Shimano XTR Race

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Chain rings-4

  • Weight: 630g
  • Crank arm length: 170, 172.5, 175 (tested), 180mm
  • Chainring sizes: 40/28 (tested), 44/30, 42/30t
  • BCD: 88mm Race cranks, 104mm Trail cranks.
  • BB standard: Shimano BB90 (press fit, or 68/72 threaded BBs)

Shimano’s flagship racing chainset pulls no punches when it comes to materials and design. Using cleverly hollow-forged crank arms and 3D forged outer chainring, the chainset looks great and is a great example of Shimano’s integration of chainset, chainrings and steel, hollow axle.

There are two versions of Shimano’s XTR double, above and beyond just the chainring size choices. The ‘Trail’ chainset is for nearly all ‘normal’ mountain bikers, with smaller chainring sizes and regular 104mm BCD chainrings. The Race chainset is for full-on, lungs-out racing and as such features more macho gear ratios, like our 40/28 up to the seriously tall 44/30 pairing. It also features a unique bolt circle diameter of 88mm, which keeps the cranks small and puts the extra material in the lighter weight chainrings. The outer chainring is a work of art though, with a 3D forged shape aimed at keeping it stiff, despite the large size. Shifting is immediate, whether going up or down the rings but the Race ring sizes are demanding unless you’re fit and giving it some beans.

After a lot of use, the cranks are still looking serviceably shiny, with a few signs of hits and scrapes, but the rings still shift fine and the threaded BB is still smooth. If you’re a racer, and a good one at that, then you need to try these out. If you’re more mortal, and especially if you’re running big wheels, then you need to check out the Trail chainset and its more knee-friendly 38/26 ring ratio.

 Overall: As top of the range as it gets from Shimano. Expect military precision, top materials and a black-ops price to match. For the super serious, the talented, the committed, or just those with deep pockets who like nice gear.


Review Info

Brand: Shimano
Product: XTR Race
From: Madison,
Price: £374.99
Tested: by Grinder Team for
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Mark Alker

Singletrack Owner/Publisher

What Mark doesn’t know about social media isn’t worth knowing and his ability to balance “The Stack” is bested only by his agility on a snowboard. Graphs are what gets his engine revving, at least they would if his car wasn’t electric, and data is what you’ll find him poring over in the office. Mark enjoys good whisky, sci-fi and the latest Apple gadget, he is also the best boss in the world (Yes, he is paying me to write this).

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