Remember that mysterious 11-46 wide range Shimano cassette we spotted last summer in the photo above (courtesy Willow McEvoy)? Now it’s official, along with several other new mountain bike technologies and designs that’ll be making their way to XT and XTR this summer. It’s 11-speed only, and target weight is 450g. Other than that, no images or info have been released.
Maybe the most noteworty is Shimano’s entry into the narrow-wide chainring category – sort of. Shimano isn’t coming out and calling it narrow-wide, rather their DCE (Dynamic Chain Engagement) tooth profile. We’re hoping to see one in person soon, but from the digital rendering it appears that the wider teeth have distinct regions which contact the chain, followed by a shark fin-looking tooth that isn’t quite as wide. In addition to better chain retention, and less noise, Shimano also places an emphasis on durability with different constructions…
XTR (SM-CRM91) receives strengthened aluminum teeth for less weight, and XT (SM-CRM81) sees steel plated teeth for even greater durability. Click to enlarge either image for better detail.
Shimano has attempted a quick link before, but it hasn’t stuck around. Perhaps the new Quick-Link SM-CN900-11 will be the one. Compatible with all Shimano 11 speed chains, the link appears to look more similar to other links on the market compared to the last Dura-Ace quick link.
Shimano is also introducing new gearing options for entry level 2×11 and 3×10 cranksets. Meant to provide lower gearing for those who need it for steep climbs, the cranks include the Dyna-sys 11 FC-MT700 34/24 double with Hollowtech II arms, and the MT500 40/30/22 3×10 triple with a two piece crank arm.
The lower end groups also see new brakes with non-series M365 and M315 hydraulic disc brakes which slot in under Acera. The M365 will be a bit lighter thanks to an aluminum lever. To go along with the new brakes Shimano has a new Centerlock lock ring for 160 and 180mm SM-RT10 rotors. Instead of cassette tools, the lockings will use either the TL-FC36 serrated wrench or TL-LR11 socket tool for installation.
Pricing is still TBD, but everything should be available for purchase this summer.