Not too long ago, when Shimano introduced the new SLX group, the big story was the inclusion of an SLX level Shadow Plus rear derailleur. Oddly, also included in the press release as a simple byline in a sea of text was the fact that there would also be a Shadow Plus derailleur at XT lever, though any photos were conspicuously absent. To our knowledge, the XT version of the Shawdow Plus was a bit of a ghost until now.
Recently, when Pinkbike got the run down of GT’s 2013 bike line up at this year’s press camp, RC snapped a photo of the 2013 Carbon Zaskar 29, which happened to be equipped with what certainly looks like a production version of the XT Shadow Plus. By appearances alone, it appears to be what we all expected, a standard XT derailleur with the addition of Shimano’s excellent one way clutch system to keep the chain quiet, and in control.
With the addition of the new Saint and Zee groups, that means that there are now 5(!) different levels of Shadow Plus – Saint, Zee, XTR, XT, and SLX. Will we see a Shadow Plus Deore level derailleur in the future? Who knows. What we do know is that the Shadow Plus system works. Now with so many options, it should be easier for riders to get one on their bike to see for themselves.