XTR media camp part 2: Rider tuned

You can read part 1 of Maurice’s review of the new XTR components here.

We talked about Shimano Dyna-Sys in our last installment. Next news from the XTR camp is that the component group is now “Rider Tuned” for your pleasure.

Tired of XC race folk being the principal marketable customers, Shimano now offers an array of choices for setting up an XTR bike. There are two wheelsets to choose from, one Race and the other Trail (IE: Light and heavy). Same with brakes. Cranks are available in a variety of double and triple chainring configurations, and there are Race and Trail pedals to choose from as well.

Now the “R” in XTR can stand for “Race” or “Rail”. In the brake department, the race brake weighs 40 grams less than the current XTR model and has a 110% power increase over that brake. The Trail version weighs the same as the old brake but features a 125% power increase. This power was proven with a solid test on the Downieville DH course.

While Wilderness Trail Bikes representatives Mark Weir and Jason Moschler are off the front sailing that shit, I am off the back and on the brakes. These guys had a blast. I hung on and tested the brakes. Shimano has worked hard on the goal of dissipating heat. This is good, as I am one person capable of boiling ‘em on such a long sustained downhill. It’s happened to me before. How is this possible? How about the heat-sinking fins extending from each brake pad? You see that in computer hardware all the time, it’s rather novel to see on a bicycle.

Another part of the equation is that the rotors are made in an aluminum-steel sandwich, actually an aluminum core dissipates the heat, while steel provides respectable wear. They call this I.C.E. Technology. Other new stuff includes ceramic pistons, larger hoses for increased power, and a nice, adjustable, one-finger brake lever which felt awesome.

Yep the XTR Trail brake got me down the hill with no drama. If fact it was one of the highlights of my life as a brake squeezer. Power, modulation, feel. this brake had it all, and stood the test at Downieville. I dig it the most.

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