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  1. #1
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    black or chrome.

  2. #2
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    2012 XT vs. SLX brakes

    There doesn't seem to be much of a difference except price. Any words of advice?
    Last edited by lancelot; 09-13-2011 at 09:12 PM.

  3. #3
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    XT has forged levers, SLX does not. XT also adds free stroke adjustment.

  4. #4
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    Does anyone know what the free stroke does? I played with it on my XT and XTR brakes and can't tell a difference no matter how far I screw it in or out.

  5. #5
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    I noticed it changes the amount you can push (not pull) on the lever but it doesn't seem to have much of an impact on the brakes performance/feel.
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  6. #6
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    Sounds like you guys are talking about connecting rods and pistons.... do you really need forged levers? Has anybody ever broke a regular lever?

    I too am wondering if they are worth the upgraded price over the SLX??

    Quote Originally Posted by bengxe View Post
    XT has forged levers, SLX does not. XT also adds free stroke adjustment.

  7. #7
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    I've never felt the SLX levers, but I imagine the forged XT levers flex less and so may give you better feel.
    I bought XT because from what I found at the time, there wasnt much price difference.

  8. #8
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    I've never felt the SLX levers, but I imagine the forged XT levers flex less and so may give you better feel.
    I bought XT because from what I found at the time, there wasnt much price difference.


    I've been thinking of buying a set of Shimano XT brakes myself for use one of my hardtails. I want something with better modulation than the Code 5's on my other hardtail yet more power than the Elixir R's that are currently installed.

    However the SLX versus XT debate is interesting. Everyone seems to love the XT's and they compare favorably with the XTR Trails. The SLX's seem to be great brakes but haven't had the same acclaim and praise as the XT's. There's also the price factor the SLX's aren't that much cheaper,this could be both good and bad. This may mean that the SLX's are the same brakes as the XT's but with some element of cost savings built in. On the other hand this may also be a bad thing because the XT's may because they have more functionality and quality for a only marginally higher retail price.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mefistofeles View Post
    Everyone seems to love the XT's and they compare favorably with the XTR Trails. The SLX's seem to be great brakes but haven't had the same acclaim and praise as the XT's.
    I think the issue is that fewer people have reviewed/talked about the SLXs. I think they're great and have only read good things about them. It would be interesting to compare them side by side...

  10. #10
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    The SLX uses a cotter pin to secure the brake pads...the XT's use a threaded allen pin. As for the different material for the handle, it's more for weight savings, not much, also there's more of a texture on the XT levers. Lastly, the free stroke adjustment is for when the piston engages the fluid in the cylinder...when making this adjustment it feels pretty much the same as the reach adjustment...both control modulation depending on how you look at it...just my 2€...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by zenkem View Post
    The SLX uses a cotter pin to secure the brake pads...the XT's use a threaded allen pin.
    Just noting that the SLX caliper can use the threaded allen bolt. I ordered them for mine. Also, am I the only one who as trouble not scratching the caliper trying to bend those pins??

  12. #12
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    Timely thread for me. I'm trying to put together an XT build kit, and brakes have me confused. There are combination shift/brake levers, like here:

    Shimano XT ST-M775 Disc Brake/ Shift Lever Set

    Is that what I should get? What about rotors? How do you determine what size rotors you need, and what size rotors will fit your bike?

    Does anyone offer package deals that are cheaper than buying the components individually?

    I'm building up an SC Blur LT2 with a Talas fork.

    Thanks.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    Timely thread for me. I'm trying to put together an XT build kit, and brakes have me confused. There are combination shift/brake levers, like here:

    Shimano XT ST-M775 Disc Brake/ Shift Lever Set

    Is that what I should get? What about rotors? How do you determine what size rotors you need, and what size rotors will fit your bike?

    Does anyone offer package deals that are cheaper than buying the components individually?

    I'm building up an SC Blur LT2 with a Talas fork.

    Thanks.
    Never delt with that setup, as for rotors it's totally up to you and how you ride and your trail conditions. I run 180's front and back on my 29er because I'm a Clyde and it makes me feel good...my 26er has 180 front and 160 rear...

