How to Use an XTR M970 Rear Derailleur With STI Levers




About: I like to tinker with just about anything, sometimes it works out in the end. Have fun looking at the projects, try tearing something open and let me know how it goes. cheers, -Joe

If you have looked at the new XTR M970 rear derailleur you'll notice it has no barrel adjuster.

Not a big deal on a mountain bike. But if you are using STI levers with it on a touring or cross bike it can be a problem.

I ran in to this on my cross bike. You can keep tinkering with trying to get the cable in just the right spot or buy a $15 part and be on the road to shifting bliss.

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Step 1: Tools

You will need allen keys, cable housing cutters and a pair of Ritchey STI Cable adjusters. I got mine from Excel Sports

Step 2: Cable

Loosen the rear derailleur cable and pull it out all the way up to the STI lever.

Cut about 1" of cable housing off and insert the sti adjuster.

Step 3: Tighten

Now just run the cable back through, tighten it up on the rear derailleur and adjust it using the new barrel adjuster on your STI lever.

You could mount the adjuster down on the rear derailleur but I think that might get a little too much mud in it and be unreliable.

Have fun!


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    3 Discussions


    11 years ago on Introduction

    a barrel adjuster is a tool-less cable adjuster I assume? why is this helpful on touring bikes but not mountain bikes??

    2 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    On mountain bikes the shift levers have barrel adjusters on them. On a bike with STI levers, or levers for drop style handle bars you don't have barrel adjusters. So the fine tuning of the derailleur can't be done on the new XTR model as they have removed it from that rear derailleur. Here is a pic of a derailleur with the barrel adjuster. -Joe


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Also I should add that the XTR line is designed for mountain bikes, you usually only use them on touring or cyclocross bikes where you need the larger rear cassette for steep hills or loaded touring. The dura ace model pictured above is designed for road bikes with a maximum cassette size of 27 teeth. Where as a touring bike it is not unusual to see 32 tooth cassettes for the hills. I believe the XTR model is the first mountain bike rear derailleur without a barrel adjuster that shimano has made in a very long time. -Joe