Shimano XT Shadow Plus RD-M786 Rear Derailleur

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Item # SHI0604

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  • Silver, Medium Cage ($59.95)
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Item # SHI0604

Kiss dropped chains goodbye.

Unless you're a brute who rides singlespeeds just to make a point, a rear derailleur is a necessary evil--you can't ride without it, but damn, it can be a pain to ride with it. Not so with Shimano's XT Shadow Plus RD-M786 Rear Derailleur. The most recent offering in Shimano's Shadow line, the XT Plus features the new direct-mount system, which reduces flex, wear, and weight, and makes for easier wheel changes with modern thru axles. There's also less cable wandering, which reduces the amount of cable in the system and helps with cleaner, crispers shifting. Don't worry if you're riding an older frame, either—the XT Plus also comes with a traditional link, if your frame isn't set up for direct mounting.

The other key feature of the XT Plus is the so-called chain clutch, which can be engaged to increase spring tension in the derailleur to help eliminate dropped chains and cringe-inducing chain slap. The whole derailleur is built from durable aluminum, so it isn't the lightest weight-weenie option, but it's perfect for hard riding in tough terrain.

There's a little bit of extra tech we should cover, too. The XT Pro is available with two cage lengths, Long (SGS) and Mid (GS). The length of the cage determines the overall chainwrap capacity (how much slack your derailleur can take up, basically) or how big of a tooth difference it can accommodate between the biggest gear and the smallest gear. Total difference can be found with this equation: big chainring minus small chainring, plus largest cog minus smallest cog. The Long (SGS) option will work with just about any setup, but the Mid (GS) will only work with certain setups, so check before you buy if you're looking to go shorter.

  • Aluminum construction
  • Chain clutch
  • Works with direct mounts and traditional mounts

Tech Specs

Cage Length:
long, medium
43 T
Recommended Use:
mountain biking

Reviews & Community


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Sweet Shifting

    I upgraded to this derailleur after my last one broke. The installation was fast and easy, and my bike is now shifting flawlessly. Highly recommend this product!

    Smooth and no chain slap

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Smooth and precise shifting is what you get when you buy this derailleur. the clutch helps reduce chain slap so your drive drain stays quiet while hammering throw rock gardens. You can easily run this derailleur on a make shift 1 x 10 system.

    Light, Crisp Shifts, A Touch$$

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    I bent my SLX derailleur and bought this to replace it. The XT weighed in 40g less than the SLX. Shifting and clutch operation seem comparable between both of them. --No chain drops with clutch engaged with a 1x10 set up. 32t in front and 11-40t in the rear. Mid cage is the correct size. Set up was easy. Now I just need to drill a hole in my derailleur hangers so maybe that will bend next time instead of the derailleur!!

    Superb Shifting

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Excellent shifting. Reasonable weight. Clutch mechanism makes shifting a little on the stiff side. It is the only thing keeping me from rating it 5 stars.


      I've been riding with an M780 for the last few years, but from time to time, I'd suffer from an occasional chain drop. Well, that is no longer the case with the M786. Once that clutch is activated, say goodbye to drops!

      I went with the GS mid-cage for my 1x10 setup which uses an 11-42t cassette with a NW 32t front.

      Any issues so far after going with the mid-cage?

      Solid choice

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      I've had three of these and i'm very happy with this kit. The shadow takes out the chain slap and the changes are smooth. I run this 1x10 with a Race Face narrow wide up front and a 11x34 XT cassette and XTR shifter. In my opinion the XT cassette, XT rear der and xtr shifter cannot be beat.

      Can I run a medium cage on a 22/36 front with a 11-36 cassette? Thanks!

      Yes, the medium cage will work perfectly on a double ring front. The long cage is generally only used when you're running a triple up front.

      Avg. ride time: 3h 18m per week
      • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

      XT Keeps it consistent

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      Had to replace the rear derailleur, and there was no need for xtr. this thing works great!

      Unanswered Question

      I have an ald K2 3000 MTB with a stock Deore XT RD-M750 rear derailleur, which seems to be too worn out to cover the gear range. Will this work as a replacement? Thanks.

      will this work on my dura ace 7800 10 speed?



      No more chain guide

        The clutch mechanism really eliminates chain slap and chain drop. I was able to remove my front chain guide and bash guard on my 1x10 setup and have not had any drops. Awesome.

        I plan on doing a lot of steep hill climbing this year and it's been suggested that I use a mtn bike rear derailleur on my road bike to get a 1-1 gear ratio. Would this derailleur be a good choice?

        The Shimano Xt rear derailleur will not be compatible with your road shifters. The pull ratio between Shimano's newer road and mountain groups is not cross compatible.

        never drop your chain again

        • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

        I used to drop my chain 3-4 times per ride. I ride pretty aggressively - a blur LTC (5.5" travel bike) on rocky terrain. used to have the non-clutch version of this derailleur. upgraded to this, haven't dropped my chain since. literally.

        surprisingly good

        • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

        my last 2 derailleurs were shimanos, and those broke pretty soon after i got them, so i gave shimano one more chance before i switch to SRAM, and apparently they heard me. this is one of the best derailleurs I've had, the shifting is really smooth, but you do need to adjust it now and again. solid, i would recommend it.

        Trying to figure out whether I need medium...

        Trying to figure out whether I need medium or long cage for my 1x10 setup. Chainring = 32t, Cassette = 11-42 (11-36 with 17t removed and 42 added on top).

        Best Answer

        Super late answer but... Medium would be fine. Short would probably be better but they don't make one.

        Like a Ninja

        • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

        Bought the medium cage silver when I got rid of my big ring and went to a 2x10 setup. It matched up fine since I have XT everything else as far as the drivetrain is concerned. Easy to set up as well, just had to find the right manual online though.

        Ive ordered the XT Shadow 10spd long cage....

        Ive ordered the XT Shadow 10spd long cage. I have 9 speed so I figure that will work ok. I can't get the derailleur to shift the full range. I have backed off the stops all the way. What is up? Is it the wrong deraileur? I have the triple chain ring configuration.

        My experience has been a 10 speed shimano derailleur will not work properly on a 9 spd cassette with 9 speed shifters.

        This derailleur only works with 10 speed shimano systems. At a minimum you will need a new 10 speed rear cog, 10 speed chain, and 10 speed rear shifter.

        I too wanted to use the Shimano Shadow Plus clutched derailleur but then saw it only came on the 10 speed version. I read that it will work with a 9 speed if you use a SRAM 9 speed shifter. I have not confirmed this myself, but do a search and you will see, here is one reference

        Avg. ride time: 2h 4m per week
        • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

        It's Everything Expected from XT!

        • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

        I upgraded from an XT without the Shadow clutch to this and it's sweet to not hear that chain beating my chainstays to death. The shifting is what you would expect from the XT Group...smooth, crisp and responsive. But the clutch is the icing on the cake.

        Do everything

        • Familiarity: I've used it several times

        I've said this before. XT is the workhorse of mountain biking. Not only is it durable but it is respectable. I'd put it on my own bike if I wasn't such a weight weenie.