If 10 or 11 gears are just too much for you, don’t fear, Shimano’s eight and nine speed drivetrains keep getting better and better, receiving many of the trickle-down technologies from higher priced units. For 2015 Shimano has updated the Tourney and Alivio groups, plus made tweaks to Alfine and Nexus.
The Tourney TX800 trekking group moves up to 8-speed, and includes redesigned cable disc brakes and center lock hubs. All in all, for the price, Tourney looks sharp.
Alivio M4000 is all new this year, from the triple cranks to the 9-speed shifters and Shadow low profile rear derailleur (no clutch). The crank is available in compact and standard chainring sizes and the new front derailleur increases tire clearance, all done to increase compatibility with any wheelsize. Put some tape over the Alivio logo, and I would have a hard time identifying this group as entry level.
Also redesigned are Shimano’s Alfine and Nexus dynamo hubs, and now there is an XT-level model. With less weight and 50 percent less drag, this is the perfect choice for rough stuff adventuring. Light your way, charge your GPS, go off the grid!
The 8-speed Alfine internal hub and shifter get a much-needed update, such that the shifter is “normal” instead of the backwards Rapid-Rise style of the past. Nexus 8-speed hubs are now available in shiny silver or matte black. The Nexus crankarms and Inter-7 hubs get updates as well.
Look for the Alivio and Tourney groups to be available in mid-summer, with Alfine and Nexus parts to hit stores in September. Likely many of these products will be available on 2015 model bikes as well. Shimano does not put MSRP’s on Nexus, Alivio and Tourney products.