Shimano 2013 - Affordable SLX Ensemble Supercharged With XTR Features

Mar 2, 2012 at 0:02
Mar 2, 2012
by Richard Cunningham  
 
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Shimano turned its attention to the mid-priced SLX mountain bike ensemble and embellished it with technical innovations like Ice Tech brake pads and rotors, the Shadow Plus clutch in the rear derailleur, the new ultra-positive shift lever mech and a full complement of gearing options for the 10-speed SLX crankset and cassette – all features that only recently were the domain of XTR. Why? Well, the back story is that complete bike prices are expected to rise up to 30 percent by 2013, driven by higher manufacturing costs in Asia and unstable currency in Europe and the US. The new supercharged SLX group has a sharper appearance and is poised to deliver a closely matching performance to its illustrious (and expensive) XTR and Deore XT siblings.

The 2013 SLX group looks great and it is nearly as brilliant on the technical side as XTR. We expect to see SLX on performance bikes priced in the 3000 range.
The 2013 SLX group looks great and it is nearly as brilliant on the technical side as XT, while sporting features recently exclusive to XTR. We expect to see SLX on performance bikes priced in the $3000 range.

Dollars saved by spec’ing SLX can be used by bike makers to buy into other technologies like a high-level fork and shock, or perhaps to make a carbon frame available at a particular price point. We expect to see a lot of SLX on mid-travel trailbikes in the 3000-dollar range, where experienced riders expect an off-the-rack machine to sport everything found on a pro bike - from a dual-chainring drivetrain to a dropper post. In a landscape where both retail prices and customers’ expectations are on a collision course, SLX must fill the shoes of Shimano’s Deore XT-level components.

The 2013 SLX group s low-geared 38 x 24 two-by crankset is good news for long-travel trail riders and 29ers. Two-by options are 38 x 24 38 x 26 and 40 x 28. Shimano s DynaSys close-ratio 42 32 24 triple is the default crankset.
The 2013 SLX group's low-geared 38 x 24 two-by crankset is good news for long-travel trail riders and 29ers. Two-by options are 38 x 24, 38 x 26 and 40 x 28. Shimano's DynaSys close-ratio 42,32,24 triple (inset on lower right) is its default crankset.

29er technology
Shimano missed the bus on 29ers – twice - first when it launched the current XTR and again a couple of years ago when it followed with the new Deore XT group. SLX incorporates a low-profile front derailleur mech that makes room for 29er tires, a lower 38 x 24-tooth gearing option for its two-by crankset range, and a ‘Direct Mount’ rear derailleur option that adapts well to the 12-millimeter through-axle option that many 29er designers are using to stiffen up the lengthily hindquarters of their frames. The Direct Mount standard eliminates the Shadow derailleur’s B2 link and the frame’s wimpy replaceable derailleur hanger with a single part, and it can be configured for either standard quick-release or through-axle rear ends. Not exactly SLX, but still news for big wheel riders is the appearance of two new UST-compatible 29er wheelsets for 2013.

A closer look at the SLX crankset indicates that it may have an interchangeable spider. The two-by version left has a different spider than the triple crankset on the right. Torx hardware indicates that SLX chainring bolts are aluminum.
A closer look at the SLX crankset indicates the two-by version (left) has a different spider than the triple crankset on the right. Torx hardware indicates that SLX chainring bolts may be aluminum.

Shimano 2013 SLX Walk-through

Shimano was vague on some details of its new SLX components. Weight figures were missing, although the word is that its components are slightly heavier than XT, which stands to reason. The good news is that SLX seems to be designed specifically to survive the rigors of aggressive trail riding, which means that it will plug into bikes with suspension travel in the five to six-inch range that most riders are gravitating towards.

SLX Crankset
The beefy crankarms and bold shape of the SLX crankarms are a welcome sight. Better still are its ‘rider Tuned’ gearing options: The new-school 24,32,42 triple crankset, and three options for the SLX double chainring crank - 40 x 28, 38 x 26 and the new, 38 x 24 option. The chainrings feature stamped and pinned ramps, which are a bit harder on the eyes than the beautifully machined XT and XTR items, but we can expect clean, fast shift action from any Shimano crankset. Like Deore XT, SLX crank arms are separate from its aluminum, four-arm spider. The three-ring and two-ring spiders are different parts altogether, so if you want to configure a double-ring crank with a bash ring, you’ll need to order the triple crankset.

