Shimano Releases New $160 Drivetrain - With 8 Gears

Apr 1, 2024 at 13:06
by Dario DiGiulio  
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Shimano has a new drivetrain on the market, but it's not exactly what we'd been expecting from them. It's not wireless, 13-speed, or AI-controlled - it's an 1x8-speed drivetrain called Essa.

Essa is compatible with Shimano's current 8-speed systems: Acera, Altus, and Tourney TX. With 409% gear range, it's certainly less than their 12-speed variants' 510%, but the gearing could still be optimized for mountain biking. The RD-U2000 derailleur's short little cage can handle up to a 45-tooth sprocket, and the CS-HG400-8 cassette has a range of 11-45 teeth.

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Adorable little thing, ain't it.
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11-13-15-18-22-27-35-45T.

The gear range falls short of most 11-speed systems, which check in around 418% (Shimano) or 420% (SRAM). The range is larger than other 8-speed systems, like Microshift Acolyte.

This is not a CUES drivetrain, so it doesn't utilize the newer Linkglide tech we've been a fan of. It instead relies on the Hyperglide tooth profile, and will use an 8-speed chain from that lineup. You can use a Revo grip shift, shifter/brake lever combo, or a standard Rapidfire shifter with the derailleur - I'd strongly recommend the third option.

Aftermarket pricing is available, though it's hard to imagine the parts being regular stocked at every local bike shop. The breakdown is as follows though, in case you're keen to put a groupset together.


Cassette
CS-HG400-8 $34.99
Chain
CN-HG40
$12.99
Crankset (no BB)
FC-U2000-1 $39.99
Derailleur
RD-U2000
$43.99
Rear Shifter
SL-M315-8R $33.99

That means that for around $160 USD, you can have a robust little drivetrain with maybe just enough mechanical advantage to climb everything you want to.



This isn't the only new product wrapped up in this little release, we also have some new shifters for the Cues family of drivetrains. These new shifters are focused at the smaller-handed members of the mountain bike world, with reduced reach and improved ergonomics.

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It can be hard to set the controls up on a kid's bike in a way that actually works for little hands, so it's nice to see the effort made on the brand side to address the challenge.

There are three models available, suited to 9, 10, and 11-speed CUES drivetrains.

ESLU40509RAP
9 Speed
$22.99
ESLU605010RA1P
10 Speed
$28.99
ESLU605011RA1P
11 Speed
$32.99



No news yet about any newfangled 12-speed offerings, electric shifting, or the like. We've been waiting for something new on that front, and it seems we'll continue to do so for a little while yet.

Author Info:
dariodigiulio avatar

Member since Dec 25, 2016
194 articles

177 Comments
  • 348 0
 Essa Cues me?
  • 98 1
 Jar Jar Binks in the house!
  • 30 2
 No shit. Shimano Mega Range is back! It's like fashion - keep it in the closet long enough till it becomes in again.
  • 10 0
 Essa not'a bad price
  • 1 0
 Nice double take there! Wink
  • 90 8
 Somebody please just give me a solid wide range 9 speed that actually works well and doesn't weigh a crazy amount. I use like 4 or 5 gears ever when I ride my 12 speed equipped bikes.
  • 54 3
 Check out MicroSpline's 10 speed or the new Shimano Cues 10 speed. Both are pretty light and are 11-48T
  • 29 3
 advent x.
  • 9 0
 Box components and Microsoft also do a 9 speed drive train that are pretty solid with 11-50 cassettes. I’m not sure if it’s still in production but sram had an 8 speed ebike drivetrain that had a 10-48 tooth cassette.
  • 5 1
 @succulentsausage: Ive read some reviews which claim that microshifts clutch develops play after time leading to worse performance, is that still the case if anyone knows?
  • 5 0
 @winko: I know 2 guys that have been running microshift for at least 2 years with zero complaints. I've tried both their setups and would say it doesn't shift as smooth as shimano, but isn't enough to turn me off of them. I'll definitely go microshift myself the next time I buy an aftermarket drivetrain.
  • 23 1
 Do you never go fast or never go slow or just use the 2 fastest and 2 slowest?
  • 5 0
 @winko:

I had a full Advent X drivetrain. The short version, is that it was not reliable for me. I had less than 300 miles on mine when I tossed it. Specifically I think something went wrong with the clutch. Shifting got INCREDIBLY stiff/difficult. I'd tried to service the clutch, the shifter had already been replaced, and faced with needing to buy another derailleur, I decided to bail.

I really wanted to like it, I like less speeds, and the weight/price of the Advent X cassette was great for what it was.

