Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Shimano bring out XT with 11 speeds

Posted by Matt | April 16, 2015 | 5 comments so far

Shimano XT 11 speed crankset
OK, who did NOT see this one coming? In fact, who has NOT been looking forward to the day Shimano have to eat humble pie again and follow SRAM’s lead with 1×11 gearing on their mainstream groupsets?

Yes, XT is mainstream. On the aspirational (go on, treat yourself) side of mainstream but still a popular choice for mountain bikers. And now available in 11-speed.

The news has been widely trumpeted across the bike-flavoured interweb the past couple of days but I’m am surprised and somewhat grateful for the fact that no-one appears to have managed to squeeze in a ‘goes to 11’ Spinal Tap reference. Oh, wait…

Actually, if you’re keen you can go to 33 as Shimano haven’t completely climbed down from their ‘more gears, smaller gaps’ ethos that they’ve stuck to for so long. Imagine this, you can have an 11-40 cassette with a 40-32-22 triple at the front. 22×40?? That’s insane! According to that’s 14.6 gear inches versus 18.4 gear inches from a back-in-the-day 22×32 set up on a 26 inch wheeled mountain bike. I’m not sure I could keep my balance on anything that warranted that gearing, I’d be below walking pace!

Shimano XT 11 speed cassette

So back to reality. We now have 1×11 XT with 11-40 cassettes. That’s going to be an awfully popular build option I reckon…

Filed under 2015, News in April 2015


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 5 comments on ‘Shimano bring out XT with 11 speeds’

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  1. Elliot says:

    The cassette is a mere £75 and fits to a normal freehub…Shimano just hit the ball out of the park! That’s where Sram went wrong and even their new ‘value option’ GX cassette is £115 and needs an XD freehub.

    On the downside I’m a bit disappointed to see the silver components go as I think they looked classier for longer 🙁

  2. JR says:

    Fits into a normal free hub? Great idea. A good upgrade option from 2×10.

  3. KevS says:

    Matt. By the time your riding shoes/boots have rubbed off the black finish they will look proper scuffed with grey bits showing through. Hardcore racer style. 🙂

  4. tony says:

    I agree Matt – they have hit the nail on the head with their 1×11. I will be a great option even at 2×11. I also think that the chain set is one of the better ones for a few years (Matt’s pic doesn’t do it justice).

    Of course us darkside owners of Italian bike component jewellery have been using reassuringly expensive 11speed Ti cassettes for years…..

  5. DaveW says:

    So when / where can I get some?

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