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  1. #1
    Intergalactic Excellence. JohnnyGalaga's Avatar
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    Is Shimano Considered Good Or Bad?

    Sometimes Shimano parts are emphazised in advertising. Are they good or bad?

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    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Trolling ?

    Shimano makes a very wide range of parts for all types and prices of bikes. Generally their stuff is good, but like most anything you, the cheap stuff tends to be not so good.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

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    Retro-Direct Fan TwoShort's Avatar
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    Shimano makes all levels. If they list the name of the particular line ("Dura-Ace", "Ultegra", "105"), those are good.

    Makers of cheap bicycles sometimes proudly emphasize "Shimano Parts", and that's it. That generally means "junk".

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    Senior Member surfengine's Avatar
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    good

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    Shimano is a "name" brand. They own a large share of the bicycling component market. Often a seller will simply cite the presence of Shimano parts. Mostly this happens when they want to give the impression the bike is of higher quality than, say, a department store bike...

    Experienced cyclists will further ask what level of Shimano parts are on a bike. For MTB's there are basically (off the top of my head) six quality levels... From lowest to highest, they are Acera, Alivio, Deore, LX. XT and XTR. For example, bike with a lot of XT or XTR components would be considered a "high end" ride.

    For road bikes there are five major component groupings: Sora, Tiagra, 105, Ultegra and Dura-Ace. A full Dura-Ace group (or Gruppo) including the wheelset will run you well north of $3000...

    Even some of Shimano's cheapest components are pretty good, so the name is generally well-respected. However there are people who have strong negative feelings about Shimano... Some of their marketing practices have been widely criticized, for example... They are the market leader, and thus a large target.

    Shimano does have competitors who produce stuff that's just as good (or in some cases, better). So there is a lot of back-and-forth discussion about which manufacturer is truly at the top of the heap. As you'll probably see as this thread continues.

    Anyway learn all you can about components and you'll be well-informed on whether a particular bike is a good deal, a rip-off, or something in between...

  6. #6
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    "Shimano" is bad
    "Shimano XXXX" is good
    Shimano (105, Ultegra, Dura-Ace, 600, Deore, LX, Xt or XTR) is very good.

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    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    I regard Shimano as being to bicycles what Bill Gates is to computers: You can't avoid the fact that it has done some really good things - anymore than we can't argue that he's evil incarnate.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

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    Senior Member oldpedalpusher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyGalaga View Post
    Sometimes Shimano parts are emphazised in advertising. Are they good or bad?
    Hi Johnny,

    I'm the lowest bottom feeder when it comes to cheap bicycle components...

    ...and a big Shimano fan.


    Just installed a new Sora rear derailleur ($20)...


    ...new old stock 333 friction shifters ($15)...


    ...new Altus brakes ($20)...


    ...and new Altus brake levers ($24)...




    ...and am completely pleased with their quality, design, and function.


    Greg

  9. #9
    cab horn
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    Worst troll ever

    Can't believe you guys still fall for this stuff.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Can't believe you guys still fall for this stuff.
    Are you sure the OP is a troll? When I first started cycling some people tried their best to convince the that Shimano is crap and Campy is the only way to go. Now some people say the same thing about SRAM.

    You get what you pay for with Shimano. Anything you find in a bike shop will be descent. 105/Ultegra/Dura Ace and LX/XT/XTR is very nice.
    Surly Pacer

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    Senior Member oldpedalpusher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tabor View Post
    Are you sure the OP is a troll?
    Hi Tabor,

    I'm not either... but so what if he was? Everyone here is perfectly free to choose what they wish to respond to, and what they see fit to just to let pass by.

    When I first started cycling some people tried their best to convince the that Shimano is crap and Campy is the only way to go. Now some people say the same thing about SRAM.

    You get what you pay for with Shimano. Anything you find in a bike shop will be descent. 105/Ultegra/Dura Ace and LX/XT/XTR is very nice.
    When I got my first derailleur bike in 1961, Huret and Simplex were the components for the "masses" and Campy was for the "pros". Back then the Huret shifters were abysmal. The friction adjusters needed to be snugged down practically every shift. The engineering of even today's cheapest components really shines.

    Greg

  12. #12
    Unobtanium-Based Lifeform calamarichris's Avatar
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    "I think Suntour should try manufacturing fishing gear." --Tinker Juarez (about a zillion years ago)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldpedalpusher View Post
    When I got my first derailleur bike in 1961, Huret and Simplex were the components for the "masses" and Campy was for the "pros". Back then the Huret shifters were abysmal. The friction adjusters needed to be snugged down practically every shift. The engineering of even today's cheapest components really shines.
    Funny you should mention that. Years ago Campy's downtube shifters were notorious for losing their friction setting and allowing "ghost shifting" unless you tightened the D-rings every day or so. The Pros often fitted Simplex Retrofriction shifters even on their Campy-sponsored bikes just to avoid this problem.

    I once installed a set of Record dt shifters on a mid-80's Bridgestone and had no end of problems with them losing their tightness evey few days. I cured it permanantly with a set of Sun Tour Power-Ratchet shifters.

  14. #14
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Yes - my Campy Record downtube-shifters, which are friction, do beg a small amount of tightening during rides. Especially over rutted, potholed roads. I do this automatically. It's a part of what I do without even being aware of it. But they put me square on the gear I want in my 16-spd. gear system. As they did since 1983 - 12spd. And, later, 14spd.

