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Just in time for Sea Otter, Shimano today announces the new Deore XT M8000 group, featuring 11-speed components. For those who aren’t familiar with Shimano’s (sometimes confusing) naming system, the top of the line mountain components are labeled XTR and XT components are the next level down. From the press release:

With DEORE XT M8000, Shimano delivers XTR-level features, premium performance and value.

Which “XTR-level features” are included in the new XT line? Well, the big news is XT offers 11 speeds and will work with 1, 2, or 3 chainrings up front. That’s right: you can run up to 33 gears if you want to!

1429051902418Not only that, the XT line offers an 11-42t cassette that can be paired with the single chainring up front (note: the 11-42t is not meant to work with the 2 or 3 chainring cranks.) This is a departure from the XTR line which only offers an 11-40t cassette. The idea is that larger 42t cog makes 1×11 slightly more accessible to riders who aren’t necessarily looking to race.

I recently reviewed the 11-speed XTR line and if you read that review, you’ll recall that Shimano offers “Trail” and “Race” XTR configurations. There’s no mention of those options with the new XT line, though we’ll certainly keep you updated if we learn otherwise.

The new rear derailleur features Shadow Plus technology (clutch-style) plus:

The Shadow RD + is also now more easily adjustable for either maximum stability or lower shift effort.

The press release we received didn’t include information on pricing but it’s safe to assume the group will be more affordable than the XTR group (that’s the “value” part of the first quote above.) Our best guess for MSRP on the XTR group is around $1,500 so… less than that.

Greg and Aaron are set to attend a Shimano media event tonight ahead of Sea Otter so we’ll keep you posted as we learn more!

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