shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes

First Look: Shimano Deore M6000 Groupset

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After months of waiting, the brand new Shimano Deore M6000 groupset has finally arrived. And we reckon it looks the goods!

As one of the keystone groupsets in Shimano’s mountain bike lineup, Deore was actually a touring groupset to begin with when it was first introduced in 1981. Apparently it didn’t take off in that arena, though it proved to be quite popular with the (then) exploding mountain bike market. Those original Deore components then spawned the first Deore XT groupset in 1983, which was then followed by the Deore LX and Deore DX lines – all specifically designed for mountain biking. Deore has since undergone several makeovers over the past 36 years, where it has now settled in underneath SLX, Deore XT and XTR.

For those less concerned by weight and flash, Deore typically offers many of the same technologies as those higher priced groupsets, albeit with more sensible material choices and a few less adjustments to bring the price down. For the latest groupset, the new Deore drivetrain and brakeset add in similar features like a streamlined Shadow Plus rear derailleur, a wide-range cassette, and a new crankset designed around the same custom 4-arm bolt pattern as the more expensive Shimano cranks. Unlike the higher end groupsets, Shimano has stuck with 10-speed shifting for Deore M6000, with both 2×10 and 3×10 setups available.

shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
The new Shimano Deore M6000 2×10 drivetrain.

No 1x specific shifting then? Well, not yet anyway. We haven’t heard a peep from Shimano to suggest that there is a 1x option coming, though in reality, each component is available to purchase separately – including the shifters – so there isn’t a lot stopping you from buying the components you need for a 1×10 setup, along with a separate 1x specific chainring.

We’ll be testing the groupset in a 2×10 setup to begin with, along with the brand new M6000 Deore disc brakes. Before we get those bolted onto our test bike though, here’s a closer look at each component along with UK pricing and confirmed weights.

shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
With its polished/matte combo finish, the Deore cranks look sweet!

Shimano Deore FC-M6000 Crankset

  • Hollowtech II forged alloy crankarms
  • 24mm cromoly steel spindle
  • Compatible with standard outboard bottom brackets
  • Composite outer chainring, steel inner chainring
  • Chainring sizes: 40/30/22t, 38/28t, 36/26t, 34/24t
  • Available in a Boost-specific offset (36/26t only)
  • Available lengths: 170mm and 175mm
  • RRP: £99.99
shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
The composite upper chainring is heavily shaped on the inside to help with shifting between chainrings.

The new Deore M6000 crankset has updated to the X-Wing chainring bolt pattern that’s found on the more expensive Shimano cranksets, and the 2x version is available in three different chainring combo sizes, with each combo featuring a 10t chainring spread. We’ve got the Goldilocks 36/26t ratio in the shorter 170mm crank length. The reason we’ve gone for that chainring ratio is because it’s the only one that comes in a 3mm Boost offset. All the other chainring combos are for non-Boost setups. The arms themselves are made of hollow forged alloy for stiffness, and the spindle (like all Shimano cranksets) remains steel and 24mm in diameter, as Shimano doesn’t do the BB30 thing.

shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
Total crankset weight is 731g without the BB.
shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
No changes here to the bottom bracket, which means thankfully, no new standards.

Shimano Deore SM-BB52 Bottom Bracket

  • Hollowtech II Technology
  • Anodized alloy cups
  • Sealed cartridge bearings
  • Compatible with standard 24mm spindles
  • Fits 68mm and 73mm threaded bottom bracket shells
  • RRP: £16.99
shimano bottom bracket weight
Bottom bracket has mass. And also sealed cartridge bearings.
shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
New trigger shifter features Rapidfire Plus shifting.

Shimano Deore M6000 Rapidfire Plus Shifter

  • Rapidfire Plus dual trigger design
  • Vivid Index shifting
  • Right shifter: 10-speed
  • Left shifter: 2/3-speed
  • Available in standard bar clamp and I-Spec II direct mount options
  • RRP: £26.99 each
shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
Deore shifters are available in standard bar clamp and I-Spec II options.

Using a very similar shape to the current SLX shifter, the Deore version appears to be almost identical. It’s been updated to the Vivid Index shifting design, which means it’s supposed to have shorter, punchier shifts. The small paddle is still a dual-shift design, which means you can pull it with your index finger, or push it with your thumb. For the first time, the Deore shifter now offers integration via the I-Spec II bracket, so you can mount the shifter and a compatible brake lever to the same bar clamp. However, that means there are two shifter options; standard and I-Spec.

shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
Shifters are available separately, so you can purchase a right hand on its own if you’re running 1x
shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
That, is a new front derailleur. It’s designed to double, or even triple your gear range!

Shimano Deore M6000 Front Derailleur

  • 2x and 3x specific options
  • Mounting: High Clamp, Mid Clamp, Low Clamp, E-Type, High Direct Mount
  • Available in Side Swing, Top Pull and Bottom Pull options
  • RRP: From £27.99
shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
Side Swing front derailleur offers crisper shifting performance.

Given Deore M6000 is available in 2×10 and 3×10 options, there’s a new front derailleur in there to make it all happen. Available in a dizzying array of options (we’ve counted 60 different possible setup configurations!), there should be a front derailleur to suit your bike. Unless your frame is 1x only, in which case this device will not fit. M6000 is the first Deore groupset to receive a Side Swing option (pictured above), which in our experience offers the best front shifting of any drivetrain out there.

shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
For those playing at home.
shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
The sleek Shadow Plus Deore derailleur borrows heavily from the latest XTR mech.

