Shimano infuses more lightweight 'poison' to the XTR line with new magnesium-bodied brake levers and calipers, updated rotors, bottom brackets and even a new 29er carbon tubular wheelset!
This year, Shimano is adding a few key pieces in the XTR range to better match the aspirations of elite racers, competitive athletes and high level enthusiasts. The objective of this update is to increase the performance of an already stellar XTR group, through reducing weight and increasing efficiency.
Lightweight XC Racing brakeset
There is now a new specification for XTR brakes. Introducing, the BL-M987 and the BR-M987 with the new “FREEZA” rotor SM-RT99 using “Ice-Technologies”.
Above: The new BL-M987 brake lever
Above: The new BR-987 brake caliper with the new "Freeza" SM-RT99 disc brake rotor
To achieve lighter weight, Magnesium is used to make the lever body and also the caliper body. Carbon fibre is used for the brake lever itself. Titanium hardware also help to keep the weight down.
This has enabled the complete set (lever, caliper with rotor and pads) to lose 40g in weight over the M985 model.
The system has an optimized power curve due to an improved master cylinder & piston design.
Ice-Technologies is also present to manage heat with ceramic calipers. The brake is also Ice-Tech pad compatible, but the standard spec will come with normal resin pads to save weight.
Reach adjustment will be accessible via a tool.
Bleeding will also be easy with Shimano’s “One-Way Bleeding” which ensures that the bleeding path is smooth and without split paths internally in order to reduce the chance that air can be stuck within the system. The Shimano funnel bleeding kit can also be used here.
Above: The new SM-RT99 disc brake rotor, aka "Freeza", which bears the same name of an antagonist character in the popular Japanese manga/anime, Dragonball Z.
It’s the same great “Ice-Technology” with a twist, the previous model had an aluminum core sandwiched between stainless steel braking surfaces. But now the aluminum core of the rotor expands and spreads out to touch the flowing air as the wheel rotates. This turns into a significant reduction in heat and an increase in reliability and braking performance.
The rotor also has a mud-shedding design and shape.