Shimano SLX or XT, is it worth the extra ££?
Hi all, Thinking of buying a complete groupset from Merlin, is the XT kit worth the extra £120 over the SLX? Both sets include f&r brake kits. Would prefer the 2×10 XT over the 3×10 that is the SLX set.
It’s for a ragley piglet with Reba 120 forks with 15mm axle just for info.
Also looking at a superstar wheel set, but seems to be a bit of a mixed bag of satisfaction with the company on here. Would they be a ye or a nae? Sounds like everyone that gets a good bit of kit is satisfied but those with problems with after sales service say they are best avoided.
ThanksPosted 6 years ago
You’ve kinda answered your own question, i would say if you really prefer the XT then you’ll always wish you’d gone for it over the SLX. Saying that there’s nothing wrong with the SLX (well nothing wrong with the stuff i’ve been running anyways) but if you can afford the extra then go for it 🙂Posted 6 years ago
Thanks for the reply, I run 3×10 at the moment on another bike albeit X9. Just find that with the type of riding I do I don’t think I’ve ever used the big ring so fancied the 2×10 when buying new.Posted 6 years ago
Edit-Just really wondering over the quality difference between them especially the brakes.Herman ShakeMember
I’d rather have SLX and Hope wheels than XT and Superstar. No point having a bling groupset if it’s all transmitting into moderate wheels.
Think of the rotating mass, longevity, ease of sevice/getting spares etc. They’ll also hold their value better if you eventually want to sell them on, 2nd hand superstar wheels won’t fetch much.Posted 6 years ago
Thanks guys, bling/aesthetics was not really the issue in choosing, more function and quality. I have been looking at a lot of wheel sets, I suppose superstar were just an easy option – was looking at stans crest rims with switch evo hubs option. Selling on maybe no a big deal as I tend to run things til they are dead anyway.Posted 6 years ago
SLX are probably the best value for money. Having said that, I have just upgraded to XT shifters and crankset. It’s personal choice but I find the best option is to go for what you really want to save upgrading at a later date.
Never tried the Superstar wheels but really like my Hope Pro 3 / ZTR wheels reliability issues aside.Posted 6 years agocompositeSubscriber
I had the budget for XT but after riding bikes with both transmissions went for the SLX as I didn’t think the slightly better feeling shifters were worth the extra money. Possibly if I damage a shifter and need to replace it I might go XT.
I have 2 sets of Super Star wheels. A set of the XC rims with switch EVO hubs that I have put about 1000 miles on and I’m very happy with them. They built them so I checked the tensions and they were pretty even, and the dishing was good as was the true.
The second set are AM rims on Switch EVO’s; they built the rear and I built the front. Again the tensions and dishing and such all seemed fine. I will be putting them on a build I’m doing, hopefully so its finished this weekend for its first ride. In terms of weight I didn’t think there was a huge amount in it with the Hopes but if you have the budget then why not.
In terms of resale value I owuld have thought its the percentage you get of original outlay that matters. As everything seems to be around the 50% mark (if in OK condition) I don’t really see how resale makes much difference. I guess it makes a full build a bit more attractive though?Posted 6 years ago
the slx middle ring is also steel. Only difference to the XT triple chainrings are: The XT inner is machines aluminium, SLX steel. The XT middle is steel with carbon composite the slx is steel and black fibreglass composite – the only difference visually is one is slightly shinier. The XT outer is machined aluminium, the SLX is pressed.
As for wheels – you will still be getting the same hubs as the hope ones if you go SS but tbh I would go XT AND Hope wheels!
tbh the only difference in the brakes is a bit of extra adjustment on the XT – don’t think there is any extra power. The front and rear dérailleurs are pretty much the same (XT 2×10 will be different cage obviously) but no idea on the shifters. The XT maybe be a bit lighter to shift but I quite like my old LX ones as they feel smoother in a way but less crisp than the XT.
The big thing for me is 2×10 or 3×10. If you can live with the 2×10 gearing then go for it.Posted 6 years agogmandavisonMember
SLX is designed for all mountain riding, 50% stronger than XT and XTR but with a wieght penelty. XT is made of lighter materials and designed for trail and xc riding so I would say if you can afford it and don’t do much riding were you could bash the crap out of your gear then XT has to be your choice. As for wheel sets Hope Pro 2 with ZTR Flow rims you can get them new for £330’ish.Posted 6 years ago
I remember some of the marketing stuff that shimano released when SLX came out saying the cranks where 50% stronger. But I think that was compared to the older XT ones, was possibly the double ring ones and they don’ exactly expand on what part is stronger and in what way.Posted 6 years agoAlexSimonSubscriber
Personally £120 extra for full XT over full SLX is a no-brainer.
Add in the fact you prefer the 2×10 setup and it just makes it even more convincing.
When you come to replace the chain and cassette, you can get away with SLX.