SLX rear derailleurs get the Shadow Plus friction clutch that was only released to XTR a year earlier. Insiders say that the clutch design is the second-gen version. A Non-Plus rear mech is also available. Both feature Shimano s new Direct Mount hanger that replaces the short pivot arm above the derailleur body and frame s derailleur hanger with a single sturdy link.
The on/off lever at the cage pivot housing shouts that SLX rear derailleurs get the Shadow Plus friction clutch that was only released to XTR a year earlier. Insiders say that the clutch design is a simpler, sturdier second-gen version. The SGS long-cage version is shown here. Shimano also offers a medium-cage GS derailleur for its two-by drivetrains. A 'Non-Plus' rear derailleur is also available. Both feature Shimano's new 'Direct Mount' hanger (not shown), which replaces the short pivot arm above the derailleur body, as well as the frame's derailleur hanger.

Shadow Plus Rear Derailleur Comes to SLX
Shimano XTR’s most useful innovation is easily the Shadow Plus one-way friction clutch that prevents the slack run of the chain from whipping around and derailing the chain from the crankset. SLX (along with XT) gets the latest version of Shadow Plus, which is reported to have a stronger and simplified clutch design. Non-believers can opt for a slightly lighter weight non-Plus rear derailleur. Both SLX rear derailleurs are sold in the 3 x 10-specific long-cage SGS or the 2 x 10-specific mid-cage GS configuration.

Direct Mount
All Shadow derailleurs for 2013 are available in a ‘Direct Mount’ option. Direct Mount is said to be a 29er-specific option, but that seems to be a rubberized notion, as the key benefits of the design are valid for any mountain bike that will be ridden to the redline. The Direct Mount link spans directly between the frame and the derailleur body, bypassing the B2 link and the dropout’s traditional replaceable hanger segment. To convert the Shadow to Direct Mount, simply remove the derailleur’s B2 link and attach the derailleur directly to the Direct Mount arm. We’ve inspected prototype Direct Mount mechs and it appears to a perfect marriage to the 142/12-millimeter through-axle standard, destined to replace the quick release in the very near future.

replacement pic for direct mount prototype
A look at the prototype Direct Mount rear derailleur setup reveals that Shimano is anticipating widespread use of through-axle rear wheels. The Direct Mount link is an adaptation designed primarily for through-axle 29er frames (although it can easily be adapted to a standard dropout) and is an option with all 2013 Shadow rear derailleurs. It replaces two flimsy pieces with one direct connection between the frame and derailleur pivot.

Front Derailleurs
Four front derailleur configs’ are available next year: two clamp-types with a high and low-mount option (the low-mount is a nod to the 29er folks); and two direct-mount models, also in high and low-mount options. The far-more-complicated-than-necessary levers and cable guides of past Shimano front mechs have been streamlined to take up less real estate behind the seat tube and thus make room for more important stuff like 29er tires and suspension linkages. While on the subject of suspension, Shimano reconfigured the profile of the front derailleur cage to compensate for the change in angle of the chain as the rear suspension compresses – and also to reduce rubbing when riding in the extreme cross-over gears.

Shimano simplified its derailleur offerings with four SLX models two clamp types high and low mount and a high and low-mount version that bolt directly to the frame. The cage has been redesigned for rear suspension to shift the chain as it passes through a wider arc. The rear-facing bits of the SLX front changers have been narrowed to clear 29er tires and suspension linkage.
Shimano simplified its derailleur offerings with four SLX models: two clamp types (high and low mount) and a high and low-mount version that bolt directly to the frame. The cage has been redesigned for rear suspension to shift the chain as it passes through a wider arc. The rear-facing bits of the SLX front changers have been narrowed to clear 29er tires and suspension linkage

Shift Lever Love
Shimano reports that SLX shift levers have been upgraded with the crisper, more positive action of its XT and XTR mechs. The trigger paddles have also been redesigned for better ergonomics and the left-side shifter can be configured for either three or two-chainring cranks with an XTR-like mode switch. SLX shift levers, like its expensive kin, can be had in the ISPEC, multi-mount version, or with a standard handlebar clamp arrangement. An optical gear display is also an option.

SLX shift levers have been reprofiled and the mech upgraded with the two-by three-by mode-change switch that was once exclusive to XTR and XT. The left shifter is the ISPEC integrated clamp design while the right features the optional indicator and standard handlebar clamp mount.
SLX shift levers look and feel better. Left-side shifters also get the two-by/three-by mode-change switch that was once exclusive to XTR and XT. The shifter on the left is the ISPEC integrated clamp design, while the one on the right features the optional indicator and standard handlebar-clamp mount.

