Shimano unveils 11-speed, single chainring   XTR 9000 and 9020 at Sea Otter 2014. © Cyclocross Magazine

Shimano unveils 11-speed, single chainring XTR 9000 and 9020 at Sea Otter 2014. © Cyclocross Magazine

Shimano just unveiled its newest iteration of the flagship XTR mountain bike component group in the form of the 11-speed XTR M9000 and M9020 series of components, and Cyclocross Magazine grabbed an early look before the official launch today. The major changes include a single 11-40 11-speed cassette that works with existing 10-speed (and thus 8 and 9-speed) hubs, a single chainring option, new carbon and carbon laminate wheels, and as with Shimano’s new 11-speed road groups, a focus on light action shifting.

One component not on display during the launch was the XTR pedals, as we’ve been anticipating updates to the flagship SPD pedal after spotting Sven Nys’ modified XTR M980 pedals at Cross Vegas.

See details of the release below, also see our FAQs and compatibility answers that address the relevance of XTR components for cyclocrossers.

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IRVINE, Calif. (April 12, 2014) — Shimano today introduced new XTR M9000, its most advanced XTR mountain bike components and wheels to date. With this totally new XTR line available in both Race and Trail “Rider Tuned” product families, Shimano leverages its 22 years of engineering leadership producing the industry’s highest performing mountain bike component group. Inspired by the versatility and capability of today’s riders and the terrain they tackle, M9000 offers refined and tested solutions engineered for the way they ride.

 

Drivetrain System: “Rhythm and range” define the 11-speed drivetrain Shimano’s unrivalled legacy in producing bicycle drivetrains is evident with the XTR M9000’s most notable rider benefit: ensuring pedaling rhythm. New XTR M9000 provides range and ensures rhythm for diverse riding styles and terrain to create smooth, harmonic pedalling – the ultimate goal of a drivetrain. The XTR M9000 drivetrain system maintains riders’ rhythm thanks to meticulously selected close step gearing configurations of the cassette and crank.

FC-M9000 Crankset:

shimano-xtr-9000-cxmagazine-FC-M9000-1_34_STD_01_1

XTR FC-M9000 Race and FC-M9020 Trail cranks are modular, creating a Rider Tuned platform whereby single and double chain rings can be used on the same crank arm. XTR FC-M9000 crank sets debut the most advanced mountain bike chain rings ever produced that utilize combined titanium, carbon and aluminium materials. Dedicated XTR 1x chain rings debut proprietary chain ring retention technology in a tooth profile that eliminates the need for chain retention devices.

*    XTR FC-M9000 Race cranks have a narrower 158mm Q-factor and utilize a lighter and stiffer 3D hollow bonded structure on the non-drive arm.

*    XTR FC-M9020 Trail cranks are available in single, double and triple chaining configurations on the cold forged more durable, standard 168mm Q-factor crank arms.

*    Chain ring configurations: Single (30T, 32T, 34T, 36T), double (34-24T, 36-26T, 38-28T), triple (40-30-22T).

CS-M9000 Cassette: One for Everyone

XTR has just one 11-speed cassette, a 11-40t version that uses alloy, steel, titanium and carbon.

XTR has just one 11-speed cassette, a 11-40t version that uses alloy, steel, titanium and carbon.

Rhythm is the essence of smooth power transfer and proper gear step is the key to maintaining rhythm over varied terrain. The XTR CS-M9000 11-speed 11-40T cassette is the widest range cassette Shimano has ever produced and also it’s most balanced. Thanks to its “rhythm step” progression, it maintains calculated, shock-free gear steps from one gear to the next, saving riders energy and helping maintain rhythm on the trail. Key features include:

*    A new HG-X11 specific tooth profile.

*    Carbon spider with aluminum, titanium and steel cogs.

