Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 27
  1. #1
    squish is good
    Reputation: Clutchman83's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    4,933

    Shimano SLX brakes - anybody using them?

    Was perusing the brakes over at CRC and saw that they have SLX brakes for about $80 a pop w/o rotor. Given that I'm considering purchasing a second set of Elixer R's for about what it would cost to get those brakes plus rotors for my 6" bike and the fact that I'm a total and undeniable gear whore I'd like to hear from anybody using them. How are they stacking up to the competition? I already ordered a SLX crankset for said bike and am extremely impressed. Gotta say, Shimano has nailed the price range I'm comfortable with and if the quality is similar to that of the cranks I'd be blown away. Not to mention they look hawt!!!

    Bike good, work bad.

  2. #2
    squish is good
    Reputation: Clutchman83's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    4,933
    Damn I love ebay, looks like I'll be able to review them myself. This is cheaper than my BB7's cost...

    Ebay deal Pair of SLX brakes w/ 160mm rotors - $129.95
    Bike good, work bad.

  3. #3
    Dirt Deviant
    Reputation: savagemann's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    3,694
    Score!!!!!!!!

  4. #4
    Off the back...
    Reputation: pinkrobe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,925
    OMFG! That is such a score! I just paid $50 more than that for the same shizzle! NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bycyclist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    387
    I put them on my son's hardtail. I'm very pleased with how they handle when I tested them out. Good stopping power, decent modulation, and throw/lever adjustable. I may actually like them better than my Avid Juicy 7s.

    They were certainly cheaper.

  6. #6
    squish is good
    Reputation: Clutchman83's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    4,933
    Well they showed up in the mail today and I'll give my initial impressions. First of all, they are not what I was expecting at all. Most important stuff that popped out at me is:

    1 - Plastic or some kind of composite lever. Seems relatively stiff but I was a little put off by it, I've never run carbon levers so I'm used to having a nice cold metal lever under finger. I'm gonna hold off a negative or positive impression till I've had it out for trail use. One thing I do like is their lever reach adjuster, very very easy to use, much better than the in line adjuster on my Elixers.

    2 - "Resin only" brake discs. Generally speaking I always prefer sintered or metallic pads to resin but I'll give these a go for the time being. Also not drilled as much as I've come be used to with most rotors, maybe more surface area for the pads to grip... not sure.

    3 - Super long rear brake line, so long I have to loop it along the top tube in one place to control the slack. Will have to shorten the line when I have time but this is the longest rear brake hose I've ever seen! Seeing as most of Shimano's brake sets are not pre-built I'll have to chalk this up to the shop that assembled it.

    4 - Pinch clamp for the handlebar. I knew this was coming from the pics but I can't get for the life of me why Shimano is using this design. I've always preferred a backplate attached by 2 screws a la Hayes, Avid, and many others out there. I suppose it's a little more robust but it really slows down installation and removal when you have to take off the grips.

    5 - They are chunky! They are a physically large brake at the handlebar, the calipers look normal. Don't have a scale so I don't know what they weigh for certain. According to pricepoint.com it's 333 g for the front and 356 g for the rear. Compared to older Juicy's at around 430 g they are seriously light for their size. I wonder if most of that is coming from the composite lever and parts covering the master cylinder. It appears little on the exterior of the brake is actually made of metal.

    6 - Long throw to get the pads to engage. This is typical in my experience of a new brake, usually after bedding the pads engage a little tighter to the rotor so I'm hoping that will be the case here as well.

    I'll have more when I get a few rides on them. I'm in a very neutral mood though after installing them, usually I'm chomping at the bit to try a new part but I'm not really certain what to expect from these given all the stuff that surprised me when I got to see them in person. I'd post some pics but my stupid camera just got shipped off to the manufacturer for warranty work so maybe those will come in a month or three...
    Bike good, work bad.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: EGF168's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,420
    Quote Originally Posted by Clutchman83
    1 - Plastic or some kind of composite lever. Seems relatively stiff but I was a little put off by it, I've never run carbon levers so I'm used to having a nice cold metal lever under finger. I'm gonna hold off a negative or positive impression till I've had it out for trail use. One thing I do like is their lever reach adjuster, very very easy to use, much better than the in line adjuster on my Elixers.
    The lever blade is anodised aluminium and most of the rest of the lever should be painted aluminium, not too sure about the reservoir cap though…


  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: oldskoolbiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    1,600
    In response to above:

    1) The lever blades are not composite. They are aluminum.

    2) Not sure why you have resin only discs. I ordered mine from CRC, and mine came with Shimano 6 bolt rotors and semi-metallic pads.

