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.


Shimano_Acera_9-speed_triple_crankset_FC-M3000 Shimnao_Acera_cnterlock_disc-brake_hubset_FH-M3050

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.


  1. I like that adjuster, too. I wonder why they’re still releasing non-shadow derailleurs? They aren’t lighter, any apples-to-apples comparison I’ve done hasn’t shown any performance or fit issues with Shadows that don’t occur with traditional designs.

  2. I’m sure thats a cost thing.

    This stuff is sick. Easy to make XTR/XX1 stuff, but building a functional, useful and quality group for the $800 hardtail is impresssive.

  3. plus one for Jose’s statement.

    more fun a rider has on their entry level bike, more likely they are to soon or later end up on that super nice bike…. more fun

  4. Downside is hydraulical discs will be way more costly to repair and will take a lot of explaining by lbs owners to customers of cheap bikes

  5. Nick…while I think this is awesome for the money. I don’t think I’d want this $40 rear derailleur to go with my $180 hub. Just like putting $30 Cheng Shin tires on a Ferrari or $2000 Pirellis on a Pinto

    ***Great to see trickle down working for at least one application. As a fan of SRAM, their entry level stuff isn’t nearly as crisp shifting as Shimano

  6. It’s easy to wonder if they make low end components purposely uglier to get you to want to upgrade (sram) but I really can’t find fault with these. They look great for such a price point.

  7. @willemcycles – these days it’s faster to repair and maintain Shimano hydraulic brakes than it is to deal with v-brakes TBH.

  8. @Veganpotter
    “As a fan of SRAM” oh, now the gloves come off haha just kidding.

    Please keep up the bicycles/cars comparos, because that’s always accurate, you know.
    I’ll just keep my $150 XT rear derailleur away from my $20 XT hub (7 years senior) and even further from my $40 Peaty grips and farther still from my $30 stem and $70 handlebars…
    because, you know, it matters.

  9. What’s the BCD on the cranks? Looks smaller than their other lineups. While I am glad they have upgraded their lower level, the shift/brake lever combo kind of sucks to have. It really limits piecing together upgrades on a budget.

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