XTR Mode Converter
In case you didn't know about or understand the mode switch on the left-side shift lever, we stole this illustration from Shimano's XTR instructional PDF. The small cam limits the standard three-position shift action to shift only two chainrings. It is a sweet feature should you decide to switch cranksets later.

SLX Brakes Get Ice Tech Rotors
Last year, SLX brakes could be had in the aftermarket with Shimano’s stainless steel/aluminum sandwich rotors and finned brake pads. Now all SLX brakes will be fitted with Finned pads and the exotic rotors that are said to dissipate heat nearly 20-percent better. The not so great news is that all standard SLX brakes will feature the softer-stopping organic OEM pads, not the super-stopping, sintered semi-metallic aftermarket option. Rotors are sold with Shimano’s splined Centerlock interface and a six-bolt version is also available. Diameters are 160, 180 and 203 millimeter. Not so new, but worth a mention is that SLX calipers have the same ceramic pistons and one-way bleeding feature as XTR and upstairs, SLX features the top-dog’s shorty lever and ServoWave action as well.

SLX brakes are big news. Ice Tech XTR and XT has gained traction among the best rider in the sport as the best of the best. SLX shares the ceramic pistons finned pads and aluminum-sandwich rotors below and the crisp-feeling Servo Wave action shorty brake lever design above.
SLX brakes are big news. Ice Tech XTR and XT has gained traction among the best rider in the sport as the best of the best. SLX shares the ceramic pistons, finned pads and aluminum-sandwich rotors below, and the crisp-feeling Servo Wave action shorty brake lever design above.

SLX Hubs
Some call them cup-and-cone, some call them angular contact bearings, but the good news is that they are well sealed and you can easily adjust them. Shimano’s SLX hubs can be found in standard quick release axles or with a 15 millimeter through-axle for the front and a 12-millimeter through axle for the rear. Shimano also has increased the engagement points for the freehub cassette so riders will enjoy near-instant acceleration response. All SLX rear hubs feature the splined Centerlock brake rotor interface. Shimano and DT Swiss offer six-bolt adaptors should you feel a panic coming on.

SLX hubs use adjustable angular-contact bearings and are available in standard quick release or with through-axles 15QR front and 142 12-millimeter rear SLX hubs feature Centerlock rotor interfaces but six-bolt SLX Ice Tech rotor are available for alternative hubs.
SLX hubs use adjustable angular-contact bearings and are available in standard quick release or with through-axles (15QR front and 142/12-millimeter rear) SLX hubs feature Centerlock rotor interfaces. Six-bolt SLX Ice Tech rotors are also available for alternative hubs.

New Wheelsets
Shimano’s wheel factory has been working overtime, with two new rim profiles, both UST certified. Shimano completely hand builds it wheels, which is a wonderful thing to watch. The MT66 rim is a 19-millimeter ID cross-country profile that is available in both 29er and 26-inch diameters. MT66 wheels feature rear quick release and 142/12 through-axle options while the front hub is 15QR thro0ugh-axle only. The MT68 rim has a wider, 21-millimeter profile that will accept up to a 2.5 inch width tire and is targeted the 26-inch-wheel aggressive trail/am rider. MT68 front wheels feature 15QR through-axles while the rear hub can be spec’ed with a quick release or 142/12mm through-axle. Colors are white or black. Shimano’s 29er wheels use 28 spokes in the rear and 24 up front to balance the strength requirements of the larger format hoops, while the 26-inch wheelsets use 24 spokes front and rear. The straight-pull hub/wheel configuration allows for higher spoke tension and longer lasting wheels.

WH-MT68 wheels Available July 2012The new 26 specific WH-MT68 wheel set is a tough trail-specific wheel set with a 21C rim profile designed for aggressive riding. The new tubeless-compatible rim structure is UST and standard tire compatible. The WH-MT68 is 15mm E-thru front only and available in 135mm QR or 142x12mm E-thru rear options
Not known for its fancy names, Shimano's latest 26-inch AM/trail wheelset is called the MT68. The '68 rim is a 21-millimeter ID profile - plenty wide to support 2.35 to 2.5-inch tires - and it is a true UST tubeless design, so mounting tires will be a snap.Shimano said that they will be hitting the LBS in July 2012.

