Results 1 to 45 of 45
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    42

    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    783
    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
    I ride bikes
    Reputation: moefosho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    2,357
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    412
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    389
    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
    meow meow
    Reputation: b-kul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    10,622
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    530
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation: pharmaboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    505
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    87
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    23
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    42
    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
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    272
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    291
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    20

    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Fuglio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    2,636
    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
    meow meow
    Reputation: b-kul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    10,622
    id definitely strongly consider the sl-r.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    795
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    42
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Aresab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,400
    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
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    252
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    294
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    1,299
    saint brakes, deore brake levers, xt derauilers and shifters, slx cranks. Mix and match is the best way.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    86

    Re: Shimano SLX vs. XT?

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

    I chose SRAM X9 and XO as drive train.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: LB412's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    920
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    38
    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!!)

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    20
    Ha, I'm going to have to upgrade to either one of these- thanks!

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    175
    This article sold me on the SLX brakes. Sounds like there's not much difference between SLX and XT, brakewise. I'd prefer the XT shifters if I was buying, though.

    Shimano 2012 SLX Trail Brakes - Long-Term Test: - Pinkbike

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    405
    You really want to know the difference, look at the parts diagrams on the Shimano website. You might see stuff like bushings in both derailleur pulleys instead of just one on XT stuff. Decide how incremental each upgrade is to you, in feel, longetivity, and in $$$, and then make appropriate decisions.

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    84

    Mojo HD Special Blend

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandCrow View Post
    The price difference is pretty significant. For the Mojo HD, I'm looking at $4721 for the SLX kit and $5539 for XT.
    FYI, you could save another grand, or so, by going with the Mojo HD Special Blend Ibis Mojo HD Special Blend

    Would have went this route, if it was available at the time I bought my Mojo HD/XT-kit.

    Rode SLX on a demo Pivot Mach 5.7, and, honestly, I couldn't tell the difference from XT. If you're currently riding a bike more than a couple of years old, either kit will likely offer a big improvement.

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    177
    I own both XT and SLX

    XT shifts gear a bit faster but i don't know why. They all look like the same except colour and material. Maybe the shape of the cassette makes the difference? no idea

    For brake, i don't feel any difference at all but XTR vs XT/SLX is big difference

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    136
    If you have an aluminium rear cassette body I'd choose XT rear cassette as spiders protect up to the 6th cog instead of the 3rd on the SLX. If you have steel body go SLX.

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Shalom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    2,005
    XT and SLX brakes are exactly the same performance-wise bar the stupid bite point control screw on the XT, which does nothing anyway.

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Shalom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    2,005
    The old SLX only did single shifts. New SLX does double shift just like XT.

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    42
    Thanks, everyone. I ended up going with SLX parts on my new Mojo SL-R, which if all goes as planned, I should have in time to go riding this weekend. Pretty stoked! I can certainly see myself upgrading to XT shifters and possibly even deraileurs sometime in the future, but for right now, I think the improvement from what I currently have is going to be quite significant, so it will be awhile before I'm wanting more. One of my other hobbies is photography, so I'm definitely very familiar with a small bump in quality can command a significant rise in price. In the end, if that's what you need, then that's what you pay.

    Anyway, thanks everyone for all of the comments. It really helped in making my decision.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    722
    Now that you have your precious running and will upgrade in the future, I'd suggest getting the XT shifters first, at the same time get the sealed derailleur cable lines & housing by Gore.

    Keep an eye out for the $70 XT silver Shadow+ and pick it up when you can, unless you don't care about price and want the M786+ in black; keep it in the box until you break the SLX RD. Also, it might be a good thing to invest in one or two extra derailleur hangers for your bike.

    Got to demo a Mojo SL with a mix of SLX and XT; fine bike, you made a great choice!
    I drive more when the streets need repairs! -'95 ZJ

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation: nauc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    2,462
    SLX. when it fails, upgrade to XT

    i have SLX shifters and FD, with an XT RD. works great

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    570
    Slx is the best value, IMO. I just upgraded my brakeset from avid elixir 1 to slx m675. so quiet and powerful. My rd is xt, with xtr cassette, slx shifter and crankset, raceface chainring. Happy so far.

