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Shift just got real.
For 2015, Shimano borrowed much of the technology from last year's XTR update and integrated it into a brand-new, completely redesigned XT group. The new XT bumps up to 11-speed to create a component group that stands nearly eye-to-eye with its older brother — just with a more budget-friendly price. The XT M8000 Shifter Set sits in command of the group like a little mechanical quarterback, orchestrating precise gear changes to effectively navigate any trail system.
The M8000 was designed with maximum trail ride fun in mind and marks XT's entry into the pointy, 11-speed end of the componentry gene pool. It features a longer lever body to provide a wider landing space when reaching for a shift while reducing the actuation force needed to initiate chain movement. The main lever features an anti-slip surface to enhance the ease of shifting and reduce the potential for mid-shift finger slippage. Combining these features with a new shift cable encased in a low-friction coating leads to a claimed 20% reduction in the force required for gear shifts, which means less hand fatigue and more time cleaning lines.
Upping the ante on awesome functionality, the M8000 boasts two-way release shifting that allows riders to shift the upper lever with either a thumb or index finger for easy access to shifting across a wide range of hand and lever positions on the bar. Multi-release functionality lets riders shift through multiple gears with a single lever sweep to quickly adjust to terrain changes. The XT group's instant release design facilitates these emergency adjustments by dropping the chain into the desired gear the moment you push the lever. To cap it all off, the Shimano XT M8000 Shifter Set includes a removable gear display window that sits neatly out of the way, leaving plenty of room on the bars for suspension lock clamps and other ride accessories.
- Item #SHI00AN
- Q & A
Shimano XT M8000 1x11 Shifter
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I just purchased the new transmission set XT M8000 1x11. I was previously using an SLX/Deore hybrid 3x1 transmission. I saved 1 lbs with this new set up. The shifter is great, extremely lightweight, seems fragile but if you take care of it, it should be fine. The think I love the most of it is you can shift 3 softer (slower) gears with one press (make sure you press all the way through for this) and there is an option to shift 2 harder (faster) gears with one press as well. This is magnificent when the terrain changes suddenly and you need to respond quickly. It is the same mechanism as the XTR althoug I presume this should be a couple grams heavier, though not significant enough. The whole transmission looks pretty fancy, the looks on the shifter has been cared for so your bike will look pretty fancy once you set this up.
I've only used it a couple of times so I cannot talk about durability but so far I am pleased with this shifter, pretty smooth shifting, easy to press levers, lightweight, fancy-looking.
All in all I am a big Shimano fan for a few years now of XC Marathon racing and XT always delivers.