Claimed weights are 910 grams (15mm front) and 1050 grams (12mm rear) for the 26-inch MT68 wheelset. Weights for the MT66 29er wheelset are said to be 945 grams front (15mm) and 1080 grams rear (quick release), with the 26er version making 840grams front (QR) and 985 grams rear (QR). Release dates are July for the MT66 wheels and September for the MT68. Prices have not been officially released, but Shimano says that the 66 and 68 wheels will fall into the SLX price range for both OEM and retail customers.

WH-MT66-29 wheels Available Sept. 2012 The new WH-MT66-29 wheel set delivers quality dependability and sets the standard for 29er wheel stiffness and weight balance with purpose built 24x28H lacing balancing front vs. rear wheel loads. The wheels feature a new tubeless-compatible 19C rim structure that is UST and standard tire compatible. The 29 wheel set is available in 135mm QR or 142x12mm E-thru rear spacing and front 15mm E-thru.
Shimano eludes that its MT66 series wheels are for XC racing, but when have they ever built a product that couldn't stand up to punishment? MT66 wheelsets are available in 26 or 29 inch sizes (29er is shown) for riders who want a lighter weight wheel and ride tires under 2.2 inches wide. Shimano developed its own tubeless system for the '66, and it's UST certified.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesSLX is good news from Shimano. By Boosting the performance of SLX to rival its most prestigious XT and XR ensembles, Shimano has raised the bar for all component makers and given cash-strapped hard-core riders reason to celebrate. The unspoken truth of 2013 SLX may resonate far deeper within the mountain bike community, however, because it signals a turning point where the bike's overall performance trumps any individual component. Would you downgrade from Deore XT to SLX to get a pro-level fork and shock? Would you ride an SLX crankset if it meant you also could have a dropper seatpost? Like all affordable component groups, Shimano's new SLX begs the question: 'Is it a compromise or an enabler?' In the present economy, I'd say, 'enabler.' - RC


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141 Comments

  • + 19
 Interchangeable spiders are so attractive for some reason.... Is it the fact that it opens up so many choices? Or the fact that it is two-toned and looks sexy?

Does it also improve stiffness and strength-to-weight at all?
  • + 3
 I think it's a combination of all of those traits, and judging by appearances the double ring spider seems stiffer and beefier than the triple. In addition if the spider is removable that means there is likely a splined interface underneath that opens up yet more chainring opportunities.
  • + 2
 but is the crank any better than the previous models? Other than being able to get a different spider I mean.
  • + 15
 C'mon shimano can we see some new saint stuff? Can't wait any longer
  • + 1
 i'm a bit wary of the design - i saw an old xt crank on which the spider came loose, nasty business.
  • + 3
 Replacable spider might open options like BMX style mounted 30t or smaller chainring for those who would like to try SS, 1x9 or 1x10 setup but are affraid if they are fit enough. I'm for it!
  • + 7
 WAKIdesigns, I checked with Shimano on the spiders and they are not replaceable (the reply took a while). The spiders and crank arms are separate parts, but they are permanently joined together like XT
RC
  • + 2
 RC - You know what they did with messengers bringing bad news? hehe

Thanks for the info!
  • + 1
 That's peculiar and unexpected. Just scrolled up and found this bit:
"Like Deore XT, SLX crank arms are separate from its aluminum, four-arm spider. The three-ring and two-ring spiders are different parts altogether, so if you want to configure a double-ring crank with a bash ring, you’ll need to order the triple crankset."
One would think that this meant that the spiders were removable! Bad way to paraphrase.
  • + 4
 theminsta - it must be possible to do it with cunning garage methods - they've put it on somehow Wink


Maybe an idea for some Tech Tuesday RC? If you were so creative with this latest tubeless pump thing, then you should figure that out the way to make some CNCed spider-press, so it's doable in the vice Big Grin
  • + 4
 Clark Jones, the man who made my first shocks used to say, "A man put it together - A man can take it apart."
Words to live by.
RC
  • - 8
 Who let Richard Cunningham on Pinkbike?

