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  1. #1
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    Shimano Derailleur Hierachy Question

    I have a question about the hierachy of derailleurs from Shimano.

    MTB/Hybrid: Delore LX > Deore > Alivio > Altus > Acera
    Road/Hybrid: 105 > Tiagra > Sora

    I've noticed when I look at hybrids sometimes they have MTB type derailleurs and others have Road bike type.

    Is the way I classified the derailleurs correct? (i.e. Deore is better than Alivio). Are they any inbetween the 105 and Tiagra?

    Is it fair to compare the low end of each of these (i.e. Acera = Sora)? For hybrid bikes does it matter what derailleurs it comes with?

    If I am comparing 2 bikes one has a Deore rear derailleur and the other has a Tiagra - would they be they same quality?

    Just looking for some help on this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msujohn View Post
    I have a question about the hierachy of derailleurs from Shimano.

    MTB/Hybrid: Delore LX > Deore > Alivio > Altus > Acera
    Road/Hybrid: 105 > Tiagra > Sora

    I've noticed when I look at hybrids sometimes they have MTB type derailleurs and others have Road bike type.

    Is the way I classified the derailleurs correct? (i.e. Deore is better than Alivio). Are they any inbetween the 105 and Tiagra?

    Is it fair to compare the low end of each of these (i.e. Acera = Sora)? For hybrid bikes does it matter what derailleurs it comes with?

    If I am comparing 2 bikes one has a Deore rear derailleur and the other has a Tiagra - would they be they same quality?

    Just looking for some help on this.
    There are better DRs than you listed, you have the MTB group out of order, and what Hybrid have you seen
    with a Road bike DR..Just wondering, Richard

  3. #3
    Senior Member Arrowana's Avatar
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    Shimano's website pretty much has it in order:
    http://techdocs.shimano.com/techdocs...&bmUID=iSHiMaq

    As far as comparing road and MTB, I'm not too sure. I would guess Deore is the equivalent of Tiagra.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    OP, did you happen to read the wiki? Comparing road to mtb is like comparing apples to oranges.

    Here's probably the most helpful tip that you'll likely get- don't worry about what parts are hanging off of the frame; concentrate on finding a frame that fits your needs/wants, your environment, and most importantly... YOU. You could have the most blinged out bike on the planet, but if it doesn't fit, then you aren't going to ride it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Since you asked ........

    Quote Originally Posted by xoxoxoxoLive View Post
    There are better DRs than you listed, you have the MTB group out of order, and what Hybrid have you seen
    with a Road bike DR..Just wondering, Richard
    Thought I`d post a few examples from just ONE company. For a number of years Kona has been marketing hybrids. The `Dew` lineup ranges from the PHD, Dr Dew, Dew FS, Dew Deluxe, Dew Plus, Dew, and Dew Drop. On the top-end PHD you`ll find a Shimano Ultegra (road?) rear derailleur mixed with Shimano 105 Flatbar shifters (are those road or mtb?). The front derailleur on the Dr Dew has also been specified as a Shimano 105 (road?) while the rear derailleur was a Shimano Deore (mtb?). On the other hand - the Dew Drop (named because it has drop style road bars) was specified with a Shimano Deore (mtb?) rear derailleur in spite of having Shimano 2xxx series shifters and brakes (definately road).

    That should get you started - Kona hasn`t been the only company to blur the boundaries.

  6. #6
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    ecause you asked ...

    Quote Originally Posted by msujohn View Post
    I have a question about the hierachy of derailleurs from Shimano.

    MTB/Hybrid: Delore LX > Deore > Alivio > Altus > Acera
    Road/Hybrid: 105 > Tiagra > Sora

    I've noticed when I look at hybrids sometimes they have MTB type derailleurs and others have Road bike type.

    Is the way I classified the derailleurs correct? (i.e. Deore is better than Alivio). Are they any inbetween the 105 and Tiagra?

    Is it fair to compare the low end of each of these (i.e. Acera = Sora)? For hybrid bikes does it matter what derailleurs it comes with?

    If I am comparing 2 bikes one has a Deore rear derailleur and the other has a Tiagra - would they be they same quality?

    Just looking for some help on this.
    Last time I checked, Shimano mtb series could generally be aranged in a hierarcy based on a 3 number sequence: XTR (9xx), Saint (8xx), XT (7xx), SLX (6xx), Deore (5xx), Alivio (4xx), Acera (3xx), (also 3xx) and Tourney (0xx).

