New SHIMANO SLX M7000 groupset expands the possibilities for trail, adventure and recreational mountain bikers
TOGOPARTS EDITORIAL TEAM | 18th April 2016 | PRODUCT REVIEW
The launch of Shimano’s new mid-range off-road SLX groupset brings many of the performance features of DEORE XT with affordability, durability and compatibility to make it suitable for almost every type of mountain biker.
Provision for a wide range of MTB riding styles was the focus of the new SLX M7000 design. Three types of riders are catered for within the drivetrain options; those who favour a single chainring 1x11 set up for simplicity, those looking for an optimal 2x11 double chainring set up, or those riders needing the enhanced gear options and convenience coming with a 3x10 speed set up.
The lightweight and durable 11 speed-compatible FC-M7000-11 chainring (1x11 and 2x11) teeth feature Shimano’s new Dynamic Chain Engagement technology and are designed for the different power outputs delivered in each ring, offering enhanced chain retention, driving rigidity and highly efficient, precise shifting.
In the 2x11 set up, close gear ratio combinations ensure a minimum shifting gap between gears and allow the rider to maintain an efficient rhythm throughout the complete range of gears. Set up options are kept to a chainring capacity of 10-teeth with three options (34-24T, 36-26T and 38-28T). 1x11 riders have the option of 30T, 32T or 34T chainrings to combine with two cassette options (11-40T and 11-42T). B-spec options are also available in double and single ring set ups to ensure chain lines can accommodate 148mm rear hubs.
The system solution behind these rider optimized gear combinations is known as DYNA-SYS11, which blends Shimano shifting technologies and designs to allow riders to deliver consistent, efficient power while maintaining traction and momentum.
Meanwhile, the 3x10 crankset (FC-M7000-10) with its 40-30-22T tooth profile and DYNA-SYS shifting technology has been designed to give a consistent shifting performance with the most efficient drivetrain and practical gearing for recreational riders anywhere.
The new design of the 1x11, 2x11 and 3x10 cranksets is more than just a stunning aesthetics and outstanding mechanical design. Better bottom bracket sealings reduce water and dirt ingress and increase the long-term efficiency of crank rotation.
At the rear, lightweight and minimally designed 467g 11-40T cassette sprockets are in line with DYNA-SYS philosophies, allowing the rider to make smooth and precise gear changes and keep riding in the most efficient front driving gear for longer. 1x11 and 2x11 riders also have the option of choosing a wider 11-42T cassette for an expanded low end range. Meanwhile 3x10 riders can choose from 11-32, 11-34 or 11-36T set ups with the existing CS-HG81-10 cassette.
Shifting on the SL-M7000-11/10 levers is taken care of by ergonomically designed RAPIDFIRE PLUS shift levers, allowing riders to downshift three gears in one stroke and release shifts by the index finger or the thumb. This simple but incredibly useful feature also provides light and consistently stable shifting across front and rear gears. I-spec II (SL-M7000-I / SL-M7000-10-I) and I-spec B-type (SL-M7000-B-I / SL-M7000-B-I) mount options allow for adaptable and versatile, rider-tuned cockpit options.
Where shift levers command, derailleurs respond. Now featuring at SLX lever, Shimano’s SHADOW RD+ technology provides sharp and silky shifts along with chain stability and a reduction in chain slap thanks to a lockable rear derailleur position. The medium cage 11-speed rear derailleurs (RD-M7000-11-GS) offer a drivetrain capacity of 41-teeth, whilst the long cage 10-speed rear derailleur (RD-M7000-10-SGS) offers a larger drivetrain capacity of 43-teeth to accommodate its triple chainring.
The shifting power of the 11-speed (FD-M7020-11) and 10-speed (FD-M7000-10) front derailleurs has been increased allowing for rapid shifts with efficient cable routing and a light shift operation. Mounting options include Side Swing, Top Swing and Down Swing front derailleurs to offer compatibility with shorter chain stays and large wheels and tyres.
SLX hubs have been redesigned to provide all-weather durability and reliable performance thanks to high quality sealings and angular contact bearings. FH-M7000/7010 rear hubs also feature a refined and rapid gear engagement mechanism, offering 36 pick-up options over 360 degrees. The front hubs come in at a light weight 189g (HB-M7000) or 148g (HB-M7010), while the rear hubs are 384g (FH-M7000) or 357g (FH-M7010). The both front and rear hubs offer variations compatible with the Boost 110 and 148 standards.
The Rider Tuned position of the SLX BL-M7000 lever allows for smooth, consistent and predictable operation of the hydraulic disc brake system (BR-M7000) and, combined with heat-radiating, mud-shedding SM-RT70 160, 180 or 203mm rotors, you get high performance stopping power in all manner of riding conditions.
In all in, the new SLX M7000 groupset achieves an unrivalled level of high performance, efficiency, durability and value. Competitive-level technologies found in Shimano’s premium MTB components have been transferred to the new SLX M7000 cranksets, derailleurs, cassettes, shifters, levers, rotors and hubs, letting you focus on what matters, getting maximum fun and enjoyment out of your rides.