I went to Deore 11speed (the super heavy ~650g steel 51-11t cassette), with an XT shifter, and things have been better since then (although the shimano derailleur clutch needs fairly frequent servicing).
  • 6 0
 @winko: I really wanted to like the microshift stuff, and for a while I did. However, the parallelogram rivets wear out after serious riding, and the clutch only works so well (in my opinion sram is good, shimano is great but the clutch affects shifting adversely, and microshift is not quite as good as sram but loud and heavy). So, microshift is really not great quality. If someone took all the good parts of everyone's stuff jesus christ it could be so good. But alas, we only do so much straightforward, logical stuff in the industry.
  • 3 0
 @winko: Didn't personally have that, I did like that I could manually tighten the clutch. Park days I could get it close to a Zee's tension and deal with the rougher shifting, then on longer pedal days I could back it off a bit and have it shift smoother. Was a fun little detail to play with. It isn't as smooth as Shimano or SRAM, for the price though I liked it.
  • 2 0
 @RonSauce:
I've been running 8spd Microshift Acolyte for over 2 1/2 years now. Bombproof and cheap, 12-46, and it has a clutch, unlike this set-up.
Dérailleur, cassette, shifter and chain cost under £65!
  • 3 0
 @ocnlogan: I had the same issues with Advent X, but it was more like after 30 miles not 300. Shifting was just not good.

I decided to get a wide range Deore 10sp cassette and mated it to a Saint shifter. SOOOOO much better.

Maybe I just had a dud, but I don't get the hype about the Microshift stuff.
  • 3 1
 I have Advent X on my XC bike and my gf's mountain bike. Those two bikes have the most miles in my stable. I've been through multiple SRAM and Shimano 12-speed groupsets on my enduro bike over the years but the Advent X stuff still work as well as the day I got them. I'm completely jaded on 12-speed groupsets now.
  • 5 0
 The CUES 9 speed has an 11-46t cassette option.
  • 3 1
 @succulentsausage: *Microshift
  • 3 1
 @TheSlayer99: *Microshift
  • 2 0
 @TheSlayer99: SRAM XG. $500 cassette...
  • 2 0
 @TheSlayer99: There's some interesting autocorrections happening here lol
  • 1 0
 @winko: I have about 1000 miles on the Advent on my hardtail and about the same on my gravel bike. I had to replace the derauileur on my gravel bike due to me being an idiot and messing up a bunny hope and landing on the derailleur destroying the cage. Otherwise zero issues.
  • 2 0
 Been running the Sram EX1 8spd on my bike for 3-4 years now and love it! 11-48 works well with a 30t up front. Agree with the person saying give me a 9spd 10-50t i'd be in heaven.

My other bikes have/had X01 eagle 12spd and XTR 12spd. EX shifting isn't as precise but punches way above it's weight.
  • 16 0
 @93EXCivic: bunny hope describes my technique pretty well.
  • 7 0
 @winko: you can tighten the clutch by removing the faceplate and tightening the little torx screw. I have had one of the pawls gunk up before but i fixed it with a bit of wd40. overall stellar drivetrain that fits my budget.
  • 2 0
 @dangernoodle92808:
And more than 12 gears we just needed some bigger cogs. I loved 11 speed and can't say a 46t cog ever stopped me going up something, nor has a 10t cog done me a bit of good. I do appreciate the 51t ... but now we can have them on regular old hg freehubs.
  • 3 1
 People seem to really like Advent as they always put a little x kiss after it.
  • 4 0
 This. I wish they would make a XT-level wide-range group with less gears. I want something that's light, durable and has ample ground clearance and fewer speeds are more than enough for, say, a cassette with 10-40T range.
  • 1 0
 @vitaflo: Saint shifter deore 10sp and zee wide range version rdr.
  • 1 0
 @Muscovir:

So much this.

These wide range cassettes for 8-11 speed drivetrains are awesome for a whole segments of users, except one thing.

They often weigh a TON. I’m far from a weight weenie (my Banshee weighs 40lbs), but I’d totally be interested in a 9/10/11 speed XT class cassette that uses microspline, still has good range (10-45t, 10-48t, maybe 10-51t, all of those would be fine options), and that didn’t weigh 650g+.


Right now Garubuk is one of the only options for that, with their cassettes weighing in around 300-330g, and costing ~$300.
  • 1 0
 @ocnlogan: what about 11 speed xt? less than 450g for a 11-46 casette
  • 1 0
 @xciscool:

Sort of works, but the jump between the easiest two cogs is fairly large (37 - 46). Plus it would be nice to have it use the 10t (that requires either microspline, or XD) for more total range.

