Shimano has always pushed their technology down its food chain, and last year the Deore XT got the trickled down engineering from its XTR brethren, and this year the SLX group gets the same sort of treatment. The SLX 2013 gets a plethora of trickery, including the Ice Tech brake pads and rotors, the Shadow Plus clutch on the rear derailer, the excellent shifters and of course, the slew of 10-speed cranks and cassettes. My new favorite addition is a 2×10 crank with a granny lovin’ 38×24 gearing, which XT will also get as an option! Another obvious feature for the SLX is its excellent price point, especially in comparison to the uber expensive XTR. They have added some tweaks to their components in regard to 29er’s, including a direct mount rear derailer for the Shadow Plus models, and a bottom-swing front for better to wheel clearance.
New “Rider Tuned” SLX Group for Trail Riders
SLX receives more updates for 2013, creating possibly the best all-around value/performance group available. Built to perform like XT and XTR, SLX now includes many of the same Trail options including award-winning Shadow Plus RD technology, and three new Rider Tuned 2×10 crank set options are available on the new style SLX crank.
*Available July 2012
New Shadow Plus and direct mount RD options
SLX now offers a Shadow Plus rear derailleur for trail riders available in SGS and GS options with a direct mount option. Shadow Plus technology reduces chain slap and chain drop while creating a more stable drive train that is dramatically quieter. A new standard Shadow RD will be available, also with a direct mount option.
New Rider Tuned crank sets
In addition to the trail optimized triple (42-32-24), new SLX Rider Tuned crank set options now include a double chainring crank set that is available in three chainring combinations for varied usages: race-optimized 40-28T and 38-26T options and a 29er friendly 38-24T option. The 10-speed SLX wide range cassette (CS-HG81-10) has rider optimized gear progressions (11-36, 11-34, 11-32). New SLX crank sets showcase a new revised shape and finish.
Improved shifter ergonomics, chainring mode converter
New SLX shifters offer a 2x or 3x chainring converter for more Rider Tuned options. The easy access levers feature a new ergonomic lever shape with 2-way release and offer Advanced Light Action shifting and compact and vivid OGD compatibility. ISPEC integrated one clamp option available.
Powerful SLX disc brakes, new disc rotors
The SLX disc brake system maintains technology including Servo Wave, ICE Tech pad options, oversized 22mm ceramic piston and high power hose with banjo mount for powerful braking. The brake levers are ISPEC compatible. New lightweight SM-RT66 six-bolt and SM-RT67 Center Lock rotors will be available. The disc brake system is compatible with ICE Tech rotor upgrades.