As they do at the start of each season, Shimano Australia presented all of their latest componentry as part of a Nation wide roadshow around the states capital cities. Enduro was invited along to the Melbourne edition to check out some of the new groupsets on offer, including the redesigned SLX groupset, all-new Zee lineup and the swanky electronic Di2 Dura-Ace groupset.
The big news with SLX is the addition of a double-specific crankset for use with the Dyna-Sys 10 speed drivetrain. The cranks look the goods, though we’ll be interested to see how the shift quality compares to higher end Shimano groupsets and SRAM’s offerings.
Also new is the trickle-down of the Shadow Plus technology that debuted on last years XTR derailleur. Essentially adding a one-way friction clutch to the pulley cage, it means that the chain bounces around far less than a conventional derailleur and holds the chain tighter on the front chainrings. We’ll be putting the new derailleur through its paces as part of our SLX 2013 groupset test, so look out for the next 2 Issues of Enduro Magazine for our review.
Shimano had the SLX groupset bolted on to a brand new Yeti SB95 29er bike. Absolutely gorgeous in the flesh and dare I say, better looking than the 26″ version??
The Deore XT groupset was redesigned last year, though for 2013 it does get an option for the Shadow Plus rear derailleur, bringing XTR performance to about half the pricepoint.
Expect to see a lot of people upgrading to this new XT derailleur over the coming months.
Check out that brake lineup! Pretty comprehensive, and given our glowing review on the XT brakes in Issue #21 of Enduro, this is going to be a hard to beat range.
Lever ergonomics trickle down from XTR and Deore XT, making the SLX an impressive feeling set of shifters. No side-to-side adjustment ala XT, and SRAM X9, but you can remove the shift indicators if need be. Still loving the shorty lever blade on the brakes too, and the tools-free reach adjuster makes setup a breeze.
SLX brakes remain unchanged from 2012-2013, though there is the introduction of an SLX-level Ice Tech rotor. Using the same hybrid Stainless Steel/Alloy sandwhich construction, the brake track is designed to lower operating temperatures for reduced brake fade. We’ll be putting a set through the ringer with the above drivetrain test to see how hot these are…
Cool cutaway of the new XTR brake lever.
And another one of the calliper. Note the massive oversized Ceramic pistons (white) on either side – these are what help the new range of Shimano brakes boost power considerably.
And while not as bling as the new SLX and XT gear, I was intrigued about the new clip-in pedal system Shimano is marketing towards entry-level mountain bikers and recreational riders. Called ”CLICK’R”, the pedal is based around the SPD cleat platform but with a different linkage arrangement and corresponding shoe well to provide much easier disengagement. Could potentially be a great option for those riders wanting to go down the clip-in pedal route but are scared of getting stuck in.