First Look: 2011 Shimano XTR 10 Speed MTB Component Group | Bike198

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First Look: 2011 Shimano XTR 10 Speed MTB Component Group

The year of 10 speed mountain biking continues to move forward. With SRAM’s release of a completely revamped product line with X7, X9 and X0, Shimano is hot on their tails with a completely redesigned XTR lineup and their new Dyna-Sys 10 speed system hitting Deore XT and SLX as well. Now, Shimano has a complete 10 speed mountain bike component group lineup to hit the trail with in late 2010 and 2011. On the surface, the Deore XT and SLX componetry looks pretty much unchanged. With the addition of the Dyna-Sys shifting components (cassette, derailleur, chain, cranks), these two mountain bike component groupos function differently but look the same. However, the Shimano XTR lineup looks completely different, so let’s jump in and take a look.

Shimano Dyna-Sys 10 Speed Shifting for Mountain Bikes

Before we take a look at the components, let’s take a look at Shimano’s Dyna-Sys and what it is going to claim to do for your riding.

From Shimano’s dynasystech.com:

Through Dynamic Systems Engineering, Dyna-Sys brings together the rider, the bike and the trail. Intuitive gear combinations account for how riders deliver power through the drivetrain; optimization around the 32-tooth Primary Driving Gear lets riders get the most out of modern suspension designs, and even the roughest, rockiest, muddiest trails can’t shake Shimano’s most stable off-road drivetrain to date.

Dyna-Sys technology makes shifting seamless and intuitive, enabling riders to deliver consistent, efficient power while maintaining that delicate balance of traction and momentum control. Take a rider accustomed to a traditional 3×9 drivetrain and put them on a 3×10 Dyna-Sys drivetrain in a blind test, and that rider will be faster and more efficient around the same test track. Dyna-Sys delivers a more efficient gear, more of the time.

A wider-range 11-36 10-speed HG cassette means riders can climb further in their Primary Driving Gear—the 32-tooth chainring. When other riders have pulled the ripcord and drop into their granny gear, the Dyna-Sys equipped rider will still be motoring along in a more efficient gear without sacrificing momentum or traction. Furthermore, CloseStep front chainring gear ratios—42-32-24—make shifting smoother and faster. With Dyna-Sys, getting from the 24-tooth ring back into the middle ring—the Primary Driving Gear—is easier and more intuitive. Plus, a 42-tooth big-ring is more appropriate for the needs of today’s trail riders.

Traditionally, triple-ring riders have had to get used to making two to three recovery shifts in the rear every time they drop into their 22-tooth granny gear, complicating the downshift and killing momentum. With Dyna-Sys, the 36-tooth rear cog means the riders can stay in their Primary Driving Gear longer on the same climb, and when they do have to drop into granny, the system only requires one recovery shift, making the entire downshift process smoother and more efficient.

Suspension designers are well aware that riders spend the majority of their time in their 32-tooth Primary Driving Gear, and they have optimized their designs to work best in that gear. Dyna-Sys drivetrains squeeze every drop of traction out of today’s active suspension designs.

2011 Shimano XTR Mountain Bike Component Group

The 2011 Shimano XTR mountain bike component group is actually split into two different sets based around the crankring configuration. The “Race” group features lighter pedals, slightly different brakes and it all starts with a 2 ring crank. When you jump to the trail lineup of the XTR family, you get a “platform style” clipless pedal and several other small differences that are all centered around the triple ring front crankset. You can pick up all of the specific details on dynasystech.com, so let’s hit some of the highlights.

2011 Shimano XTR Cranksets

2011 Shimano XTR Trail Crankset

FC-M980 Crankset

  • Triple or double / 42T-32T-24T or 38T-24T trail inspired gearing
  • Dyna-Sys gearing for greatest efficiency and stability
  • Hollowtech II design maximizes stiffness while keeping weight to a minimum
  • HG-X chainring tooth profile and Dual Spike provide unparalleled assertive front shifting
  • Precision two-piece construction for perfect chainline and chainwheel alignment.
  • Carbon / Titanium composite middle ring adds rigidity for better shifting, increases service life, and smoothly delivers powers to the cassette.
  • Outboard bearings maximize stability and stiffness
  • Estimated weight: 755g w/threaded BB

2011 Shimano XTR Race Crankset

FC-M985 Crankset

  • Double / 40T-28T, 42T-30T, and 44T-30T XC and race inspired gearing
  • Dyna-Sys gearing for greatest efficiency and stability
  • Hollowtech II design maximizes stiffness while keeping weight to a minimum
  • HG-X chainring tooth profile and Dual Spike provide unparalleled assertive front shifting
  • Precision two-piece construction for perfect chainline and chainwheel alignment.
  • Carbon / Titanium composite middle ring adds rigidity for better shifting, increases service life, and smoothly delivers powers to the cassette.
  • Q-factor reduced by 3mm per side compared to triple
  • Outboard bearings maximize stability and stiffness
  • Estimated weight: 698g w/threaded BB

