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View Poll Results: In my real-world experience, lower level components...
are better than higher-level components 1 1.18%
are as good as some higher-level components 9 10.59%
are decent, you get what you pay for 65 76.47%
suck 10 11.76%
Voters: 85. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-12-07, 07:31 AM   #1
Flash
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In your real-world experience, do lower-level components really suck?

We often see postings from people advising new riders to "stay away from Alivio, it is junk."

This poll is an extension of an earlier thread. I'm curious to hear from those who have actually ridden Alivio/Altus/Acera/X.4.

see poll

thanks
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Old 09-12-07, 10:40 AM   #2
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There are riders out there that would look down on LX or X.7 components. Honestly, that's the lowest I will go.

Now, below that and especially alivio/altus/acera/ and x.4 stuff...doesn't shift as well, isn't as robust, get what you pay for basically. HEAVIER by a long shot.

If you want to do some trail riding from time to time then I'd say it is ok but for HD use, I'd stay away like the plague. Never seen an ad from shimano touting how awesome their alivio line is. Come see our alivio with big giant ugly derailer with ugly 13 tooth pulleys.

Honestly, if you want square taper and 8 speed only, alivio baby or just buy some NOS 8 speed XT stuff or STX-RC on ebay.

Personally, the alivio/acera shifters alone would be enough for me to stay away from them. Especially the ones with the integrated v brake levers.

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Originally Posted by Flash View Post
We often see postings from people advising new riders to "stay away from Alivio, it is junk."

This poll is an extension of an earlier thread. I'm curious to hear from those who have actually ridden Alivio/Altus/Acera/X.4.

see poll

thanks
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Old 09-12-07, 10:59 AM   #3
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I recently bought a road bike with Sora (comparable to lower end mountain bits) components and was suprised at how nice it shifts for a "crappy" group.
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Old 09-12-07, 11:27 AM   #4
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Honestly they are a world apart from what the person is used to on their X-mart bikes...at least it was for me. My bottom of the barrel bicycle still has its stock Altus on it, over 500 miles and not a single missed shift or overthrow. It hasn't even been tuned once. I don't know if my case would be the rule or the exception. Granted I don't take my bike XC, its not worthy for that task and hence I ride it within the limitations of the bike, daily commuting and puttering around the neighborhood.

Take the components for what they are, use them within their limits and they will be more than sufficient for a new rider.
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Old 09-12-07, 11:39 AM   #5
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For the purpose they are designed for, they work well.

For me, they stink. Than again, I am a mid level component person. Simple facts

a) all parts break
b) mid level to high level have similar breaking points (in my experience)
c) replacing high level parts costs more

I buy mid to mid high (x.7 or lx/xt) never higher and never lower. For me, thats the perfect balance between replacement cost and efficiency. And in this town, I go through deraileurs and sometimes shifters by the bunch.

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Old 09-12-07, 11:50 AM   #6
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I recently rented a road bike with Sora (mine has Ultegra) and I was very surprised at how poorly it shifted. My last road bike had 105 components (1 group down from Ultergra) and there wasn't that much diffence. Dropping down 2 or more groups is clearly noticeable.
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Old 09-12-07, 12:08 PM   #7
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actually, I put together a bike with ultegra derailers (9 speed), 10 speed ultegra crank and SORA shifters. Those shifters just work.

Personally, I think the quality of the Sora road group is much better than the equivalent MTB group. I've ridden a complete sora group. Thought the quality was pretty good and I've owned ultegra and dura ace 9 speed and have campy centaur and 2 ultegra level 10 speed bikes.

pound for pound, I think the road components are much closer than the MTB. Below Deore, things become less MTB and more just ride on the road and pray they don't break.

Then again my race MTB is 9 speed and my Ala Carte is still 8 speed XT with a XTR 8 speed cassette. To me, 8 speed MTB still makes sense for a low maint fun trail bike but that doesn't mean that I'll ride alivio to get it.


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I recently rented a road bike with Sora (mine has Ultegra) and I was very surprised at how poorly it shifted. My last road bike had 105 components (1 group down from Ultergra) and there wasn't that much diffence. Dropping down 2 or more groups is clearly noticeable.
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Old 09-12-07, 12:24 PM   #8
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I think lower-end components are fine for new riders. I had all-alivio components on my first real mtb, and they worked great for 3 years, when the front shifter broke. By then, I was ready to upgrade and notice the difference. I still use the other components on my commuter (4 years so far without problems) because they work fine and I won't be out $1000 if it disappears someday.
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Old 09-12-07, 12:48 PM   #9
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I have had a bike for some time now with SXT derailers and these babies have held up well and in my opionion shift as good as the XT or XTR units I have ridden. I am not sure but I think these are close to the Alivio units you are talking about.

