SLX looks like a stripped-down XT, but there are some signiﬁcant differences that make it the more cost-effective brake of the two.
It shares its angular-looking master cylinder body and hooked lever with XT, which means the same awkward-to-install closed clamp and single-sided design.
It doesn’t get the ‘free stroke’ bite point-adjust screw, but we’ve always struggled to make that work anyway. The calliper is a two-piece bolted unit that adds 36g over XT, but it’s £40 cheaper and easier to bleed.
Organic pads make it usefully powerful in the dry but are less impressive in the wet. Life is short too so we recommend you upgrade to sintered as soon as they’re worn out.
The Servo Wave lever cam system increases power at the point of contact but gives more clearance when open. Overall control is good but not outstanding.
SLX dry: slx dry © Katie Heron/BikeRadar
Dry all: dry all © Katie Heron/BikeRadar
SLX wet: slx wet © Katie Heron/BikeRadar
Wet all: wet all © Katie Heron/BikeRadar