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We're always excited to hear a rumor of trickle-down technology making its way down the Shimano groupset family line, and this spring, that rumor applied to SLX. Shimano went back to the workshop and took tech from Deore XT and XTR and added it to SLX, giving the hardworking groupset a makeover that significantly raises the bar on what mid-range componentry should be able to do. It also kept it in a price range that's fully accessible to the self-sponsored mountain biker. The SLX FD-M7020-E 2x11 Front Derailleur received its own share of upgrades, and returned to make a strong case that front derailleurs still deserve a place on modern mountain bike frames. One of the biggest changes the FD-M7020-E saw was a shift to a side swing design, which Shimano did to give it compatibility with the stockier chainstays and longer travel enduro rigs popping up on the trails by the minute as of late. This design fits better with modern, energetic rear triangles, giving the front derailleur longevity in a fickle industry. Additionally, Shimano cleaned up the shifting action on the FD-M7020, aiming for cleaner, more precise hops from small ring to big that lend smoothness to your ride, whether you're coasting over the flowy stuff or battling to stay upright on a root-laced climb.

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