Shimano Altus Vs Acera :Truth Between 2 Shimano MTB Groupset in Reviews


As one of my wonder what MTB group sets are, it’s essential to understand that a group set involves the collection of various core bike components that are engineered to work in unison, giving the best performance of a mountain bike.

In most cases, they comprise gears, shifters, chairing, brakes, and cassette. All of the above form a basic bike group-set. Different manufacturers of bike group set of varying quality, components, as well as different prices. Others are specifically meant to be compatible with specific bicycles.

As for our reviews today, we shall concentrate on only two excellent and popular bike group sets shimano altus vs acera; manufactured by SHIMANO, a Japanese company known to provide a range of bike parts to cater for all the needs of bike riders from beginners to the experts in bike riding.

The SHIMANO Altus and Acera are the best group sets any bike owner can choose for his/her MTB. The two are known to give a comfortable riding, convert an MTB into a hybrid bike for excellent performance at an incredibly low price. Without forgetting, these group sets are specifically made to meet the desires of bike riders whose lower end of their MTB needs to be fixed. They can often be found on most road bikes, commuters, and hybrid bikes, all at an affordable price.

Head to Head: SHIMANO ALTUS VS ACERA Groupset

You know, Different Groupset has different build quality, specs and features. And of course, Groupset is bike specific. However, here are some highlighted differences between the SHIMANO Altus and SHIMANO Acera; although, these are the finest creations of the same brand.



It is designed to care for the basic bike skills,especially in young children new in bike riding. It’s designed to cater for the needs of bike riders in the entry-level of MTB cycling.
It’s not compatible with most types of bikes. They are designed uniquely to fit with most bikes.
The brakes in this group set works more effectively than those of Acera. The brakes show some minimal performance while on a ride.
Its crankset contains plenty of features geared to give a comfortable ride. The Acera crankset is known for its good quality and ensures an excellent ride than that of Shimano Altus.
The whole set is priced comparatively low. It’s cost is somehow costly.

The SHIMANO manufacturer has, for a long time, provided the best bike components with the same breath as Acera-Altus, which all come in a three tines system with a triple chain ring at the cranksets of the bike. With a constant upgrade of these group sets, all coming with brand features to give the best performance ever for the MTB beginners. Let’s now look at each bunch.

The SHIMANO Altus Groupset Review

This is the M4000 series from 2018, which is above the Tourney and below the Acera on the MTB component hierarchy chart. Despite Altus being regarded as a basic level component, it’s the start of dedicated gears, shifters, cranksets, and brakes, among other parts with a great design, performance, and durability. With the advancements in technology, the Altus series will soon take over the Acera MTB set.

This group consists of shifters, brakes, crankset, bottom brackets, cassette, and front and rear derailleurs. Existing in the entry, intermediate level, and Hybrid Mountain bikes, this set has been long in the market and often updated to give maximum performance at a reasonable cost.

In this set, both the front and rear derailleurs are the most and often sorted as well as checked whenever one purchases a bike. The Altus derailleurs in this series come in 7, 8, and 9-speed combinations.

This group is known to come with numerous features to realize bike components for perfect maneuverability, stress-free shifting, and braking, the operation to comfortably control your bike as per your desires. After looking at the description of this group set, it’s now time to discuss more each component in detail.

1. Shifters

The shifter in this set takes the first position, and it’s made of the shift and shifter levers, which forms an essential component in this group set. This part is compatible only with ALFINE S7000-8 hubs thanks to the two-way release property, and its optical gear display.

The SHIMANO Altus SL-M310 3-Speed Rapid Fire Shifter Lever

 SHIMANO Altus Shifters

This is an amazing and vital component in the SHIMANO Altus group set, which comes with a redesigned thumb lever shape and a broader optical gear display for a more comfortable view of the kind of gear you are riding in and more accurate shifting of the gears.

With a three-speed indexed shifting ability, you can quickly and proficiently change the riding gear and crisp. The shifting of gears is made easier thanks to the new ergonomic thumb lever shape added to this shifter lever. Also, its shifting upgrade can be made to suit a mountain bike or hybrid bikes with an easy installation process.

This component is compatible with the mountain bike triple front derailleur weighing eight ounces, making it lighter on a bike for excellent flexibility. Also, this shifter lever comes in black color. It is highly rated and used on many lower based mountain bikes around the globe.


