Chain Luck Brings “Shadow Plus” Tech to Shimano 9 Speed Equipment
Sometimes you need to be the change you’d like too see in the world. MTB-News.De forum user, Beer Pregnancy (AKA Dennis), took the motivational cliche to heart and in 2010 set about developing a rear derailleur dampening unit with the goal of producing something that minimized the noise from chain slap and the frequency of dropped chains (for chainguideless drive trains).
While his experiments began even before leaked images of Shimano’s clutch enabled Shadow Plus derailleurs began to appear, when he went to speak with a patent attorney, they discovered that Shimano already had an existing patent on similar technology.
The story continues…
The first prototype used a RC car shock to dampen the shock but the limitations soon became apparent. The problem was that the damper was limited by the stroke of the shock which could be destroyed in low gear combinations.
The solution was to use a higher quality shock which could be modified with shims and different weight oil to achieve the desired properties.
This version of the “Chain Luck 1.0” conversion kit for 9 speed systems was listed for sale here for 40 Euro. The system was compatible with SLX, XT, and XTR long cage systems. The whole kit added 30.6 grams overall.
The original Chain Luck system was cool but that wasn’t enough for Beer Pregnancy. A tinkering mans hands are never at rest and once Shimano’s system was readily available he set about trying to modify the clutch system to work with a 9 speed derailleur.
When it proved too difficult to retrofit the clutch mechanism on a 9 speed derailleur without the use of a CNC mill he approached it from a different perspective. Instead of modifying a 9 speed unit he took a new 10 speed Shimano Plus XT derailleur and modified the actuation leverage ratio. The mod costs 15 Euros and preserves 10 speed functionality.
If you understand German you can check out the ad here.