RACE READY: New XTR Re-Targets XC

We first got a look at Shimano's new XTR bits in Monterey at the Sea Otter Classic.

We first got a look at Shimano’s new weight-weenie widgets in Monterey at the Sea Otter Classic. Photo by Don Stefanovich

Originally known for its lightweight, cross-country, racy bits, Shimano‘s top-shelf XTR line recently split most of its components into “Race” and “Trail” versions, the latter prizing durability and performance over anorexic bragging rights. In addition to sturdier trail versions of components, technologies premiering at the XTR level such as ICE-Tech brakes and ShadowPlus clutch-type rear-derailleurs appealed to aggressive all-mountain and trail riders and—not surprisingly—the burgeoning enduro crowd. But just as enduro racing approaches its Zenith, Shimano reminded Sea Otter crowds that it is indeed still a heavy hitter in the lightweight arena. Lighter brakes, a lighter bottom-bracket, more durable chain and an ultra-light carbon-fiber tubular 29-inch wheelset come in at fighting weight on the Race side of the fence for 2014.

 

Carbon Tubular 29 Wheelset

Shimano XTR Tubular 29er Wheels

Cross-country types may want to brush up on their glue skills; one of the most shocking announcements in regard to Shimano‘s XTR Race group is the introduction of a carbon-fiber tubular 29er wheelset. While tubulars are the preferred race-day setup of most road cyclists, they are far from common in the dirt, even for cross-country. So, why tubular? No flanges mean light weight, low rolling resistance and fewer flats. Developed for the Olympics through Shimano‘s sports marketing program, the XTR WH-M980 will be available in limited runs for competitive cyclists looking for every-race-day advantage. Coming in at 280 grams per full-carbon offset rim, the complete wheelsets boast absurb numbers: 1,298 grams per set for 15-millimeter front, quick-release rear or or 1,349 grams  for the 15-millimeter front, 12-millimeter rear combo. Geax and Schwalbe currently make tubular-compatible 29-inch tires. Shimano says 26 and 27.5 (650b) versions will be available later this year.

 

Magnesium Brakes and ICE Tech Rotors

XTR Magnesium Brakes and Freeza Rotors

The M987 disc brake shaves 40 grams per wheel off its predecessor, the M985, thanks to a magnesium caliper and master cylinder, carbon-fiber lever blades and titanium bits but gives up nothing in stopping power, according to Shimano. New ICE Technologies discs join the party with a few tricks they picked up on the World Cup Downhill circuit a-la Saint. Utilizing what Shimano calls FREEZA, the ICE Tech rotors feature aluminum cooling fins and according to Shimano reduce peak temperatures by up to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Makes sense for the downhill tracks where it was born and bred, by why should weight weenies care? Better heat dissipation means you can run a smaller rotor without increased fading—and that means fewer grams of rotational weight. The new SM-RT99 rotors will be available in 140, 160 and 180-millimeter sizes to fit your flavor of fast.

Sil-Tec Chain and Premium Bottom Bracket

XTR Sil-Tec Chain

For 2014, the new CN-M981 HG-X mountain bike chain borrows Sil-Tec—an advanced surface plating technology to increase both performance and durability—from the Dura-Ace 9000 chain on the road side. Shimano says the technology adds a low-friction surface treatment that runs smoother and lasts longer. Along with the Sil-Tec coating, a narrow design better holds lubrication and helps to shed mud.

Premium level SM-BB93/SM-BB94 mountain-bike bottom brackets loose 19 grams, and according to Shimano is sealed better to keep gunk at bay.

by Don Stefanovich 

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ENTER TO WIN | Shimano MT55 29er Wheelset

ENTER TO WIN | Price Point Shimano MT55 29er Wheelset

To celebrate our Shimano Blowout Sale and the all-new Price Point, we are giving away a Shimano MT55 29er Wheelset.

 ENTER TO WIN

No purchase necessary. Full rules and regulations at PricePoint.com.

