Shimano just introduced a new reworked update to their budget Acera mountain bike groupset, which will now also be offered in a separate trekking-specific variant as it’s become quite a popular spec in that segment. Shifting stays with 9 speeds like the previous Alivio/Acera generations, but gets updated to a new Mega 9 Lite that sees some optimization. The big difference is of course the upgrade to a Shadow rear derailleur for the lower profile, which was developed with more aggressive riding in mind. The front derailleur cage also gets reshaped for better shifting and gets a slightly more compact clamp and link layout that could shed a tiny bit of weight, all while improving tire clearance.
Click through past the brake (hint: not a typo) to see what else gets updated….
Another big upgrade is the introduction of hydraulic disc brakes this far deep into Shimano’s product line. Acera is currently Shimano’s base mountain bike group and bringing their experience with excellent hydraulic disc brakes means they will be more attainable even on entry level bikes. Previously Acera, and the one step higher Alivio, had only been offered with a single non-series mechanical disc caliper. These 2-finger hydro brake levers are integrated with the 3×9 shifters, and while separate Acera shifters will be available, the hydraulic levers do not appear to have a stand-alone version.
A redesigned crankset will be offered in a 40-30-22 MTB version, taking design cues from the more aggressively styled mountain groups. Centerlock hubs appear to be mostly a carry-over item, but get in-series numbering/branding that might suggest delineation through the other groups as well.
The trekking version cranksets come in either 44-32-22 or 48-36-26triple configurations, both with plastic chainring/pants leg guards and smoother aesthetics. The trekking rear derailleur skips the Shadow upgrade for a more conventional approach. The T3000 line comes in either silver of black finishes for the cranks, rear mech, and hubs for a unified look.
While these are understandably the low-end of Shimano offerings, we were interested to see the tech from their top-level component specs make it all the way down here.