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Having ridden SRAM X1 for several years I´m now on 2x11 XT M8000 with 11-40T cassette.

Looking at going 1x but current 11-46T is not that interesting and despite 11-42 with various extenders looks to get ok review, I was wondering if not Shimano is planning on something like a 10-46 or 10-50 ala Eagle?
 

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Having ridden SRAM X1 for several years I´m now on 2x11 XT M8000 with 11-40T cassette.

Looking at going 1x but current 11-46T is not that interesting and despite 11-42 with various extenders looks to get ok review, I was wondering if not Shimano is planning on something like a 10-46 or 10-50 ala Eagle?
10 requires a new freehub, if Shimano was going to do that, I would assume they would have when they introduced 11 speed.
 

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Shimano is slow to pick up on trends. I doubt it. Not until they decide to introduce a 12spd cassette.

Why is 11-46 not interesting, yet 10-46 is?

Why not just put an xD freehub body on your bike and run an e.13 cassette, or a SRAM cassette? Are you one of those people who has to have matchy-matchy bike parts?
 

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Shimano made/makes a 9-tooth cog for small-wheeled bikes, folding commuters and such. I don't know how hard it would be to adapt that to an mtb application tho.

The Shimano Capreo hub and Cassette
Canfield brothers made a kit to do so and a few others (it might have been Rob English) also adapted them to different cassette parts. They were 10 speed and used a Canfield hub and freehub body. Canfield discontinued it i think? probably a mix of lack of demand and market options. 9 tooth is really pretty small for a chain to wrap round and is probably best used as an occasional/overdrive type gear i'd expect...

with 11-46 from shimano, and easy options to make them 11-49/50 from wolftooth & one up, i'm guessing we might see a bigger range. i also believe i might have heard an xtr 11-46 is a possibility - which would be nice as XT is a weighty bit of kit - worth it though!
 
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