SLX FC-M7100 1x Crankarms
Shimano gave just about all of its mountain bike lineup a hefty overhaul this year with its shift to twelve-speed, and as usual, it let plenty of technology to trickle-down to its workhorse SLX groupset, showing us just how dialed it can really become. Improved functionality, and a whole host of technology gained from XT and XTR have closed the gap between SLX and Shimano's pricier groupsets, and we're thrilled about it. When you spec your bump-devouring trail frame with the SLX FC-M7100 1x Crankset, you'll gain access to Shimano's impressive Hollowtech II construction, more consistent chain retention, and a lighter design than previous versions of SLX. Plus, it still occupies a price range that's kind to the everyday cyclist, which we can always get behind.
As we mentioned, the biggest change that came to the SLX crankset this year is their transition to a twelve-speed drivetrain, and in doing this, also shifting the front end to direct-mount rings. Twelve-speed required a new train of thought when it came to chainrings, and since the whole group was getting an overhaul it was only natural to combine the new gear-tooth profile with direct-mount application for easier chainring swaps.
While Shimano made major changes to the crank when it comes to chainrings, one thing we're glad hasn't gone by the wayside is the over all construction of SLX. Still utilizing Hollowtech technology, Shimano manages to create stronger crank arms than most solid versions with this design, which is constructed with forged aluminum arranged around a hollow center. This strategic use of material shaves weight while still equipping the crankarms to be bashed over successive hits without complaint, and to transfer power as you work hard to turn them over. It's a fitting construction for today's breed of incredibly capable trail and enduro frames. They pair with either a 30T, 32T, or 34T SLX chainring, which have all been upgraded to offer better chain retention, significantly narrowing the gap between XT and SLX.
- Shimano's workhorse goes 12-speed for massive gearing
- Hollowtech II construction is strong, light, and reliable
- Cold-forged aluminum is tough, durable and light weight
- 12-speed compatibility for pairing with Shimano's newest groups
- Cranks can be swapped between 1x and 2x applications with ease
- Narrowest possible Q-factor for compact fit and pedaling efficiency