Shimano’s SLX brakes underwent a consistent facelift for 2013, in the meanwhile also receiving a new code: M675. But the improvements don’t stop here, besides the new appearance, the manufacturer managing to cut 22 grams compared to the previous version.
Even better is the fact that these modifications didn’t take their toll in other respects, the performance of the SLX brakes remaining the same as the past generations’. Therefore, you can find the Servo Wave function included in the brake lever, which facilitates efortless braking. Modulation is also unchanged, cunningly placing itself midway between the raw sensation of the Deore brakes and the excellent control of the XT’s, thus creating one of the best compromises available.
The SLX set meets demands even on longer periods of braking, even without air-vent-fitted brake pads, in our test ride the somewhat normal fading failing to appear. To be more accurate, we rode them over an all-mountain trail, which is not particularly demanding, but represents the destination of these brakes, which have to handle mostly sudden stops.
You can’t notice to many changes in the lever’s build, so the upper part remains prominent, while the grip combined with the smooth performance allows you to actuate the brakes even with one finger, keeping the maximum braking power. There is even the possibility of adjusting the lever’s distance from the handlebar very easy, thanks to a tap situated at the end of it.
Mounting the lever is possible due to a clamp which doesn’t undo as soon as you unscrew it, removing it requiring to introduce an Allen key in a small hole which in turn gives the lever the needed push.
Shimano left its specific mark all over the new SLX brakes, and thanks to the consistent performance, the set manages to keep up with the more and more picky demands. The manufacturer recommends them for XCO, XCM, all-mountain and enduro usage, this versatility may very well also be the source of their large weight. Well, large at least compared to Avid brakes, that is… On the other hand though, the price is lower, therefore leaving up to you the final decision.
Weight: 469 grams (180mm disc included)