Shimano introduces new Linkglide technology

Shimano has introduced Linkglide technology, which will be available initially at Deore XT (1×11 speed) and Deore (1×10 speed) level.

It is intended for use on a wide variety of bikes and different riding styles, although Shimano said it is especially suited to e-trekking bikes and e-MTBs ridden under high-torque.

Shimano testing shows that Linkglide cassettes are three times more durable than its Hyperglide cassettes in muddy conditions. Three times less degradation to the cassette means fewer chain skips, less loss of performance, more mileage before repairs or replacement, and more smooth and high-performance two-way shifting.

New components include Deore XT 1×11 and Deore 1×10-speed shifters, rear derailleurs, chains and cassettes. Each of the components will feature a Linkglide logo to differentiate them from regular Deore XT and Deore components, which are not cross-compatible due to different gear pitches.

Linkglide cassettes
The teeth of Linkglide cassettes have been honed with a new shape to reduce wear and tear in high torque situations. Thicker and more robust teeth bases feature, to counter the area that sees most degradation, whilst a new top shape profile is also used. The other area of development was in the shifting gate design and position which enables the chain to move smoothly up and down across the sprockets. These gates reduce pedal shock or jumps during shifting which can affect pedalling fluidity.

Deore XT 1×11 cassettes (CS-LG600-11) weigh 780g and are offered in 11-50T ratios whereas Deore 1×10-speed cassettes (CS-LG600-10) weigh 634g are offered in 11-43T.

Linkglide derailleurs
To accommodate the new Linkglide cassettes, new Deore XT (RD-M8130-SGS) 1×11-speed and Deore (RD-M5130-SGS) 1×10-speed derailleurs will be available, offering the same smooth shifting performance, Shimano Shadow RD+ low profile design and chain stabilizing switch for reduced chain slap that can be found on other Deore XT and Deore derailleurs.

Linkglide shift levers
New shift levers also form part of the Linkglide drivetrain system. The Deore XT 11-speed version comes with an I-Spec EV (SL-M8130-IR) or clamp band (SL-M8130-R) option, whereas the Deore 10-speed version (SL-M5130-R) comes in a clamp band-only design with an optical gear display. All shift levers offer Shimano’s 2-Way Release and Rapidfire Plus functions and the Deore XT version also offers Instant Release for faster shifting.

Linkglide shift levers
New shift levers also form part of the Linkglide drivetrain system. The Deore XT 11-speed version comes with an I-Spec EV (SL-M8130-IR) or clamp band (SL-M8130-R) option, whereas the Deore 10-speed version (SL-M5130-R) comes in a clamp band-only design with an optical gear display. All shift levers offer Shimano’s 2-Way Release and Rapidfire Plus functions and the Deore XT version also offers Instant Release for faster shifting.

Filip Scholliers, Shimano MTB product planner, said: “When we develop a drivetrain our goal is always to bring seamless shifting performance but the question of how to maintain sports performance and extra durability for new riding styles posed an interesting puzzle. We noticed that less experienced cyclists ride in the same gear, sometimes under excessive torque, for long periods of time, which puts strain on their drivetrain. As well as that, riders who shift under torque also cause excess wear and tear and ultimately a loss of drivetrain performance.

“In the end the answer was simple, offer customers the best of both. Our aim with Linkglide was to create a drivetrain system that would deliver smooth and seamless shifting yet be more durable. That’s why most of our design and engineering focus was on making the cassette more robust. Hyperglide+ technology still offers competitive cyclists a lightweight drivetrain with our quickest shifting, whereas Linkglide is an extra option for increased durability. Or to put it another way, Hyperglide+ is made for fast and Linkglide is made to last.”

As well as being available on bikes, Linkglide components will also be available as aftermarket products in bike stores. Deore XT and Deore components with Linkglide technology are not compatible with other Shimano drivetrains so any consumers looking to upgrade their 11- or 10-speed drivetrain will need to purchase a Linkglide cassette, rear derailleur, shift lever and (optional) chain.

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