Shimano XTR Trail M980 double crankset review£434.99

Super-stiff and lightweight

BikeRadar score4/5

Shimano’s flagship unit proves you don’t need cosmetically compromised carbon to make a super stiff, lightweight crankset. At 670g, it’s a very light double setup, but the polished alloy outer face means our year-old set still looks brand new. We’ve not trodden on anything stiffer in a conventional format either – and we’ve taken some big old drops.

The lack of a BB30 axle version does mean that some stiffer frame/BB combos aren’t compatible though. Shifting is road bike slick in either direction and the hard anodised alloy rings are lasting better than the competition so far. New XTR clamps on simply, like other Shimano sets, rather than using a pain-in-the-arse unique tool system like before. There are XS and XL length options too.

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

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