Where's the New XTR? 8 Questions With Nick Murdick, Shimano MTB Product Manager

Aug 15, 2018 at 19:27
by Mike Kazimer  
XTR M9100

The details about XTR were announced back in May, and I was able to get an initial ride on the group in June, but as of right now the only people in possession of the new parts are athletes. That means you'll need to wait a while longer before reading any sort of long-term review, but in the meantime, there were still a few lingering questions related to the new parts, and Shimano's development process in general.

To find out the answers, we sat down with Nick Murdick, Shimano's MTB product manager, amidst the hubbub of Crankworx Whistler.

Nick Murdick
Nick Murdick



When will XTR actually be in stores? Have there been production delays?


Nope, we're on target. We had a fire in April that affected some of our surface treatment processes – that bumped it back a month from what it was going to be. Since the launch timing it's been consistent. Richard Cunningham [Pinkbike technical editor] was there in Japan to see when they were figuring out the actual mass production processes on the cranks; we make a couple, and then run QC processes on them, make a couple little tweaks, and all of that stuff is part of the normal plan. It's when it goes through those QC processes, and then we find a big problem that can't just tweaked away, that's where the delays come from, and we haven't really had anything like that.

I don't want to get any more specific than fall delivery, because I don't want to bum anyone out if it's just a week or so afterward. Fall is technically September 21 – December 21, but I would be disappointed if it wasn't shipping until December.

Keep in mind that our factory's in Japan, bikes are generally getting assembled in the US and Taiwan, and it takes a month for them to cross an ocean. So whatever date I give you could be any point along the way – what really matters is when you can go into a bike shop and buy it.


What's the 2019 / 2020 OEM landscape looking like for XTR? How is the group being received by manufacturers?


It's about what we expected – we knew that there would be challenges with how quickly we could make it. When we're talking about model year 2019 spec, it is what we expected it to be, but some big companies often have to hold off until the next model year, so we're not really going to get a full selection of XTR availability in a complete bike package until model year 2020 stuff from some brands.

Anyone who's shopping with somebody who does a kit build, like Yeti or Pivot or Niner, somebody like that, then that's a flexible enough model that they can just start getting kits in, and that just gets added to the menu, and you get whatever bike you want. Those will be available right away, and there are plenty of sizes of companies that will do a mid-year introduction of an XTR bike.


XTR M9100
Shimano's Scylence freehub design.

How are you going to translate the freehub design to a lower pricepoint?


We definitely confirmed before locking in that design that we would be able to make at least an SLX price point version of that hub, and that's going to be relatively easy – we should even be able to go a little below that. We wanted to make sure that we weren't going to make something so complicated that you could only do an XTR version of it.

There were some versions early on that were a way more complicated spline pattern. It's a relatively simple design – they're squared off splines and they're machined into the aluminum.

Now we can do a freehub body for the same price as a freewheel, and we continue to lower that pricepoint over successive generations. This year, for anybody shopping for a new 7-speed mountain bike, now you can get a cassette freehub for the same price as a freewheel from us. So that's how low of a price point we can hit with that old spline pattern that's been around since 1978. It's forged out of steel, and there's very little post-machine work that needs to be done to it.

This new one, we could make it out of steel, but it does require a lot more machining after the forging, so it kind of has to be made out of aluminum, because forging it out of steel, and then machining that steel would be more expensive than just making it out of aluminum. So you can kind of picture the price points that would get an aluminum freehub body.


Why invest in a front derailleur? Why spend all that money on the development, tooling, engineering?


There still is a significant part of the world's population that wants a front derailleur on their bike. It's surprising anytime we hear it, especially living and riding in North America. Overall, it's big enough in parts of Europe to get some OE spec.

All of us at some point over the last couple of years were like, “I'll give this single chainring a shot,” maybe for a lot of us, you could see the potential, but it wasn't quite there yet, and now we're pretty much there.

There are still some compromises – your top speed is lower with a single front chainring typically than it is with a double, so if that's something you care about because you're somebody that can sprint at 38mph on a mountain bike, or you just like being able to pedal back to your house.

If there's somebody that still feels like it's the right group for them, then we don't want to be the ones taking that choice away. That's why, from the beginning, it was worth investing the money to try and make an even better version of a double than we had made before. The compromise that I was speaking about was that some of the gear steps have to be a little bigger when you're talking about a 10-51 cassette in order to get that range; if you want that range without the compromise in gear steps, then that's what a double is there for. If a 10-45 is enough range, then that's the cassette with no compromise in gear steps, so you can run that with a single front chainring, and that's considerably more range than our 11-46, our widest cassette currently.

XTR test in Laguna California Dec 2017
XTR test in Laguna California Dec 2017
Shimano increased the number of athletes involved with the testing of the new XTR, a departure from their previous methods.


The mountain bike scene is a little different in Japan compared to, say, the United States. How do you take the lab work from a place that's not known for having a strong mountain bike culture and validate and learn from it?


There's a lot to it, and I'd say it's very different from the way a lot of other people do things. Our R&D department in Japan has really come a long way in the last couple of years. We have one program where engineers will get sent out to work some place in the market somewhere, and just kind of learn about what it's like to work on bikes in a bike shop. I just met the current people that are in North America this year at Mont-Sainte-Anne – they'll bring them out to events too. There's an engineer working at a bike shop in Minneapolis, and one in Toronto; there ends up being a lot of bike builds and derailleur adjustments, to help understand why it's important to make it easy to get the cable out of the shifter and stuff like that, firsthand stuff.

The advanced version of that is we have engineers that will come over and work in the US office for maybe two years. The guy that did that a couple of years ago ended up being, a couple of steps later, basically being in charge of R&D of the XTR group, so he had a really good understanding of the US market and riding style, and it really heavily influenced the technology they came up with for the group.

They'll start collecting this technology, the lab work, for years ahead of time, and when they feel like some technology is ready it'll get put on the spec sheet for potential inclusion on the next group. Some stuff makes it, and some stuff doesn't, but the new brake lever design, with the inboard clamp and the extra bracing position, that was one of the things that came out of that R&D project, and basically specifically from that guy who was able to come into our market and recognize what the problem was and how to fix it.

He's led the charge of getting his team out and riding on weekends. Where a couple of years ago maybe a couple of them had bikes and you could see there little bike workshop area, it wasn't anything really impressive, now you're seeing a fleet of cool Yetis, Pivots, Intenses, and stuff like that. Those guys are going out and shredding pretty hard on the cliffs of Kobe, Japan, on the weeekends; they've taken me down some of those trails and they're pretty terrifying – slippery and steep and roots and rocks coming out of nowhere at you. So that has helped a lot, and I'm pretty stoked to be working with a team like that now instead of a bunch of people who just live inside a computer.


Athletes had more involvement in the development of the new XTR than they typically have in the past. Can you explain that a little further?


We've got a couple of full-time test riders that basically live in secrecy; for forever we've had two legendary guys, Joe Murray and Paul Thomasberg, and we added another guy in Europe this year that's a former World Cup cross-country racer, Emil Lindgren. That's the core team of full-time, super secret test riders. We'll get together and then product managers like myself will hop on and ride some stuff too; I can't push as hard as Jesse Melamed can, but I can tell if something sucks, and Joe Lawwill helps us a pretty good amount with that kind of confirmation.

We really did try to make it a focus this time around to do a lot more athlete testing than we normally would have. We didn't just want to use athletes for confirmation of the final product – we wanted to get people who could push at the current top level harder than somebody who's a retired pro, whether that's Joe Murray or Joe Lawwill – neither of them is Jesse Melamed. So the early brake test was with Andrew Shandro and Thomas Vanderham, they did a lot of back and forth testing of prototype brakes to figure out what the right amount of power and right amount of modulation was.

The brake testing ended up being the most important thing – for whatever reason, it seems like you can develop a drivetrain in a computer a lot easier than you can develop a brake in a computer. It's almost like developing a drivetrain is a science and developing brakes is an art. You kind of just have to make a couple and rely on trial and error.

XTR test in Laguna California Dec 2017
Jesse Melamed doing some brake testing in Laguna Beach, California.

bigquotesThe brake testing ended up being the most important thing – for whatever reason, it seems like you can develop a drivetrain in a computer a lot easier than you can develop a brake in a computer. It's almost like developing a drivetrain is a science and developing brakes is an art.

Did increasing the role of athletes pay off? Will that continue to be the trend for the future?


We want to go even further in that direction. Saint would be the next thing that's got new technology going for it. We'll have a lot of questions about if that brake is still up to the task of modern World Cup racing, because things have evolved a lot – bikes, riders, courses have all changed over the last couple of years. We ask a lot of questions, and then we come up with some theories, and then the next step is to come up with some prototypes and let the athletes start playing around with them.


The price of XTR puts it out of reach for many riders, so when will we see new XT components hit the market? Has the timeline that Shimano traditionally follows been altered at all?


We have a really predictable product cycle – you can kind of expect that we're going to launch something every spring.... and that's about as much as I'm allowed to say.

