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Shimano reveals 11-46T cassettes, and more MTB updates

Shimano released updates to its XTR and Deore XT 1×11 mountain bike drivetrains, including a wider 11-46T gear range, quick-link chain links, new gear combinations for 2×11 and 3×10 cranksets, and new hydraulic disc brakes with disc brake rotor lock rings that promise easier assembly.

XTR and Deore XT

Shimano says its new Dynamic Chain Engagement (DCE) concept has modified tooth profiles on the chainrings that are designed to provide better chain retention, lower driving noise, and increased durability. Steel-plated teeth on the XT version provide greater durability, while strengthened aluminum teeth on the XTR chainring reduce weight.

11-46T cassette

The 1×11 drivetrain range has been extended to a super-wide 11-46T spread, providing more gear choices for all-mountain and enduro riders. This new cassette is compatible with XTR M9000 and Deore XT M8000 drivetrains and has a claimed weight of 450g.

Quick-link chain link

To simplify chain assembly, Shimano introduced a new tool-free 11-speed chain quick-link (SM-CN900-11) for on-trail repairs. The SM-CN900-11 link is compatible with all 11-speed Shimano chains (road and mountain — same chain).

New 2×11 and 3×11 gear combinations

New gear combinations on 2×11 and 3×10 cranksets focus on lower gears for riding in steep, mountainous areas. The Dyna-Sys 11 (FC-MT700) 34-24T crankset features Shimano’s Hollowtech II crank arms, and the 3×10 MT500 crankset provides 40-30-22T rings and a two-piece crank arm.

Disc brakes and rotors

Shimano also introduced two new non-series M365 and M315 hydraulic disc brakes (sitting just below Acer level). The M365 has a lighter aluminum lever and both brakes offer technology adopted from company’s premium disc brakes, including noise-free braking and quick-and-clean bleeding. A new lock ring for 160mm or 180mm SM-RT10 rotors, designed to simplify handling and installation, complements the new M365 and M315 disc brakes.

Pricing has not yet been set on the new components, which are slated for release this summer.