Front Mech – Is XT better than SLX ?

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  • Front Mech – Is XT better than SLX ?
  • alfabus
    Member

    has a big plastic area that traps mud.

    is that more to do with top swing vs. bottom swing?

    Dave

    The XT will probably be fractionally lighter (as in the the weight of two, maybe three Cheddar & Onion Real McCoys) but will also be made from higher quality materials – more metal and less plastic, will have a fractionally more precise action and will, all other things being equal, last longer.

    Mechs and shifters aren’t ‘matched’, however, you don’t have to use like with like if you don’t want to. XT shifters will work slightly more accurately and precisely than SLX. An XT mech weighed against an SLX mech would be the same. An SLX mech will work fine with an XT shifter and vice versa, using XT for both would give you a fractionally(!) better shift and a tiny weight saving, that’s all.

    The big plastic area you mention, it’s not the shim between the mech clamp and the seat tube is it? I only ask, as all Shimano mechs now seem to use that system, so you’ll get plastic shims with SLX and XT.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Its the lump of plastic behind the silver bit of the mech where the adjuster screws are. Even behind that though it appears to be quite a bulky mech.

    PJM1974
    Member

    There’s between five and ten grammes in it between SLX and XT. Personally, I wouldn’t bother with upgrading.

    I’ve an XT front on bike #1 and an SLX front on bike #2 and I cannot tell any difference in shifting quality between them.

    steve_b77
    Member

    Thats because it’s a low clamp one, the high clamp ones aren’t as bulky.

    Ther’ll be pretty much no difference between XT & SLX if thats the only issue.

    rwc03
    Member

    As above, if it’s a low clamp mech all shimano models now have a big plastic area, even xtr. Shimano front mechs seem to get uglier each year, Sram are slightly better looking.

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    Thats a top swing front mech on your bike, and the designs across SLX, XT etc.. are much of a muchness – variations on pivot detail and materials used being the only real differentiator.

    mechs badged as conventional or bottom swing collect less mud and are far more reliable in the long term, but you may struggle to mount as they have a mounting band which is quite high up on the seat tube and may foul your link pivot or supporting structure.

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    The XT will be shinier and cost more. That’s about it really.

    But the Bike Tart / OCD in me would keep me up at nights knowing that the shifters and mechs don’t match, if you don’t upgrade this minute. πŸ˜‰

    bigblackshedMember

    …the Bike Tart / OCD in me would keep me up at nights knowing that the shifters and mechs don’t match, if you don’t upgrade this minute.

    I have Deore shifters and front mech… with an XT rear mech! 😈 Feel free to come round and replace the shifters and front mech with XT anytime you like… πŸ˜€

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    My nearly new bike has an SLX front mech on it, nothing particularly wrong with it, but it looks a bit industrial, and has a big plastic area that traps mud.

    Would an XT one work better with my XT shifters, or is it just down to looks?

    Ta

    Edit: Its 10spd set up too.

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    relliott6879 – Member

    I have Deore shifters and front mech… with an XT rear mech! Feel free to come round and replace the shifters and front mech with XT anytime you like…

    I’ve got a spare Deore rear mech your welcome to. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    I’m in the rather fortunate position of having a choice of either an SLX (double) top swing or an XT top swing to put on my current build (going to be 2Xn)…

    I was going to default to the SLX as it’s been fine for the last couple of years (on my previous frame) but I might opt for the XT if there’s much of a weight benefit I shall pop them on the scales and report back later if you want…

    Shift wise there shouldn’t be much in it should there (Driven by the same shifter in either instance)… Right?

    Yes, there will. If you use the SLX and your bike finds out that you have an XT available, it will crumble into a thousand pieces, mid-ride, and you will die.

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    ^^^^^ πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

    antigee
    Member

    and will, all other things being equal, last longer.

    (XT)

    well i’ve had a couple of XT front mechs sieze solid – yes slightly abused in at least one case but have run slx mechs on bikes that have never ever been cleaned at all with ne problems that WD40 and a toothbrush wouldn’t fix

    Toasty
    Member

    The spring on the wifes SLX one went rusty, my older XT one hasn’t, only difference I’ve noticed.

    bigyinn
    Member

    Can anyone recommend a low clamp / top swing front mech that DOESNT go rattly after a while?

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    If it helps, I’ve got a 14 year old LX front mech (same spot in the Shimano line as SLX now) that’s still performing faultlessly after thousands and thousands of miles. Driven by friction thumbies though. Perfect balance between simplicity and functionality – goes for that Einstein principle of making things as simple as possible, but not simpler.

    Realise that might come across as all retro grouch and not too useful in answering your question, but in summary, the front mech has a very simple job to do, so my advice is to know that XT over SLX will make negligible practical difference, and then do what makes you happy.

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
    Subscriber

    As far as I can see, the major difference between the SLX front mech my bike ate and the one that replaced it is that the SLX one had ‘SLX’ stamped into the cage, and the XT one has ‘XT’ cut out of it.

    Andy

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