DISRAELI GEARS

Shimano XTR (M900 SGS)

Shimano XTR (M900 SGS) derailleur main image

When the Shimano XTR (M900) first appeared I could easily understand what it was. This was a time when Shimano's Deore XT was the undisputed 'best mountain bike derailleur in the world' - and manifestly deserved the title. But Deore XT had its technical roots in the Shimano 600 (Ultegra level) groupsets of the late 1970s. So Shimano's, ever logical, engineers could clearly see a space for an 'ultimate' mountain bike groupset based on superior Dura-Ace technology.

But, if I could understand WHAT XTR was, I struggled with the WHY. Did Dura-Ace's luxury finishes and road racing tech really have much to offer a mountain biker? Put in motorcar terms, would you really want the fragility of Formula One racing car technology in an off-road vehicle? Would you really want the luxury of cream coloured Connolly Leather upholstery when you are wearing a muddy Barbour jacket? I remember reading an interview with one of the designers of the second generation Range Rover who was mildly bemused that he had put so much effort into designing a vehicle that could climb ludicrous gradients in hellish conditions - only for the end customer to turn out to be a dodgy collection of, very urban, Gansta rappers and Russian oligarchs. If you make something that embodies extraordinary contradictions, you may find that you attract a customer who is also interestingly bizarre.

Dura-Ace was not just for folk who wanted to tastelessly flaunt their wealth (although some of those good people did buy it). It was also a genuine racing groupset. But XTR? Apart from those paid to do so, I don't think I saw a single mountain bike racer using an XTR (M900) derailleur in anger. It was just too hideously expensive, too beautifully refined, too tastefully sophisticated and just not down-and-dirty enough. It seemed to be a groupset purely for undeservedly wealthy poseurs, flâneurs and dilettantes - Snoop Dogg and Roman Abramovich probably loved it.

It does look good though - even after all these years.


This is a, rather fine, example of the, surprisingly rare, long pulley cage version of the Shimano XTR (M900).

Note also that:

  • Unlike the 'mid length' version, it gets the usual 'SGS' letters added to its model number.
  • The guide pulley does not have a cartridge bearing unlike the XTR (M900), XTR (M910) or XTR (M910 SGS).
  • The inner pulley cage plate is steel - which seems odd on such a high end product.


  • Derailleur brands: Shimano
  • Categories: Shimano - XTR (or pearls before swine)
  • Country: Japan
  • Date of introduction: 1992
  • Date of this example: 1992 (two letter date code is 'QI')
  • Model no.: M900 SGS
  • Weight: 258g
  • Maximum cog: 32 teeth
  • Total capacity: 38 teeth
  • Pulley centre to centre: 87mm
  • Index compatibility: 8 speed
  • Chain width: 3/32”
  • Logic: top normal
  • B pivot: sprung
  • P pivot: sprung
  • Materials: largely aluminium with a steel inner pulley cage plate
Shimano XTR (M900 SGS) derailleur additional image 01
Shimano XTR (M900 SGS) derailleur additional image 02
Shimano XTR (M900 SGS) derailleur additional image 03
Shimano XTR (M900 SGS) derailleur additional image 04
Shimano XTR (M900 SGS) derailleur additional image 05
Shimano XTR (M900 SGS) derailleur additional image 06
Shimano XTR (M900 SGS) derailleur additional image 07
Shimano XTR (M900 SGS) derailleur additional image 08
Shimano XTR (M900 SGS) derailleur additional image 09
Shimano XTR (M900 SGS) derailleur additional image 10
Shimano XTR (M900 SGS) derailleur additional image 11
Shimano XTR (M900 SGS) derailleur additional image 12
Shimano XTR (M900 SGS) derailleur additional image 13
Shimano XTR (M900 SGS) derailleur additional image 14
Shimano XTR (M900 SGS) derailleur additional image 15
Shimano XTR (M900 SGS) derailleur additional image 16
Shimano XTR (M900 SGS) derailleur additional image 17
Shimano XTR (M900 SGS) derailleur additional image 18
Shimano XTR (M900 SGS) derailleur additional image 19
Shimano XTR (M900 SGS) derailleur additional image 20