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Good alternative to Shimano parts?

Old 04-03-16, 05:41 PM
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CycleRyder
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Good alternative to Shimano parts?

I have a Giant 29er mountain bike that needs some rebuilding. So I'm just going to strip it all down to the bare frame & start fresh with better parts. I plan to use this mountain bike as my daily commuter bike. I already got some street tires I plan to use to replace the stock knobby MTB tires with to make riding on paved roads easier.

Closer inspection of the components like hubs brakes shifting components etc. reveals they could be of better quality. The rear hub free body is loose (possibly internal damage) Before I planned the rebuild there was a ton of miles put on the bike. After reading the bad experiences people have with stock Shimano stuff I decided to go on a hunt for a possible Shimano alternative for my parts.

So could anyone recommend a good non Shimano brand for quality parts for shifting components, brakes etc? If there are quality Shimano parts I may not be aware of please inform me about them.

Last edited by CycleRyder; 04-04-16 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 04-03-16, 05:43 PM
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SRAM, or higher level Shimano parts.
Not sure what's wrong with Shimano in the first place.
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Old 04-03-16, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
SRAM, or higher level Shimano parts.
Not sure what's wrong with Shimano in the first place.
Their distribution strategy?

To the OP: shimano offers a variety of levels of components, as do other makers. you may just have lower end bits, or they may have been through hard use - or both.
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Old 04-03-16, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by CycleRyder View Post
After reading the bad experiences people have with stock Shimano stuff I decided to go on a hunt for a possible Shimano alternative for my parts.
What complaints? Shimano makes parts that span the whole price/performance/weight spectrum and at similar price points, you're not likely to find better build quality.

...and that's coming from someone who's not a die-hard Shimano fan.
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Old 04-03-16, 08:33 PM
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The parts on the bike were chosen to have it Selling at the Price you were Willing to pay.
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Old 04-03-16, 10:36 PM
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Well if you want to top Shimano you could go Campy.
Be ready to part with a butt load of long green.
Campanolo is what you find on $20,000 dollar bikes.

Me I think Shimano makes the very best daily ride parts you can get .
But most bikes come with very low end parts , it's up to you to upgrade.
On your bike go all Shimano XT or XTR and don't look back.

Last edited by goraman; 04-03-16 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 04-03-16, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by goraman View Post
Well if you want to top Shimano you could go Campy.
I like Campagnolo gear, but Campy and Shimano quality is comparable if you compare parts from similar tiers -- for example, Shimano Dura Ace versus Campagnolo Record.

...but Campagnolo doesn't make mountain bike components, so it's kind of a moot point here.

Originally Posted by goraman View Post
Be ready to part with a butt load of long green.
Campanolo is what you find on $20,000 dollar bikes.
Really? Wanna buy my Campagnolo-equipped Bianchi? I'd let it go for half that. ;-)

My bike has a Campy Veloce drivetrain, Campy Vento G3 wheels, and its original MSRP in 2006 was about $1600. The exact same frameset with a Shimano 105 drivetrain was $100 less. Prices aren't that different.
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Old 04-04-16, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by goraman View Post
Well if you want to top Shimano you could go Campy.
Be ready to part with a butt load of long green.
Campanolo is what you find on $20,000 dollar bikes.



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Old 04-04-16, 06:04 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by CycleRyder View Post
I have a Giant 29er mountain bike that needs some rebuilding. So I'm just going to strip it all down to the bare frame & start fresh with better parts. I plan to use this mountain bike as my daily commuter bike. I already got some street tires I plan to use to replace the stock knobby MTB tires with to make riding on paved roads easier.

Closer inspection of the components like hubs brakes shifting components etc. reveals they could be of better quality. The rear hub free body is loose (possibly internal damage) Before I planned the rebuild there was a ton of miles put on the bike. After reading the bad experiences people have with stock Shimano stuff I decided to go on a hunt for a possible Shimano alternative for my parts.

So could anyone recomend a good non Shimano brand for quality parts for shifting components, brakes etc? If there are quality Shimano parts I may mot be aware of please inform me about them.
Interesting premise, and a mistaken one, IMO. Shimano makes good stuff.

