Recently, we hand the chance to get a first ride on the majority of the new Shimano M9100 1×12 mountain bike group. That full ride report is coming right up, but first, we thought it would be important to go over some of the more burning questions about the group. To get the answers, we went straight to one of our favorite sources for Shimano answers – Nick Murdick. For as long as I’ve known him, Nick has been an invaluable source of everything technical you could possibly want to know about Shimano and other brands as well. He was our main technical contact for the Chainwear Challenge, and since then, he’s been promoted to the position of Mountain Bike Product Manager. True to form, Nick didn’t pull any punches, and offered to answer any question I had to the best of his ability.

This was a rare opportunity to get some candid feedback on what’s been happening behind the scenes at Shimano for the past few years, and what we can expect from the future. From both the product’s perspective, and the personnel, this is exactly what Shimano needed to regain their position in the market place.

During our time in Crested Butte, the focus was appropriately on riding the new group, so our time to do this interview was pretty limited. We ended up sneaking it in, trail-side on the last day, in the middle of a ride, just before I had to bail to catch a plane (that ended up not coming, but that’s another story). Because of that, we only had one take to get it right – and other than the brief wind noise, it seemed to go pretty well.

Thanks to Nick for the honest discussion, and stay tuned for first ride impressions soon!


    • I was gonna say the same. The tough question I would have made: “So these guys of SRAM have decided that a consumable component like a cassette that before was 55$ now costs 300$ and lasts 4500km, so like a tires pretty much, and you guys follow, what would you say to that?

      a 6 speed chain lasted 20 years, now i spend more in kmc x-11 like in rear tires… looking forward to the 300$ casette game, so great!!!

      • While those SRAM cassettes are ridiculous, I think you have some rose-tinted glasses about how long older drivetrain tech lasted. 10/11sp chains last significantly longer than any 6/7/8sp one ever did.

        • A lot of people have RoseTinted glasses on whilst drinking all the nostalgia wine. I rode single speed for years because drivetrains where terrible, 7-8-9-10. Now I run 12 speed Eagle, And I am happier and faster than ever. Today is better than yesterday and tomorrow will be even better.

    • Nope, all of the M9100 cassettes will use the new 12-speed spacing. The 11 cog version is simply made without the large 51 tooth cog.

      Shimano has also said the new 11-speed 10-45 cassette requires their 12-speed rear shifters. (Still curious how they are implementing that.)

      So AFAIK no compatibility to M9000/M8000.

  1. Those weren’t tough questions. All quite predictable. But I thought Nick did a good interview. I was a good video. And he even avoided using any words like “S-Ram”, “Shram”, or “Scram”.

  2. Will the current XTR di2 rear derailleur work with this future groupset/12spd? For obvious reasons I understand why the Mechanical wont, but in theory there should be no mechanical reason that the current di2 rear derailleur could not get a firmware update to allow for 12 speed? I could be totally wrong, thus why I am asking.

    • same question.
      have 4 bikes with di2 (cause it’s simply the best shit out there) and it would be great to have some kind of software update to get it running 12 speed. at least for the 10-45 kassette. I can understand, that the RD does not match to the 51t cog.

      • I assume that the mtb di2 will be the same as road di2. The rear derailleur determines the number of gears. Everything else in the system is just buttons. So potentially it will be just a derailleur, cassette and chain upgrade when they finally release it.

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