I think it's just really hard for us to change. We would love to be able to have our delivery of new product match up perfectly with the launching of a new Trek or Specialized bike or something big like that, but from the day that we make the final decision, which is on a pretty set schedule it's realistically, if we wanted our timing to line up we'd have to delay stuff. There's no way you can bump it up...

And we don't want to be holding back on product in order to make it line up with those kind of cycles – I think that would bum people out even more. Maybe we miss half of a model year, but like I said, then it's just early for next year.


235 Comments

  • + 129
 having jesse melamed test brakes is like having sam hill test clipless pedals...
  • + 2
 things i see, what you did there.
  • - 2
 Poor dudes forced to do 100-questions survey after a sick ride.
  • + 51
 @chyu: Poor dudes??? I'd take that job in a heartbeat. I'm stuck in an office just hoping I can sneak in a week day ride!
  • + 1
 +1 on that!
  • + 29
 Yeah they should have me test the brakes. I cook them so often in the French Alps, I'll soon get the Chef title
  • + 8
 Jesse is also an engineer... So it must play big role this knowledge apart from bike skills and experience...
  • + 1
 @rockchomper: Irony missed
  • + 1
 good point
  • + 2
 cant go fast if you can't stop fast though, so....
  • + 1
 @loganskis: "Slow in, fast out!"
  • + 96
 Industry Mistake #1: Test brakes with athletes. You need to Test brakes with fat dudes scared of letting go of the breaks even on uphils...
  • + 22
 Yes, test brakes with guys that weigh 225 pounds, who ride worn out bikes. Not a 145 pounder on a brand new rig.
  • + 6
 I weigh 225, amateur too sign me up!
  • + 4
 Checking in at 245/ 260 geared up. Happy to test their stuff.
  • + 4
 @Bullit-Boy: I'll Raise the bar to 255 dry / 270 Geared up. Lets get some large testers on the gear! Clydesdales! Beefcake! Beefcake!!!
  • - 3
 Problem is people riding bikes more than 2 years old isn't their target audience, because those aren't the ones buying the stuff from the store. Not being a prick, just stating the business side, after all, if they don't make money, they go away.
  • + 1
 @c25porter: plenty of big guys with brand new rides around Los Angles Wink
  • + 2
 You mean MAMILs, right? Wink
  • + 3
 Arkansas XC series Clydesdale champion here, and I moonlight riding big mountain stuff in Colorado. XT brakes hate me. Where do I sign up at?
  • + 3
 @michibretz: Middle Aged Men In Lycra
  • + 1
 @gmt: lol, i will have to remember that one
  • + 60
 Say what you want about Shimano being slow to release new product. They may not be first to market, but when their shit comes out it's usually pretty refined and bomb proof. In my personal experience, Shimano products generally need the least maintenance and upkeep compared to other brands. Brakes in particular, I'm pretty sold for life on Shimano Saint, XT, and XTR. Just a perfect cross section of performance, reliability, and ease of repair.
  • - 33
flag Chingus-Dude (Aug 16, 2018 at 17:42) (Below Threshold)
 bombproof hahaha. I got through at least $100 a month replacing their 1x11 XT crap.
  • + 32
 @Chingus-Dude: where do you people come from that shimano doesnt last. do you crash multiple times a ride?
  • + 10
 @aceface17: I have had terrible luck with Shimano derailleurs...seems like they love to rip off or bend on every root and rock they contact. SRAM has otherwise lasted very well for me over the past few years in that regard. The SRAM derailleurs always look haggard at the end of the season, but seem to work great no matter what. Surprisingly, reliability seems to be better for the higher end SRAM stuff - maybe the carbon is more resilient.

Shimano brakes, on the other hand, have never let me down. Elixir, code, and guides have been utter failures and often time catastrophically, so I will stick with Shimano in this department.

Cassettes don't seem to matter either way. Neither do chains.

Just my experience with it.
  • + 5
 @MD-dh-rider: i have always found that sram deraillures are "stiffer" but more clapped and rattly at the end of a riding season or two. Shimano stuff bends easy but always bends back for me. I agree with you on brakes. I mostly find i can set a shimano mech and it will just run forever.. appreciate your breakdown though!
  • + 2
 @MD-dh-rider: My experience is that X9 rd was bombproof. M8000 XT also, even tough one failed catastrophically on me, but it was after I laid down my bike on it's side during a crash. Guess another rd wouldn't survive that. Now I have GX Eagle rd and it's a total shit compared to these two. Caught a twig in my pulley wheel and the whole mech bend a little even though I stopped pedalling immediatelly. Look's like it's made of plasticine, but you kinda cannot bend it back aligned correctly because of it's complexity. Switching to Shimano's new XT when it comes. Mby Sram 11 spd before that if the GX Eagle mech failes completely.
  • + 11
 well, shimano lost me as a total fan-boy with the M8000 XT s inconsistency: TRP g-spec Slate and Quadiem has been superior so far this season, but still using the shimano pads and discs though!
  • + 6
 @Alexdeg: Shimano brakes I have ridden were simply not that good as most people tend to say. Pumping lever is the biggest reason. I've ridden mostly m675, but also tried m8000 and some deores. Now I have Formula Cura brakes, which are a league better and imo the best brake choice on the market now. Mineral oil, not so expensive, great power, great modulation, very light, decent looks, great lever. The only bad thing about them is the reach adjuster, but luckily it stays solid after you set it, so it's a one time affair with a hex tool.
I plan to ride these for a long time, if they remain solid, but the drivetrain I will swap for new Shimano.
  • + 0
 @Alexdeg: ME to. XT was my goto for brakes and transmission until M8000 and the inconsistent brakes. Now its all sram with eagle and guides.
  • + 5
 @TheJD: the new magura trails are also quite good, not fiddling with a spring while changing pads is so cool. not so sure about the woodscrews on the leverclamp though
  • - 2
 Shimano vs Sram is like iPhones vs Android phones. Android does a bunch of new stuff really quick and Apple just sits back to see what sticks.
  • + 1
 @CM999: yeah, Guides are consistently bad
  • + 1
 yes is does last for year's longer than sram
  • + 1
 Zee is the best brake/$ Spent
  • + 1
 @mattradical: My friend has Zee brakes and they have the exact same problem with pumping lever that the other Shimano brakes have.
  • + 2
 except that mineral oil isnt as robust under breaking conditions compared to dot fluid so shimano brakes technically need more bleeds than dot fluid couterparts...
  • + 1
 @loganskis: Yup, I need to bleed my Saint BR-M820 every 5-6 sessions... getting tired of this.

Had some BR-M525 on an older bike that I haven't bleed in 6 years and ran perfectly.

Next summer it's gonna be Hopes or Formulas.
  • + 1
 @aceface17: @aceface17: Just saw this comment. I crash maybe once a year. The reason it breaks is because I ride reall hard and weigh 170 lbs. I just had the cassette and hub replaced 3 months ago and the cassette body has already fallen apart. Broke their derailleurs a lot from riding.
  • + 34
 "It's almost like developing a drivetrain is a science and developing brakes is an art." What a great quote. And like art, the same exact brake set will bring half the population joy, and the other half will curse them to hell.
  • + 26
 I have XT brakes on one bike and Guide on another, there's no place for me in this world... Frown
  • + 3
 Yes, design is an iterative process. Every engineer knows this.
  • + 33
 @onlybirdman: what's the point of having two bikes if only one can stop?
  • + 5
 @onlybirdman: better than xt on one side and guides on the other
  • + 10
 i dont think it is art, they changed some internals on the xt brake a few years ago and they went from ok to really bad. a friend of mine was working for a big german mtb mag at that time and he said keep your old xts the new ones are shit -he was right -to hell
  • + 3
 @optimumnotmaximum: I have m8000s, no issues at all.
  • + 3
 @warmerdamj: Haha, so true. I have XT's on my trail bike and Guide RSC's on my DH - it's crazy how much worse the Guides are (and how badly I need to get rid of them).
  • + 2
 I've ridden shimano brakes the last 5 years. My xt m785s were bomb proof. My m8000s are crap and have extremely inconsistent bite points. Tried guides with updated levers this season and have been enjoying them so far. Having modulation is super wierd.
  • + 26
 Any word on the freehub body design being licensed to other hub manufacturers other than Dt Swiss?
  • + 2
 Fingers crossed Bontrager jump onboard, but don’t expect anything this year off many at all the way it reads?
  • + 6
 I hope so too, Hope Pro4 with micro spline would be perfect.
  • + 1
 @Red-Rims525: i have emailed hope tech about tbis already and as of yet they have not been granted a license to make one for pro 4 yet
  • + 1
 I figure a hope hub with someone else's cassette is fine enough
  • + 1
 @Coldspringer: it's the new microspline freehub they need the licence for, so far shimano have only licensed the design to ft Swiss but hopefully that will change
  • + 1
 Probably doesn’t help many people but White Industries has a micro-spline hub in the works. They’ve shown it on social media so I’m guessing that others have something in the works but are waiting for approval/licensing from Shimano.
  • + 3
 I'm no doctor, but I would wager money that the new XTR will work just fine with a SRAM Eagle cassette in a pinch if we don't see other companies getting the Shimano spline license.
  • + 2
 @bogey: is it on their fb or instagram?
  • + 1
 @jerseyjinx: Thanks for the info,


