Looks like Shimano are finally coming to the party with an 11-speed offroad groupset. The XTR cassette has an 11-40 range (11-13-15-17-19-21-24-27-31-35-40) which should mean its compatible with a standard freehub. Its a pity to see that Shimano did not adopt the Capreo freehub standard for achieving a wider range.
How does it compare to XX1?
The XX1 cassette has a wider range than the 11 speed XTR cassette, going from 10 to 42t, but this does require a special XD driver freehub. It's just speculation at this stage, but the XTR cassette may be compatible with a standard freehub. In true bike industry fashion, it probably won't be just to spite anyone wanting to use a standard freehub.
Rumours over on MTBR are that the 11-speed cassette will require a wider freehub and re-spaced hub. This would be an epic fail on the part of Shimano making changing to XTR 11 speed that bit more difficult than SRAM XX1 (XX1 just needs an XD compatible driver, not a whole new, re-spaced hub.
It now appears that unlike the road 11 speed cassettes, the XTR 11-40t cassette will fit on an ordinary 8/9/10 speed freehub. The extra space required by the extra gear is provided by making the cassette concave. This is great news for anyone wanting to convert to 11 speed XTR - basically there's no need for a new freehub or wheel.
What's it weigh?
Claimed weight on the 11-40t XTR CS-M9000 cassette is 318g. Not a bad weight for a 11-40t cassette, but considerably heavier than a 9 or 10 speed XTR cassette.
Update: actual weight on scale is 329g.
What do I need to go XTR 11 speed?
In addition to the Shimano 9000 XTR 11 speed cassette you will need at a minimum:
- Shimano XTR SL-M9000 trigger shifter;
- 11 speed XTR rear derailleur;
- 11 speed chain - Shimano have returned to using the same chain for road and mountain bike 11 speed (XTR/Dura-Ace CN-9000). This also means that other 11 speed chains should work with the 11 speed mountain groupset, like the cheaper Shimano 6800 Ultegra or the lighter KMC x11SL chains that are available in a silver, gold and black;
Unfortunately it looks like the move to 11 speed involves a move to another rear derailleur standard, just like the move from 9 to 10 speed mountain groups resulted in a new not backwards compatible derailleur.
What do the parts weigh?
|Shimano 11 speed cassette 11-40t||329g|
|Shimano 11 speed trigger shifter (incl. cable)||118g|
|Shimano 11 speed rear derailleur||224g|