Shimano XTR Front Derailleur Derailleur

4.28/5 (114 Reviews)
MSRP : $120.00

  • Store Price

Product Description

Shimano XTR Front Derailleur FD-M971 Traditional Pull

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Reviews 1 - 15 (114 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by goahead a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: August 18, 2013

Strengths:    Hands down the best front derailleur on the market!

Weaknesses:    Zero

Bottom Line:   
Purchased 2013 Specialized Epic Expert and it came with an average SRAM X7 FD. Got tired of taking it to the bike shop for frequent adjustments since it frequently rubbed against the chain it started to wear out. Decided to Shimano XTR FD and wow I just biked this morning at White Tank Mountains in Phoenix area and I can't believe the difference!
It shifts like butter! The X7 took an effort to shift but this XTR shifts like nothing! I am very happy with this product! Big thumbs up!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   McDowell Mountains, Sonoran Preserve, Sedona Templeton Trail

Duration Product Used:   1 week

Price Paid:    $60.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   Stock SRAM X7 FD(Garbage!)

Bike Setup:   2013 Specialized Epic Expert 29er w/upgraded Roval Control Carbon Wheetset, XTR M985 FD, XTR M980 Shifters, XTR M980 Pedals, Easton EC70 Carbon Flat Bar, Easton EC90 Carbon Seatpost, Syntace F109 100mm Stem, Specialized Phenom Expert Saddle

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by BokorSolo a Weekend Warrior from Prince William, VA, USA

Date Reviewed: January 3, 2010

Strengths:    The only front derailleur that has worked perfectly with a front trigger shifter. Shifts spot on every time.

Weaknesses:    Can be expensive if bought brand new.

Bottom Line:   
Anyone who uses triggers and wants a front derailleur to do what it was designed to do, shift, get this. You will not regret it.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $40.00

Purchased At:   the list of craig's

Similar Products Used:   Shimano XT, Shimano STX

Bike Setup:   XC

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by cowpoke7 a Cross Country Rider from encinitas, ca

Date Reviewed: June 1, 2009

Strengths:    Excellent performance--- Never misses shifts, never drops chain.

Weaknesses:    After 12 mos of riding, mine is developing a hairline fracture in the top of the cage. It will break apart soon. My bike shop pointed it out after the last tune up and mentioned that the 2009 model was beefed up in this region. When I discussed warranty, they told me not to expect anything and told me I needed to baby XTR. In their mind, I broke it by shifting it under load. I am experienced and reasonable with my gear so I doubt this. (I ride a lot but do clean the drivetrain and perform a tune-up after every real ride.) I think this problem is really with the shop and will try my normal road shop--- Shimano has always been awesome when it comes to tech support.

Bottom Line:   
Awesome performance but the 2008 model has durability issues. Even if I have to pay to replace it, I will. The performance is just too good.

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Favorite Trail:   Noble Canyon

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $120.00

Purchased At:   bike shop

Similar Products Used:   Old school XT, Dura Ace and Record on road bikes.

Bike Setup:   Ibis mojo, XTR build.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by supersleeper a Cross Country Rider from RSA

Date Reviewed: January 17, 2009

Strengths:    Lightweight, looks good.

Weaknesses:    This is for the M971 top pull bottom swing.
El Crappo.

Bottom Line:   
M971. The outside plate bent open when shifting from big to middlering. Had to bend it back to get it functioning again. After a few of these episodes, it broke clean off.
Flimsy. Rubbish.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   XT, LX, X9, Alivio

Bike Setup:   Santa Cruz Blur XC, Full XTR, Fox RL 100, DT 4.2d & 240s hubs. KCNC stuff.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Zachariah a Cross Country Rider from Palm Desert, California USA

Date Reviewed: November 13, 2008

Strengths:    Light, at 112 grams; shifts flawlessly; differential plates actually LIFT the chain to the next chainring; great design.

Weaknesses:    Very tricky to properly setup; aluminum limit screws strip too easily. Instructions are inaccurate.

Bottom Line:   
This old school XTR front derailleur is just the BOMB. If you ever get one- keep it forever....Shimano don't make them this nice, anymore. I have a bottom-pull 31.8 one and could not be happier, with this FD. It has NEVER missed a chainring shift. I just select......and it always delivers....and it's FAST too! In fact- it is one of my favorite Weight Weenie parts on the entire bike!

