Adding versatility to its drivetrain lineup, Shimano introduces its new LINKGLIDE technology, designed and engineered to increase drivetrain durability while further enhancing the seamless shifting that Shimano is renowned for. LINKGLIDE components offer a more robust drivetrain option for a wide variety of bikes and riding styles, providing better resistance to wear and tear and extending maintenance intervals for each component. While Shimano HYPERGLIDE+ drivetrains remain the lightweight, fast-shifting choice for performance-oriented riders, LINKGLIDE components deliver long-lasting, smooth shifting for a broad range of applications—especially high-torque applications such as trekking bikes and e-MTBs.

Related: Shimano Deore M6100 12-speed: Everything you need to know

LINKGLIDE Design, Compatability and Availability

LINKGLIDE technology will be introduced initially in DEORE XT (1x11 speed) and DEORE (1x10 speed) configurations as a high-durability alternative to Shimano's current HYPERGLIDE+ drivetrain options. The market for LINKGLIDE is different than that of Shimano's rapid-shifting HYPERGLIDE+. Where Shimano's HYPERGLIDE+ drivetrains focus on shift performance and lightweight. LINKGLIDE prioritizes durability and shift performance under high loads at the expense of weight savings. (Exact weights TBA). This makes LINKGLIDE a good candidate for use on e-MTBS, commuter and trekking bikes, and bikepacking rigs.

Related: The Best Bikepacking Gear

According to Shimano, the company's testing shows that LINKGLIDE cassettes are 300-percent more durable than prior HYPERGLIDE cassettes, and three times less degradation to the cassette means fewer chain skips, more mileage before repairs or replacement, and more smooth two-way shifting.

Expect to see LINKGLIDE technology on e-bikes, recreational MTBs, commuter bikes, and bikepacking and adventure bikes starting in late summer. LINKGLIDE components will also be available as an aftermarket product in bike stores later this year. DEORE XT and DEORE components with LINKGLIDE technology are not compatible with other SHIMANO drivetrains, so riders looking to upgrade their 11- or 10- speed drivetrain will need to purchase a LINKGLIDE cassette, rear derailleur, shift lever, and (optional) chain.

The new LINKGLIDE components include DEORE XT 1x11 and DEORE 1x10-speed shifters, rear derailleurs, chain, and cassettes. Each of the components will feature a LINKGLIDE logo to differentiate them from regular DEORE XT and DEORE components, which are not cross-compatible due to different gear pitches.

Related: What’s the best mix of new Shimano XTR, XT, and SLX?

LINKGLIDE Cassettes

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The teeth of LINKGLIDE cassettes have been honed from plated steel with a new shape to reduce wear and tear. The teeth feature a more robust and thicker construction to prevent wear in the areas that experience the most degradation over time. LINKGLIDE cassette teeth are also taller and stronger towards the tips to prevent chain skipping and tooth deformation even as the miles add up.
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The high-durability LINKGLIDE cassettes also feature a new shifting gate design and position, enabling the chain to move smoothly up and down across the sprockets. These gates reduce pedal shock or jumps during shifting, providing better pedaling fluidity and smoother pedaling performance. LINKGLIDE cassettes are compatible with standard HG freehubs.
  • Shimano DEORE XT LINKGLIDE Cassette CS-LG600-11 - 1x11-speed
  • Shimano DEORE LINKGLIDE Cassette - 11-50T CS-LG600-10 - 1x10-speed - 11-43T
LINKGLIDE Derailleurs
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To accommodate the new LINKGLIDE cassettes, Shimano delivers new DEORE XT and DEORE derailleurs with the Shimano’s hallmark smooth shifting performance. The LINKGLIDE derailleurs feature SHIMANO SHADOW RD+ low profile design and chain stabilizing clutch mechanism for reduced chain slap over bumpy terrain.

Shimano DEORE XT LINKGLIDE Derailleur (RD-M8130-SGS) Features
  • 1x11-speed
  • SHADOW RD+
  • Chain Stabilizing Technology
SHIMANO DEORE LINKGLIDE Derailleur (RD-M5130-SGS) Features
  • 1x10-speed
  • SHADOW RD+
  • Chain Stabilizing Technology
LINKGLIDE Shift Levers
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New shift levers also form part of the LINKGLIDE drivetrain system. The DEORE XT version comes with an I-SPEC EV or clamp band option, where the DEORE 10-speed version comes in a clamp band-only design with an optional optical gear display.

SHIMANO DEORE XT LINKGLIDE Shifter Features
  • 1x11-speed
  • I-SPEC EV (SL-M8130-IR)
  • Clamp band (SL-M8130-R)
  • Instant Release
  • 2-Way Release
SHIMANO DEORE LINKGLIDE Shifter (SL-M5130-R) Features
  • 1x10-speed
  • 22.2mm Clamp band
  • Optical Gear Display option
  • 2-Way Release
LINKGLIDE CHAINS
All LINKGLIDE drivetrains use a common chain design, regardless of the number of cogs on the cassette. Existing 11-speed Shimano chains are compatible with LINKGLIDE drivetrains. Additionally, a new entry price point chain is available in CN- LG500. This chain can also be used on existing 11-speed HYPERGLIDE drivetrains. All Shimano 11-speed chains are currently e-bike rated or e-bike designed.