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New Chainset - XT, SLX or Race Face Evolve XC?

Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
edited December 2008 in MTB buying advice
LBS told me I need a new middle chainring and BB for my Stylo chainset (it's slipping) but I'm now convinced it's better to replace the whole lot (replaced the cables, chain and cassette so far as well as the front mech shifter already) for my 2007 Stumpjumper HT Comp.

Narrowed it to the above chainsets - I like the Stylo but am not 100% sure of the durabilty. Mine has lasted 3000 miles but many seem to break them!

So if I change it (LBS will fit it) do I got for the classic XT (are the rings now stronger?) Hollowtech 2, SLX or maybe Race Face Evolve XT?

I want it to be as light, if not ligher than the (2007) Stylo but also last well.

Looking at £100-150 with rings and BB so no daft XTR £300+++ type suggestions!!

Thanks all! :D


  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I'd go XT. The chainrings are better, and is lighter than SLX. Suit the bike perfectly IMHO.
  • The RF looks nice and the rings are meant to last,but not sure about the bb and quite pricey for what it is.

    New XT has much better rings,middle is composite with bonded metal rings so should be much more durable.BBs last better now too.

    Personally I`d be tempted by the SLX as it offers 95% of the performance of XT,IS similar chainrings and bb,ooks better and is only 50g or so heavier.Bit of a bargain,really.
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  • omegasomegas Posts: 970
    Bikeradar says SLX is the best groupset Shimano have ever made and you can get a complete BB, chainrings and cranks for £80 in Merlin. ... set--32811
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Value for money, I agree is very good. XT is still the better XC groupset though, and if you could pick the crank up for 90 I wouldn't hesitate.
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Think I might go SLX then - only 36g heavier than XT, sounds like it might last better and of course its nearly all black so matches the bike better!!
    Read that WMB review and it's very good.

    RF is a bit heavier and I don't want to stretch to the Deus.

    Cheers all!
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Of course could save another 15 quid and get LX... only another 38g heavier ;-)

    All three are great value.
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Booked it in for Thursday to get the SLX fitted.

    Quick question though - the tools to remove external BBs seem rather pricey - I'd need to remove the Stylo BB (GXP) and stick the SLX on.

    I can get 10% off at my LBS - so that'll be £90. They usually don't charge much for labour.

    Is it worth getting a tool and doing it myself?

    Time is rather tight (I run a PR company and have a 10 week old boy!!!) though so happy to pay to have it done.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I doubt they would charge you more to remove the old one - takes mere seconds. Probably come as part of the fitting service.
  • BlackSpurBlackSpur Posts: 4,228
    Does anyone know if there is any difference in stiffness between XT and SLX chainsets?
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  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    I read somewhere (can't remember where) that the SLX is 100% stiffer - but that seems odd.
  • toastytoasty Posts: 2,598
    edited December 2008
    I've got '08 XT shifters and brakes on my Meta and the new '09 SLX shifters and brakes on my Stumpy, when riding you can't tell the difference, what-so-ever (once you've changed those censored pads SLX get as stock). Even the weight difference is very, very minor. Some where in the region of 5 grams heavier (out of 250 or so) on the shiters.

    Fantastic value, if anything breaks I think that's what I'll be getting from now on.

    The new XT/SLX cranks are lovely too, so solid feeling, I came from an old octalink Strongarm crank on that bike. I'd assumed the flex was from the frame until I got those.
  • OwenBOwenB Posts: 606
    Mentioned this the other day on another thread but Merlin have got the full SLX transmission on offer, £159 I think. Seems like a cracking deal, am a bit gutted that i'm so skint otherwise I'd buy one myself to keep for when things break.
    edited to say last weeks offer is off now but it's still cheap at £168
  • +1 for me on the actual difference between XT and SLX.

    I am currently in the same place as you Matt with chain rings and the like. I saw the full SLX set for £167 at Merlin,

    Groupset includes
    SLX HG80 9 speed cassette
    HG73 chain
    SLX Hollowtech 11 chainset and bottom bracket
    SLX Front mech - High clamp version fits 31.8 or 34.9mm
    SLX Shadow rear mech
    SLX Gear levers

    How much of a bargain does that lot sound? I also think I remember reading somewhere that the SLX is the greatest groupset Shimano have ever produced?

    I guess you could also sell off the bits that you don't need, if you are'nt going to use the whole lot?
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Best value lol. I'd till rather have XTR ;-)
  • toastytoasty Posts: 2,598
    I'd even rather have XT to be honest :P It is good value though.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I have always got the impression in the past that certain groupsets have had to be purposely dumbed down as not to compete with the top stuff, especially old LX. They obviously have the technology - and we are seeing this now with SLX rather than another 'new' groupset with new ideas that aren't as good. Doesn't seem any point in researching a mid range set when you have good trickle down! See the trickle down very well with SRAM. Might as well put the money in the top end.

