Shimano weighs in, and weighs very little, on the 1x discussion.
Certain competitors of Shimano have demonstrated the market's demand for a single-chainring mountain crankset, and no wonder: they're tough, light, reliable systems that save hassle for both shops and riders. Being the keen observers of the industry they are, then, the company has released the Shimano XTR FC-M9000-1 1x Race Crank Arms, along with its all-new XTR M9000 groupset.
The new XTR M9000 crank arms do not deviate enormously from Shimano's consistently-proven formula of hollow-armed alloy arms with proprietary spider and ring technology, and we are grateful for this, although there are notable enhancements. The adaptation of an 11-speed platform allowed engineers to hit the reset button on a few areas. Of note is the fact that the left-side crank arm is now hollow-bonded, a manufacturing process that saves weight over previous production methods without giving up strength. The right arm likewise boasts reduced weight while also playing host to a new four-bolt spider that is compatible with all double or single chainring configurations that Shimano now makes for the new 9000-series cranks. The spindle and arms themselves, without a bottom bracket, weigh a remarkably light 583 grams.
The Shimano XTR FC-9000-1 1x Race Crank Arms are available in 170mm or 175mm lengths. The system is designed specifically for M9000 chainrings to be used with the new XTR M9000 11-speed drivetrain. Neither chainrings nor a bottom bracket are included. The Race version of the M9000 crankset features a 158mm-wide Q-factor — narrower than the 168mm Trail version — which boosts pedaling efficiency for racers but makes it incompatible with certain dual-suspension frame designs. Please double-check with us that the Race cranks will fit on your frame before ordering.
- Hollow crank arms with 4-arm spider
- 158mm Q-factor