Shimano may not be the only game in town, but they are the dominant player in bike components. Hard to go far wrong sticking with Shimano. That said, if you were looking for a new chain, KMC and SRAM both make nice chains. Sunrace and SRAM make cassettes that compete with Shimano, though I wouldn't say they are better. Just worthy alternatives.

As far as shifters, Microshift and SRAM both make shifters that work with Shimano derailleurs. SRAM makes derailleurs that compete with Shimano derailleurs, but if you go with SRAM derailleurs, you have to also use SRAM shifters. All that said, I have used Shimano on most of my family's bikes for years and never had a problem, even with the really cheap Shimano Tourney shifters and derailleurs.
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Old 04-04-16, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post



All the crazy expensive pro race bikes I've seven are Campy equpt not Shimano.
I know they have mid level too but the op wanted to top Shimano.
What else would you adorn a 10,000 dollar frame with?
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Old 04-04-16, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by goraman View Post
All the crazy expensive pro race bikes I've seven are Campy equpt not Shimano.
I know they have mid level too but the op wanted to top Shimano.
What else would you adorn a 10,000 dollar frame with?
The Tour de France is the pinnacle of pro racing, so let's use it as an example of what's used on top of the line pro racing bikes. In last year's Tour de France, 17 teams raced with Shimano components. Four used Campagnolo. One used SRAM.

Of course, we could assume those numbers are representative of sponsorship deals at least as much as they're representative of quality, but that might not be a valid assumption. According to this article, 12 of 18 World Tour teams are using Shimano components this year, but Shimano only officially sponsors seven of those teams.

Anyway... Shimano, SRAM, and Campagnolo all make premium gear worthy of the world's best race bikes. They also make gear that's less expensive but plenty good for the rest of us.
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Old 04-04-16, 11:22 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by CycleRyder View Post
Closer inspection of the components like hubs brakes shifting components etc. reveals they could be of better quality. The rear hub free body is loose (possibly internal damage) Before I planned the rebuild there was a ton of miles put on the bike. After reading the bad experiences people have with stock Shimano stuff I decided to go on a hunt for a possible Shimano alternative for my parts.
I highly doubt your hubs are Shimano, they're probably Giant brand with splines to fit a Shimano style cassette. To echo others, Shimano stuff is pretty much bullet-proof, especially once you move up to 105/Deore level components.
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Old 04-04-16, 11:35 AM
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Thanks evryone for your advice. I'll be starting the rebuild soon. For the hubs I'm thinking of going with Shimano Deores or DT Swiss. the DT Swiss hubs seem to be almost bulletproof quality but very pricy compared to the Deore hubs. I might just go with a Deore hub set. Would only cost me $100 & from you guys here say Shimano Deore hubs would be better than the stock hubs currently on my bike which I think are just Giant brand hubs designed to fit Shimano parts.
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Old 04-04-16, 12:03 PM
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Do you really intend to rebuild the wheels with new hubs? If you have a more entry level bike, it's not worth doing; just buy a new set of wheels.
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Old 04-04-16, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by techsensei View Post
Do you really intend to rebuild the wheels with new hubs? If you have a more entry level bike, it's not worth doing; just buy a new set of wheels.
I agree.

Assuming one either knows how to build a wheel or wishes to learn: it's one thing if the Deore or DT hub has the same flange diameter and spoke-count as the OEM hubs because then one could re-use the spokes and DIY the disassembly and rebuild to save a little money but there's a fair chance the new hub's flange diameter is going to be different which will require new spokes and at that point one may as well get new rims to boot and have a whole spare set of wheels.

Assuming this is going to be a hired wheel-build: IMO not worth it to pay labor cost to have cheap OEM wheels rebuilt with better hubs.