    Road components can generally be arranged by a 4- digit sequence: Dura-ace (7xxx), Ultegra (6xxx), 105 (5xxx), Tiagra (4xxx), Sora (3xxx) and the Shimano 2xxx group.From there it can get confusing. Road rear derailleurs are usually available in either short cage or long cage versions. The lower end mtb rear derailleurs are not available in short cage versions o the high end ones are. The higher end mtb rear derailleurs are also available in low-normal or top-normal versions. Road models tend to be top-normal versions.

    However, I really wouldn`t suggest you worry about any of it. The overall package on most bikes has been fairly well thought out and any `package` would be cheaper that what you would end up with by buying parts seperately. Sounds like you`re not looking at a high end bike so I`d suggest you buy something you like from someone that you have no problem talking to. Remember you`ll be getting after sales service there and so they should be able to help you with any questions ahead of time.

  7. #7
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I always just lumped the Acera/Alivia/Altus stuff into the same level - that stuff that starts with A that I wouldn't buy.

    Like Burton said, there's at least one notch lower on the road groups also - 2300/2200 stuff.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  8. #8
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xoxoxoxoLive View Post
    There are better DRs than you listed, you have the MTB group out of order, and what Hybrid have you seen
    with a Road bike DR..Just wondering, Richard
    I guess to answer your simple question, Alivio would be closer to Tiagra than Deore, thus making the Deore a little better. Richard

  9. #9
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    I always just lumped the Acera/Alivia/Altus stuff into the same level - that stuff that starts with A that I wouldn't buy.

    Like Burton said, there's at least one notch lower on the road groups also - 2300/2200 stuff.
    Alivio, Acera, and even Atlus work perfectly fine. Here is a Tourney after a couple 1000 miles...And I have owned XTR and Sram X7 stuff and rode bikes with XO Sram..Once adjusted correctly, they all work fine.

    Richard

  10. #10
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    Last time I checked, Shimano mtb series could generally be aranged in a hierarcy based on a 3 number sequence: XTR (9xx), Saint (8xx), XT (7xx), SLX (6xx), Deore (5xx), Alivio (4xx), Acera (3xx), (also 3xx) and Tourney (0xx).

    Road components can generally be arranged by a 4- digit sequence: Dura-ace (7xxx), Ultegra (6xxx), 105 (5xxx), Tiagra (4xxx), Sora (3xxx) and the Shimano 2xxx group.From there it can get confusing. Road rear derailleurs are usually available in either short cage or long cage versions. The lower end mtb rear derailleurs are not available in short cage versions o the high end ones are. The higher end mtb rear derailleurs are also available in low-normal or top-normal versions. Road models tend to be top-normal versions.

    However, I really wouldn`t suggest you worry about any of it. The overall package on most bikes has been fairly well thought out and any `package` would be cheaper that what you would end up with by buying parts seperately. Sounds like you`re not looking at a high end bike so I`d suggest you buy something you like from someone that you have no problem talking to. Remember you`ll be getting after sales service there and so they should be able to help you with any questions ahead of time.
    You left out a few MTB DR's, but +1 on your post ! Richard

  11. #11
    Sumerian Street Rider khutch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xoxoxoxoLive View Post
    and what Hybrid have you seen
    with a Road bike DR..Just wondering, Richard
    Probably just about any performance biased hybrid. The top two Fuji Absolutes for example use Tiagra and 105 bits, for the most part.

    Ken

  12. #12
    Rain, rain go away john423's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khutch View Post
    Probably just about any performance biased hybrid. The top two Fuji Absolutes for example use Tiagra and 105 bits, for the most part.

    Ken
    The Trek 7.7 FX has some 105 stuff, including the rear derailleur.

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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    OP, did you happen to read the wiki? Comparing road to mtb is like comparing apples to oranges.

    Here's probably the most helpful tip that you'll likely get- don't worry about what parts are hanging off of the frame; concentrate on finding a frame that fits your needs/wants, your environment, and most importantly... YOU. You could have the most blinged out bike on the planet, but if it doesn't fit, then you aren't going to ride it.
    +1000!
    'Components' are just that ... components.

    The two most important things are 1)Frame/fork (quality, fit, etc just as no1mad says) and 2)Wheels .. in that order.

