SLX is Shimano’s mid-range groupset, and its various constituents have been winning plaudits for their combinations of price and performance. At 100g lighter than Deore but only a packet of crisps heavier than XT, SLX hits a weight sweet-spot for the money too.
Nearly all the features of XT are thrown in – hollow-forged arms, the same bottom bracket, extra lip seals and so on. You even get a composite middle ring, though the reinforcement is more nylon, less carbon. The inner ring is steel too.
We like the polished outer faces of the arms, which stay looking good through heel-rub abuse, although the logos gradually disappear. A less elaborate array of shift ramps and pins is available compared with XT, but actual shift performance is still excellent, and that counts for a lot.