Shimano introduces a new drivetrain technology today, Linkglide. It’s designed not to be the lightest weight but to prioritise durability and shift performance. It also represents something of a fork in the road for the brand’s drivetrains. There will still be Hyperglide+, and this will remain the lightweight fast shifting performance range, while Linkglide will sit alongside their current offerings, as opposed to replacing them.
Shimano claims that their testing shows that Linkglide cassettes are 300% more durable than prior Hyperglide cassettes, and three times less degradation to the cassette should mean fewer chain skips, more mileage, and better shifting long into the cassette’s lifespan.
Linkglide will be available in either 10 speed Deore (RD-M5130-SGS) or 11 speed Deore XT (RD-M8130-SGS).
Before we all celebrate too quickly, there is one small catch - the Linkglide technology, while introduced in Deore 1x10 or XT 1x11 speed as a highly durable option, is not cross compatible or retrofittable with current drivetrains due to different gear pitches. All Linkglide components will feature a logo to differentiate them from their stablemates.
A CS-LG600-11 11-50T XT cassette, pictured, weighs 780g. The CS-LG600-10 11-43T Deore cassette is slightly lighter at 634g.
The teeth of Linkglide cassettes are made from plated steel with a new shape to reduce wear and tear. The teeth feature a thicker and more robust construction to prevent wear in the areas that experience the most degradation over time. Linkglide cassette teeth are also taller and stronger towards the tips to prevent chain skipping and tooth deformation, even as the miles add up. Sprockets 11T, 13T, 15T of the cassettes are replaceable.
The Linkglide cassettes also feature a new shifting gate design and position, enabling the chain to move smoothly across the sprockets. These gates aim to reduce pedal shock or jumps during shifting, providing better pedaling fluidity and smoother pedaling performance.
The SL-M8130-R XT shifter; the SL-M5130-R Deore shifter is available with an optional shift window.
Two new shifters, again Deore and XT, are available. The XT has multiple clamping options whereas the Deore makes do with a simple band. The shifters use a different pull ratio to the rest of Shimano's range so are not compatible with non-Linkglide systems. They are, however, somewhat interchangeable with each other thanks to a linear pull ratio. That means an 11 speed shifter will work on a 10 speed derailleur.
Linkglide cassettes are compatible with standard HG freehubs. To accompany the new Linkglide cassettes, there are also new Deore XT and Deore derailleurs and shifters. The derailleurs feature Shimano’s Shadow RD+ low profile design and clutch mechanism.
All Linkglide drivetrains use a common chain design, regardless of the number of cogs on the cassette. Existing 11-speed Shimano chains are compatible with Linkglide drivetrains. It’s perhaps also worth noting that all Shimano 11-speed chains are currently e-bike rated or e-bike designed and that whilst the gear pitch changes on Linkglide cassettes, the required chain pitch does not.
One thing tho, are there any references about the derailleur being any tougher than normal? Reading this on the go
780g for an XT 11-50 tooth cassette is a lot. I'm not fussed by a few extra grams at the wheels center. An extra 100g here or there, not a problem for me. But this is 400g+ extra weight over many other cassettes on the market today. Literally a full pound heavier than many. That's not nothing.
Definitely aimed at the e-bike crowd, and those who are not at all weight sensitive.
Could have fooled me. I thought the market was calling for more 'analog' bike parts, not e-bike parts. I mean, regular cassettes, chains, and derailleurs are sold out into 2022...
We'll all be riding e-bikes in no time at this rate because that's all that will be available. I am smelling a conspiracy here I think. E-bikes are being forced upon us (lol)!
Ps - I have absolutely nothing against e-bikes. I just wish regular bike parts were more available right now.
Then again, 300g extra is a lot. It'll be interesting to see where customers fall on this one.
You, with a mid-season mechanical, at your bike shop: "Hey, I broke my chain."
Your bike shop: "We're out of chains until 2022, but we can sell you this eBike, chain included!"
It's going to be a rough year. A word of wisdom, buy yourself any spare parts you may need this season NOW, otherwise that little joke may actually become reality!
