1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Deore, Alivio, XT, SLX, Shadow Design... Confused!

    Hi,


    Need a little help distinguishing between all these jargon: Deore, Alivio, SLX, XT, LX, Shadow design, etc... Are the Deore and Alivio the family name, and SLX, XT, etc are the class? Also, are they just derauillers? I see Deore shifter, brake, derauiller, everything! Initially I thought they were just a class of brakes... So confused right now.

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Visit the Shimano web site.

    Almost all the things you listed were names of groups of components that are marketed together. Most groups contain all the elements of a complete drivetrain. In general, they occupy a sequential series of pricepoints.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    They are named families of Shimano components. I believe the order is Alivio->Deore->SLX->XT->XTR, ascending. SLX can be considered best bang for the buck for performance/weight/durability. Not far off the performance of XT with a slight weight penalty at 30% less retail cost.

  4. #4
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    shadow and shadow plus are rear derailleur technology. Not sure what the shadow technology actually does, but the shadow plus definitely works. It has a clutch that reduces chain slap and chain drops. It is available on slx and higher.

  5. #5
    mtbrmembernewuserbeginner
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    There's also a nice breakdown of these on the second post in this thread:
    Noob Buyer's Guide

  6. #6
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    Re: Deore, Alivio, XT, SLX, Shadow Design... Confused!

    Shadow hugs lower and closer to the wheel. Prevents strikes

    Sent from my LG-P769 using Tapatalk 2

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by beer_coffee_water View Post
    They are named families of Shimano components. I believe the order is Alivio->Deore->SLX->XT->XTR, ascending. SLX can be considered best bang for the buck for performance/weight/durability. Not far off the performance of XT with a slight weight penalty at 30% less retail cost.
    But then what's Deore XT? That's my rear dereuiller...

  8. #8
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    Deore, Alivio, XT, SLX, Shadow Design... Confused!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin_Federline View Post
    Shadow hugs lower and closer to the wheel. Prevents strikes

    Sent from my LG-P769 using Tapatalk 2
    It also changed the geometry of the pivots in the derailleur parallelogram to reduce chainslap. On older designs, the knuckle of the RD could bounce up and hit the chainstay from below. Not so with shadow. Shadow + added the clutch which keeps the pulleys from swinging freely, reducing chainslap even more.

    The full names of the SLX and XT groups are Deore SLX and Deore XT. The Deore name goes way back. Deore LX is still around but has the older parallelogram design. It is basically now considered a touring/trekking group. It is capable of using a bigger cassette than traditional road derailleurs. It used to be a mtb group at the level of SLX. Current shimano 10spd derailleurs and shifters use Dyna-sys technology, which subtly changed the pull ratios. Generally, dyna-sys stuff is not compatible with earlier 9spd stuff.

    SRAM uses its own heap of product names and technology marketing terms, but they follow a similar component group naming structure. And so does Campagnolo.

    Back in the 80's and maybe earlier, you had a few companies that would partner together to make different parts for one group. You had Suntour doing drivetrain bits, dia-compe doing brakes, and probably other companies I can't recall. All the parts would have the same group name even though different companies made them.

    The tendency to make a set of matching components and give them a single group name goes back at least a few decades.

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