Maybe one of these days I'll give it a try.
  • 2 0
 @ocnlogan: it’s 12 speed but you could do a SRAM XPLR derailier 10-44 cassette. It’s 12 speed but gets you a shorter cage and a 10t.
  • 1 0
 Microshift Advent X! its THE BEST
  • 1 0
 @hjulier: I run that on my hardtail. It’s incredible and has plenty of range.
  • 2 0
 @xciscool: that’s heavy compared to 11 speed XO which is only 270g for the 10-42 cassette, which is more than enough low range for my ebike.
  • 2 0
 @winko: I had 2 microshift X derailleurs, one is still on my commuter bike and is fine, the other was on a mountain bike and started doing some really weird stuff related to the clutch. I personally do not recommend it for off-road use. I still use their 10 speed cassettes, with Shimano shifters and derailleurs, I machine a custom link to make the Shimano derailleur a little longer to accommodate the 48t cog on the cassette (they are only rated for 46t).
  • 3 0
 @ocnlogan: its after the fact now, but your 11sp Deore rear derailleur will work with the 10sp AdventX cassette and shifter. If you still have the parts kicking around, keep them around as drivetrain spares. I find the AdventX cassette doesn't shift as smoothly as Shimano's cassettes and about equivalent to Sunrace's 11-46t 10sp cassette, but the price was right when AdventX was on clearout and its also a very competitve weight (especially for the money).

The Shimano 11sp M6000/7000/8000/9000 generation of rear derailleurs are not officially supposed to work with 10sp, but in mine and many others' experience it works well enough. And while officially only rated for a 46t max cog, it will get to 48t with minimal issues and many have been able to stretch it to 51t depending on your rear derailleur hanger geometry and chain growth on your rear suspension design.
  • 1 0
 @ronufoh:

Super helpful. I wasn't able to determine this at the time, so I replaced the whole shebang.

But I've still got the Advent X cassette sitting on the shelf in the garage. I'll totally try this at some point in the future.

Any idea of other brands 10 speed shifters work?
  • 3 0
 @ocnlogan: Any Shimano 10sp shifter should work. The reason 11sp Deore derailleurs will work with Advent X is because Advent X is based on an 11sp derailleur pull ratio even tho it's a 10sp drivetrain. This is also true for the wide range Deore 10sp stuff. So you can use any 11sp Shimano derailleur with Advent X or wide range Deore 10sp cassettes.

This is how I set up my 10sp 11-46t Deore cassette with 11sp SLX derailleur and Saint 10sp shifter. Buddy of mine has the same setup but uses an 11sp XT derailleur instead. It's a great setup, and if you have an Advent X cassette already you can use the same premise (and I did this with the Advent X groupset I have, swapping Shimano/Microshift parts in/out to experiment, but I just thought the Shimano stuff was better in general).
  • 2 0
 I'm very happy with my 10spd Deore rd-m5120, an slx front shifter and a Sunrace 11-46t cassette. I paired mine with a 28t front ring. Under $200 CAD. Buy the Deore rd-m5100 and you can go 51t at the back and 10 or 11spd
  • 1 0
 @ocnlogan: Sunrace 10 SPD 11-46t works great with Shimano and has an available alloy large cog. Very light, lasts forever. Pair it with a Deore derailleur and xt(r) shifter.
  • 1 0
 @woofer2609: I wouldn’t consider 436g very light. That’s not even kinda light.
  • 2 0
 @Twenty6ers4life:

