Of course, for those of us who like to ride bicycles, the term groupset is familiar. But what is groupset? Bicycle groupset is a collection of bicycle components designed to work together to provide maximum performance. The groupset usually consists of shifting, brake, and bicycle drive components, such as shifters, brake levers, brake calipers, derailleurs, chains, and cassettes.
Shimano, SRAM, and Campagnolo are the world’s significant producers of bicycle groupset. Shimano is the oldest, and most widely available on the market. It seems that Shimano is aiming at the groupset market segment from casual users to professional athletes. This can be seen from the number of groupset products made by Shimano that have the usual specifications to be designed for professionals. Shimano groupset prices also vary, ranging from hundreds of thousands to tens of millions of rupiah. Well, in this article, we will try to get to know the Shimano MTB groupset class.
Shimano Tourney. At the lowest class, there is Shimano Tourney. This Shimano MTB groupset is designed for everyday use. This type of groupset is widely installed on beginner bikes. This groupset has the most economical price, but keep in mind that quality will be directly proportional to the rate. So it is not advisable to use this groupset at a professional race.
Shimano Altus is a slightly better version of Tourney. In terms of specifications and prices are also not too much different from Tourney. Suitable for beginners who enjoy recreation by cycling. The shifter uses 7 to 9-speed options. Altus works well in operations but is not strong enough for use on offroad terrain.
Shimano Altus series and above already use rapid-fire plus technology, which has fast gearshift and can reduce three teeth at once in one shift. This series is also equipped with a two-way release shifting system, i.e., the upper level can be pulled or pushed.
In third place is Shimano Acera. In this Acera series, there is a noticeable difference when compared to the two classes below (Tourney and Altus). The material used is better, and the design is good enough. Therefore, Shimano Acera is commonly installed on middle-class mountain bikes. Shimano Acera is almost one level with Altus, but lighter than Altus with 8-9 speed.
Shimano Alivio. Next is one of the best-selling groupset made by Shimano for the MTB category. Yes, we often see Shimano Alivio installed on middle and upper-class MTB bikes. It is not uncommon to install a mix with a level groupset above it.
No wonder, because it can be said that Shimano uses Shimano Deore technology (one level above Alivio). Call it the Hollow Tech II technology on the crank that makes the weight of the bike can be reduced significantly. Besides the use of bearings whose diameter is larger makes the paddle becomes lighter.
Shimano Deore is also Shimano’s best-selling series. This series groupset is widely paired on bicycles – like the middle to upper-class MTB. For most bicycle hobbyists, this groupset is enough to accompany biking on a somewhat tricky route.
What distinguishes Shimano Deore from Alivio is the amount of speed. Shimano Alivio equipped with a combination of 3 x 9 gear or 27 speed. As for Shimano Deore, it’s 3 x 10 or 30 speed. It is better not to install RD Deore 10 pace to 9-speed sprocket. RD 10 rate is not compatible with nine-speed gears. Unlike RD 9 speed, which will be suitable if paired with eight-speed sprocket and vice versa.
Shimano Zee is a groupset designed for downhill bikes. Therefore, this series has one gear in the crank section. Its strength is also well designed so that it can be used extreme on downhill bikes. This Shimano Zee groupset has an RD with a short cage.
Shimano SLX groupset started the high-end Shimano groupset class set for the MTB category. Shimano SLX has a different design (RD) from the courses below. Shimano SLX has been designed to have excellent resistance to mountainous routes. Also, this MTB groupset has the right level of precision when moving teeth. This groupset is widely installed on high-end bikes.
Shimano XT is a high-end groupset made by Shimano. This groupset is designed for professionals. So, of course, excellent durability is a condition. Therefore this MTB groupset is made with selected ingredients and specific treatments. Shimano XT also has high strength with a lightweight. Besides excellent durability, this groupset has a high level of precision. Precision when moving teeth is undoubtedly very much needed by athletes.
Shimano Saint. Like Shimano Zee, this Saint series is also intended for downhill bikes. Therefore, durability, as well as shifting accuracy, are priorities in this groupset. For specifications are also not much different from the Zee series. But of course, this series is Zee’s expert version. So the material, weight, and also the performance are better designed compared to Shimano Zee.
Shimano XTR is the best MTB groupset made by Shimano. This groupset is a better version of Shimano XT. Compared to XT, XTR has better durability and lighter weight. But, of course, the price is higher.
To ensure the accuracy of the gearshift, Shimano makes an electronic version of the groupset, called Di-2. The Di-2 system is a series of high-tech electronic components designed to give you a smooth, fast, and virtually no-friction drivetrain. In this electronic version, the gearshift is carried out with digital instructions from the shifters, which are precisely translated by the motor on RD and FD. Therefore the possibility of miss shifting can be reduced to a minimum. In the MTB series, Di-2 technology only exists in the Shimano XT and XTR groupset.
That’s the order of the Shimano MTB groupset class from lowest to highest. Hopefully, this article can add to our insight, especially in the world of bicycling.