Shimano announces new Linkglide XT and Deore drivetrains promising increased durability

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Shimano has introduced a new Linkglide version of XT and Deore aimed at eMTB riders or those looking for longer durability.

If you’ve been piling on the miles with your eMTB then you’ll already be aware that standard components can take a beating, and generally tend to need replacing far sooner than they would on a non-assisted bike. Shimano has recognised this with the launch of 2 new drivetrains using new Linkglide Technology in place of Hyperglide +. The Linkglide technology is made for longer-lasting performance, and while it’s aimed at the e-trekking and eMTB market it can also be used on standard mountain bikes if you don’t mind sacrificing a little weight and fewer gears for longer life.

Hyperglide will be offered in both Deore and XT flavours, but neither will be a 1×12 and the components won’t be compatible with current Hyperglide + systems. 

Budget-minded customers will be offered Linkglide Deore with a 1 x 10 11-43t cassette weighing in at 634g, while the more upmarket XT version will boast 1 x 11 and a larger 11 – 50t range. The new cassettes use thicker and more robust teeth designs, updated teeth profiles and a renewed shifting gate design and position for smoother shifts even under load. The smoother shifting is aimed at reducing stress on the drivetrain while improving pedal performance. Compared to Hyperglide + the shift will feel less like a ‘jump’ and will be slightly slower as it’s aimed at bikers enjoying the rider rather than racing. Shimano claims that the changes to the cassette mean 3 times less degradation and should provide smooth shifts for longer and more time between repairs or replacement.

As the new cassettes are not compatible with Hyperglide + systems, Shimano has launched matching shifters and derailleurs. There will also be an upgraded ‘e-bike rated’ chain, the CN-LG500, designed to offer a more affordable eMTB chain option over the current CN-HG601-11/701-11/901-11 chains.

In addition to longer life and smooth shifting, Shimano also believes that the new Linkglide Technology will benefit newer riders who might not have the experience of shifting under load, especially on powerful eMTB bikes.

We noticed that less experienced cyclists ride in the same gear, sometimes under excessive torque, for long periods of time, which puts strain on their drivetrain. As well as that, riders who shift under torque also cause excess wear and tear and ultimately a loss of drivetrain performance.  

In the end the answer was simple, offer customers the best of both. Our aim with LINKGLIDE was to create a drivetrain system that would deliver smooth and seamless shifting yet be more durable. That’s why most of our design and engineering focus was on making the cassette more robust.

HYPERGLIDE+ technology still offers competitive cyclists a lightweight drivetrain with our quickest shifting, whereas LINKGLIDE is an extra option for increased durability. Or to put it another way, HYPERGLIDE+ is made for fast and LINKGLIDE is made to last.

Filip Scholliers, Shimano MTB product planner

Comments (13)

    I’ll have some of that 11-43 1×10 for the XC/touring bike. Ideal.

    Not at 700g+ just for the cassette. You might as well put a boat anchor on

    643g cassette though… And not compatible with any other 10 speed stuff!

    Great for ebikes that eat drivetrains. Also nice to have an in option for components that might last well for high mileage riders who are faced with binning a lot of metal every year.

    So come on journos – tell us more. Ask some questions of the reps:

    In exactly what way isn’t it compatible?
    Which bits are actually different?
    Sprocket spacing?
    Cassette splines?
    Cassette length?
    What existing hubs does it fit on?
    Chain chamfering?
    Significant differences to the rear mech?
    Cable pull ratio?
    Shifters?

    We only just heard about it yesterday, Mick, and we currently have as much info as you. We’ll be sure to get the interrogation lamps out when we can see it in person and chat to a Shimano rep.

    +200g on a cassette, big deal. 3x the wear rate is worth the added metal to me. Get a bit fitter : )
    (or fit it to an ebike)

    Exactly the reason I built up my new bike with 11 speed and not 12 speed. 11/42 is fine for me. If I need a smaller gear can use 11/46. Saves lot of money on replacement chains and cassettes. Also should last a bit longer. 12 speed is extra cost for at least one if not two sprockets that are not or hardy ever used, 10 & 51.

    Sram lunch new lower cost GX Wireless and Wireless Rival x1 and x2 Group sets within a week of each other and Shimano response with new 10 and 11 speed part drive trains. Shimano are losing the plot. Not setting the trends anymore and too slow to react to them. Yes I run Shimano on my mountain & gravel bike. If I was specing my bikes again now I would be seriously looking at Sram lower cost AXIS options.

    Starts off looking brilliant:
    New durable Shimano components to last longer and save you money…

    Then:
    Not compatible with any of the stuff you have already.

    What a load of complete bullshit. So close, yet so far. Only in MTB does a supplier have the gall to say ” look, replace your expensive Drivechain with a worse and slightly different drivetrain which will last a bit longer and save you money [ when you hit the break even point approximately seven years after switching. At which point we won’t even be making the bloody stuff any more]

    Shared a bit of thegeneralists annoyance, but Deore M4100 10 speed 11-46 is 535g. So if weight = durability (?) that should last pretty well, and it’s compatible with you HG freehub, 10 speed shitfers and 10/11 speed mechs.

    A more robust 11sp version of m8100 using microspline would have been better.
    Is this XT rear mech tougher than m8100 and why wouldn’t they make it usable with m8100 groupset, they should leave it to the shifter to get the spacing right so any rear mech capable of reaching 51t can be used on 10, 11 and 12sp.

    I am so glad I have stocked up on XT 9 speed derailleurs, chains and cassettes. I have 4 rear mechs, and several kilos of chains. Should last my lifetime.

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