This also just adds to the compatibility nightmare of working in a bike shop, now you have 2 different 10 and 11 speed Shimano drivetrains that aren't compatible with each other. If I owned a shop I would be tempted to just ditch Shimano and go SRAM wireless for new drivetrain sales, it's so much more reliable and superior shifting than the cable crap.
The fact that Shimano feels obliged to introduce this just shows that they themselves don't think their existing drivetrains are accurate and reliable. I agree, they aren't. But entirely new technology that eliminates the rear derailleur is the answer, not polishing the old fashioned turd technology that's been around for 100 years. The claim of 300% more durability is very dubious. Does anybody really believe that? A little bit of grass in the derailleur is still likely gonna throw off the shifting, a rock or stick can still break or bend the derailleur in a split second, and there is still break in adjustment/cable stretch.
This is not progressive technology from any perspective. You still have the archaic, unreliabile derailleur chain technology that is likely to break or shit it's pants in bad weather. But now it's heavier and is not compatible with hyperglyde. This intro is almost a month late, should have been introduced on April fools day. Shimano is lost again, like when it took them 5 years to realize 1x was a thing.
When not being able to get parts means not being able to fix your bike to ride it after a mechanical, I think that's cause for concern. No? New or old, 2012 or 2021, if you can't get a chain mid season and you are off your bike for the remainder of the year, that is problematic. You totally missed the point.
We had a customer, from our of market, try to buy multiple chains to 'stock up' like you are suggesting. I told him this and I'll tell you the same:
"If everyone only buys what they NEED, when they NEED it, then we will all (for the most part) get to ride this summer and into the fall when parts demand will slow down and supply can start to play catch up. If you (and everyone else) buy one spare chain and two sets of spare brake pads and have them on your garage shelf all year, I can guarantee that will mean someone else doesn't get to ride this summer because the supply chain does not have 2x the chains and brake pads available."
We are all in this together. And if everyone just chills out and takes what they need, not what stops their anxiety, then we will all get to pedal on and keep it together! There are enough parts to go around. It just takes some creativity on all of us to get there!
People are realising that unreliable, 500 dollar cassette, 12 speed drivetrains arent really up to the task of serious MTB.
New pull ratio meaning Shimano expects shops to carry yet another system along side their old stuff, Sram, Box, Sunrace, Microshift and Campy.
Shimano shifting and retention sucks a minute after you install because they eliminated all the room for error during the idiotic N+1 cog race that doesn't serve anyone well in the real world and was completely uneccessary.
Everyone BUT Shimano has 8 and 9 spd wide ratio systems because once again Shimano is too arrogant to listen to the market. Bur wait 3 years and they will.
So what do we have here? Another closed system and attempt by Shimano to force everyone to only use only their shit. The big revelation? heavy hard steel cogs last longer... what a f*cking break through by a company that can't even keep up with the market on one of their ebikes.
Oh how the mighty have fallen. I hope you can't find ship dates for Sunrace and Microshift any where because the supply situation helped them to scoop up Shimano's bread and butter. Shimano is a company that really needs to have their asses handed to them in a big way when this is the best they can do.
This is however my favorite bike industry press release ever. Shimano said yeah, we know our old shit sucks but the new stuff won't be better but we claim it will last 3x longer. Great! 9 weeks of almost good reliable shifting! I guess that's a life time under the Shimanosphere. Yay Shitmano.
Hey Shimano, if you're listening you all drive cars right? Motorcycles? You wouldn't tolerate a car or even a motocross race bike you had to replace the transmission in every 3 months to a year so why the f*ck do you expect us to tolerate that from our bicycles?
So to improve their crappy shifting, Shimano is doing what SRAM did decades ago by changing the pull ratio, and making it incompatible with all the previous Shimano groups. Slow walking stubborn idiots!
I hate SRAM almost as much, but their shifting technology blows Shimano out of the water. This is just heavy garbage that is a decade too late.
If you only had a little idea of sram groupsets wholesale prices vs shim...