    3) Blame it on the shop. When I ordered mine from CRC, I ordered extra fittings figuring I'd have to shorten the line. Well turns out I had the opposite problem, CRC made the front line so short it woudn't even mount on the bike. CRC sent me a new brake line though for free, but I had to pay for shipping (around $10).

    6) The throw is no longer than other Shimano brakes. You probably need to actuate the brake a few more times to get the pads in the correct position.

  9. #9
    squish is good
    Reputation: Clutchman83's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    4,933
    Yeah, sorry if the tone sounded over critical, those are purely observations. I could have sworn the lever wasn't aluminum, the texture is unlike any lever I've used before. Well, that's one concern I can put to rest I suppose. I'm also used to getting a boxed set of a brake, I have to remind myself that these don't work that way, they are assembled depending on what the shop needed so I'm keeping that in mind as well.
    Bike good, work bad.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vk45de's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,084
    Or you can pay $10 more apeice for M765s at pricepoint

  11. #11
    squish is good
    Reputation: Clutchman83's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    4,933
    Just got back from the maiden break in ride. Put in about 15 miles on the local loop and the brakes bedded in quickly and work very well. Excellent modulation and very respectable power. I would rank their modulation to be similar to that of Elixers but with more lever movement involved. Really no complaints, they perform stellar. For the price I paid I nearly stole them considering how well they ran today. I'll post back with my long term impressions or as things come up but my initial impressions are very positive.
    Bike good, work bad.

  12. #12
    banned
    Reputation: Jerk_Chicken's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    16,480
    Good to hear. They look quite nice.

    What do the pads look like?

    It looks like they even have RADIAL master cylinders, something Hayes was touting as a big deal, but meanwhile they've been used all over the place.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    16
    I've a set of SLX brakes with the stock resin pads. In previous setups I've much preferred sintered pads and wonder if any existing Shimano ones will fit these. The pad shape looks very close to that of the M765 XT stuff so I wonder if these would drop in...

    Does anyone have experience of sintered pads for the SLX?!

    I guess it comes down to the fact that the current stopping power is good (with a 203mm rotor), but not on par with my old Formula Biancos (180mm).

  14. #14
    DGB
    DGB is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    464
    The pads for the SLX/XT/XTR, and most of the other versions except for some Deore, the new Saint and non-series, are all the same. M07/M07S/A01S are the Resin types and M06 are the metal types. There are Ti versions of the M07 and M06 as well.
    Sintered pads FTW in wet conditions as resin ones don't last.

  15. #15
    squish is good
    Reputation: Clutchman83's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    4,933
    JC - Nothing special about the pads as far as I can tell. I don't have my camera with me at the moment (it's off for a warranty repair) but I'm sure you can find photos online somewhere. They use a similar spring to Avids to hold the pads out though, which I'm not a big fan of personally. I got into a knock-down drag-out fight with my BB7's last time I tried to change pads. Hopefully these ones are easier but I ain't gonna touch em till I have to.
    Bike good, work bad.

  16. #16
    My other ride is your mom
    Reputation: Maadjurguer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    4,416
    I love my SLX's....I wanted to hate them when I first got them on my new ride (Pivot Mach 5)....I was a juicy 7 kind of guy....but decided to give them a try. I will never go back to J7's.....the SLX has more modulation, don't suffer from brake fade like the J7's, better levers for my hands, less squeal, don't suffer from misalignment of the rotor every 50 miles like the J7's......converted!

  17. #17
    squish is good
    Reputation: Clutchman83's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    4,933
    Another update, cut the rear hose and did a bleed. Insanely easy to bleed. All you need is mineral oil, something to pour with and a hose to get the fluid away from the caliper. No syringes or bleed kits necessary. If I can get these puppies air free anybody can! I'm usually a disaster when it comes to anything involving removing air from hydraulic systems.
    Bike good, work bad.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    326
    Liking your posts on this subject guys. I've ran 2004/2005 Saints for the past 5yrs on just one bike. So recently when it became apperent that the rear brake was going to kill me on rides I decided I needed a change..however new Saints are three times more (WTF?).

    I wanted similar brakes to my old Saints at a good price, powerful (must be powerful) but not cheap feeling and cheap performance.

    So I ordered a set of SLX's tonight for UK £100 (excluding rotors- already have these).... XT 180 rear and 203 front.

    I predominantly ride 100% rocky trails in the English Peak district and the Lake district. I am also 220lb/100kg's....

    Have a I made the right choice?

