Shimano shows that it's earned its reputation for generous trickle-down by taking a big chunk of technology from XTR and dropping it into the 11-speed XT drivetrain. Components like the XT SL-M8000 RapidFire Trigger Shifter goes nearly toe-to-toe with its older brother but with a more wallet-friendly price. Despite the turn towards economy, the M8000 Shifter still commands precise gear shifts that will deliver you smoothly through the most harrowing terrain. Shimano designed the M8000 to shepherd the XT line into the modern age of 11-speed design. It's got a longer lever body to provide riders with more space to aim for when shifting and requires less force to engage the shifting mechanism. An anti-slip surface on the main lever improves dexterity while lessening the likelihood of slipped fingers when making crucial shifts on hot summer days. These features, combined with a new shift cable covered in a low-friction coating, lead to a claimed 20% reduction in force required for gear shifts, which translates to less hand fatigue and more hours out on the trail. To make things even better, the M8000 features two-way release shifting permitting you to shift the upper lever with either your thumb or index finger depending on where your hands are on the bars. Multi-release functionality lets you shift through multiple gears with a single lever sweep to quickly adjust to drastic changes in trail grade, and the instant release design helps to ensure you get the gear you want as soon as you throw the lever.