*    Rhythm step gear progression: 11-13-15-17-19-21-24-27-31-35-40T

CN-HG900-11 Chain: Coated and Directional

Shimano introduces its premium new 11-speed chain that delivers overall better performance for mountain bikers. The CN-HG900-11 uses a HG-X11 special asymmetric plate design and Shimano’s new SIL-TEC surface treatment. Benefits of the new chain include:

*    Overall total improved performance.

*    A quieter ride, and chain operation.

*    Better mud shedding.

*    Increased chain life.

XTR Shifting System

Shimano systems engineering creates a new level of shifting precision in the M9000 XTR shifting system. With both lighter action and increased stability, Shimano’s M9000 XTR shifting system redefines gear change performance while introducing enhanced ergonomics. XTR M9000 debuts a bold new front derailleur design and approach for larger wheels and longer travel that delivers remarkable shifting performance.

SL-M9000 Shifters

Narrow bands offer more mounting options for mountain bikers and flat bar cyclocrossers.

Narrow bands offer more mounting options for mountain bikers and flat bar cyclocrossers.

XTR M9000 offers Shimano’s most responsive mechanical shifting and controlling shifts is easier than ever thanks to a reduction in shift effort by 20 percent. The SL-M9000 shifters feature:

*    A ball bearing construction, and slick polymer-coated shift cable for smooth activation.

*    A more ergonomic release lever that utilizes wider, dual-textured carbon shift levers.

*    An improved vivid index mechanism for more pronounced feedback.

*    XTR SL-M9000 shifters also feature and debut new I-spec II mounting for more room on bar and rotation and side adjustability.

 

FD-M9000 Front Derailleur

Different mounting options are available for the XTR 9000 front derailleur, but the whole unit is optional if you go single ring.

Different mounting options are available for the XTR 9000 front derailleur, but the whole unit is optional if you go single ring.

Shimano’s new FD-M9000 masters front shifting for double and triple crank sets with a new, first-ever Side-Swing front derailleur design that increases shift performance by a staggering 100 percent. Designed specifically with modern trail bikes in mind, Shimano’s XTR FD-M9000 Side-Swing front derailleur provides

15mm of increased tire clearance, while new cable routing dramatically reduces shifting effort. Rider Tuned front derailleur options include:

*    New FD-M9000 (triple) and FD-M9020 (double) front derailleurs that utilize a new structure with three mount options and new cable routing: High clamp, Low clamp, D-type, E-type (without plate).

*    A conventional FD-M9025 (double) increases front shift performance by 50 percent and is available is high clamp and low clamp options.

 

RD-M9000 Rear Derailleur

XTR 9000 is only Shadow Plus, but offers GS and SGS cages.

XTR 9000 is only Shadow Plus, but offers GS and SGS cages.

With a refined Shadow RD Plus clutch rear derailleur, a new front derailleur structure and a new XTR chain (CN-HG900-11), M9000 offers the most stable drivetrain the industry has ever seen. A new Shadow design optimizes the slant angle, lowering shift effort while improving shifting and driving stability while the derailleur is even lower profile protected further from harm’s way. The new Shadow Plus clutch has a simpler external clutch adjustment, and the derailleur has a wider range of adjustment for easier setup.

*    The XTR RD-M9000 is compatible with all XTR front chain ring variations.

*    The XTR RD-M9000 is available in GS (mid cage) and SGS (long cage)

options.

 

XTR M9000 and M9020 Braking System: Rider Tuned XTR Race and Trail brakes

The latest XTR 9000 hydraulic brakes will work with R785 levers, and will likely be ridden by Shimano's top cyclocrossers.

The latest XTR 9000 hydraulic brakes will work with R785 levers, and will likely be ridden by Shimano’s top cyclocrossers.

New XTR M9000 hydraulic disc brake systems are also Rider Tuned in Race and Trail versions, as not all riders come down the same mountain at the same speed. Shimano’s legacy of leading brake design stems from its dedicated study of the components of control: heat, power and stiffness. New XTR M9000 brakes offer varying levels of heat control from an insulated piston (glass fiber phenolic) and insulated pad coating that created 10 percent more heat resistance. XTR M9000 brake levers also feature new handlebar-clearing I-spec II mounting.

