Shimano have announced changes to their overlooked LX groupset, introducing the SLX as a beefed up replacement and suggesting the LX will transform into more of a town/hybrid groupset.
It brings about two thoughts, first what a shame that more riders never truly discovered LX to make it the success it deserved, most preferring to go from Deore to XT without passing LX in between and second that the new groupset appears genuinely all encompassing. There’s double and triple cranksets, beefy 20mm through axle hubs, ‘regular’ 9mm quick release hubs and a very attractive looking rear derailleur. Plus disc brakes benefiting from the servo wave trickle down effect from XT.
I run a full 2004 LX groupset on my On-one and rate it as being just about perfect. It’s never let me down (having full continuous gear outers helps) and works perfectly for my needs and was/is bargainly priced. In fact, you can pick up the 2008 LX groupset for just £165 from Chain Reaction if you forego the brakes and hubs – no problem if you have disc brakes and wheels otherwise accounted for. Think about that – £165 to completely update the core of your bike – that’s cassette, crankset (with chain rings), derailleur, shifters, front mech – in fact the whole of the transmission system minus a chain. It’s like having a new bike.
Like I said, the old LX was seriously overlooked. I hope the new SLX (as announced on the Singletrack website) fairs better. To my mind it’s just a way of making their product more chunky to cope with the latest five to six inch trail bikes out their without having to say yes, for once we had to make things heavier!