2011 Shimano 10 Speed Rear Derailleur

2011 Shimano XTR Rear Derailleur

RD-M980 – XTR Shimano Shadow Rear Derailleur

  • Low Profile Shimano Shadow rear derailleur design
  • Top normal spring design to mesh with the more common choice of RapidFire shifters for trail / all-mountain riding
  • Main body spring tension works well with full outer casing and creates more consistent shift effort throughout entire cog range
  • Carbon fiber outer pulley plate for light weight / Aluminum inner pulley plate for rigidity and durability
  • Sealed bearing guide and tension pulleys
  • Available in medium and long cage (GS and SGS)
  • Total capacity: 41T (SGS), 35T (GS)
  • Estimated weight: 175g

2011 Shimano XTR Shifters

2011 Shimano XTR Integrated Shifter

SL-M980 RapidFire Plus Shift Lever for double and triple

  • Front shifter features mode converter for use on either double or triple front chainwheel
  • VIVID index creates tactile rider feedback while maintaining low, linear shifting effort across the entire cog range
  • Instant release for quick accurate shifting and multi-release for shifting several gears at a time
  • 2-way release trigger allows thumb or finger actuation
  • I-Spec clamp options for lightest weight when combine with XTR brake levers (shown below)
  • Multi-bearing construction for greater durability and reduced effort
  • Estimated weight: 195g/pr (I-Spec), 207g/pr (traditional clamp)

2011 Shimano XTR Brakes

2011 Shimano XTR Brake Caliper

BR-M985 and BL-M985 – Hydraulic Brake System for XC and Race

  • Integrated barrel reservoir design with split clamp is compact, light weight and easy to work on
  • 13mm wide two finger brake lever with ergo pivot offers efficient input, smooth operation and features anti-slip dimples on surface
  • Over-sized full ceramic piston is light weight, rigid and insulates the system from heat
  • One piece caliper is incredibly rigid and has a lightweight aluminum banjo for universal fit
  • Higher Power hose (compares to Saint SM-BH80)
  • One-way bleeding and improved oil routing through the caliper results in higher integrity and quicker bleeds.
  • Al back plate with resin or Ti back plate with metal compound brake pads offer the best blend of lightweight and tunable braking power
  • Ispec compatible
  • Estimated weight: 215g front / 229g rear

2011 Shimano XTR Brake Lever

BR-M985 and BL-M988 – Hydraulic Brake Caliper System for Trail

  • Integrated barrel reservoir design with split clamp is compact, light weight and easy to work on
  • Short stroke Servo-Wave mechanism has less freestroke and 25% greater lever input to suit more aggressive riding
  • 14mm wide two finger brake lever with ergo pivot offers efficient input, smooth operation and features anti-slip dimples on surface
  • Over-sized full ceramic piston is light weight, rigid and insulates the system from heat
  • One piece caliper is incredibly rigid and has a lightweight aluminum banjo for universal fit
  • Higher Power hose (compares to Saint SM-BH80)
  • One-way bleeding and improved oil routing through the caliper results in higher integrity and quicker bleeds.
  • Ice Technologies finned brake pads come standard for maximum heat control and fade reduction
  • Ispec compatible
  • Estimated weight: 247g front / 261g rear

2011 Shimano Trail Clipless Pedals

2011 Shimano Trail Clipless Pedals

PD-M985 – SPD / Platform Trail Pedal

  • A new platform designed specifically for trail use
  • 158% more shoe/pedal contact vs. M980 with a 5.8mm wider platform
  • Wider bearing placement provides great pedaling stability
  • Integrated pedal cage allows for continuous pedaling even when not clipped in and better pedaling stability when cleats are engaged
  • The cage also provides binding protection from rocks on rough trails
  • Oval shaped axle body housing allows mud to more easily flow through
  • Estimated weight: 398g

Some Thoughts On The 2011 XTR MTB Component Group

Off the bat, it is obvious that Shimano put a lot of work into this new XTR lineup. With a lot of improvements across the board (outside of the 10 speed change), the new XTR groupo promises to keep mountain bikers drooling for a couple more years. It is also nice to finally see Shimano come up with a direct mount shifter that integrates with the brake lever for easy mounting and less bar clutter. For sometime, SRAM has had their Matchmaker and this has proved to be a reliable, easy to install solution, so Shimano stepping up and offering a similar setup should be a relief for those that like to run Shimano shifting and brakes.

I am also liking the introduction of a triple ring setup into the market of 10 speed shifting. With the introduction of 2×10 mountain biking components, there were a lot of riders already worried about the loss of a 22T granny for cranking out the steep, long climbs. Even with the addition of the 36T rear, there are riders that will prefer dropping it down in the front for a more “sit and spin” approach to climbing up the hill.

Shimano has done what every component maker tries to do with a new launch. They brought something new to their lineup and make it stronger and lighter. Unfortunately, that probably also means it is going to be a bit more expensive…

Find out more about the new Shimano 10 speed component groups at dynasystech.com.