Shimano Shadow Plus XTR Derailleur

4.5/5 (4 Reviews)


Product Description

A new addition to the Shimano XTR Dyna-Sys drivetrain is the RD-M985 Shadow Plus rear derailleur. It features a switch at the pulley cage to enforce a heavier spring tension and activate a friction stabilizer to counteract the forces of up and down chain momentum in rough terrain. Chain bouncing can often cause noise as the chain slaps the top and bottom of the chain stay, or even derail from the front chain ring in extreme circumstances. The switch when selected to the “ON” position dampens the cage and consequent chain movement for a nearly silent and stable riding experience. In the “Off” position it eases the installation and removal of the rear wheel by relaxing the spring tension of the cage.


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Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by inoack a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: January 11, 2014

Strengths:    -reduced chain slap to near zero
-zero chain drop


Weaknesses:    -TINY lil screws to get into adjustment cap (only opened one time and turned to max)
-Forgetting to turn clutch back on after rear wheel removal and having to stop on the trail cause my bike sounded like a tommygun.
-One time after clearing a rocky chunder section without pedalling, I noticed the chain had slipped off the bottom of the chainring. I had to pedal 1/4 turn to reload on the ring.
-you. Yes you are weak cause you don't have a clutching mech on your derailer. Yet!
-all seriousness. there are no weaknesses. tiny screws can be opened with a jewelers screwdriver easily when less drunk.


Bottom Line:   
-I actually prefer the thumb ergonomics of a sram shifter, but I was building this bike with XTR 988 trail brakes and wanted to try to mount everything via I-Spec. Sram also did not have a clutch out when I built this bike for 2012. I-spec sucks for where I like my controls btw.
-I ride an enduro style mostly with some jumping and some miniDH. I have had ZERO chain drops, and the chainslap is reduced to near zero. (I think the chainslap was better before my shop was troubleshooting some separte issue on my front deraileur and effed it up. I run my chain about 3-5 links short from being able to run front big ring to back big cassette, and 5 seconds after it was on the stand the dude had shifted big-big. I am not sure if it stretched out the clutch assembly a little, but it's something to be aware of I suppose.) I could buy a new clutch spring for cheap, but it retains the chain, and that's all I care about.
-Bottom line:
-You will never have to pedal through rough areas just to keep the chain on.
-You will never drop a chain
-you will have dramatically reduced slap on chain stay
-yes it costs more than traditional. maybe $100? divide that per mile of enjoyment and stop whining!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 years

Price Paid:    $200.00

Similar Products Used:   no other clutching mechs

Bike Setup:   NomadC
Everything that can be carbon is.
Fox 36 Van RC2 180 coil
Triple front XTR no guide no narrow wide teeth.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by RJDofthePhilippines a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: September 2, 2012

Strengths:    works as shimano claims it would do..
the switch from the shadow plus is just amazing i have now been riding with the shadow plus for about 3 months now all on agressive trails and in the blazing heat that my country has to offer.. i havent even adjusted the tension thingy after the intial break in period since bought and installed from my local bike shop..


Weaknesses:    i cant say price is a weakness, yes its expensive but you know what they say..
"you get what you paid for" other than that none..


Bottom Line:   
you wont regret it, it really works even when doing 40-50kph downhill on a really agressive trail, just mud, soil, dirt, pebbles, roots, sand and even with the sun blazing at you all the way down.. bike still as quite as a mouse after all that obstacle.. works too well even.. lol..
Its a price thats not for everyone
i have to save for it but it was really worth the wait..
but it would be nice to have a shorter cage length though aside from buying the new RD 2012 saints..

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   buhisan-guadalupe route, cebu city

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   bikecology @ Banilad

Similar Products Used:   deore slx
XTR shadow


Bike Setup:   trance2 (2008)
drivetrain XTR brakes
2012 Saints, 203mm ice stop, mavic 317 with maxxis 2.5 high rollers 3C.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Eddiecycle a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: August 17, 2012

Strengths:    Haven't lost the chain once on a 1x10 with no chain guide at all. Unsurprisingly shifts well also.