  • Exceptional performance on an MTB
  • Easy and quick to install
  • It gives an MTB a hybrid appearance.
  • It’s the best replacement for your MTB


  • No warranty offered

2. Shimano altus brakes – Cantilever

 SHIMANO Altus Cantilever Bicycle Brakes

The SHIMANO Altus brakes are known to be more flexible and comfortable, allowing you to make instant stops without any difficulties while riding your bike no matter the terrain. Braking is made efficient thanks to the straddle wire used in the braking system.

Additionally, an adjustable brake toe and spring tension are all added to make the brakes function optimally and efficiently. They are known to be necessary and good quality cantilever brakes, which comes along with standard pads that are durable and initiates a quick stop without quickly wearing out.

Also, the Shimano brakes come as either front brakes, which are made of aluminum material that guarantees its long term maximum functioning. Also, the front brakes are designed in a silver color that gives it its decent appearance. They are meant to serve the purpose of stopping the front tires.

Whereas the rear brakes meant for the back tires and came with a link wire and fixing bolts allowing more natural installation process and stopping a bike while on a ride making some decent styles when you come to a sudden stop at the same time keeping you safe. The brakes bear a reference number BR-CT 91 for identification.


  • Brake pads included
  • Easy to install
  • Great performance and durability
  • Excellent replacement for your malfunctioning brakes


  • Comes in black color only hence no room for color selection

3. shimano altus crankset : FC-M311 Crankset

This involves the chain-ring and the chain guard. They both function to facilitate easy replacement of your broken or worn our MTB chain-ring with ease. More so, high protection of your bike’s chain-ring from external damage is critical.

 SHIMANO Altus FC-M311 Crankset

The SHIMANO Altus FC-M311 Crankset is the most common and essential in the Shimano Altus group-set. It’s gorgeously made of black color, constructed with aluminum alloy material that makes it last long enough to enjoy a ride on your bike. It’s specifically designed to facilitate easy replacement if the chain ring is faster and in an effortless manner.

This crankset is known to come in three different sizes and different numbers, offering a more comprehensive range of selection of the best chain ring for your bike. With the dimensions of 42 by 32 by 22 inches and the size of 177 mm, this crankset model has hyperactive SG-X chain rings and chain guards made in an integrated design. This crankset is best used for chain rings with two different sizes to facilitate peed shifting of the bike reliably.


  • Easy and quick to install
  • Best value for your money
  • Incredibly durable
  • Allows speed shifting while on a ride

4. shimano altus derailleur – MTB Rear

 SHIMANO Altus MTB Rear Derailleurs

Shimano altus derailleur is essential, more sorted, and regularly checked component when purchasing a mountain bike of this group set. It ideally involves the surface for chain wrapping. The Altus derailleurs in the M4000 series comes in 7, 8, and 9 bike speed combinations. For the front derailleurs, it exists in two different models: the top swing and the downswing.

The top swing is horizontally long and lighter in weight, while the downswing model is an ancient downswing that is vertical and longer. That rear derailleur is the most common and essential known to be of exceptional quality and made of sturdy metal alloy that makes it much durable than any other component.

As we all know, the rear derailleur is like the heart of any mountain bike. It is compatible with all 7, 8, 9 -bicycle speed combinations making it easier for the cyclist to replace their rear derailleur for their bikes with different speed. Others call it a 7/8 speed MTB style component group for youth bikes and city cycling sports.

This part has a chain wrap capacity of forty-three teeth with a top-normal performance, drive train spacing SRAM 8, and a large cog of thirty-two teeth. It weighs 326 g and excellently fits on an 8-speed mountain bike


  • Easy to adjust and install
  • Operates excellently
  • Great value for the price
  • Compatible with 7, 8, and 9-speed bikes.


  • Intense force applied may lead to its breakage

5. Cassette

The choice of a cassette for your bike greatly depends on the intended bike riding styles and cost. The MTB Shimano Cassette is found in 7 to 12-speed versions and often known as the smallest and largest cogs giving a total range, for example, 11-32T.