Compared to SX/NX Eagle, or Deore 11s, its over 200g lighter though Smile .
  • 2 0
 @Twenty6ers4life: OK, maybe "very light" is pushing it, but light enough for the $57 CAD that I paid for 2 of them. Good value in my books, and shifts really well.
  • 1 0
 Microshit has the Advent (a 9 speed) and an Advent X (10 speed). They also have an 8 speed that I'm not familiar with. I used their 10 speed on my hard tail for 3 years and it was great. I'm using their 9 speed on my full suspension (only 3 months so far) and it also works really well. Very cheap too. I think cheaper than this Shimano offering.
  • 29 0
 For north shore riding and most techy climbing and riding, I think that 8 gears is enough. I like the combination of larger cassette (almost like the sunrace 46t) and put a 28 - 32 tooth chainring (whatever size you prefer), and you have a great climbing machine. For those areas where the terrain is gnarly with not much room for speed, this is all you need.
  • 2 1
 10-46 would be even better (or even 9-46), admittedly would need a microspline type freehub. Can't see why they can't make a more economical freehub to work with the smaller 9 or 10 t. And the arguments about friction or wear - come on - as other people are saying here - how often are you in the 10t gear - but when you want it, it sure is nice to have.
  • 2 0
 Riding Squamish and the Shore most of the time, I couldn't agree more, and this is the setup I've kind of settled on for most of my bikes. It's pretty much 3 gears on the way up, and then one or two other gears for the short flat sections before either climbing again, or letting gravity do its thing. Can't say I've ever wanted for shorter gearing.
  • 28 0
 Shimano: Hi all, we understand there are too many SKU's and its too hard for bike shops and customers. So we are releasing Cues which will simplify things with one standard and common parts. Yay!
Shimano: Never mind, here's another drivetrain which is not compatible. Enjoy your extra SKU's people!!!
  • 5 0
 I had the same thought. Why not integrate this into the Cues system or have a cassette like this available for their 9 speed setup.
  • 5 0
 @schu2470: All they had to do was use the same 11 speed spacing and cable pull ratio of Cues. It's not that hard.
I wonder why not? Different development teams each doing their own thing? What a mess.
  • 18 0
 If only I could get a wireless drivetrain that would loudly declare which gear I shifting into with a female Aussie accent.
"9th gear, sir"
"Granny gear, no worries!"
Maybe some random words of encouragement like, "Good on ya!?" "You little ripper!" "Time to crack open a tinny!"
  • 9 0
 Get the voice of the dankpods sexy speaker on it.
  • 6 0
 @pedalt0themedal: never though I would hear that name on PB. worlds collide i guess.
  • 2 0
 @pedalt0themedal: you think the derailleur could handle an assault from the One Grit?
  • 24 2
 Essa me…Shimano!!
  • 13 0
 Some weird responses to this. Anyone who has kids on regular 20" or 24" bikes will know they are mostly spec'd with 8 speed and have terrible range. This is a really nice improvement on that and will make the family outings much more fun!
  • 1 0
 I recently swapped out the clunky 2 x 8 Altus on my sons bike for a Cues 1 x 11 set up using a new Cues 1x crank, chain and cassette along with an XT11 spd clutch derailleur and shifter I already had lying around. Works brilliantly, he always struggled using the front derailleur, much easier with only one shifter to think about. Not often you can say this about anything MTB related but the Cues parts are great value too.
  • 11 0
 This is actually very cool for kids bikes. 8 speed Altus is pretty nice on my 6 year olds 24" hybrid, but he does run out of gears on longer rides with big hills. I suspect more than 8 gears would be annoying to him
  • 2 0
 I fitted 11-40 8spd cassettes on my kid's frogs. The Altus rear mechs just about coped.
  • 6 0
 Meh. They can pry my 10-speed Saint setup from my cold, dead hands. Light, robust, functional and more than enough range if you’re fit.
  • 3 0
 I have this and it works great w/ 11-34. Are you able to do a 36T or bigger?
  • 4 0
 @Snowytrail: I'm running an 11-38t cassette. Works flawlessly so far, although the derailleur is pretty much maxed out. I don't think 40t would be possible.
  • 1 0
 What size chainring are you running? 28T?

I run 10-42T SRAM cassette with 30T chainring on Shimano 11s XT and feel that's the perfect balance of range and longevity. Any steeper and I should hike the bike with this gearing. (27.5 rear wheel, 170mm cranks)
  • 2 0
 @TurboDonuts: exact same setup love it. I paid for the nice sram cassette 30t up front and range feels great. Sram derailleurs just dont seem to last the 11sp shim has been great
  • 8 2
 Gear jumps across the cassette from 11 to 45t:
cogs : 11-13-15-18-22-27-35-45T
Jumps: 8% 5% 22% 23% 30% 29%

Wow, those last two jumps are big.
  • 4 0
 Can anyone explain why Shimano might not make the jumps more even? They clearly believe in this way of doing it, but I can't find anything to like about it.
  • 7 0
 The correct jumps are 18%, 15%, 20%, 22%, 23%, 30% and 29%
  • 3 0
 To me, it is more for city-type bikes. For mtb, I would want the gear jumps to be opposite with the gearing tighter on the larger cogs for more efficient climbing.
  • 1 0
 @AndrewHornor:

Correct me if I'm wrong but -

What we feel is having even jumps in gear ratio, not in tooth count%. Gear ratios are # of front teeth/# of back teeth. Since these are back teeth, it's the difference in the reciprocal of these numbers which matter

The gap from 11 to 13 is 1/11-1/13 = 0.014

The gap from 35 to 45 is 1/35-1/45 = .006.

