Shimano XTR (M970 series) Rapidfire shifters review£99.95

These shifters are even better than before

BikeRadar score4.5/5Find prices on Bicycle Blue Book

After appearing to be heading headlong down the Dual Control route, you could almost hear the cheers when Shimano reintroduced XTR Rapidfire - and it's even better than before.

The neat little pods have a much faster minimal movement release, and you can sweep/pull them through to change several gears in either direction in one go. Ball-bearing internals mean the shifts themselves are as light as you'll get - to the point where some riders complained about not being able to feel the shift apart from noticing the ratio change. Keeping them that smooth depends on clean, well maintained cables, though. Sideways adjustment lets you run them inside or outside your brakes, while metal adjusters and release levers enhance the precise, quality feel. They're £80 cheaper than X.0 (or the same price as X9).

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

Related Articles

Back to top