As for mishmasing, I just think having the full XTR works with the hyper guide plus cassette is a bonus over an sram egale cassette. A 12 speed xd casstte for instance will probably work just fine, But personally my fantasy is a full XTR groupset mounted on trusty hope hubs...
  • + 2
 @Red-Rims525: agreed, that's what I want to do, be gutted if I have to change hubs
  • + 3
 @seraph: I agree with you. Shimano would be crazy to make the shifter and derailleur incompatible with SRAM cassettes.
  • + 1
 @seraph: I'm hoping this is the case.
  • + 0
 Started with Shimano way back when but have been flirting with SRAM the last few years. Now I'm teetering on the edge of going full SRAM. If Shimano pulls that proprietary hub "BS" I'm moving full SRAM. Wheel sets/hubs are the most important component on my bikes and I want to build them how I want to.
  • + 1
 @jerseyjinx: on Instagram Whiteind
  • + 18
 theyre testing their brakes this time around guys.
  • + 12
 Want the latest bells and whistles? Go SRAM, but accept that you're a beta tester. If you want thoroughly engineered components that have been extensively tested before release.....Shimano!!

XTR is (to use the cliché) for dentists or pros, but in a year or two when the XT version of this stuff comes out, I'll probably get a bike with that groupset. Until then I'll stay on my hard used but utterly bulletproof XT M8000 stuff. Brakes that won't fail in the heat and Shimano shift quality is worth holding off on the 12 speed (and new binders), at least for me.
  • + 6
 Have you seen street prices for XX1 Eagle? That groupset is priced for dentists and pros too.
  • + 24
 SRAM high end stuff is just as expensive and we all know that regular people use both. We all need to quit bashing the one we don't use. But SRAM does suck dicks.
  • + 3
 @neons97: Agreed. Top end stuff is all silly expensive. So I'm saying I'll hold off another year or so before I get the new shizzle.

SRAM pushes new stuff out faster, but has more QC issues. They do innovate, and J. Boobar should be nominated for sainthood for developing the Pike chassis and internals, but when it comes to shifting and stopping, the Japanese S has dialed in the reliability.
  • + 6
 @neons97: I'll take a gram of XX1 eagle - whats the street price?
  • + 9
 @neons97: Meanwhile SRAM already has 12 speed down the the NX level. How long until we see SLX 12 speed? 2022?
  • - 1
 @knarrr: Except that the cassette weighs a ton, is only 11-50 and the RD will be even worse than GX Eagle one.
  • + 2
 One step in price down per year, most likely. XT next summer, SLX a couple of years out. Like I said above, SRAM pushes products to market fast, Shimano takes more time to get stuff dialed.

Shimano cassettes might weigh more than SRAM ones, but the shifting is already notably cleaner. Sounds like this generation of Shimano stuff shifts even better than current 9000/8000/7000 stuff.
  • + 1
 I haven't been impressed with my m8000 stuff. The rear derailleur squeaked like crazy and became loose at the pivot pins in less than a season. M8000 brakes were super inconsistent with bite points.

I just got gx eagle stuff for like $350 and it's been unbelievable for the money.

10 speed shimano stuff was the bees knees, as was the m785 brake. Hopefully 12 speed xt/slx are as good as GX eagle or 10 speed shimano and I'll give them another shot. Until then I'm staying with gx eagle.
  • + 12
 "So the early brake test was with Andrew Shandro and Thomas Vanderham, they did a lot of back and forth testing of prototype brakes to figure out what the right amount of power and right amount of modulation was."

Now the entire internet will know who to blame if they don't like the new Shimano brakes.
  • + 13
 Hurry up with my new silent hubs I can't wait much longer. Gonna have a party and burn my hopes. They would probably survive the fire just fine anyway
  • + 7
 just send those trash things to me, Ill dispose of them properly.
  • - 3
 Ye I was pretty stocked about those hubs too, then the guy at Eurobike told me these are still cone bearings and that is a massive nope for me. The day Shimano will start using industrial bearing that are easy to service like Hope for example, then I'll consider them again. And I love Shimano, especially their brakes but their hubs are a pain in the ass.
  • + 6
 @Balgaroth:
I probably spend just as much time greasing these shimanos as I do trying to shut my hopes up. Cup & cones usually last longer than cartridge if looked after touchwood.
  • + 0
 @markg1150: cones have a tendency to get loose and if you don't notice it right away you kill the rolling surface and end up with a hub that is rubbish. I had the experience long ago on some XT, since i have been on various brands with sealed bearings, rarely had to replace some and when I had to it took few minutes and my hub was good again, even if i pushponed the replacement for months. Thats all solid arguments in my book for virtually no downside.
  • + 2
 Onyx - silent, instant engagement, bombproof. Available now in any color you can imagine.
  • + 3
 @Snowytrail:
Looked at them but total price and weight is just to high.
  • + 11
 "There still is a significant part of the world's population that wants a front derailleur on their bike.
...
your top speed is lower with a single front chainring typically than it is with a double, so if that's something you care about because you're somebody that can sprint at 38mph on a mountain bike, or you just like being able to pedal back to your house."

Shimano gets it.
  • - 3
 Dunno, I pass catch and pass roadies with my 1x12 MTB setup on a regular basis when I'm pedaling back home from the trail. At 100rpm you are already at 40kph in the 30x10 gear + 2.35 29" tires. It's not like I'm contesting a road time trial after all.
  • + 4
 @opignonlibre: A 100rpm is pretty high for "just pedalling back home"...
But you're right - not sure why you'd be willing to get to 40kph after bombing down he trail. Smile
  • + 2
 @hitarpotar: Yep that's just an example and my 30t front ring is pretty small compared to what a competitive XC rider would use. Bottom line, you can still ride relatively fast if you want to yet I don't see a lot of MTB riders, whatever the number of chainrings used, riding that swiftly from the trail.
  • + 3
 This is the quote that made me say Shimano gets it: "If there's somebody that still feels like it's the right group for them, then we don't want to be the ones taking that choice away. "
  • + 10
 "There still is a significant part of the world's population that wants a front derailleur on their bike."

Of course there is and always will be! Thank you Shimano for developing side swing - it works great Smile Keep'm coming!

SRAM might fool people in North America to 1x but in Europe we still want to have ability to run 2x.
  • + 0
 "but in Europe we still want to have ability to run 2x"

I don't, don't speak on my behalf! Rude.
  • + 4
 @HollyBoni: I will goddamnit!
  • + 2
 I dont know anyone who still has a FD on their bike in the UK
  • + 4
 Man these front derailleurists are always so aggressive.
  • + 6
 @HollyBoni: Having the chain fall off your bike anytime you ride a rowdy descent at speed will do that to a person.
  • + 1
 Same here I don't know anyone still using from mech apart from my dad who is riding a GT LTS and is in his 60s ...
  • + 3
 @Balgaroth: time to change you riding place, instead of bike parks etc. go to do wilderness (unprepared trails without or with minimal ingeration from people) and immidiately you'll see why a lot of people want to have 2x drivetrain.

Second thing is: you're not obligated to use FD but in my opinion producers should be obligated to give their customers ability to use FD with their frames. In my FS Author Patriot EVO I can use 2x but at any moment I can remove FD. It's just simple thing of true ingeneer who can desing frame properly. If frame is not compatibile with FD for me it's obvious that producers chose "the easy way out" saying go f@ck yourself to potencial buyers who want to have freedom to choose their drivetrain.

And on the top of it are quasi informational web sites who try to fool you that the only way is 1x which is obviously a stinking lie.
  • + 1
 @EnduroriderPL: I'm not sure what kind of trails you think exist in Western Canada, but I assure you, there are many thousands - the majority not being in bike parks - and almost no one rides or needs to ride a front derailleur.
  • + 5
 @jayacheess: you're quite brave to write that almost no one needs FD. I wouldnt dare to make such a statement.

From the other point of view: recently my friend got an XC 29er (while being hetero :>Wink 1x11 with 28t up front. Bike was perfect for mountain rides but since he's living in the flats he just couldn't live with such gear ratio so I swapped him to 34t. It's nothing uncommon these days but he said that 2x would be perfect for him out of the factory having faster gears for top speed with avability of granny for mountains etc. and this is exactly my point: 2x is much more universal for every day life. BTW: sram chain whell was incredibly fking EXPENSIVE! Fortunately I've found locally alloy version for less than half of the price of sram.