So even though the last jumps are the biggest in tooth count, the jump in gear ratio is the smallest. In between, the jumps are mostly around 0.010 but not exact (hard to do b/c they gotta span a huge range, and they can't have fractions of on tooth)

Personally I like having smallest jumps near the lowest gear - I'm probably doing seated spinning where cadence matters, vs on the top end I'm probably standing anyway
  • 1 0
 @nicholasha: the jumps you calculated as smallest, I want them even smaller. I want an appropriate jump relative to the speed I'm travelling. 35t to 45t feels huge at walking speed. It's a discouraging amount of speed to lose on a steep climb. I'd rather have a 40t in between and happily give up one of the middle gears I never use.

But as @tacklingdummy says, they've optimized this cassette for city use, not MTB. That probably is the correct choice for the price range.

And so I see I fell into one of the common PB commenter mistakes: assuming oneself to be the target audience of every product ever released.
  • 1 0
 @AndrewHornor: Agree that the 35-45t jump would feel awful. But after all, we're only talking about 8 speeds. Hard to get both good spacing and range from that few cogs

Given that the jumps are actually decreasing throughout nearly the entire range (I did the math again to correct myself earlier - the gaps are [0.0140 0.0103 0.0111 0.0101 0.0084 0.0085 0.0063]), the entire low range is already the tighter-spaced end, so I don't necessarily think this is optimized for city use as @tacklingdummy says

Anyways, I'm glad we're fortunate enough to have so many products to choose from Big Grin
  • 4 0
 It doesn't look like it has a clutch, so hopefully it has a nice strong spring. The main problem I encounter with these really low end drive trains (Altus, Acera) is chain retention on rough terrain.
  • 8 0
 A stronger mech spring isn't necessarily the answer - that just puts more potential energy into system and doesn't necessarily calm the chain flap down
  • 3 1
 A good chainring tooth profile is better than a clutch at taming chain drop. Since Essa is 1x only, they didn't have to compromise the tooth profile at all. Most NW rings, the teeth height is the same as with 2x/3x cranksets, but simply making the teeth taller also retains the chain in place better.
  • 4 0
 @deeeight:
yes, but a clutch good chainring tooth profile is still better.
  • 1 0
 Good point; for my rental bikes, Altus has been good (enough). Bike brands are mounting Tourney derailleurs… up till now 4 have been ripped off the bikes.
  • 3 0
 But what does it weigh? This is very close to what I'm looking for (less gears, lower price) but I'm only taking that jump for less weight. Compatible with tourney sounds like it must be made out of the heaviest steel around and that is an important detail. And by less weight I mean less than slx 12 spd.
  • 6 0
 Given it costs $160 I assume it weighs 160lbs.
  • 7 1
 I guess this works with regular HG mountain freehubs?
  • 6 0
 It is written so on the cassette
  • 3 0
 It says “SHIMANO HG” right on it so I’d venture to guess that yes
  • 4 0
 @mariomtblt: it could be written even bigger, though...
  • 11 0
 @Muckal: S H I M A N O H G
  • 5 0
 If this had a clutch, it could be all I need. It would be nice to have double shift all the time.
  • 2 0
 Yeah that's all I was reading through this for. But it seems not surprising it's clutchless within that lower range. Maybe don't want to screw over their lowest end CUES clutched system by releasing this.

Great for MicroShift cuz otherwise this would likely eat right into their market (still might do it tbh). But if it only has 'decent' spring tension, I'd rather have MicroShift's clutch system. Or just CUES/Deore
  • 5 0
 @lepigpen: Sunrace offers a shimano 2:1 ratio compatible rear derailleur with a clutch that's will work with all the shimano 9sp (or lower) shifters, with the capability in the middle cage version to work with an 11-51 cassette range for approximately 270 grams weight and they cost about $60 CAD each.
  • 1 0
 @deeeight: 0_0 why have i never heard of this? is it funky and clunky? what cassette are people pairing with it for 9 speeds though? this new one I guess? maybe CUES? I've been wanting to go MicroShift for a while but my Deore has just been running too good
  • 2 0
 @lepigpen: They make their own cassettes:
sunrace.com/product/csm993-9az
  • 5 0
 Glad to see the guys who make compatibility charts are being kept in business
  • 5 0
 What is crazy is that Shimano has not us dealers know any info on this product. Nothing the dealer training site.
  • 2 0
 RIGHT ON!, those of you who find 12 speeds a little on the ridiculous side. Not a roadie. Don't give a RAF about keep my cadence exactly the same from garage to destination. Only use every other cog - so it's a 1x6. Is this why I see so much about folks loving their 11spd drivetrains? ME TOO!! Building a hardtail now. It'll get 1x11. But what I'd REALLY REALLY like is more like this 8spd. Based on 12spd tech, for a narrower cassette - which would allow wider hub flange spacing & less cross-chaining. At an XT or GX grade. A wide-angle cassette - say 10-48 - with more even steps between cogs (tx Sunrace for all you do). And please please please off that absolutely STOOPID massive step to granny. It smelled bad then, and still does.
  • 1 0
 I like the direction. Think if they could figure out a bit more top end, 8 speed would be all I need.

