Always one to adapt their top-level tech into the more affordable groupsets that sell to a vast swat of the market and end up spec’d as OEM on tons of entry to mid level bikes, Shimano has just announced a new round of updates to their budget friendly off-road groupsets. From Deore down to Altus, these workingman’s groups all get a bit of reshaping and updating to more closely mimic the look and performance of the top level XT & XTR groups. But while the new groups get minor makeovers and the new X-thousand series designations, they stick with their current 10 & 9 speed variations and really only take on a few subtle changes. Out of the bunch the new Deore M6000 does add Boost spacing, and the familiar non-standard 4-bolt chainrings, plus a new 11-42  10 speed cassette that will likely see a lot of use shoehorned into other older groupsets. Check out all that is new after the jump…

Deore M6000

Deore is Shimano’s budget group that ends up on everything from entry-level mountain bikes to commuters to touring & trekking bikes. Sticking with 10 speed spacing, it misses out on the compatibility with the higher end groups that it had for many years, but does get more range with new crankset & cassette offerings.

Its crank will now come in the unequally spaced 4-bolt in either double (38/28T, 36/26T, 34/24T) or triple (40/30/22T) configurations. The doubles also offer a version with Boost spacing moving the spider 3mm outboard to match up with wider rear ends. To complement the new cranks, Deore gets a new 11-42 10-speed cassette to go with the more typical 11-36/34/32 offerings. While previous derailleur versions were limited to a max 36T cog, we’d venture to guess that this new (and affordable) CS-HG500 11-42 cassette will see a lot of riders with existing 10 speed groups maxing out their b-tension screws to see if they can squeeze it into their current 10 speed drivetrains.

Previously Deore derailleurs came in a couple of versions with only the mid length cage being available with a clutch. Now all Deore rear derailleurs will get the Shadow+ tech to  deliver improved chains retention and less noise. Up front there will still be multiple derailleur swing options (top, down & side) with 5 mount types to suit any frame.

Shifting itself looks unchanged, as does hydraulic braking, although they claim higher leverage levers and heat insulated calipers that let you use Shimano’s Ice Tech brake pads as well.

Deore hubs are mostly unchanged as well. But although the specs we were given don’t indicate a Boost version to match the cranks, the overall groupset photo does show a thru-axle rear hub which would be a first for the Deore level. It’s unclear if Boost hub spacing will make it down this far.

Alivio M4000

Alivio sticks with 9 speed, but now adds a new 2x crankset. The new double uses the same popular 36/22T configuration of the higher groups and gets the 3mm wider spacing of Boost to clear larger tires better (whether or not they are spec’d on bikes with Boost rear hubs), plus a two-piece construction with 24mm axle. Alivio also adds two more teeth to the cassette – bringing it up to an 11-36 9 speed (another nice upgrade for those out there running the previously biggest 9 speed 11-34), and adds a side swing front derailleur option for improved tire clearance.

Acera M3000

Out of those updates, Acera gets the same 36/22T double with Boosted spacing, but swaps in a square taper BB. Otherwise it gets a small shifter update, and can share the same front derailleur and wider range cassette.

Altus M2000

At the lower level, Altus is the only one to add a gear, making the jump up to 9 speed. With a 40/30/22T crankset, the new 3×9 drivetrain gets a big bump up in tech, even now coming with a direct-mount style Shadow rear derailleur.

The new mountain & trekking groups will hit the shops in May 2017, with Altus debuting a month earlier in April.



  1. “the familiar non-standard 4-bolt chainrings” – this was meant to be a gruppo for trekking bikes? Not many things are more important for bike travel than complying to widely used standards. Oh well.

    • From the picture of the Deore Triple, that looks like it’s still standard spacing though dropping to 40/30/22 is annoying. Do people not pedal anywhere quickly anymore?

      • Apparently everyone has to have n+1 bikes now. I personally hacked my Alivio (M4060) crank, the 48-36-26 one, replacing the 26T with a 22T ring. Not sure why that doesn’t come as the standard triple. You basically get the best of both worlds: A standard MTB double (36/22) with the added bonus of a big ring nearly the same size as that of a road compact. I run a 12-36 on the back, but will likely get one of the new 11-36 9-speed cassettes once it wears out.

    • If I remember correctly, trekking can have different meanings. In some countries it refers to more general fitness/recreational riding on hybrid type bikes, rather than hardcore travel/loaded touring.

    • The SLX triple is 104/64 and very keenly priced. For some reason the Deore triple is 96/64, a bcd that just keeps coming back like a bad smell.

