Shimano’s new Deore M610 crankset has reached maturity, mostly thanks to the upgrades that the Japanese manufacturer brought to this mid-level line. What the new Deore is capable of is somehow predictable given that it features trickled-down technology from higher groupsets like Shimano XT or SLX. As for our test, we used a triple Deore crankset (40-30-22), designed for 27.5 or 29 inch mountain bikes. Just for your information, the cranksets for the 26 inch bikes will remain the standard ones: 42-32-24.
It’s commonly assumed that with big-wheeled mountain bikes it will be neccessary to accelerate faster in order to put the wheels in motion, hence the smaller chainwheels. However, the hard fact is that you’ll feel the lack of those extra 2 teeth, more on the 29ers than on the 27.5 inch ones.
Judging form the quality point of view, the new Shimano Deore, which already was a hot-shot, does even better, and you can tell this by simply looking at the crank arms, which mimic those belonging to greater groupsets. It also features the Hollowtech II technology, with (obviously) hollow arms and a hollow 24mm axle, integrated in the arm that bears the chainrings as well. The other arms gets mounted just like any other Shimano crankset, with a 2-screw mounting and a safety screw that tops them.
Still, performance doesn’t reach XT’s level neither regarding shifting speed, nor weight. Using a Deore front derailleur, you’ll get a lazy response when pushing the chain up on the bigger chainwheels, in any case slower than that of the upper components. This isn’t something that would come as a shock, and if you’re only deeply into amateur racing you’ll find this feat inconvenient, otherwise, Deore being more than enough for recreational riding.
The weight of the crankset with 175mm long arms reaches 972 grams, bottom bracket included, a piece of news that fits into the “Pluses” category, since it lost 50 grams compared to the previous generation, coming under the psychological 1-kilogram marker. Compatibility now spreads to 10-speed drivetrains, instead of the former limit of 9 speeds, while the shinny looks of the arms got replaced with something more common and more scratch-proof.
Shortly put, the new Deore crankset positions itself as a mid-range made to cover most needs, as long as weight or shifting speed aren’t the main concerns of those who target it. The price does this component justice, which can be used for cross-country riding, as well as for all-mountain, the manufacturer having prepared versions for all wheel sizes. Deore’s performances stand perfectly in-line with Shimano’s quality philosophy which primarily aims to bring higher technology from top-end products, to mid- or even entry-level ones.