Project AM/Enduro: SHIMANO SLX GROUPPO

shimano logo

Our Project AM/Enduro bike has finally received its drivetrain from Shimano.  We will be running Shimano’s SLX grouppo on this bike.   We chose the SLX kit for this project as it keeps cost low while still providing many of the features we wanted on the XT and XTR lines.  Like the new Shadow + rear derailleur and Ice Tech brakes.  The goal was to make this a bike that is worthy of epic endurance races like The Whole Enchilada, Downieville, Ashland and the new California and Oregon Enduro series.

SHIMANO SLX CRANKS

I opted for 175mm arms and a 2×10 set up with 24/38 front gearing for this bike.  While I am not the strongest climber nor spinner (though I am working on both) I felt that though the 175mm arms sacrificed ground clearance, it will aid in sections I am weak in. We will also be testing other gearing options as well.  The rider tuned Shimano SLX cranks came in at a feathery 744 grams as you see in in the picture below, with rings mounted and no bottom bracket mounted.  Speaking of bottom brackets, our Morewood Sukuma frame features a BB92 bottom bracket.  This is a mostly plastic/polymer pressfit unit and as a result super light weight.

ShimanoSLXcranks

SHIMANO SLX BRAKES

Shimano kept all the things we wanted from the XT and XTR brakes like the short 2 finger adjustable lever, hinged clamp and Ice Tech finned pads, then made them at a price we can love.  Still part of the SLX brakes is the Servo Wave technology and a ceramic 22mm piston fed by a high powered hose.  We have loved the feel of XT brakes ever since they changed the levers.  So we are especially stoked on the feel off the SLX right off the bat.  Plus they are tool free adjustable reach.

ShimanoSLXbrake2

SHIMANO SLX DERAILLEURS AND SHIFTERS

Whats even more exciting is they new Shimano Shadow PLUS SLX rear derailleur.  Clutch enabled rear derailleurs are the rage right now.  For good reason too.  While they have not totally redesigned the drive train, they have addressed some current issues such as dropped chains and chain slap against your precious frame.  All this should lead to a quite and secure drivetrain.  Stamped steel plates of the SLX unit keep cost down and durability high with lower costs.  The same holds true for the direct mount front derailleur.

ShimanoSLX2x10mechs

The SLX rapid fire offer a 2x and 3x front shifting converter so should we want to switch from a 2 ring to a 3 ring set up we still can without having to buy a new shifter.  They also 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 to keep things tidy and clean on your bars.

ShimanoSLXshifters

Here are the last few bits of the Shimano package we received for this project.  SLX 11-34 cassette, 10 speed chain and rotors.  We hope to try the new Ice Tech rotors later on to see the difference in stopping power versus the standard rotors.  The 11-34 cassette should provide us with enough range for the places we have planned to take this bike to.
ShimanoSLXextras

The scale doesn’t lie.  All respectable weights for this entry level group that has elite level upgrades.  Most notably the Shadow Plus rear derailleur and Ice Tech finned pads and new levers for the brakes.  While not a super light weight of the XTR group, what is heavy is my wallet! (click on a pic to open the slide show )

While not the super light weight of the XTR group, what is heavy is my wallet!  These MSRP prices for the features found on the SLX group make it worth more than the XTR dollar for dollar.

  • Shift Lever Set – $110.00
  • Front Direct Mount Derailleur – $54.99
  • Shadow + Rear Derailleur – $99.99
  • Disk brake set EACH – $159.99
  • SLX Rotors EACH – $34.99
  • Crankset 2x – $259.99
  • Cassette – $79.99
  • Chain – $44.99

The entire SLX grouppo is going to get a full review in the next month our two once the bike is complete and seen some trail time.  So make sure to stay tuned.

Visit Shimano’s WEBSITE and FaceBook for more information on the new 2013 Shimano SLX.

About WingNutt

Rider, Racer, Owner of MyBikeStand.com. A long history in racing and riding, from BMX and freestyle to Downhill, Dual Slalom, 4X and even some Road races spans nearly 25 years. Spent some time working in bike shops. I love to ride my bike.

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