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