IRVINE, CA (BRAIN)—Shimano’s XTR mountain bike group always offered up high performance, but it wasn’t always necessarily suited for different types of riders or terrain.
“For a guy that’s the weekend marauder, you can’t put him on Adam Craig’s gearset,” said Devin Walton, public relations manager for Shimano. Or perhaps the guy that’s really fit that doesn’t need the granny gear, now he can shave a few grams and have something that caters to him, Walton added.
“This is really the XTR group that can most be personalized for today’s mountain biking, because mountain biking has fragmented so much,” Walton said.
Shimano’s new approach for XTR M980 is its Rider Tuned philosophy, allowing the rider to choose drivetrain and braking options that best fit their style, use and terrain, whether it be cross-country, all-mountain or freeriding.
The new XTR will feature the Dyna-Sys drivetrain, which Shimano first introduced at the XT and SLX levels for triples. “That [Dyna-Sys] philosophy can extend into the double options that are available at the XTR levels,” Walton said. This allows someone a really high performance option meant as a pure, race machine, Walton said.
At the new XTR’s lightest iteration, the group can save more than 200 grams verse the current system. And even in its most robust form (rugged trail or all-mountain riding) it’s about 60 grams lighter than the current generation.
While Shimano hasn’t locked down retail pricing on new XTR, Walton said it won’t cost anymore than the current generation.
For retailers, this new level of personalization will make their jobs much easier. Retailers have been challenged in the past because XTR had a more limited focus, according to Walton.
“Somebody would in come and say, ‘Build me the best race bike or all-mountain bike,’” Walton said. “XTR was always that brand that they aspired to, but it wasn’t always the best choice for format. Now we’ve got all those bases covered. It makes it a lot easier for retailers. They can now say, ‘We absolutely got the XTR that’s right for you. Let’s just figure out what spec we should put on there.’”
Click on link to check out XTR's new Web site.
(PHOTO: Shimano’s XTR All-Mountain Group)