  2. If there has ever been a case of a company making stuff proprietary just to screw you over, its shimano asym. chainring bolts. I just bought an XT crank not realizing that was the case, and not only does the crank come with no chainring or BB, but shimano was sold out of all their chainrings that fit, leaving basically no option except wolftooth. Solutions to problems that never existed…

    • Which of the umpteen hundred BB’s should it have come with?
      That is an unreasonable assumption that they would have the specific on you wanted.

      How did you not know it didn’t include a chainring? If you assumed it came with one, did you not verify which size you would have wanted or just hope that it would have been the right tooth count for you.

      • A standard english threaded one like pretty much every other shimano crank I’ve ever bought? I did know it didn’t come with a chainring, but I was unaware it was the asym. bolt pattern. I made the purchase as a last second impulse decision (my fault) over the phone while doing and the shimano rep just asked if I had a chainring (which I did, a regular bolt pattern nw) but didnt mention it needed to be asym. Still my frustration is mostly not with either of these two things, but that shimano did not have any stock of chainrings available on a product that has almost no aftermarket options. Logic would dictate that when selling such a limited product that the vast majority of people buying those cranks would buy the shimano chainrings because they basically have to, so why would shimano not have any stock of chainrings for every crank they can sell? They took a product traditionally sold by them as one piece, split it into two to make more money, and then only had half of the product available.

    • In principle I agree with the complaint about the proliferation of BCD standards, but in practice I’ve found shimano cranksets to be good value. On 4 of the 5 occasions I have bought a Shimano XT crankset it has come with a BB, and always with rings. Only once have I actually needed the new crank arms, the other times have been because I needed new chainrings, and buying decent quality rings has been about the same price as the whole crankset. Once could argue that aftermarket rings would be cheaper if Shimano didn’t mess with the BCD standard, but my examples all predate the recent asymmetric patterns…

      • I agree they tend to be a good value, and my experience pre asym was like yours. Hell even my road bike 105 crank, while being asym, came with chainrings and a bb so nothing to worry about there. I just think the splitting the crankset up into individual parts that basically can only be gotten from shimano and then only having half the parts available is really crap.

  3. There is a 104mm 48/36/26 trekking crank in deore. The 40/30/22 triple is 96 symmetrical, only the double goes to asymmetrical. Chainrings from each triple are cross compatible to T611/M612 and others with the same letter groupings AL/AN etc

  4. So does “Shadow+ Tech” mean that Deore derailleurs will no longer work with Shimano road shifters (STI or Bar-end/Down Tube)?

    If so I hope they keep older versions in production and available. Although I guess the road derailleurs can handle larger cogs now.

    • No 10 speed mountain derailleurs from Shimano are compatible with their road shifters. 9 speed derailleurs and 10 speed road units (except the new Tiagra stuff) are all compatible. 11 speed has no cross compatibility.

  5. Who mounted the chainrings on this Deore triple crank? A very talented mechanic!? The big chainring is in middle position!!! So funny!

    • Sorry my fault. Chainrings mounted correct. Looked it on a larger picture. It was my optical illusion, that little teeth like notches on the outer chainring looked like a smaller chainring on the outside.

    • John – as with all 10 spd Shimano, no. Both the cable pull of the shifters and the ‘shift-ratio’ (movement per unit cable pulled) of the (rear, and possibly front?) derailleur are different.
      The chain/cassette/rings *should* all work across the 10spd board, though obviously there will be some issues with b-tension etc. for large MTB cassettes and small road derailleurs & vice-versa.
      If you’re looking for a drop-bar shifter to work with MTB gear you could go back to 9-spd Shimano (same same for both road & mtb) or use a fairly specific bar-end shifter from Microshift (see below). Finally you can approximate a good STI shifter with a Gevenalle (aka Retroshift) lever, which is sort of the same thing as the bar end but in a different place. =)

    • The *new 11-42 10-speed cassette* is nothing new nor not innovative.

      But a new 10 speed RD that can handle that properly is worth looking forward into

  6. I love how all of a sudden front derailleurs are presumed to be virtually non functional- shimano made a superior front derailleur since I started mountain biking. I had a LX level 3×9 setup and rode an inconceivable amount of single track around 1998. Elimination of the front derailleur – for some of us – is fixing a problem that never existed.

    Any setup that works for you is great – I like shifting and I like having more gears to use in any situation.

    • “we are killing the front derailleur” comes from SRAM… (shimano just play along…)

      Then SRAM introduce the 2×11 GX…
      (That still have the FD)

  7. “we are killing the front derailleur” comes from SRAM… (shimano just play along…)

    Then SRAM introduce the 2×11 GX…
    (That still have the FD)

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