Choose your Shimano MTB groupset
Shimano is one of the leading brands in the bike world. They share the mountain bike drivetrains market with SRAM, almost any mountainbike you'll see has either a SRAM or Shimano part on their bike.
A MTB groupset includes drivetrain components (derailleurs, cassette, shifters, crankset, chain etc.) but also brakes, pedals and sometimes wheels. Among the different groups in the Shimano hierarchy, we'll help you to see more clearly and orientate you in your choice, whether it is a complete mountain bike or a new groupset for your current bike.
The entry level
The entry-level range is composed of 4 groups: Shimano Altus, Shimano Acera, Shimano Alivio and Shimano Tourney. These ranges are generally recommended for an occasional use on not very demanding paths or for touring. You will find them on mountain bikes that costs between 300 and 800€ in shops. The difference between these products is in the details, for example the three products offer the same features but our opinion is that the Shimano Alivio has a better finish, is more pleasant to use and offers a bi-directional trigger unlike the others.
The products in this range are designed for a more frequent use. These groupsets are:
it is the versatile complete group, available in 1, 2 and 3 speeds at the front (10, 11 or 12 at the rear), it is suitable for several types of uses (cross country, trail, enduro) at an affordable price. High quality, comfortable and durable, it is the compromise between casual and competitive mountain biking components. This group was also used on Gravel Bikes before the presentation of the Shimano GRX range.
the SLX groupset is more reliable, lighter and available in 10, 11 or 12 speeds at a moderate cost. A 12 speed single chainring version is also available. You can perfectly combine it with the SHIMANO 105/SLX chain. It is suitable for cross-country, all-mountain and enduro riding. It is perfect for regular use on all terrains.
The high end
These are the groups that equip experienced riders, the pros but also the riders who do not hesitate to commit themselves. These are the flagships groups of the Japanese brand:
the XT group (also called Deore XT) is available in 1 x 12s, 1 x 11s, 2 × 12s, 2 x 11s and 3 x 11 speeds. It is perfectly suited for mountain biking in the broadest sense, from enduro riders to cross-country competitors. Light, reliable and strong, it is the best value of the Shimano MTB range. It is also available in electric version Di2 for the riders looking for performance and better shifting.
it's the top of the range at Shimano! XTR components are top of the line components designed to offer the best specs: they have the smoothest shifting, best durability and lightest weight. The Shimano XTR groupset is available in 1 x 12s, 1 x 11s, 2 x 12s and 2 x 11 speeds depending on your preferences and the terrain you ride on. There is also an electric Di2 version.
There is a range of components for riders that are into downhill or freeriding. Included in this line are the ZEE and SAINT groupsets. The ZEE parts are perfect for riders looking for an affordable, solid and reliable group. The Shimano SAINT groupset will equip more high-end bikes and riders looking for performance. This is the group used on the DH World Cup events.