Shimano chose a formidable location at the Tech Museum of Innovation to showcase their latest electronic mountain bike gruppo, XT M8050 Di2, to the mountain bike media. Learn more about it inside and see some detailed pictures of the new XT components.
When Shimano launched their XTR Di2 components there was plenty of talk amongst riders about when the technology would trickle down into the XT range. That day has finally come and Shimano treated the attendees to a first-hand look at what the new components had to offer.
The XT M8050 Di2 components offer a similar set of benefits compared to the XTR Di2 components. Shimano however also chose to update a few additonal components that are compatible across XTR Di2 as well that many riders and shops will be interested in, namely some advanced bluetooth functionality.
The XT Di2 components take pieces of XTR Di2 technology and morph it into an XT style package. There are subtle differences in the shifter design, materials, and actuation that left us impressed but with a still clear view that XTR is still their top mountain bike gruppo.
The XT M8050 also introduced a wider range, 11-46t option for their 1x drivetrain.
Matt Robertson demonstrated some of the advanced capabilities of the Di2 system such as allowing the drivetrain to shift with only a right shifter, reprogramming the left shifter to alter a FOX shock and fork through the CTD settings quite seamlessly.
While the key highlight of the evening was the new electronic Shimano XT groupset there was a number of updates to the Di2 mountain bike family like the example above as well that will certainly alter the way bikes can interact with not only the rider directly but through additional devices like forks, shocks, Strava, heart rate monitors, and more with the technology ground work Shimano has paved.
Shimano has developed a mobile application (Android and IOS) with E-Tube as well that interfaces with the new Di2 bluetooth computer to allow for a smart phone, tablet, or computer to alter the shifting / button features offering handheld customization for the consumer, shop, or mechanic.
Each paddle can be programmed independently to custom tune to your hearts content that would take considerable amount of text to explain each option available. Chances are if you can think of it, the updated Di2 system for XT and XTR can probably do it within reason.
The XT/XTR Di2 system can be connected to FOX suspension to switch the suspension settings via an un-used shift lever. The writing on the walls are clear for additional compatible devices like dropper seat posts and more.
The Front derailleur and rear derailleur on the Pivot below on demonstration were controlled with a single right shifter which can simplify handlebar clutter and shifting.
Clean cable routing on Robertson’s bike thanks to some heat shrink and other creative tweaks.
Shimano XT Di2 electronic shifter is slightly revised and has a slighter bigger paddle compared to XTR. Each button is customizable to allow the rider to tweak each lever independently and experiment easily. If a rider wants to run a 2x drivetrain with one shifter, it is smart enough to do not only that but shift through all the gears in the front and rear derailleur with a single shifter and avoid crossing the chain.
The updated Di2 system allows for advanced capabilities due to updated Di2 battery internals and bluetooth computer.
A view of the wide 11-46t cassette Shimano is offering in this component gruppo.
Three of the key engineers behind a lot of the Shimano technology were in attendance as well allowing us to ask them questions.
Shimano also sent over some details on the components that provide more details on the new XT Di2 and E-Tube system below.
The new M8050 components are not cheap so you’ll have to weigh if all the benefits are worth it for you.
Remaining parts follow the M8000 pricing (Brakes, Crankset, etc)
Shimano DEORE XT M8050 Di2 electronic shifting integrates with DEORE XT M8000 mechanical components in either a 1×11 or 2×11 drivetrain configuration. With increased precision, efficiency and customization of the Di2 electronic system, the original mountain bike component group reinforces its legacy of premium performance and value.
DEORE XT SW-M8050 FIREBOLT Shifter
With its advanced ergonomics and shift logic, the new DEORE XT SW-M8050 Di2 FIREBOLT shifters deliver seamless control and instant response. Free from mechanical limitations, FIREBOLT’s rotary switch design follows the rider’s natural hand movement and features customizable lever ergonomics. The short stroke levers provide light action with a vivid indexed feel to improve shift accuracy even in the roughest trail conditions, while the versatility of Di2’s programmable shift logic allows the rider to custom tune the system to their riding style.
Ergonomic rotary shift lever design matches natural hand movement
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
The new DEORE XT Di2 M8050 derailleurs blend powerful performance with precise shifting that remains crisp and consistent over time. Featuring auto trim technology and an optimized cage design, the DEORE XT Di2 front derailleur tracks the movement of the rear derailleur and delivers perfect shifts from every gear combination. The Shimano Shadow RD+ low-profile geometry and chain stabilizer ensure drivetrain security while the electronic wire transmission maintains consistent performance in all weather and trail conditions.
For riders who want expanded gear range while maintaining a simple rider interface, Shimano Synchronized Shift mode controls both derailleurs via a single Di2 FIREBOLT shifter. The system selects efficient gear combinations between the front and rear so riders just concentrate on pedaling and controlling the bike.
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
Shimano’s DEORE XT M8050 Di2 shifting system uses the exclusive E-Tube digital platform, now with integrated ANT private and Bluetooth connectivity via the SC-MT800 Information Display. Utilizing wireless communication, riders can now set up, customize and monitor their Di2 system using Shimano’s expanded E-tube software via a smart phone or tablet computer. ANT private connectivity also facilitates communication with a growing list of cycling computers for a streamlined experience. Mounted to the handlebar, the SC-MT800 is the central rider interface of the XT Di2 system. From the System Information Display, riders can monitor important information such as battery level and toggle performance functions, as well charge the system.
The E-Tube platform is programmable, customizable and allows for expansion and further system integration. Wires are offered in a wide variety of lengths for bikes of all sizes and shapes and cable routing options will connect the various junction points.
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
Shimano DEORE XT M8050 Di2 components will be available in September 2016.