Isn't running a biased, So-Cal opinionated Magazine enough?!
  • + 6
 who let pat-macrotch on Pinkbike?


making unnecessary and somewhat unpleasant comments doesn't really add anything of value to this forum?

as mother used to say.."if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything!"

whatever you think of RC's time at MBA (understand, he was not actually the owner of that magazine with carte blanche to do whatever he liked), he now works for PB and brings a wealth of experience to PB
[Reply]
  • + 14
 I am surprise how quick they moved some of the XTR tech down. I am always on a budget, so my group of choice is Deore. I am curious as to what they will do to that groupset.
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  • + 11
 So, why is Shimano screwing the bike shops 2 years in a row by releasing next years components now? There are a lot of 2012 bikes with current SLX components on them that they'll have to move and the season hasn't even started yet! Oh, but the new stuff does look good...
  • + 7
 It isn't released yet. It shows what 2013 will bring, or well, this summer (which is stupid, because it feels like buying MY2012).

Bike shops that get screwed should consider a better stock handling. I mean, they know more than us about release dates...
  • - 3
 In agreement Physio, I havent even been able to really ride my new 2012 XT's hydro's yet. I was like , " 2013's.... already???"
  • + 6
 They have been around for half a year now... 2013 has just been anounced. I don't see what the problem is, seriously. If you want a NEW part, buy it when it comes out or when your old one fails, but don't go nagging about the announced new one and that you bought the old one. WE ALL KNOW THAT PARTS ARE RELEASED AROUND SUMMER.

When you buy a computer, the fastest one out there, not even a few months later it is outdated. Stuff gets newer, but one you have gets older. Is the new stuff better? We don't know. Is your stuff good? That you know. If it's good, you keep it. if it sucks, you change it.

If you always want the latest parts, then just buy them when they are released. But please do not whine every 12 months.
  • - 1
 This is actually my first time nagging, but if I do happen to nag again....tough shit!! LOL!! I see your up to your old ways of making friends and influencing people again , ey, Robbie. Your Belgian flag sticks out on these threads like a turd in a punch bowl. Peeeeeyeeeew! I forgot how intersting and informative the Robbie lecture circuit is. Hold on a minute while I fluff my pillow.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 What is the point of a direct mount rear derailleur? A traditional hanger is "flimsy" intentionally. It's designed so that if you slam your derailleur on a rock you just have to replace the $3 hanger instead of breaking your frame or your derailleur. Please, someone explain this to me.
  • + 11
 If you break your SLX derailer, you have to buy a new one. Not much to get. pretty sound and tested business model.
  • + 1
 You are right.
  • + 2
 It makes your frame AND your mech 'obsolete' and means if you get a bike with this mech hanger then you are tied to 2013 Shimano components and nothing else. It's a cynical, nasty move by Shimano, as much as they're hyping it, it's clearly just a mech hanger that they've modified so nobody else can use it.
  • + 3
 It doesn't make anything obsolete. Any shimano Shadow mech including all the previous models can be fitted to this new system by removing the top link peice, so you aren't tied solely to the new Shimano kit. (although you are tied to the brand...)

It doesn't make your frame obsolete as the 2013 mechs will still fit regular mech hangers and you will still have the option of SRAM mechs too.

As 'New Industry Standards' go, this one is pretty good in terms of compatibility with what's already out there.
  • + 1
 but that still doesn't answer the performance question
  • + 5
 I believe the main reason they've done this direct mount is that by getting rid of the two 'flimsy' peices the mech is much sturdier to the frame and therefore gives better gear shifts as there is less flex. And i think i read that it makes taking the rear wheel out easier too.
  • + 1
 but when a rock hist it it is more expensive to do anything about. Also, I could do surgery with my rear mech on a flimsy hanger.
  • + 1
 $3 mech hangers?
  • + 1
 $7-15 in my experience. Still cheaper than $30-80+
  • + 2
 I don't see why they've decided to do this direct mount thing. I WANT the hanger to be flimsy, so I don't trash my mech! All they've done is remove the flimsy link in their own mech which they stupidly designed in, something that SRAM mechs don't have, and expect everyone else to follow suit with it... why??
[Reply]
  • + 10
 SLX is SEX. Works well, does not break the bank.
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  • + 7
 I heard some time in May, there is a bunch of new stuff rolling out including a new Saint group... can't wait!
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  • + 7
 Wow all looking very nice!.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Bicycles are going to be 30% more expensive next year?

You know Hyde from That 70's Show, I always thought of him as being a lunatic regarding government conspiracies. If the statement above is true, I'm going to be that lunatic. Politicians screw up, we have to pay more. No wonder more and more kids do drugs...