FD from Shimano are so good now days, especially with Side Swing, that so called "reliability question" is no more. If you don't want to use thats fine by me but I won't buy any frame that has deleted FD option as I ride in very different conditions and I want to have my low range provided by 2x FD.
  • + 1
 @EnduroriderPL: woaw where do you think I ride ? Have you heard of France and Enduro mate ? Les Vosges is where Absalon, Clementz or Thirion sharpened their skills. At all races local or national i can garanty you that you will have a hard time finding a FD. FD is dead and its a great thing as it allows bike designers to have much more liberty to create good bikes.
  • + 1
 @EnduroriderPL: Don't forget that we have budget 1x12 options now, so for your friend that was struggling with 1x11 that would have been a solution too. Grab a gear calculator and check how big of a range a 10-50 gives you.

One of the biggest reasons I love 1x is because for me at least it makes the bike more fun to use.
  • + 1
 @HollyBoni: more fun in which way? One shifter less so you don't get confused all the time? Big Grin

The problem doesn't lie in the back but in the front with 1x drivetrain. On paper you get the range with even with 42 at the back but in reality it doesn't work as "shown in the commercial web sites"

@Balgaroth for me its the other way around: the FD shows you that most of the "bike designers" were very weak designers as they sstruggle to cope with FD especially with FS frames.

Definition of liberty is in the desing that lets you choose what you want to bolt to your bike.
  • + 1
 @EnduroriderPL: You cannot have short chainstays with a FD it is just impossible to achieve, let alone the problem of having the FD on the links/swingarm trajectory. And i'll take short CS and wide swing arms/links any time over FD. I still have one on my road/commuter bike and every time it makes me realize how much I like me 1x setup. And while the short CS cannot be achieve with a FD, you could make longer CS while making your rear triangle and links narrower to accommodate your FD, but to achieve the same rigidity you'll have to put more material making it heavier, on top of your CS longer. double No-no for most people, me included.
  • + 1
 @Balgaroth: so please tell me how short CS you want to have that you just have to remove fd.

Second thing: please tell me how much heavier is rear triangle because of fd and I'm expecting some numbers from you.
  • + 1
 @EnduroriderPL: clearly I won't I'm no bike designer, but simply by looking at my Meta V4 it is quite obvious that even if you would manage to attach a FD to the frame the swing arm would bang it. Putting the swingarm inside the frame rather than outside might be possible but it would create loads of issue with tire clearance if you were to keep the same CS length. Now I can't put number behind but more complicated is either more expensive or heavier which neither are attribute I'm willing to accept so f**k the FD lol
  • + 1
 @Balgaroth: you just admitted that deleting FD is just easier than to make FS frame work without any issues.

Intelligent engineering is the way to go, not deleting drivetrain components.
  • + 1
 @EnduroriderPL: Did you only read half of what I said ? Yes you can achieve the same result for the same weight and rigidity, for the case of the Meta V4 probably by using carbon, sure it's a more "clever" engineering needed which will automatically translate in higher price-point.
Now If I refuse to give up on my affordable price-point and I refuse to give up weight, no company is gonna be able to make a Meta V4 with the current characteristics AND a FD. So I'd rather give up on a FD.

It's a bit like the old saying: "Strong, Light, Cheap, pick two"
  • + 1
 @Balgaroth: your whole point of view is an assumption based on theoretically lower price point which should be achieved by deleting FD and don't believe in this theory.

My opinion, on the other hand is quite different because I have a FS bike thats has good suspension and FD as an option and rear trianlge is stiff and rides great. If frame is designed properly it's collision free while still having 160mm of travel without any addtional cost to it.

I'll stand by my opinion and maintain that good frame gives you possibility to use FD if you want it.
  • + 2
 @EnduroriderPL: I don't get confused, but having only 1 shifter makes the bike simply better to use for me. One shifter, up, down, that's it. Cleaner bar, space for a dropper lever. Sequential shifting, and I can dump the cassette in both directions. For me it's more fun to use.

I don't understand what you mean by "doesn't work in reality", my 1x works just fine both on paper and when i'm on my bike.
  • + 1
 @HollyBoni: yes, I just wrote that: you don't get confused by reducing number of shifters to just one. I uderstand that not everyone can multitask with 2 shifters and dropper while riding a mountain bike but thats ok nomather what they tell you.

Its also ok, that its more fun for you but I still want to have all my gears for any situation, with touch of a front shifter instead of changing front chainwheel and 1x doesn't provide what I want.
  • + 2
 @EnduroriderPL:

Again, I don't get confused, it's just nicer to use. Just like you can lower a quick release seatpost pretty easily, but still, a dropper is nicer to use. Or you can ride a cheap bike and it will do the job, but a more expensive one is nicer to use.

I still don't understand what you mean. You said even with a 42 you can get the range, but it doesn't work as "shown in the commercial web sites"? What does this mean? Gear ratios don't change from paper to real life.

Why would you change the chainring? You have a cassette that provides a big range, and you select a chainring for your riding style, and stick to that.

Have you actually used a gear calculator to see how much range a 10-50 provides compared to something like an 11-42 with a 36-26?

If not, here it is:

36x11: 3.27
32x10: 3.20

26x42: 0.62
32x50: 0.64

At the top end the difference is 0.90km/h with 29x2.3 wheels, and at the low end it's 0.26km/h...
  • + 1
 @HollyBoni: it means that 1x fells like 8sp gearbox in car when 2x fells like 6sp with low range.

My man got 28t in the front stock and it was way to soft for the flats so he was force to change chainwheel to bigger one. With factory 2x he wouldn't have to do a thing with his bike.

I don't base my opininon on gear calculator but on my riding experinece and thats why I prefer 2x setup for mountain exploring. If I was a person who constantly rides the same places 1x would have much more sense for me.
  • + 2
 @EnduroriderPL: What? Big Grin You can't be serious. It's math. Doesn't matter what you "feel". The numbers tell the truth. If the gear ratios are the same, it doesn't matter how many chainrings you have at the front. You talk about "intelligent engineering" regarding FD compatibility then go about saying you don't care about gear calculators, just feel... What the hell.

Your "man" wouldn't have had to change the chainring if he used a gear calculator and got the proper chainring and/or cassette the first place. User error, simple as that.

I just gave you an example that a single 10-50 cassette can provide as much range as a
common factory 2x, yet you continue saying "1x is only good for riding the same places". That makes zero sense.

What kind of 2x do you ride? 52/10 with 9-55 cassette or something?

Quite simply I don't think you understand how gears work. That's okay, you go by feel. But then don't try to talk crap about something if you don't even understand how it works.
  • + 1
 @HollyBoni: I'm really amused by opinin from someone who has problem with reading with understanding. I specially put factory stock bike as an example that 1x has its problems that you cannont overcome in any other way than changin chainwhell or casset. 2x is not perfec either but your not limited by having only 1 chainwheel in the front.

I said it once and I'll say it again: I never judged anything by using things like gear calculator but only from my personall riding experience. Obviously your 1x fan and that's probably good for you but please don't force me to love it because you live by gear calculator.

For my type of riding in very different terrain 2x is the way to go and I'll stick to it so I only look for frames with FD compability.
  • + 2
 @EnduroriderPL: definitely stick with what you like, but I don't think it's for any other reason than you being resistant to change and being comfortable with the old system. There's absolutely no actual benefit to it over 1x other than that.
  • + 1
 @jayacheess: resistant to change - thats funny Smile
  • + 1
 @HollyBoni: "I never judged anything by using things like gear calculator but only from my personall riding experience." that's what we call a bigot leave it alone there is no point even trying. Like those people telling you earth is flat, god exists and whatever else based on what they feel rather than what can be proven. Then go have a look a his website, and you'll stop answering same as I did lol
  • + 1
 @Balgaroth:your lack of response to my post just killed me but I don't think that I've any valuable information from you. Of course I'll take your point of view but to be honest you didn't prove anything to me so I will hold my point of view over 1x drivetrain.
  • + 1
 @HollyBoni: The new XTR 2x12 is 610 %, which is a pretty big deal over 500 % of 1x Sram or 510 % of 1x Shimano XTR or 517 % of E13 cassette. And by the way the gaps between cogs are smaller for 2x too, which is also a pretty big deal for someone who doesn't only ride uphill and downhill.
  • + 1
 @TheJD: You mean roadies ? loool
  • + 1
 @EnduroriderPL: Nice, so it's insult time now? Big Grin Okay i'll play along. I'm really amused by the opinion of someone who can't even speak english or at least use spell check, tries to argue about technical things but doesn't believe in math. I'm not sure if you actually read back your stuff but half of it doesn't even make sense.
You still go on about chainging chainrings, but don't understand that a 1x12 has as much range as most factory 2x11 setups. How can you just skip this, and not acknowledge it? I know your english is a bit rough but come on.

Again, two very common factory options:

32T with a 10-50:

0.64 low
3.20 high

36/26 11-42:

3.27 high
0.62 low

How can you ignore this? These are two very common factory options, with VERY similar, pretty much the same range and gear ratios, why would you need to change the chainring on the 1x? Why is 1x limiting, when it has as much range as a common 2x11? Please explain yourself.

