Sneak Peek: 2015 Shimano XT 11-Speed with 11-42 Cassette

Shimano’s new Deore XT 11-speed group is here! Shimano has taken what they learned from XTR 11-speed groups and wrapped it into a more affordable package for the everyday charger.

1429051881751M8000 Deore XT will be available in 1×11, 2×11, and 3×11 configurations. Our money is on the 1×11 set-up being the most popular option. The new CS-M8000 11-42T cassettes have the Art’s guys really excited. We’ve been hoping for those extra two teeth ever since Shimano originally introduced the XTR 11-40 cassette. Want to know the best part? M8000 cassettes mount right onto the standard Shimano 10-speed freehub body you already have. No need to replace the wheel or change freehub bodies to attain those 1x climbing gears that your SRAM friends have been boasting about.

New Deore XT groups will feature Dynasys 11 shifting, making everything fully compatible with current XTR 11-speed. This will allow you to mix and match components to your heart’s delight within the two families of components.

Shimano has been updating the naming scheme of their chains to make them less confusing. With the introduction of the new Deore XT group comes the SIL-TEC coated HG700 chain. The HG700 is intended for 11-speed XT or road Ultegra groups. The HG900 is the XTR and Dura –Ace 11-speed level chain, compatible with all 11-speed Shimano groups moving forward, is already available for purchase.


14290519024181x crank options include 30, 32, or 34T rings that feature the same DCE (Dynamic Chain Engagement) technology that is currently used with XTR 1x options. DCE-profiled chainring teeth prevent dropped chains and virtually eliminate the need for a chain guide. With these three chainring options and an 11-42T cassette, all 1x junkies should be able to find a setup they are pleased with.

M8000 double cranks will be available in 34/24T, 36/26T, and 38/28T options. The doubles are setup to be run as 1x with proper chain line too. So you are set if you decide to switch it up later.


Those new double cranks are paired up with new front derailleurs, which inherit side swing technology from their older XTR brother for reduced effort at the shifter and smoother shifts. With front derailleurs that shift so buttery smooth, some of you may rethink the whole 1x thing. XT front derailleurs will be available with high clamp, low clamp, D-type, and E-type frame mount solutions. For frames that cannot forward route their derailleur cable as required by the side swing derailleurs, Shimano has you covered with a traditional derailleur updated with Dynasys 11 cable actuation.

1429051965501Shimano’s RD-M8000 rear derailleur will be available in short and long cage options, but the long cage will only be necessary for setups with a triple.  The rear derailleur features a completely redesigned body. With Shadow RD + technology and improved geometries, this baby will give you nothing but the smoothest performance with little to no chain slap. The redesigned clutch allows for easier external adjustment. It’s nice to know that as you put the miles on your rig, you can readjust the clutch tension to prevent chain drop in the future.


SL-M8000 Rapifire plus shifters feature Dynasys 11 cable pull, making them compatible with XTR groups as well, but not previous older XT groups. The shifter’s improved ergonomics and reduced shifting effort make them more user-friendly than almost any other Shimano offering. Multi, Instant and 2-WAY release make shifting quick and easy, so you can stay focused on the trail.


1429051775883With this update, Shimano is also releasing a new version of their famed XT brakes. The M8000 Trail Brake are seeing improvements all around. Tool-free reach adjustments make on-trail changes super easy. A redesigned master cylinder integrates it into the body making for a much cleaner look that weighs less. XT brakes utilize Shimano’s Servo Wave technology, offering more progressive braking at the end of the stroke. This provides higher power braking in a shorter stroke length.


Updated PD-M8000 XT pedals will offer a wider platform and lower height. We aren’t quite sure how Shimano keepings improving on their amazing SPD pedal technology, but their engineers always find a way to make it better. After 25 years of Shimano Pedaling Dynamics, these things are pretty dialed.

Wheels and Hubs

1429051944762New XT wheelsets feature hubs that will be available in a 142×12 option as well as a… wait for it…Boost 148×12 option. Yep, it looks like other industry leaders are climbing on board for the Boost 148 hub widths. For those that aren’t familiar, the Boost 148 hubs increase spoke angles to make 29 inch wheels as stiff as a 26 inch, providing the best of both worlds. The XT rims are reported to offer a 24mm inside width, with race wheels dropping 40 grams from their previous generation counter parts.

With the Boost 148 hubs, Shimano offers their B-series of cranks for use with new frame standards. The B-series cranks are only for use with Boost 148 hub and axle standards and feature a 3mm offset compared to the non-Boost cranks to ensure proper chainline. B-series front derailleurs will also be offered with an offset mount. XTR cranksets will be available in a B-series option with 30, 32, 34, or 36T 1x setups. XT cranks will be available with 30, 32, and 34T rings as well as a 36/26T double. The bottom bracket is not Boost specific, working on either setup. Note that this is already necessary for the newly emerging Boost specific frames and is not in any way a forced migration.

Art’s has not had an opportunity to check out the group yet, but we will keep our eyes peeled at Sea Otter this weekend where Shimano will reportedly be debuting the new component group. For more details, see Shimano’s official press release.