Shimano has shown for the first time its Deore XT M8000 mountain bike groupset, which brings 1×11 into a more affordable price bracket for mountain bike riders.
It’s a fully mechanical system that offers a completely new wider range 1x specific cassette – ranging 11-42T – and it’ll fit existing wheelsets too. Double and even triple cranksets are still catered for with an 11-40T cassette. Each cassette will be made up of a blend of steel cogs, with aluminium spiders and larger cogs.
The 1×11 tooth profile on the XTR and new Deore XT chainsets combine wide steel teeth with special hooked teeth design for lasting chain retention, especially over uneven terrain. These improvements increase chain retention force by 150%, increasing chain life and drastically reducing the possibility of a dropped chain.
The newly designed Deore XT cranks turn on an updated Hollowtech II press fit (BB-MT800-PA) or threaded (MT800) bottom bracket. Using smaller, lighter bearings and a seal system proven on both XTR and road groups, the new bottom bracket reduces weight and bearing drag, while improving mud durability.
Both the M8000 front and rear derailleurs have been heavily revamped over prior Deore kits, with the rear derailleur featuring Shimano’s optimized Shadow RD+ technology with a shallow angle and extremely low profile design, reducing shift effort and improving chain stability, resulting in sharp and smooth gear changes.
Meanwhile new high efficiency pulleys adapted for cross-chain riding feature a taller tooth profile for improved shifting. Shadow RD+ friction clutch technology from the XTR range has been trickled down with increased ease of adjustment for either maximum stability or lower shift effort.
The Deore XT M8000 rear derailleur is compatible direct mount systems and 1×11 and 2×11 GS or 3×11 SGS set ups.
At the handlebar, Deore XT’s shifters are said to have benefitted from a 20 per cent lower shift effort, much thanks to a combination of a dimpled long sweep paddle, grooved release paddle and Optislick cable.
Braking performance benefits from a lighter, cleaner and more durable integrated master cylinder. Refined Servo Wave levers provide improved feedback, offering high power with a short brake pull. As was offered by past models, Deore XT brakes retain tool-free reach adjust and Free Stroke adjust, whilst a narrow clamp band offers increased lever adjustment. The Rider Tuned system accommodates 140 to 203mm rotors and multiple brake pad choices.