The Build Begins: Shimano XT 11 Speed On Test

It’s time to unbox all the goodies and build up our Yeti 5C test bike with the all-new Shimano XT groupset. Oh dear, this is going to be fun.

Take a peek at our first impressions of the whole XT group here:

The Yeti 5C has been mighty impressive, on a recent trip to Rotorua we fell in love with the grounded and hard-charging bike that loved the flowing singletrack.

For the XT test we will begin with the double chainring version of the new groupset, opting for a 36/26 tooth crank with the 11-40 tooth cassette out the back. And in a few weeks when the single chainring and super low range cassette arrives we’ll be fitting that up too.  The single ring variant has made us most excited about the new XT, and could be Shimano’s answer to the super popular SRAM 1×11 drivetrains.

The new brakes will go onto a 180mm front, and 160mm rear disc rotor and will bolt via Shimano’s centrelock mounts to the super hot XTR Trail wheels.  The wheels are 24mm wide internally, and use Shimano’s mouth wateringly attractive and tough carbon/aluminium construction. More on those later.

New FOX suspension front and back add to this bike’s ‘out of the future’ spec, with all these parts still a few months away. We tested the FOX fork and shock recently, review here:

So stay tuned for an update from the trail as we put the highly anticipated Shimano XT to test.

11 Speed, double chainring, that is a lot of gears!
Are we missing anything?
The new cassette comes in two variants, 11-40 and 11-42. We’ve got the 40t option here, for use with the double chainring.
The new FOX DPS shock with EVOL air can, next level stuff.
Expect to see the FOX 34 fork on many bikes next season, it has taken what we love about FOX forks and thrown aside what we didn’t. Longer service intervals, more support in the air spring and all in a remarkably light package.
22 speeds should be enough.
Shimano XTR Trail wheels, wide and tough.
Rolling on the 650B treads from Specialized, a Butcher up front, Purgatory out the back.
The brakes shave a few grams from the current version, but will take up less space on the bars with a new slimmer clamp.
Shifter windows are back! We’ll try them out for a while at lease, but they are easily removed if you wish.
The XT rear mech goes under the knife in a big way, looking a lot like the new XTR one with an adjustable and hidden clutch lever.
Shimano are all about being cool, with their aluminium brake rotors sandwiched by a steel tracking surface. Ice-Tech, good name for it.
The Yeti 5C is a real dreamy bike, and deserves any fine test product that walks through the doors here at Flow.

Build time!

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