The Deore XT component group is a great solid group for any vintage mountainbike. The iconic mark of quality in the group have to be the competition crushing Shimano Deore XT RD-M735 long cage rear derailleur.
The rear derailleur actually came in two versions, the long cage and the short cage version. The longer cage Shimano Deore XT rear derailleur could handle cassettes with larger cogs (up to 34 tooth if I remember correctly), the short cage derailleur could handle a cassette up to 28 cogs (or I think a short cage could not handle a cross shifted chain, fill me in on this one). So why bother with a short cage derailleur? Off course, weight (and I think, less chainslop).
If I remember correctly the long cage Deore XT derailleur weights 275 gram, and the short cage was around 260 gram (while a first gen XTR derailleur was around 230 gram). Almost 300 gram for a rear derailleur was maybe quite a lot but the XT rear derailleur is and was a solid performer.
In used condition but still fully functional with many miles still to go, I am letting this one find a new owner for 45 euro. Sold for slightly less!