The shadow has it.

Bringing constant refinement to the 11-speed XT drivetrain, the Shimano XT RD-M8000 Rear Derailleur offers improved chain retention when you're riding across jarring, rock-strewn trails. Benefiting from trickle-down technology from the XTR group, Shadow RD+ technology keeps the chain from bouncing around with its handy stabilizer switch. The Shadow design is optimized for increased stability with its slanted position, allowing for silky-smooth shifting in every gear.

The XT's robust aluminum construction takes a serious beating without fuss, equating to worry-free confidence when you're rallying across technical terrain. In conjunction with a low-friction shift cable, Shimano claims shifting requires 20% less effort. Other key features include an easy-to-adjust chain stabilizer for effortless fine-tuning, as well as Direct Mount attachment with compatible frames for a stronger and lighter mount interface. As a bonus for riders with older frames not compatible with Direct Mount, the included link attaches in a conventional manner.

  • The ultimate racing workhorse for mountain derailleurs
  • Durable aluminum construction withstands trail abuse
  • Shadow RD+ with stabilizer switch prevents dropped chains
  • Direct-mount option with compatible frames (without link)
  • Compatible with conventional derailleur attachment (with link)
  • 11-speed rear derailleur: gs/medium 1x11/2x11, sgs/long 3x11
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

You don't need the X

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

In the name of your bike grouppo to get great shifting and light weight. Did I mention inexpensive? XT does everything that its racing big brother does and leaves a little green in your wallet for a good macro brew.


  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I got this derailleur after bending my XTR derailleur for what I thought would be temporary. However, I decided XT is all I need. It's cheaper, works well, and is more durable in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, I loved my XTR setup - especially when I was racing. But now, I want durability for those long days in the saddle (with the occasional race).

Dependable XT & near XTR Performance

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've ridden the XTR 11spd groupset, and decided that at half the cost, using the same design with heavier materials, it would be worth trying the XT derailleur and cassette (XTR shifter). Boy was I happy! It was nearly impossible to tell the difference in the XTR full groupset I rode vs my XT with XTR shifter. Shifts like butter, no stutter or interrupt mid spin, no hard clunks, and adjustable clutch is a huge +. You can't adjust clutch strength on SRAM comparable models, leaving them with a lot of chain slap - Never had an issue with my XT chainslapping.

Also - VERY DURABLE. Took a minor hit to the derailleur by clipping a tree mid-air. Bent the hanger... picked up a new hanger and was good as new! was super worried the derailleur would have issues, but it was completely fine!

Go to for rear derailleur

    XT is a go to for drivetrain if running Shimano, or thinking of converting from SRAM. Cant beet the quality for the price, and a great pair with e13 9-46 cassette - better range than eagle for a lot less.


    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    XT stuff is the real deal. With the latest update, XT honestly feels like XTR. Don't get caught up in the status race. Unless you're a really serious racer, it's hard to make an argument for XTR from a value perspective.


    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    XT is the MTB'er group. The shifting is so close the XTR I doubt anyone will notice. I've used this derailleur with an XT 11-42 cassette and a 1x 30t chainring and it shifts great. It is plenty durable enough you might end up putting it on a couple different bikes.

    MTB standard

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Even if it's Shimano's 2nd tier, XT will always be my gold standard. The crispest shifting on the market- the combo of the XT derailleur and shifter leave nothing to be desired. I've used this setup with an XT 11-42 cassette, E*13 9-44 cassette and SRAM 10-42 cassette. Shifts great on all, but with the E*13 you'll want the long cage. Durable enough to take a season or two of smashing into rocks.

    Great product

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    The xt derailleur is amazing for the price really nice shifting durable strong I really recommend , I was using sram x9 groupset it works really similar so don’t be afraid to try it.....

    Now, if I use a 1x11 with a 9-46 cassette,
    should I use the medium cage or the long cage

    You'll want the long cage for that E*13 cassette.

    Amazing for the price

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    This derailleur is one of the best I have ever owned. The clutch is great, the shifting is instantaneous, and it is lighter weight than my 10 speed SLX derailleur.

    One sturdy derailleur

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I think that the XT groupset is one of the best you can buy at this point. They are fairly light, very reliable, and will last forever. Not to mention, it's super affordable! Easy to install and also really easy to maintain. Might not be the ultra light race set up you want, but is just flat out reliable.

    Loving it

      I just put my first XT groupo on a build and I'm loving the clean shifting of this derailleur. The chain retention stabilizer switch is cool once you realize you have it and lock it instead of wondering why things are rattling so much on a descent.... but that's just my bad

      With a 34T oval should I go for the med or long derailleur? I have not decided on the cassette yet. probably stick to 42 and get in shape.

      Hey The Chad - If you are sticking with a 11-42 cassette then the medium cage will work fine for your set-up. Give me a shout with any additional questions.

      Great Set Up

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      This was one part of my 1 x 11 set up for a Surly Krampus. Great value and quality. Another outstanding product from Shimano. If you have questions on set ups for your bike make sure you call in to talk to a bike Gearhead.

      My, what a long cage you have.

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      With the advent of 1x and the huge big cog, derailleurs have had to keep up with long cages. XT the best working, everyman components on the market. Shifts well and never needs adjustments.

      What cassette size will this handle? Or the longcage version? I need 11-42, but would like to upgrade to 11-46.

      Kevin, this derailleur will accommodate 11-46 in a 1x11 drivetrain or 11-42 in a 2x11 setup.

      Best combo price/quality

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      Great value, super durable, shifts really well. What more can you ask for?

      XT is the everyman groupo

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      No, it's not XTR, but mechanically it is the same, and only a little heavier, but a good bit cheaper. I love XT and see no reason to go with anything else. XTR is for the racers with sponsors, XT is for the rest of us


        Works great for my 1x11 build on a new Yeti SB6 custom build. Very smooth, cant wait for spring to get ripping!

        Big bang for your buck

        • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

        The XT rear derailleur's does shift cleaner than other XT products in the past. The clear advantage is Shimano's new clutch design to provide chain retention, so you can run a 1X configuration with a 11-46 cassette. If you have any questions on this product, I will be happy to help you out.

        Do you need the long cage to run the 11-46 on a 1x11?

        I'm going to get a SRAM 11-42 cassette, will this LONG cage work on my 1x11?