Shimano has this week announced news of its new XT groupset for 2012, which marks its 30th birthday this year and the latest iteration is set to continue XT as the mountain bikers favourite groupset.
As we’d expect to see, there’s some trickle down from the company’s flagship XTR, with a choice of a race-ready 2x10 40-28t chainset or a more trail friendly 38-26t offering. There’s still a triple option too if you don’t want to go down the double road, and there’s a choice of three cassettes (11-36T, 11-34T, 11-32T) so something for everyone.
The shifters now benefit form Rapidfire Plus technology which essentially means the force required to change gear is consistent right across the cassette, and 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.
Three size rotors (160, 180mm and 203mm) are available and use Ice-Tech technology, where a three-layer sandwich structure of an aluminium core and stainless steel outer is used. This design promises better heat handling capacity while reducing the weight. Optional brake pads with aluminium cooling fins (as seen on XTR already) further improve the cooling of the brake pads. Bleeding is also easier now.
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.