Major news out today from Japan as Shimano have announced they will be rolling out Deore XT and SLX 12-speed groupsets from July.
Shimano’s Deore XT and SLX groupsets has been the mainstay of any serious rider that simply can’t splash out on XTR and wants some decent performance. Until now, 12-speed was paid for with extra cash and the top tier groupset. Now though, Shimano Deore XT and SLX 12-speed is a reality.
With an entire groupset to wade through, you could easily get lost in finding the differences between them and the rest of the range. SLX is arguably the no-frills groupset in the Shimano range, and the 12-speed version will likely not change that.
If you go for the SLX option, you get no free stroke dial on brake lever, the cassette comes with a single aluminum cassette sprocket, you will have less chainring options and no option of complete wheels. Multi release on the right shifter is the realm of the more expensive groupsets and you lose the textured padding on either shift levers, the SIL-TEC coating on chain roller link plates and there’ll be no FREEZA technology on rotors.
If you can deal with the 148g weight increase on Deore XT then this could well be an absolute banger of a groupset. to XT in like-for-like specification.
If you still can’t stretch to XTR, then the 12-speed XT groupset could well be the best seller of the year still.
Complete wheels in the new range come only at Deore XT level, you get a 28T chainring, the I-SPEC EV has a reduced 20 degrees rotational angle rather than 60 degrees compared to XTR, you lose the option of a dedicated XC brake lever, there is interestingly no bottom bracket option for Deore XT, you’ll get less rear derailleur options along with no dropper post lever.
A 365g weight penalty over XTR might not keep you awake at night though, right?