Upgrading components.. where do you notice the difference?

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Elements6259, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. Elements6259

    Elements6259 New Member

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    I was reading someone saying on a post that they should upgrade the Alevio parts to at least Deore and they will notice a big difference. My questions are:
    - What components does the shimano name (alevio, deore, xtc, etc...) entail?
    - Where would a rider notice the difference when upgrading?

    Just a newbie kind of question. Thanks for the help! :)
     
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  2. Aurawolf

    Aurawolf New Member

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    I would have to assume they meant the derailers which upgrading will get you better shifting basically under load and such. Also the lesser of those parts tend to need more "tweaking" to get working well at least from what I have noticed.
     
  3. Scotty_Dog

    Scotty_Dog New Member

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    If you are a fairly new mountain biker, I would say don't upgrade components unless something is just not working right (e.g. missed shifts, bad drivetrain noises, continually having to adjust components, etc.). Even then, you or your local bike shop might just need to perform some maintenance or proper adjustments.

    Because of time and money, I installed the Alivio shifter/brake pods on my bike after crashing and breaking my older Deore XT 8 speed pods. I don't really notice a difference in performance, but the Alivio pods do feel a bit different than the XT's. Of course, top of the line XTR pods would feel different than my original XT pods as well.

    To directly answer your question, Shimano states that Alivio parts are are for "recreational" riders, and Deore parts are the next step up for "sport" riders. You might not physically notice any difference going from properly working Alivio components to properly working Deore components, although the Deore components are lighter and theoretically better made.

    Here's a link to Shimano's website which shows the different levels of mountain bike components they offer, from best to worst:

    http://bike.shimano.com/mtb/index.asp

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Juba

    Juba New Member

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    As you set up component levels, the lifespan of a component usually goes up. Alivio components have a lot of plastic, steel and lower grade alloys, which are more prone to warping and wearing. The pivot points on Alivio derailleurs and the cup/cone/balls on Alivio hubs can wear out quickly on heavy usage.

    Shimano rapid fire shifters are one of the components that do not tend to wear out that often, regardless of the level. Do XT shifters shift more crisply then Alivio shifters? Yes. Is it enough of a difference to warrent the extra cash if you are a pretty casual rider? Nope.

    If you ride fairly often, and if you ride in wet/muddy conditions some of the time, but do not race, Deore components offer excellent bang for the buck and are probably as good as is needed.

    If you are a bit more agressive, ride fairly often, race occasionally, live in constantly muddy regions like the pacific northwest, XT is the group for you.

    If you are a dedicated XC racer, and are concerned that shaving those few grams off your bike will allow you to cross the finish line a few seconds faster, XTR.

    I would skip over LX. Either Deore is good enough for you, or go straight to XT.

    Cheers,
    Juba
     
  5. Elements6259

    Elements6259 New Member

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    Thanks a lot for the help. That makes much more sense now.
    I am personally a very beginner in mountain biking and I actually will be using my bike for riding around town most of the time.
    I bought a Giant Boulder SE. I consider it a real good bike for casual riding, and obviously a very entry level bike for mountain biking.
    If I'm going to start trying out mountain biking, is there anything I may want to think about upgrading in the future?
     
  6. Juba

    Juba New Member

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    If you are interested in getting in some off-road hours, a new set of tires is about the most noticable upgrade you can do. Ask around at a few of your local bike shops to get a feel for what tires are popular for your area. A tire that works great in Arizona sand would probably not work well in the muds of Oregon.

    Other then that, if you break/wear out something, upgrade it. Pay close attention to your chain, and change it when required to extend the life of your drivetrain components, especially if you ride in the mud.

    Cheers,
    Juba
     
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