I purchased my first "quality" mountain bike to ride on some of the local trails, some of which can be a challenge, and require a lot of downshifting and upshifting......this is NOT the Derailleur for that! I am on my second one, and the very same thing happened......the hanger slipping into my spokes....could cause a lot of damage to your bike, but even more so to YOU! Beware, pay a few bucks more and be safe.
Strengths: Super reliable, shifts smoothly as anything else when properly adjusted, snappy gear changes after a few hundred miles, pretty durable.
Weaknesses: Besides CHAIN TENSION, not much. All your friends snickering because its not X0 like they have on their full squish carbon. (Or I guess XX1 now)
It's a great deraileur when properly adjusted. Smooth and snappy. The most you'll ever need for road and trails. HOWEVER, once this little guy is thrown on some not so smooth singletrack, it's poor chain tension is really noticeable. I drop my chain ALL THE TIME. But hey for $30 I'll curb my griping. Bottom line: it's a wonderful starter piece that you can upgrade from later.
Bike Setup: Rockhopper 29er, rockshox Reba RLT, tubeless
Date Reviewed: March 22, 2013
Strengths: Low cost, takes abuse and hold a tune up, did i mention cheeeeeaaaaap?
Weaknesses: People point and mock - and that's what we should all worry about, right?
I resurrected my old hardtail with a full Alivio drive train - i have climbed over 20,000 meters of baby-head infested volcano since i installed the the set. Aside from a few clunks from the indexing i've had zero issues.
I have a full suss rig with XT and SLX gear on it, and while i do notice a difference in precision, i am not seeking a podium position so it's a non-issue. If you are a hard core trail dog who can maintain his/her own rig, this drive train is difficult to beat.
Date Reviewed: October 23, 2012
Strengths: As good as Deore and significantly cheaper
Weaknesses: Brand wankers will laugh at you all the way until their X0 snaps off
I run this on my £2000 downhill rig. Yes, you read that correctly. See, I broke the previous Deore mech in a crash and needed a new one quickly, so I bought a second hand Alivio from a friend for £5, hooked it up to my SLX shifter and let rip. Now, most will say that it is terrible, and shifts by itself, slow shifts etc. ADJUSTMENTS people, you wouldn't go out riding without an allen key set, so bring a screwdriver too, and if it's playing up, mess with the screws till it stops. It's worked for me for close to a year, on a Norco Atomik DH bike. Sure it isn't a Saint, but it's not a Tourney either.
Strengths: It is cheap, stock on some low end models. Great item to learn and grow with, then dispose.
Weaknesses: Heavy, Slooow shifts to small cogs, Uncommonly easy to break
Came stock on my Fuji Nevada, snapped my hanger when the cage around the lower jockey wheel attached to my spokes. Now I need to have my rear rim trued and will be replacing/ upgrading my derailleurs. Simple answer now I understand that a $30 piece belongs on a freaking mongoose, not on a bike that climbs mountains to bomb down the rock gardens on the other side. Honestly I feel lucky that the bike was the only broken entity coming off the mountain. Then again this was my first mountain bike, so lesson learned you get what you pay for. I only find time to ride on the weekends. When I do ride, "Capt. Intensity" comes out and its climbs, rock gardens, DH and all kinds of fun. So in all fairness, I might have expected too much/ spent too little on components. Again lesson learned and this came stock on my starter bike. Light riders will enjoy everything but the slow shifts to the small cogs. Anyone else STAY AWAY or risk breaking things, i.e. components or yourself.
Duration Product Used: Not even 6 weeks of 30mi a day rides on the weekend
Bike Setup: Almost Stock Fuji Nevada 3.0 29"
this the real Derek
a Weekend Warrior
from SLC, UT
Date Reviewed: September 10, 2011
Strengths: Very easy to install and adjust. If you purchase the FD get some extra cable. Once installed any normal human can feel like a XC pro while adjusting on the fly.
Weaknesses: Heavy, too long of throws. Lacks the smoothness of a Deore or Saint (read overall)
Alright, just installed this RD 2 hours ago. All I had to do was hook the cable up and every gear hit. I decided to upgrade the RD and FD after spending 11 hour on the the stock RD and FDs last Saturday fixing all the incorrectness just to adjust it 6 days later. After installing the Alivios my family is super happy with their Wal-Mart Specials. For all the haters out there, if you're installing 30$ RD's on your trek and specialized you're not a real rider, you're probably too cheap to upgrade for componets you need on real XC trails. One idea, don't buy weed for a week and spend the extra $ on deore or saint components. For people that need a good RD, FD and don't want to break the bank...buy the Alivio set.
Bike Setup: This one was buitl for the fam. Wal-Mart Mongoose XR200. Wtb dual duty rims, shimano rapid fire shifts, serfas vermin-f rubber. PROMAX disc brakes
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: August 15, 2011
Strengths: Beefy, shifts well, shifts smooth
Weaknesses: A little on the heavy side, not the "shadow" design of the newer RD's.
Reading some of the reviews you'd think this RD is a pile of garbage, but not so. It resurrected an old bike beautifully.
