Featured 29er Cafe — Shimano XTR Shadow Plus Rear Derailleur


Shimano Shadow Plus Derailleur is 29er Cafe’s 2012 pick  for your Mountain Bike

2012 Shimano XTR Shadow Plus RD-M985 Rear DerailleurTired of your chain clanking around on your upper and lower chainstay, beating up the finish on your fancy new mountain bike? Shimano’s new XTR Shadow Plus Rear Derailleur uses an innovative damping system to reduce its pulley cage movement when the chain bounces around as you rattle over obstacles in the terrain. Basically it maintains consistent tension on the lower chain. And for all the full suspension guys and gals out there, there are no worries. If you have your Shadow Plus turned to on it will not be harmed as the suspension cycles normally, causing chain growth through its travel.

The device eliminates lower chainstay slap on your mountain bike frame and because it keeps the chain under tension, it also limits the chance of a chain dropping off the front chain rings especially on 29er super-d bikes and any other mountain bikes.

The new rear derailleur is so quite that other noise from rolling on trail debris, suddenly is now very noticeable. Not only is clatter reduced, but I’ve experienced exactly one dropped chain since installing the Shadow Plus six months ago on a twenty niner.

Aside from this feature, this is also considered the second generation Shadow XTR derailleur. Meaning, it benefits from the shadow design in the same way as the Shimano 970. The low-profile design keeps it closer to the mountain bike frames rear dropout and protects it better from blows from rocks and sticks. Both the pulley bearings are sealed, and the pulley cage is designed with a mix of carbon fiber for the outer and with an aluminum inner plate for a just-right combination of stiffness to lightweight. Shimano engineers also fixed its return spring so that it will work better with full-length cable housing in new internally routed carbon frames. With its new spring, the XTR Shadow Plus Rear Derailleur will click onto the smaller cogs as quickly as you can click your shifter.

Its gold-anodized lever switches the clutch off to make for getting your wheel out easier. And all it takes is riding your mountain bike with the switch off to realize just how effective the Shadow Plus is in the stutter bumps on the trail.  It literally worked amazing! The Shadow Plus is also heavier than the traditional version, but not by much. While a standard XTR model weighs 176 grams, the Plus tips the scales at 208 grams

In my view,  despite the small weight penalty, the XTR Shadow Plus is,  the best component update for your mountain bike to com out of 2011. It’s up there like other innovative products, suspension forks, clipless pedals arnd dropper posts, there’s no going back once you try it.

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