With 170 cranks I need a 50 cog, (with 29 rear wheel). I could go 45 but then I'd need 175 cranks, (or a 27.5 rear wheel).

The big drop in chain width and strength happens when you go above 8 speeds so there's that too.

Nice work Shimano, keep whoever is coming up with the this stuff on staff please!
  • 3 2
 "it's not exactly what we'd been expecting from them. It's not wireless, 13-speed, or AI-controlled"

If that's what you expected from Shimano, you haven't been paying attention for a long time. They don't roll like that, never really have. The closest thing I can think of to just chucking shit at the wall to see what sticks is the DualControl MTB brifters from 15 years ago!
  • 6 1
 Are you tryin to get crazy, ESSA?
  • 2 0
 Saca la bolsita
  • 2 0
 Microshift introduced short reach shifters a while back. Compatible with their various wide range entry level systems, plus they had mini derailleurs to match.
  • 2 0
 I bought into that set for my kids bike...... had the choice between the Microshift Accolyte and Shimano Zee as both could be set up with similar gearing.

The claims from microshift were: easier gear changes (less force required), compact derailleur for smaller wheels, and a clutch for the rough stuff....

After buying the set.... the mech is considerably bigger than a Zee derailleur, more force required at the thumb to change to an easier gear with more stroke required, and the clutch requires an allan key.... and at the same time did very little.

Overall it did everything worse than a Zee setup and cost just about the same (Deore shifter/cassette etc....)

I had high hopes, but were crushed in every conceivable way.
  • 2 0
 They need to roll out this value stuff to get oem bike prices down, the average person starting out can't fathom even a deore level spec anymore.
  • 3 0
 This drivetrain will be sweet relief for some of my older vintage mtb's that need a freshening big-time!
  • 1 0
 Can we have a 10sp cassette/derailleur/shifter that fits Microspline but with a spacer to bring the biggest cog more inline with the chainring?

14-16-18-21-24-28-33-39-45-51T

I'd buy that in a heartbeat.
  • 4 0
 Essa surprise to be sure
  • 12 10
 Why put numbers on shifters?Nobody reads that when they ride and they look WalMart.
  • 19 4
 I bet more people look at them than you realize... for most, it beats having to turn your head down and look at the cassette.
  • 44 0
 It's for riders who are new to biking - it makes it easier for them to figure out how the shifter functions. That's why there are indicators on entry-level shifters and not on the pricier stuff.
  • 14 0
 they should just put 13 on it so everyone thinks they have all the gears
  • 26 0
 I don't need numbers on my shifters but I do need some kind of notification - maybe a fart sound - when I'm in my lowest gear and try to shift lower. Maybe the Homer doh! sound or maybe watwatwatwahhh.
  • 5 0
 @mikekazimer: this.

My 6yo uses the indicators to figure out which way she is shifting relative to how it "feels" in terms of effort.
  • 4 0
 typically you can remove the indicator piece if you end up not using it.
  • 6 0
 the numbers dont even go up to 11
  • 2 1
 Kids look at them. These are for kids bikes.
  • 2 0
 Recently introduced a buddy to MTB and he has never ridden a bike with gears before. This would've made the transition much easier. There's plenty of folks that this would work well for.
  • 2 0
 I rode without numbers for a long time, then got an XT shifter with numbers.... love just looking at the shifter instead of all the way down at the cassette to see what gear im in.
  • 2 0
 I have di2 and I always look at the numbers. Why wouldn't you if you can?
  • 1 1
 For the Asian market the gear indicator for number four is missing as four is an unlucky number. Similar to no floor 13 in elevator panels.
  • 1 4
 Old folks before indexing was a thing can intuitively tell what gear they're in just from pedal pressure but all thse kids today who stare at their phones all the time need numbers desperately to tell one gear from another. You want to REALLY mess with their minds, build a bike with a 6 speed SIS thumbshifter run in friction mode across an 9 or more speed cassette, and see what happens if someone much younger asks to try your bike.
  • 1 1
 Hmm. Mountain bikers must have a much lower IQ than a roadie. When's the last time you saw numbers on road shifters? Parents! Teach your children well!
  • 2 2
 @mikekazimer: I respect what you're saying, and in theory, that would seem to be a good reason. But, c'mon! My first bike was a 1969 Schwinn Varsity. A ten speed. Did it have gear number indicators? NO! My first car, at 151/2 was a Toyota Celica 5 speed. Did it have gear number indicators? No! Just an "R" for radio!
  • 2 0
 Taking this thread to heart and scrubbing all the marks from the compression and rebound knobs to reminisce about the good ol' days of ignorance. No crutches, no bullshit, give the dials a random twiddle and ride blind.
  • 3 0
 @chrod: Ha! I think the rabbit and turtle, on the shifters, would be more fun for the little kiddies!
  • 1 0
 @rsvpnsnsnnp: I thought "R" was for race?
  • 1 0
 @cornichons: On XTR it is. Original group name when it was being developed in 1991 was Deore XT-R, where the R was Race.
  • 1 0
 @deeeight: I was referring to the "R" on the stick ;-)
  • 1 0
 @deeeight: Exactly! If it's too hard to pedal, shift down!, if you're spinning it out, shift up!
Never been an issue in all the years I've been on an MTB. And 1993 was quite awhile ago.........
  • 2 0
 @GT-CORRADO: just like the transition from friction shifters to thumb shifter to grip shifter to triggers, it just takes time for some folks to connect the gearing with the operation of the shifter. It's part of the reason I started my kiddo on trigger shifters, I didn't want her confused by Grip Shifters so common on kids bikes.

