Shimano Deore XT Di2 Launched

Words Pete Roggeman
Photos Dave Smith
Date Apr 14, 2016

An Evil Insurgent decked out with Shimano XT Di2.

Shimano Deore XT Di2

When Shimano XTR Di2 debuted, it marked a natural point along the progression of Shimano’s electronic shifting technology. Since being launched in conjunction with Dura Ace in 2009, and Ultegra a few years later, it was clear that the next big target was to bring the technology to the dirt. Like Dura-Ace, XTR Di2 is pricey, so it was always going to be the XT version of Di2 that would be of greater interest to the bike-buying public.

Control your shock electronically, and your fork. And eventually your dropper seatpost as well.

That day has come. With a lot of the trickle down tech you would imagine, this latest iteration of Di2 comes with a few new advancements as well: there is a wireless receiver inside the display unit now, giving riders the chance to tweak their Synchronized Shift functions on the trail with a smartphone. It also means that if you don’t own a PC or PC tablet (like me – and many other people I know), you’re no longer obligated to knock on your neighbour’s door to borrow their computer in order to format your derailleur settings.

Hideki Ikemoto spent three months on the North Shore researching the culture. He’s now the guy behind Shimano’s top end MTB groups today – and he’s a badass rider as well.

There is a lot to unpack with Di2. The engineering behind it is impressive, and the options and control over your drivetrain – particularly if you run 2x – is in a different league. You can now adjust your derailleur on the fly in case you mangle it in the middle of a ride – and it’ll go right back to the original position once you bend it back into place later.

This was the top cap of Catherine Pendrel’s Fox fork – which integrates with Di2. It can be set to lock out with the rear shock or to remain open depending on rider needs and what the terrain dictates. Future uses of Di2 technology could include dropper post activation, for example.

Do you need electronic shifting? Of course not. Does this announcement represent another important leap in drivetrain technology? You betcha. We’re not at the point where everyone will be shifting with wires and batteries in 2017, but Shimano MTB product manager Matt Robertson made an interesting point during his presentation: in the mtb world, it takes about 10 years for major technologies to become established to the point of ubiquity. As examples, he used carbon frames, disc brakes, and clipless pedals. By that logic, we’re still about 8 years away from knowing just how good – and accepted – electronic shifting will be. Fully wireless shifting will be a major frontier, but that has to be several years away yet.

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Shimano’s 11-46 cassette was spotted for the first time.


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Here’s another look at that massive 46t cog.


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It makes for a fair number of wires when you have integrated suspension controls in addition to those for your drivetrain.


The new Shimano Deore XT Di2 shifters are very reminiscent of the XTR version – they retain the slim clamp profile and ergonomic paddles.

We didn’t get a lot of time with this info before the embargo lift time, so other than the text in the captions, the copy below the jump is the release sent by Shimano. It’s not our favourite way to release information, but for now, that’s what we’ve got. In the upcoming months, we’ll have hands-on details and impressions.

We have some rough pricing information as well, and we’re going to have to update it later, but for now I can say that an XT Di2 1x complete group (drivetrain and brakes, no wheels) will run about $1360 US. What’ll that 1x group weigh? About 2,820 grams.


 

Shimano DEORE XT Di2 M8050 Delivers Precision Trail Performance with Wireless Customization

Today Shimano releases the highly anticipated follow up to the revolutionary XTR Di2 M9050 component group. Combining proven electronic technology and the legendary value of Shimano DEORE XT, new DEORE XT M8050 opens up Digital Integrated Intelligence to even more trail riders at a more affordable price. With the addition of Shimano E-Tube Wireless connectivity, handheld customization of a Di2-enabled bike is now a reality via a smartphone or tablet computer. Shimano DEORE XT M8050 Di2’s seamless performance, refined ergonomics and programmable shift logic can be tuned for any rider—elevating control and freeing the rider to focus solely on the trail ahead.

Shimano DEORE XT M8050 Di2 electronic shifting integrates with DEORE XT M8000 mechanical components in either a 1×11 or 2×11 drivetrain configuration. With increased precision, efficiency and customization of the Di2 electronic system, the original mountain bike component group reinforces its legacy of premium performance and value.