    If this sounds like a hassle - by all means find a different shifter-mechanism. I love my Campy's.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  15. #15
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    I like how when someone asks an honest question about the quality of a big name product he....or she is labelled "troll". Half the reason why I hate using message boards anymore.

    on a more serious note, I just bought a Giant Boulder SE, which I'm assuming has the lowest quality of shimano parts. would it be worth upgrading these parts (over time)? How much would I be looking at up grading say the front and rear derailer?

  16. #16
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Tough question. Usually bikes that have bottom-of-the-barrel components aren't worth upgrading. Much more cost effective to get a better bike. But I'm not familiar with that bike.

    Strictly in terms of what upgrading will buy you, it won't be much. Mostly weight. Riveted cranksets could be repaired rather than thrown away. But generally not much improvement in function. Even the real low-end stuff isn't crap.

    Best place for your efforts is maintenance and tuning. Buy tools and learn to use them. Low-end bikes are rarely set up optimally. Even better components will require installation and tuning.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  17. #17
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    All Of You:

    Meet 'operator.' He is the forum irritant. He has a enormous knowledge of bike-mechanics which he generously shares with us from time-to-time. His social-skills, however, are somewhere between Null and Void. Which often results in sending a thread into the Twilight Zone. Get used to this.

    Hey Rod! Is that you Mr. Serling? Can I bum a cigarette?
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  18. #18
    Intergalactic Excellence. JohnnyGalaga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arej00dazed View Post
    I like how when someone asks an honest question about the quality of a big name product he....or she is labelled "troll". Half the reason why I hate using message boards anymore.
    No doubt. I have NO IDEA why I'm apparently a troll. (???) I don't know anything about name brands so I only figured a BIKE FORUM would be a good place to ask.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyGalaga View Post
    No doubt. I have NO IDEA why I'm apparently a troll. (???) I don't know anything about name brands so I only figured a BIKE FORUM would be a good place to ask.
    A bit of background might give you some perspective. The two major brands of good bicycle components for decades have been Shimano and Campagnolo (SRAM is latecomer to the party) and both have their wild-eyed enthusiasts who will say absolutely nothing favorable about the other brand. Sort of a Ford vs Chevy mentality and just as absurd.

    So, by asking "Is Shimano any good?", the Shimano fanboys assume you are insulting their brand and the Campy fanboys rub their hands in glee assuming you are insulting the opposition.

    So, an otherwise innocent question stirs up a hornets nest of competing opinions and you are the now the puzzled instigator. Sit back and enjoy the debate, it's nothing personal.

  20. #20
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwr1961 View Post
    Experienced cyclists will further ask what level of Shimano parts are on a bike. For MTB's there are basically (off the top of my head) six quality levels... From lowest to highest, they are Acera, Alivio, Deore, LX. XT and XTR. For example, bike with a lot of XT or XTR components would be considered a "high end" ride..
    Missed the #'ed series, Tourney, SLX, Saint, Hone also...

  21. #21
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    It's like the Apple v. Microsoft debate/war. If you stick your emotions on the shelf for a few, you'll find that both Campagnolo & Shimano (and many others) make some very, very good components. My reasons for despising Shimano stems from history going back over 25 years. Would/Do I buy Shimano products? Yes I do. Would I recommend them? Yes I would. And the same goes for Campagnolo - and many others.

    It all depends on what you're looking to accomplish regards what I would recommend in a particular instance.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by arej00dazed View Post
    ... I just bought a Giant Boulder SE, which I'm assuming has the lowest quality of shimano parts....
    No, not the lowest level of Shimano. Assuming you have a 2009 model (http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...r+SE&Type=bike), I'd leave the front der and crankset alone, as FD's need to be matched (at least somewhat) to the crankset's biggest gear size and to its gear-to-gear size differences. I've found that higher-end mountain cranksets tend to be 44t max size and intended to be matched with 8- or 9-gear rear cassettes that have 11t-3Xt ranges. FD's are much less of an issue (and less-frequently used) than RD's.

    Your chain is fine, and it'll cost you a bit of money to get better and/or separate shifters and brake levers. Any upgrade to 8- or 9-speed shifters will also require an RD capable of those speeds, an appropriate cassette, and most likely a new rear wheel with an 8/9-speed hub.

    A much better rear derailleur at a great price is a Deore SGS: http://www.cambriabike.com/shopexd.asp?ID=33426 This will also support any future upgrade to 8 or 9 speed shifters, wheel, and cassette.

  23. #23
    R88
    R88 is offline
    Senior Member R88's Avatar
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    I would like to thank dwr1961 for his detailed and informative answer. I was certainly not aware of the different levels of the shimano line. His response made we visit to this site well worth while, thank you.

  24. #24
    Senior Member oldpedalpusher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arej00dazed View Post
    on a more serious note, I just bought a Giant Boulder SE, which I'm assuming has the lowest quality of shimano parts. would it be worth upgrading these parts (over time)? How much would I be looking at up grading say the front and rear derailer?
    Hi dazed,

    Is this your bike?...



    That's a nice entry level bike that should give you many years of good service. My wife has ridden a similarly Shimano equipped bike to yours, a Diamondback Sorrento, for about 10 years and loves it.


    Greg

  25. #25
    cab horn
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    Shimano better? Or campy? Please discuss. Obviously it hasn't been done before FFS.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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