1 x 11 seems to be all the rage these days, and Pete’s just opened up what appears to be just the cassette for it.
Shimano were late to the party with their 1 x 11 offerings but by the looks of this dinner plate sized cassette in their XT guise may have well caught up.
Pete will be flying in the face of his own preference to run the same gears and making his legs stronger with this massive 46t top ring. Will he be convinced otherwise or stick to tuning up the pins? Only time will tell.
Shimano’s XT offerings have long been the staple for high performance, reliable shifting for anyone not on one of the raptor-based SRAM setups. This XT M8000 cassette brings with it a hefty range with a weight that, while not ground-breaking, certainly isn’t going to sink any battleships.
This cassette goes head to head with the XO1 Eagle cassette from direct competitors, SRAM. While the SRAM cogs weight in less for a greater range (354g, 10-50t for SRAM and 434g, 11-42t), you and your wallet will wince if you need to replace the non-Japanese variant. At £99.99, the XT beast is far from a wallet killer and comes in at just under a third of the price of the SRAM equivalent (£302 for the 11-50t).
The upper six cogs are all mated to two alloy cog carriers that should see your freehub body without the gouges you’re used to from cheaper steel carriers. Only the lower 4 see steel meeting alloy. Chrome plating is designed to see off the worst of the British winter without rusting solid while the Hyperglide teeth keep your gears shifting crisp as well.
Should you not want a monumental outer ring, smaller cogs are available. 11-40 and 11-42 11-speed XT cassettes should do much the same job. Only the smaller has different ratios rather than just having a smaller outer cog.
Pete’s looking forward to seeing if Shimano XT continues to be the benchmark and whether cadence is better than raw power.