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SL Pro Vs. Nanolight High Modulus

We asked our technical guru Ian Cammish to tackle one of biggest questions we’re asked: What’s the difference between the SL Pro Carbon and the Nanolight? We gave Ian full artistic licence to tackle this head-scratcher. 

Thank goodness I’m as pleased as Mr Puzzled from Waresley, Sandy, Beds with my SL Pro because I really wouldn’t know where to start if I had to replace it… I’ve had it now for nearly three years and it’s still going as good as they day I got it. At the time, it was Planet X’s top road racing machine, but over the past few years there have been advancements in both technology and frame design which resulted in Planet X launching the Nanolight in early / mid 2010.

The Nanolight has rapidly gone on to become the thoroughbred Ferrari of Planet X’s road racing range – so where does that leave the SL Pro?
At the moment, mine’s going no-where.  It’s staying put, because it suits the type of riding I do as I’m sure it will do for the majority of riders wanting something light, responsive, comfortable and ‘within budget’ (whatever that might be … do you know you can still pick one up for under a grand? We’ve currently got a full range of SL Pro Carbon builds to suit any budget:
SL Pro Carbon SRAM Rival £999
SL Pro Carbon SRAM Force £1099
SL Pro Carbon SRAM Red £1299

Planet X SL Pro SRAM Force

SL PRO: Ready for anything

More recently, the SL Pro has become increasingly popular by a much wider range of cyclists. It’s still the choice of road men, but it’s so versatile it’s now turning up in Sportives, triathlons, time trials … and on the mid-week burn ups by old men who should know better (can’t blame them for finding a short cut to give their mates a hard time though!).
Have a look at Readers Rides to see the extent to which some SL Pros have been customised to their owner’s heart’s desires. So you can see it’s still a very popular choice.

Planet X Nanolight Dura Ace

NANOLIGHT: the featherweight race machine that punches well above its weight

For those who want the most up to date racing geometry and technology then there’s only the one way to go – and that’s to the ‘buy’ button on the Nanolight frame / bike-build pages.
But don’t expect to be able to fit commuter tyres or mudguards to it because neither will fit. It’s a pure pedigree road-racer and highly acclaimed by the likes of Tour of the Peaks Man-Mountain Mark Lovatt, GB rider-to-watch Sam Harrison, Irish star Martin Irvine and each and every one of our Guru Gran Fondo Italian race team.

 Even our very own Charley ‘Tiger’ Tennick has trashed his Trek, seen the light and joined the ‘pride’ – because without doubt, the Nanolight is the Lion of the Planet X road racing range.
It’s been seen to roam menacingly amongst bikes costing twice the price but it’s deadly fast, always ready to pounce and willing and able to take on all-comers that it more than holds its own. In our opinion, it’s the King of the Jungle. (It doesn’t get any better than that I’m afraid – either in star quality for the frame or marks for literary descriptive talent). 

Be proud – join the pride and enjoy the ride – just like Charley ‘Tiger’ Tennick who had this to say about his new love: “I was expecting the bike to be a good quality ride, but wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was. it's certainly on a par with the flagship Madone of 2010. My Nanolight feels as responsive, light and nimble as the Trek did.”

BTW … even if I wasn’t as happy as I am with my SL Pro … and my Mrs DID let me have one (unlikely) … I still wouldn’t know which way to turn because I’m still undecided which colour looks best.  All of them are absolutely 100% ‘bob-on’ (courtesy Wayne ‘the train’ Randle).

See our full range of Nanolights here


This debate continues on Facebook

9 March 2011


  • flashman

    I'd absolutely love to do some testing. For what it's worth, I have had a three Planet X bikes and for the money, they can't be beat. I am always agonising over which frame/bike to buy and I'm sure I'm not alone in wondering if value priced frameset x is really better than premium priced frameset y. Every time I get a new bike it gets different kit, so it’s hard to really identify the differences. I think we all tend to match the groupset standard to the price of the frame, so maybe great value framesets don’t get the chance to fulfil their potential. My best bike is a Time VXRS Worldstar, which really is a flying machine. Naturally, it has all the best stuff on it but I have always wondered if a Planet X Nanolight at a quarter of the price, would be just as good, if it had exactly the same kit. Maybe it would be?

  • Simon B (Planet X Team)

    Flashman, as mentioned above, the intention was to outline the basic differences in purpose and suitability of both bikes, based on what most customers as us as riders new to the sport of road cycling. Not an exhaustive technical Sheldon Brown type autopsy of both bikes. But as mentioned above it was always the intention to follow this up. I'm sure Mr Cammish would be up for testing them over a set distance. Or perhaps we could ask "Marky" and yourself to perform some testing on our behalf?

  • Flashman

    I agree with Marky. This article tells us absolutely nothing... other than an employee of Planet X happens to like Planet X bikes. I have always wondered if there is any real differences in performance between framesets. I have occasionally read articles where a vintage bike is performance tested against a modern bike. The modern bike always wins but that tells us very little because it is always noted that the vintage wheels, brakes and gears are nowhere near as good. What we want to know is how well would a older/cheaper/different material frameset perform against the latest greatest frameset, if it had exactly the same equipment? How about repeatedly timing them over a set distance or course? Are newer/more expensive framesets really faster, more comfortable and better handling or are we being fed a bunch of moonshine by the bike industry? Come on Planet X, do some real testing and be the first company in the history of the bike industry to tell us what we really want to know.

  • Simon B (Planet X Team)

    Cheers for the comments Marky, The aim of this was to start to address some of the questions we are commonly asked about both bikes. Just to start the ball rolling really, we can address the issues you've mentioned in a follow up article. Ian wrote the article so, we'll go into to detail about why in the next report. Thanks for the comment.

  • Marky

    This is not an explanation of the differences but a sales blurb promoting each one in turn. How about a real report that details the actual differences, frame details - angles, tube lengths, where they're stronger / lighter etc. etc. How do they ride when the equipment's the same i.e. SRAM RED or FORCE, including the wheels. Which one would Ian Cammish ride, when and why! That's what we're after,