Done!
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Old 09-12-07, 01:25 PM   #10
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you don't have a 'really suck' option
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Old 09-12-07, 07:07 PM   #11
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I got a Alivio shifter/Acera dérailleur on my bike. I find it adequate for what I do. I like it, and it is a BIG step up from my previous bike. I want to go SS though.
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Old 09-12-07, 07:19 PM   #12
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in my experience the more you pay for something the easier it is to break. Plus who wants to burn through a 100 buck cassette a year.
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Old 09-13-07, 06:57 AM   #13
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yes you do get what you pay for...

i have alivio 8 speed on one mtb (but its in parts right now) and it shifts super slick and smooth, but i wouldnt go bash it around on nasty singletrack either. My real mtb has almost all LX (M570 era, looking at brakes to complete the group on ebay at the moment....) and the LX has taken quite a beating through technical singletrack and just plain rough off roading....shifts like it did on day one after my build up! Personally I wont buy lower than LX. in fact ill probably only ever buy LX for mountain! maybe x.7 because i love SRAM shifting, but not untill my current LX group wears out (many many moons left).

for road im running SORA group (tiagra rear der.) and shifting is good, but i want to upgrade to campy veloce (105 level) or maybe even 105. I mainly want the 10 speed so i have more gear choices on the road.

then again for years i rode bottom of the barrel shimano on department store bikes, so anything that goes into gear and stays there makes me happy
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Old 09-13-07, 07:50 AM   #14
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probably me considering I just spent $700 for a new front fork.

You get what you pay for and no, I don't change cassettes every year. Chains maybe but not cassettes.


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in my experience the more you pay for something the easier it is to break. Plus who wants to burn through a 100 buck cassette a year.
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Old 09-13-07, 08:35 AM   #15
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They suck.
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Old 09-13-07, 10:57 AM   #16
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You get what you pay for. Lower-end stuff tends to be heavier, yet somehow easier to break. That said, things like low-end brakes [especially Avid Single Digits or Shimano road calipers], headsets, bottom brackets, pedals, rims, front hubs, chainrings, seatposts, handlebars, quick releases and seats can be had on the cheap and will work pretty darn well for XC riding or just tootling around. The worst thing is the heavier weight.

I tend not to cheap out on tires, chains, hydraulic brakes, stems and shifters. Shifters are critical IMHO, moreso than derailleurs. A crappy shifter will make XTR shift like, well, crap. I tend not to go below XT/Ultegra/Chorus for shifters, but I would go lower for a derailleur or crank.
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Old 09-13-07, 11:16 AM   #17
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You get what you pay for. Alivio will always suck compared to XTR, but if you look at the price, it won't suck any more. If you pay a lot, you get a lot. If you pay little, you can still get something which has an excellent price/performance ratio, even if it doesn't perform superbly.
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Old 09-13-07, 02:45 PM   #18
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Interesting. I just spent $700 on a new rear fork.
Hmmmmmmm,pics?
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Old 09-13-07, 02:55 PM   #19
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probably me considering I just spent $700 for a new front fork.

You get what you pay for and no, I don't change cassettes every year. Chains maybe but not cassettes.
This always gets me...I must be "Super Quad-guy" or "fatman" or something b/c when I ride alot, I go through a chain a month. Lately a chain every 2-3 months. 1 set of rings per year. 2 cassettes per year.

What's the dealio???

I lube like a hooker and clean even more.
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Old 09-13-07, 07:19 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by chelboed View Post
This always gets me...I must be "Super Quad-guy" or "fatman" or something b/c when I ride alot, I go through a chain a month. Lately a chain every 2-3 months. 1 set of rings per year. 2 cassettes per year.

What's the dealio???

I lube like a hooker and clean even more.
ok, are we talkin' 6'4" 250 big?
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Old 09-13-07, 07:22 PM   #21
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i really don;t mind lower end components, they may not work as well or a s smoothly as the higher end ones but they do work, and as long as you are not racing it shouldn't matter.
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Old 09-13-07, 07:44 PM   #22
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get mid level, i have LX and i think they are great. Def not XT or XTR, but still nice for just a weekend warrior like myself
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Old 09-13-07, 10:59 PM   #23
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I had an STX-RC rear derailleur that lasted more seasons DHing than it had a right to. Last year I ran a Sora road derailleur for part of a season and it did fine. For what I do, they need to shift adequately and be somewhat expendable.

It appears to me that what you give up at the lower end is some weight, some stamped pieces instead of forged aluminum and pivot points that are not as precisely toleranced and more prone to balkiness by wear.
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Old 09-14-07, 05:28 AM   #24
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......I lube like a hooker and clean even more.

Ooooooooo....TMI
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Old 09-14-07, 05:33 AM   #25
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Quote:
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ok, are we talkin' 6'4" 250 big?
Nope...like 6'1.5" / 190

I didn't think I was all that big, but my drivetrain tends to disagree, I guess.
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