Back in the day(1999), these retailed for $180. I got mine for $30- which is a STEAL. Such a simple, functional design that Shimano should have expanded upon, but didn't. The two lightweight aluminum differential plates literally cradle your chain to the next chainring- what a concept!

The KEY to getting this FD to work like it's intended, is to have your LBS install it on your bike. I tried to do it myself....and almost threw it out!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Hurkey Creek Park(24Hrs/Adrenalin Course)

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   Craigslist

Similar Products Used:   Shimano Deore LX,XT

Bike Setup:   19-pound Cannondale XC hardtail: Mavic Crossmax SLR disc; Shimano XTR M960 BB/Hollowtech II Crankset; Ritchey WCS Carbon flat bars; Thomson Masterpiece seatpost; Specialized Phenom SL saddle; SRAM X0 Twist-shifters, Rear Derailleur; Maxxis Maxxlite 310 race tires; Avid BB7 disc brakes; Cannondale Ultra Fatty Headshok 80mm; Avid PC991 Hollowpin chain; Crank Brothers Candy 2ti clipless pedals; Cannondale Si 100mm stem; Token 7075AL seat clamp.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Marek a Cross Country Rider from Tuchola, Poland

Date Reviewed: October 16, 2008

Strengths:    low weight (124g), smooth and fast work, cool look

Weaknesses:    price

Bottom Line:   
it costs much but is worth! I prefer topswing! Smooth and fast work and low weight!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Gluszyca

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $58.00

Purchased At:

Similar Products Used:   Deore downswing, XT FD-M760 top swing - good but worse than XTR!

Bike Setup:   Simplon Mythos, Reba Race, SLR xc gel flow, thomson elite seatpost, XTR derailleur front: fd m-970, rear rd m-960, hutchinson python tires

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by justjoshnya a Cross Country Rider from Lake Ozark, Missouri

Date Reviewed: October 9, 2008

Strengths:    Best shifting Front Der on market. Light. Sexy. Strong Spring. Fast and smooth up and down shifts

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
Best shifting Front Der on market for sure. I've sold some to customers of mine and they all agree, it makes a huge difference. I had an XT model that I could not swap over onto my new frame, and my shop owner talked me into getting an xtr, he said it was the best. I realy thought that it wouldn't be any better than my xt but I was dead wrong, huge difference. Maybe newer xt is better??? My xt was 4 years old, this xtr is 2 and I've sold newer xtr to customers and they say its the bomb

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Four Winns, Lake of the Ozarks State Park

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   Oz CYcles

Similar Products Used:   Deore, LX, XT, sram garbage

Bike Setup:   Custom built 08 Trek Fuel EX 8 with full XT drivetrain (except front der)

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Nuno Prazeres a Racer from Lisbon, Portugal

Date Reviewed: June 9, 2008

Strengths:    M-970 - Precision and low weight

Weaknesses:    Showed some play after 2000k. Broke after 3000km

Bottom Line:   
Excelent in the first times but cannot stand a rough winter...

I am a careful cyclist (wash & lube type one) so I cannot imagine how fast this deraileur loses capacity for people who ride in muddyer trails and does not wash and lube that often.

It couples so well with the crankset and it is so precise when new I might buy one again and be ready to replace it yearly

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Monsanto, Grandola

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $70.00

Purchased At:

Similar Products Used:   Shimano XT - 96 model still around in my HT after 15000 km with zero play

Bike Setup:   Fox F100RLC. DT Swiss Wheels (240s, XR 4.2D, Aerolite). XTR crankset and F Der. XO R Der. and twistshifters. Magura Marta SL brakes with Hope Mono Mini Pro rotors. Crankbros EB SL pedals. Nokon cables. XTR cassette. SRAM 991 hollowpin chain. Syntace seatpost and stem. Easton carbon handlebar. SLR XC sadle. Nobby Nic 2.1 kevlar tyres without inner tubes. Total weight 10600g

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Paul a Cross Country Rider from Western Australia

Date Reviewed: September 28, 2007

Strengths:    None

Weaknesses:    Face plate is too weak.

Bottom Line:   
This is for the 971 unit. The outer face plate on the cage is too weak near the pivot point. On dropping the chain off the big ring the outer plate will open out, this can lead to the chain coming off on the next up shift and no granny gear. Bending it back in place is only a very temporary solution. This unit didn’t last long at all, very disappointing from Shimano.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Boddington

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   On bike

Similar Products Used:   950, 960, 760.