Ignoring gear ratios is probably the stupidest thing i've ever heard, and i'm pretty sure you've tried 1x once on your "man's" bike, and that's it. So you go on about saying "personal (or personall as you would put it) riding experience" but i'm pretty sure you have VERY limited, almost zero experience. The guy above me was right, simply resistant to change. I know a lot of guys like you (sadly I actually worked with some), some are even stuck further in time, somewhere back in the 80s. They think all new modern stuff sucks, hydraulic brakes are the devil, and bikes should only be made out of steel. Smile

Anyways, this is getting boring, have fun and I can't wait for the release of your revolutionary drivetrain that was designed only by feel and zero math. Wink

@TheJD

I ignored the XTR 2x for a reason. Our friend here probably has a 2x10 or a 2x11, and as he says it's absolutely perfect, he can climb mount everest then overtake roadies at 80km/h on asphalt.
If someone rides a 2x today it's probably not a 2x12, it usually has an 11-42. If someone is on a 1x11 it's most likely a 10-42, so 1 bigger jump on the bottom of the cassette, and if someone is riding a 1x12, it's the same thing with an extra 50T.

So smaller jumps... Yeah one smaller jump at the high end, but that's about it. Unless for some reason you have something like an 11-32 on your MTB.

And sorry, i'm all about riding for fun, but if you actually need 2x12 you might want to think about your fitness.
  • + 0
 I'm definitely way under your level with speaking english on PB written comment section - that's for sure.

Secondly: my exemple was 28x42 1x11 29er so please stop talking about 1x12 with 50t. I explained my view over that factory setup with all its limitations which lead to changing front chainwheel for 34t to get higher top speed for everyday use.

Talking about drivetrain is very much a personal preference so I don't think you have the ability or will to accept my point of view no matter what, and also I find you attitude fanatical to say the least. You live by gear calculator and I choose the things that fits my riding style. I won't forbid you using 1x but I still want to have choice to bolt on FD to my frame and thats the whole point of this discussion.

Another thing: if FD supposed to be a dead end please explain me why Shimano, the biggest drivetrain producer, still develops them and offer for sale with almost all of the groups? My opinion is that people still want to use FD and I won't change in near or not so near future.
  • + 1
 @Balgaroth: WTF are you talking about? There actually are places that don't have mountains you know? Just some hills. And there are people who don't ride enduro too. Since you are french you should know that.

@HollyBoni: Yes I understand. 2x11 has just one advantage over 1x12 or E13 1x11 and that is the steps between gears, which are soo big on 1x for riding on flats. When you mention 1x11 with 10-42 or 11-42 cassette, then the steps are the same, but you have still have 2 rings which give you bigger range. Bigger for flats and downhill while smaller for uphill.
It seems to me that most people here are seeing just a pure enduro, trail or xc race use, but there are people who ride xc, don't race and don't ride in mountains, where you can only go uphill or downhill. When you are riding flats on a fast bike, then you need those extra fast gears, because when you are going on a 3 % downhill and it's not technical or twisty, then you would spin out on a 1x. I have eagle with 34t ring and when I am going 45 kph I am spinning out.
  • + 1
 @EnduroriderPL: I'm not sure what bike was that, I barely see any factory bikes come with a 28T. Usually hardcore trail bikes come with a 30T. If you would actually do some research you would see that 9 out of 10 bikes that have a 1x will come with a 32T. That's the standard. XD cassettes also go down to a 10T cog.

Using this factory setup as an example is your biggest problem. You say 1x doesn't have the range and you need to change the chainring, but you base this on 1 (that's one) bike. You can't say that 1x doesn't have the range, when nowadays most decent bikes come with a 32T chanring and a 10-50T 1x12, and now you can get a 11-50 12spd at NX level. I could say that 2x doesn't have the range, because i've seen a 40 year old road bike with a 52/42 crankset and a 14-23 cassette!

I can't accept your point of view when you deny math. As Balgaroth said, that's like saying the Earth is flat. I also can't accept your point when i'm a 100% sure you've never head any kind of 1x on your bike, let alone a 1x12. All of us came from 3x and 2x and we all know that system very well.

Yes, I use a gear calculator, and that way I have a perfect 1x setup for where I ride and how I ride. Your "man" didn't use a gear calculator, and he had to change his chainring. That's why you should use a gear calculator. And if it was a factory setup, they screwed up when designing the bike, or your man bought the wrong bike for the job and he tried to use it for something else other than what it was designed for.

I've never said the FD was dead. Smile Shimano is simply slow right now. They're the biggest drivetrain producer, yet they just released 1x12, when SRAM released theirs back in 2016. Then 1 year later they released GX Eagle, and now 1 year later again NX Eagle. Let's see how long it takes for Shimano to release a 1x12 and/or 2x12spd SLX, and how long it will take for their new standard to be affordable and widely available... Because XD is pretty much standard now.

Yes, your opinion is correct, some people, including you still want to use an FD. But you're just one single person. The Earth is big and a lot of people live on it.
So you can't say that everyone in Europe will want to run an FD because you want to, and you can't say that all 1x systems have limited range and come with the wrong size chainring because you've seen that once.
  • + 1
 @TheJD: " I have eagle with 34t ring and when I am going 45 kph I am spinning out."

Here you go:

29x2.3 tyres

34-10 at 90rpm: 40.2km/h

Let's look at a very common factory 2x11, 36/26 with an 11-42, same size tyre, same RPM.

36-11 at 90rpm: 38.7km/h

Okay, let's say you have a hardcore cross country bike with a 38/28.

38-11 at 90rpm: 40.8km/h

So...

Just as a bonus let's compare the low end of a 34T with a 10-50 12spd cassette, and a 28/38 with an 11spd 11-42:

28-42: 0.67
34-50: 0.68

A 1x12 will of course have a bigger range, i'll come back to that when it will be actually affordable. From a few years from now... Big Grin
  • + 1
 @HollyBoni: Merida Big Niner 600 2k17, XC 29er and 28 was perfect in the !mountains! so the bike spec was good for MTB bike with big wheels. Unfortunately not every one lives in mountains so on the flats 28T was way to soft fo every day and showed limitations in range and that was exaclty what I was reffering too. BTW: Merida is FD ready and very propably owner will get back to 2x when drivetrain worns out.

In terms of accesabilty to FD I am very calm because I know that Shimano won't stop making them in a very long time. I prefer slow company with bug free drivetrain over that which is setting "new fking standars" every two years.

All I want from bike industry is possibility to run FD with new frames. Deleting this option was like going to PF BB instead of threaded BB.

If I'm one single person with desire to use FD so you are my nemesis with 1x drivetrains, right.
  • + 1
 @EnduroriderPL:

If you do some research you will see that pretty much all hardtail XC bikes that have a 1x will come with a 32T, and the ones with Eagle will usually come with a 34T. You can see trail bikes with 30-32T. I don't know what the F Merida was thinking. The 2018 model at least comes with a 30T and an 11-50.
Don't lie, the owner will go back to 2x because he is your man. Big Grin

"I prefer slow company with bug free drivetrain over that which is setting "new fking standars" every two years."

Well, we don't know how good Shimano 12spd is, and how good it will be when it trickles down to lower groups. Most of the SRAM 12spd bugs come from user error. People are stupid, working on bikes is easy, a trained monkey could do it. But it seems like a lot of people can't even reach that level of intelligence. I worked as a mechanic for a while, i've seen some really, really stupid sh*t. I've lost all faith in humainty.

You should be very mad at Shimano right now. SRAM came out with XD in 2012. Nowadays it's a widely available standard. It can fit a 10T and a 12spd cassette. Yet Shimano had to come up with a new standard, when they could have just used XD. And right now it's not even an open license like XD is.
  • + 1
 @HollyBoni: I'm NOT lying! These are his words not mine.

Boni sorry but when did Shimano set a "new standard" in past 15 years? What did they changed that made you to swap entire bike set up? I can't remember such thing from them.

I can bet you that new spline will be open license sooner than we think.
  • + 1
 @EnduroriderPL: We all know he is your lover and you control him.

Entire bike setup? Not sure, but I can't remember if any other manufacturer did that. Standards? Without googling I can think of a few changes.

Dyna Sys pull ratios, new (and different compared to MTB) road pull ratios, different FD pull ratio for road and MTB, 11spd road cassette spacing (that was a necessity tho), countless I-spec standards, Rapid Rise or low normal derailleurs and shifters, flat mount disc, integrated BB cups requiring like 3 different size wrenches (i know they supply adapters), Hyperglide vs Uniglide, different pull ratio for only Dura Ace back in the day.

That's all I can think of now without google.

I won't turn this into a Shimano vs SRAM debate, neither of these companies are perfect.

We don't have experience with Shimano 12spd now, we don't know how it's going to perform over time, but I can't see why it would need a less perfect setup compared to SRAM. 99% of the SRAM 12spd bugs come from derailleur hanger aligment and wrong B-gap aka user error.

Shimano adopted the offset pulley design, and it's also 12spd with a big cassette, setting it up properly is going to be just as important.
  • + 1
 Still, this new spline standard was stupid as hell, and a perfect example of "just because we can".

