Our favourite Shimano groupset, Deore XT, celebrates its 30th birthday this year and the updates to the 2012 groupset are worthy of any such landmark.
There’s no surprise that there’s a fair amount of trickle down from the company’s flagship XTR, with the big news really that a double chainset will finally be offered at this price point. Two chainsets, 38-26T and 40-28T, will be offered. A triple will still be offered.
One of our favourite changes to the new XTR has been the lightness of the shifting, right across the spread of gears. Advanced Light Action shifting with the Vivid indexing means the same amount of force is needed between the largest and smallest sprockets. Instant, Multi- and 2-Way Release technology give various shifting options.
A direct mount option is now available on the Shadow rear mech along with angle adjustment screws and clamps for easy setting up. For the brakes Shimano has designed new compact callipers with oversized (22mm) ceramic pistons which combine for a lighter brake setup.
XT disc brakes benefit too, with new compact brake levers and callipers with Ice-Tech rotors (a three-layer sandwich structure of an aluminium core and stainless steel outer) and the unique heat sink reducing heat buildup and brake fade. Shimano will also offer 6-bolt disc rotor alongside its regular Center Lock option.
For the complete groupset look there’s two pairs of wheels you can choose from, one intended for XC and the other for general trail riding. The former use a 19c tubeless anodized aluminum rim with 24 spokes laced to Shimano hubs with cup and cone bearings. The front wheel is available with quick release or 15mm bolt-thru.
Finally, the new XT includes a lightweight XC pedal featuring an increased surface contact area (five times bigger than the previous XT pedal, the company reckons). The slimmer pedal axle housing is supposed to help shed mud better too.
It’ll also be available in two colours, black or silver.