Shimano is attempting to smooth out your future rough road adventures with the inclusion of clutch technology in its latest Ultegra RX rear derailleurs. In fact, keep your eyes peeled for Shimano’s latest tech on John Degenkolb’s bike at this Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix.
Available in both mechanical and Di2 configurations, the RX800 and RX805 rear mechs provide the option of increased chain stabilisation to drop bar devotees seeking adventure beyond the paved road. Beyond Ultegra RS, Shimano has also launched the latest 105 R7000 groupset with dedicated disc brakes.
What is clutch technology?
We’ll forgive you if clutch technology is new to you, as while Shimano has been providing the technology to mountain bikers for a number of years, it’s been absent from the company’s road product line-up until now. Indeed, while SRAM has offered a clutch rear mech for single-ring road/cyclo-cross setups since 2014, this is the first design compatible with a front derailleur.
When you hear the word ‘clutch’ you’ll most likely think of a car, but there’s no extra lever to pull when shifting or anything like that; the ‘clutch’ in this instance is a mechanism within the rear derailleur which provides greater chain tension so, as a rider, you’re less likely to drop a chain or hear that niggling chain-slap noise that indicates your chainstays are taking a beating.