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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:56 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:57 pm
Posts: 1302
Location: Porto / Plymouth
Here go the insane ponderings of a retro biker about drivetrains, old and new.

First of all, I'd like to ask whether I have this retro / modern equivalence more or less correct:

Retro | Modern
Acera = ?
Alivio = ?
STX = Deore
LX = SLX
XT = XT
XTR = XTR

My next question is whether the 2013 drivetrains provide any noticeable performance boost compared to their retro equivalents? (Excluding the brakes, of course!)

Finally, what is the cheapest groupset you can use without noticeably compromising functionality? In my own case, I'd say it's STX or modern Deore, or perhaps Alivio.

Why am I asking? Partly curiosity, partly to understand how to spec my next bike, which I haven't decided whether to do as a modern or retro ride, I only know it won't be an off the shelf job.


Last edited by ultrazenith on Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:01 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader

Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 9:48 am
Posts: 6980
Location: Bristle
Acera is Acera-x and alivio is alivio.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:05 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:57 pm
Posts: 1302
Location: Porto / Plymouth
Ah, I thought Acera-X and Alivio were not quite retro, but I do remember seeing them specced on a couple of friends' 94-95 bikes.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:05 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 7:13 pm
Posts: 2574
Location: The Cock Inn, Tillett, Herts
XTR rather bizarrely doesn't equal XTR. Back in the day it was a racing groupset, a standalone offering that wasn't in the standard mtb groupset hierarchy. 3 years ago Shimano rejigged the arrangement and XTR is now officially the top dog in the MTB groupset lineage, and the features and technology trickle down the range from there.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:21 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 4:18 pm
Posts: 2336
STX isn't modern.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:25 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:58 pm
Posts: 2362
Location: Bournemouth
Deore isn't retro


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:06 am 
National & North West AEC
National & North West AEC
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:43 am
Posts: 8146
Location: Macclesfield Forest
Switch STX and Deore and you're about there.

The potentially confusing thing is that Deore had it's circa 1988/89 incarnation as the Deore MT-60 and the Deore II MT-62 groupsets.
It was phased out and then brought back as the Deore M510 groupset in 2000 and has continued ever since.

But, in terms of groupsets, modern Deore is akin to 1990-1992 Exage 500LX, 1993 Exage ES and 1994-1999 STX and STX-RC.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:44 am 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:08 am
Posts: 6851
Location: Nth Somerset, UK
I'm a big fan of modern running gear on retro frames as long as the finished bike looks right.

I tend to use SRAM rather than Shimano, mainly because I don't like the look of the modern Shimano cranks.

I use modern gear for a number of reasons, mostly practical, as there are times when finding exactly the right XTR rear mech can be a time consuming chore, and you cannot be sure of the quality / reliability of a 20 year old mech, even after paying serious money for one.

I blew up a M901 XTR rear mech a while ago. The blow up was caused by an alloy jockey wheel axle and was terminal. Had I been using an X9 mech then there would now still be one more M901 in the world, and I could have got a replacement mech on line that day.

There are builds where age related parts are best, but most frames look good and ride well with modern running gear.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:53 am 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider
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Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:36 pm
Posts: 16748
Location: Yorkshire, England
Not really m900 fault but an aftermarket bolt. Originals where steel.

I also disagree with chopper. XTR was marketed as the new top of the line above Deore XT as the ultimate off-road component, which of course happened to be the benchmark racing group. I never remember them separating it away. Unless that's some 2000+ thing.
It was always there in the catalogues and chart placed with off-road just at the top.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:05 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 7:13 pm
Posts: 2574
Location: The Cock Inn, Tillett, Herts
In 2010 Shimano formally announced XTR was no longer to be the standalone racing groupset, and was being rationalized and brought into the mainstream mountain bike family as the top ranking 'set. Shimano themselves said that, their words, not my interpretation. How bike manufacturers and the public viewed XTR is something else entirely, but Shimmy intended for competition only until 2010.

I keep all my MBRs so I'll still have the article somewhere.


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