Shimano Deore M6000 Shadow Plus Rear Derailleur

  • Dyna-Sys 10-speed compatible
  • Adjustable one-way friction clutch for stable chain management
  • Narrow Shadow Plus profile
  • Compatible with standard and Direct Mount derailleur hangers
  • Available in mid-cage (GS) for 2×10, and long-cage (SGS) for 3×10
  • Mid-cage option designed to suit wide-range cassettes up to a 42t sprocket
  • RRP: £64.99
shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
This guy will clear up to a 42t cassette sprocket.

The rear mech has undergone a heavy facelift that brings its style and shaping inline with Deore XT and XTR, with a slimmer Shadow profile that keeps the derailleur tucked in neatly and away from potential rock encounters. It’s got the latest one-way friction clutch lever to help minimise chainslap and potential derailment, and it can be had in medium and long cage options. We’ve got the medium (GS) cage version for use with a 2×10 groupset, as it’s compatible with up to a 42t large sprocket (the long cage mech will only clear a 36t sprocket).

shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
Shimano brings a wide-range ratio down to the Deore level.

Shimano Deore M6000 CS-HG500-10 11-42t Cassette

  • Dyna-Sys 10-speed shifting
  • Cassette size: 11-42t
  • Tooth count: 11, 13, 15, 18, 21, 24, 28, 32, 37, 42t
  • Designed for use with standard freehub bodies
  • Nine steel sprockets with large 42t alloy sprocket
  • Top eight sprockets pinned together, with individual 9th and 10th sprockets
  • Alternative ratios: 11-25t, 11-28t, 11-32t, 11-34t
  • RRP: £64.99
shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
It’s a bit lighter than a current Deore XT 11-42t cassette, though this one does only have 10 sprockets, not 11.

Easily the most exciting component in the Deore M6000 ensemble is the new wide-range cassette. It’s 10-speed, but it covers the same 11-42t spread as Shimano’s 11-speed mountain bike cassettes. That’s good news for existing riders with 10-speed drivetrains, who may be interested in upping the range for a 1×10 setup. Other brands have been doing that for the past few years with expander cogs (such as OneUp and Wolf Tooth Components), but this is likely to be a much smoother-shifting option.

shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
Because Deore has stuck with 10-speed, there’s been no changes to the chain design.

Shimano Deore M6000 HG-54 Super Narrow HG-X Chain

  • Hyperglide (HG-X) Series
  • Dyna-Sys 10-speed shifting
  • Chrome treatment on link pins
  • Heat treated rollers, pins, and plates
  • 116 links, includes joining pin
  • RRP: £19.99
shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
HG54 chain to suit Shimano 10-speed MTB drivetrains.
shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
But the brakes are brand new.

Shimano Deore M6000 Hydraulic Disc Brake

  • Refined master cylinder
  • New split-clamp mounting
  • Compatible with Shimano I-Spec II shifters
  • Servo Wave Technology
  • Alloy lever blade with adjustable reach (2.5mm hex key)
  • Ice Tech calliper
  • 22mm phenolic pistons
  • Fitted with resin brake pads
  • One-Way Bleeding
  • Mineral Oil
  • RRP: £74.99 per end
shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
New lever design uses a slim split-clamp mount, and features tooled reach adjustment.

Unlike the chain, the brakes have undergone some significant changes, with external and internal changes brought over from the SLX M7000 disc brakes. Everything is a bit sleeker, with a shiny black finish for both the lever and calliper. The brakes can be bled with Shimano’s excellent One-Way Bleed system, which involves using a simple plastic bleed funnel, and they’re filled with Mineral Oil. The lever fits to the bars with a slim split-clamp, and they’re now compatible with Shimano’s I-Spec II shifters, so the shifter can mount directly to the brake lever.

shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
Chunky callipers feature insulated pistons and come standard with resin brake pads.

At the calliper end you’ll find an Ice Technology-inspired design, with a pair of insulated phenolic pistons that’ll take Shimano’s higher-end Ice Tech brake pads. To keep the price down, the stock pads are standard resin brake pads from Shimano, and they use a split-pin anchor rather than the threaded bolt found on the higher end brake callipers.

shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
Weight for the front brake on its own with a full-length hose.
shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
And for the rear brake, also with an uncut hose and no hardware.
shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
Center Lock RT64 rotors. Shimano will also offer 6-bolt rotors for the Deore brakeset.

Shimano Deore RT64 Center Lock Disc Rotor

  • Stainless steel ventilated brake track
  • Alloy central carrier
  • Designed for Center Lock hubs
  • Compatible with resin and metal brake pads
  • RRP: £19.99 (160mm), £24.99 (180mm), £29.99 (203mm)
shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
No funky Ice Tech construction here; just a solid steel brake surface and an alloy central carrier.
shimano deore 6000 groupset drivetrain brakes
The whole Deore shebangabang.

And there you have it – the new Deore M6000 groupset. If you’ve got any questions for us about any of the components, pop them in the comments section and we’ll answer them as best we can. Otherwise, stay tuned for our review of the new Deore M6000 groupset in the not-too-distant future.

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