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  1. #1
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    Shimano SLX vs. XT?

    So, I've been shopping around the past few weeks for a new bike, and I think I have it narrowed down between the Ibis Mojo, SC Nomad and SC Blur (assuming I can ever find one to test ride). My next big decision is going to be whether I should go with the SLX or the XT kit. From what I've read on the 2013 SLX components, it sounds like especially with the incorporation of Shadow plus in the SLX, it may not be worth the extra $$ for my riding. I can afford either, but would rather not spend a bunch of money for minimal gain.

    I don't think I'll ever get into really aggressive riding, though I'm not looking for Sunday strolls on the fire roads either. Just your basic single track light to moderate shredding. . .something to get the adrenaline flowing and heart pumping, but avoid too near death experiences. My experience level I'd say is still in the beginner category. I've actually been riding for the past 8-9 years, but four of those years were in Florida (Ft Walton area, so we did have some small hills), and I just didn't take my riding very seriously the rest of the time.

    So, what do you think? Shell out the extra bucks for the XT kit or just go with SLX?

  2. #2
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    What's the price difference? SLX & XT are pretty close performance-wise but if the price is close I'd go XT. If it's a big difference SLX is usually the best bang for the buck.

  3. #3
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    SLX is good kit and its pretty cheap. Now it seems like the big difference is weight. But if you are not a weight weenie get the SLX and buy your buddies some beer.

  4. #4
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    i have both slx and xt shifters and have no complaints with the slx at all...however, that's the only component i can comment on

  5. #5
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    I'd love to hear what the actual gruppo weight difference is (ex wheels). As you're looking at a pretty hefty price difference (and it's cheap to upgrade to ice tech rotors). Basically, with a lot of manufacturers these days, you're comparing an XT / aluminum bike with an SLX / carbon frame. Carbon typically saving you 1-2 lbs (plus stiffness) over the AL. If the SLX is even a par difference (2 lbs say, which I doubt) I'd still think the choice would be pretty clear (carbon and cheaper components) if for no other reason than you break and replace crap over time, can upgrade then. Plus, who really needs a $200 cassette + $100 chain anyway when they wear out in less than 6 months regardless.

  6. #6
    usually cranky
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    first off i would scratch the nomad off your list, sounds like more bike than you need. performance wise slx is pretty much equivalent to xt at the expense of a tiny bit of weight. again, from your post, i get the impression you would be best served by slx.

  7. #7
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    For the most part, XT is just going to give you lighter weight than SLX, to the order of about a pound to a pound and a half if I remember correctly. You can mitigate that a bit by replacing your cassette and chainrings with XT at your convenience. IIRC, the SLX cassette is a heavy steel HG-something which can dig into aluminum freehub bodies, so that's a consideration.

    The only part of SLX that really bugged me compared to XT was the shifters. The SLX rear shifter can only shift up one gear at a time, while XT and XTR can do two in one lever throw. It may seem minor, but it's really nice when you crest the hill.

  8. #8
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    Xt chain rings are made of butter. Slx are made of steel ( a totally appropriate material for chain rings)

    Xt v slx cassette, is not much these days, both are on a carrier. Shifter difference as in the post above, though if you never have had it 2 up at a time won't matter at all.

    Brakes are the same, ie both brilliant!

    Crankset s are equivalent, slx look sexier, the black xt cranks will wear from shoe contact sometime in the first 30 seconds of usage (chrome is the choice to make - or slx)

    Shadow plus is the biz. It is quieter and will save scratch and damage to the frame over time . I use an xt one for the adjustability of the plus part, but have never touched it.

    NOW! MOST IMPORTANT

    Think about replacing items, and where you will replace worn/damaged parts. Xt will cost 50% more than slx at your bike shop . My biking buddies are full of xtr equipped bikes that are now running xt derailleurs and cassettes etc because when you look at the things, there can't possibly be a $100 in an xtr versus xt deraileur etc

  9. #9
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    Re: drivetrain, I have the 2012 XT drivetrain (non-Shadow Plus RD though) on my HT, and some components (Shadow + RD, FD, ISPEC shifters) of the 2013 SLX on my FS.

    XT feels smoother in shifting. But that's about it. Pricewise it is a bit more expensive than SLX (substantial enough for me). Weight difference is negligible IMO.

    I chose SLX because it is more value for money. Not as smooth as XT when it comes to shifting, but almost there. I love the Shadow Plus, keeps the drivetrain very quiet.

    For both bikes, I use 2013 M675 SLX brakes. On the HT it's 160mm Avid G3CS rotors. On the FS it's with 203 front, 180 rear XT IceTech rotors. Braking power is awesome for 200+ pounder me - especially with the IceTech.

  10. #10
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    I just put a XT group on my 2013 Mamba less brakes. I got it off eBay for 529.00 delivered. Showed 3 days after auction and payment.

