NAHBS 2008: Shimano's XT 29"er Wheel Announced

Editors Note: Richard “Fritz” Masoner is at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show and shot these photos of the new Shimano XT 29″er wheels. Thanks Fritz!

Shimano, who let it leak out at Interbike that they were introducing an XT level 29″er wheel in the late summer of 2008 just announced it again in case you missed it last fall. The wheels were being shown on this Sycip, an Independant Fabrications bike, (which we posted about last week) and another 29″er at the show by Hunter.

Apparently the retail price will be $650.00 according to the announcement at the show. As of now, no weights or other specifications were available. Twenty Nine Inches will be looking into this and we hope to bring you some more specifics on these wheels soon.


No Responses to “NAHBS 2008: Shimano's XT 29"er Wheel Announced”

  1. Oderus Says:

    Here is some info on the wheels in case you haven’t heard or seen them yet.
    1. They are UST compatible out of the box!
    2. The new freehub body has a 10 degree engagement. The old freehub was 20 degree. That means that the freehub engages twice as fast when you step on the pedals. It is still a loose ball bearing which is nice because you can maintain it at home with just a set of cone wrenches.

  2. Vandal Says:

    Excellent. Hopefully these will be available in the spring. I’m very eager to see the weight these come in at. 1800 g would be a nice target. Well, maybe a little more would be ok because no rim strips are required.

  3. Guitar Ted Says:

    Oderus: Yes, I was aware that they were tubeless compatible. UST requires a testing and licensing from Mavic, I believe, so saying “UST” may not be accurate.

    Good news on the engagement, single speeders will appreciate that.

    Vandal: I’m still hearing August but even the Shimano rep I know thought they would be pushed up sooner. This “announcement” at NAHBS would indicate to me that this is indeed the case. I wouldn’t think that it would be any sooner than Sea Otter tough. Hopefully rideable test wheels will be available to demo by then.

  4. Dirt McGirt Says:

    Oderus- You forgot to mention that they are absolutely BADDD AAAAASSSSSS!

  5. Oderus Says:

    3. They are BADDD AAAAASSSSSS!

  6. MG Says:

    Yeah, pretty cool… Tubeless stock wheels are good. Hopefully that means that, for as well as it works, I can stop with my labor-intensive to set-up “hardware store solution.”

  7. Dirt McGirt Says:

    MG, tone it down a bit, you’re too dang excited….

  8. mg Says:

    wow… and i didn’t even say BADDD AAAASSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!

    … but they probably are.

  9. Steve Says:

    Only 24 spokes : -(

  10. Guitar Ted Says:

    Steve: Yeah, that is a concern of mine too. I am hoping that the wheels will surpass my expectations though. 😉

  11. Vandal Says:

    Same spoke count as the Cr29ssmax wheels. Deep profile rim and straight-pull spokes should keep things strong enough.

  12. Vandal Says:

    Oops. I mean C29ssmax.

  13. Oderus Says:

    The Rhythm Elite are 28 spokes. I ride those and I am about 280lbs. I rode the 26″ (blaspheme I know) of the XT wheelset and they are stiff. I am not the least bit concerned about 24 spokes. Shimano does their homework.

  14. Brendan Says:

    Looking good, quicker engagement from a Shimano hub would be welcome all around. I love the serviceability of XT hubs, can’t beat cup and cone IMHO. I know it’s not wheel related, but that Sycip fork is gorgeous!

  15. j-dog Says:

    How bout a Lefty Front version??

  16. Oderus Says:

    GTed, these wheels will be UST certified just like the 26″ version. I wasn’t jumping the gun on that one. 🙂

  17. Guitar Ted Says:

    Oderus: Thanks. I hadn’t read or heard that anywhere else. I’ll look forward to checking these out.

  18. John Says:

    Does anyone know if these are 20mm through axle compatible or are they just a QR?

  19. Guitar Ted Says:

    John: According to a report on this morning, the 1850 gram wheelset will incorporate Shimano’s new “standard” thru axle that measures 15mm called “E-thru”. Shimano claims it is lighter but “nearly as strong” as a 20mm thru-axle.

    So far, Fox Shox is the only suspension fork manufacturer supporting this standard.

  20. JGascon Says:

    Thanks all for the positive comments regarding the 29R. Here’s the official details and specs:
    •23.5mm wide (622 x 19C ETRTO) rim
    •Double butted 14-15-14g spokes w/alloy nipples
    •7075 T6 alloy oversized axles
    •Angular contact bearings
    •24 spoke design
    •Tube and tubeless tire compatible
    •Reliable, quick engagement Deore XT freehub body
    •Center Lock interface (6-bolt adaptor available separately)
    •Weight: 1810g
    •MSRP: $649.99
    •Available: Summer 2008

    These wheels have been in the works for a couple of years and like Oderus mentioned Shimano does its homework. These are truly mountain biking ready wheels…..

  21. Guitar Ted Says:

    JGascon: Thanks for those specs. We’ll see how well the homework was done once they hit the trails. 😉

  22. Vandal Says:

    Nice. Not far off my 1800g expectation. Here’s to hoping the availability is closer to Sea Otter than to July!

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