Shimano's Linkglide cassette is 300% tougher

Linkglide e-mtb
Linkglide will keep shifting smoothly, as it ages (Image credit: Shimano)

Shimano has introduced a new range of drivetrain components that will particularly appeal to the growing e-MTB market.

Shimano has recognized accelerated component wear, as the best e-MTB's apply more assisted power through drivetrains. The solution has been to create a new range of drivetrain components that will be hardier, called Linkglide.

Shimano’s engineers have redesigned the cassette teeth and used a different steel grade, to resist torque-induced wear. The result is impressive, with Shimano claiming that its new Linkglide cassettes are 300% more durable than the brand’s Hyperglide range.

With e-MTB riders capable of keeping the pedals cranking with a higher load on steep climbs, Shimano has noticed accelerated wear. Not only is Linkglide more durable, but the shape of its cassette teeth will make for a secure shifting experience.

The new Linkglide cassettes are part of either a Deore XT 1x11 or Deore 1x10 drivetrain, which includes matching shifters, rear derailleurs and chains. The linear-pull ratio of the system means the 10- and 11-speed shifters are interchangeable if need be.

Select the Linkglide Deore XT 11-speed and you’ll have an 11-50T cassette that weighs 780g. With the Deore 1x10 system, there is an 11-43T cassette, with a mass classification of 634g.

Beyond its inherent strength, with the newly plated steel teeth profiles, Shimano has also made the 11-, 13- and 15T cogs replaceable. This should make the long-term Linkglide cassette ownership an even better deal.

Unfortunately, the new Linkglide cassettes and shifters are not cross-compatible with other Shimano’s drivetrains, for those who were thinking of executing a more durable mix-and-match upgrade to their current set-up, due to different tooth pitches and pull-ratios. That said, Linkguide is compatible with Shimano's current 11-speed chains which are already e-MTB approved. The Linkglide cassettes are compatible with HG freehubs, too, so if you upgrade your current Shimano drivetrain you won't need a new freehub.

Lance Branquinho
Freelance writer

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born journalist who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. As well as Bike Perfect, Lance has written for, and Cycling News.