Shadow Plus derailleur:
The XT rear derailleur was the
first to offer a clutch system
for added drivetrain stability.
The mechanism features
an on/off switch that allows
the feature to be toggled
for quick wheel changes as
well. Compared to the SRAM
system, the Shimano shifting
seems to glide more easily
between gears, with a lighter
lever feel and slightly quicker
Weight: 273 grams
Hits: Awesome stability
Misses: It’s easy to forget
to hit the clutch switch back to
“on” after a wheel change
Side-swing front derailleur:
This new direct-mount-style front
derailleur was first introduced with
the XTR group two years ago and
has now trickled down the technology to the X T group.
Weight: 132 grams
Hits: This thing works so fast
and smooth, it makes us rethink
the whole single-ring chainring
Misses: It’s not a single ring, so
it still adds complexity with an extra
shifter and cable. That said though,
it’s a fault we’re willing to overlook.
The original shifter pods: Shimano’s new X T shifter
pods are fast and snappy, much like the XTR counterparts.
Weight: 265 grams (pair)
Hits: Fast engagement and release coupled with textured
paddles make these super easy to use.
Misses: Not quite as light as the SRAM ones, and no
option for a Grip-Shift version.
The hoops: The new XT wheelset features an
aluminum construction built with 28 spokes front
and rear and an offset rim design for better tension
Hits: Shimano hubs are the most durable we
know of, and the rims are plenty lightweight and stiff
to make you feel faster.
Misses: Not as flashy as carbon wheels, although
that could be considered a good thing for some.