Shimano XTR transmission £535

Super-smooth shifting

BikeRadar score 4/5

The XTR is Shimano’s top MTB groupset. Although it’s been around since 2007 and will be refreshed for 2011, it’s still an impressively slick set-up.

In traditional Shimano fashion, the XTR mostly eschews carbon fibre – other than the cage of the low-profile, direct cable routing Shadow rear mech, the shifters and mechs are mostly made of aluminium.

Still, with four titanium sprockets and a stack of alloy spiders, the cassette is second only to SRAM’s XX in the lightweight stakes.

The XTR’s shifters also pack all of Shimano’s shift innovations. You can flick the release levers with either a fingertip from the front or a thumb from behind.

Combined with in-out adjustability and clamps that can go either side of the brake levers, the XTR has plenty of ergonomic options. You can also shift several gears at once in both directions; it's never less than lightning fast and super smooth.

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