Where the magic happens with Shimano Deore M6100

While the life of a mountain bike journalist isn't difficult, it can be tricky to describe the differences with how some parts work. And while we haven't ridden Shimano Deore M6100 12-speed, we have experienced the technology in the higher tier group sets for over 12 months.

And while there are lots of nice changes, and a 10-51 range is lovely, Hyperglide Plus is what you will really notice. Without going into diagrams showing shift ramps, extended inner plates on chains, and explaining the small shapes that make up Shimano's Dynamic Chain Engagement chain ring teeth, I'll keep it simple: Shimano's 12-speed chains, cassettes and chain rings are the smoothest and fastest shifting pieces out there. The Hyperglide Plus system means that when shifting to a higher gear, the chain is pulled down to a smaller sprocket by the shaping of the cassette and chain, not just by the derailleur pushing the chain from one sprocket to a smaller one. It actually even shifts better under load! So go ahead and shift on a climb, out of a corner, or when taking off on an eMTB. Hyperglide Plus loves that.

The cassette is all steel, and runs on a beam spider so the larger sprockets are stiff under load. This does come with a weight penalty, but at 594g it's not terrible compared to the competition (Deore XT is 470g as a comparison).

The chain has the same shape and design as the higher spec models, but no Siltec slippery coating for longer life and smoother shifts, and no hollow pins like on XTR for stronger connections and a lighter weight.

The crankset is a 2-piece affair like the higher order in the Shimano food chain, and the Deore M6100 12-speed crank set comes in 170mm or 175mm lengths with either a 30t or 32t chain ring option. There are also 3 chain line options for rear spacing of 142 through to 157mm.

The cranks aren't Hollowtech, but the rings do have the same chain retention as all the higher end models. If you want a 28, 34, 36 or 38t, you could always mix and match from the other group sets.

New Shimano Deore M6100 hubs

In the past 6 months, the options for Micro Spline freehubs has exploded, which really was needed for greater options for stock builds and upgrades. Still, Shimano have released non-series MT-410 hubs, although they use a pawl system as opposed to the high engagment system of the higher end hubs.

There are 100/142mm and 110/148mm options, and as a first - they have radial cartridge bearings!

Pricing and our thoughts on Shimano Deore M6100

If you have been waiting for a cheaper 12-speed option from Shimano, well it's here. If you have been waiting for more range to pick and mix with for a new 12-speed build, well that's here too. As for a complete build? Here's the pricing that Shimano Australia shared with us.

Shimano Deore SL-M6100 shifter: $58.50

Shimano Deore FC-M6100 crank set: $166.50

Shimano Deore CX-M6100 cassette: $172.50

Shimano Deore RD-M6100 derailleur: $100.50

Shimano Deore CN-M6100 chain: $40.50

Shimano Deore BR-M6100 brakes: $144/195 for 2 or 4 pot

The benefits of bringing Shimano's 12-speed parts further down the price scale are many and varied. This means that intermediate level bikes will not only have very crisp and secure gear shifting, but also a dedicated 1x group set. For anyone new to mountain biking, that is a huge bonus. It also introduces a quality 4-piston brake to this price point, and a new hub system with radial cartridge bearings. And perhaps best of all, because the Shimano Deore M6100 group set parts are compatible with XTR, Deore XT and SLX, long term upgrades are easy to do.

And the best part? Shimano also did a new 11-speed and 10-speed Deore group set.