the " must haves " deal with unforeseen and new products faults and recalls .Oh and the items are usually cheaper in most cases
  • + 1
 So this is why we haven't seen any more pictures or informations about the Canyon prototypes Vanderpoel and Prevot ride IN PLAIN SIGHT at World Cups? I could give you ten sreenshots of Matthieu's bike from this week's xcc just by sitting on my desk!

Come on! Give us something please! Or tell us when it is due to be released!
  • + 6
 Sticking with 11 speed.
  • + 4
 Offset pulleys....like finally Shimano. Late in game but you guys give me the chills. 1 XX1 RD costs 2 XTRs RD. bubye SRAM.
  • + 5
 *already available on chainreaction and discounted 30%
  • + 1
 Nice to know now that the rest of the world is trying to reduce its plastics usage. Think of all the baby turtles that will now choke on a Mylar plastic disc rotor prototype - shame on you Shimano.
  • + 2
 1 x 10 is my favorite, And now I am forced to buy stock bike with Eagle, love it and I am so much slower now, I just sit and spin, stop for beers more
  • + 2
 why are you slower??
  • + 2
 @Asmodai: Because that big f*cking 50 is there and I use it, if I has just 36t or 40t I just stand and mash, But mostly beers
  • + 2
 @MrDiamondDave: dont use big cog then
also usually with Eagle you have bigger chainring so you should be faster
  • + 2
 Just make a decent geared hub and be done with gearing mechs ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz
  • + 1
 Yeah, geared hubs are a pretty sweet idea for a mountain bike, never ridden one though. I'm a life pessimist, if you think something good, it's not going to happen.
  • + 3
 It remained so secret because no one was bothered about it.
  • + 2
 12 speeds yes we all asked for this didnt we. whats next 13 speeds. How innovative!
  • + 0
 Well done Shimano! I am impressed. This is real innovation, not just incremental improvement. Shimano is back on top again with the best drivetrain in the industry ...... the world is back to normal.
  • + 4
 10-51 damn stupid.
  • + 7
 Agreed.
  • + 15
 Disagree.
  • + 9
 Ohhh... It's going to be fisticuffs at the office between the two Mike's....
  • + 10
 @handynzl, nah, I'll just be laughing while Levy's struggling up a super steep hill and I'm comfortably spinning away.
  • + 11
 @mikekazimer: If you're not struggling while climbing, you're not pedaling hard enough.
  • + 9
 @mikelevy: Or your battery's run out...
  • + 9
 It’s genius! BTW I’d take out both of you on 11-36. You have one year left to train. @mikekazimer can only hope US Border Security won’t let me in to Bellingham, then only @mikelevy will get humbletrolled on his Down Crossfit country bike. One requirement, we all ride same tyres
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: will this mean its easy to set up because the 51 isnt a narrow wide setup like sram which needs 16mm ± 1mm on the b-tension to get it to work in phase
  • + 2
 Waki vs the PB Mikes would be hilarious. Hope it happens
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns, it's on. I'll meet you on either side of the border.
  • + 4
 @mikekazimer @WAKIdesigns Just as long as we're all on 2.2'' Ikons
  • + 2
 “Mike v. Mike v. Waki” MUST be a video
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: ok, not as good as Bonty XR2 but I take it! I just hope we won't be playing for who drinks Mountain Dew by squeezing it from winners chamois...
  • + 1
 It was well known and documented, as far as 2014, that xtr 9100 was going to be 12 speed with a 10-50+ cassette. Same for the dm cranks.
  • + 2
 Anybody willing to lose a job by breaking a NDA? $$$$$$$ Wink
  • + 2
 Reality Winner
  • + 2
 Sram ad banner above the article...
  • + 1
 Eight years ago was Shimano 980/985, not M9000, that one as presented in 2014...
  • + 1
 They say its here, I cannot find anything m9100 for sale on any of the major online retailers.
  • + 2
 I suddenly want a prototype mech to run on my bike.
  • + 2
 This is the most I've ever wanted a object in my life.
  • + 3
 That hub.
  • + 3
 yeh thats a surprise. wonder how low drag it is in use with the new disengaging freehub design. also pretty lightweight too
  • + 2
 Will it be better than eagle?
  • + 2
 I like reading bike websites, I wouldn't call it journalism. It is pr.
  • + 1
 I would by the new XTR if the RD would look lite that prototype!
  • + 1
 Sounds like a government facility
  • + 1
 the Press is Italian. Manzoni. THE IRONY.
  • + 0
 The giant "ASS" in the background of the first picture could not be an accident... hahaha
  • + 0
 They say it is out now, none of the major online retailers have anything M9100.
  • + 1
 I want a raw aluminium rear derailleur
  • + 0
 “Beat to death” cassette. Pfff. It’s just dirty. You should see my cassette.....really my whole drivetrain. ????
  • + 0
 Is not really a secret. Since they're way behind sram, nobody cared anymore on what Shimano is doing
  • + 1
 I can't wait to equip my All Mountain 5.0 e-bike with this setup.
  • + 0
 Maybe it stayed so secret because nobody cares
  • + 1
 What about longest-turd?
  • - 2
 Doing the math....$1732.00 for the complete drive train.
I don't think so, gx can be had for under $400.00...and it's good.
  • + 14
 Does make sense to compare XTR to GX though...
  • + 1
 @Schlafmutzli: I agree the comparison is strange, but to be fair, this is Shimano's cheapest 12sp group (and the only one). So if one wants the cheapest working 12sp group, these are the options available at the moment (when it releases of course).
The question becomes if the huge price difference is justified with performance or durability (but the same question can be asked about SRAM's hugely expensive top-tier groups).
  • + 6
 2x9 on my bike. 800 bucks. for a whole bike. rides fine.
  • + 1
 Well if "good" is enough for you, then by all means, buy GX.

XTR isn't made for those who'll settle for "good". Shimano makes Deore and SLX for those riders.
  • - 3
 I bet SRAM is sad now.
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