I've had zero chain slap, and often ride on rutted, muddy equestrian trails where you end up not even seeing the RD until you hose it off and this one never misses a beat. Shifts quickly enough, and has needed exactly zero adjustments since I installed it a year ago.
While I might not put it on a $900 bike, for people on a budget it's a great RD! Only a few bucks more than the Tourney series, and much much much better built. If you have an older bike you're trying to breathe some life back into, look no further.
a Cross Country Rider
from winnipeg, manitoba, canada
Date Reviewed: February 24, 2011
Strengths: has lasted many, many thousands of miles. these miles are all on my specialized mtb and are on the road, ditch, stumps, roots, grass, dirt, rain, mud, drops, jumps, dust. I've used it since I've had my bike in early 2008, almost every day during warm months and it's been great. I have no idea where the "cheap crap" reviews are coming from. maybe user error. once set up by LBS, I've RARELY had to adjust it.
Weaknesses: only worth while weakness, is the tension spring is not as stiff as I'd like since there is an above average amount of chain slap with this unit.
you must be really sensitive to whine about this derailleur. very durable and reliable. I should emphasize I put in the thousands of miles on per year on trails, commuting, charity rides, and general bashing around, and it has NEVER let me down. chain slap can be solved simply with a little lizard skin. no reason to change it unless you break it in a crash.
Favorite Trail: top of the world (short but sweet, it's actually for hiking)
Duration Product Used: More than 3 years
Bike Setup: '07 specialized hardrock comp disc, 719d rims, xt hubs, hollowtech crankset, thompson stem and post, romin sl saddle, avid bb7 brakes, shimano clipless pedals. All Alivio shifters and derailleurs.
a Weekend Warrior
from waterford, MICHIGAN
Date Reviewed: September 21, 2010
Strengths: has been reliable so far. guessing couple hundred miles. maybe 40 hard trail use. still shifts into all gears. no ghost shifts.
Weaknesses: none found? Im sure its heavy as hell, and is only 8sp.
shifts are kinds slow.
If its already on your bike, and working fine, leave it alone. when it wears out, spend the extra money on a higher line of products. Im goin 9speed since I dont have a front deraileur. thats the only reason Im replacing mine.
Bike Setup: Schwinn mora, stock everything except derailleurs
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: July 31, 2010
Strengths: inexpensive, reliable, dependable
Weaknesses: None for the price
Was shifting beautiful untill after going through a few hard rainfalls. thought it was the derailleur because of the bad reviews and was ready to upgrade. but the lbs tech found it was just that moisture got into the cable housing causing some rust issues. got it fixed and now everything good as it was. it even took a couple hard hits since then and still stayed true. Not the best but, it is dependable.
a Cross Country Rider
from Detroit Area
Date Reviewed: July 21, 2010
Strengths: Decent entry level unit. Not great, call it serviceable.
Weaknesses: Again, not great just serviceable. Not the most responsive, but has held up thus far.
This will keep you going until you decide (or have the scrath) to get a higher grade model. Not the fastest or most crisp shifter, and I imagine (if it matters) it might be a little heavy. I've always like the Shimano stuff, not the sexiest when at the trailhead, but their parts has always gotten me in and out of the woods. If you are a real hardcore rider or racer, you may want the higher end XT/XTR stuff. But for now this is just OK.
Similar Products Used: Used different LX&XT ders. over the years, and have always been reliable.
Bike Setup: 2010 Trek 4300 Disc. Few minor mods so far.
a Weekend Warrior
from Ledbetter, KY, USA
Date Reviewed: April 21, 2010
Strengths: It makes a good paperweight if you take it off the bike.
Weaknesses: The Alivio rear deraillueur is the worst piece of crap I have ever seen from Shimano. It won't stay in adjustment for more than an hour of heavy riding. Any heavy uphill use will crap the thing out and possibly make the rider crash. Mine was twisted like a curly fry the last time I saw it.
If you see a bike for sale with any of this product line on it, run the other way. If you still love the bike and want to buy it, be ready to replace some stuff.
a Weekend Warrior
from Annandale, VA
Date Reviewed: September 28, 2009
Strengths: Reliable entry level RD, low price
Weaknesses: Entry level - it isn't the fastest, smoothest, lightest...
I've found this to be a good entry level derailleur. It is reliable, has chewed up sticks, and taken a few minor hits. It has been cranking along for about 18 months. It is also pretty easy to adjust, and I'm not mechanically inclined.
On the downside, it is slow, especially shifting outward. It is also not the smoothest and makes a lot of noise when in slow-mode.
Bottom line - entry level (cheap, reliable). Good for light XC, trail riding, on a hybrid, etc. For harder/faster riding, go with something higher up the food chain.
So my buddy was getting rid of all of his extra mountain bike equipment and gave me a XTR Rear Derailleur. I installed it just fine but when it is on the lowest gears, the chain is actually rubbing on the detrailleur because it seems like there is not enough tension in the chain. If I compare the ... Read More »
I was able to get a hold of a Deore rear derailleur and an Alivio front dreailleur for little $$ as an inexpensive upgrade to my Acera derailleurs (I have a Specialized HR) and I wanted to use my existing EF-29 shifters with the new components - this should work, right?
The Trek 4500, for exampl ... Read More »