I cant for the life of me think of why this would be applicable when 10, and 11 speed offerings still exist, and Shimano makes a range of 11 and 12 speed offerings.
This, coupled with a 1.8 head tube standard is the start of more E-bike specific equipment that isn’t cross compatible with what we currently have.
Even if the Pinion was less efficient, then my question would be: is this efficiency delta equivalent or smaller than switching tyre casing type? Say, going from Exo+ to DD or from DD to DH casing. Because if is, then I would mind it at all.
You maybe have more weight on the BB but you lose your casette, so additional 300/550g less on the back for better working damping. Count the lost derailleur and you can be lose even more. More mass on the low BB is really good so I would not care of its additional 500-1000g.
On the other hand I'd like to have a proper objective efficiency comparison, but in realistic conditions. Because, like I said, if the difference was within certain brackets, then I would care either.
Pinkbike community: "LAME! Literally no one wants that."
Industry: "Check out our new e̶-̶b̶i̶k̶e̶ parts."
Pinkbike community: "Awesome! Exactly what I wanted!"
The most notable thing is the long crank vagueness while changing gears because of the slack there will be between gears. But then again, never was a problem, as I always back down the power during shifts.
Based on this, I really think Adevent X is the sweet spot.
Broken clock and all that
And selling fewer cassettes! They could almost avoid being held up with that annoyance altogether if they only sold this hunk of iron. They could get back to selling the big $ stuff like grips, co2, tubes.
On my commuter/touring bike I clock 3-4000 miles a year. I also ride through the winter, even when it snows. So for me it's one cassette every 2-3 years.
Or coming into the shop without their bike and just say "I need a 10 speed shimano chain" and have no idea what the differences are.
There is also a new chain specific to it, but certain HG+ chains may work.
@handynzl they said gear pitch not chain pitch. It states near the bottom that existing HG chains are compatible
The real question: Old 11 speed are the same pull ratio as this new stuff? This is my question!
We've more than lost the weight savings that 1X promised.
Nobody I ride with is concerned about being able to pedal over speeds of over 25km/h in all mountain, or enduro.
E-bikes are limited to 32jm/h anyway.
Put another way, I'd rather coast down than walk up.
I actually moved my 3rd-smallest cog inside the granny gear to improve the climbing chainline because I use the small gears so rarely. Obviously terrain varies, and I'm guessing your trails are wider open than mine.
On the once-or-twice-a-year Whistler trip I will spin out my 32:11 a couple times, but I'd still be happy to go to a 30 or even 28t chainring with a more compact cassette to save weight. Make it steel, cancel out those weight savings for durability, and I'd be even happier.
This is an awesome idea. Never looked at chainline from the perspective of anything other than chainring offsets and crank spacers.
If I'm going over 25 or 30km/h, I'll just coast, and that's usually on the road home. I'd hazard that most people riding the Shore or Squamish are about the same. I cannot think of any trail I'd want to continue to accelerate past 25km/h.
I was inspired by Andrew Major's series "Does The Future Have Fewer Gears" on NSMB. Good nerdy reading if you haven't seen that.
Why would someone ride an all-mountain bike (which I would consider 140-160mm travel on both ends) on trails that are flat-ish?
I'm an advocate of "Horses for courses", in which you could have an XC bike designed around a 34t ring, trail bikes around a 30/32t, and all mountain bikes around a 27 or 28t front chainring.
I'm thinking of the cassettes I have worn out over the years, none of which became useless because of the 11t wearing out. It was always the 34 or 36t ring wearing out and skipping, meaning that I'm using the 34t more than 3X the amount as I am the 11t.
Gear a bike for the 90% of the riding it will see, not the 10%.
I kinda thought that's what trail/all-mountain/enduro type of biking generally was?
I can't really picture a ride that prioritizes hammering tall gearing down a hill smooth enough to pedal?
"Nobody I ride with is concerned about being able to pedal over speeds of over 25km/h in all mountain, or enduro."