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsilva View Post
    Just noting that the SLX caliper can use the threaded allen bolt. I ordered them for mine. Also, am I the only one who as trouble not scratching the caliper trying to bend those pins??
    I didn't know that, I guess I need to take a better look at my SLX's...

  15. #15
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    From another thread in this forum:

    2012 XT brakes--HOT deal

    I don't know what prices for SLX are like, but at $120 per wheel, INCLUDING rotors, I don't think this price can be beat. Caveat is that the rotors might not be the ones you want.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash. ~Julie Furtado

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by zenkem View Post
    Never delt with that setup, as for rotors it's totally up to you and how you ride and your trail conditions. I run 180's front and back on my 29er because I'm a Clyde and it makes me feel good...my 26er has 180 front and 160 rear...
    Thanks for the response. I weigh 230 lbs, so I was thinking about 180 front and 160 rear.

    What determines "center lock" or "6 bolt"?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsilva View Post
    Just noting that the SLX caliper can use the threaded allen bolt. I ordered them for mine. Also, am I the only one who as trouble not scratching the caliper trying to bend those pins??
    Where did you order the threaded bolts from? I have the SLX brakes and don't care for the bendable pin setup.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    What determines "center lock" or "6 bolt"?
    Your hubs. You can get adapters to fit six bolt rotors to centerlock hubs, but not vice versa.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Porschefan View Post
    From another thread in this forum:

    2012 XT brakes--HOT deal

    I don't know what prices for SLX are like, but at $120 per wheel, INCLUDING rotors, I don't think this price can be beat. Caveat is that the rotors might not be the ones you want.
    Also may not be the pads you want. Those are probably OE parts, I dont know why theyre not labeled as such. Still a very good deal, I wish that was available when I bought mine.

  20. #20
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    XT vs. SLX weight difference. Both were front with un-cut hoses.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2012 XT vs. SLX brakes-dsc00239.jpg  

    2012 XT vs. SLX brakes-dsc00244.jpg  

    The LPG

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by lancelot View Post
    XT vs. SLX weight difference. Both were front with un-cut hoses.
    That's funny, what's the chance?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    That's funny, what's the chance?
    I was pretty shocked. I thought the XT's would have been about 10-20 grams lighter. I'm almost afraid to weigh my XTR's.
    The LPG

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kentgbr View Post
    Where did you order the threaded bolts from? I have the SLX brakes and don't care for the bendable pin setup.
    I got them from Amazon. Here's the link:

    Amazon.com: Shimano Pad retention pin+clip, XTR-M965 ea: Sports & Outdoors

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by lancelot View Post
    I was pretty shocked. I thought the XT's would have been about 10-20 grams lighter.
    +2 WOW!!!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsilva View Post

    That particular pad retention axle has a screw driver head that's easily damaged while tightening or loosening. Universal cycles has the allen bolts type for sale.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by lancelot View Post
    XT vs. SLX weight difference. Both were front with un-cut hoses.
    Is your weighing scale calibrated or is shimano not declaring the actual Wt?

    Saw this from another thread:
    Shimano SLX triple 889 gms

    Shimano XT triple 853gms

    Shimano SLX brake calipers 300gms/pr

    Shimano XT brake calipers 223gms/pr

    Shimano SLX SGS RD 258gms

    Shimano XT SGS RD 228gms

    Shimano SLX vs XT groupset weight

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chonggo View Post
    Is your weighing scale calibrated or is shimano not declaring the actual Wt?

    Saw this from another thread:
    Shimano SLX triple 889 gms

    Shimano XT triple 853gms

    Shimano SLX brake calipers 300gms/pr

    Shimano XT brake calipers 223gms/pr

    Shimano SLX SGS RD 258gms

    Shimano XT SGS RD 228gms

    Shimano SLX vs XT groupset weight
    That is a pretty old thread, so I think those weights are probably for the older model components, not the 2012's.

  28. #28
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    The SLX and XT I weighed are 2012 models and the scale is brand new and working properly. Like gfs69 said the weights listed before are probably the old model. The 2012's are basically identical other than finish, free stroke screw, lever material and pad holder hardware. However these differences don't affect weight.
    The LPG

  29. #29
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    I didn't notice that the thread was old.. But bikeradar.com said that the SLX are heavier than the XT. I'm planning to upgrade my disc brakes and I'm trying to weight the difference if paying an extra 40% more to get an XT over the SLX is worth it. By the way the 2012 XT brakes here cost $200 a pair without rotors!

