Shimano Announces New Chainrings, Quicklinks, 11-46t Cassettes

by 12

Dynamic Chain Engagement

Shimano have today announced quicklinks, a new cassette, and new 1x chainrings utilising “dynamic chain engagement”, which seems to be a lot like other narrow-wide chainrings, with alternating thick and thin teeth. XT rings will be steel plated, and XTR will be hardened aluminium. It’s an interesting move from Shimano, who’ve gone out of their way before to avoid narrow-wide, with standard XT rings having tall, square cornered steel teeth instead.

David and Chipps both rode 1x XT equipped setups last year, and were both impressed with their chain retention abilities. It’s unclear from Shimano release what, if any, shortcomings these new chainrings will address. The new chainrings with bear the model numbers SM-CRM91 (XTR) and SM-CRM81 (XT).

There’s no word yet on whether the new quicklinks are reusable or not, but we’ve requested clarification (and are guessing they’re probably not).

The new cassette has an 11-46t range, bringing 1x drivetrains in reach of even smaller legs and even steeper hills. The release mentions it has having a “weight target” of 450g, which with the product renders above implies nothing outside of prototypes exists yet. It says the chainrings have been developed “thanks to studies with world level cross-country and trail riders in all conditions, from the dry and dusty conditions of the Americas and southern Europe to the heavy mud of winter-time northern Europe.” It’s reassuring that they’re taking British weather into account, unlike so many bike component manufacturers hailing from sunnier climes.

As well as these pretty large mid-product cycle revisions, Shimano have also announced come new cranksets and brakes. From the release:

“New gear combinations offered on new 2×11 and 3×10 cranksets are focused on lower gears for riders riding in steep mountainous areas. The DYNA-SIS 11 FC-MT700 34-24T crankset features HOLLOWTECH II crank arms. Meanwhile the 3×10 MT500 crankset provides 40-30-22T rings and a 2-piece crank arm with a stiff, solid and robust construction.
Sitting just below ACERA level, Shimano introduces two new non-series M365 and M315 hydraulic disc brakes. The M365 comes with a lighter aluminum lever and both brakes offer technology adopted from top-of-the-range disc brakes such as noise-free stable braking performance, and quick and clean bleeding.

Complementing the new M365 and M315 disc brakes is a new lock ring style for 160mm or 180mm SM-RT10 rotors, designed to simplify handling and operation for workshops and manufacturers. Two new tools provide quick and easy maintenance for rotor installation, either the TL-FC36 outer serration wrench or the TL-LR11 inner serration socket tool.”

Shimano FC-MT700

David started mountain biking in the 90’s, by which he means “Ineptly jumping a Saracen Kili Racer off anything available in a nearby industrial estate”. After growing up and living in some extremely flat places, David moved to Yorkshire specifically for the mountain biking. This felt like a horrible mistake at first, because the hills are so steep, but you get used to them pretty quickly. Previously, David trifled with road and BMX, but mountain bikes always won. He’s most at peace battering down a rough trail, quietly fixing everything that does to a bike, or trying to figure out if that one click of compression damping has made things marginally better or worse. The inept jumping continues to this day.

More posts from David

Comments (12)

    Finally, Shimano give us a quick link. Excellent. I’d guess SRAM will be following up with a wider cassette any day now…

    “There’s no word yet on whether the new quicklinks are reusable or not, but we’ve requested clarification (and are guessing they’re probably not).”

    The SRAM ones that aren’t are! So it probably doesn’t matter?

    Is there any news when the new cassette and chain rings will be available? Also will the new 11-46 cassette work with existing M8000 GS mechs, or will it require a new mech?

    Well, as a Shimano user I’ve been using SRAM chains and rings instead for ages, because they use quick links and thick/thin teeth. I can’t be the only one. Shimano had to do something to tempt us back when our next chains and rings wear out… a good good move from them.

    11-46, yay. As a 5’7″ guy with short legs ofr my short size, this is good news indeed. I wonder how much this will cost though. I might stick with my ghetto 1×10 42T (30 front) plan for this summer.

    Quicklinks is technically single use – same as Sram, KMC etc.

    11-46 cassette works with existing XT and XTR mechs – no new mech required.

    New rings combine the tall square profile of the original (great) DCE rings, with addition of Thick/Thin for a belt and braces, secure system.

    Only ever had one SRAM quicklink break on me in the many years I’ve been using them. Sadly it was during a race.

    I find the XT ring so much quieter than a thick thin. Had no issue with chain retention.

    Tom – me too.

    I’ve ran KMC split links on Shimano chains for years. Both on MTB and road bikes. Works absolutely fine.

    Great Shimano are introducing it though.

    Finally, they bring out a cassette with a wider gear range than their 11-speed hub gear…!

    As mentioned above, Shimano has confirmed that the new cassette will work with its existing 11 speed (long cage) mechs

Leave Reply

Singletrack Black Friday Offer

30 days AD FREE Full Digital Membership For 99p