Altus Shimano Cassette Sprocket CS – HG31

 Altus Shimano Cassette Sprocket CS - HG31

It has a precise and reliable hyper glide shifting performance with a two-inch phosphate black furnish on the surface giving its shiny and excellent appearance. The Altus Cassette is recognized for a close-ratio at the best price and unique for all your bicycle activities. It features a hyper glide sprocket design consisting 8 – speed HG sprockets that ensure a quick and easy position shifting.

This component has a close-ratio with 8-speed sprocket and a cluster up to 30 teeth lower gear giving a broader and broader gear range for varied selections as well as a lower bottom end. It has a chain compatibility 3/32 inches and weighs 315 grams for flexible and easy control. With the construction of aluminum alloy material, this cassette is assured to last for a longer time.


  • Easy and quick to set up
  • Priced best for its quality
  • Excellent performance
  • Great replacement


  • t contains cancerous elements which may also cause congenital disabilities and reproductive harm


This group set is popularly known as the middle-level group set and above the Shimano Altus on the SHIMANO MTB Group set hierarchy. It has a standard operational component whose performance improves daily. Also, it is considered the best group set with uniquely designed features that are all compatible with most bicycles in the market as compared to the Shimano Altus group set.

Despite it being costly, it’s still affordable and highly rated because of its high performance, durability, and comfortability. Just like in the Altus group, the bike parts are similar but with varied designs and functions.

In this set, the brakes and derailleurs are the vital parts as compared to other components in the same set. This means that most of the bike riders look for them carefully when purchasing this set. It a bike manufactured by the SHIMANO firm. The components in this set are characterized by lightweight geared to facilitate trail riding. The elements in this group are discussed as follows.

1. Shimano acera shifter

The unique design of Acera M360 Shifter is that its pod construction allows the rider to use any brake lever with it making it an essential part of this group set. It’s highly recognized among mountain bike riders for its low friction craftsmanship, which allows one to quickly get access to the clamp bud adjustment for faster installation and functioning. Shifters are used to operate the derailleurs on an MTB.

SHIMANO Acera ShifterMountain Bicycle Lever SL-M3000

 SHIMANO Acera Mountain Bicycle Shifter Lever SL-M3000

The shimano acera shifter is known to give the perfect performance to the bike rider at a reasonable and affordable cost. It features a wide and an easy to read optical display for easy identification of the kind of gear one is riding at. Also, it comes with a SHIMANO soft light action and exists as a beautiful upgrade part to many mountain bikes.

Operating as Left 3 – speed and Left 3 – speed shifters, this part aims at increasing the pleasure level of bike riding with levers that fuse ergonomic and aesthetic design that’s easy to clean. Its light force operation RAPID-FIRE, slim main bar, compact, and visible OGD allows the smooth and efficient performance of the bike and also allowing the cyclist to confirm the gear position in a simple way. The shifter comes with a shift cable and with no bolt at the top cover.


  • The ergonomic and aesthetic shape makes it easier to clean
  • Enhances smooth light operation
  • Easy to read optical gear display
  • Lightweight facilitating aftermarket packaging


  • It comes in a single black color hence no more extensive room for selection

2. Brakes

The brakes in the SHIMANO Acera group set exist as a disc-shaped brake system for mountain bikes. They are also found as a hydraulic disc. Its brakes are rigid and highly durable that provides an intense force for stopping power for any kind of mountain bike while on a ride exhibiting a high performance.

SHIMANO Acera BR – M422 Rear V-brakes

 SHIMANO Acera BR - M422 Rear V-brakes

This part of the Acera collection offers a primary replacement and repair tool for an MTB linear-pull brakes. The breaks cones as front and rear brakes with a V-shaped design for quieter operation while on a quick stop.

The grip of the brake is made of aluminum alloy material that gives it its durability and long-lasting performance. Also, with a lightweight of 4.5 grams, it’s flexibility while on a ride is greatly enhanced. The break hubs are compatible with most MTBs hence a perfect replacement.


  • Great stopping power
  • A good quality offering high performance
  • Easy to set up
  • Great value for the price


  • It doesn’t fit well on some bike types

3. shimano acera crankset

The crankset in this collection comes with a highly upgraded crankset performance as compared to that of the Altus group. The cranksets are popularly known for their high durability that assures lifetime operation, lightweight, and exceptional sturdiness. Additionally, the SHIMANO Acera M361 Triple Crankset provides a hyperactive system that enhances a quieter and trouble-free shifting performance. Furthermore, it can fit on any type of chain and shifters.

