Shimano has just launched a completely-redesigned Deore mountain bike group that incorporates trickle-down tech from the brand's premier lines. With Deore, mountain bikers can make the jump a dedicated 1x12 drivetrain with the same range as XTR, XT and SLX for less than $300.
Related: Shimano's Deore 10 and 11-speed groups will bring your old bike up to speed
Shimano 12-Speed Deore M6100 Highlights
Shimano has rounded out its 12-speed arsenal with the introduction of a 1x12 Deore group. Photo by Sterling Lorence
- Same 510% range as Shimano's other 12-speed mountain bike groups
- Uses Micro Spline freehub paired with a 10-51t cassette
- Deore brake systems are available in two and four-piston versions
- Same chain and cassette technology for precise shifting under power
- Price for the drivetrain: $297.95
- Price for the drivetrain with four-piston brakes: $597.93
- Available now
Shimano's 12-Speed Backstory
Shimano's 1x12 drivetrain raised the bar for drivetrain performance.
In May of 2018, Shimano unveiled its 12-speed XTR mountain bike group and we continue to be impressed with its performance. Shift performance under power is a step ahead of anything that has come before.
Related: Shimano XTR long-term review
Last year, Shimano followed up with the introduction of updated the workhorse XT and SLX groups that rivaled the performance of the flagship XTR group without the steep price tag. The Deore group introduced today shares many of the same features as these premium parts kits at an attainable price point. Keep reading for a rundown of the new Deore line.
Related: What's the best mix of new Shimano XTR, XT and SLX?
CS-M6100-12 Wide Range Cassette
The 10-51t Deore cassette shares the same features as higher-end models. Photo by Sterling Lorence
LorenceThe heart of the new Deore drivetrain is the wide-range 12-speed cassette. It provides the same 10-51t cog count as Shimano's other 12-speed mountain bike cassettes. The exact gearing range is: 10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-33-39-45-51. This cassette incorporates the same Hyperglide+ ramp profiles on the cog tooth for faster shifting under power. It is also built around Shimano's Micro Spline freehub standard.
Shimano was able to incorporate all of this tech at an entry-level price by stamping all the cogs from steel, rather than a mix of steel, aluminum, and even titanium cogs, on the XTR version.
Shimano's Deore chain lacks the shiny plating and hollow pins of the top-end models but shares all the critical features. Photo by Sterling Lorence
Like the new cassette, the Deore-level chain features the same Hyperglide+ shift technology borrowed from the premium lines. The inner links have been extended to improve chain retention. We're very glad to see this use of a quick-link in this new chain for easy installation and removal.
SL-M6100-IR and SL-M6100-R Shift Levers
Shimano Deore shifters include many, but not all of Shimano's best features. Photo by Sterling Lorence
Shimano offers two versions of its Deore-level shifters. One designed for I-SPEC EV integration with Shimano brake levers and a second version with a traditional 22.2mm handlebar band clamp. Many but not all, of Shimano's shifter technology has been brought down to the Deore level. These shifts feature Rapidfire Plus shifting, allowing the rider to press the cable pull lever to downshift by as many as three cogs with a single throw of the lever. Shimano also included Tw0-Way release, so riders can shift into harder gears with their thumb as well as their index finger.
The only features we miss-and that are absent from the SLX shifters as well-are Multi-Release, which allows the rider to upshift by up to two cogs in one throw of the cable release lever, and the faster instant release shifting, which completes the shift while the lever is depressed, rather than when you release the lever.
RD-M6100-SGS Rear Derailleur
There's a single, dedicated 1x rear derailleur with the new Deore group. Photo by Sterling Lorence
Unlike the premier XTR group, which has multiple rear derailleur options, there's a single, dedicated wide-range 1x12 Deore rear derailleur. This derailleur features 13t pulleys as well as Shimano's Shadow RD+ technology, which relies on a clutch mechanism to stabilize the chain, providing accurate shifting and improved chain retention.
FC-M6100 12-Speed Cranksets
Shimano's Deore cranks are forged from aluminum. Photo by Sterling Lorence
Shimano's Deore crankset comes in three versions with different spindle lengths to accommodate different axle widths. There's a version compatible with 142/148 frames; a wider, dedicated crank for 184mm-spaced frames; and a third crank that addresses the need for an entry-level crank for 112x157 "Super Boost" rear ends.
The direct-mount chainring is available with 30 and 32t chainring options. Riders can also choose from 170mm and 175mm crankarm lengths.
BL-M6100 Brake Levers
Shimano Deore brake levers share the same ergonomics of the more expensive versions. Photo by Sterling Lorence
Shimano's Deore brake levers share the same ergonomics as the more expensive version, minus the "speed divots" on the XT and XTR levers. Unlike the SLX brakes, the Deore brakes lack tool-free reach adjustments. A single brake lever model is used for both of the system's calipers.
Price with two-piston brakes: $299.99
Price with two-piston brakes: $239.98
BR-M6100 - Two-Piston Brake Caliper
The two-piston Deore brake calipers feature a streamlined look and inboard hose routing for a clean set-up that reduced the likelihood of damage to the hydraulic line in a crash. Like all of Shimano's brake systems, these brakes use Shimano Mineral Oil.
Price with levers (set): $239.98
BR-M6120 - Four-Piston Brake Caliper
Shimano four-piston Deore brake caliper. Photo by Sterling Lorence
The Deore four-piston stoppers feature the same tech as the two-piston version and look nearly identical to the rest of Shimano's four-piston brakes. The pads lack the Ice Tech cooling technologies, but they are compatible with pads from higher-end groups.
Price with levers (set): $299.98
Shimano Deore Hubs
Shimano offers its Deore hubs in most common configurations. Photo by Sterling Lorence
In addition to the drivetrain and brakes, Shimano is rolling out a budget-minded Deore hubset. The front hub is available in 100x15mm and 110x15mm thru-axle standards. The rear hub features 10-degrees of engagement and is offered in 142x12mm and 148x12mm versions, as well as a quick-release version. For now, at least, the QR rear hub is not available in North America.
Spoke count for the hubs is 28, 32 and 36-hole. (The 142x12mm version is only offered in 28 and 32-hole versions.)
All versions use Shimano's Center Lock brake interface.
Price: $26.99 (front) / $44.99 (rear)
Stay tuned for a full review! Photo by Sterling Lorence
Mtbr just received it's Deore test group yesterday. We'll post a review one we've logged some miles on this refreshingly affordable drivetrain.
Share your thoughts with us in the comments!