Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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From wikipedia, different Shimano component levels -
Recreational mountain bikes component
- Alivio (8 speed)
- Acera (8 speed)
- Altus (8 speed)
- Tourney (7 speed) - Includes several different levels of quality, and can be found on department-store bicycles
Altus is one step above department-store. To be fair, some of the really cheap stuff they make doesn't even have names so it isn't listed.
And that's the list of "recreational" components, aka, stuff they put on "Mom and Pop" bikes. Here's the list of higher end stuff (XTR is top end).
Cross country component
- XTR (9 speed) - Top of the range for cross-country mountain bikes
- Deore XT (9 speed)
- SLX (9 speed) New in 2008, replaces Hone and LX
- Deore (9 speed) Entry level cross-country mountain bikes
Now certainly I'm not saying you shouldn't ride it or anything, it's up to you. But I would say that unless you find a better frame for free it's probably best to buy a frame with wheels and components already on it - would probably cost the same, but you'd get better stuff.