This price inflation also means that thefts will go skyrocking. Good business for the thieves Smile
  • + 1
 That comment caught my eye as well. RC attributes this to high manufacturing costs in Asia and concern over American and European markets. I wonder if we are getting to the point that its time to bring these manufacturing jobs back to North America.
  • + 1
 This could be some kind of end for multinationals. I think that the high prices will only be temporary, until companies return to their native countries. They can't ever afford higher wages AND worldwide shipping costs. It will also mean more jobs here again, better economy etc. But still our govs fucked up, and their fuck up is going to set things straight somehow, in the long run.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 If the technology is dripping down so quickly to the lower budget groupsets, it must mean that XTR is going to get some sort of revolutionary improvement? Or maybe Saint will see something special, thatd explain all the new sponsored riders on Shimano/Fox
  • + 0
 riders here in the UK have had Di2 on mountain bikes for the past year?

you take Dura-Ace Di2 (and now the cheaper Ultegra Di2) and modify the system to run 1 x 10 with the "climbers buttons" mounted on a handlebar clamp plate (you can make this from SRAM shifter mount with aluminium plate to mount the buttons onto)

whether you can stomach the £400-500 for rear mech replacement if you trash it, is another matter, having said that, I would argue the rear mech is considerably tougher than the mechanical version as it has a mode where a hard impact requires a system reset but does not actually damage the mech itself

having received Di2 workshop training from Shimano, I was extremely impressed with Ultegra Di2 including the software side of things and durability of the system and ability to reset gear indexing even with bent hanger
[Reply]
  • + 6
 2013? we've hardly started 2012 yet!
  • + 3
 So sick!! I know what I'm upgrading my hardtail to! Shocked they didn't leave us hanging a little bit.
  • + 0
 you would think maybe ad least august before they started to release 2013 components
  • + 21
 And everybody forgot about end of the world...
  • + 3
 Why wait until next year with the chance of the world ending when you can get it in a few months! Win in my book.
  • + 1
 They've got a date with Sea Otter - have product will flog
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  • + 6
 Can't wait on the new xtr
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  • + 3
 Looks utterly awesome. Does this mean no 20mm front hub for this groupset? That is the only issue with this set for me. Other than that I'm saving now for the rest.
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  • + 5
 sick i can't wait for the 2013 XTR, XT, and SAINT!!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 If the costs of manufacturing is going up so much in Asia, why manufacture there? Why not bring it back, I'd rather pay 30% more for made in America if I'm paying an extra 30% either way.
  • + 1
 One issue that coms up is supply chain. Things have been maid in Asia for long enough that the supply chain for manufacturing is largely over there. But over time increased wages and shipping cost will move manufacturing around.
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  • + 5
 SLX is my favourite group for several reasons.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 With the SLX group ,Shimano is really giving options to the core riders. It really rewards people for stepping up to the plate when they replace components or buy a new bike. If its anything like the past componenets it willl hold a tune like The Four Tops.
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  • + 6
 This looks amazing.
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  • + 6
 pretty fancy lookin
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  • + 1
 Just saw a new set of 2012 SLX (ice tech) brakes in the bay from a Taiwan seller, hope the reflected price is what we may come to expect here in North America. I would be willing to upgrade the Wifes brakes to a set of the new SLX version. Just my 10 cents worth.
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  • + 5
 I think my bike is getting a few upgrades.......
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  • + 1
 I wonder how much of an improvement the IceTech Rotors make on their own matched with pre IceTech XT brakes would. Not that i'm going to go out and buy them just for that but when these rotor's wear out, you can bet it will be SLX rotors and not the XTs. a dozen grams weight difference and save $40 on the pair. No brainer. And that SLX with the shadowplus is mighty tempting too. May have to go bash the old XT out in Moab this spring
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  • + 5
 Looks awesome. Shimano is killing it.
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  • + 1
 Big fan of the old slx cranks and the new one look even better. Xt is for women and Saint is a bit gaudy but good and expensive. I'd run this slx group on anything from dj bike to dh and all in btw.
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  • + 0
 ***that stuff is off the hook!!!! pun intended, with Shimano also huge in the fishing industry..

***** it doesn drive me somewhat crazy that they keep switching stuff up on us but it's all good... keeps people buying l guess.

********* taint as bad as the phone and computer industry, shoot... they change stuff up weekly it seems.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 So they are no longer doing the SLX crankset that had the 2 ring with a bash, and the beefed up spindle and steel pedal inserts?

