So Sram has been the king of the 11 speed drivetrains for the last few years. After all, they did bring it to market first. And undeniably the Sram drive trains work very well. However, it is an expensive proposition when looking to upgrade your existing drive train to an 11 speed one. Trust me, I have been looking at the options for over a year now.
Enter the new M8000 groupset. Now you can get into an 11 speed set up without giving your left arm (which you will want to control your dropper post lever). Not only is the new M8000 groupset affordable, it works very well. The shifts are positive and efficient, snapping into gear without delay.
I purchased this cassette in the 11-42 tooth configuration since I live where there are abundant steep and sustained climbs. What a difference the 42T ring makes compared to my last 36T that was on my bike. Not only is climbing easier, I find I conserve a lot of energy which can be used on the descent.
As usual, Shimano has spared no attention to detail on this cassette. It looks great, and the machining is top notch. For the price you won't find a better 11 speed cassette on the market. Another huge plus is this cassette will fit any existing Sram or Shimano 10 speed freehub body, making it easy to upgrade an existing drivetrain and sparing you the cost of changing your freehub body to an XD driver.
How much does the 11-42T cassette weigh? Mine came in at 431 grams. Sure, this is more than the XO1 cassette, but this is 1/3 the price.
If you are in the market for a solid 11 speed cassette that works with a standard 10 speed freehub then look no further.