Ultegra Gets Gravel Cred Ultegra RX Rear Derailleurs

With its latest Ultegra addition, the new RX 800 and RX 805 rear derailleurs, Shimano is dipping into its vast bag of mountain biking tricks to give venerable Ultegra real gravel credibility. First created for XTR MTB groups, the Shadow RD+ is a clutch that helps manage chain tension over rough terrain. Flip a small switch on the derailleur to engage the clutch and put tension on the chain to eliminate chain slap and ensure smooth shifting on any terrain; flip the switch back to relieve the tension when it comes time for a wheel change. The Ultegra RX is available in both mechanical and Di2, and officially is a 2×11 unit, but could easily be used in a 1x set-up to compete with SRAM’s clutched derailleurs. The new derailleur can run up to a 34-tooth rear cog, making a 1×1 gear ratio an easy find. Does it work? John Degenkolb has been using the RX derailleur on the cobbles all season—and that worked out pretty well at the Tour! $110 (Ultegra RX-800), $285 (Di2 RX-805); bike.shimano.com

shimano gives ultegra gravel cred

From issue 81, get your copy here: PELOTONShop.com