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I have had the pleasure of being able to ride slx shifter/xt rear derailuers and xt shifter/xt rear derailuers on the exact type of bike one being my built trance x and my lbs owners trance x. I would have to admit I like the way the XT/XT shifted it just felt crisper. maybe it was the instant release? plus you can hack the XT shifter for mult shift like the XTR since the internals are very close. If cost is little or no object I would go with the XT shifter/RD
 

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My bike came with the complete SLX group. Everything is great, especially the brakes.
But, I just changed the shifters to XT and left everything else SLX.
It's a marked improvement. The throw is a lot shorter and quicker.
 

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thecanoe said:
But, I just changed the shifters to XT and left everything else SLX.
It's a marked improvement. The throw is a lot shorter and quicker.
Bingo. Shifts are indeed crisper. However, if you dial in your SLX derailleur and shifter perfectly and run good quality cable/housing, there shouldn't be a huge difference. Iv'e heard that upgrading your jockey gears can close that gap even further, but I have absolutely no first-hand experience with that. As far as cranks go, weight's the only difference. And that's only if you're running all 3 chainrings (see a thread from a couple of week ago about SLX crank arm weight). If you're on a budget I would grab the SLX and put the money difference somewhere else where you'll notice bigger differences like brakes or suspension. Just my $.02.
 

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Never trust a fart
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There is a small difference in the shifting between SLX and XT. XT is a tad bit crisper on a perfect bike setup. Everything else, there is no difference in shifting.

Everything else is just weight and finishing differences. Even the SLX crank is only 40 grams heavier than the XT crank set, and that is all in the chain rings. The actual arms themselves are lighter than XT.

Get the XT shifters, everything else SLX. And personally I think that SLX looks better than XT. XT is getting a little outdated in the looks department, but XT is due for an update soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys. The reason I asked is because the bike I just bought is all SLX with the exception of the cranks which are basically Deore level. The shifters, derailleurs, and cassette (I think) are all SLX level. I just bought a new SLX double crankset to round out the package but I was thinking of maybe upgrading the shifter and rear derrailleur sometime, maybe even to XTR. But, as of right now the shifting seems fine. I'm just trying to figure out if it's worth even upgrading these parts or just go with what I have until they break then upgrade. Shifting is a little sluggish but the bike is new and that may change after putting some miles on it.

Todd
 

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TX-BoneDigger said:
Thanks guys. The reason I asked is because the bike I just bought is all SLX with the exception of the cranks which are basically Deore level. The shifters, derailleurs, and cassette (I think) are all SLX level. I just bought a new SLX double crankset to round out the package but I was thinking of maybe upgrading the shifter and rear derrailleur sometime, maybe even to XTR. But, as of right now the shifting seems fine. I'm just trying to figure out if it's worth even upgrading these parts or just go with what I have until they break then upgrade. Shifting is a little sluggish but the bike is new and that may change after putting some miles on it.

Todd
Again, I upgraded the shifters only, because of athritis in the thumb joins. I also put on Ride on Cables. For me it's a big difference, but, I had no problems for three years with the full SLX group. I'd stay with it if I was you.
If anything, keep your cables in good working order, as stated above.
 

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Just picked up a 2011 Orbea Alma H50 like 3 days ago. It's got SLX shifters,brakes&FD. XT RD, Deore crank. It blows me away how nice everything works. Very smooth.
 

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TX-BoneDigger said:
Thanks guys. The reason I asked is because the bike I just bought is all SLX with the exception of the cranks which are basically Deore level. The shifters, derailleurs, and cassette (I think) are all SLX level. I just bought a new SLX double crankset to round out the package but I was thinking of maybe upgrading the shifter and rear derrailleur sometime, maybe even to XTR. But, as of right now the shifting seems fine. I'm just trying to figure out if it's worth even upgrading these parts or just go with what I have until they break then upgrade. Shifting is a little sluggish but the bike is new and that may change after putting some miles on it.

Todd
If you upgrade make sure you go over to 10 speed..
 
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