It's also why SRAM spent so much time trying to replicate the trigger shifter feel on AXS. Yes, you can adapt to Blip buttons and other styles of shifter operation, but it takes time.

For new riders, there are a lot of other muscle-memory type things they are focusing on - braking, turning, balance, pedaling, situational awareness, traction, etc.
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: SRAM f*cked up so bad with AXS shifters. Look what Shimano did with di2, ergonomically it feels identical to a regular shifter. Seems to me like they spent no time at all on it and tried to create something that felt different. Possibly to get people used to it and make them think Shimano or non electric drivetrains felt weird to them so they would stay with AXS. I have had both and I just can't use AXS except on the drop bar style shifters.
  • 1 0
 @warmerdamj: Ok, I honestly have never felt the AXS shifter so I'm not sure how similar they are, but your comment is proof that we do get somewhat attached to the feel of a traditional trigger shifter and how slight changes in those ergonomics can complicate the mere act of "shifting up when going up, shift down when going down."
  • 1 0
 @warmerdamj: interesting, I have no problems with the AXS XX1 shifter on one bike, and mechanical X01 on the other bike. Though I will be swapping AXS for mechanical soon as I just don't like dealing with batteries.

The worst is the Dura AceDi2, I hate those. And also hate batteries.
  • 1 0
 @AndrewFleming: You can turn on a notification on a Garmin that will let you know when you are in your highest and lowest gears. With the total lack of feedback through the shifter it is nice to have that beep to let you know.
  • 1 0
 @JSTootell: at least the di2 batteries require very little charging.
  • 1 0
 @JSTootell: Wow, I had no idea! I use a cable-based drivetrain so that's not an option for me. And I got rid of the Garmin this year and even stopped taking my phone on most rides. But all that sounds tempting!
  • 2 0
 @warmerdamj: true, I get a few weeks out of the Di2 on my roadie. I'm guessing 500-1000 miles. I've drained an AXS battery on one MTB ride a couple of times.
  • 2 0
 I bet it’s fantastic. All all you need to have fun in the woods. And rarely needs to be adjusted.
  • 3 0
 Yeah, surprised to see the Pinkbike editor is waiting for an electronic offering. I primarily see people complain and call foraffordable and reliable stuff, not more expensive bells and whistles. 12sp wide range expensive electronic stuff is already out there, affordable (both initial purchase and maintenance/spares) wide range stuff is what seems most needed. Either this or people will continue to find 12sp SX and NX stuff on their 4k bikes.
  • 3 0
 @vinay: I'm not asking for more complication or cost, it's just been some time since we've seen a Shimano retort to the recent drivetrains released by Sram.
  • 1 0
 Stuff like this is good, I wonder how durable it'd be in proper off road use, cheap enough to replace the odd part when it fails I guess. Good work Shimano.
  • 2 0
 Ah! Now I can break out my old SIS XT Thumbies with the 'hidden' 8th click.
  • 1 0
 I'm so glad I stocked up on the X01 11sp cassettes and mechs when they went on sale. That and the XTR levers is all I'll ever need for trail and enduro riding.
  • 2 2
 "I'm gonna start my own company, you want in? You heard of this thing, the 11-speed drivetrain? Well this is gonna blow that out of the water.... 8-speed drivetrains!"
  • 6 0
 If I am not satisfied do I get the other 3 gears for free?
  • 2 0
 If you'd have told 90s Korev that he'd go from 18 gears to 24, 27, 20 and then 12 then he'd have never believed you Smile
  • 4 0
 Well, do I have some gr( 8 ) news for you!
  • 1 0
 @thustlewhumber: My f8 is sealed...
  • 2 0
 If only that cassette was on an alloy carrier....
  • 2 0
 I will take this over AI controlled any day of the week
  • 1 0
 Fully guaaaranteed to not rust, bust or collect dust for the 1st 30 feet or 30 seconds you own it!! (Billy Mays voice)
  • 1 0
 So premium 8 speed? Was hoping to see trickle down to entry level price points.