Or are they just moving that to the new cheaper Saint groupo that's rumored?
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  • + 0
 nice kid, nice.....XTR designs with the cheaper supplied shimano plastic and alloy ingredients...the slx crowd is about to get a performance improvement.....ice tech rotors, cool brakes, cool cranks....direct mount FD...glad Shimano saw the DM FD is not just a 29er option, its on pretty much all the bikes coming out.(26er and 29er)...at least the expensive ones that are not downhill racing intended...SRAM? whats that?
  • + 2
 latest SRAMs X7 10sp group offers whatever performance and the shifter destroys it all - it was such a piece of sht - they've even changed similiarly working 10sp X9 to make it a bit sharper and closer to X0... SLX used to be one of the best grouppos on the market and for quality/price it was THE best. You can also say that XTR is an SLX with tons of unnecessary upgrades, just to make it more expensive. Still XTR next to Sram XX is a modest virgin when it comes to obscene luxuries.
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  • + 3
 SHIMANO have done it again, affordable yet highly desirable. This groupset would not look out of place on a Carbon Nomad..
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  • + 2
 It´s annoying that there´s no 20mm front and 135/12mm rear options for the wheels. Can´t be that hard to make some end cups for that. Same thing with SRAM´s rise wheels.
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  • + 3
 I personally would rather have a derailleur hanger to bend than buy a new derailleur
  • + 2
 Especially if you're splashing out on one of the clutch mechs...
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  • + 1
 I wonder if we are finally getting instant release in the SLX range. I had XT shifters on my old bike and just don't like te Deore shifters (more travel, plastic feel, no instant-release) on my new bike.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 after using my new xt brakes last season, i'm putting some slx on my dh rig. if they are even close to the xt's i'll be happy(though i'm sure they will be nearly exactly the same) fabulous!
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  • + 5
 I can't wait for Saint!
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  • + 2
 Torx bolts in the cranks dosen't mean that they are made of aluminium, and it don't looks like alu
(in old SLX was the same, steel bolts)
  • + 2
 Exactly. The point in the picture description about the Torx alu bolts is rubbish. Full stop Smile
  • + 0
 Get some Ti boy!
  • + 3
 I would prefer a Ti-girl Smile
  • + 1
 Did you just say "they don't look like aluminium"?lol
Yeah, Look is a great way to distinguish metals.
  • + 1
 No its American, it's alumiNUM
  • + 1
 You can easily distinguish some metals looking at its color, and that's not aluminum for sure, mini-freerider scientist.
And why you need Ti bolts here? If you'll tighten them correctly, alu is all you need.
  • + 4
 "some metals". That is pretty much all that needs said here.

If it was a debate of copper or steel. Then yes. But aluminium and steel are both silver/grey metals.

Those bolts have a brushed finish, which masks the original metal.

The writer makes his Torx statement because aluminium is a far softer metal, and to achieve higher torque settings a more secure interface is required, so the Torx statement, although not 100%, Is logical reasoning on the writers part.
  • + 1
 Whatever. That's still steel bolts. You doubt on it?
  • + 1
 I don't really care, It's just frustrating to see someone nitpicking a well written article, for no gain to themselves or the website.
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  • + 4
 The new SLX crank arm graphic look horrid.
  • + 1
 I actually like it a lot better than the previous
  • + 7
 I prefer the old one too. Less bling is a good thing. Understated. But that isn't what's posh right now. The more flashy the more popular. For instance: Lady Gaga
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  • + 1
 The cold war has begun....between the two superpowers of bike industry...... Hey Sram...wake up Your opponent is rushing up....
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  • + 1
 I wonder why the roller clutch in this SLX is so much "simpler and sturdier" than that in my XTR Shadow Plus.
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  • + 2
 Im waiting for the Zee Group
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  • + 2
 Shit, and I spent all that money on XTR last year.
  • + 1
 Yeah, was going to comment on behalf of folk like you cos Shimano and all these companies hold the technology back precisely for that reason.
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  • + 1
 SLX 2013 looks like XT2012 plus the rear derailleur is shadow plus I feel stupid for buying the XT 2012 groupset
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  • + 2
 Shimano once again READ: short cage derailleur version!!!
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  • + 2
 In that they get awesome because XTR is getting electronic.
  • + 1
 Yea awesome! When something goes wrong you will go to your computer service shop to repair it. Nvidia will be launching graphic card for these! The rumour has it, that the new Saint brakes will be Di2 as well
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  • + 1
 i should of got slx or xtr brakes with cooling fins over the saints. nah i love my saints.
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  • + 2
 i knew i should have waited,,just got 2012 xtr rear mec, shifter and chain
  • + 1
 Me too. Love the clutch on the rear derailleur - super stealthy descents. But it was about $100 more than I wanted to spend for a derailleur. SLX should hit the price marks much better.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 oooooft i want them brakes !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but on a 6 bolt rotor
[Reply]
  • - 2
 i love how they dont mention were any of this stuff is made and how. id rather spend a little extra $$$ and get some nice CNC aluminum cranks from race face MADE IN VANCOUVER. than some moulded cranks made in a chinese sweat shop with workers making next to no pay. just my thoughts and im not trying to talk down to shimano because they have come out with some great stuff. but i would like to know more about the building process.
  • + 3
 shimano stuff is made in japan, but a see wat u mean
  • + 4
 Just XTR and DuraAce are made in Japan I think. Most of their items are made in Malaysia or some place around there. I can be wrong.
  • + 2
 Most is still Japan. Cretin, your name speaks for itself of what you are. Just because it's made over seas doesn't mean it's bad. Take a look at your car or household appliances.
  • + 1
 Shimano SLX/XT/XTR is made in Japan, the rest are usually Singapore, or eventually Malaysia (Not sure about the road groupsets, though). And yet, that doesn't stop them from releasing badass components which stand up to their name and rep.
  • + 1
 If XT and XTR are made in Japan, then obviously Saint is too right?
  • + 3
 good question cretin82, asked way to rarely, but I think you overreacted a bit.

