Shimano XTR WH-M975 Wheelset Review

WH M975 300x225 Shimano XTR WH M975 Wheelset Review

The Shimano XTR WH-M975 wheelset brings Shimano into the competition for serious cross country race wheelsets. And they mean business. At 1525 grams these are among the lightest cross country wheelsets around for disc brakes or not, and believe it or not, for $1199.  If you are planning to step up your racing, upgrade the stock wheels that came with your bike, or just want a really fast pair of wheels for your weekend trail warrior then look no further, the Shimano WH-M975 is perfect for you.

Top quality features

The Shimano XTR wheelset is born to race. To get the weight down, Shimano has used a scandium alloy.  They’ve shaved weight out of the rim but reinforced the spoke holes to keep the wheels stable and strong. They are tubeless and tube compatible, and even lefty riders can enjoy the Shimano WH-M975 wheelset because Shimano is hearing the lefty vibe and produced a lefty version too.

The XTR wheelset is a race wheelset.  If you want to hammer roots and rocks or fly off drop offs, then this isn’t the wheelset for you. Heavier riders too, might find that this wheelset doesn’t hold up as well as you’d like, but that’s what happens when you shave off this kind of weight.

Race ready innovation

Shimano is known for some clever innovations on their road bikes, and there’s some neat design features here too. The spoke pattern is designed for maximum lateral stiffness, so you corner with confidence and when you put the power down to sprint for the finish your wheels won’t suck your watts away. Shimano’s Center Lock rotor mount system combined with a very responsive freehub makes the WH-M975 compete for best mid-priced cross country wheelset around.


The Shimano WH-M975 wheelset is a top quality wheelset for a good price that belongs on any bike at any cross country race. They are light, stiff and durable enough for cross country and endurance, but they aren’t made for hard knocks on technical trails.  You might get away with it a few times, but if you want to roll over the tough stuff or down big descents, then look for a sturdier wheel. But if first place is your plan, and you want to shave off weight and maximize your speed, then the XTR won’t let you down.  If you don’t win, your wheels won’t be your excuse.

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