Now SRAM makes a 12spd casette that's compatible with the old Shimano standard while Shimano doesn't... Ridiculous.
  • + 1
 @HollyBoni: I'm curious about the new spline but to be fair it's first major change in years from the drivetrain compatibility site from Shimano.

From all Shimano components there was one that I newer really undestood or like and it was Dual Control shifters. Even today I think of this as really stupid idea to put it into MTB world.
  • + 1
 @jayacheess: this is were you cross the line if you don’t understand the benefits and deficiencies of both systems than you are the one who doesn’t understand gears. There are tons of positives and negatives to both. For instance ever heard of cross chaining?
  • + 1
 @HollyBoni: I thought the highest was 46 making your math a lot less relevant. And I find people running 50t rears need to work on their fitness.
  • + 1
 @TheJD: It’s not just one advantage you also have better chain line whatever gear your in which maximizes power transfer and reduces wear also a clutch derailure spends more of its life under higher tension which also causes faster wear. If you replace your bike every three years than maybe none of that matters.
  • + 1
 @loganflores: Well, you thought wrong. With Shimano the highest is 46, with 1x. Do some research, start here:

bike.shimano.com/en-EU/product/component/deorext-m8000/RD-M8000-SGS.html

Of course you could run a 10-42 with a Shimano 2x, that would add a bunch to the high end, but i'm only allowed to talk about factory setups or I get crap. Big Grin

What if I run a 50T cassette with a 50T front chainring? Do I need to work on my fitness?

Everything you said about chainline, and "higher tension" is wrong too. When you cross chain a 2x or 3x the chain line is so much worse compared to even a 1x12. I know that a bunch of people say that the chain wears faster on a 1x because of the "bad chainline", I haven't seen that yet, and no one actually proved it yet...

A clutch can't and won't add tension, the clutch is a friction device that lives on the pivot point of the cage. The spring in clutch RDs is usually stronger, that adds more tension, but it's negligible. And when you factor in how much a clutch RD improves your riding experience it's especially negligible. What is strange about your clutch argument is that 9 out of 10 MTBs that have a 2x or 3x will come with a clutch RD too...

Some homework:

ride.diamondback.com/friction-profiles-1x-drivetrains

There is nothing wrong with replacing your bike every 2-3 years, if you're jealous of people who do it get a better job.

It's so easy to learn about stuff nowadays, maybe try it next time before commenting rubbish.
  • + 2
 @HollyBoni: first your not running a 50/50 that is a straw man. Second how am I wrong about chain line. A parallel chain transmits energy through the hub better than a cross chain line. Third you should never cross chain on any system it is mechanically inferior and a 1x is guaranteed to cross chain on top and bottom it does decrease durability. Fourth clutches do exert more force and wear faster this is a mechanical fact and someone who says it’s okay to change bikes every three years doesn’t know anything durability. Fifth how many cassettes and drivtains have you gone through?
  • + 1
 @loganflores:

Again:

ride.diamondback.com/friction-profiles-1x-drivetrains

+ maybe take apart a clutch RD. You simply don't understand how they work. It's pretty simple tho and the article I posted explains it in one sentence.

"the clutch in this case is a one-way bearing, which permits movement in one direction, but not in the other"

So again, if you don't actually have any experience with the stuff we are talking about please just do a tiny bit of research instead of just pulling out "mechanical facts" out of your backside. Big Grin

Getting a new bike every 2-3 years is pretty fun! Wink
  • + 1
 @HollyBoni: ride.diamondback.com/friction-profiles-1x-drivetrains correct me if I'm wrong but I cant read anything about drivetrains from MTB perspective.

Conclusion form author:

"The first is that a shifting is simpler with a 1X. You never have to shift the front. In my own experience, this is extremely valuable, though obviously subjective"

and

"Given that the frictional losses do not provide a compelling reason not to run 1X, the aerodynamic argument can then become primary"

None of the above prompts me to change my mind.
  • + 1
 @HollyBoni: you do realize that this article is about road bikes and road bikes run a far narrower hub than a mountain bike therefore a lot of the numbers in the article would be much higher with an mtb cassette. The article also seems like an add to get roadies to switch.
  • + 1
 @loganflores:

Road and MTB 1x systems are barely different (I have a gravel bike too with a Rival 1 groupset). A SRAM road and MTB 1x RD is the exact same thing with modified pull ratio. The article for example explains how clutch RDs work, useful for you. Wink

A lot of road bikes use disc brakes with thru axles, 142x12 spacing but really that's 135mm if you don't count the insets in the frame.

www.pinkbike.com/news/12x142-explained.html

So unless you talk about boost, it's not narrower. But even if you talk about boost, the chainring is offset more on boost specific cranksets. I believe with SRAM it's 6mm vs 3mm. So in terms of chainline it doesn't matter.
Most SRAM 1x road groups come with mountain cassettes, from Rival and up they come with XD mountain cassettes. But road and MTB cassettes are the same overall width anyway, that's what matters (and BTW road cassettes require a longer freehub body). We don't have 1x12 road yet, so yep, on 1x12 MTB stuff the chainline is worse.
But actually, road bikes can have really really short chainstays compared to MTBs, so chainline can be worse.

Yes the article was written by SRAM and it's a big conspiracy theory. The earth is flat.

You said with a 2x I quote "you also have better chain line whatever gear your in". This is not true, because you can cross chain a 2x (or 3x), and believe me, a lot of people do. On a 1x the chainring sits in line with the middle of the cassette, so in both the highest gear and lowest gear the chain is not as crossed as when you cross chain a 2x.
I haven't seen increased chain wear, but to actually prove anything at all regarding chain wear you would have to run a 2x and 1x next to each other in a laboratory so really it's pointless to talk about it.

You also said "a clutch derailure spends more of its life under higher tension which also causes faster wear". Hopefully by now you learned how a clutch actually works, and it's a bit weird to say this because 9 out of 10 2x or 3x systems use clutch RDs nowadays. So unless you ride an older 2x9 or 3x8 or something you most likely have a clutch RD anyways.

@EnduroriderPL:

No one wants to change your mind, you just bashed on 1x while not believing in math, and thinking just because one bike came with a too small chainring all other bikes are like that. The other guy bashed on clutch derailleurs while not even understanding how they work and forgetting that most 2x systems come with it too.
Talking crap about something you don't understand is one of the worst things thing you can do, I just tried to explain some stuff.
There are advantages and disadvantages to everything. You just need to do your research and understand the thing you're trying to criticize.

It's a free world of course so you can just go back to riding a 3x7.
  • + 1
 @HollyBoni: you never properly explained one crucial thing: why people still demand fd if gear calculator says it's not necessary and why Shimano is still developing them.

"On a 1x the chainring sits in line with the middle of the cassette, so in both the highest gear and lowest gear the chain is not as crossed as when you cross chain a 2x. "

If you use 2x properly you don't cross your chain more than with 1x and extreme gears (low/high)
  • + 1
 @EnduroriderPL: I know you don't cross chain, but a lot of people actually do. And again, the argument was that on a 1x the chain angle is bad compared to a 2x in the low and high gears, which is not entirely true.

Why some people still demand an FD?

First, some people are afraid of change, and/or don't understand how some things function. I worked in a bike shop where we mainly dealt with older, vintage bikes. I've regularly heard the owner saying to customers that all modern components are worse than old components, hydraulic brakes suck and always fail, and all bikes should be made out of steel.
But when I asked him why does he hate all these things, he couldn't really explain it and it turned out he never really owned anything modern, and he barely understood how things function.

Some people actually require an FD, even a triple with a wide range cassette because they for example use their bike both on and offroad, loaded or unloaded, do long tours, etc.

I'm not saying the FD is dead (and there are other bikes not just MTBs), but some people need to understand that a 1x is not limiting anymore, we are not in the 10spd 11-36 days. They need to grab a gear calculator and see how much range a 10-50 adds compared to a 10-42 for example, and they also need to check how affordable is GX Eagle for example.

