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XT vs SLX brakes

NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,682
edited January 2009 in MTB buying advice
Just building up to ordering me some brakes... I've found SLX at £135 and XT at £160, at this price I'd be happy enough to spend the £25 for XT but SLX does seem to offer most of the strengths of XT at a lower price... Does anyone know what the practical differences are? Is XT actually £25 better? I'm sure either will offer enough power for me even on 160mms, for now, but is either more reliable/easier to live with? Lighter?

I just ordered my wheels so i suppose I have a few days to decide, but now seems to be a good time to buy with price hikes coming in!
Uncompromising extremist


  • SikoraSikora Posts: 519
    I think the olny main difference is the lack of bite point adjuster on the SLX, although i've heard its not very effective on the XT anyway
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,682
    Oh, I thought SLX got the bite point adjuster? Am I thinking of the same thing, teh feature that draws the pads back slightly further so that you get better clearance (for muck, etc) at the cost of slower brake engagement?

    SLX is a nicer colour :lol:
    Uncompromising extremist
  • Think XT has sintered pads too.SLX has resin pads so will probably wear out quicker,though no doubt there are aftermarket options come replacement time.
    2006 Giant XTC
    2010 Giant Defy Advanced
    2016 Boardman Pro 29er
    2016 Pinnacle Lithium 4
    2017 Canondale Supersix Evo
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I think SLX is a bit heavier too.
  • toastytoasty Posts: 2,598
    I've got a set of SLX on my Zaskar and a set of XT on the Commie, had a quick compare.

    The lever shape and feel is identical, the bite feels much the same as well. The caliper on the XT is a single piece rather than the cheaper 2 piece body on the SLX, this doesn't seem to make any obvious difference though. The SLX lever doesn't seem quite as sturdy as the XT though, it wobbles up and down a bit more, just a slightly cheaper, more plasticy build it looks like.

    Very similar brakes though, I literally had to go over and scrutinise to pass comment. I swapped the SLX pads for Superstar sintered pads recently as well.

    One thing I would mention, the actual lever bodies are quite fat due to the big reservoirs (which is fantastic for bleeding them), due to this they don't sit on old style shimano shifters very well. I'd definitely pair them up to some new XT/SLX shifters as well if you can, they sit together very tidily.

    The extra £25 is worth it for the build quality, better rotors and sintered pads in my opinion but if you have other bits to buy with that cash it might be better spent else where.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,682
    It'll be paired up with my X9s, should be OK with those I think... Doesn't seem to be an awful lot to divide them though really. XT comes with slightly lighter rotors as well it seems...

    Indecision strikes. I'll buy one of the two at random tomorrow unless we can come up with a more decisive reason :lol: I could put the money towards a nicer post but to be honest, once this upgrade's done I'll have no glaring failings in the bike, and enough bits to rebuild the old bike to near-stock for my brother as well. Win!
    Uncompromising extremist
  • toastytoasty Posts: 2,598
    Ah yeah, X9s are pretty flat, sure it'll be ok.
  • darren636darren636 Posts: 102
    buy the SLX and save the 25£ for something else? purple valve caps!!! :lol:
    m-trax ti 1000- back when i was rubbish.
    evo 8 - i am continuing to be rubbish.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,682
    That's the best thing about air forks, space for another 2 purple valve caps! W00T!
    Uncompromising extremist
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,682
    Ah, what the hell, ordered a set of XTs. Thanks for the help folks!
    Uncompromising extremist
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