The first prototype of Chain Luck

Sometimes you need to be the change you’d like too see in the world. MTB-News.De forum user, Beer Pregnancy (AKA Dennis), took the motivational cliche to heart and in 2010 set about developing a rear derailleur dampening unit with the goal of producing something that minimized the noise from chain slap and the frequency of dropped chains (for chainguideless drive trains).

While his experiments began even before leaked images of Shimano’s clutch enabled Shadow Plus derailleurs began to appear, when he went to speak with a patent attorney, they discovered that Shimano already had an existing patent on similar technology.

The story continues…

The first prototype used a RC car shock to dampen the shock but the limitations soon became apparent. The problem was that the damper was limited by the stroke of the shock which could be destroyed in low gear combinations.

The solution was to use a higher quality shock which could be modified with shims and different weight oil to achieve the desired properties.

This version of the “Chain Luck 1.0” conversion kit for 9 speed systems was listed for sale here for 40 Euro. The system was compatible with SLX, XT, and XTR long cage systems. The whole kit added 30.6 grams overall.

The original Chain Luck system was cool but that wasn’t enough for Beer Pregnancy. A tinkering mans hands are never at rest and once Shimano’s system was readily available he set about trying to modify the clutch system to work with a 9 speed derailleur.

When it proved too difficult to retrofit the clutch mechanism on a 9 speed derailleur without the use of a CNC mill he approached it from a different perspective. Instead of modifying a 9 speed unit he took a new 10 speed Shimano Plus XT derailleur and modified the actuation leverage ratio. The mod costs 15 Euros and preserves 10 speed functionality.

If you understand German you can check out the ad here.


  1. This is interesting, because with the modified actuation ratio, you could finally use a 10-speed MTB derailleur with clutch mechanism with a road 10-speed shifter. This would be awesome on my cross bike.

  2. little known fact. The Shimano 10sp pull ratio is REALLY close to the SRAM 9sp pull ratio. Want 9sp with Shadow Plus? Get a 9sp SRAM shifter and a 10sp Shimano rear D. Still, you have to admire his ingenuity

  3. Agreed with wako29, I’ve been running a SRAM X9 9spd shifter with a Shimano Zee derailleur on my miniDH bike for a couple of months. No mis-shift, I’ve got all 9 speeds, just perfect 🙂

  4. The irony is the final solution is a copy of a Phantom-8 adapter… which was a widget that bolted to a shimano rear derailleur, to modify the actuation ratio of the derailleur, to get perfect 8 speed spaced shifting with the shimano 7 speed thumbshifters which had an extra click in them (but all the clicks were for 7s spacing). That was twenty years ago though. They cost about $15 back then also.

  5. Quote: The Dude – 11/19/12 – 12:55am

    “hahaha. this is stupid. who’s even running 9-spd? Oh yea, people who can’t afford 10.”

    I can afford 10, was riding it before it hit the market too (so chances are I was riding it before you dude), but the 9 11-36 block has a better feel, so depending on the bike I run 9 OR 10. As it is, I find the Shimano 10spd blocks to be full of strange gaps that feel anything but natural… If you gots the legs, a 1×9 still has the goods for pretty much most mtb riding.

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