Price: £94.99 (Rotor + adapter not inc)
Specification: Weight 290g each (lever, hose and caliper) / Rotor weight: 160g for 180mm ice tech / Rotors £24.99 to £29.99, adapter £9.99
The latest generation Shimano SLX brakes use a parallel reservoir that sits in line with the handlebars and a short, hooked lever blade that pivots close to the grip. The internal (Servo Wave) design pushes more brake fluid at the start of the stroke to afford excellent pad clearance, before smoothing out pressure on the rotor for improved modulation as the lever is pulled further in.
We haven’t heard any riders gripe that they can’t get a comfortable position from the nicely shaped stubby lever blade, and it’s simple to adjust set-up and reach via a barrelled adjuster. A hinged clamp allows easy handlebar fitment and the compact levers free up more bar space for things like dropper post remotes or computers.
Shimano offers several rotor choices (not included in the basic price) from cheap but effective single-piece steel discs through to the powerful Ice Tech rotors that employ laminate technology to dissipate heat build-up.
Overall, the performance and consistency of the Shimano SLX is a match for any brake on the market. On the trail, the they strike a superb balance between stacks of bite and overall power, yet with enough control not to be too grabby. Just about the only criticism you could level is that these affordable stoppers aren’t class leading in terms of weight, but we’d consider the 60g penalty an acceptable price to pay for such a superbly engineered product.
MBR Rating: 10