Since last summer, Shimano XTR riders have had the option of the new “Shadow Plus” rear derailleur design, which offers increased spring tension to reduce chain slap. Next month, Shimano will be releasing a Shadow Plus version of the XT derailleur, offering a quieter ride at what is sure to be a more affordable price (MSRP on the XTR version is $270).
Weight of the XT Shadow Plus (on my wife’s kitchen scale) is 256g, only 48g more than the claimed weight of the XTR Shadow Plus (208g). Styling is not quite as flashy as the XTR version, and the On/Off lever for the extra spring tension is plastic rather than metal. But if the price (TBD) is comparable to the different between XTR and XT on other parts, this will be a pretty solid bargain, especially is it performs the same as the XTR version in reducing the racket of a rough trail ride.
Just like on the XTR version, the cover can be removed and the spring tension setting adjusted.
We haven’t had chance to throw this on a bike yet and ride it, but from what we’ve heard from customers, the Shadow Plus design is a huge innovation in rear derailleur design, and is well worth the additional cost and small weight penalty. The unit we received (thanks, Shimano!) was in retail packaging, so we should be able to get these in soon (we’ve heard they should start shipping in July).