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Shimano XT Shadow Plus RD-M786 Rear Derailleur


Item # SHI0604

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  • Black, Long Cage ($99.95)
  • Black, Medium Cage ($99.95)
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Item # SHI0604

Direct connect.

When Shimano introduced its Shadow line of derailleurs, it was a big departure from the norm, but it offered better clearance and enhanced shifts due to a re-positioned B-knuckle. This, however, required an additional link. While sufficient, there's a growing trend of simplifying mountain bikes -- both in favor of reduced weight and reliability. Thus the introduction of the new direct mount standard for Rear Derailleurs found here on he XT Shadow Plus RD-M786.

If you're still using traditional hanger, the RD-M786 comes with a link installed so it's backwards-compatible. The direct mount, however, eliminates the need for the link, effectively reducing flex, wear, and weight -- all good things to mountain bikers. On compatible frames, the system also allows easier wheel changes with thru axles. Another big change is the stabilizer switch trickled down from XTR and Saint derailleurs.

When engaged, this switch helps to eliminate chain slap and dropped chains by increasing spring tension. This is a valuable option for suspension systems that require chainstays and pivots located close to the rear deraileur. the RD-M786 retains all the last models improvements, including the direct cable path. Your shift housing can enter the stop on the derailleur without the traditional loop of excess housing that often was the victim of contamination and a source of poor performance.

Shimano uses tried-and-true aluminum components in the XT derailleurs. All of the knuckles, linkage plates, and cage sides are made from it. So while it may lack the wow factor of the carbon fiber-laden XTR Shadow, it's more affordable, and if you've been running XT derailleurs as long as we have, you'll know that you'll get plenty of mileage out of it.

The RD-M786 is available with two cage lengths -- Long (SGS) and Mid (GS). The length of the cage determines the overall chainwrap capacity, 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.

For example, the long cage (SGS) option will work with a 24/32/42 chainring configuration (18t difference) plus an 11/36 cassette out back (25t difference). This meets the maximum chainwrap capacity of the long cage derailleur (43t). The mid length Shimano XT Shadow Rear Derailleur RD-M786 cage (GS) has a chainwrap capacity of 35t and could be used for a single or double ring/bashguard set-up as the 11/36 (25t difference) plus the 24/32 chainring (8t difference) does not exceed its range.

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

Tech Specs

Cage Length:
long, medium
43 T
Recommended Use:
mountain biking
Actual Weight:
Black, Long Cage: 262g

Community & Reviews

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Shimano XT Shadow Plus RD-M786 Rear Derailleur

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Here's what others have to say...

4 5

Solid choice

  • Gender: Male
  • 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!

Responded on

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: 1h 21m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.
4 5

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?


5 5

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?

Responded on

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.

5 5

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.

4 5

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 Responded on

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

5 5

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.

Responded on

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

Responded on

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.

Responded on

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: 9h 18m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.
5 5

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.

5 5

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.

Avg. ride time: 1h 7m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.
4 5

No Issues

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It has been shifting perfectly on my bike for 8 months with SLX shifters. I really like the clutch that keeps the chain from jumping around. Unfortanetly I sometimes forget to turn it back on when I remove a wheel.

5 5


  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

So I broke my old SLX RD and want to upgrade my bike with new drive line components. Went for all SLX again with the dyna-sys, but saw that the SLX RD did not have the stabilizer. So I went for the XT group and wow, wow, wow, wow the shift are crisp and clean even when caked in mud. Being able to change out my thru axles with the extra space is always a plus. Almost went with the XTR over this but all you are getting is carbon worked into the RD and I am not a pro so I don?t have money like that to spend.

Will this Shimano XT Shadow plus RD-M786...

Will this Shimano XT Shadow plus RD-M786 rear derailleur work with my Shimano Deore shifters?

Responded on

What year are the shifters? If they are dyna-sys then you will have no problems at all.

5 5

A Big Leap

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

On my old drivetrain, I always needed to shift to a big-big gear combination on long descents to keep the chain quiet. With Shadow Plus, I don't really worry about chain noise or chain tension in any gear.

Avg. ride time: 0m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.
5 5

A Perfect Pair with the XT Double Cranks

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Shimano XT Shadow Plus Rear Derailleur is definitely the answer I was looking for...
Coming off a beat X9 group I was looking for an upgrade without breaking the bank. I opted to got Shimano over SRAM because I run all their road stuff and hey why not. As for now, as long as I run a 2x10 I don't think I'll go back. The shifting action is fast and reliable in the rear, and the shadow plus derailleur clutch prevented chain slap like a dream. I no longer sound like a firecrackers exploding in a metal rubbish bin when ping ponging over rocky trails or braking on stutter bumps. For the price...can't beat it...and just a few more grammos than the gucci XTR version.

Responded on

what size are you running?
Medium or Large?

Can this Shimano XT shadow plus rear...

Can this Shimano XT shadow plus rear derailleur work with Shimano crank 44/32/22 and front derailleur Shimano Deore ??

Responded on

Yes, as long as you get a long cage to handle the chain capacity.