Midsize wheel, full-size capability.
The new 9000-series XTR drivetrains are pretty remarkable, but the engineering team didn't stop after simply redesigning the shifty bits; wheels received the same overhaul. The new Shimano XTR M9020-TL Trail 27.5-inch Clincher Wheelset is wider, tougher, and a bit heavier than the XC-focused Race (M9000) wheels of the same size, but they don't lose an ounce of XTR's race-bred engineering.
The XTR wheels are built with Shimano's new carbon-laminated alloy rim construction. The technique capitalizes on the advantages of both materials while using each to compensate for the other's shortcomings. For example, full-carbon wheels can be prohibitively expensive. Aluminum rims can be cheaper, but often heavier, sometimes weaker, and ride quality can be compromised, as well. Shimano decided to engineer the two in conjunction with each other: a lightweight alloy rim extrusion receives full carbon fiber reinforcement here, the result being a durable, light, and relatively inexpensive rim that is torsionally stiff, vertically forgiving, and doesn't cost a down payment on a car. We love the new look, too.
The Race version of the rims are 20mm wide internally, while the Trail versions are wider, at 24mm internally, to accommodate wider tires and create a larger contact patch for greater control in technical situations. Down in the hubs, proprietary bearings keep the precision-machined hubs spinning for years, and a revised axle and bearing configuration saves a bit of weight, as well.
The Shimano XTR M9020-TL Trail 29-inch Clincher Wheelset comes with a 142x12mm rear axle, and 100x15mm front axle, and a freehub body that can accommodate Shimano 10 or new 11-speed XTR drivetrains. Both front and rear wheels have 28 spokes, and both are compatible with CenterLock rotors only.
- Carbon-laminated aluminum rims
- 24mm internal rim width
- Shimano XTR M9000 hubs
- CenterLock disc-brake rotors only
- Front and rear thru-axles
- Compatible with Shimano 10-speed and 11-speed XTR drivetrains