  30. #30
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    New XT look, as though their axe have cut down.

  31. #31
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    Didn't expect that they would weigh the same! Wow

  32. #32
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    Could somebody tell me if the silver color of the cap of the SLX brake (with "Shimano SLX" printed on) is the same color as the silver color of the body of the silver XT brake? (Unfortunately a black XT brake is pictured above).

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJohnny View Post
    Could somebody tell me if the silver color of the cap of the SLX brake (with "Shimano SLX" printed on) is the same color as the silver color of the body of the silver XT brake? (Unfortunately a black XT brake is pictured above).
    • SLX is matte, letters are printed
    • XT is chrome, letters are stamped
    • Both are plastic covers
    • XT levers don't have the dimpling of the XTR levers; the SLX and XT levers feel exactly the same.

  34. #34
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    I bought the 2012 SLX brakes with the Ice Tech Rotors. They are fantastic. True one finger braking, very little to no fade, and super quiet. $283 from Universal with the 15% coupon. If they are the same weight as XT's then I see no reason to pay the extra money.
    I ride at ludicrous speed

  35. #35
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    Bikeradar puts the SLX brakes w/ rotors + hardware at 990grams. Lancelot's weight photos are the only photos I've come across that shows the actual weight of the SLX and XT brakes. I was about to plunk down for XT or XTRs after reading about the 990g weight, good thing I revisited this thread. But 990g! How can they screw up so bad?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowteckh View Post
    Bikeradar puts the SLX brakes w/ rotors + hardware at 990grams. Lancelot's weight photos are the only photos I've come across that shows the actual weight of the SLX and XT brakes. I was about to plunk down for XT or XTRs after reading about the 990g weight, good thing I revisited this thread. But 990g! How can they screw up so bad?
    I can't figure this one out myself. Bikeradar said that the weight difference of the two brake set is 240grams! Maybe they mistook it for the weight of the entire groupset.
    Last edited by Chonggo; 11-09-2011 at 11:45 PM.

  37. #37
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    could with rotors or something wacky like that.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by hydrogeek View Post
    I bought the 2012 SLX brakes with the Ice Tech Rotors. They are fantastic. True one finger braking, very little to no fade, and super quiet. $283 from Universal with the 15% coupon. If they are the same weight as XT's then I see no reason to pay the extra money.
    One for the Australians

    Shimano Australia has a deal in November at selected dealers

    2012 XT brakeset with 160mm Ice tech Rotors for $299 Aust. I got a set today not all bike shops seem to know about the offer
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  39. #39
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    Are the calipers for the XT and SLX the same? Other than the XT using a bolt and SLX using cotter pin they look identical.

  40. #40
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    Having just swapped SLX on my new bike for the XT's off my old one, I can definitely declare with 100% accuracy that the XT's are better. More precise modulation, more power, more everything. There is a difference beyond cosmetics. And when you can get XT's for $99 at Nashbar, why not get 'em?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nman View Post
    Having just swapped SLX on my new bike for the XT's off my old one, I can definitely declare with 100% accuracy that the XT's are better. More precise modulation, more power, more everything. There is a difference beyond cosmetics. And when you can get XT's for $99 at Nashbar, why not get 'em?
    A lot of people would like to disagree... But I think you're right. I have XT on my front and SLX on my rear and the XT is definitely a more reliable brake.

    I can't comment on power though because my XT brake is using finned resin pads with a 180mm rotor, whereas my SLX is using standard metallic pads with a 160mm rotor. There's just too many differences to definitively say that the power difference I notice comes from the brake.

  42. #42
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    NO people in this world can feel any difference on XT vs SLX, if you use standard settings, same rotors and same pads.

    Calipers are the same.
    Levers have the same master cylinder, same ergonomics, same bladder, same same.

    XT har free stroke adjustment/leverage adjustment. These things can affect feel, if you change the standard settings.
    XT have threaded pin on calipers
    XT have two color options, and chromed plastic cover on the reservoir.

    Thats the real life difference.


    E

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