I’ve been super keen to try out an XTR Shadow Plus derailleur – for improved shifting performance and significantly reduced noise (via the derailleur’s beefy chain management system). But it’s also as an opportunity to ditch the lower pulley guide on the MRP Mini-G2. While the lower pulley definitely makes for a bomb proof drive train on a 160mm travel bike like the HD, it’s existence just bugs the crap out of me, even just the constant whirring and how gunk builds up around it.  It’s a silly quirk I know. YMMV.

So over the last few months have been looking around online and while there is a lot of love for the XTR Shadow Plus there isn’t much in the way of guys running a Mojo HD/1×10/XTR Shadow Plus/Upper Chainring Guide only Combo. Good idea or not? Just gotta try it out myself!

While you can buy 1X drivetrain XC upper guides,  my plan was to butcher the Mini-G2’s alloy boomerang with the angle grinder, ditching the lower pulley guide and polycarbonate skid in the process and leaving me with an uber strong and clean upper guide. Can always just replace the alloy boomerang if it turns ugly.

So with the kitchen transformed into a bike workshop, coffee machine on and a brand spanking new XTR Shadow Plus derailleur ready to fit it was time to play!

MRP Mini-G2 Mod
MRP Mini-G2 Mod

Here’s the original Mini-G2 above.

The alloy boomerang roughly marked below, angle grinder at the ready.

MRP Mini-G2 Mod
MRP Mini-G2 Mod

Here’s the modified alloy boomerang, back on the Mojo HD below.

MRP Mini-G2 Mod
MRP Mini-G2 Mod

Interestingly, when I removed the Mini G2 I noticed some scoring on the nearby bolt and pivot (seen in the pic above). It turns out the bolt to hold the upper guide on the Mini G2 is fractionally too long, and had been digging into the pivot and bolt as the rear suspension compressed. While the angle grinder was running hot I shortened the bolt too.

And here’s the final work of art. A 1×10 / XTR Shadow Plus / Upper Chain ring guide only setup. Schwang!

MRP Mini-G2 Mod
MRP Mini-G2 Mod

How does it perform?

First Impressions: GREAT. QUIET. Clean. Simple. Snappy, exact shifting, way above the XT derailleur. No probs so far with chain/back pedaling.

Thanks as always to The Bike Vault in Castlemaine for their support and friendship, always greatly appreciated here in hippie land. If you’re looking for MTB stuff give them a go!

To be continued… better clean up the kitchen 🙂


4 Responses

  1. Can I ask why you’re not running a short cage derailleur? One should be able to handle the range of your 1×10 drivetrain. I’m running a shorty SRAM on my 575 with a 9xHammerschmidt 11-34 and I have no problems… but even a medium would be better. Less derailleur hanging out there in the wild. 😉

  2. Heya thylaxene yeah have seen the Widgit, considered it and opted to go this way instead. For whatever reason the widget just doesn’t appeal to me. If the Shadow Plus/Upper Guide combo glitches I’ll just go back to using a standard upper/lower guide with the Shadow Plus.

    Re long case vs shorter, the long cage was what available at the time, maybe not the best criteria but oh well! Agree less mech hanging out there can be a good thing re snagging on stuff, but interestingly the shifting is just so much better with the XTR Plus, vs the XT (mid cage) I had previously. What role the cage length has in that, hard to say. Could just be the XTR difference, don’t know. Shifting difference is quite noticeable precise and snappy, esp on the larger cogs, going up onto the 36 for example.

  3. I’m looking to do something similar myself when I switch to 1×10 on my AM bike – I’m thinking of going for a Shadow+ rear mech but would like a top guide plus bashguard. Is it easy enough to just remove the lower roller on the Mini G2? I guess that as-standard the leftmost bolt secures the roller and bashguard to the backplate so maybe I’d need to replace that with a short bolt once the roller is removed?

    How do you like the setup anyway? Dropped your chain much on faster rougher stuff or is everything solid with just the top guide?


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