Video, Pics: 2012 Shimano XTR Shadow Plus Derailleur, XT Group Updates

Shimano didn’t waste anytime updating both their XT and XTR groups. Reissued in 2010 with Dynasys and 2×10, IceTech and directional chains, both groups aren’t exactly aging. But, for 2012, both will see improvements.

XTR gets the new Shadow Plus rear derailleur, which claims to all but eliminate chain slap and dropped chains…which means a quieter, more flawless ride. XT gets a far more drastic update, adding a 2×10 option and borrowing a lot of the brake technology from XTR to virtually create a whole new group. In the video above, Shimano’s Bicycle Components Project Manager Matt Robertson runs through the changes, and we’ve got lots of pics and details after the break…

2012 Shimano XTR Shadow Plus rear derailleur with internal band clamp cutaway image 2012 shimano xtr shadow plus rear derailleur with locking pulley cage switch

Inside the new XTR Shadow Plus rear derailleur is a locking cam gear that holds the lower pulley cage in place. The effect is considerably more resistance to the cage pulling forward, even when pushing on it manually with more force than a bouncing suspension is likely to generate on bumpy trails or big drops. The gold switch should be turned downward (off) to remove the wheel and adjust the shifting, but for riding, it should remain on. As it rotates upward, a graduated cam pushes the silver band closed, clamping down on the ratchet gear and holding it in place (spiky looking silver/black round thing in pic at top left).

2012 shimano xtr shadow plus rear derailleur with locking pulley cage switch 2012 shimano xtr shadow plus rear derailleur with locking pulley cage switch

The assembly adds a bit of weight, but nothing that trail/all-mountain riders should balk at for the potential gains in performance, quiet and keeping the chain where it’s supposed to be. I played around with it on the demo bikes and it does add some resistance to the downshift (thumb lever), but most people should acclimate to it quickly. It should be available in June, and we’ll have some test samples in around then for a full review.

2012 XT GROUP UPDATES

2012 shimano xt group chainwheel crankset gets smooth, angled new looks

For the full tech rundown on changes to the 2012 XT group and studio photos, check out this post. I had some eyes-on time at the Ibis bikes launch and snapped these to help show the differences in real world lighting.

2012 shimano xt group are definitely better looking than the 2011 models

The new angular crankarms are definitely better looking than the 2011 and earlier models.

2012 shimano m780 xt icetech brakes with aircooled brake pads 2012 shimano m780 xt icetech brakes with aircooled brake pads
2012 shimano m780 xt icetech brakes with aircooled brake pads

2012 shimano m780 xt icetech brakes with aircooled brake pads 2012 shimano m780 xt icetech brakes with aircooled brake pads

The XT brakes benefit from trickle down tech pretty darn quickly. The air-cooled brakepads and dual-layer rotors should give them performance on par with the amazing new XTR brakes for less coin.

2012 shimano xt brakes cutaway image

The plunger (dark part at bottom, right of spring) pushes past the reservoir to close the system and activate the brakes. The dark part at the top is the vacuum bladder that compensates for any fluid expansion.

2012 shimano xt brakes cutaway image 2012 shimano xt brakes cutaway image

Comments

mountguitars - 04/26/11 - 9:25pm

can’t wait to find out the price and weight.

JC - 04/26/11 - 9:31pm

Formula brake caliper adapter…

greg - 04/26/11 - 10:34pm

i’d take a set of the clear plastic ones

Matt - 04/27/11 - 2:39pm

Oooo, la la! Shimano keeps hitting homeruns!

6ko - 04/29/11 - 5:34pm

what about the wheels??? just the same that in 2008 groupset???

ZachOverholt - 04/30/11 - 12:19pm

@6ko, no there are two new wheelsets: http://www.bikerumor.com/2011/04/13/sea-otter-shimano-introduces-completely-overhauled-xt-group/

One features a 19mm wide rim and QR15 front, standard QR rear hub compatibility, and the other features a 21mm wide rim, with QR15, and 142 X 12.

Ricardo - 05/01/11 - 9:05am

what is the brand of the bikes on the video?
Thankz :)

ZachOverholt - 05/01/11 - 9:07pm

Those are both from Intense.

Ben G - 05/05/11 - 12:46am

Man, I love how SRAM’s competition has made Shimano get their act in gear. Competition is sweet for consumers sometimes

joe - 07/18/11 - 11:04pm

the bikes in the video are both intense tracers

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.