Shimano SLX Disc Brakes $129.95
SLX Disc Brakes have the trail-taming power of Shimano's top-tier offerings, but they're optimized for value.
Gambling on brakes is a bet you can't afford to lose. Fortunately, the SLX Disc Brakes have the trail-taming power of Shimano's top-tier offerings -- but they're optimized for value. That means there will be something other than gum wrappers and lint left in your pockets.
To accomplish this, Shimano sources parts from those brakes up the totem pole, but opts for less expensive materials to keep price down. That's why the compact lever body of the SLX brakes looks nearly identical to its XTR sibling. You'll enjoy one-finger ergonomics, and Servo-Wave lever action too.
When comparing SLX to XT stoppers, the differences become even more negligible. SLX loses the chromed finish, as well as the free-stroke adjuster that's found on XT levers, but that's where the differences end. The compact, one-finger lever places the pivot closer to the handlebar than previous Shimano brakes, which increases comfort and simultaneously reduces hand fatigue.
Its Servo-Wave lever design provides a greater degree of pad movement in the beginning of the lever stroke, which provides the brakes with a firm feel. Deeper into the lever stroke, where the brake pad engages the rotor, the degree of pad movement is reduced. Basically, this provides excellent modulation, which you'll be thankful for, since these have tons of power on tap.
The caliper gets the same two 22mm diameter ceramic pistons as the XT version, and are chosen for their heightened resistance to heat. The stock sintered brake pads are excellent at managing heat buildup, however, if you regularly find yourself descending for an hour or more at a time, these are easily upgradeable to Shimano's IceTech finned pads.
The SLX brakes run on Shimano's propriety blend of environmentally friendly mineral oil, rather than the caustic DOT fluid found in many other disc brakes. This takes the hazard out of brake service, such as shortening brake lines or the occasional bleed. Speaking of which, Shimano includes a spare barb and olive, so you're able to shorten your brake lines in order to keep your cable routing nice and clean.
The Shimano SLX Disc Brakes are sold individually as both a front and rear and in the color Silver. They do not include rotors or brake adapters.