Obviously if £120 is enough to put you in debt then don’t do it.Posted 6 years ago
Calling it SLX rather than LX was just a re-branding exercise.. The old LX stuff wasn’t all that reliable when you chucked loads of sloppy mud all over it. Some things like the brake callipers just had their colours changed.Posted 6 years ago
The cranks went from Octalink to HT2. Maybe that’s where the 50% stronger claim came from. SLX stuff certainly isn’t stronger though. The double cranks might be a bit tougher with the pedal inserts but that’s all.
LX is completely difference to SLX. LX had a bad image (not justified IMO) so they sent it to touring bikes and brought in the sexy new SLX line to replace LX and Hone.
They never did a shadow LX, the cranks are difference, chainrings different, brakes were styled on the XT at the time (again without the adjustment).
LX always used to be XTs old design from the previous year(s). SLX took over with that but it did so when XT had a major overhaul.
So if LX or SLX can’t cope with mud then the previous versions of XT must have been bad too.Posted 6 years ago
The brake callipers were the same as the previous years LX, as the previous years XT were one piece. The front mechs were a different colour, and had SLX stamped on them. The chainrings were just as soft as the old LX ones, although they have made them better since. The hubs were the same internally too, with the same seals and cones.
I’m just saying that it wasn’t completely new. Some bits were redesigned, but much of it was just given a shiny new look.
There’s bits in the XT group that don’t trickle down, and do help with longevity.. Ceramic bushed jockey wheels and steel toothed middle chainrings for example. FWIW, unless you have to buy it all together I’d be mixing and matching anyway.Posted 6 years agochakapingSubscriber
I usually get SLX mechs and cranks and XT shifters.
In your case I’d go full XT though (assuming it’s cheaper than mix ‘n’ matching), since you want the 2×10 anyway. The shifter feel is really important to me, and the weight must add up over a whole groupset(?).Posted 6 years ago
Cheers folks. But wow! So many different opinions and ideas, hasn’t made my choice any easier! I am saving bit by bit for the build and am in no great hurry to get it finished, the extra money for the XT would be no problem and a set of hopes would just mean a litle more saving. I could shell out the lot from other savings but was not in the good books after shelling out a fair bit on a FS canyon last year with no prior consultation with the wife. So some stealthy saving is being used for this build and hope to get it ready for summer.Posted 6 years ago
You can get the complete XT groupset from Bike Components for less with a wider choice of 2×10 or 3×10 ratios.
If you aren’t dead set on the Shimano brakes, you could buy an SLX 3×10 tranmission groupet from Action Bikes for £180 or a 2012 XT 2×10 or 3×10 transmission group for £330.
If you would consider the 2011 XT 3×10 groupset then you can get that less brakes for £260 from Bike Components.
I have mates who’ve used both of the German retailers and have received their order in less than a week.Posted 6 years agogmandavisonMember
I think some people come on forums just to try and get a one up on people because of their lack of credibility in the real world…
chakaping, I’m not saying XT or XTR is for light strolling use, just that he should take into account the intended use of each product. SLX was designed by Shimano for “all mountain” and withstand the demands of heavy abuse, thats a fact no matter what the what you through at it but their is a penalty with weight. The range fits between the Saint and XT for all mountain riders who like a bit of rough and ready and like to descend. Who many heavy hit bikes do you know fitted with Shimano have XTR set ups?
Sonnyjim, I’ve recently spent a good deal of time into a custom build Yeti 575 with an biased towards gravity and DH trails and the choice between the XT/SLX/XTR was a big part of it and [/i]everyone pointed out what I’ve said here so from guys in local groups to suppliers and local bike shops and it’s pretty much the only consistent bit of advice I got. Hence, in the end I choice the SLX because of the riding I prefer but wouldn’t claim either is better than the other, they all serve a purpose and you need to find which best suits what you do, rather than pick the one that holds the most street cred, I there are a few knob jockeys on here that spend way to much money on products that they don’t need or are ill fitted because they want to be seen with the “right” gear!Posted 6 years ago
steel toothed middle chainrings for example
My LX and my SLX (9 and 10 speed) have all had steel middle chainrings. The LX is the last series they did just before LX came out so maybe you had an earlier version with an aluminium one. I would never use and aluminium middle or granny personally.
I use SLX rings on my cranks as I find them to be the best bang for the buck. They are a little bit nice shifting than the old steel lower spec rings but not as expensive as XT. I think the 10 speed Deore rings are now very similar from what I saw on the pictures so these should be even cheaper – in fact it probably works out best to buy Deore cranks from a German store and sell the arms and BB and end up with a set of rings for <£20.Posted 6 years agoRusty SpannerSubscriber
I’ve ridden loads of XT & SLX suff over the last few years and as others have said, the only real difference seems to be that XT shifters feel a bit nicer when new.
Once your cables are a few weeks old though, you’ll struggle to tell the difference.
I’m replacing things with Deore as it wears out now, feels fine to me and I can go for a nice meal with the money saved!
Merlin wheels are excellent btw, 3 pairs over 7 years between two of us, never a problem. Good value too.Posted 6 years ago
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