Acera follows next. This group starts to introduce corrosion-resistant materials such as stainless steel on certain components.
It’s a 9-speed group that can be used with a 40/30/22 triple crankset or a 36/22 double crankset. It offers a wider range 11-36 cassette.
Additional groupset features
Besides offering extra gears, it’s common for the more expensive groups to offer additional features.
Clutch-equipped rear derailleurs, such as Shadow Plus from Shimano or Type-2 from SRAM are an example of a technology that is offered on these company’s groupsets, from Deore and SX Eagle upwards.
The clutch keeps the chain taut, which improves shifting over rough terrain, keeping the drivetrain quieter, and reduces the likelihood of dropping a chain.
In reverse of this, gear indicators are a feature often lost as the groupset price increases. The theory being that more experienced riders use gears based on ‘feel’ and don’t need numbers or indicators to help them.
Shimano Alivio sits just above Acera. Like Acera, this 9-speed group is available with a triple or double crankset. We consider Alivio Shimano’s starting point if you’re seeking a trail-worthy mountain bike.