XTR rear derailleur tuning

There's really minimal tuning available for the XTR RD-M972 shadow 9-speed derailleurs without breaking out the dremel and shaving parts down.

The following steel bolts can be replaced with aluminium versions:

  • pivot bolt - this was sourced from Toronto Cycles. The first batch of these bolts was made incorrectly and was too sloppy;
  • jockey wheel bolts;
  • cable pinch bolt;

The jockey wheels can be replaced with lighter versions - I used some AEST aluminium jockey wheels ;

Final result: 178g.


A word of caution with using an alu pivot bolt.  If the derailleur gets hooked up then the bolt can shear and instead of the derailleur hanger or axle bracket unit breaking, the b-knuckle on the derailleur will break.  This is not a replaceable item, so it means that the derailleur is toast.

XTR rear derailleur with busted b-knuckle

Related articles:

Rear derailleur tuning

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SRAM X.7 rear derailleur

Shimano Zee Rear Derailleur

Comes in two different versions:

XT M771 Front Derailleur tuning

These derailleurs start out at around 160g, but with a bit of creative whittling and some alu bolts you can drop the weight down to around 130g:

Shimano derailleur spare parts

SRAM X.0 9 speed rear derailleur

weight: 198g;