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Shimano Drops 11-Speed, Affordable SLX Groupset

Shimano's entire SLX groupset will retail for a reasonable $550. Shimano photo.

Over the next few days, we'll be seeing a lot of interesting product drops as the Sea Otter tradeshow and bike industry gathering goes down in California. Yesterday we highlighted Trek's new and super light full-suspension fat bike. Now Shimano is dropping a brand-new collection of their everyman and more affordable SLX groupset, which will get riders looking to jump into a 1x11 setup fully figured, disc brakes included, for about $550. Compare that to a top-level SRAM XX1 X-Dome cassette, which alone will run you about the same money.

Between SLX and SRAM's new NX and GX groupsets, it's an exciting year to be buying a mountain bike with a more reasonable budget, as a 1x11 setup is now affordable for a much larger group of people with only a small penalty in weight and performance compared to those brands' top-level offerings. SLX will have 30, 32, and 34-tooth chainrings available.

We're always super excited when the top-level tech that guys like our boy Francois Baily-Maître here get to play with trickles down to more reasonable price points for normal riders. Shimano photo.

While SRAM may be claiming two and three-ring chainrings are due to kick the bucket, and are working to eliminate them entirely from their lineup, Shimano is still offering both options in their SLX kit, along with a cassette with a larger range of sprockets (11-42 teeth) than past offerings. The rear derailleur and disc brakes in particular are exciting, as we've found the higher-end XT and XTR stoppers to be awesome, reliable options for killing speed.

Shimano also dropped an XT version of their wireless, electronic Di2 drivetrain, which will retail in 1x11 format for around $770. Compare that to the initial XTR Di2 groupset, which has retailed for two to three times that. 

About The Author

stash member Ryan Dunfee

Former Managing Editor at Teton Gravity Research, current Senior Contributor, current professional hippy at the Sierra Club, and avid weekend recreationalist.

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