Shimano M675 SLX crankset review£154.99

Double or triple chainrings with alloy crank arms

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Shimano’s SLX groupset is famed for its no-nonsense, highly cost-effective performance, and the latest double crankset is superb, so long as you don’t need a fat axle.

The stiff yet light Hollowtech forged arms are attached to a four-bolt spider for compatibility with a range of aftermarket twin and single rings. The shaped tips of the spider mean it doesn’t sync with a lot of external-mount bashguards, though, so choose Shimano’s reinforced Zee if you want armoured cranks. 

You can use an adapter to fit the 24mm axle in a BB30 frame, but you’re not getting the supposed stiffness benefits. Still, the ring and crank package feels stiff and flex free, despite being lighter than some of the competition. 

Shifting performance from the ramped and pinned rings is excellent, heaving the chain into the big ring even at high torque. The steel inner ring is hardwearing, while the alloy outer and the BB last longer than most of the competition. 

It’s compatible with big boutique BB brands if you want to upgrade, and naked alloy arms mean scuffing isn’t an issue, sealing its high performance workhorse reputation. 

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK
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