Less than a year after Shimano released their 12-speed iterations of the popular Deore XT and SLX group sets, Shimano have brought all the 12-speed tech to Deore. Better than that, they have also got an all-new 11 and 10-speed version of Deore as well. This means you're likely to see a whole lot of 1x Shimano group sets on new bikes from a lower price point. of course, 2x options are still available for the 11 and 10-speed Deore options.

A closer look at Deore M6100 12-speed

If you're familiar with the changes Shimano made for Shimano XTR M9100, Deore XT M8100 and SLX 12-speed, then you will be impressed to see that all those tech and ergonomic changes to the higher end group sets now come to Deore.

In doing so, Shimano have really lifted Deore's status in their parts heirarchy. While previously it wasn't a dedicated 1x group set, now Deore M6100 is a dedicated 12-speed group set with a single chain ring, with brake options, integrated dropper post options and direct mount chain rings - all like the top group sets. 

As Shimano Deore M6100 uses a Micro Spline freehub, a Hyperglide Plus chain and 10-51 cassette, and iSpec EV brake/shifter mounts, you end up with complete interchangeability with the higher spec group sets. So if you want to save weight with a higher end cassette, you can. Want to run a cheaper Deore crank set with a higher quality Deore XT chain ring? You can. Still, there are differences in each item that are worth knowing about.

A question of shifting and braking

The Shimano Deore M6100 12-speed shifter looks sharp, and uses the iSpec EV mount to work on the updated brake lever shape which has two points of contact with the bars for stiffer braking. The lever doesn't have tool free reach adjust, but it is a Servowave system.

The shifter has a very similar look to the higher end shifters, and with iSpec EV, it can rotate 5 degrees around the bars to help get the right ergonomics. This is less than XTR or Deore XT, but the same as SLX. You can move them in or outboard by 14mm.

The shifter has the dual release mechanism, which means you can use it thumb-thumb or thumb-forefinger. You can get the shifter with a band clamp if you have different brakes that you would like to run, and there is a gear display option as well - although this limits the adjustment of positions of the shifter.


The rear derailleur has one option, unlike XTR which has a short cage option for a 10-45 cassette. The aesthetics are similar, with the Shadow+ design, adjustable clutch, and larger 13t pulleys. The clutch isn't adjustable externally like XTR, Deore XT and SLX, but if you're tech savvy you can remove the outer cover to tweak the spring tension to fine tune the clutch strength.

The pulleys don't have sealed bearings, but if that proves to be an issue you can always upgrade your jockey wheels at a later date!

The Shimano Deore M6100 brake calipers come in two options. Either twin piston or four-piston. They share characteristics with their higher end cousins, with inboard direct hose routing and of course compatibilty with the same brake pads. Both calipers use the same lever as shown above.