Just before we began the rock and roll back country descent during which my XTR Shadow Plus derailleur got ripped in two, Rich put the mozz on me by asking why I’d gone with the long cage due to clearance issues etc. I had intended to get the mid cage version but when it came time to order it wasn’t available… and by that stage I was too hot and sweaty for Shadow Plus to wait any longer. All things considered though it’s been a long time since a rear derailleur got munched so I can’t complain, it’s been a good run.
Luckily I’d taken my old XT Derailleur along to Melrose so it wasn’t long before the Mojo HD was on the go again BUT with the pre Shadow Plus racket of the chain slapping about on the rear stays. UGHH! I wanted the Shadow Plus magic back ASAP but didn’t want to lay down the cash for another XTR, and didn’t want to wait for the 2013 XT, SLX versions with Shadow Plus to become available. Hmm…
Then I remembered the earlier release of Shimano’s 2013 DH components – SAINT along with its cheaper new little brother ZEE. All 10 speed and Shadow Plus, short cage too… sounds perfect but DH specific (28T) right? It turns out that the SAINT derailleur can actually be run in two modes – Downhill (28T) and Freeride (36T). The price of the SAINT isn’t that different to the XTR, the ZEE however is less than half the cost. ZEE doesn’t have two modes but instead there are two versions of the derailleur – DH and FR. Sweet!
Thanks to the guys at The Bike Vault I’ve got a ZEE 10spd Shadow Plus Freeride (36T) Derailleur ready to fit on the Mojo HD over the weekend. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it performs. It could be the perfect rear derailleur compromise – 10spd, short cage, Shadow Plus and relatively affordable. It even has an XTR-ish gold clutch lever… and that bling shit is important, you know it 🙂