Shimano Groupsets – A Complete Overview

Shimano MTB groupset overview – All Shimano mountain bike groupsets listed.
 
If you are looking for a new mountain bike, then you also have to choose a suitable shifting group for it. It’s not easy to make a choice because of the large number of groupsets. How good are actually all Shimano groups and where exactly are the differences? In this post, I try to list them all, from Altus and Alivio to Deore and XTR.
 
But what goes into a groupset? A complete group contains everything that has to do with the circuit, the brakes, and the drive. So it’s about all the moving mountain bike components.
 
What parts belong to a shifting group? These are the shift levers for the front derailleur and the rear derailleur. Your crankset including chainrings belong to a complete shifting group. Last but not least, of course, we must not forget the brakes.
 
As a mountain bike beginner, it can be difficult to find a suitable shifting group. Below you will find an overview of all Shimano MTB groups. The list contains everything from the beginner group Shimano Tourney to the professional groups, such as Shimano XTR.
 
As a beginner, you do not need to get the very best group. Shimano ensures that the techniques from the more expensive groups are also found in the cheaper groups. You can therefore ride with a very good Shimano group, without which you have to pay directly the maximum price.
 
As you can see from the table below, a few groups are recommended for sporty cyclists. This means that these groups are suitable for sporty rides on paved roads. Do you want to go off-road with your bike? Then choose at least the Shimano Alivio group.
So it’s not true that you have no quality with a cheaper Shimano group. For many mountain bikers, a Shimano Deore or a Shimano SLX is already a perfect group.
 
The difference lies in the material of the various parts and the weight of the shifting group. The more expensive the group, the more durable and lighter the material.
 

Shimano Tourney group

The Shimano Tourney is the cheapest of all groups. This groupset is most often seen on sporty bikes. The group is less suitable for off-road touring. The Tourney group is available in 1×7, 1×6, 3×7, and 3×6 variants. The Shimano Tourney group is the entry-level model.
 

Shimano Altus Group

The Shimano Altus group is also used for sporty bikes. If you want to deviate from paved roads every now and then, then this group is very suitable for this. The Shimano Altus group is available in a 3×9 and 2×9 variants.
 

Shimano Acera group

The Shimano Acera group is well suited for your recreational rider and for your first off-road riding experience. According to Shimano, the crankset has an aggressive look and you can shift quickly and easily with the Shimano Acera. The parts are sturdy, made of stainless steel and easy to maintain. This MTB shifting group is equipped with 18 (2×9) or 27 (3×9) gears. The Shimano Acera group is also suitable for a sporty bike.
 

Shimano Alivio group

The Shimano Alivio group is best suited for mountain biking beginners. This MTB groupset is easy to maintain and is better engineered than the cheaper versions. This group set also has 18 (2×9) and 27 (3×9) gears. The Shimano Alivio is the recommended group for beginner mountain bikers.
 

Shimano Deore group

The Shimano Deore is designed for sporty riders and beginners. Many mountain bikers will recommend this Shimano group to beginners who regularly go on a brisk forest tour. The components are sustainable and reliable. The price-performance ratio of this group is very good.
 
The Shimano Deore group is often recommended to ambitious mountain bike beginners.
 
If you want to shift even faster while mountain biking, you can get a more expensive group. With the Deore groupset, you have 20 (2×10) or 30 (3×10) gears at your disposal.
 

Shimano SLX group

The Shimano SLX group ensures that you can ride your mountain bike over all trails. The SLX is very like Shimano’s better shift groups, such as the XT group. The big difference is that the SLX group weighs more because of the steel parts.
 
The Shimano SLX is good quality and affordable. This MTB shift group is the best choice if you are looking for good value for money. You can shift with 12 (1×12) or 24 (2×12) gears.
 

Shimano Deore XT group

The Shimano Deore XT group is also called XT and is one of the most popular groups among mountain bikers. This MTB shifting group is perfect for competitive riders. It’s also nice for the sporty mountain biker who has a higher budget available. This group performs the same as the XTR group but is more affordable in price.
 
The difference with the Shimano XTR group lies in the use of materials. The parts of the XT are made from a mix of aluminum and stainless steel. The weight of this group is slightly higher than the XTR. With the Shimano XT group, you have 12 (1×12) or 24 (2×12) gears available.
 
The Shimano Deore group is one of the most popular groups for mountain bikes.
 

Shimano XTR group

Want the best of the best? Then just like the pros and fanatical mountain bikers, opt for the Shimano XTR shifting group. This group is very light and made of very high-quality materials. It is a mix of carbon fibers, titanium, and high-quality alloys.
 
With the XTR group, you can shift very quickly, easily, and precisely. This MTB groupset has 12 (1×12) or 24 (2×12) gears. Cheap is the Shimano XTR group not. This group costs almost twice as much as the Deore XT group.