Mountain bike riders who prize durability above all else will be delighted with the new Linkglide components from Shimano. The brand claims that these new drivetrain components have proven to be 300% more durable in testing than their lightweight Hyperglide gear. Those durability test results should lead to less maintenance in a transmission that is said to shift as smooth and precisely as the top Shimano offerings.
The Linkglide system will include a shifter, derailleur, cassette, and chain for a Deore XT 1×11-speed setup or a Deore 1×10-speed drivetrain. The 11-speed cassettes have an 11-50t range, while the 10-speed option has an 11-34t span, and both are compatible with Shimano HG freehub bodies. Both of the derailleurs use Shadow RD+ technology and a chain stabilizing clutch. The XT shifters will be available with I-Spec EV mounts or bar clamps, and the Deore model will only come with a bar-clamp mount. Both the 10 and 11-speed gruppos are compatible with any Shimano 11-speed chain.
Apart from the chain, Linkglide components will not be compatible with current Hyperglide components. All of the new components will be available later this year at your local Shimano dealer. Given their focus on durability, we expect to see the Linkglude gear specced on some affordable mountain bikes, ebikes, and trekking bikes in the coming months.
Pricing info: 11-speed cassette (107.99€), Linkglide 11-speed shifter (74.99€), Linkglide 11-speed derailleur (123.99€). US pricing is not available as of press time.