Not surprisingly, Shimano's Sea Otter presence was focused on the launch of their new XTR11-speed 9000-series mountain component group. The company used a modified shipping container to house the new wares, which drew plenty of attention once people began to hear about the group which was announced yesterday.



Though the entire XTR gout gets a revamp and redesign, at the heart of it is Shimano's new 11-speed cassette which features a high-tech mix of carbon, titanium, steel and aluminum construction. Shimano says the new cassette is lighter, stiffer and wider-ranging than its predecessors. It also works on existing 10-speed cassette bodies.



Shimano's current generation of off-road hydraulic brakes have been a standout for years and the company has revamped its heat management to be even more efficient through the use of their Freeza Ice Tech rotor (top left). The new 9000-series brakes come in a trail-tuned version (right photos) that feature heatsink fins on the brake pads themselves. The race-tuned version of the brakes (lower left) eschew the heatsinks in favor of lighter weight.



Though Shimano is offering dedicated 1x chainring set-ups for the new XTR, they're still in favor of using a front derailed and offer 2x and 3x options with the group. This 2x front derailleur features the new Side-Swing configuration that moves the mechanism next to the seat tube instead of behind it. The set-up creates more clearance for tires and improves cable routing for lighter shifting action, according to Shimano.



Shimano's new XTR carbon laminated wheelsets come in both Race (lightweight) and Trail (beefier) tunings, as well as a Race tubular version. Clincher versions use 28 butted spokes front and rear, and are available in 27.5- and 29-inch options, while the tubular is 29er-only.



Shimano's Joe Lawwill extolls the virtues of the new XTR group to booth visitors as the throngs fawn and drool over the new kit.