  • 1 0
 Why can’t we just have dual rings at the front again, all these gears on the back are getting ridiculous.
  • 1 0
 We can't make front derailers anymore. The knowledge has been lost to the ages. 1x is junk, IMO. Give me 2x10 MTB or 2x11 road all day long. I just installed a 2x10 Microshift Sword group the other day, good ish.
  • 1 0
 Getting back to basics with gear ratios rather than the stupid SRAM's bullshit % teeth spread ratio over the cassette dish.
  • 1 0
 Perhaps for city bikes, but not for mtb. The gearing is not good for climbing.
  • 1 0
 Next up, Shimano re-releases a 2x9 or 2x10 speed (my all time favorite) mixed terrain group. They're playing catch-up in the OEM market after Microshift made significant inroads. Just installed a Microshift Sword group, good ish.
  • 1 0
 @goodgnus: Perhaps. I liked the 2x10 a lot especially for climbing with a heavier enduro-type bike, but hated the chain suck. I did have a hard time getting away from the 2x10 to go to 1x11, but now 1x11 is my favorite. Saves weight, cleans up the bar, and not missing front derailleur. Not sure if I would consider a 2x10 groupset again, but who knows.
  • 1 0
 Will the chainring be replaceable or is it riveted? I fear it's the latter.
  • 1 0
 Small hand friendly but just like CUES they can't be bothered to make a 165mm crank arm option? Weak. Failwhale.
  • 1 1
 It's weird that Shimano's cheap-ass derailleurs are better looking than their high end derailleurs.
  • 2 2
 11 is a huge bummer with 45 upper limit, downsizing smaller cog dramatically increase range with minimal weight penalty
  • 1 0
 But how useful is that range? How fast will the likely target demographic of this group be going?
  • 2 0
 Sunrace makes 11spd cassettes with much more useful & even step-ups in cog sizes. And with granny cogs to 50T. And with no stupid massive step-up between the grannies.

Problem is they-re limited to HG & XD drivers. So spinout is still a real risk if you're HG & depending in where you're riding. I'm climbing extended tech single-track with 11spd. 28T ring & 11/46 SR cassettes - and find that I'm giving up little to nothing, compared to my 12spd 30T & 10/50.

I love the more even steps between cogs, and have found the SR cassettes to outlast any Shimo unit I've worn out. Tho chain-grade makes a huge difference here, too.

If you're shopping - give SR a shot. It's not a cheap experiment - but doubt you'd be disappointed. Newer cassettes have extended their grannies to 51T cogs. Tho they're all HG as near as I can figure.

BTW - I'm running GX drivetrain w/X01 chains on both my HT & FullSus 11spds. Absolutely no issues with the derailleur & 11/46 range. Both units are rock solid & reliable shifters acriss that range. Haven't tried the 51T options. Wish my GX 1x12 worked as well
  • 1 0
 @jimicarl: I'll second this love for Sunrace cassettes. I care more about durability than weight, so my last couple have been the ones with all steel cogs and aluminum spiders. They last forever with GX chains, have perfect shift ratios, and shift smooth.
  • 1 0
 @jimicarl: if only we could do something to add a high and low gear to, like the front, maybe? I don't know, sounds too complex. Maybe we're just too lazy.
  • 1 0
 @goodgnus: HA!! My bride's still rocking a 2x10 drivetrain. 22/32. Spinout is simply a non-issue for her. As I'm laboring behind looking for every shortcut & trying in vain to match her cadence. And climbing? Pisses me off!! Looking at replacing her crankset to shorten the arms. Discussing a move to 1x11. We'll see. She likes being out front!
  • 1 0
 my point was not about amount of cogs, however about smaller cog size, 9-45 cassette with 9-10-12 gears.
  • 1 0
 My work bike a Giant Talon is 2 by 8 giddy up
  • 1 0
 They felt the competition from apex group set
  • 1 0
 Nope, Microshift.
  • 1 0
 Anyone know if you could put this on a gravel bike?
  • 1 0
 when will it be available?
  • 1 0
 what a great option for townies and misc bike prokects. go shimano!
  • 1 1
 Re-Release this cassette, but with 12sp cog spacing. please and thankyou
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