Well vast majority of us can't say how did a piece of bread came to our table (where was the wheat from - how was it grown - did they put any taste improving chemicals?) - so trying to know something about manufacturing of a bike part is very ambitious. It might be made in Japan, but where and how was the aluminium extracted, maybe it comes from Africa, where was it smelted and with what coming from where, did it travel back and forth all over the planet? How each member of the process managed the waste?

So you guys better don't be so assured just by information that is made in Japan and it's all good and jelly - I would like to hear how Shimano manages externalities ...
  • + 0
 race face cranks ftw
  • + 1
 Godfrey, you should have been more patriotic. Middleburn cranks FTW!
  • + 1
 nah, raceface and middleburn cranks are gash. Wherever shimano cranks are made, they work better than most others.
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  • + 1
 2 or 3 shift mode is such a great idea... did not know it existed already- simple yet such an amazing idea...
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  • + 1
 "Below threshold threads are visible" Dissenters are now hidden so as not to bother you with their opinions.
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  • + 3
 Where's the 20mm hub ?!!
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  • + 1
 Ok that's it...swaping my old SRAM X5 for SLX this summer...wow, Shadow plus on a budget!
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  • + 2
 holy shit, everything is soo sexy. I can't wait to get the groupset Smile
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  • + 1
 Dmmmn Change SAINT already!
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  • + 1
 thoughs cranks look mint, can't wait to get a pair!
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  • + 1
 all hail ze roller clutch!
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  • + 1
 Can't wait to see what sram whips up. I hope they make an x9 clutch
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  • + 1
 Love my first gen SLX components. The right parts at the right prices.
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  • + 1
 Their Sora groupo looks good too....
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  • + 1
 Wow all of this stuff looks so prime, definitely going on the wish list
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  • + 0
 FUUUU i just got the old slx brakes. lmao, they look better than these imo. i might cop the cranks though.
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  • + 1
 Wow I personally think that looks nicer than the current XTR stuff!!
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  • + 1
 for sure getting the derailleur that shit looks bomb!
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  • + 1
 I've never thought about upgrading an entire groupset, until now.
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  • + 1
 Chuffed about the 29er wheels finally having 15mmQR...!
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  • - 1
 i agree with everyone below the threshold... what does that mean?
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  • - 3
 i like the look of the older slx cranks tbh
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  • - 3
 And SRAM just died, not even their new carbon wheels can save them.
  • + 2
 Well there is a reason that SRAM's warranty is so good. It's so needed.
  • + 8
 Gotta say, sram shifters and derailleurs have been better to me than shimano. That clutch is cool but sram has something in the works too. Of course sram cranks can't hold a candle to shimano's
  • + 1
 Actually if their new wheels are priced decently I might be interested.
  • + 1
 I'm totally SRAM drive-train and Shimano brakes these days.
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