Shimano 2003 XTR Gruppo Component Group

2003 XTR Gruppo

Shimano XTR®, the ultimate in mountain bike cross-country racing components, has taken yet another leap forward, toward a new level of perfection in design, engineering and racing performance.

User Reviews (20)

Showing 1-10 of 20  
Michael   [Jul 05, 2003]
Strength:

Light, good looking

Weakness:

Not realistic for true MTN biking. Brake levers contact trees and other things while racing/riding. New light crankset comes with sprockets that bend just a little too easy for the money charged for the product.The spider setup on the crankset does nothold the large ring as it used to.

I have had the bike for three weeks. After I had to change over to the XT shifters/brake levers, everything seemed awesome. At the MT Snow Nationals my chain went over the big ring. It got sucked up by the exposed spider and took me almost a minute to get back on to the ring.

After the race I noticed how badly bent the big ring was. I still cannot even imagine what I could have hit in order to do that damage. After removing the sprocket and looking closely at the design I realized that it is much weaker with the big ring on the inside of the spider arms. I think it is a good idea to keep it on the outside of the spider for support and chain clearance issues in those situations.

I replaced that ring and it was fine until a practice race on thursday when it happened again. This is not from being set up wrong. The bike has now been seen by shimano at the nats. along with some of the best mechanics around. I thought that maybe it was just a fluke. When it jumped off this past thursday at a practice race it took the front derailluer along with it. For the $ it should be a little more tough/reliable.

I just ordered my 2002 XTR crankset and front derailluer. I like the lightweight of the 2003, but if it doesn't work, why use it.

Oh, by the way, for those who are going to say I must be a huge beater rider.
I am 5'6" 125lbs.

Thanks for letting me rant, I feel better now.

Michael

Similar Products Used: have always used XTR cranks. sometimes have used 2002 and older XTR shifters/brakes with no reliability issues such as these.
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Tony   Racer [Jun 17, 2003]
Strength:

Performance.

Weakness:

See below

The 2003 XTR came on my new C'dale. The shifters work great. Crisp shifts. A little finicky to adjust, but smooth once done properly. A barrle adjuster on the der. would be helpful. The rear shifter is a little tough on the top of my fingers when upshifting. The lever should be have a flatter bottom to it. The front shifter does take some extra effort to shift, but still easier to use than rapid fire. It takes very little time to get used to the shifting. I tightened the levers only tight enough to be able to shift without the lever rotating. This helps save them in the event of a crash.
The cranks work great. The finish wears off very quickly. The bottom bracket is cheesy. Mine cracked after 3 rides. Apparently, Shimano is aware of this and is trying to correct it. Mine was warrantied by the shop. Cranks are easy to install. The gearing is great.
The brakes are very powerful. I've used and loved my hayes for quite some time. Shims are used to adjust the caliper. This seems cheap as well and makes fine tuning very difficult. The strength of the brakes comes at a price! A very soft pad is used which wears out very quickly. I have hayes with the original pads with 10 times the time on them and much worse riding conditions!! The changing of the pads is VERY easy. I love the light lever feel, one finger is all you need.
Overall, a good groupo. But, no need to upgrade from previous XTR.

Similar Products Used: XTR, Hayes
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Hank   Cross Country Rider [Jun 12, 2003]
Strength:

Great performance, crisp shifts, disk brakes are powerful and controllable. The crank is stiff.

Weakness:

Finish scratches easily, but who cares, it's on a mountain bike dummy.

The new stuff is definitely worth the money. The disc brakes give tremendous confidence even when muddy and wet. The shifting took no time at all to get used to, one ride and it was second nature. I haven't removed thumb triggers yet, but have never used them. My only complaint is the chainrings, I wish they had kept the old tooth counts, it has taken a while to "find" my gearing. The hubs are great, had them built up with Mavic X317 disc rim. My bike lost a 1/4 pound with this upgrade, not bad for discs.

Similar Products Used: pre 2003 Shimano XTR, SRAM 9.0, Shimano XT
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Rick E   Racer [Aug 30, 2003]
Strength:

ALL ARPUND AWSOME. best xtr group ever, The shifters, railers, , wheels, brakes, crankset, every thing! read each specific component for full reviews

Weakness:

Not cheap!

Best setup u can get, read my reviews of each prodect to get a specific lowdown

Similar Products Used: Sram x.0
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
kyle millsap   [May 15, 2003]
Strength:

shifting is sweet, very precise. The crank is really solid, you wont know how much flex your old crank has until you try 03 xtr.I love the rapid rise, easy to set up and super smooth on downshifts.The shifters work flawlessly, tough too. On the 1st ride with lever shifters I took a big fall, major contact between right shifter and rock, big gash but no effect on performance.