Also, some people demand a double sided dildo, and there are manufacturers out there that make them, but that doesn't mean you and I need one. Big Grin So that's not the best argument.
  • + 1
 @HollyBoni: "we are not in the 10spd 11-36 days"

You know what, I'm still in 2x10 with 11-36 and happy with it while riding mountains. Honestly I don't feel any need to switch to 1x.
  • + 1
 @EnduroriderPL: Sorry, I meant 1x10 with an 11-36.
  • + 10
 great to read that Shimano doesn't consider the FD to be a Dodo...
  • + 3
 He said he was surprised people still ask for it, then listed some benefits that have nothing to do with why I love it. oh well.
  • + 7
 @JohanG: Sincere question: besides wider range, higher top end, and tighter steps between the gears, (all listed as reasons) why do you love your FD?
  • + 5
 @VtVolk: Lighter cassette, longer chain longetivity?
  • + 11
 @VtVolk: Mainly because I ride undulating terrain with lots of short climbs and I shift the front as much as the back. I think it beats cranking constantly on the rear shifter. Also I get a better chain line on climbs.
  • + 2
 @VtVolk: lighter weight in general. most 3x to 1x conversions ive done the bike lose about 2lbs of weight and you can change front rings sizes to get that right gearing feel. put a little bigger ring on if you want to go faster and you will still be able to climb because the huge range we have now. I have just a 1X10 and i am not a fit rider and i still wouldn't ever think of going to a 2x or 3x again. but some people just love it and thats preferance. thats the thing a lot of people need to realize is there is no right or wrong way just personal preferences on setups. no two pro riders have the same setup i can almost guarantee it.
  • + 1
 @VtVolk: Would like to think of it the other way round : if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Never considered having a FD as an issue.
  • + 1
 @JohanG: Valid points raised by all. I still run 2x on my road/gravel bike, but have been 1x on my mountain bike for the past 5-6 years and don't see myself going back for mountain biking. I love the bigger range of 2x on the road, but even with a finely tuned FD, a bit of rubbing seems to always creep in when my chain is wet or gritty, which is inevitable on the dirt roads around me. When I'm grinding out a huge climb, the noise drives me crazy.
  • + 2
 @VtVolk: No cross chaining, and as you mentioned, wider range, higher top end, and tighter steps between the gears
  • + 1
 @Adhdj: How was it two pounds? How was a shifter a fd a cable and second ring two pounds?
  • + 1
 @loganflores: most of them they change the cranks as well which can equal over two pounds lost just there but just shifter, front d, and rings is around a lb to a lb and a half. they weigh more than you would think especially the low end stuff.
  • + 1
 @Adhdj: I found most of what you said valid I’ve been on a 1x9 since about 05 occasionally running a 2x. The point about the weight is technically accurate but disingenuous if your changing crank levels by such a degree that you lose 2 pounds in cranks than it’s not really the conversion saving the weight but buying cranks that are two pounds lighter.
  • + 5
 PB: Have there been production delays?

Shimano: Nope, we're on target. We had a fire in April that affected some of our surface treatment processes – that bumped it back a month from what it was going to be.

Soooooo then there was a delay?!?!?!?
  • + 1
 It's all bull. I read that thinking the same thing as well.
  • + 1
 @krumpdancer101: Did you intentionally leave out his next sentence?

"Since the launch timing it's been consistent."

Apparently production wasn't planned or started at that stage. April was a while ago, wouldn't be surprised they were still finishing development of this group. You only call it a production delay if there is a delay in production.
  • + 1
 @vinay: You do understand that launch and production are two separate things? In the manufacturing world to launch an item is to present an item you intend to sell to the public. Production is the actual making of the items to be able to provide what you launched to the public. So I take it back to what was asked where their production delays and the response was a beat around the bush way of saying yes we were behind. It would’ve been a lot better for them they just honestly say yes There were production delays.
  • + 1
 @krumpdancer101: So he did answer the question correctly, didn't he? There was a delay (fire) leading up to launch. After launch, during production, there were no more delays.
  • + 1
 @vinay: OK I see where you are coming from. You are saying that there was a delay in the launch but not in the production once it was launched ? Am I reading that right from you? If that’s the case then once it was launched by his answer sure there was no delays but I guess if for you to produce an item that can be launched if it gets delayed then isn’t that a delay in production? To me and to others it just sounds like they are trying to cover up reasons for them taking so long to get there item out.
  • + 1
 @krumpdancer101: Yeah, indeed that's what I meant to say and I don't think it was meant to cover anything up. Nor was there any reason to. What I took from what he said was that they did have backlash due to that fire that set them back a month though it was unlikely to be due to an error in the design. Only once the detailed design (including the prototype with the appropriate finishing) was done, they could launch the product and plan a release date. And I think he is (rightly) proud to say that from then on, there were no more delays which would then be mentioned as production delays.

See, at the time of the fire, some PB visitors (jokingly) claimed it was in their battery production facility (for pedal support and electronic shifting), others claimed it was in their fishing gear facility. I never really dug into it after that but this is the first time an authority (a Shimano representative) admits it was in their bicycle gear facility. He doesn't cover it up. It set them back a month. But this was before launch and as such I wouldn't call it a production delay. What he specifically states is that after launch, they haven't had production delays.

Covering things up would have been when he hadn't mentioned the fire at all and merely stated that strictly indeed they haven't had any delays. He didn't, so I consider his answer fair, complete and honest.
  • + 1
 @vinay: “that bumped it back a month from what it was going to be. “

Those are his own words. I guess if you don’t stay what was bumped back then it’s easy to say it wasn’t the production that was bumped. Also if you were only counting production delays as quality control issues then that’s another easy way to show on paper no production delays. I am in inspector who is working building a dam and I am actually quality control for the production of the material that is being used to build the dam. Our flyash plant we were using caught fire and so we had to source flyash from another manufacturer. There was a PRODUCTION delay because we were unable to get an flyash because the factory had burned down. The delay had nothing to do with quality control. See how that works. Also giving a three month window for when customers will be able to get the product and in the same line saying it could be a week or so after and then the next paragraph stating how long it takes to get across the ocean just really confuses everybody. So they honestly have no date is what they really want to say but it could be within this timeframe if we have no production delays.

So let’s see The contractor who is rebuilding the spillway was able to start in March and gave a finish date upon starting of November 1 and was able to complete a massive spillway which has a million more moving parts, design and issues then a gear set and with production delays finished on the exact ending date they said. I guess I should tell them they should get into the bike industry because they will kill it.
  • + 1
 @krumpdancer101: Alright, it seems to me a matter of definition which you, by profession, consider unacceptable. Either way, I think we can agree he's clear about two things. Using his own words:

1: "We had a fire in April that affected some of our surface treatment processes – that bumped it back a month from what it was going to be."
2: "Since the launch timing it's been consistent."

Sorry for the confusion from my side, indeed I didn't mean to say production delays stem from quality control issues exclusively. If you can't source materials or components in time as is the case with the dam, yes I'd call that a production delay too. If the engineers of the dam couldn't test their scaled model because the hydro lab was frozen over, that would cause a delay too but because it is done before the start of production I wouldn't call it a production delay. From the interview I took that the fire was still during the development phase, so maybe they couldn't finish prototypes or display models.

As for his explanation about the uncertainty in delivery times, I think he was quite clear about that. How fast aftermarket components reach the customer still depends on logistics. I can imagine they may reach Australia and the US west coast well before they reach Europe. If you're talking about finding these components spec'd as OEM on a complete bike, it not only depends on how fast the bike manufacturer assembles bikes but also whether they're willing to take chances to put a bike in their catalog spec'd with components that they may not get hold of in time. A few German bike companies got a bit of a bad name for not delivering bikes in time because they actually had everything stocked and prepared, but were missing that silly but essential components. And especially now that the rear mech and rear hub are a bit of a match (just like the original Saint group) you can't easily swap them out.

So personally I appreciate that doesn't give a hard anwer of "this is when you find the new XTR in store" but instead breaks it down in when he expects them to be finished and what needs to happen after that and why you may not find it on the latest high end Specialized bikes. I also understand that if you were looking for a clear and definite answer, you were disappointed.
  • + 4
 No word on Scylence hubs for regular Shimano cassettes ... that’s too bad. I would purchase an XT level hub that was quiet for my existing 11s bikes.
  • + 1
 For a 2017 non-Boost Transition Patrol the M9020 crank (168mm Q-factor) is the one to go for, right? And will the new XTR chainring work fine with a 10 speed chain? Hopefully Wolftooth will come out with oval rings for the new XTR too.
  • + 2
 The headline reads like they are surprised at this situation - which considering Pb have been around for a while smacks of click baiting. Shimano always have a lead time. Get over it.
  • + 1
 "There's an engineer working at a bike shop in Minneapolis, and one in Toronto; there ends up being a lot of bike builds and derailleur adjustments, to help understand why it's important to make it easy to get the cable out of the shifter and stuff like that, firsthand stuff."

