Shimano Deore XT (M700 1st style)

Shimano Deore XT derailleur (M700 1st style) main image

And here it is... Shimano’s very first mountain bike derailleur. This first version of the Shimano Deore XT (M700) is a subtle blend of the Shimano Deore (DE20) - see that Centeron lever - and the Shimano New 600 EX (6207 GS) - with its clean, uncluttered lines and straight-forward pulley cage.

The Deore XT (M700) appeared a year later than the SunTour MounTech - but still ran off with the mountain bike crown because of what it lacked - complexity. Shimano claim all sorts of stuff about improved seals on the sprung pivots and other off-road refinements - but I am never quite sure about the reality of this. Mainly the Deore XT (M700 1st style) was a well-made, simple, strong gear, that had the good luck to appear just when the market was looking for a well-made, simple, strong gear. But then, luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

Personally I liked the New 600 EX better - that Deer Head logo still seems too hunting-lodge-kitsch - you can almost hear the skirl of the pipes and feel the itch of Harris Tweed against your skin - or perhaps Woody Allen might shoot you and strap you to his car fender... But I did appreciate that the adjustable cable outer stop and the Centeron lever were handy features when using the long cables that thumbshifters required.

A milestone in derailleur history.

  • Derailleur brands: Shimano
  • Categories: Shimano - the Deore XT story
  • Country: Japan
  • Date of introduction: 1983
  • Date of this example: 1983 (two letter date code is HH on the pulley cage plate)
  • Model no.: M700
  • Weight: 236g
  • Maximum cog: 34 teeth (Sutherland’s 6th edition)
  • Total capacity: 40 teeth (Sutherland’s 6th edition)
  • Pulley centre to centre: 85mm
  • Index compatibility: friction
  • Chain width: 3/32”
  • Logic: top normal
  • B pivot: sprung
  • P pivot: sprung
  • Materials: aluminium with a steel Centeron lever and inner pulley cage plate
Shimano Deore XT derailleur (M700 1st style) additional image 01

Browse associated documents.

Shimano Technical Information - Deore XT

Shimano Technical Information - Deore XT

Shimano Technical Information - Deore XT 1983 scan 1 thumbnail

Shimano Bicycle System Components (1984)

Shimano Bicycle System Components (1984)

  • Publisher: Shimano
  • Date: June 1984
  • Derailleur brands: Shimano
  • Derailleurs: too numerous to mention - see individual pages
Shimano Bicycle System Components (1984) front cover thumbnail