You’ve no doubt seen the 2007 Shimano XTR brakes, wheels/hubs, rear mech, pedals and shifters: all that’s left is the new chainset and front mechs. We reveal all…
XTR Chainset – FC-M970
Visually, the chainset is quite a departure from the old design. It’s has some echoes of the previous chainset, but where the old design suffered from scuffing and managed to look used very quickly, the new design gets a lasered logo and anodised finish, so it should retain it’s newness a little longer.
There’s some weight savings, the whole lot is down to 776g. They achieved this two ways. First, the middle and outer rings have been modified quite extensively. The middle consists of a titanium inside and teeth, wrapped in carbon fibre – it’s lighter and more durable then the old all-aluminium ring. The big ring is reportedly 50% stiffer than previously, with a nickel-plating increases the lifespan. Secondly, the left arm fixes to the axle slightly differently from before. The pinch bolts are gone, and instead the crank is tightened via a collar between the left crank arm and the bottom bracket shell (tightened with a special tool).
There’s three front derailleurs, a top-swing (FD-M970), bottom bracket mounted (FD-M970-E) and a conventional (FD-M971). The top-swing and bb mount get the same lasered logo as the chainset, while the conventional shares the embossed approach seen previously on their other components. All are lighter than before, and all share the Wide Link design for better chain shifting. The conventional derailleur, like Deore, has a multi-clamp band so the one derailleur will fit most bikes. The adjust screws have been slightly repositioned so they should be easier to get to on some full-suspension frames.
Make sure to scribble October into your diary for the launch of the new Shimano XTR. Check out www.shimano.com