Can't speak for Minneapolis but Toronto? That's a veritable mountain bike hot spot if I've ever seen one.
  • + 1
 Mountain bike scene is different more than little in Japan. Here in California we say hi to hikers and they respond nicely. There hikers start to argue and we need to respond to calm them down... So while Japanese community is not supporting MTB industry, Shimano is doing tremendous job.
  • + 1
 Go to local bicycle shop with like thousands of bikes, not one bike is totally top of the line. Tells you something. Except they had the new Norco Aurum on display purpose only. Goes to show, everyone's losing it over nothing, including myself. Like I want the new XTR, but let's face it, in a blind test I couldn't tell it from a hole in the wall.
  • + 1
 Shimano brakes; let's fix them until they're broken! I sound like a broken record here, but the early stuff that wasn't reverse bleed with a syringe just flat out worked awesome and still does. Why change it and introduce bleeding from the caliber up, and some stupid fluid cup that threads into the master cylinder? Stupid.
Otherwise, I quite like Shimano, apart from the pins used in their chains, when a missing link would be the preferred option, a la KMC.
  • + 1
 I use XTR M9000 shifters and XT M8000 rear derialleurs on both my bikes, downhill and trail bikes. Been working flawlessly for a year, and quite economical. But front derailleur bikes keep passing me, which frustrates me a bit, until I realise how sore their bums are. Hard tail commuter bikes, pff.
  • + 1
 Follow up. I just bought a new bike. I had the money to get any components I wanted (yeah me). But I chose not to wait for the new xtr for two reasons. 1) I had no idea how long I'd be waiting. From the article, at least a couple of months, maybe longer if I wanted to be able to buy a bike from a manufacturer who offered xtr in a base build. 2) No 180mm cranks. Tall riders exist. And while we are a small portion of the market, 5% of millions of riders is still A LOT of riders who need longer cranks.
  • + 1
 I'm done waiting on new product. When it gets here it gets here. How about having metal, finned, saint brake pads available mid-season. How do they run out of them? And every year it's the same. This is the best product ever made, nothing is better......except what we make next year.
  • + 3
 Have Shimano conquered the random bite point in their brakes yet, that has been the achilles tendon of the last 10+ years
  • + 1
 They're going to relaunch their 2005 era brakes that worked just fine as "Classics"
  • + 3
 I still use a front mech on my xc bike and road bike. I like the extra range for those huge mountain climbs.
  • + 1
 It is funny how XTR cranks spider design is always inspired by some older Shimano budget crank. This one looks like this older square tapered I have seen on older commuter bikes.
  • + 1
 "Your top speed is lower typically with a front single chain ring than it is with a double" Umm ok. So lets all put 53-39 road cranks on our cross country bikes and we can go REALLY FAST !
  • + 2
 Its a real problem for shimano riders...I need a 30x46 for climbs but can spin out a 30x11...
  • + 1
 @clink83: get a 10 tooth then
  • - 1
 @OliChando: no 10t on a shimano hub...
  • + 1
 Haven't got an answer so I'll ask again:
Will the new 11spd xtr cassette be compatible with existing 11spd derailleur/shifter, if the hub is replaced of course? Or is the new 11spd spacing different than current 11spd?
  • + 5
 My understanding is nothing will work. The new 11spd stuff has the 12spd spacing and just one less cog.
  • + 4
 @markinator: Correct. Easiest way to think about this is that the 11 speed cassette is simply the 12 speed 10-51 cassette without the last cog
  • + 1
 @markinator: shooty dooty I thought I was slick. Thanks
  • + 1
 Now I am sad. I'll have to buy a chain, rd, shifter, cassette, and hub just to run scylence. Might as well just buy a sprag.
  • + 1
 @JohanG: The advantage of the new 11sp XTR over the new 12sp XTR is that it will give you wider and more symmetric flange spacing. I think it is a nice alternative for whoever feels the 450% range is more than sufficient (or runs a front mech already). If they'd have stuck to the old spacing, improvements would have been marginal compared to the current XTR.
  • + 1
 @vinay: slightly wider hub flanges over ditching your drive train how much of a benefit is it really? Seems wasteful.
  • + 1
 @loganflores: That's not quite the point. If you've got a properly working drivetrain and you're happy with it, by all means stick with it. If you need a new one but don't quite need the 510% range, the new 11sp XTR still gives you some advantages over the old one. If you need the older rear mech to match your current cassette and hub, you can probably still get it for a good while. Not only because of old stock, but also because not all OEM customers will choose for the uncertainty of speccing the 2019 XTR on their bikes and will stick to the current XTR for their 2019 bikes. And after that, maybe XT would do just fine as well.

XTR isn't for me either. I like what they're doing but I'm not looking for weight saving, to be the first with the new stuff nor for the competitive edge. I'm currently happily riding with Zee. Once this tech reaches that group, I'll look into it. I don't quite like having the clutch teeth being machined out of aluminum but then again if it really turns out to be too soft for the purpose, it should reveal by then. Then again even XTR rear hubs aren't much more expensive than alternatives from the other big competitors so I might still get the XTR hub if it is more durable.
  • + 0
 How is the scylence hub different than a king of dt star ratchet? Is it actually silent or just noticeably quieter due to the smaller teeth on the ratchet? More to the point,if it is silent how do you get the ratchet to completely disengage?
  • + 4
 Yep, it's completely silent. There's a spring between the two ratchet wheels (the green and yellow ones in the article image) that pushes them apart when you're coasting. Here's a little video from Shimano that might help: www.youtube.com/watch?v=09caolYB3JA
  • + 3
 It pulls ratchet away, DT is always pressed in with a spring, so noise.
  • + 4
 @mikekazimer: so the quickness of the engagement is tied to the slope of the ramps?
  • + 6
 @Axxe: does this mean you can fakie without pedaling backwards like a bmx freehub?
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: any word on the freehub body design being licensed to other hub manufacturers other than Dt Swiss?
  • + 4
 Google XTR Sylence hub, a competing site put out an article in 2016 when Shimano applied for the patent. It explains how it works, how it's significantly different than any previous DT system, and how Shimano actually referenced the then soon to expire Chris King ring drive patent as being a foundation of their design.

The main takeaway, the spring in the above image pulls the yellowish ratchet back INTO the hub. The free hub body with it's spiraled splines grabs it and pulls it back into the green floating ratchet when you pedal. When you stop pedaling the spring pulls the ratchets far enough apart to disengage the splines between them.

@wincobankchef If it disengages the yellowish ratchet entirely, but it looks to me like the inner ratchet is always in contact with the freehub body, just not always in far enough to engage the larger floating ratchet.
  • + 6
 @mikekazimer: Shimano should add in a bell with every sale. These are going to take out more hikers than electric cars take out bikers! Wink
  • + 1
 its pretty soul destroying to see how quickly XTR rear derailleurs develop pivot slop these days. i've got 1992 xtr m900 rear derailleurs with less pivot slop
  • + 2
 Seriously, who needs a "Scylence" hub? I would feel insecure without any noise.
  • + 1
 My dt240 with 54t ratchet are still really quiet too. I wanted a quiet hub but even now I wish they were a touch louder. It's good feedback
  • + 3
 On the internet for dirt cheap?
  • + 3
 I love Shimano and I love Pinkbike.great article.thanks. Smile
  • + 2
 How about some new saint?
  • + 9
 Sounds like they’re working on it?
  • + 8
 Did you read the article?
  • + 24
 @iqbal-achieve: all I hear is scylence
  • + 3
 Imo M820 is still the best group set available. The mech is the best derailleur ever made for a mtb. The cranks are rock solid and no daft chainring ‘solution’ nor are they too heavy and overbuilt. The brakes are astonishingly good (personal preference aside).
I’m as excited to see the group updated as the next guy but what would people change? I honestly don’t know! Ah yeah maybe the pedals are a bit crap...?
  • + 9
 @speed10: scylence is the only thing I really cared about when the xtr details hit. I’m on of the few that really like Shimano hubs so I’m looking forward to trying em out. I’ve often been tempted by clutch hubs for the quietness but never have gotten any. If/ when Saint gets sylence that would be a welcome update for sure.
  • + 7
 @iqbal-achieve: improve the variable bite point on the brakes. Guessing game every time you pull the trigger. Had 3 Warrentied so far......
  • + 3
 @iqbal-achieve: Switch out the 104 BCD mounting for the Saint cranks. I'd have bought a set for my G16 had it not been for that.

Maybe the whole variable bite point on their brakes. Anodize the pistons.
  • + 4
 @speed10: Hello darkness my old friend...
  • + 1
 @billreilly: And the vision that was planted in my brain still remains
  • + 1
 @billreilly: I’ve come to the comments once again...
  • + 2
 @yeti-monster: nobody is going to answer that question for four years. Bike media won’t be able to even mention that it’s a problem until the next generation is coming out. Because hopefully that generation will fix it.
  • + 1
 So basically the xtr launch would be the same as sram 'launching' etap eagle when Nino started using it.
  • + 1
 Shimano, can we get some 6 bolt cooling finned XTR rotors please in 203mm?
  • + 1
 Why can't we have wide range 10 speed option? Pretty please?
  • + 1
 Deore 10 speed supposedly has an 11-42 cassette, but you have to use the right derailer.

If the link doesn't work, there's a Shimano compatibility chart that lists it.

productinfo.shimano.com/#/com/2.9?cid=C-432&acid=C-435
  • + 2
 @bcgbr5: I'm pretty sure the deore 10 speed wide range derailleur is just an 11 speed derailleur. I set up a friends bike with xt shifters, the deore RD, and a sunrace 11-42 casette and it shifts really nice, it gets ride of the increasing shift effort. Up the casette shimano 10sp had.
  • + 1
 Shimano make a an 11-42 C'S HG500-10. I'm using it with Saint but needed the One Up cage. But a medium cage would work.
  • + 1
 @bcgbr5: My 11-42 10 speed works great with an XT mid cage derailleur.
  • + 1
 Will anyone see my comment if it's this low?
  • + 1
 Can I run a 12speed sunrace cassette and xtr shifter and deraileur
  • + 1
 Paul Longesturd
  • + 1
 Pernicious nonsense...
  • + 0
 Only the Dentists have them
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