Side note to OP, my LHT now sports a Deore rear hub (rather than the stock XT which is ostensibly better but kinda funky to service) and IMO it's a very good value hub. Not waterproof (so don't ride through deep water) but very good dust seals, good bearing races on the cups and cones, easy to service, etc.
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Old 04-04-16, 04:40 PM
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I'd go with Suntour.
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Old 04-04-16, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by CycleRyder View Post
Thanks evryone for your advice. I'll be starting the rebuild soon. For the hubs I'm thinking of going with Shimano Deores or DT Swiss. the DT Swiss hubs seem to be almost bulletproof quality but very pricy compared to the Deore hubs. I might just go with a Deore hub set. Would only cost me $100 & from you guys here say Shimano Deore hubs would be better than the stock hubs currently on my bike which I think are just Giant brand hubs designed to fit Shimano parts.
It's perfectly possible to simply rebuild the hubs you have. Go buy some ball bearings and replace the ones that are in there with new grease and new balls. Learn to adjust them and ride a practically new hub. Of course, if they were ridden super loose they're probably toast. If it's a cheaper bike building up your own wheels isn't worth it.
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Old 04-04-16, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by SkyDog75 View Post
I like Campagnolo gear, but Campy and Shimano quality is comparable if you compare parts from similar tiers -- for example, Shimano Dura Ace versus Campagnolo Record.
Super Record = ?
Record = ?
Chorus = Dura Ace
Potenza = Ultegra
Athena = 105
Centaur/Veloce = Tiagra/Sora
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Old 04-04-16, 09:50 PM
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I think the stock rear hub is screwed. I did ride it for a few miles when it was a bit loose. The bike was about $600 new & I don't consider that cheap if were comparing it to Walmart bikes being the cheap bikes & local bike shops being not so cheap. I don't go anywhere near department store bikes. It's a local bike shop bike I got a few years ago this decade so I think the wheels themselves are still good but I would want to upgrade to better quality hubs. Everything else from the spokes to the rims seems good after inspecting them so I'm going to try & use them with the Deore hubs so I wont need to build completely new wheels. I hope I can still use the same spokes but if I have to I don't mind getting different spokes as spokes usualy go for $15 for a 32 piece set.
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Old 04-06-16, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by CycleRyder View Post
I think the stock rear hub is screwed. I did ride it for a few miles when it was a bit loose. The bike was about $600 new & I don't consider that cheap if were comparing it to Walmart bikes being the cheap bikes & local bike shops being not so cheap. I don't go anywhere near department store bikes. It's a local bike shop bike I got a few years ago this decade so I think the wheels themselves are still good but I would want to upgrade to better quality hubs. Everything else from the spokes to the rims seems good after inspecting them so I'm going to try & use them with the Deore hubs so I wont need to build completely new wheels. I hope I can still use the same spokes but if I have to I don't mind getting different spokes as spokes usualy go for $15 for a 32 piece set.
I would replace the entire wheel, including hubs, spokes and rims.
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Old 04-07-16, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by CycleRyder View Post
I have a Giant 29er mountain bike that needs some rebuilding. So I'm just going to strip it all down to the bare frame & start fresh with better parts. I plan to use this mountain bike as my daily commuter bike. I already got some street tires I plan to use to replace the stock knobby MTB tires with to make riding on paved roads easier.

Closer inspection of the components like hubs brakes shifting components etc. reveals they could be of better quality. The rear hub free body is loose (possibly internal damage) Before I planned the rebuild there was a ton of miles put on the bike. After reading the bad experiences people have with stock Shimano stuff I decided to go on a hunt for a possible Shimano alternative for my parts.

So could anyone recommend a good non Shimano brand for quality parts for shifting components, brakes etc? If there are quality Shimano parts I may not be aware of please inform me about them.
To start with, your freehub body may only need to have the fixing bolt tightened. At least that is where you should start. Take a look the Park Tool page on freehub service to see how it can be tightened. It's not too difficult but it not dead simple either. You should, however, determine if the body is really "loose" before you go fixing it. If you can see the cassette wobble when coasting, that's not necessarily due to a "loose" freehub. All freehub and freewheel body wobble a bit.

As for quality, there is nothing wrong with Shimano parts other than they are a giant company that controls the market and they have a nasty habit of trying to integrate their components so that they can't be used with anything but Shimano components. Sometimes they even go so far as to make components that won't work with other components in their line...Dynasys is a prime example. But the quality of their parts even at a very low level is very good...Damn them!

Sram makes pretty good components as well but I have my issue with them as well. I'd love to have a road bike with Sram but since they don't make certain components I want...triple cranks and triple shifters...I don't use their parts. It's a pity too since I really like the Sram mountain bike parts I have and even have a completely Shimano free mountain bike. That's not as easy as it sounds, however. Shimano's...Damn them!...parts are pretty good and alternatives of equal quality and price can be difficult to find. I'm still struggling to find clipless pedals that are as good as Shimano's...Damn them!

I would suggest, however, that you don't just go throwing away parts because of some bad experiences you've read about on the Internet. If you have something that is broken, by all means replace it. If you have a bunch of components that are made of heavy steel, think about replacing them but realize that the more weight you want to save, the more money you'll have to spend. Spending $100 to save a few grams isn't the best way to spend your money.
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Old 04-07-16, 08:45 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by techsensei View Post
Do you really intend to rebuild the wheels with new hubs? If you have a more entry level bike, it's not worth doing; just buy a new set of wheels.
I could not agree more.
Originally Posted by ltxi View Post
I'd go with Suntour.
Lol.
Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Super Record = ?
Record = ?
Chorus = Dura Ace
Potenza = Ultegra
Athena = 105
Centaur/Veloce = Tiagra/Sora
I ride Campy road and Shimano for mtb. I truly have no problem with either company, that is just my preference. However, I am not sure about your hierarchy. Athena is more comparable to Ultegra than 105. I would take Athena over Ultegra all day. In fact, I have made that exact choice.
Originally Posted by goraman View Post
Well if you want to top Shimano you could go Campy.
Be ready to part with a butt load of long green.
Campanolo is what you find on $20,000 dollar bikes.

Me I think Shimano makes the very best daily ride parts you can get .
But most bikes come with very low end parts , it's up to you to upgrade.
On your bike go all Shimano XT or XTR and don't look back.
Huh? Campy is awesome but so is Shimano.
If he has an entry level Giant frame it probably came with Alivio/Acera/Suntour mix. It would be quite an upgrade to put XTR on it. Even XT is a large jump in quality. I have a Giant Revel 29er that I am rebuilding currently. The old brakes were beyond awful. Mechanical Tektro slow me down but don't stop me brakes. I just put hydraulic Deore brakes on last night. They are significantly better than what came with the bike. After that, it is a mix of XT and SLX for the Groupset, which can be had on Merlin or Ribble for a great price.
If you went with any combo of Deore, SLX and XT that bike would rock. As others have said, you can go Sramm, which is also good. Campy is not an option for the mtn.
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Old 04-07-16, 10:02 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Shuffleman View Post
However, I am not sure about your hierarchy. Athena is more comparable to Ultegra than 105. I would take Athena over Ultegra all day.
Agreed.

Depending on who you ask, Shimano Dura Ace is comparable to Campy Chorus, Record, or even Super Record. Campagnolo Athena (now Potenza) is in the same ballpark as Shimano Ultegra. Campagnolo Veloce and Shimano 105 are a fair comparison. Campagnolo has discontinued their lower-end groupsets like Mirage and Xenon, so there's no Campy equivalent for Shimano lines below 105 (e.g. Tiagra/Sora/Claris).
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Old 04-07-16, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by SkyDog75 View Post
Agreed.

Depending on who you ask, Shimano Dura Ace is comparable to Campy Chorus, Record, or even Super Record. Campagnolo Athena (now Potenza) is in the same ballpark as Shimano Ultegra. Campagnolo Veloce and Shimano 105 are a fair comparison. Campagnolo has discontinued their lower-end groupsets like Mirage and Xenon, so there's no Campy equivalent for Shimano lines below 105 (e.g. Tiagra/Sora/Claris).
Agreed with what? You thought Dura Ace was equivalent to Record; I put it even with Chorus. I'd suggest using groupset weights as a starting point for equivalency. I think most (?) agree that functionality is similar in groupsets, and that pricing is often a function of how many holes they've drilled in the parts to save weight. Though, seems 105 is almost 1lb heavier than even Athena.. so it's difficult; though maybe 5800 dropped weight from 5700?
Component Weights
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Old 04-10-16, 11:55 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
You thought Dura Ace was equivalent to Record
When Campagnolo first introduced the EPS series back in 2011, the statement was that Record EPS was intended to be comparable to Dura-Ace Di2. Not sure about the mechanical groups.
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