Shimano finally launches new Di2 MTB groupset (but it’s only for ebikes)

Electric-bike specific XT LinkGlide drivetrain gets Di2 electrification and 12-speed XT HyperGlide+ also goes Di2


Shimano’s all-new XT M8150 Di2 electronic mountain bike drivetrain re-injects life into the brand’s Di2 MTB groupset offerings, which haven’t been updated since XTR M9050’s launch in 2014 and the subsequent XT M8050 Di2 release.

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11-speed XT Di2 LinkGlide M8150 and 12-speed Deore XT Di2 HyperGlide+ M8150 are focused squarely on electric mountain bikes. Both sit alongside the current Shimano Deore XT line-up, but neither is compatible with non-assisted bikes.

Shimano CUES – a groupset aimed at commuter bikes, city, cargo and touring bikes, and featuring Shimano’s ABS anti-lock braking system – is also launching today.

The launch follows the release of the brand’s mid-tier 105 Di2 groupset.

Three things you need to know about Shimano’s Di2 XT M8150 drivetrains

  1. XT Di2 LinkGlide (11-speed) and HyperGlide+ (12-speed) drivetrains are all-new and compatible only with EP6 and EP801 ebike motors
  2. The new drivetrains feature Free Shift and Auto Shift technologies, where the bike can change gear while coasting and automatically select gears for you
  3. The Di2 systems draw power from the ebike’s main battery, relying on a wired connection

This is the first time Shimano has updated its electronic mountain bike groupsets since 2014.

The ebike-specific 11-speed XT LinkGlide M8150 drivetrain is an addition to Shimano’s existing LinkGlide M8130 – the brand’s first ebike-specific drivetrain.

Cable-operated XT LinkGlide was launched quietly in 2021, but the introduction of electronic shifting to the sturdy-looking groupset is getting much more fanfare.

The bigger news, however, is the announcement of the Deore XT Di2 HyperGlide+ 12-speed drivetrain, which finally upgrades Di2 to 12-speed.

Both new groupsets sit under the M8150 banner.

Like the outdoing XTR M9050 and M8050 Di2 groupsets, the new M8150 family drivetrains still use cables for power and data transfer, unlike SRAM’s AXS wireless electronic drivetrains.

The latest Di2 kit is only compatible with Shimano’s EP6 and EP801 ebike motors, also being launched today. These new motors supersede the DU-EP800 motor.

Making compatibility exclusive to the Shimano EP drive units goes some way to explaining why Shimano hasn’t moved to a wireless system.

Automatic and pedal-free shifting

The new groupset introduces two new technologies to Shimano’s electronic mountain bike drivetrains.

Wiring the new Di2 XT components into the EP motors creates seamless compatibility with the new Free Shift and Auto Shift technologies.

Free Shift enables riders to change gears without pedalling.

With the mode engaged, when the shift buttons are pressed and the rider isn’t pedalling, the motor “advances the drivetrain at the chainring” so gears can change. According to Shimano, this makes changing gears in corners and technical terrain, and “bombing into large dips” possible.

Auto Shift changes your bike’s gears for you, always “finding the optimal gear for every pedal stroke” and can even “make predictive gear changes based on your speed and cadence”. It has a manual override function, however.

There is no pricing available for the two new groupsets. It is also unclear whether the groupsets will be available aftermarket, or whether they will be solely OEM products. We have asked Shimano for confirmation.

Shimano Deore XT Di2 LinkGlide

The groupset is available in 11-speed or 12-speed flavours.

Although XT Di2 LinkGlide’s focus is on durability, Shimano claims it brings the brand’s newest and most exciting tech to the hard-wearing drivetrain.

Like its mechanical counterpart, LinkGlide Di2 is 11-speed.

The 11-speed drivetrain is claimed to be more durable than a 12-speed alternative, with a redesigned tooth shape and shift gates, along with a bigger chain and cassette sprocket widths increasing lifespan.

A new CS-LG700 cassette features, replacing the CS-LG600. The new 11-50t cassette is claimed to be 200g lighter than the outgoing model’s 780g weight. The cassette uses Shimano’s long-standing HG freehub standard.

Available shifting modes include full manual shifting, full manual shifting with Free Shift, and automatic shifting in the Auto Shift With Manual Override mode.

  • RD-M8150-11 Shimano Deore XT Di2 11-speed derailleur
  • SW-M8150-R/IR Shimano Deore XT Di2 right-hand shift switch
  • CS-LG700 11-50t cassette
  • Compatible with EP6 and EP801 motors
  • Centralised battery power and charging (from ebike main battery)

Shimano Deore XT Di2 HyperGlide+

The new XT Di2 drivetrain is electric-bike specific.

Finally gracing the Shimano Di2 line-up is a 12-speed electronic-shifting drivetrain, but maybe it’s not how we all envisaged it.

XT Di2 HG+ is compatible only with EP6- and EP801-equipped ebikes.

The HG+ groupset is designed to bring the “next-level shifting performance” of Shimano’s HyperGlide+ technology to electronic drivetrains and bikes, integrating all of Shimano’s newest integrated ebike tech, including the Free Shift and Auto Shift modes.

Unlike the LinkGlide system, the new HyperGlide+ group uses Shimano’s existing 10-51t 12-speed cassettes. These mount via a Microspline freehub.

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  • RD-M8150-12 Shimano Deore XT Di2 12-speed derailleur
  • SW-M8150-R/IR Shimano Deore XT Di2 right-hand shift switch
  • 10-51t 12-speed cassette compatibility
  • Compatible with EP8 and EP801 motors
  • Centralised battery power and charging (from ebike main battery)