    Buy a bike that fits/suits you/your needs, and just ride!

    Higher-level drivetrain components are 'nicer' to use, to some extent, and (typically) save some weight, but they will not make your bike fit you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
    +1000!
    'Components' are just that ... components.

    The two most important things are 1)Frame/fork (quality, fit, etc just as no1mad says) and 2)Wheels .. in that order.

    Buy a bike that fits/suits you/your needs, and just ride!

    Higher-level drivetrain components are 'nicer' to use, to some extent, and (typically) save some weight, but they will not make your bike fit you.
    Thanks for all the advice. As I am very new to Hybrids - I am trying to understand what is the most important parts of the bike. Looks like Frame/fork is number 1 and wheels number 2. Since I am only looking at bikes in the $650 price range - I wanted to understand why I compare 1 to the other - what was comprimsed. Sounds like it is better to focus on the bike with the better frame/fork and wheels - the other components can be upgraded if ever needed. Now, I'll have to understand what a better fram/fork and wheels is? How can you tell. Is it all by feel? Looking at a Trek 7.3, Cannondale Quick 4, Specialized sirrus elite, and Fuji absolute 2.0 - what tells you how the frame/fork and wheels compare?

  15. #15
    Senior Member Arrowana's Avatar
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    Not too sure about wheels, but it sounds like the frame is mostly based on feel. I tested out a Trek 7.2FX, Specialized Sirrus, and Fuji Absolute 3.0 last year. I liked the Specialized and Fuji, but I would have rather kept riding the too small MTB conversion I had than ride that Trek.

    I wonder if there is much of a difference in using road or MTB components on a hybrid. For example I am thinking of building up a nice rigid MTB frame I have into a hybrid, and I have a XT and 105 RD sitting in my parts bin.

  16. #16
    Senior Member AdelaaR's Avatar
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    It goes like this:

    MTB: Altus - Acera - Alivio - Deore - LX - SLX - XT - XTR
    Road: Sora - Tiagra - 105 - Ultegra - Dura Ace

    An LX is comparable to a 105 ... I don't claim this ... Shimano claims this: the packages of the LX chains say "usable for 105".
    In the same fashion a tiagra is about a deore and an XT is comparable to an Ultegra and an XTR is pro racing stuff like a Dure Ace.

    Hope this helped clear things up

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    Quote Originally Posted by xoxoxoxoLive View Post
    Alivio, Acera, and even Atlus work perfectly fine. Here is a Tourney after a couple 1000 miles...And I have owned XTR and Sram X7 stuff and rode bikes with XO Sram..Once adjusted correctly, they all work fine....
    +1 on the Alivio for me. I've taken my 7.2 fx close to 800 miles and I can count the number of RD misses on one hand with most of them coming within the first month break in period. The Shimano M191 FD on the 7.2 is nothing to write home about but I'll take the Alivio RD anytime. It's been adjusted just once and has had sand, mud, twigs and God knows what else get thrown it's way and it still works great.
    2012 Pinarello FP Due,2010 Scattante X-330(Cyclocross),1988 Fuji Sagres SP (Road Bike)

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    When you see MTB RDs on bikes with otherwise road component groups it is based on running the larger 32 or 34 tooth MTB cassettes or the ability to add them later.
    As far as I know 27 teeth is the largest cassette the road RDs can handle. Whereas you can run a MTB RD with any size cogset and they work just fine with either road or trigger shifters so long as they are the same speed.

  19. #19
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khutch View Post
    Probably just about any performance biased hybrid. The top two Fuji Absolutes for example use Tiagra and 105 bits, for the most part.

    Ken
    Your right, I never look at performace style Hybrids. My Bad, Richard

  20. #20
    Sumerian Street Rider khutch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xoxoxoxoLive View Post
    Your right, I never look at performace style Hybrids. My Bad, Richard
    No bad, it is pretty obvious that you are a trail oriented hybrideer. So much so one wonders why you hang out here instead of the MTB section! I'm not one to criticize though, without too much trouble I could undoubtedly have found a road bike that suits me as well as my hybrid. The road bike people are just too intense to hang out with though. Maybe the MTBers are as well. Perhaps this forum exists not for hybrid bikes but for hybrid people?!

