New Shimano Deore brings clutch mechs to the masses

Clutch mechs are the best thing to hit mountain biking since dropper posts, cutting noise and making dropped chains a thing of the past. Now, with the launch of a new Shimano Deore groupset for 2014, they're finally about to trickle down to a pricepoint everyone can afford. Woohoo!

RRPs for the new M615 Shadow Plus rear derailleur have yet to be confirmed, but one rung up the Shimano groupset ladder the SLX clutch mech costs £69.99 – £15 more than the standard version. We'd expect a similar difference at Deore level, where the current M593 model costs £49.99.

So, if the new 10-speed mech only gives a £5 saving in the shops, what's all the fuss about? Well, it'll work out a whole lot cheaper than SLX for manufacturers, so you can expect clutch mechs to become commonplace on complete bikes in 2014.

What's so special about clutch mechs?

Shimano's Shadow Plus rear derailleurs and SRAM's Type 2 models use a clutch mechanism to partially lock out the lower cage. This reduces chainslap, makes the chain less likely to jump off the chainrings on rough ground and improves shifting consistency.

SRAM's system is either on (for riding) or off (for removing the rear wheel), while Shimano's allows you to adjust the tension. Whichever you choose, you can look forward to a quieter bike and improved chain security.

Turn the page for more on the new Shimano Deore…

Page 1: Shimano Deore clutch mech
Page 2: Other improvements to Deore