Who would have thought that just a tiny switch on a rear mech could make so much difference? The fact is though that we think Shimano’s introduction of their Shadow+ ‘clutch’ rear mechs is one of the biggest advancements in bike gears since the introduction of indexed gears (that in itself should possibly be in this list, but I am sure there would be a load of the retro bike crowd saying that you still can’t beat a friction thumb shifter). Apart from making any bike a whole lot quieter on rough ground, these rear mechs also massively reduce the chance of you dropping your chain, and that has been a bugbear of mountain biking ever since we started.
Before these mechs came along I used to hate having to ride a bike with anything but a single ring and chain device simply because I’d always be having to put the chain back on, but now I’m happy to ride a double or triple setup as long as it is combined with one of these. Thank you Mr Shimano, you’ve made all our lives a whole lot better.