Say hello to the new component group from Shimano…SLX. Set to replace the Hone and LX line for mountain biking, the SLX is marketed as a heavier duty all mountain group for the Shimano line. So far from the pictures, it appears that Shimano mixed the previous LX and Hone together and added a new look along with the some features that were added to the XTR line. The rear derailleur shows some XTR-like characteristics. This line will still fall below the XT line in price and is designed around the growing popularity of 5″ and 6″ trail bikes.
SLX COMPONENT GROUP
I actually really like the look of the cranks, but a heavier bash guard would replace the plastic one shown if I ever picked up a set.
Overall, I think these moves are smart on Shimano’s part. It not only brings excitement back to their line, it also appears to bring something “new”. The LX, XT and XTR have been staples in the mountain biking world almost since the beginning. The introduction of a new line should breathe some life back into Shimano. I will still stay with SRAM for my shifting needs, but I like the way Shimano is heading. They are starting to realize how big the trail bike market is becoming. It will be interesting to see what is in the future for the company. I will also add that I really like the look of the darker components. It’s just a personal preference, but I tend to like the darker color components because they don’t overtake the look of the frame. I really like that Shimano is using this model on most of their cranks these days. Now if they would just make their XT set black so I wouldn’t have to have them powder coated…
SHIMANO 29er WHEELS
Now….I just came across this picture below. It appears to be a 29er wheelset available from Shimano. This should be an interesting introduction into the 29er market. If Shimano has improved the hubs over previous designs, this should make a lot of people happy. If the the hub design is still like last years, I would go with something else.
LX COMPONENT GROUP
The LX group will now be marketed as a trekking line. It will be seen on more of the “comfort” mountain bikes and cruisers. In the picture you can see the new rear integrated hub and the absence of disc brakes.