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    42
    Looks like this old thread has been resurrected, and at a good time, too. For anyone who helped me out when I first started the thread, I ended up going with a Mojo SL-R and SLX components. Now, I'm thinking about getting my older bike back in prime riding condition so I have it as either a backup or a loaner. The shifters on the older bike are pretty much shot, so I think my plan is to give it the SLX shifters off my Mojo and upgrade to XT on the Mojo. I've had zero issues with the SLX shifters, and I think I did well following the majority of the advice to go with SLX components, but it works out well to upgrade at this time.

    So, here's a new question. Anyone have thoughts on actually skipping XT for the upgrade, throw caution to the wind, and just go with XTR shifters? I demoed a few bikes about a month ago with XTR components, and I definitely liked the feel over the SLX. I don't have any experience with the newer XT shifters, though, so it's a matter of price vs. improvement. I may just go to my LBS and have them let me take a spin on something with XT components, but I want to do a price check first to see if they can at least get close to a price I could get online. I'm willing to pay a little more for support they give me, but it would be kind of a dick move to take up their time and then buy someplace else.
    Don't listen to me. I'm too new to have an opinion yet.

  39. #39
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    136
    If you have no futur plans to go 1x11 then go ahead and treat yourself to XTR!

  40. #40
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    276
    I think when it comes to longer lasting components like shifters and brakes, instead of thinking just in terms of the one time, out of pocket cost difference, you may want to instead look at it more from a longer term investment perspective, like 3-4 years (life of bike). Then for those items, calculate the delta in cost per year between the various quality levels and you'll see that it is not as much and probably worth it to you. The higher quality levels you will likely appreciate every time you ride. Just a thought.

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    1,226
    There are consistent issues with the clutch mechanism on 2013 XT and SLX shadow+ derailleurs failing:
    Clutch Broken on XT Shadow Plus

    I've gone through 6 2013 SLX derailleurs in the last year, 4 from clutch failure and 2 from parallelogram failure, none crash related. I have two, so that I can keep rolling when I warranty. Shimano keeps replacing them, no questions asked, so I keep running them. The cumulative cost of shipping for warranty is starting to get a little high, though.

    My understanding is that the XTR clutch plate differs from that of the XT and SLX, and I have not seen many reports of XTR clutch failures. They may be more reliable, and you get a 3 year warranty, instead of a 2 year warranty. If you have the coin, I think the XTR derailleur is worth it.

    We are still beta testing these products, but it's nice when they work.

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation: RS VR6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2,977
    I'm running a mix of SLX (shifters/crank) and XT (derailleurs/brakes) parts. On my GF's bike I used all XT with the exception of an SLX crank.

    Only difference I can feel in shifting is the lever shape. The XT's lever feels a bit nicer. The shift action feels identical to me. The XT shifters themselves look nicer and is physically smaller.

    I'm happy with the way my SLX shifters work. I think I may change out the rear shifter for an XTR...now that feels real nice to me.

  43. #43
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    42
    Right now, I have no plans on replacing my derailleur, since I'm not having any issues with the derailleurs on either my new or my old bike. Now, if one of them starts failing, that's certainly another issue. . .

    I'm definitely trying to think long term on anything I do replace, though. It would be nice if I were really rich or a professional rider with great sponsors and I could get a new bike every year, but as it is, I expect to be riding this frame for quite some time to come.
    Don't listen to me. I'm too new to have an opinion yet.

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    517
    Quote Originally Posted by James_spec View Post
    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.
    You mean XT IceTech are better than SLX IceTech? Or XT IceTech are better than non Ice-Tech? As both have IceTech.

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2,850
    SLX, especially if that includes brakes. my recent XT brakes are the worst brakes I have had since the dreaded Juicy, I put my Deore brakes bak on my bike


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 63
    Last Post: 12-06-2015, 06:01 AM
  2. Shimano shoe and shimano pedal compatibility issue
    By Christopher Robin in forum Drivetrain - shifters, derailleurs, cranks
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-02-2012, 06:00 AM
  3. Replies: 37
    Last Post: 07-01-2012, 09:11 AM
  4. Shimano XT (M760) crank users, what chainrings (Other than shimano) are you using?
    By HighLife420 in forum Drivetrain - shifters, derailleurs, cranks
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 07-21-2011, 11:24 AM
  5. Shimano M475 vs Shimano HB RM65 rims on Rock Shox Dart 3?
    By pingzingr in forum Wheels and Tires
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-18-2011, 10:25 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •