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  1. #1
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    Shimano Altus, Acera, or Alivio: Does it matter?

    I plan to spend no more than around $450 for a hybrid/comfort bike to use on local level and hilly pavement which is mostly bumpy, no more than 10 miles per average ride. I'm 165lb., 6'1'' and will continue to use my old Motobecane road bike for those well-paved trails at a distance from home.

    Given these circumstances, I'd appreciate any opinions about the relative negatives or positives of the Shimano Altus, Acera, and Alivo rear derailleurs which seem to be on most Trek and Giant bikes in my price range. Does it make any difference if it's a SRAM X.7(on the Trek 7300)?

    Thank you in advance to all those who take the time to read this and respond.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by seattletwodogs View Post
    I plan to spend no more than around $450 for a hybrid/comfort bike to use on local level and hilly pavement which is mostly bumpy, no more than 10 miles per average ride. I'm 165lb., 6'1'' and will continue to use my old Motobecane road bike for those well-paved trails at a distance from home.

    Given these circumstances, I'd appreciate any opinions about the relative negatives or positives of the Shimano Altus, Acera, and Alivo rear derailleurs which seem to be on most Trek and Giant bikes in my price range. Does it make any difference if it's a SRAM X.7(on the Trek 7300)?

    Thank you in advance to all those who take the time to read this and respond.
    My tandem has the Altus and my Marin has the Acera. The look very similar, but the Acera seems to shift better. they both have Shimano rapidfire shifters, but the Marin is a few years newer, came from REI instead of Meijer and the Shifters on the Marin are much nicer. I may be wrong, but I think the Acera is a step above the Altus and in this case I notice a difference. The Marin also has Higher quality cables, chain and freewheel. The tandem shifts "well enough" but the Marin shifts smooth even after riding in the snow and salt last winter
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  3. #3
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    IMO,
    the SRAM x.7 is better than the others indicated.
    had Acera on my son's MTB, it was worn out after
    only a few hundred km. put an x.7 (and some twist
    shifters), was still going strong at 1500 km when he
    out grew the bike and we traded up.

  4. #4
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    Can you explain what it means for a derailler to "wear out"?
    Stomping as lightly as I can...

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    "worn out" deraileur-
    the pins that hold the arm mechanism were worn so they broke off,
    the bearings on the chain wheels were so ground up that you could
    not turn them; sand and grit had just chewed the deraileur up.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by martianone View Post
    "worn out" deraileur-
    the pins that hold the arm mechanism were worn so they broke off,
    the bearings on the chain wheels were so ground up that you could
    not turn them; sand and grit had just chewed the deraileur up.
    I may be wrong but that sounds more like a maintenance/abuse issue
    I'm riding again in the Tour de Cure, and of course looking for sponsors and riders: My TDC page

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  7. #7
    Member ff72lamb's Avatar
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    Generally speaking, as you move up in derailleurs, they shift smoother, quicker, and more accurate. To some it can unnoticeable. When the derailleurs "wear out" usually the pulleys (small wheels on the derailleur) will round out and the tension spring on the derailleur will wear out as well.
    "Quotes are for idiots... Tell me what you know!!
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  8. #8
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martianone View Post
    "worn out" deraileur-
    the pins that hold the arm mechanism were worn so they broke off,
    the bearings on the chain wheels were so ground up that you could
    not turn them; sand and grit had just chewed the deraileur up.
    Wow. I have an Altus derailleur a 15+ year-old bike which I've ridden through Toronto winters and put through all manner of abuse, and it's held up very well. Maybe lower-end Shimano derailleurs of the past are stronger than their modern counterparts.
    Stomping as lightly as I can...

  9. #9
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    The Alvio is higher end than the Acera which is higher than the Altus.
    Here are some sites with information on Shimano derailleurs:
    http://home.ca.inter.net/~kroberge/hierachy.html
    http://datenbanken.freepage.de/traut/SHIMANO.html
    http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/hg/...94december.htm

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by chephy View Post
    Wow. I have an Altus derailleur a 15+ year-old bike which I've ridden through Toronto winters and put through all manner of abuse, and it's held up very well. Maybe lower-end Shimano derailleurs of the past are stronger than their modern counterparts.
    Not likely. You probably just take better care of your equipment than he did. If you read the OP you'll see they had sand in the pivot points. Even XTR will wear out with crud in it.

    My son's old Trek has Altus and it's still going strong at 7 years. I do all his maintenance. I'm amazed at how good the newer Shimano bottom end stuff holds up. Chephy, I think your experience is the norm. Shimano makes a very good derailleur.

