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  1. #1
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    i-spec direct attach vs traditional clamp shifters for xt/xtr?

    Hey guys, saw this was an option when ordering a kit. Can anyone tell me which is preferred? I will be running xt brakes along with the xt shifters.

  2. #2
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    It is dependent on the frame. Newer frames have a plate on the seat tube for a direct mount front derailleur. This type of derailleur bolts onto the plate. Older frames (and some newer ones) do not have the "direct mount" plate and use a derailleur with a clamp.
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnie View Post
    It is dependent on the frame. Newer frames have a plate on the seat tube for a direct mount front derailleur. This type of derailleur bolts onto the plate. Older frames (and some newer ones) do not have the "direct mount" plate and use a derailleur with a clamp.
    He's not talking about a direct mount FD, he's talking I-Spec which is Shimano's version of MatchMaker clamps.

    It's personal preference really. I like the clean look of a single clamp. As much as I hated the Avid brakes on my SJ, I do hand it to Avid, the MatchMakers are superior to the I-Spec.

    From what I saw on a bike in the LBS I-Spec lets you adjust the left-right position of the shifter in relationship to the Brake level, but it doesn't have the rotational adjustment that the MatchMakers had.
    13 Lenz Lunchbox punkass
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    Hi Ronnie, I was actually referring to the shifters on the handlebars not the front derailleur.

    From what I've read, the I-spec attach underneath the brake lever, as opposed to traditional that clamp to the handlebar.

    wasn't sure what the general consensus was on this option. did some googling but came up empty.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    He's not talking about a direct mount FD, he's talking I-Spec which is Shimano's version of MatchMaker clamps.

    It's personal preference really. I like the clean look of a single clamp. As much as I hated the Avid brakes on my SJ, I do hand it to Avid, the MatchMakers are superior to the I-Spec.

    From what I saw on a bike in the LBS I-Spec lets you adjust the left-right position of the shifter in relationship to the Brake level, but it doesn't have the rotational adjustment that the MatchMakers had.
    Thanks bud. so it looks a little cleaner but might have a little less adjustability? how does I spec compare, in terms of fit and adjustability, to traditional clamp on shifters?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachua View Post
    Hi Ronnie, I was actually referring to the shifters on the handlebars not the front derailleur.

    From what I've read, the I-spec attach underneath the brake lever, as opposed to traditional that clamp to the handlebar.

    wasn't sure what the general consensus was on this option. did some googling but came up empty.
    Okay, sorry I misunderstood. I should have paid more attention to your heading. I knew Shimano had a shifter that bolted onto the brake lever but didn't know that it was called I-spec so it didn't ring a bell.
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachua View Post
    Thanks bud. so it looks a little cleaner but might have a little less adjustability? how does I spec compare, in terms of fit and adjustability, to traditional clamp on shifters?
    Well it's a cleaner look, but as far as adjustability it won't have the same amount.
    The hard part is knowing if you'll be able to find that sweet spot for you with I-Spec or not.

    With I-Spec or MatchMakers you're limited in how left-right you can move the shifters in relationship to the brake levers and you can't adjust the angle between them with I-Spec

    This is one of those times where a relationship with a LBS could be handy. Try going in and see if they have an I-Spec in stock and if they'll let you play around with the shifter/brake to see if you can get it where you like.

    I have pretty large hands, so I notice I tend to have a larger gap between my brake lever and shifters then most I see on the trials. Eventually I'll make time to go down to my LBS and try the I-Specs out and see if I can get them where I like them.
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  8. #8
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    Somebody in the Tallboy photo thread took some photos of his i-spec setup after I asked a little about them. I'm using the traditional, double clamp mounting right now, but considering trying the i-spec mounts if I can get my hands on them. See the below post for his input:

    Show your Tallboys picture thread? Is there one?

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    Based on that thread above I ordered up the iSpec this past weekend. They should be here tomorrow. I'll post up what I find out.

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    Subscribing, as I'm looking to update the shifters myself. Just got the XT brakes, so this is next on my list.

  11. #11
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    Has anyone used the ispec mount with the newest XTR shifters and XT brakes? I see that shimano makes a different kit for both the XT and XTR shifters. Are the mounting tabs different on the xt vs xtr brakes? I'm assuming you would match the ispec to the shifter, correct?

    Thanks in advance.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by yfz_duner View Post
    Based on that thread above I ordered up the iSpec this past weekend. They should be here tomorrow. I'll post up what I find out.
    Did you get them mounted up? How do you like them? I received mine last week and rode all weekend on them. I think it moved the upshift lever a little further away from my bar, which I definitely wanted. The reduction in clamps on the bar was definitely nicer too. Weight savings was less than 10gr, for the XT brackets, nothing to write home about.

    Quote Originally Posted by drz400sm View Post
    Has anyone used the ispec mount with the newest XTR shifters and XT brakes? I see that shimano makes a different kit for both the XT and XTR shifters. Are the mounting tabs different on the xt vs xtr brakes? I'm assuming you would match the ispec to the shifter, correct?

    Thanks in advance.
    All ispec is cross compatible.

    forums.mtbr.com/shimano/i-spec-xtr-shifters-xt-brakes-793390.html

    (can't post links yet, add the www)

    I'll be ordering XTR shifters soonish, so I'll have a mixed setup too (XT brakes and shifters currently). Think about it this way, you're converting your shifter, so order based on the shifter you have, not the brakes.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by drz400sm View Post
    Has anyone used the ispec mount with the newest XTR shifters and XT brakes? I see that shimano makes a different kit for both the XT and XTR shifters. Are the mounting tabs different on the xt vs xtr brakes? I'm assuming you would match the ispec to the shifter, correct?

    Thanks in advance.
    i have ispec m980 xtr shifters with my xt icetech brakes and really easy to use, cross compatible, and cleans up the bar...I also have a reverb button on my bar so glad to have 2 less clamps on my bar...
    Can take pics if you guys want...lmk

  14. #14
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    pics would be great. I'm especially interested in seeing how easy it is to reach the upshift/index finger trigger? is it situated just under the brake lever in such a way that it becomes a little tricky to reach when riding?

  15. #15
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    I ran ispec xt setup on my new niner build this past weekend. I wear a medium sized glove to give you an idea on my hand size and I didn't have any problems shifting and I had enough clearance between the brake and shifters. I could see there being a clearance issue with an xl sized hand... a large would probably come down to personal preference. It cleans up the bar and looks alot better imho. Thought I'd throw in my observations... hope it helps.

  16. #16
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    Here are some pics... I wear size large gloves and have no issues. The mount still allows you to slide the shifters in and out from the brakes independently so no issues with reach. You can also see how I mounted my right hand reverb on the right but can also do it on the


     photo image_zps180d69e0.jpg

     photo image_zps2edd11eb.jpg

     photo image_zps9128fbb1.jpg


     photo image_zps1253969b.jpg

  17. #17
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    great pics! thanks yeti!!

  18. #18
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    Based on that thread above I ordered up the iSpec this past weekend

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