The new XTR 9000 brakes are lighter than R785 and RS785 calipers, and will work fine on the new road hydraulic levers.

The new XTR 9000 brakes are lighter than R785 and RS785 calipers, and will work fine on the new road hydraulic levers.

The XTR M9000 Race brake system has race-tuned power and overall lighter weight thanks to a magnesium caliper and master cylinder as well as a carbon lever blade. The XTR M9020 Trail brake system is trail-tuned for power and stiffness using pre-loaded aluminium caliper and a new SERVO-WAVE lever with a powerful and stiff carbon-alloy structure. The XTR M9020 Trail brakes come standard with ICE TECHNOLOGIES radiator pads for further heat reduction.

SM-RT99 rotor: With an increased surface area for heat dispersion, Shimano’s FREEZA rotor for XTR-M9000 remains the ultimate in heat control that is now available in smaller size options with a lighter weight spider. The rotor provides a 50° C reduction in heat giving riders more powerful braking and greater durability and longer pad life. The SM-RT99 is available in 140mm, 160mm, 180mm and 203mm diameter sizes.

Wheelsets: Shimano goes carbon with XTR Race and Trail wheels

The all-new XTR M9000 wheels mark a serious turning point for Shimano in premium mountain bike wheel sets. They are Shimano’s most advanced mountain bike wheels to date, and also the first featuring carbon laminate rim technology. New XTR M9000 series wheels are even more focused at each end of the spectrum, from ultra-light and durable race wheels to all-mountain tuned trail wheels. All new XTR wheels use 28 butted spokes both front and rear and include a new lightweight bearing and axle system.

Want carbon, tubular, thru axle? Shimano XTR 9000 has it, with these high-end, 1300g WH9000 tubular wheels.

Want carbon, tubular, thru axle? Shimano XTR 9000 has it, with these high-end, 1300g WH9000 tubular wheels.

WH-M9000-TL: Available in both a 27.5 and 29” option, the XTR M9000 Race wheels have a 20mm internal rim width and a new UST tubeless carbon laminated aluminum rim.

WH-M9020-TL: Available in both a 27.5 and 29” option, the XTR M9020 Trail wheels have an 24mm internal rim width and a new UST tubeless carbon laminated aluminum rim.

The WH-M9000-TU carbon tubular wheels offer the ultimate solution for XC racers, in a 29” exclusively, ultra-light wheel set.

HB/FH-M9010: A cosmetic update, lighter rear axle system and a 15mm E-thru axle provide XTR technology at the center of the wheelset.

*    FH-M9000 (Quick Release type) and FH-M9010 (12mm E-thru rear) hubs are both 10 and 11-speed compatible.

*    The rear hubs feature a new lightweight bearing and axle system that is now 33 grams lighter.

*    XTR M9000 hubs are exclusively CENTER LOCK compatible.

XTR Pedals: Continuing 25 Years of Shimano SPD

In 2015, Shimano celebrates its pioneering 25-year legacy of Shimano Pedaling Dynamics (SPD). Shimano continues this legacy with both the PD-M9000 and PD- M9020 pedal versions.

*    PD-M9000:  The race pedals feature a mud-shedding design, adjustable entry and release settings, and wide bearing placement for extra rigidity.

*    PD-M9020: The trail pedals feature a mud-shedding design, adjustable entry and release settings, and wide bearing placement for extra rigidity. In addition the trail pedal offers a larger contact plate for increased stability on aggressive terrain.

Still got questions? See our summary and FAQs that addresses what this means for cyclocrossers, and answers XTR mountain bike and 11-speed road component cross-compatibility questions.

For more info: bike.shimano.com

Check out all of our tech goodies from Sea Otter 2014, and keep checking as we start to get rolling into the long weekend.