Shimano XT components are some of the most ubiquitous mountain bike hardware on the planet. Derived some 25 years ago, nearly as old as the first production mountain bike—the Stumpjumper, XT drivetrain, brake, wheel, pedal and at one time seatpost and headset parts were the cream of the crop. More recently XT has taken a back seat to the uber-cool XTR group and all of its high-tech offerings, but that doesn't make XT any less capable. Many working mountain bikers know that if you want high quality Shimano parts that are tough AND at a great price you buy XT. For 2008 Shimano is celebrating the 25th anniversary of this parts kit and is doing so with a complete redesign including some new technology that XTR isn't even privy to (yet). Here's a run down of the new components.
Introducing the Shimano Shadow Rear Derailleur
Like the latest XTR, options are the emphasis of the new Deore XT. The debut of the Shimano Shadow rear derailleur yields a third rear derailleur option, joining the Top Normal and Low Normal versions. Shadow places priority on a low profile design and less body movement for those enthusiasts that are most at home on extreme technical trails.
RD-M772 – XT Shimano Shadow Rear Derailleur
* Top normal spring design to mesh with the more common choice of RapidFire shifters for trail / all-mountain riding
* In high gear, the derailleur has a profile that is a full 15mm less than a traditional rear derailleur. That means it barely protrudes more than the quick release skewer nut.
* Direct cable routing reduces the chance of the cable snagging on roots and rocks.
* Stronger spring keeps the derailleur body more stable in rough terrain.
* Redesigned bracket axle keeps the derailleur body from contacting the chainstay.
* Available in medium and long cage
RD-M770 / M771 Rear Derailleur
* Traditional rear derailleur design featuring signature Shimano precision shifting
* Top normal (M770) and Low normal (M771) in both medium and long cage available
* Can easily be combined with RapidFire or Dual Control shift levers with the two available spring options
* Signature light action gear changes