Surrounded by decades of history and clever advancements in San Jose's The Tech Museum of Innovation, Shimano introduced us to the newest evolution of the Di2 electronic drivetrain - this time in a Deore XT package.

Di2 began its life in 2009, making waves in the road world before a quick jump to triathlons and cyclocross where the concept had the opportunity to really prove itself. It continued to evolve over several generations until 2014, when Di2 came to mountain biking in the form of the XTR M9050 group. The first ever production electronic mountain bike drivetrain brought with it a few milestones for Shimano as well, including the ability to link it with FOX iRD suspension adjusters, customize the shift pattern, and simultaneously shift the front and rear derailleurs at the same time using their Synchronized Shift technology.

Now, in 2016, Shimano is introducing Deore XT M8050 which brings price points down to a more accessible level, includes a new 11-speed 11-46 tooth cassette for 1X use, and adds wireless connectivity capability. A 2x11 version is also available with an 11-40 or 11-42 tooth cassette. The system integrates with existing Deore XT M8000 mechanical components.

It's no 50-tooth, but that's still a biggg cassette! Details were scarce on the 11-46 tooth cassette, but know that it's coming soon, will work with a standard hub body, and gives you 418% range. The last jump is from 37 to 46 teeth.

Wireless Connectivity

While XT Di2 still requires several wires connecting the various components on your bike, the SC-MT800 Information Display now offers Bluetooth connectivity to other devices. Using E-Tube Project applications for iOS and Android phones/tablets you can customize shift patterns and speed, update firmware, and more.

Shimano says the Bluetooth connection opens the doors wide open to sharing data and third party manipulation. They hinted at possibilities in the suspension realm, electronic dropper posts, and linking to Strava or GPS data, but gave no firm indication of which possibilities are actively being developed. Using the new application, it's possible to program the shifter buttons to do just about anything, so it'll be interesting to see where things go.

The display still has the D-Fly Data Management ANT wireless technology previously seen in XTR Di2, which is commonly used to communicate with cycling computers and GPS devices.

When plugged into a computer, you're still limited to Windows devices.

Deore XT SW-M8050 FireBolt Shifter

  • Ergonomic rotary shift lever design matches natural hand movement (refined from XTR)
  • 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
  • Reduction from two clicks (XTR) to one click shifting to help reduce costs

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

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 (1x11) and 11-40/11-42 (2x11)

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 smart phone, tablet and other mobile electronics
  • Battery charging port
  • 3 E-Tube ports

Weights

What About My XTR Di2 System?

The new XT Di2 components are compatible and interchangeable with XTR Di2 parts. To update an XTR Di2 system to have E-Tube Wireless capabilities, they must include a combination of new E-Tube Wireless Units and new E-Tube Master Units as shown in the diagram below. Moving forward the XTR Di2 System Information Display (SC-M9051) will be updated to be wireless compatible.

Pricing and Availability

Shimano Deore XT M8050 Di2 components will be available in September 2016. The new E-Tube Project wireless software and apps will be available for download starting in July for iOS tablets, and later in 2016 for iPhones and Android devices. The EW-WU101 wireless unit and BT-DN110 master unit will be available in August.

Visit www.shimano.com for more details.

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