As well as a host of other improvements

Shimano has announced a slew of improvements to a number of its products today, most notably in the mtb world are: a new wide range cassette, a ‘narrow-wide’ style chainring and new brakes.

The new cassette is compatible with both XTR and XT and has a range of 11-46T. This is quite a significant step considering the previous biggest cassette you could get was 11-42 T. It’s also bigger than SRAM’s offerings that top out at 10-42T

The cassette is aimed at enduro riders and has a target weight of 450 grams. The product is set for a 2017 release date so we’re assuming it’s very much in the prototype stage at the moment (we don’t even have any photos of it yet). We’ll make sure we get all the details nearer the time.

New Shimano XT and XTR 1x drivetrain

The new chainrings for XT and XTR which have been designed for trail and cross-country riders. The big news on these rings is the Dynamic Chain Engagement technology. This looks to be a similar technology to current narrow-wide rings that is deisgned to improve chain retention. The XT version will have steel teeth while the XTR will have lighter aluminium teeth.

It appears that Shimano’s new chainrings chainring don’t have a narrow/wide tooth profile like that used by SRAM and Race Face, and the teeth aren’t wavey like MRP’s patent swerving design either. Instead, the lead edge of each tooth on the Shimano XTR chainring hooks forward, ever so slightly, to hold the chain in place.

Dynamic Chain Engagement


Finally, as far as drivetrains are concerned anyway, Shimano has introduced an 11 speed specific quick link.


All the drivetrain products have apparently been tested ” in all conditions, from the dry and dusty conditions of the Americas and southern Europe to the heavy mud of winter-time northern Europe ” so they hopefully won’t be thwarted by British mud.


Shimano has also introduced two new budget disc brakes. The M365 and M 315 both sit below the Acera brake and considering the Acrea retails for roughly £30 a brake, this could be a very cheap buy for a beginner.

>>> Click here to find the best hydraulic disc brakes


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.