  19. #19
    maker of trail
    Reputation: essenmeinstuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2,008
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacek

    Have a I made the right choice?
    You'll find out soon enough

    Be sure to post back your impressions on them, esp vs the first gen saints! (good benchmark since I have/love these brakes)

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BaeckerX1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,215
    I recently ordered a set of SLX as well. I've heard good things. The Servo Wave tech is supposed to provide more power and also help with brake rub. Supposedly the pistons retract further than most hydros so there's more rotor clearance. My rotors always seem to get just slightly out of true, so this will be nice for me if it's the case. They're said to be very easy to bleed and simple to setup. Power should be good with a 180mm rotor (can switch to sintered pads for more stopping power). I'll be using them with alligator rotors 180F/160R on my trail bike. Pad replacement should be simple without requiring removal from the bike. I'm pretty sure they're very similar to the XTs except a bit heavier and maybe a tad bit more durable?

    This is just what I've heard so far and what I will be looking at when testing them out. I got them for $99 a wheel so I had to try them out. Mine arrive tomorrow. I will let you know what I think once I get a ride on them.
    Gotta get up to get down.
    LMB

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: oldskoolbiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    1,600
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacek
    Liking your posts on this subject guys. I've ran 2004/2005 Saints for the past 5yrs on just one bike. So recently when it became apperent that the rear brake was going to kill me on rides I decided I needed a change..however new Saints are three times more (WTF?).

    I wanted similar brakes to my old Saints at a good price, powerful (must be powerful) but not cheap feeling and cheap performance.

    So I ordered a set of SLX's tonight for UK £100 (excluding rotors- already have these).... XT 180 rear and 203 front.

    I predominantly ride 100% rocky trails in the English Peak district and the Lake district. I am also 220lb/100kg's....

    Have a I made the right choice?

    Me I'm using SLX levers with Old Saint calipers on my DH bike, great combination. The SLX calipers are probably just as powerful as the old Saints, but they are heavier. Most of the extra power comes from the newer Servo Wave levers.

    I started off with full SLX brakes, but I I found a brand new set of old Saint calipers on craigs list for $50 so I swapped to those. I ended up moving the SLX caliipers to a set of old saint levers and keep them in the tool box as a back up set of brakes.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    67
    I´m currently using SLXs and I think they are super reliable. I had them on my hardtail and now I also bought them for my double. I think the best upgrades I have made on my bikes are this brakes and a Reba Fork.
    The only negative thing I could say about the SLX brakes is that I broke the brake lever once while learning how to dirtjump... Can´t fault Shimano cause I crashed, but the material doesn´t seem tough, but I´m nitpicking cause I think they´re great.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BaeckerX1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,215
    First impressions are good. I took them out for a night ride tonight. Blind leap of faith there. Factory bleed, pads not bedded in yet, and in the dark. Even on the first ride without the pads bedded in yet, they felt leaps and bounds better than my old low end hydros. So far I'm really liking them. It's still too early to make a definitive call though. I just don't have enough ride time on them yet to give a solid opinion. I still have to shorten the hoses and do a bleed, but Horacek I think you'll be pleased with your decision.
    Gotta get up to get down.
    LMB

  24. #24
    g3h6o3
    Reputation: PissedOffCil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    3,711
    I've tried SLX brakes at a bike demo and they felt good, but I can't say I was very fond of the feel of the lever. I'm used to very short stroke BB7's & Formula Megas so it's probably a setup preference. I can't say I disliked them or that they felt they lacked power so it seems like a decent choice for the price. The main problem I see is that I like brakes with a lot of adjustability, which they don't have. Then again, if they're setup right the adjustability might not be required.

    Test was too short to get any real conclusive decision, take my comment FWIW.
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BaeckerX1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,215
    Quote Originally Posted by PissedOffCil
    I've tried SLX brakes at a bike demo and they felt good, but I can't say I was very fond of the feel of the lever. I'm used to very short stroke BB7's & Formula Megas so it's probably a setup preference. I can't say I disliked them or that they felt they lacked power so it seems like a decent choice for the price. The main problem I see is that I like brakes with a lot of adjustability, which they don't have. Then again, if they're setup right the adjustability might not be required.

    Test was too short to get any real conclusive decision, take my comment FWIW.
    I've never found the need for pad contact adjustment, and everyone I've talked to who has it said they never really used it. They still have the tool free reach adjust, which is enough for me. They were super simple to set up and get aligned, and I haven't felt the need to mess with them since putting them on.

    Personally I like the lever throw. I don't like brakes that have instant bite. I'm not a fan of the on/off feel. The SLX seem to have pretty good modulation. They have a progressive feel, lighter in the early stages and solid bite later in the lever throw. I find I can feather them pretty well when I need to. That being said, I've never used a set of really high end brakes like Formula The Ones, so I'm not comparing it to a brake like that, only going by the feel of these brakes themselves. I haven't yet had them on any super steep downhills yet, so we'll see how they perform at the resort this weekend.

    I'll probably swap out the organic pads that came with the brakes for some sintered ones.
    Gotta get up to get down.
    LMB

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

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