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The New Shimano XTR M9100 Groupset. Review


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What do I really think about the new XTR M9100 Groupset?


The new Shimano XTR M9100 has been made with 3 types of riders in mind: Cross Country, Marathon and Enduro racers. I like the idea, so let's look into some of the new features:

  1. 12-speed cassette with either a 10-45T or 10-51T option (as expected, the Sram Eagle will no longer be the only 12 speed drivetrain for MTB).
  2. 2- or 4-piston brakes (lightweight for XC, powerfull for Enduro).
  3. New hub with MICRO SPLINE technology. No compatibility with any other groupset so far, maybe the XT will get one soon...
  4. More options for positioning the levers on the handlebars (brakes, shifters, dropper post!). That's great!
  5. 150 g less on the XC version and 90 g less on Enduro version.


We were all 100% sure, that Shimano will go for a 12 speed drivetrain, which turned out to be quite good at least in XC and Marathon racing. I like it. Why did Shimano go for 51 teeth on the lowest gear, since 50T (10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-33-39-45-51T) was more than enough on Sram Eagle? I hope it was not just to get one more, than the competition... 

10-45T (10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32-36-40-45T) cassette is a GREAT news. It was something really lacking on Eagle. Less weight overall is good to, but I'm more happy to hear, that we get more options for positioning different levers on the bars - the current I-spec and Sram systems were still not enough for many of us (I-SPEC-EV designs give 14 mm of lateral sliding range and 60 degrees of rotational positioning). Both cassettes use strikingly different metals for different sprockets to allow the best balance of weight and durability. The largest sprockets use aluminium, the middle use titanium and the smallest use steel. There is also the 11 speed cassette (CS-M9110-11), which basically takes of the 51T cog from 12s version.

A Silent Hub!

To fit the 12-speed set up SHIMANO restructured the FREEHUB design with what’s known as MICRO SPLINE technology to fit the cassette. As well as that comes the introduction of SCYLENCE technology in Shimano’s rear hub. This new technology replaces the pawls with a ratchet system to reduce drag whilst coasting and create a virtually silent hub so you can focus more on the trail ahead. Front hubs are available in 100 or 110 mm spacing with a 15 mm thru-axle and rear hubs come in 142 or 148mm (Boost specification) with a 12 mm thru-axle (HB-M9110/-B / FH-M9110/-B).

Ratchet system? Sounds familiar... What I'm even most excited about is the silent hub - will try it in July!


One Crankset For 1x and 2x drivetrain

Direct mount chainrings just do the job! Now you can mount quickly one of the 30T through 38T chainring. You can add the chain device, if you want (SM-CD800 E mount, D mount or ISCG05 type). Going to Cape Epic race? Simply swap your chainring with the double one on the same crankset. :) The chain comes with the QUICK LINK and the derailleurs come in three option 1x short or long cage and 2x long cage.



Smart Features

I like, when new components aren't simply introduced to the customers as "the lightest, the stiffest" and so on... Here are some "small" changes to the new XTR groupset, that I love:

  • MONO LEVER - since the front mech operates on 2 chainrings only, why not make only ONE lever for it. Clever!
  • 11-to-12-speed converter (SL-M9100-R/-IR) on the rear shifter for riders choosing the ‘11-speed’ wider flange hub set-up.
  • Cockpit integrstion:  I-SPEC EV design + dedicated dropper seat post lever.
  • The clamp of a brake lever moved towards the middle of the lever body and the edge of the lever body being cleverly braced against the handlebar to create a stiffer brake with more direct contact feeling and improvement in control. Small things can make a difference.

We will see, how the new XTR performs, but so far I like the direction Shimano have taken with it :)


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  • 1 year later...

I literally grew up on Shimano catalogs as a child and XTR was always the non plus ultra dream, of course never could afford it. So the 9100 set looks unbelievably good for me eyes and everything I hear about it makes it the default choice for mechanical MTB components.

Now I have a chance upgrade my bike to a top performance groupset first time in my life and here is m debate. I can get the SRAM Eagle AXS group or the XTR for pretty much the same money which makes it pretty difficult. I like the novelty and the no cable simplicity of the Sram system but also the perfection Shimano brings to the mechanical side of the debate. 

I'm pretty sure you talked or wrote about this somewhere already but what are your points between these two?

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