Shimano Altus vs Acera – 10 Key Differences to Note

The Shimano Altus and the Acera have become one of the top contenders in producing high-end gears. Mountain bikes are generally infused with these kinds of gear components. Here you can have a look at the Shimano Altus vs Acera comparison.

They claim to give optimum performance and constantly give a smooth ride. If you have planned to get a new mountain bike, make sure it gets equipped with the correct groupset.

What is a groupset?

A groupset is a collection of bike gears, and it mainly comprises wheels, front and rear derailleurs, fork, cassette, chains, and cranks. These components and their quality matter a lot because they determine how much smooth and bumpy-free ride you will get.

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Shimano groupsets

Shimano groupsets generally remain of top-most quality. Here we will talk briefly and comprehensively about the Altus and Acera groupsets. Most importantly, Shimano is a well-known and most reputed Japanese manufacturer.

It makes premium-quality and extensively top-notch cycle parts. They have got a family tree comprising Tourney, Altus as well as Acera, and Alivio. All four cater to mountain bikes, road, hybrid, and commuter bikes.

Shimano Altus and Acera basic overview

Both of them are believed to be performance-focused gear options for mountain, road, and hybrid bikes. Altus and Acera possess somewhat similar features because Altus are the big brother Acera. They are infused with the Shimano Shadow premium RD derailleur technology. In addition, the shifting operations shown by both of them remain noticeably perfect, reliable, and precise.

The Altus gears

The Altus gear is commonly inducted on entry-level mountain bikes and hybrid bikes. This respective gear delivers optimum performance. Moreover, they are lightweight and successfully operate smoothly.

Pros and cons of Altus gear


  • Efficient and smooth brakes
  • Infused with more gears
  • Allow sudden braking


  • A few of the gears seem to be less flexible.

The Acera gear

The derailleurs and brakes of Acera look highly lightweight. They facilitate and guarantee to deliver smooth performance. You will definitely enjoy your trail rides. Moreover, they fall under the budget-friendly range and seem to become the most popular option among hybrid bike owners. These high-performing gears promise to be versatile, user-friendly, and more efficient.

Pros and cons of Acera gear


  • Efficient performance
  • Affordable price
  • Compatible with many bikes


  • It lacks some advanced features

The Main Difference between Shimano Altus and Acera is price, aesthetic looks and efficiency of braking system.

Which has better shifters?

The Altus’ shifters do not look very durable and friendly. Most importantly, you can only make them work and companionable with ALFINE S7000-8 hubs. These shifters have a two-way release feature. Besides, they are infused with an optical display.

On the other hand, the Acera shifters look friendlier. They have a pod design, strategic and make them a welcoming option for all sorts of brakes. These shifters offer low friction and provide the smoothest riding time.

Which has high-quality brakes?

The Acera brakes guarantee satisfactory performance, but Altus brakes win over here! Most noteworthy, the Altus brakes look extremely flexible and perform best. You can comfortably stop the brakes whenever you feel like it!

Thus, Acera brakes do not give out powerful performance. Though, they are packed with disc and hydraulic braking systems and brag a good amount of stopping power.

Which has premium cranksets?

It is noticed that the Acera’s crankset endorses qualities like durability and sturdiness. Its cranksets remain 100% lightweight, and you can even combine them with any shifters and chains you feel like! On the other hand, the Altus crankset ensures comfortable riding time. They guarantee efficient speed shifting.

Which has durable Rear Derailleurs?

The Altus rear derailleurs look compatible and super companionable with bikes that run on the 7 and 8-speed settings. They show premium quality, allow precise shifting, and are injected with a B tension spring.

The Acera rear derailleurs are also lightweight. They do not weigh down your bike and get incorporated with a Shimano Shadow design. It makes your ride enjoyable and swift.

Which has high-end Front Derailleurs?

Both of their front derailleurs are compatible with 3×9 speed settings. The only thing to remember is that the Altus’ version is hyperdrive compatible. Besides, the Acera version features and gets fully infused with Hyper-glide technology. You get an increased tire clearance.

Which is budget-friendly?

Altus is more budget-friendly than the Acera. Overall, you must also assess other qualities and features before investing in such a groupset.

Which has good-quality shifting levers?

This Altus shifting lever tends to offer wider compatibility. It encases a slim lever body and is inducted with Opti slick technology.

You get a smooth and swift shifting performance. The levers look streamlined, and you can position the gears conveniently by looking at the display.

If we talk about Acera’s shifting lever version, we have seen that they exhibit responsive shifting, and you can install them on the 9-speed mountain bikes. The RapidFire Plus lever promises quick shifts always.

Which has sturdy Bottom Brackets?

The bottom brackets of the Altus showcase a sleek appearance. Moreover, they rotate smoothly and come with a square spindle. These bottom brackets are super and highly compatible with 33T and 38T chainring sets. In the same way, the Acera brackets are also a strong contender. They ensure superior rotation and deliver high efficiency.

Final verdict about the Shimano Altus vs Acera Group sets

According to experts, they are great-quality groupsets meant for the mountain bike. They promise to give the riders a smooth, hassle-free, and comfortable pedaling time. Moreover, they have disc brake rotors for delivering consistently powerful and swift stopping power.

Both Acera and Altus go neck-to-neck competition, and it is tougher to decide which wins and lose. No doubt, both of them are superior in quality and performance and infused with great shifting levers. They have durable front derailleurs and high and rear derailleurs. Lastly, their cranksets look 100% sturdy and efficient.


In case of any questions regarding the Shimano Altus vs Acera comparison, you can share with us. If you have tried any of these groupsets for your mountain, road, or hybrid bike, convey your comments anytime.

Mark Webster is bike enthusiast and researcher in bike industry from last 15 years. Mark had been working in different bike manufacturing companies for research and development of new models. Mark has mission to make bike design safest for bikers. The dream of Mark is to make bikes too mainstream that we can reduce global carbon emissions.

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