    I installed it and the shifting is awesome. I have road XT since the mid 90's and think its worth he extra coin. For what it's worth I also went 2-10 40/28 and love it. I think spend the money, the drive train is worth it alone. I'm not weight weenie but love a good lick and hit the gear.
    Jim Roberts
    JBI Armory
    FFL 07 / SOT
    469-236-9507

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the inputs! The price difference is pretty significant. For the Mojo HD, I'm looking at $4721 for the SLX kit and $5539 for XT. Of course, this is the kit, so in addition to the XT components, I'm also getting better rims (Stans Flow EX vs. Rapid) and a better handlebar (which will probably be replaced, so not really a factor). $800 is not pocket change, though some good points have been brought up about the XT components that will give me something to think about.

    As for the Nomad, yes, that probably is a bit more bike than I need for the intensity of my riding. Out of every bike I've ridden, though, that one just fits me like a glove! On paper, it looks like the Blur may be more my speed, but I haven't gotten my hands on one yet. . .though I do have a line on someone in town who has one and may let me try it out.

    While we're on the subject, do you guys think the Mojo SL-R may be more my speed than the HD? I'm pretty sure this bike will never see a jump park, nor go off much of anything I couldn't easily climb over (i.e. no 6' ledges).

  12. #12
    Flying in High in the Sky
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    I don't think there's much difference between the two, but the XT brakes are much better compared to SLX specifically the Icetech Rotors.

  13. #13
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    pharmaboy posted the best answer here. If you are used to shift 2 cogs at once take XT. Otherwise SLX will do the job.

    Forget ice tech rotors if you're not into agressive riding.

  14. #14
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    Re: Shimano SLX vs. XT?

    I pieced together a full XT group a year ago (except slx cranks insteaf of xt) for around $380. Deals are out there if you look. Twice now I've gotten XT shifters for $15 each on clearance. They are normally $80+

    I'd go slx and upgrade to xt slowly as needed. You'll get way more for your money waiting and looking for deals on line.

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

  15. #15
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    Get the Mojo SL-R. It os made for your style. The HD is for people doing drops, chunk, and high speed rock gardens.

    I say get the SLX. With the exception of the wheels and maybe the shifter, it will all be replaced in two years time.

  16. #16
    usually cranky
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    id definitely strongly consider the sl-r.

  17. #17
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    Hmmm - my 2013 slx shifts 2 cogs/gears on the rear - just looked at the build and spun it around the block to be sure... i rode Fruita and used this capability there as well - spun the block just to be 100%

    i have xt on my other bike and have used this feature - so know what it is and how it works...

  18. #18
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    It does look like the 2013 version of the SLX gear set got a bit of an overhaul. If they can now shift 2 cogs at once, that would certainly help close the gap a little more. Right now, I'm leaning towards going SLX and then upgrade as required. Since either one's going to be a huge upgrade for me at this point, it will probably be a little while before I get to the point where I want more.

  19. #19
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    I tested out SLX 2013, it can downshift to a larger cog 3 gears (but it's a long press on the lever), but upshift to a smaller cog only 1 at a time from what I remember. I also have SLX M660 10 speed from 2010 and XT M780. I have no issues with SLX at all, the throw is a bit more than XT and it does not have the instant release, but it really does not bother me in the least and feels pretty crisp. I pick my ride of the day by the bike, not the gears/levers/components it has, just glad to have a choice when I go out. I would guess you would be happy with SLX too.

  20. #20
    I got the velcros
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    I run an amalgamation of XT and SLX, with some SRAM thrown in.

    Shifters: XT
    RD: XT
    FT: SLX
    cranks: SLX
    Cassette: SRAM PG990
    Hubs: XT

    Works brilliantly.
    XT shifters are a superior being to the SLX shifters across the board in precision and feel.

    Generally, derailleurs are only as precise as your shifters as they dictate your cable positions, if torn between the two, get the better shifter than the derailleur.

  21. #21
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    My LBS had mojo sl with slx for $2799.

    I'd go slx and upgrade over time whilst selling the slx parts as they are replaced.

  22. #22
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    saint brakes, deore brake levers, xt derauilers and shifters, slx cranks. Mix and match is the best way.

  23. #23
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    Re: Shimano SLX vs. XT?

    Slx disc brakes with XT rotors... Works beautifully.

    I chose SRAM X9 and XO as drive train.

  24. #24
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    SLX kit shifters have more flex than the XT... Which bugs me. The derailuers are pretty comparible.

    For the record I have XT. Wife has SLX. I notice the difference when I ride her bike post tune. I might not notice if I road it for a few days straight.

  25. #25
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    Go SLX all the way, except for the nicer handling of the shifters. The finish is a bit more agricultural than XT, but not too bad. Functionally, at least for me, they are the same, plus when they break (like a branch in your wheel) it'll be much cheaper to replace.

    The "problem" with Shimano is their stuff across most of the range works really well, yes there are differences between the groupsets, but enough to justify the additional expense? Not in my opinion once you get to SLX (and some might argue even Deore!!)

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