    Which is what I think will happen over the next year. Almost undoubtedly get 10 speed XTR, and new XT will take a lot of old XTR to widen the gap from SLX.
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Well SLX will do me for now - I can save 36 grams elsewhere if needed!

    Strangely my LBS suggested Deore (!!) - they are odd like that and seem to like encouraging me to DOWNgrade all the time!
  • Hi,

    I'm was thinking of upgrading my crankset also.

    I currently have a race face ride xc on my trance x. The bottom brack is on the way out so thought I might upgrade the crank at the same time.

    I'm pretty sure that I'd go for and XT crank but am having a final look around before I hit the buy button.

    I know there was some problems with the 2008 truvative Stylo, with loose rings and all the paint chippping off. The 2009 looks at little different, has anyone come across any revews? Seem ight at 820g with bb. Have they corrected the issues?
  • The best thing I did to my scale was ditching the Stylo Crankset - It was terrible for a lot of reasons, and when it "broke" I was more then happy to go swap it for an XT one :lol:

    That said, the XT, SLX and Deore are all very good cranksets for their respective values.
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  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    i hate stylos, i have ridden 2 different ones and both were as bad as each othe, they just wouldnt stop coming loose!!

    last time i bought a chainset i was considering the xtr for gucciness but went for the recent xt and it was a mega thing, very good looking, very light and extremely stiff, especially with a big monster stamping down with poor coordination and rythm.

    the reviews for the slx are superb and you wont go wrong.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Last chainset I bought was the LX octalink for 35 quid, plus 15 for BB. Bearings last ages, and still pretty stiff set up. Running 42/32, and with BB weighs in at about 880g.
  • Steve_b77Steve_b77 Posts: 1,680
    It's a shame you didn't get the '07 Race Face Evolve Xc off CRC for £55, it's a superb bit of kit and the shifting is atleast as good as the SLX on my other bike.

    Beautifully machined finish on the crank arms and pretty damm light, if a PITA to fit
  • richg1979richg1979 Posts: 1,087
    i changed my raceface due to bad chain suck and consant clicking to a slx and it was a diffrent bike. slx highly recomonded.
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Well had my first ride today with all the new kit

    New cassette (SRAM PG970)
    New chain (SRAM PC971)
    New front AND rear shifters (both X-7 to X-9 - X-9 is a HUGE improvement!)
    New gear cables (all XTR)
    New bars (not needed but it looked nice - BBB carbon straight oversized)
    New chainset (new SLX, triple chainring)

    The chainset is superb - very smooth and a lot stiffer than the Stylo.
    X-9 are an enormous improvement over X-7s and the XTR cables are helping shifting so precise it reminds me of stripping and cleaning an Enfield .303 rifle (or any Type R Honda gearshift)!!

    Very pleased - the SLX deserves to sell in huge numbers.
    Oh and it goes very nicely with my black Stumoy too!
  • Ahhh I thought you'd gone for the whole lot in SLX. The full kit of SLX is still looking good though, like the list I posted earlier?

    Are the SRAM cassette and chain options very good? Should one be looking to perhaps buy the full SLX set and then get the SRAM stuff separately, then I can just sell the SLX chain/cassette or even keep them for when the SRAM stuff needs replacing.
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    GT - chain and cassette both feel very good. Super smooth and very quiet too.
    TBH I'm not sure if they are the best but reviews are all very good and I could NOT live without the SRAM powerlink.

    I think SRAM do some stuff best and Shimano do other stuff best - bit of mix and match suits me fine.
  • I'm showing my n00bness here by saying I have no idea what the SRAM powerlink is, I can guess it is a link in the chain for use when the chain breaks?

    I was thinking of the SRAM stuff as its been mentioned a few times and recommened so it must be a good combo.

    So I'll just go for the same SRAM stuff as you have, then it'll tie up with the SLX groupset nicely?

    I'll look in to the gear cables too, I guess its an area overlooked but is still important to ensuer smooth shifting and the like?
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    GT - I went for highish level SRAM kit but not the very highest - I couldn't see the point.
    I all works together very nicely though and you can mix and match it all up.

    The powerlink is indeed a way of breaking the chain that needs no chaintool - it's a brilliant invention!

    I upgraded to XTR cables - not actually very pricey at all but the shifting is superb now. And the cables are a cool black colour 8)

    By the sounds of it. the SLX groupset is all top notch (possibly apart from the brakes) and amazing VFM.

    I'm sticking to SRAM (X-9) for the rear mech as I love the quality but will go Shimano (probably XT) when my front mech (currently LX) dies.
  • Thanks for replying Matt. I like getting loads of info about stuff for the bike, but it means more when people speak from experience. I'll see how much santa brings at Christmas, plus its my 30th on the 30th of December and I've asked everyone to give me money, so between the 2 I reckon there'll be enough to get the full SLX set, the SRAM chain and cassette, the XTR cables you mentioned and get it all fitted, hopefully that is!
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Nice one! You won't be disappointed!
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