shimano xtr 1x12 crank chainring

2 Videos To Show You How Good Shimano XTR 12-Speed Is

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Unless you’ve been residing below a stone-based dwelling for the past month, you’ll be well aware that Shimano recently delivered one of the biggest product stories of 2018; new, 12-speed XTR. In one of the most eagerly anticipated moves of the year, Shimano finally retaliated against the dominance of its American rival with a dedicated 1x drivetrain option.

But that ain’t the half of it.

Because with the latest XTR groupset, M9100, Shimano is rolling out no fewer than four drivetrain options. Not one, but four. There are two 1×12 options with either a 10-51t or a 10-45t cassette, and a 2×12 option with a 38/28t double crankset and a 10-45t cassette. Then there’s the special 1×11 option too that requires its own special hub. Head here for more info on what that’s all about.

On top of that, there are brake options too. You can get 2-piston XC Race brakes, or big 4-piston trail/enduro stoppers. There’s a new dropper post lever that integrates with the brake levers, with latest I-Spec EV standard providing a load of adjustability between the shifter and the brake lever clamp. Then there are multiple crank lengths, chainring sizes, different Q-factors…

You get the idea.

shimano xtr 12-speed 1x12 m9100
I spent a good bit of time on this bike; a Canyon Spectral complete with a 12-speed Shimano XTR drivetrain. Photo: Irmo Keizer.

We first checked out XTR at the Fort William World Cup, where we shot a tonne of photos and a video to give you a good ol’ gander at all of the details. And there are a lot of details.

Up until a few days ago though, only the pros had had a chance to ride the latest XTR groupset. Lucky for me, I was invited out to Slovenia to rectify that.

During the XTR Media Camp, I notched up three days of riding aboard two different bikes decked out with XTR 1×12 drivetrains. The first bike I rode was a racy Scott Spark RC World Cup, which featured the lighter 2-piston Race brakes. The second bike I rode was a Canyon Spectral fitted with the bigger 4-piston brakes, as well as a new PRO Koryak dropper post and the Shimano MT800 remote.

I shot some video while I was out in Kranjska Gora, and put together two videos to show you the bikes I rode, and to detail what my first experience of Shimano’s M9100 groupset was like;

Hungry for more? Make sure you stay tuned for a more detailed ride report, where I’ll go into some finer details of the groupset that I couldn’t quite squeeze into the above videos. In the meantime, go ahead and scroll on down for a gallery of lovely images shot by Dutch photo-meister, Irmo Keizer.

Warning: we are not responsible for any impulsive riding trips booked for Slovenia.

shimano xtr 1x12
It’s finally here – Shimano’s 12-speed XTR groupset. Photo: Irmo Keizer.
slovenia kranjska gora shimano xtr
Pre-ride journo faffage. Photo: Irmo Keizer.
shimano xtr brake bleed
Sorry, I’m British. Photo: Irmo Keizer.
shimano xtr chain
Shimano’s new XTR chain may be one of the most highly engineered chains we’ve ever seen before. Photo: Irmo Keizer.
Philip Ebener from Fox Racing Shox was on hand to get our forks and shocks dialled in. Thanks Philip! Photo: Irmo Keizer.
slovenia kranjska gora
Kranjska Gora is not a horrible place. Photo: Irmo Keizer.
slovenia kranjska gora goat
The goats seem to love it also. Photo: Irmo Keizer.
slovenia kranjska gora wil shimano xtr
Irmo made me ride up this stupid climb. It’s pretty though. The climb, not my expression. Photo: Irmo Keizer.
slovenia kranjska gora
We rode some wonderfully steep, loamy singletrack on the XTR launch. Photo: Irmo Keizer.
The riding here is incredible, and three days was not enough. I’m planning a return trip already. Photo: Irmo Keizer.
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That Scylence rear hub has been one of the standout features of the latest XTR groupset. I’m not looking forward to going back to a loud hub again. Photo: Irmo Keizer.


Shimano covered flights and accommodation for this trip.

Comments (6)

    Nice videos! Love the race set…

    @footflaps – Thanks mate, and glad you liked them!

    @singletrackwil What happened to your Seatpost?!

    @JamesD – Good spotting!

    Much to the horror of our guides, I removed it for the last descent and put it in my backpack, since I couldn’t lower it down that much. The kink in the seat tube of the frame limited the insertion, and the seatpost was really long in the first place. I high-posted it for the first 2/3rds of the descent, but wasn’t really enjoying it, so I just took it out completely.

    I probably wouldn’t recommend it, though thankfully I didn’t crash and take a core sample of my insides :-/

    ST Wil.

    Do you know if the new 12 speed free hub body can be fitted to existing 11 speed Shimano hubs in the same way you can change between XD and Shimano free hub bodies on some hubs, or is it a completely new design?

    @ThruntonThrasher – No can do I’m afraid. Because the Micro Spline freehub is an entirely new design with a ratchet-style mechanism (instead of pawls found in current/other Shimano rear hubs), the freehub isn’t interchangeable.

    You’ll need the whole hub, which right now gives you two options from Shimano (XTR and a non-series version), and basically any of DT Swiss’s rear hubs that feature the Star Ratchet system. We’re still waiting to hear from Shimano as to who else will be offering Micro Spline freehubs.

    ST Wil.

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