A Shimano-equipped bike is a bike that features Shimano components such as a drivetrain and brakes. The Shimano components establish an efficient interface between the rider and the bicycle, enabling you to expend minimal energy. The parts work for riders, freeing them to focus more on riding the bike. It is a joy to ride a Shimano-equipped bike as it demands less effort, provides accurate shifting systems, and delivers optimal stopping power through an efficient braking system.
What Are Shimano Components?
Shimano components include; cranksets, bottom bracket, cassette sprocket, chain, wheel, front hub, freehub, shift, shift lever, brake lever, derailleurs, brake, pedal, and disc brake rotor.
The Shimano Groupsets
A groupset consists of all the moving parts in a bike, and it comprises everything associated with shifting, braking, and drivetrain. Shimano has several groupsets ideal for different levels of bikers.
All groupsets from Shimano work efficiently regardless of the price tag. The only difference between the groupsets is the materials used in the production of the components. Expensive groupsets are lightweight and durable compared to their cheaper counterparts.
Some of Shimano groupsets include; Shimano Tourney group, Shimano Altus group, Shimano Acera group, Shimano Alivio group, Shimano Deore group, Shimano SLX group, Shimano Deore XT group, and Shimano XTR group,
1. Shimano Tourney Group
The Tourney groupset is the cheapest of them all and is the entry-level groupset used mainly by beginners. The groupsets prominently feature on-budget city mountain bikes, road bikes, and hybrid bikes. The Shimano tourney is famous for both front and rear derailleurs. Though there are numerous upgrades made to the tourney, the groupset is popular with 6/7-speed gearing options.
The upgrading of the tourney enhances performance. Various variants of Shimano tourney available in the market include; 1×7, 1×6, 3×6, and 2×7.
2. Shimano Altus Group
The Shimano Altus group is a versatile groupset that functions efficiently on roads and off-road. The group is available in 2×9 and 3×9 variations.
The Altus Group is featured on entry-level mountain and gravel bikes and is superior to the tourney group. The rear derailleurs and the cassette come in a 9-speed that combines with a 3x or 2x frontal crankset.
The shifters featured in the Altus group christened ‘Rapidfire plus,’ meaning you can shift three gears at a go and achieve the same response as the ones offered by high-end gears. Additionally, the Altus boasts cheap square tapered bottom brackets.
3. Shimano Acera Group
The Acera drivetrain is a sturdy groupset that takes hard labor without wearing off. This trait makes it suitable for off-road or mountain biking. It comes in speeds of 2×9 and 3×9 but features modern cranksets. The crank arms are made from alloy, and the chainrings are derived from steel.
The Acera group features a front with a side swing mechanism providing superior cable routing space and enhanced clearance for larger wheels and short chainstays.
Just like in the Altus, both front and rear gear shifters employ Rapidfire Plus shifting.
4. Shimano Alivio Group
The Alivio is still a 9-speed drivetrain that offers lighter components and superior shifting than the Altus and Acera.
This groupset comes with either a 2×9 or 3×9 crankset that features alloy crank arms and steel chainrings. It comes with a front mechanism that is side swinging, and it provides excellent cable routing and improved clearance suitable for larger wheels and smaller chainstays. This groupset provides you with an option of using the top swing or downswing derailleurs.
The Alivio group is compatible with bottom brackets ranging from the cartridge, press-fit to Shimano octalink.
5. Shimano Deore Group
The Shimano Deore is an advanced drivetrain for mountain biking. The cranksets are limited to 2x and 3x options, but they feature an advanced Shimano Hollowtech II that provides lightweight components compared to the Alivio kit. The bottom bracket and the right crank arm are integrated with Hallowtech II to deliver excellent weight distribution, efficient power transfer, optimal weight distribution, enhanced pedaling stability, added stiffness, and weight saving.
There are different variations of Deore, including Deore M600 that comes with either a 2×10 speed or 3×10 speed.
Another version of Deore is M6100, and it comes with both 12-speed and 11-speed. A notable feature in the Deore groupset is that the drivetrain uses a Microspline freehub body.
6. Shimano SLX Group
The SLX groupset is prominently featured on priced mountain bikes, and it has a 12-speed. It is bought either as a 1×12 or 2×12 drivetrain.
The 2×12 choice consists of a 36T-26t chainring with a 12-speed 10-51T or 12-speed 10-45T cassette. On the other hand, the 1×12 drivetrain uses a chainring ranging from 28-34T and 10-51t cassette.
The crank arms of the SLX feature a hollow forged Hallowtech II of different length varieties. The lengths range from 165mm to 175mm.
Chain management is achieved by 13 steel pulleys that enhance the efficiency and performance of the drivetrain.
7. Shimano Deore XT Group
The XT also features a 12-speed drivetrain. It comes as either a 1×12 or 2×12 speed, but the XTgroupset boasts lightweight components compared to the SLX. For instance, the crankset of XT with a 32T chainring weighs 620g when the SLX one weighs 638g.
While the SLX uses steel on its 13 pulleys, the XT uses lightweight alloys. Cassettes also come with the exact specifications as SLX, but they are lightweight due to alloys.
There exists an electronic version of the XT variant, but it features 11-speed gear.
8. Shimano XTR Group
The XTR group is the best offered by Shimano. This groupset is for racers and other mountain bike fanatics who value speed. Crafted from a blend of titanium, carbon fiber, and superior alloys, the drivetrain is ultra-lightweight, hence the speed.
Shimano themselves attest that this groupset was designed focusing on heavy mountain racing. The drivetrain comes with either 1×12 or 2×12 speeds, and it boasts the best performance. Shifting gears is precise, light, and fast.
Shimano is reputed for producing bicycle parts that work together seamlessly. So when your bike is equipped with Shimano components, you are assured of exceptional performance. With a Shimano-equipped bike, riding becomes a joy since you are sure of your machine’s shifting and braking abilities.