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DEORE XT SW-M8050 FIREBOLT Shifter

With its advanced ergonomics and shift logic, the new DEORE XT SW-M8050 Di2 FIREBOLT shifters deliver seamless control and instant response. Free from mechanical limitations, FIREBOLT’s rotary switch design follows the rider’s natural hand movement and features customizable lever ergonomics. The short stroke levers provide light action with a vivid indexed feel to improve shift accuracy even in the roughest trail conditions, while the versatility of Di2’s programmable shift logic allows the rider to custom tune the system to their riding style.

  • Ergonomic rotary shift lever design matches natural hand movement
  • Short stroke, perfect click levers provide faster, more accurate shifting
  • Programmable, multi-shift and Shimano Synchronized Shift functions
  • Dual-directional wire exit cap for versatile routing options
  • Weight: 90g (pcs)DEORE XT Di2 FD-M8070 Front Derailleur/ RD-M8050-GS Shimano Shadow RD+ Rear Derailleur
    The new DEORE XT Di2 M8050 derailleurs blend powerful performance with precise shifting that remains crisp and consistent over time. Featuring auto trim technology and an optimized cage design, the DEORE XT Di2 front derailleur tracks the movement of the rear derailleur and delivers perfect shifts from every gear combination. The Shimano Shadow RD+ low-profile geometry and chain stabilizer ensure drivetrain security while the electronic wire transmission maintains consistent performance in all weather and trail conditions.

 

For riders who want expanded gear range while maintaining a simple rider interface, Shimano Synchronized Shift mode controls both derailleurs via a single Di2 FIREBOLT shifter. The system selects efficient gear combinations between the front and rear so riders just concentrate on pedaling and controlling the bike.

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DEORE XT Di2 FD-M8070 Front Derailleur

  • More powerful shifting for reliable gear changes
  • Optimized Di2 cage profile and gear tracking improve stability and reduce driving noise
  • Optional synchronized front and rear shifting via a single FIREBOLT shifter
  • Modular mounting structure
  • Weight: 150g (w/ bolt and D adapter)

 

RD-M8050-GS_zz_zz_STD_S1_draft

DEORE XT RD-M8050-GS Di2 Shimano Shadow RD+ Rear Derailleur

  • Shifting motor responds instantly to rider input
  • E-Tube electric wire transmission guarantees consistent performance in all conditions
  • Accurate chain position in every gear
  • Programmable, multi-shift and Shimano Synchronized Shift functions
  • Low-profile design keeps derailleur safely away from trail obstacles
  • Shimano Shadow RD+ chain stabilizer with easy adjustment
  • Compatible with CS-M8000 11-46t cassette (1×11) and 11-40/11-42 (2×11)
  • Weight: 329gWireless E-tube connectivity delivers handheld customizationShimano’s DEORE XT M8050 Di2 shifting system uses the exclusive E-Tube digital platform, now with integrated ANT private and Bluetooth connectivity via the SC-MT800 Information Display. Utilizing wireless communication, riders can now set up, customize and monitor their Di2 system using Shimano’s expanded E-tube software via a smart phone or tablet computer. ANT private connectivity also facilitates communication with a growing list of cycling computers for a streamlined experience. Mounted to the handlebar, the SC-MT800 is the central rider interface of the XT Di2 system. From the System Information Display, riders can monitor important information such as battery level and toggle performance functions, as well charge the system.The E-Tube platform is programmable, customizable and allows for expansion and further system integration. Wires are offered in a wide variety of lengths for bikes of all sizes and shapes and cable routing options will connect the various junction points.
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SC-MT800 System Information Display

  • Identify system status of: battery level, gear position, shift mode and FOX iRD suspension position; all at a glance
  • Provide audible shift notification chimes
  • Toggle between three Shimano Synchronized Shift modes available (S1/S2/Manual)
  • Digitally adjust front and rear derailleurs and provide numerical adjustment indicator
  • Wireless communication (ANT private/Bluetooth low energy) allows for easy to set up, customization and data utilization in the field with a smartphone, tablet, and other mobile electronics
  • Battery charging port
  • 3 E-Tube ports

At the new lower cost of XT, does electronic shifting become a bit more interesting?

 

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Comments

whatyouthink
0
whatyouthink  - April 15, 2016, 12:41 p.m.

Dear shimano. Make a damn dropper post. I feel like you are capable of setting the industry standard. kthxbye

Reply

craw
0
Cr4w  - April 14, 2016, 8:42 p.m.