The black SHIMANO M361 Hybrid Crankset

 black SHIMANO M361 Hybrid Crankset

It features a comfortable replaceable chain ring and shifting guides for an improved bike performance. It has a crank arm length of 170 mm, comes with three chain rings measuring 42 by 32 by 22 inches, and a chain guard for high protection of the chain ring. Also, the square bottom bracket is compatible with it.


  • Its performance is better than that of Altus
  • Removable chain rings allowing quick replacement
  • Best for riding through a mountainous terrain
  • Easy to set up

4. Shimano acera derailleur

It’s the most crucial part of this collection. It comes in different speed combinations, including 3 by 7, 3 by 8, and 3 by 9. The front shimano acera derailleur comes with a swing model feature and lighter in weight for flexible control of your bike. The cage can be adjusted with great comfort, allowing the rider to turn for cable tensions.

Shimano acera rear derailleur

 Acera Mountain Bike Rear Derailleur

This shimano acera rear derailleur is substantially compatible with an 8-speed bike. This SHIMANO Acera RD-410 integrates a pro-style of perfect performance and value. It features updated Shimano technologies such as the Advanced Light Action design, which allows a swift and smooth gear changing and less friction pivot bushings for an effortless crisp, supple, and convenient shifting responses.

Comprises a top regular design, a crisp, precise derailleur-controlled shift to hard gears is made efficient, allowing a remarkable change under load as well as bike acceleration thanks to the Rapid Fire Shifters added. It’s oversized with thirteen teeth pulleys. Aluminum and steel material gives it lightweight and incredible strength for maximum durability. With an SGS long cage design, a full range is provided.


  • Easy to install
  • Great replacement
  • A swift shifting is enhanced
  • Top performance
  • Incredibly strong and durable

5. Cassettes : SHIMANO Acera HG 41 8-Speed MTB

 SHIMANO Acera HG 41 8-Speed MTB Cassettes

This SHIMANO Acera component will continuously provide a swift and precise shifting even if you ride your MTB harder and rougher or on a heavy load due to its compatibility with the hyper glide technology. The shift gates of the cassette sprockets have contours ensuring a clean and crisp changing of gears even when pedaling high.

With an additional anti-corrosion nickel plating, the performance of the Acera cassette is assured to be a long-lasting one. This part is compatible with lasting speed derailleurs and Shimano free hubs. The free hubs sprocket makes it easier for climbing on a steeper slope due to reduced weight.

The Acera cassette has a computer design HG sprockets, close gear ratios, and excellent quality providing high performance.


  • Anti-corrosive nickel allowing its durability
  • Good quality and performance
  • Flexible and reliable for MTB touring


Q: What are derailleurs?

These are bike components facilitating chain movement between the cogs of the cassette and the chain rings on the crankset.

Q: Between SHIMANO Altus and Acera, which one is the best group set?

According to comments and reviews made, Acera is a fallible bit better in performance than Altus.

Q: What is Shimano Altus?

This is a group set in the entry-level but above the Tourney on the MTB component hierarchy chart.

Q: What should I consider when selecting a group set for my bike?

It’s essential to put in mind the durability, compatibility, use of your MTB, cost, and safety while on a ride.


Choosing a group set with all the required components suitable for your mountain bike is pretty essential for life safety and comfortable riding. With high performance, durability, and compatibility with most bikes in the market being the core factors to consider, you can surely choose the best bike component group set that is compatible with your mountain bicycle.

As seen above, SHIMANO is one of the best and popular companies known to provide the best quality and are a known group set for the lower and entry-level mountain bikes. In Shimano Altus Vs Acera, each SHIMANO group set has different parts designed differently to work in coordination for the realization of the high performance of the bike. They facilitate the easy replacement of broken or defaulted bike parts.

However, it’s vital to maintain and keep your bike group set clean and efficient for better and safer cycling without worrying about the terrain or slope you are cycling. With the advanced technology, you are assured great comfort, high braking and gear shifting on your bike. Upgrading your bike to a hybrid or compounded bike can also be made possible when an appropriate group set is chosen.

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