    Ken

  21. #21
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdelaaR View Post
    It goes like this:

    MTB: Altus - Acera - Alivio - Deore - LX - SLX - XT - XTR
    Road: Sora - Tiagra - 105 - Ultegra - Dura Ace

    An LX is comparable to a 105 ... I don't claim this ... Shimano claims this: the packages of the LX chains say "usable for 105".
    In the same fashion a tiagra is about a deore and an XT is comparable to an Ultegra and an XTR is pro racing stuff like a Dure Ace.

    Hope this helped clear things up
    Nice list, but you left out Saint which falls in between XT and XTR, and I would still include Tourney at the bottom. It is stock on plenty of LBS bikes, Shimano SIS being at the very bottom. But good info, I believe
    Alivio is much closer to Tiagra, making Deore a little better. But like one poster said, Bike Fit first, frame and forks, wheels and hubs, drive train, brakes, tires, and seat...I always wondered why we never talk about how
    important hubs are to the bikes performance, even cheap ones that are greased and correctly adjusted would
    out roll the most expensive ones that are not. And slow you down more than the worst tires out there. Richard

  22. #22
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    ... and LX is not considered a Mountain Bike group anymore and is pretty much out of the picture in the USA.

    It's a Trekking component group in Europe, possibly elsewhere also.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  23. #23
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knobd View Post
    +1 on the Alivio for me. I've taken my 7.2 fx close to 800 miles and I can count the number of RD misses on one hand with most of them coming within the first month break in period. The Shimano M191 FD on the 7.2 is nothing to write home about but I'll take the Alivio RD anytime. It's been adjusted just once and has had sand, mud, twigs and God knows what else get thrown it's way and it still works great.
    I really like the Alivio on my Giant, shifts smooth front and rear, just sold a bike with XTR components and could not notice
    any real difference other than size, and My Cannondale had Sram X7 which shifted just as well as the others.
    There is a small difference in the Tourney, but you really only can tell when shifting under some load, which
    you should not do anyway. I also have the Acera DR on my Trek, and an Atlus on my sons Tourist, and they all
    shift fine. I have noticed that keeping your hubs greased and adjusted perfectly result in a real change in a bikes
    performance. And then tires seem to be the first things to look at when getting the most out of what you have.
    Glad you like your Alivio, Richard

  24. #24
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khutch View Post
    No bad, it is pretty obvious that you are a trail oriented hybrideer. So much so one wonders why you hang out here instead of the MTB section! I'm not one to criticize though, without too much trouble I could undoubtedly have found a road bike that suits me as well as my hybrid. The road bike people are just too intense to hang out with though. Maybe the MTBers are as well. Perhaps this forum exists not for hybrid bikes but for hybrid people?!

    Ken
    The answer is yes, they are ! ROTFLMAO ( Best Post Of The New Year ) great post Ken. Richard : )

  25. #25
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Arrowana I guess you had this whole thread straight since post number 3. Should have followed your link to
    Shimano's website. Just was reading through all the post again and decided to click on it. ( EGG ON FACE ),
    LOL...I was going off memory, OOPPSSS !
    Tourney
    Altus
    Acera
    Alivio
    Deore
    Hone
    Deore LX
    SLX
    Deore XT
    DXR
    Saint
    XTR

    For those that did not click on the link also, I noticed that you have a MotoBecane Grand Jubile, qsmdc15 thought that the Schwinn Trailways started me biking again. But I only bought it after my house burned
    down, funds were low, and could not find anything on Craigslist worth buying. I had inside a Motobecane
    500 HT XC Trail Deore, and a full suspension MTB bike that I built one part at a time. I'm loving the new
    Giant Rincon more with every ride, but MISS the Motobecane, I have only one picture of it, printed from
    the home printer, do not even know how it made it threw the fire. And I rode it like a Hybrid, to the store,
    everywhere, but I lived in town back then. I have bought and sold so many off Craigslist this past year I
    can not even count, trying to find just the right one. The new Giant may be it ! Sorry for the long post,
    it is dark here, and pouring down rain, stuck in the house and just thinking. I will start clicking on the links
    more often, I was a poster on another forum since 2007, till one of my friends said that one of my YouTube
    videos were on a thread on bike forums, that thread is still going, like 19,000 views. Not due to my video, but
    that is when I started posting on BikeForums, it is a much better forum, ( not calling the other ), it was okay.
    I want to go riding ! Miss that Motobecane, ( LOL ) Richard

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