Weakness:

none yet

shimano nailed it. give rapid rise a shot,it makes sense and works damn good!

Similar Products Used: shimano, sram,suntour, campy
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
John   Weekend Warrior [Dec 31, 2006]
Strength:

Performs together flawlessly. All components work together for a set-it-and-forget-it experience.

Weakness:

Price

This is an update from my September 2004 review.

I've since moved to Denver. The rides have gotten longer and more technical. I have demanded more of my bike and the XTR setup then ever. I'm happy to report that everything still performs admirably. There have been no problems whatsoever with this 2003 XTR setup. The shifts are still smooth and crisp. The crank arms still feel solid and flex-free. XTR has really lived up the hype for me. Solid crankset through and through.

The wheelset have NOT NEEDED TO BE TRUED. I've NEVER experienced this kind of performance before! The hubs still spin smooth and free.

The shifters continue to hold up very well. Rapid Rise makes sense to me. I really like that I can shift to a higher gear really quick. Down shifts are quick with the dual control levers.

The hydro discs continue to provide great feedback and confident stopping power. I use them with the Shimano disc wheelset and with Mavic Crossmax discs. The stopping performance is up there with the best of them.

Overall, I've still VERY happy with the integrated performance of the whole system. There hasn't been one part of the system that has let me down.

Similar Products Used: 2002 XTR drive train, Hayes discs.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
dirtgirl   [Jan 20, 2006]
Strength:

Dual Control is for ME. Smooth shifting. Simple barrel adjustments. Simple disc brake set-up and adjustments. Smooth and stiff cranks. Super shiny gunmetal look.

Weakness:

Set-up on the dual control shifter can be a pain if you screw it up. It's a pain to get into the housing...those tiny little screws can get stripped with very little torque. No one stocks replacement screws, either.

If you feel brake fade, check the pistons to make sure that they both push on the rotor.

This was the first bike that I built up by myself. Except for the shifter cables, everyting was installed with ease. The hydraulic brakes came pre-bled, but I've bled a pair that was on my other bike and it was pretty simple. Installing the cranks and derailleurs were just as easy. Then I noticed that the rear derailleur no longer had a barrel adjuster attached to it. I realized that the only barrel adjusters were attached to the shifter. This made me skeptical of how easily adjustable the derailleurs would be.

After a few rides, it came to me. The barrel adjusters on the shifters are SO COOL. You turn the barrel one way you can see the gear indicator move. So, there's no more guessing on which way you turn it. This is a huge bonus if you set-up your rear shock for all mountain because when you tune the bike on the stand, it won't necessarily shift the same way when you put your weight on the bike.

The hydraulic discs were more powerful than I thought. Center lock rotors are no fuss. Just make sure the rotors are clean so they don't get noisy. I felt the front brake fade during a ride last week. I checked it out and noticed that only one piston was pushing on the rotor. I checked the installation manual and found the solution. It took me 5 minutes and it felt new again.

No problems whatsoever with the cranks or derailleurs.

Well worth the money I paid.

Similar Products Used: Shimano XT/XTR rapidfire
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Tim XCrider   Racer [Oct 29, 2003]
Strength:

light overall weight
quality of every component is unrivalled
performacne of every component is unrivalled except perhaps brakes, Magura Marta's are just as good and lighter
Low Normal or rapid rise is da bomb!!!
Hollowtech II is the future
cup and cone bearinghubs

Weakness:

perhaps finish on crank could be harder but not really an issue

Well i liked SRAM's 9.0SL drivetrain mated to a Coda Tarantula CX2 2x9 crank and thought that things were pretty much settled. Then I tried SRAM's X.0 shifters and mech at Amsterdam bike show and that was an improvement. Was about to fork out the dosh for the SRAM kit when a mate of mine in the industry said I should wait a month.
Called me 5 weeks later and said that Shimano's new XTR stuff was out. I was pretty settled that i was going to get X.0 but I gav ehimne the beefitof the doubt. He lent me his Schouten MTB, kitted out with Rond Magura forks and all the new XTR kit on it.
WOW! I was old on the Dual control immediatley. The Low Normal return derailleur was spot on with the flippy shifters. I tried it a few days later with the older derailleur and it did'nt feel as intuitive.