As someone who was just told that my brand new XT 11spd system derailing when backpedaling in the big cog is just NOTB (nature of the beast) I cannot wait for electronics.

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0
t.odd  - April 14, 2016, 12:45 p.m.

I'm super curious to try out the di2 stuff, especially the single shifter 2x setup

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - April 14, 2016, 8:21 p.m.

By far the best front derailleur action going (I was even surprised how good the XTR having tried the Di2 road groupo previously). Shifts are crisp and ultra powerful and the auto trim function is brilliant. I can take/leave the automatic front shifting vs. having a shifter.

The action at the shifter is so light. Up shifts feel like down shifts. Can definitely get you in crunchy-drivetrain trouble though if you don't think about up shifts as if you hit the button at the wrong moment Di2 is going to force the shift no matter how much load your pushing into the drivetrain.

At the end of the day, personally, I can do without more batteries in the woods, the noise (especially at night by myself the little motors and beeping is annoying), and parts I can't necessarily service/replace by myself… which is one of the things I think is beautiful about bicycles… but it is really freakin' cool all the same.

Reply

slyfink
0
slyfink  - April 14, 2016, 9:42 a.m.

hmmm, this might make going 2x relevant again. I'd love to lose some unsprung weight on my rear hub. An 11-32 must be lighter than an 11-50, no?

Reply

Jerry-Rig
0
Jerry Willows  - April 14, 2016, noon

and a way better chainline

Reply

Captain-Snappy
0
Merwinn  - April 14, 2016, 9:31 a.m.

I wonder why they haven't gone wireless a la SRAM eTap, or whatever it is. Perhaps signal interference from phones and HR monitors, not to mention the added equipment required to send and receive signals on the shifters, derailleurs and suspension bits.

Reply

andy-eunson
0
Andy Eunson  - April 14, 2016, 12:59 p.m.

For road Shimano originally said wireless meant four batteries, one in each derailleur and shifter plus the transceivers would make it all heavier. SRAM has shown that not to be the case or at least not a real weight issue (don't know the SRAM weight v DI2 road) Certainly more convenient to recharge a single battery which on my cross bike requires infrequent recharging. Wireless is certainly cleaner looking and easier to install. But a wire is one time install unless you snag one and damage it. It is certainly nice on the cross bike never having to install a clean cable and housing and bar tape because the housing runs under the tape on the bars. It has worked flawlessly since September but I can't say that my mechanical road stuff works badly. I just have to adjust my shifts to take into account that the shift paddles have to move much more that a DI2 click. Less tactile for DI2 v mechanical. I think with mountainbikes and the often tortuous cable routing electric will be better. Full housing and bends to get around suspension can result in a heavy feel.

Reply

Jerry-Rig
0
Jerry Willows  - April 14, 2016, 9:17 a.m.

Having Hideki's name spelled wrong makes him blue…

Reply

0
Poz  - April 14, 2016, 8:33 a.m.

Now electronic shifting will start becoming interesting to the masses. XT has always been a great value and strong groupset, I can rarely justify XTR beside XT. Once XT Di2 has been on the market, some people have tested it, and the price becomes more clear on individual items I can see this being a pretty justifiable expense when building a frame up or upgrading a clapped out drivetrain.

I have no experience with Di2 but the comment on it automatically choosing the gear range when you have a 2x system does sound intriguing. How does that work when you want to drop a bunch of gears just before a climb but don't want to drop to the granny?

Reply

andy-eunson
0
Andy Eunson  - April 14, 2016, 1:05 p.m.

You can program the XTR DI2 many ways. You can choose to let the system sequentially shift through the range from one end to the other in an even gear progression. The system will shift front and rear to let you go through all gears from hi to lo and vice versa or you can program it to shift any other way you want. I don't think it can be reprogrammed while on the trail though as you need to hook up to a computer. And not a Mac if I remember right. I can do that with my Ultegra DI2 on the cross bike.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - April 14, 2016, 7:01 p.m.

But now you can both program it on the trail and use your iOS or Android device to do so. Two pretty big advancements.

Reply

andy-eunson
0
Andy Eunson  - April 14, 2016, 8:30 p.m.

Yeah I see that now. Missed that on my first read.

Reply

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