SLX M675 sits in an unbeatable cost-effective sweet spot between good but basic Deore M615 and feature loaded but fickle XT M8000, delivering all the best parts of Shimano performance at an excellent price.
The levers are a perfect example. The broad, deeply crooked 1/1.5 finger blade gets extra grip dimples and a big reach adjuster dial on the knuckle.
The blade uses a variable leverage Servo Wave cam to connect to the master cylinder. This means better pad clearance for quieter, cleaner running, as well as increased power at the contact point.
If that’s not enough grunt, then Zee combines the same lever with a big four-pot caliper for 30% more power for a given rotor size. SLX can still handle the big hills though, thanks to heat dissipating finned IceTech pads as standard.
As they’re sold separately to the rotors you can opt for heat eating IceTech steel/alloy/steel sandwich sets or even frilled Freeza discs for maximum cooling.
Even in standard trim though, SLX are some of the most consistent, predictable and communicative brakes around in general UK use, only losing out slightly to items twice their price on the most demanding descents. They don’t have the largely ineffective ‘Free Stroke’ screw of XT either.
Whether that’s the cause or not, we’ve had none of the random bite point issues of some XT and XTR brakes on SLX setups, despite riding scores of them on complete bikes over the years.