    Tim
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  11. #11
    Not So Senior Member jisaak's Avatar
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    I have an Alvio rd on my 2003 trek 4500 mtb - approx 3200 miles on the bike and no significant signs of the rd deteriorating. I ride all 4 season and keep the components clean and lubed - especially in the winter with road gunk and salt.
    They all need maintenace...without it even the most expensive parts will wear out before their time.

  12. #12
    Senior Member hermanchauw's Avatar
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    I have had several different rd/shifter set ups along the years on different bikes:
    -Acera rd, EF50 shifters
    -STX rd, Revoshift shifters, then changed to EF65 shifters
    -Altus rd, EF29 shifters

    In my opinion, the shifters do not matter. When i used Revoshift, the STX shifts well and smooth. When i changed to EF65, it still performed the same. Comparing the three rds, all shift crisply. The Altus seems to be more clunky when upshifting but with shifting under less torque, it shifts smoothly. I won't really care which rd (or other components) i am using as long as they are functional and durable and good priced.

  13. #13
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Weird. I'm still running Altus on my 1994 Nishiki. Works fine.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  14. #14
    Senior Member mstateglfr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chephy View Post
    Wow. I have an Altus derailleur a 15+ year-old bike which I've ridden through Toronto winters and put through all manner of abuse, and it's held up very well. Maybe lower-end Shimano derailleurs of the past are stronger than their modern counterparts.
    I have Altus LT shifting components that I pulled off a 1980 Schwinn roadbike. They shift, in friction, perfectly well. Precise and all, seeing as how the user is who makes it precise or not.
    Point being, I completely think they were better made back then. Also, the Altus LT components were on their mid-level bikes back then. It wasn't a 'junk' model.

  15. #15
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Anything that says "Shimano" on it, will work fine, with regular maintenance.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  16. #16
    Is a real super guy. Henry III's Avatar
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    I normally put all those models in the same group as they do what their intended to do...not great but not bad. Their all pretty much entry level components. Honestly I would be looking at what model shifters are on it. Most brands like to toss on a slightly higher model rear derailleur because it's one of the first things people look at. It's like a car with a engine that has all the bells and whistles but the transmission is overlooked and isn't able to put that power to the wheel efficiently.

    I wouldn't look too much into the rear derailleur because between those models there's just a dollar or two difference quite honestly. Their basically the work horses of shimano derailleurs hence the no frills. But if you look at most bikes from the last 10-20 years still on the road. They'll most likely have on those models compared to something nicer. You normally don't see a bike with a Dura Ace, Ultegra (600), or 105 with lots of miles because their meant to performance and have lighter parts that are more fragile and wear out faster because they made from aluminum compared to something with steel parts.
    Last edited by Henry III; 05-06-15 at 10:18 AM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by hermanchauw View Post
    I have had several different rd/shifter set ups along the years on different bikes:
    -Acera rd, EF50 shifters
    -STX rd, Revoshift shifters, then changed to EF65 shifters
    -Altus rd, EF29 shifters

    In my opinion, the shifters do not matter. When i used Revoshift, the STX shifts well and smooth. When i changed to EF65, it still performed the same. Comparing the three rds, all shift crisply. The Altus seems to be more clunky when upshifting but with shifting under less torque, it shifts smoothly. I won't really care which rd (or other components) i am using as long as they are functional and durable and good priced.
    Lol, necroed a near 8 yearold thread.

  18. #18
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    I have used all types of Shimano derailleurs without issue. I have an STX derailleur on my old Bianchi that has been excellent, Tiagra on my Salsa Casseroll, which gets most use these days. My son used to ride a Trek with an Acera derailleur, which I remember was un upgrade over the Tourney the bike shop had initially planned to install on it. And the Acera was fine. My old mountain bike has Alivio. My son's mountain bike has old Deore XT.

    My view is, if you can get a bike with Deore derailleurs, that is probably better than Altus. But I wouldn't so much sweat the difference between, say, Acera and Alivio.

  19. #19
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    Had an Acera-x RD on a second mtb bike of mine that had slicks, saw hundreds of miles/year before I owned a road bike, and it was used when I got it. My brother now has that whole group (frame I had it on cracked due to some idiot not correctly tightening the headset...haha oops!) when I offered him it if he would buy a frame and new chain and cables. He got a heck of a deal!

    I have had Shimano LX from 2001 and its still going strong, shifts like new. Full group, brakes, shifters, both derailleurs, crankset, hubs!

    That said, I would get Alivio or Deore rear derailleur, front doesn't honestly matter much, an Alivio or better shifters.

    Of course, nothing lasts if you don't take care of it.
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