I got these cranks to replace some old XT cranks that i had worn out. These are just as good, if not better. They are light, stiff, and very durable. I am always bouncing off stuff and ramming my cranks into stuff (look where you want to go, not where you don't want to go) and there is hardly a scratch. They're super smooth too. If you are thinking about getting XT, don't bother, these are just as good for far less.
Weaknesses: Abosofreakingloutely none. If you have a problem with these cranks, either you put 'em on wrong or you're just a snob.
The SLX crankset is the shining star of Shimano's SLX line. While I use all SLX components on my rigs now, the cranks offer more performance and value than anything else out there. They are stiff, pretty light (within like 20 grams of XT) and they look just freaking awesome. They are way burly enough to take most any AM/DH abuse, and cheap enough that you totally won't mind bashing and gouging them up on the rocks.
But just how cheap are they, you ask? I got one set on eBay for $150, and another on Jenson USA (without the BB) for $89. With the BB, that's $119 for a premium set of cranks.
I have them on my mountain bike and my singlespeed commuter, and they are perfect on both. If you are not a comonent snob or weight weenie that needs the highest zoot stuff to bolt to the top of your car, there's really no reason to use any other crankset.
If you can find a better deal on a better set of cranks, I will eat them. Seriously. SLX cranks are that good.
Strengths: Just keeps working, Strong stiff and suprisingly light
Weaknesses: None so far
I have ridden this crank for nearly two years now. I ride 4 days a week and I'm on my second set of rings that have some miles to go. Same BB and it runs very smooth. Requires periodic Maintenance to keep it running smootrhly. It is a lot of quality crank for a very small price. You could spend more of course and might get less in certain other brands. I already bought the new 10 speed version for installation this winter when it's raining to hard to ride. Yes I would suggest it to a friend
Similar Products Used: FSA gravity light, Truvativ Stylo, Race Face Deus
Bike Setup: Jamis 650B2 Frame only stock item. Custom build
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 5, 2012
Strengths: Durable, beautiful, shifts well, no flex, never a problem, looks as good as XT, XTR
Weaknesses: none, ok, maybe 40 grams heavier but who's counting?
I bought this crank to go on my Intense Spider 29er. I have an XTR on my old Spider and decided to try the SLX because it was cheap and looked great. The first thing I noticed was the quality of the build. It is a super durable crank that will not disappoint.
I ride 4-7 days a week logging about 50-100 miles a week and have zero issues after installing this a year ago.
Buy this crank, you will be pleased! It is really as good as XT, XTR and CHEAP!!!
Upgraded my crankset to this one about three years ago. I ride a FS Stumpjumper, weigh 200 lbs. I'm constantly bashing my pedals and crank arms on rocks, roots, curbs and whatever else I can manage to run into. I use the large chain ring as a bash guard. These things have held up great, still tight, strong s day 1.
Strengths: Strong and stiff. Shifts very well. Looks great on my bike. Price was great because I bought it during a sale.
This crank has been a nice change of pace for my bike and my wallet. For a long time I was running XT level products on my bike for the durability and performance, but it was costly to replace for a rider on my budget. At first I was like, "what is going on with this odd middle child groupset". After using the products on my 29er and riding it all over the mountains in WV, NC and pounding our local trails in VA I can say I'm stoked. I love Shimano's trickle down concept. You can see the XT and XTR pedigree in this crank and the other products. If you are a budget rider/racer or want a nice crank to upgrade your ride this is an awesome place to start.
a Cross Country Rider
from Elkton, MD USA
Date Reviewed: June 21, 2011
Strengths: Good looks, nice weight, only 40 grams heavier than the XT due to the steel inner chainring. Stiff and strong, has classic Shimano crank shifting - smooth and precise
This is one of the best cranks on the market. Being in the bicycle industry (not a Shimano employee), this crank from Shimano puts other manufacturers on notice. Great price, great looks, good weight. Switch out the chain rings and its lighter than XT. I've put over 500 miles on this piece and has not given me an ounce of trouble.
I recently switched out the standard triple setup for a 26/36/bash setup and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I think the only crank that Shimano makes that looks better than the SLX is the XTR, but you can't beat the price of the SLX.
Unless XT gets a huge design change looks wise, the SLX will be my go to crank on my next build.
Bike Setup: 2009 Giant Rincon
-Crankset Shimano SLX FC-M660
-Eastern neon blue bearclaw pedals
-Mavic ex721 rims, Blue :)
-the rest is currently all stock
a Cross Country Rider
from Bartlett, TN, USA
Date Reviewed: January 21, 2011
Strengths: Very stiff, really nice looking, very light, cheap!
Weaknesses: Not as light as XTR?
I picked this crankset up on eBay for dirt cheap brand new. I figured it would suit my needs, but had no idea it would go above and beyond what I was expecting! It is very light. Light enough to really make you question shelling out the extra $$$ to jump up to XT. I really can't think of anything bad to say about this crankset. It's really just the best price:weight:performance ratio on the market! Only giving it 4 chilis for overall, because of course there are better cranksets out there if you got another $200 to drop!
Bike Setup: 1x9 drivetrain, bunch of other stuff, but doesn't matter
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: September 7, 2010
Strengths: light/well designed. shifts superb. couldnt ask for a better crankset at this price.
I dont see why anyone would get a XT when this SLX one does the same job and is only a few grams heavier. Looks better than XT because its styled more like the XTR. Its like the younger brother of XTR. I want to change my SLX crank to a double and use it with a 2 x 10 set up.
Bike Setup: Kona Hei Hei 29er, Tora Soloair 100mm, Shimano HG-61 cassette
a Weekend Warrior
from Beaverton, OR, USA
Date Reviewed: May 22, 2010
Strengths: Price, performance, stiffness, style.
Weaknesses: No performance weaknesses. Would be nice if it had a removable bearing seal for maintenance like the XT cranks.
After being out of biking for around a decade, this was my first Hollowtech II type crank. I was delighted at how easy these are to install during my bike build. Since I ride in some very muddy conditions I have also got in the habit of taking my crank arms and chain rings off for inspection/cleaning every month and am very impressed with the wear and ease of removing and reinstalling the crankset. I do wish the bottom bracket had a removable seal like the XT cranks so you could easily service the BB bearings. As far as performance goes, this crank is great. I use it on my XC hardtail and FS all mountain bike. Although I am a light rider at 5'11" 170, I often find myself riding in difficult conditions and prefer the strength and durability over the weight savings. Styling is nice too. The satin black finish looks great on any bike, is very durable, and will stay looking good for a long time. Bottom line is that you will not find a better crankset for the money.
For the price nothing else compares. I was very close to just dropping the coin on XTR, then I saw the sale price from Blue Sky, read a few reviews and went for it. Maybe someday I'll drop the extra $300.00 on XTR to save that precious 115 grams, but for now I couldn't be happier.
Dead reliable and stiff. Look great and the bottom bracket is super smooth. Shifting has been spot on with no dropped chains when dumping to the granny. I dig.