I bought the entire groupset and have not looked back since.
Even though the X.0 has a faster upshift action the XTR's downshift is more accurate in panic shifts and under load shifting. The upshifts are pretty quick too.

The crankset is stiffer than a stiff things daddy! and so easy to fit. Some people have comp[lained of it scratching easily butI have not has this problem as i ride with my feet pointin straight ahead and not duck or pigeon toed.

The brakes have as much modulation as Mugura Martha's ( the best XC disc brake bar none!!!) and perhaps slightly less power but theres more here than you'll ever need. Fit some fibrax pads and the bite improves.
This groupset is the best I've tried. It's not the ultimate best inever category but it's so close to those that are that it would influence your lap time in a race. That couple to Shimano's fabled reliability makes that groupset the best there is.

5 for value
10 for performance (cr*p it only goes to 5)

Similar Products Used: SRAM 9.0SL
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
AD   Racer [Dec 15, 2003]
Strength:

Weight, Looks,

Weakness:

Maybe too light? SHimano needed to put in some more product testing time before they released the groupo.

I am objective about the groupo, as I have put in a season of racing (14 races) In the first week the outer chainring was bent on a training ride. It took a hit from a rock, not a big rock mind you, just one of those that gets flipped up every time you ride. The brakes are a pain in the a$$ they need to be adjusted every ride, due to the pistons comming out of adjustment. But on the good side the brakes (when they work) work very well.
The bottom bracket- is a leap forward and will be all that, but the bearing seals sucked so much mud into them, after one muddy ride, that I had to completly tear them apart and clean the mud off the bearings, as they were too gummed up to spin freely.Hopefully that will be fixed soon. (When you pay over $400.00 for the crankset, it better be able to get a little mud on it.)
My biggest complaint is the rear deraileur. What a piece! From day one it was the most finicky piece of metal I have ever delt with. (I know how to set up a rear deraileur. However I even had a LBS try to dial it in, and same result)
It ghost shifts, and lord help you if you get a little dirt on the cable, as it will shift all over the place with no reason. Mmmm I hear Sram calling my name ....XO....XO...XO...
As for the shifter lever combo, I have mixed feelings, it shifts no faster than rapid fire, but does cut down on weight, we will just have to see on this one...

Overall my feeling is that Shimano and most of all XTR, has been the best, and should be all that and a bag of chips. With this new group XTR is still at the top, but with a little more R&D the 2003 line would have set all companies back to the drawing board in order to catch up.
This model year is a near miss.

Oh and by the way Shimano, dont try to shove non-compatible groupo's down my throat. If I want to mix and match give me the choice, or have the confidence to know that your product IS the best and everyone will want the whole package anyway.

Similar Products Used: Shimano XTR everything. XT. LX. Avid. Hayes. Race Face.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
1
Greg Bruce   Cross Country Rider [Apr 10, 2003]
Strength:

Components came with the bike (Specialized S-Works Enduro). Brakes are very precise, light weight and trick looking. Stopping power exceeds all other brakes I have tried (Magura Marta, Magura Louise, Hayes, Avid Mechanical). Shifting has been flawless. This was the biggest surprise to me. I had some Shimano XT shifters and deralliuer on a previous ride and was never happy. I switched to the Sram X.O and thought I would never find a better group. In fact, when I bought the bike (prior to riding it), I figured I might end up switching back to my Sram, since I was so happy with them. Well, the new XTR group has been even better. No chain suck, no missed shifts, no issues whatsoever. They work flawlessly and I don't ever think about them. The brake lever and shifters in the same place works great. No issues, adjusted to the change in first ride and there is never a worry about shifting accidentally while braking. Should never happen and hasn't happened to me. As great as all of these components are, I think I am most impressed with the crank/bottom bracket. I get such a feel of efficiency and power. I am super impressed.

Weakness:

The only thing that doesn't work well for me is the upshifting with the brake lever. It is just ergonomically awkward and alters my riding style and hand position. Fortunately, shimano must have figured that could be the case for some people and included a thumb shifter as an upshift alternative and it is perfectly placed and works great (although it is unecessarily bigger and uglier than it needs to be)

Bottom line: I have about 2 months and 400 miles on the bike and the components and I have yet to have an issue. I needed the initial 75-100 mile tune on the cables and have not had to touch before or after. This is the ultimate ride it, clean it, lube it and ride it bike. I couldn't be happier. Money well spent.

Similar Products Used: Shimano XT Grupo, previous XTR grupo, Sram X.O, Race Face cranks
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 20  

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