Earlier this year we saw photos of the new XTR M9000 adorning the BMC of Julien Absalon. The 1×11 setup with close ratios looked sweet, perfect for XCO racing, and Absalon has clearly showed that as he wrapped up yet another World Cup title.
At Euro Bike, Shimano had the BMC that Absalon rode at Windham on display. There were a few differences though (and we will have to speculate on what may have been changed behind the scenes). His bike is now using the Di2 version of XTR, and also has a chainring that looks like it is production, as opposed to the raw version that was on his bike at the start of the year. The custom carbon chain guide is still in place.
The computer mount is neat and subtle on the right hand side of a slammed negative 17 degree stem. Now we’re seeing more and more XTR Di2 ‘in the wild’ it will be interesting to find out how racers are setting up their shift mapping, especially those who opt for a 2x setup. Unfortunately that’s not obvious with a static bike and no rider!
At Cairns, we saw Absalon on some rim(that looked to be ZTR) neatly tied and soldered to XTR hubs. This bike has the XTR carbon wrapped clinchers. They were very clean, with all warning stickers attached so we might guess Absalon is still racing on something else, but would happily accept photographic evidence that he isn’t.