The ALIVIO group feature a full complement of advanced Shimano functions. Features like 9-speed Hyperdrive, powerful V-Brake and disc brake systems, and Rapidfire Plus shifting make ALIVIO the trend-setting group for quality recreational mountian bikes. T
Strengths: Affordable, capable of smooth shifting, aesthetically acceptable.
Weaknesses: A bit on the heavy side, long cage rubs on the chain at times and seems like it will easily break if I hit something.
Both my mountain bikes I bought this year came with this rear derailleur and seem to have been doing it's job so far. When tuned properly, it shifts smoothly and doesn't require too much maintenance for upkeep. The design is pretty basic but it has all those years of Shimano thought behind it and they've provided a solid entry level derailleur with this product I would say.
I see it doing the job for me for the season, but I suspect an upgrade by next season to a short cage setup for a more efficient drivetrain.