We jig tested this crank four times to conﬁrm the rather disappointing stiffness ﬁgures. We were surprised that Deore is stiffer than XT – it didn’t feel appreciably less stiff on the trail than the Race Face Evolve or FSA Afterburner.
It’s worth underlining that none of the cranks on test are ﬂexy; they’re all stiff enough, only some are more so. What XT loses in stiffness to Deore is balanced by the 122g weight loss. However, boil that down to price and the £125 difference equates to a costly premium of £1 per gram saving in weight.
Performance-wise, Shimano XT is still right up there. Its cold-forged Hollowtech II cranks use a separate swaged-on alloy spider and hard anodised 24/32/42 Dyna-Sys rings to deliver shifting that’s almost on a par with XTR.
Although in performance terms there’s little to distinguish XT from SLX, XT is a reliable workhorse and remains a go-to sub-900g crank with near-as-dammit XTR level performance for less than half the price.