Keep your granny gear.
Shimano's redesign of its entire SLX line resulted in changes that not just the budget-focused crowd alone should be excited about. Once again demonstrating the power of trickle-down technology, Shimano took features from its crown jewels, XTR and XT, and moved it down to workhorse SLX, turning the formerly 10-speed drivetrain into an 11-speed do-it-all groupset that's almost a no-brainer for the average mountain bike setup. If racing isn't your thing and shaving grams doesn't keep you up at night, SLX promises a reliable, responsive ride beyond its affordable price.
Rather than do away with double and triple cranks all-together, Shimano created the SLX FD-M7025-L 2x11 Front Derailleur to give riders the option to hang onto the extra granny gear for climbing. Though some might insist that the front derailleur is facing extinction, Shimano made sure the FD-M7025 could hold its own with modern equipment. The front derailleur now features the side swing design first seen on XTR, giving it greater tire clearance for the stubbier chainstays that are popping up on every new trail and enduro rig we see gracing the glossies lately. In addition to building the derailleur with long-travel bikes in mind, Shimano improved the shift quality to result in lighter hops from small ring to big. Instead of having to hold the shifter then listen to a whole chorus of clunking and jangling as your chain struggles up to the big ring, you'll be where you want to be in a matter of seconds.
- All-new SLX front derailleur for 2x11 cranksets
- Side swing design for greater tire clearance
- Works better with shorter chainstays and longer travel bikes
- Quieter, smoother shifting action between chainrings