Bike Setup:   07 Giant XTC carbon, full XTR.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Gerald Badoz a Weekend Warrior from Orlando, FL, USA

Date Reviewed: July 10, 2007

Strengths:    Design, appearance, function, weight, quality, fit, and finish.

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
XTR M970 front derailleurs is amazing!!! It shifts butter smooth. I got it with the matching M970 rapid fire pods and the response is simple incredible. Right as you are pressing the button, click the chain shifts...
ITS FREAK INCREDIBLE!!!!! Highly recommend it...

I had easy performance with the Deore components. I had to search for the sweet spot for shifting and the lever strokes are much longer on the Deore. The XTR shift is just a short quick stroke...

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Jones Trail

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $67.00

Purchased At:   EBay

Similar Products Used:   Shimano Deore

Bike Setup:   2004 Raleigh Ram 2.0 with full XTR, RockShox 318 Tora and Rear SID, Avid Juicy Carbons, Truvativ Team Carbon Riser, Cane Creek Solo head set, Titec Pluto Carbon seat post, WTB Speed V saddle, and Jagwire cables. Plus a few other things...

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by steve holcomb a Weekend Warrior from tampa florida

Date Reviewed: March 30, 2007

Strengths:    Still working with no flaws. Its 5yrs old with many 1000's
of miles of use. The very best !

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
The very best

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   n/a

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   beyond bikes

Similar Products Used:   campy record and super record

Bike Setup:   doesn't matter

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by evilgeek a Cross Country Rider from calgary, canada

Date Reviewed: May 30, 2006

Strengths:    shifting, setup, bling

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
replaced my 2001 LX front der with 2006 XTR, and the difference is night and day. the XTR is actually 4g heavier than the LX, but the weight has obviously been put where it counts, and isn't just untrimmed fat. the XTR is crisp, really, really crisp, making the LX seem like a piece of bread that's been left in the rain.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $90.00

Similar Products Used:   LX

Bike Setup:   sram pc99 hollow pin chain

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Ryan R a Cross Country Rider from Long Island N.Y.

Date Reviewed: May 3, 2004

Strengths:    Strong, cage is acutally a double cage for extra strength
Light weight, for a double caged derailleur
Stiff, Never misses a shift not a one, perfect shifting!
Reliable, Once it's set it is eally a set a forget item!

Weaknesses:    A little on the pain in the a$$ to set up intially. At least the e-type model it took a little bit to set it but no it's a set and forget item . Took two rounds of tuning and a fine tune from a friend at a shop to get it running right. I have yet to have to mess with it since! A little expensive for a Front Derailluer

Bottom Line:   
This is the one piece of drivetrain equipment on my bike that will survive my drivetrain rebuild! I like Shimano for their Crank sets so far so good with my XT's and I like the M525 Deore discbraks on my bike. They are inexpensive to mantain and cost less for parts then the XT or the way overpriced XTR's. If they do decide to go then I'm going for Avid or Hayes for brakes. As for this derailluer I like it allot. It has crisp action you don't get with the XT and it is much more reliabable than the LX that came on the bike. The LX never seemed to be able to stay tuned and I was always messing with it on the trails. I like to use my front derailluer I paid for all 27 gears I'm going to use them!! I have yet to miss a shift or have the chain drop of or jam up! It is a little of a chore to set it up though but I think this is only for the E-Type my buddy had no problems setting up his clamp style one what so ever! If your interested why I'm changing over to SRAM X.O see my newest review for the non rapid rise XTR rear derailluer. For this piece of the Shimano XTR drivetrain I like it!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Pandora

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $85.00

Purchased At:   Bike Junkie

Similar Products Used:   Mostly Shimano: LX (SUCKS) XT (Good but has draw backs) XTR (THE BOMB)

Bike Setup:   Specialized Stumpjumper FSR XC With a full Shimano XT XTR Drivetrain (soon to be switched out for SRAM X.0) with much too many goodies to list here and do you really want to read the list?

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by MAXXED a Cross Country Rider from Honolulu

Date Reviewed: March 20, 2004

Strengths:    Smooth, silent shifting. Never misses a shift!

Weaknesses:    Only comes in top swing configuration. Will not work on Cannondale Jekyll, Mountain Cycle San Andreas, and other frames that require a bottom swing derailleur.