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‘SHRED IT TO GET IT’ PHOTO CONTEST | Winners Announced

Daniel Posadas. Ukiah, CA

Daniel Posadas. Ukiah, CA

Reno Toffoli. Devil's Backbone, CO.

Reno Toffoli. Devil’s Backbone, CO.

Willy DeLa Cruz. Mountain Creek Bike Park, NJ.

Willy DeLa Cruz. Mountain Creek Bike Park, NJ.

Congratulations to Price Point‘s “SHRED IT TO GET IT” photo contest winners, Daniel Posadas, Reno Toffoli and Willy DeLa Cruz.

Each of them will receive a Fox Head jersey autographed by Cam McCaulTyler McCaulAnthony MessereBrett Rheeder and Josh Bryceland.

Fox Head jerseys autographed by Cam McCaul, Tyler McCaul, Anthony Messere, Brett Rheeder and Josh Bryceland.

Stay tuned for your chance to win more #bikeswag from Price Point.

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VIDEO | Nicolas Vouilloz Tests SRAM Enduro Wheels in Peillon

Nico Vouilloz counts 10 World Champion titles and five World Cup wins to his credit, making him one of the most decorated downhill mountain bikers in the world. He’s also a rally car champion, but now Nico has his sights on the inaugural Enduro World Series season. Rising to popularity due to embracing an all-mountain riding style, enduro racing requires equipment light enough for the ups but tough enough for the downs—a stark contrast to the extreme specialized setups of cross-country or downhill specific bikes and equipment. Here, Nico puts SRAM‘s new mountain wheels through the ringer in Peillon, France, as he gets them dialed for enduro in this, “The Relentless Pursuit of Balance.”

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VIDEO | Fabien Barel Presents: Season 2 Trailer

Mavic‘s own Fabien Barel is back for another season of “Fabien Barel Presents.” Debuting in June, Season 2 will follow Fabien as he delves tread first into the trails, culture and food of diverse destinations such as Scotland and Sicily alongside the likes of Jerome Clementz and Joe Barnes. Be jealous and enjoy the trailer.

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VIDEO | 2013 Fox Head Gear Tested by Kirt Voreis and Tyler McCaul in Bend, OR

Check out Fox Head athletes Kirt Voreis and Tyler McCaul ripping trail bikes on some sublime singletrack in Bend, OR as they put the 2013 Fox Head all-mountain and trail gear through its paces with some exhaustive R&D.

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RANCHSTYLE 2013 | Mike Montgomery Wins Big

Mike Montgomery wins Best Trick with a cliffhanger backlip. Photo courtesy Pinkbike

Mike Montgomery wins Best Trick with a cliffhanger backlip. Photo courtesy Pinkbike

Price Point rider Mike Montgomery swept the 2013 Ranchstyle Mountain Bike Festival.

Montgomery won both the Pro Slopestyle  and Best Trick competitions Saturday in Glade Park, CO.

“I’m stoked to start the season off with a W.” Montgomery told The Link. “This is going to be a good year!”

Montgomery is currently preparing for the 2013 Red Bull Berg Line in Hochsauerland, Germany, on May 19.

Ranchstyle 2013 Results

Best Trick
Mike Montgomery

Pro Slopestyle
1. Mike Montgomery
2. Paul Genovese
3. Carson Storch
4. Brayden Barrett-Hay
5. Jack Fogelquist

Open Slopestyle
1. Liam Wallace
2. Breidan Phipps
3. Justin Sherman

by Don Stefanovich 

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ENTER TO WIN | ONE Industries Gamma Helmet and Autographed Atherton Racing Jersey

ENTER TO WIN | ONE Industries Gamma Helmet and Autographed Atherton Racing Jersey

To celebrate our Spring Apparel Sale and the all-new Price Point, we are giving away a Gamma TXT1 Helmet and autographed Atherton Racing Team jersey from ONE Industries.

 ENTER TO WIN

No purchase necessary. Full rules and regulations at PricePoint.com.

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