Weaknesses:    Little heavier, little more expensive

Bottom Line:   
I actually have the SLX derailleur, so this is a review more of the Shadow Plus clutch mechanism than the derailleur itself. I am usually a retro-grouch more out of cheapness than anything else, but I made the jump to a 10 speed drivetrain as soon as the XT and SLX clutch-equipped parts became available. The big question I had that I hadn't found a good answer to was whether I could get away with a 1x10 no front chainguide at all. After 150 miles of only a SS ring and a bashguard on various singletrack, I'm happy to say that I haven't lost the chain once. I even tried to make it jump for the first couple of rides, jumping hard on the pedals while coming out of bumpy curves, but the chain has always been there waiting to pedal again. I've seen the word "gamechanger" used tons of times to describe clutch-equipped derailleurs, and I've got to agree with that word after trying it out.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Warrior's Creek

Duration Product Used:   150 miles

Similar Products Used:   Old derailleurs

Bike Setup:   Specialized Epic with a schmorgesborg of parts. Drivetrain is XT shifters, SLX derailleur with clutch and medium cage, SLX cassette

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Herzalot a Weekend Warrior from Laguna Beach, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: March 15, 2012

Strengths:    Works as advertised - stops 95% of chainslap in the roughest conditions

Weaknesses:    Not sure yet - maybe a little finicky

Bottom Line:   
I've only ridden this twice, but it is an absolute game changer. It does a better job at stopping chainslap then my chain tensioner did, without the weight, drag and chain line penalty. If the durability and reliability are there, it will divide the bike world into two distinct eras - the old days when derailleurs did not stop chainslap, and the current state of the art - quiet chains that don't drop off the chainrings no matter how rough the terrain. I had read that the clutch puts a lot of resistance to shifting, but I did not notice any significant difference. I am using an XT shifter, and it feels (and works) just fine.

Let's face it, derailleurs have been pretty damn good since the invention of ramped cogs. There has been very little innovation since the early 90s - they shifted great then, and they shift great now. This is different. It adds a function that we all want - a quiet chain. For carbon frame owners, it's a must. I am sure SRAM will be introducing something similar (if not, it's buh bye SRAM).

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Aliso, Whistler

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   Pro Bike Supply

Similar Products Used:   XT Shadow, Saint Shadow

Bike Setup:   '09 Yeti 575, Marzocchi 55 micro Switch TA, DT Swiss EX 1750

Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

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X-Post - XTR Shadow Plus Clutch and MRP G2SL

Anyone else running this setup? I would appreciate your help. [URL="http://forums.mtbr.com/drivetrain-shifters-derailleurs-cranks/xtr-shadow-plus-clutch-mrp-g2sl-868929.html"]http://forums.mtbr.com/drivetrain-shifters-derailleurs-cranks/xtr-shadow-plus-clutch-mrp-g2sl-868929.html[/URL]Read More »

XTR Shadow Plus Clutch and MRP G2SL

Hi Guys, I just installed my new Rear Derailleur Shimano XTR M986 Shadow Plus with Clutch and SRAM 1090 chain. My Rear cassette is 11-36 and front cog is 36T, I run 1x10. however when I had my LBS adjust the shifter, they told me that my chain is too short to use the MRP G2 chain guard. Chain is fu ... Read More »

XTR Shadow Plus (M985) derailleur early failure...

Has anyone had issues with these new clutched rear derailleurs? My m985 failed on me today - the chain tension spring is completely shot and won't even hold the swingarm, let alone the chain tension. It only has probably 1300 miles on it and they are overall pretty easy miles considering Indiana t ... Read More »

XTR Shadow Plus M986 Rear Der.

This derailleur is fantastic (I have no connection with Shimano) b/c it has yet to miss a shift, regardless of my mis-gearing on unknown trails and unanticipated switchbacks. Here's my issue: I know that the cable is soon to stretch and then I'll need to tighten the tension in the derailleur... a ... Read More »

$139 XTR Shadow Plus @ Jenson USA

[url=http://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-OE/Shimano-XTR-M985-Oe-Rear-Derailleur]Shimano XTR M985 Oe Rear Derailleur > Shimano OE | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop[/url] Mid cage and long cageRead More »

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