Shimano have just announced 12-speed XT and SLX group sets - and we've ridden them.
Rolling stock for Shimano Deore XT and SLX
Shimano aren't moving away from cup and cone bearings anytime soon, and given how the XT hubs we rode feel - that's fine by us.
There are two XT level wheels,one with 28 straight pull spokes and a 24mm internal wdith, optimised for 2.35" tyres. This M8100 TL wheel set weighs 1717g in 29".
The M8120 TL wheels are designed for aggressive trail riding, with a zero dish wheel thanks to an extra wide hub flange. there are 28 J-bend spokes and an alloy rim with a 30mm internal width. Weighing 932g in a 29" size or 1846g in 27.5" - these could be a go to wheel.
There is also a non-series MT620 wheel, with 24 J-bend spokes and a 30mm internal rim, with Boost hubs.
The hubs whether in a wheel or on their own have a 7 degree engagement, which is about the same as a DT Swiss Star Ratchet if you pop for the 54t upgrade. They come in 28 and 32h options, with a straight pull model in 28h designed for a 3x build.
The same updates to shape roll down from XTR, with better contact in the right areas thanks to improved design, focusing on shoe to pedal contact on the sides and rear of the pedal.
When can I get it?
Soon! Your local Shimano dealer should be able to get you any Deore XT parts by the start of July, and complete group sets a couple of weeks ahead of that. SLX parts are about a month after that.
For pricing, visit your local dealer as it really depends on the configuration that you're after. But the approximate price points will be about where XT and SLX have traditionally sat.
What does it weigh?
Well the simplest way to put this is in a like for like spec, XTR weighs 365g more than M8100 XT, and SLX M7100 weighs 148g more than XT in a like for like spec.
So... how does it ride?