Bottom Line:   
This is a review of the '04 FD-M952 derailleur with differential plate action. The two side plates of the cage move independently and are hinged at the rear of the cage.
Dramatic improvement in upshifting and downshifting over the rigid cage XTR '03 derailleur.
Shifting is lightning fast and never slips or skips on the chainrings.
It is noticeably quieter on upshifts and downshifts than the '03 XTR. The chain is literally lifted off the chainrings and dropped onto the next chainring.
In the non diff plate action XTR, like the FD-M953, you can feel the chain being forced against the chainring, and grinding into it when you upshift. I was disappointed in the FD-M953, which displayed no improvement in shifting performance over the XT derailleur.
The diff plate action also solves a nagging problem inherent in all conventional fixed plate front derailleurs; sluggish shifting or hanging up when downshifting to the granny gear.
I can be in the smallest rear cog, and it will instantly and silently downshift to the granny gear. You'll never use that particular gear combo, but try doing it with your current derailleur!
Upshifts are amazing silent and quick, without the grinding against the chainring to upshift as described above.
Another welcome design improvement is the angled seatpost collar mounting setup. This is a blessing for those with full suspension bikes, as it makes it so much easier to access the derailleur mounting collar allen screw head.
Also, the cable mounting clamp bolt is angled, making access much more convenient for those with full suspension frames and elevated chainstays.
Another improvement is a wider derailleur cage that makes chain rub almost nonexistent in those awkward chainring/rear cog combos. The older FD-M953 was a real pain with it's narrow cage. It really limited the gearing combos you could use with each chainring.
Shimano really did their homework on the new '04 diff plate derailleur!
Only problem is, it is currently available only in top swing configuration, which will not work with all frames, as mentioned above. If you can't use a top swing derailleur, you're out of luck.
It is quite a bit more expensive than their non diff plate action derailleur, but once you've tried it, there's just no comparison.
I'm hooked, and can't go back to the non Diff Plate front derailleurs.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $59.00

Purchased At:   Price Point

Similar Products Used:   Shimano LX, XT, and '03 XTR.

Bike Setup:   '04 Mountain Cycle Fury, Avid 160mm discs, Avid Speed Dial 7 brake levers, XTR front and rear derailleurs, '04 Shimano XT crankset, Progressive 5th Element rear shock.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Saxon Victor a Cross Country Rider from Slovakia, Middle Europe

Date Reviewed: February 17, 2004

Strengths:    Its beautiful! So strong, rigid, and it works like a dream

Weaknesses:    i havent found yet

Bottom Line:   
Ive changed my Deore2003 for this. The difference: night and day. It moves so lightly, with the XT rapidfire it moves like a Deore rapidfire without de derailleur. Its incredible for me, cos here in Slovakia we dont have the money to buy things like this, but i think we should. I recommend it to everyone who has the money, and wants incredible shifts. Anyway, i use it with LX chain and Truvativ Stylo Team cranks and its perfect, so i just cant imagine how would it be with XTR chain and XTR cranks...

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   everything

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $80.00

Purchased At:   Bike shop in the capital

Similar Products Used:   Deore, LX, Ultegra

Bike Setup:   Merida SE, XT, XTR, Marzocchi, Truvativ, FSA, Maxxis

Reviews 1 - 15 (114 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Cannondale Scapel 2 - 2012, which XTR front derailleur will fit?

Hey Guys, I quite dissatisfied with the standard SRAM X9 front derailleur, so I want to change it to XTR, but of all the XTR options, which should I buy?Read More »

Shimano XTR Front Derailleur

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Can an XTR 3x9 front derailleur be used in with a new 2x10 XT setup

So I have a year old front XTR derailleur and shifter. My GF just got a 2x10 setup using SLX and XT, is there a way to still use the front XTR shifter and derailleur on her new setup. Boh setups are similar in mounting and that won't be a problem. Tanks for any help.Read More »

XTR FD-M986 Double Chainring Front Derailleur on a Beer Budget

JensonUSA "[URL=""]Shimano XTR M986 Oe Front Derailleur[/URL]" $69 listed as 31.8mm with a pic of a direct mount. In reality it is the XTR 34.9mm high clamp with 31.8mm shims pre-installed (28.6mm shim are not included as ... Read More »

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