I'm generally dismissive of wanting to pedal above 25km/h on an all mountain or enduro bike. I place much more emphasis on an efficient ride up vs walking or always being in the bail out gear.
I fully understand wanting to hammer on an XC bike, especially when racing.
Running a 10-51t cassette on an all mountain bike where the 10t gets used almost never, but the 51t wears out is a waste of money and resources, as well as adding weight that could be alleviated with better design based on the presumed/intended purpose of the bike.
I'm with you that 1x drivetrains can be too heavy, and this new line takes it to a new level. But I also recognize that it's not aimed at me (I don't have an ebike; and I want wide range *and* reasonably light weight, and I'm willing to pay for more frequent replacement of SRAM or Hyperglide components). So I can give it a pass and not insist that my way is the only way.
You'd make the rapid rise/dual control/shift display window/front derailleur proponent faction at Shimano very uncomfortable.
We never thought we'd get what we want!!! That's not fair!
If the 12S chains are more durable than the old 11S, then why use the old 11S?
The cubes are only 135mm, but at least they removed that rachet system that only sticks. Then another place that could be used the normal Deore 12S cube.
The chain has an 11S profile, but did not specify a crank. So which one should I use?
780g for the cassette is absolute fail IMO.
Looks like my stock NX Eagle setup has found its replacement.
Yes, a unique chain pitch would surely be a nightmare! But, I'm wondering if "different chain pitch" is actually an error in terms and is referring instead to cog spacing? Because there is also this at the bottom of the article
"Existing 11-speed Shimano chains are compatible with Linkglide drivetrains".
Hey Toby, when will Box be making MTB brakes to complement your fantastic Box 1 components?
Why not? This set interest me, except for the 1 lb penalty for the cassette. Why not make a non-e-bike rated cassette that has a more reasonable weight? Hell, why not make a boost/mtn bike compatible internal-geared hub? Its not like the e-bike crowd is going to service their bike at all. Weight penalty is minimal given they just made a cassette that weighs as much as a baby rhino, and honestly, do e-bike riders really need 455% percent range? The current 11-speed alfine provides 409%.
I mean, just take a look:
their XT option 11-46 weights up to 400 gr and considered heavy and durable
another wyf moment in cycling
Do you have more info? How thick are those cogs?
If memory doesn't fail, XT 11/46 11Speed cassete was around 450ish
So you removed a FD and added it's weight back on the rear wheel.
Point was everyone went gaga over 1x and a big part of it everyone was drooling about was the weight savings.
But then as time goes on it wasn't enough range so the pie plate on the rear grew to a dinner plate and the weights saving are gone.
You complained about the weight, yet you haven't had an issue with the cassettes getting heavier for 1x.
Shimano: Hold my beer
Is it going to be like a MS EXCEL formula? $L$G
Not saying e-bikes should die, but the impact needs to stop getting downplayed. No more "it's you but just a little faster" bullshit spewed out alongside cheers for "e-bike specific" extra heavy-duty parts.
It’s a pretty specific system that you either want or not - don’t really see the point of mixing it with other systems.
You have to love when a company especially one as big and arrogant as Shimano admits their product sucks. No its not us folks a few weeks of riding and that shinny new shifting starts going for a shit.
Boy does it get better though!
Linkglide. It’s designed not to be the lightest weight but to prioritise durability and shift performance. It also represents something of a fork in the road for the brand’s drivetrains. There will still be Hyperglide+, and this will remain the lightweight fast shifting performance range, while Linkglide will sit alongside their current offerings, as opposed to replacing them.
Translation: Shimano can give you good shifting or a drivetrain that lasts longer than a week.
What a f*cking marketing faf from a company that should be able to do better. But is it? Its right on par with the shitty performance performance of their current drivetrains according to them.
What about that gear box. If these idiots cant get a derailleur system right how the hell will they ever get a gear box right? They've had 50 years to make their derailleurs and internal hubs right.
f*ck, if you ask them on S-tech why their shit doesn't work as promised you get either woe is Shimano nobody does what we tell them and it messes our products up or you're wrong because shimano is perfect from their head tech Shooj.
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