Shimano annouces an 11-speed 11-46 cassette and DCE chainrings

by Brian Mullin on March 1, 2016

Shimano - improved 1x11-speed

Shimano just announced some excellent additions to their XTR and XT 1×11-speed systems including an extended range 11-46 cassette, improved chainrings with Dynamic Chain Engagement and a QUICK-LINK for their chains.

The trick new dinner plate sized CS-M8000 11-46 cassette will allow you to run a larger front chainring to emulate more closely the gearing range offered by the SRAM 10-42 cog. Shimano couldn’t drop to a 10-tooth cog due to their freehub body design, whereas the SRAM XD can even bump down to a 9-tooth per e*thirteens 9-44 cassette. The 11-46 is also compatible with the current¬† XTR or DEORE XT rear derailleurs though it is a bit portly at 450 grams.

They have updated the tooth profile on the chainrings with Dynamic Chain Engagement or DCE, which offers improved chain retention, a quieter drive and increases durability. The XT version SM-CRM81 gets durable steel teeth while the XTR SM-CM91 get lighter strengthened aluminum.

Another highlight is a tools-free Quick Link for the chain which is backward compatible with all their 11-speed chains though I have used KMC and SRAM system for years with Shimano chains without any issues.

Claimed availability is summer 2016.

Press Release

New 11-speed drive train additions for mountain bikers Today Shimano releases a selection of new products and features making their way into the component manufacturer’s 2017 road and MTB line-ups.

Mountain bikers benefit from new 11-speed drivetrain additions with the following new products:

  • 1×11 chain ring with Dynamic Chain Engagement
  • Wide ranging 11-46T cassette compatible with XTR or DEORE XT 1×11 set ups
  • QUICK-LINK for 11-speed chains

Elsewhere additions at the mid-range level include

  • new gear combinations for 2×11 and 3×10 cranksets
  • new hydraulic disc brakes at the middle and entry level
  • and a disc brake rotor lock ring promising easier assembly.


 Shimano crank


New XTR and Deore XT 1×11 speed chain rings have been developed thanks to studies with world level cross-country and trail riders in all conditions, from the dry and dusty conditions of the Americas and southern Europe to the heavy mud of winter-time northern Europe.

Shimano DCE

Efficient chain management was the goal and the new XTR (SM-CRM91) and DEORE XT (SM-CRM81) chain rings do this by introducing a concept called Dynamic Chain Engagement (DCE).

The modified tooth profile on the CRM91 and CRM81 DCE chain rings are designed to provide superior chain retention, lower driving sound and increased durability. Steel plated teeth on the XT version provide greater durability, while strengthened aluminum teeth on the XTR version keep the weight down.

The new cassette for 1×11 riders offers a super-wide 11-46T range providing optimal gear choices for Enduro riders. The target weight of the CS-M8000 cassette is 450g and it’s designed to work across XTR and Deore XT platforms.


Shimano Quick-Link

To provide greater flexibility Shimano now introduce an 11-speed chain QUICK-LINK (SM-CN900-11). It is designed with tool-free assembly in mind for quick on-the-trail repairs, although for rapid assembly of multiple chains a professional assembly tool (TL-CN10) is also available.

New gear combinations offered on new 2×11 and 3×10 cranksets are focused on lower gears for riders riding in steep mountainous areas. The DYNA-SIS 11 FC-MT700 34-24T crankset features HOLLOWTECH II crank arms. Meanwhile the 3×10 MT500 crankset provides 40-30-22T rings and a 2-piece crank arm with a stiff, solid and robust construction.



Sitting just below ACERA level, Shimano introduces two new non-series M365 and M315 hydraulic disc brakes. The M365 comes with a lighter aluminum lever and both brakes offer technology adopted from top-of-the-range disc brakes such as noise-free stable braking performance, and quick and clean bleeding.

Complementing the new M365 and M315 disc brakes is a new lock ring style for 160mm or 180mm SM-RT10 rotors, designed to simplify handling and operation for workshops and manufacturers. Two new tools provide quick and easy maintenance for rotor installation, either the TL-FC36 outer serration wrench or the TL-LR11 inner serration socket tool.

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