New Shimano XT Launches

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Yep, there’s a new XT groupset out and, quite frankly, we’re not sure why you’d want to go for XTR now – especially because the brakes look very similar and share that same great one-finger power of the XTR groupset.

Deore XT is officially 30 years this year and this new groupset seems to do all that history proud. There are many nods to new XTR and includes a trail oriented 2X10 crank with a 38-26T chain ring set as well as a
more XC oriented 40-28T combination. Cassette options are: 11-36T, 11-34T, 11-32T.

Also in silver


Comes in black and silver too.

There’s a double and a triple option. There’s only one brakeset though – which is the ServoWave brake system with the finned brake pads. All great for one finger breaking.

Advanced light action shifting with the RapidfirePlus shifter requires the same amount of force to shift between the two largest sprockets as it takes to shift in between the two smallest, so it doesn’t get stiffer the higher up the cassette you get. Shimano’s Instant, Multi- and 2-Way Release technology are all integrated into the latest generation shifter as well as a mode converter that allows the left hand unit to be used with both double and triple cranks.

Not part of new XT, but launched today too. The new Shadow Plus XTR derailleur with its one way clutch that really stiffens up the chain, removing much of the chain slap and drop.


The new compact caliper with oversized 22mm ceramic pistons is combined with a lightweight lever for a brake that is lighter than the current version, yet provides more brake power. DEORE XT Ice-Tech rotors (160, 180 and 203mm) have a three layer sandwich structure of an aluminum core embedded in stainless steel. The higher heat dissipation of the aluminum helps to reduce the surface temperature of the rotor by
around 100 degrees Celsius. Optional Ice Tech brake pads with aluminum cooling fins can reduce the brake pad surface by another 50 degrees. The result is high stopping power and practically no signs of fading. As well as Center Lock rotor mount, there’s also 6-bolt too.


Fancy some XT? It’ll be out in June…


Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Comments (30)

    What does Shimano do about its environmental impact? Does it care at all? Why is it producing consumables like brake pads with fins on that are simply throwing away resources? What’s it doing about using remanufactured materials and recycled stuff? Why is it seemingly locked into a culture of in-built redundancy with endlessly multiplying gear options? Do we really need all this stuff?

    What is that knuckle thing on the bottom mech picture?

    BadlyWiredDog – Do we really need all this stuff?

    No, quite simply. Do we WANT it? Yes, some might.

    Don’t like the fact that the cranks are black – looks like deore.

    Are the fins actually integral to the pad? How much do those cost to replace, I was already paying £20 a set for Shimano sintered (although they were very good pads).

    I see they’ve accomplished the impossible though and made their rear mechs EVEN uglier, kudos Shimano!

    The funny knuckle on the mech is a one-way clutch. By flipping the lever, it ‘locks’ the cage into position. The cage will still move rearwards, taking up extra slack, but it won’t move forwards without a fight. This means less chain droppage. We spoke to a test rider who was backpedaling while going through rock gardens to try to drop the chain and he still didn’t.

    Shimano have managed to make XT look like Deore. Quite a feat.

    For the black haters XT is also available in silver as before.

    I assume the cool sounding XTR mech is 10-spd only? I fancy one but don’t fancy also paying for new 10-spd shifter and cassette.

    Did I miss the bit about it being compulsory to buy it?

    It looks much less awful in silver. Why anyone would choose black cranks is beyond me.
    I like the look of the brakes, but the rest is meh.

    Before anyone points out how the aesthetic isn’t important. you’d be surprised about how far up the chain of things it is at Shimano.

    June eh? That’s much earlier than I was thinking. hmmm

    Pads with fins, retail £35.

    Don’t need them, the brakes are powerful enough without.

    The black looks alot nicer in the flesh and not really like the Deore finish at all (although I grant you the picture doesn’t do it justice really) and the brakes are quite a bit better performance wise over the previous incarnations which were already good.The fins are integral to the pads but It looks like you could fit regular pads if you wished. The lever blades are proper dinky too especially for 1 finger brakers and the hinged clamps are a nice bonus too.
    The biggest improvement I reckon is the shift feel, each shift now takes the same amount of effort and feels alot more XTRish
    The little screw to move it from 3×10 to 2×10 under the LH shifter is very delicate though. It tells you in the blurb not to switch it while it’s in 1st or it will break. I think production ones will need a hang tag on the shifter pointing this out because if like me you tend to think you know what you are doing you will bust it (Yup I did! Read the instructions afterwards like a clown.)

    Looks ugly, the various bits of the previous XT look my nicer.

    Emporers new clothes?

    How is XT 30 years old in 2011/2012?

    The 2007/8 XT was the 25th Anniversary edition – what happened to the missing year?

    Quite fancy the XT brakes if the comments about the new XTR performance carry through.

    On “another” website they showed a carry case packed with all the XT bits and bobs. There were some rear mechs that looked like internal geared/drum brakes/internal dynamo. Any ideas what these actually are? It’s much easire to post to STW than this “other”!

    when were black cranks ever a good idea?

    Speaker are they the parts labelled as DH-T something? They are Dyno-Hubs.

    I do like the look of the brakes,but agree it does look a bit deore

    Speaker – I believe there are ‘Trekking bike’ bits in the XT range as well, so yes, dynamo hubs and the like. No idea about internal geared hubs.

    From the story: “The higher heat dissipation of the aluminum helps to reduce the surface temperature of the rotor by
    around 100 degrees Celsius. Optional Ice Tech brake pads with aluminum cooling fins can reduce the brake pad surface by another 50 degrees.”

    You sure about that? That would make the standing temp of the discs on a spring day something like -135 C!

    Can we have a photo of the brake lever clamp and shifter combo? How do they attach? Glad Shimano are doing this at last – looks way neater (and yes I am a aesthetic gimp).

    The “one way clutch” sounds like an important innovation, esp. for those wanting to run 1×10 with no chain device. Why would you want to run with it off?

    I have to say, I think SLX cranks beat the new XT for looks.

    curious about the on/off clutch thing too, does it shift ok with the clutch on?

    Re. the on/off switch, from elsewhere;

    “…it has an on/off switch on its cage which can be used to add more spring tension and activate a ‘friction stabilizer’.

    The idea is that you switch this on to stop your chain bouncing when riding over rough terrain – preventing it from derailing or damaging your drive-side chainstay, and also cutting noise – but flick it off at the end of your ride to reduce the spring tension and make it easier to remove your rear wheel.”

    “Can we have a photo of the brake lever clamp and shifter combo? How do they attach?”

    What I can only describe as a nut sits in the back of the hinged clamp. A bolt on the shifter bracket then screws into this. Is really neat.

    Dirt have more pics on their site and accoring to the info they have it states that the cranks are available in silver or black.

    It looks like Deore in black – can’t see it selling well.

    looks much better in a proper photo, but i think it would look better in silver!

    If the XTR clutch rear mech works well, it’ll sell like hot cakes. Where can I buy shares in XTR???

    “but flick it off…/…make it easier to remove your rear wheel” was wondering why you’d want an off switch.

    Yep looks pants (aesthatically) but that won’t stop me buying it (coz it’s XT so it’ll work)

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