Shimano is catching up and relies on a 12-speed drive for the XT M8100 Group. In contrast to the competition, the Japanese, however, the mountain biker can choose whether he prefers a maximum bandwidth (10-51 teeth) or a more narrow-stepped cassette with lower cadence jumps when switching (10-45 teeth). The former particularly appeals to drivers who want to pedal long and steep climbs with high pedaling frequencies.
Soft and precise shifts have always been a hallmark of Shimano cassettes. With the Hyperglide cassettes of the last generations, the pinions were placed in such a way that, especially when shifting to a larger pinion, the chain runs extremely smoothly and with low vibration. With the XT M8100 cassette Shimano introduces Hyperglide +. Thanks to this technology, gearshifts are now just as smooth when shifting to a heavier gear and are 1/3 faster than the CS-M8000 Cartridge.
When designing the cassette, Shimano relies on a material mix of steel and aluminum in the pinions. While the ten small sprockets with the lowest chain wrap and highest load are made of steel, the two large sprockets are made of aluminum. This load-dependent material use leads to a uniform wear of the cassette and also extends the life of the chain. The cassette is held together by an aluminum spider.