Winning the one-by race.
The latest generation of Shimano's road and mountain drivetrains has seen some pretty extravagant changes. Of the changed groups, none may be as heavily altered as the new XT, and the biggest changes worth mentioning may be those resulting in the XT FC-M8000 1x Crank Arms. With trickle-down technology like Hollowtech II construction and smaller bearings with improved seals, Shimano's XT Cranks may be winning the race to provide the self-sponsored racers of the world with one-by drivetrains.
While the improved bearings are nice in that they're lighter, smoother, and have less chance of debris gumming them up, we have to admit that bearing issues have never been one of our great concerns with Shimano kit. Ditto crank arm stiffness, and the Hollowtech II cold-forging process is a big reason why. Despite making the crank arms hollow to save weight, Shimano's cold-forged construction doesn't sacrifice strength or efficiency, so the crank arm assembly is both lighter and stronger than designs with solid arms. Installation is just as easy as you'd expect, with the simple, durable, and effective thru-axle and pinch bolt design returning to celebrate yet another year as the amateur mechanic's favorite system.
- Upgraded crank arms ready for everything on-trail
- Lighter construction delivers impressive durability
- Improved bearings roll smoother and are better protected