Weaknesses: Its branded Altus, not the sexiest beast on the road
I have an old Miele UA 150 that I've used as a commuted for 10 years. Its been all stock up until only fairly recently. I have personally put about 2000 km on city streets, initially on the knobby tires and only recently switched to road slicks. Its never been anything but smooth shifting. It has slipped from time to time, but so far, the drive train is still all original. Have wiped out hard a few times and despite a few scratches on the body, its been non worse for wear. Should be cleaned as often as anything else, but I'm very happy with its performance and how long its lasted to date.
Date Reviewed: September 23, 2012
Strengths: It's cheap and pretty reliable as long as your not doing anything wild with it. Holds adjustment pretty well.
Weaknesses: Shifts like garbage up hill and is on the poor quality side. Get what you pay for.
I got this derailleur on my first xc bike. It comes standard on a DB Response. Only issue I had with this item was that the bike techs at dick's had a hard time with adjusting it and it was a full cog off when I got it home. About 5 minutes of adjustments and it was fine. Never needed to adjust it again. The bike is gone forever and I have upgraded to XT components on my current ride since then but I still have this derailleur laying around in case I ever need it for some reason.
Date Reviewed: August 2, 2012
Strengths: Well, it's cheap I guess
Weaknesses: Can barely shift under a small load, very low quality, weak.
If you don't do any serious mountain biking this could work, but the shifting is more road worthy than MTB.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: June 8, 2012
Strengths: Good looking, shifts precisely and quickly
The Shimano ALTUS is a outstandIng Derailliur for everything to my concern I use It road biking, MTB and just to ride around town I have had it for a year and it hasn't needed adjustment it shifts quickly and precisely every time never skips a gear on the cog it is the same as my dad's Shimano Deore XT that came stock on his Marin Quad XC it shifts just as quickly, smoothly and precisely.
Strengths: this derailleur worked good for the past 2 years, it shifted perfectly
Weaknesses: just the other day a stick was grabbed by it and it bent and twisted the deraillleur and bent my frame :(
good but not worth the damage
a Weekend Warrior
from Hopkinsville, Kentucky, USA
Date Reviewed: March 10, 2012
Strengths: Holds adjustment well. Shifting was not affected by mud buildup.
Weaknesses: Durability may be a concern.
This rear derailleur came stock on my Trek 3700. I have ridden with it for just under a year until it broke today. Picked up a tree limb in the the chain and bent up and broke the derailleur and broke the mounting bracket. Not sure if it was a lack of durability issue or just bad luck.
During the year a used it I did not need to make any adjustments. It always shifted good as long as the chain was well lubed. I think it would serve most trail bike riders well. Probably not good enough for the serious rider. I cannot compare the shifting speeds with any other derailleurs. I will post a review on the Alivio when I get the back from the shop and get some miles on it.
I give 3 chilis for value, this is a good entry derailleur and is very economical but may not last very long if used frequently.
a Cross Country Rider
from Palmdale, CA
Date Reviewed: September 26, 2011
Strengths: None by my account
Weaknesses: Won't stay in adjustment-- period!!! So what's the point???
Other reviewers claim that this is intended for an easy-going city bike rider, so I won't give it a single chili as an overall rating for that reason alone. Will definitely give it a single chili as a value because it isn't one-- will replace it with way too few miles on it to be considered anything but a liability. Having acknowledged that this is allegedly a "lightweight" shifter, it came to me as OEM on a cross-country bike that I ride cross country, ten miles at a stretch, on dirt, with lots of bumps... and the last time I checked this was a site for real riders. So, take this review as you will. This front Altus refuses to stay in adjustment. End of discussion. My LBS has adjusted it 4 times so far, and it'll usually make it about a mile before it starts giving me fits. I've given up on it-- heck, I've ridden Schwinns bought at a Target that stay in adjustment longer than this thing!!! Will be replacing it with a higher end Shimano or SRAM in the near future.
Bike Setup: Shimano Altus RD, Altus shifters, Tourney FD, SR Suntour fork, SR Suntour crankset.
a Weekend Warrior
from SF Bay Area, CA (USA)
Date Reviewed: June 24, 2011
Weaknesses: Slow shifts, extremely weak
Not for anyone who even thinks about riding on mountains or adventuring. I would say the Altus is only suitable for those who ride mostly on pavement, don't care so much about their bike, and will only ride off-pavement once in a long time.
My personal experience is from much riding in mud. The Altus was clearly not for those adventuring in mud.
Very light-use derailleur, not for the adventurous or those wishing to ride on trails a lot.
a Cross Country Rider
from Gosford, NSW, Australia
Date Reviewed: May 24, 2011
Strengths: Alright shifting if you get it set up well, a little slow at times and occasionally skips.
Weaknesses: WEAK AS ALL HELL. the thing keeps bending at the connection to my rear forks, then cause of a few problem spokes it decides to play a little orchestra behind me of spoke to derailleur contact. looks pretty damn ugly aswell.
If your just going to use it to much around on to and from the shops, or perhaps commuting then i guess its ok. anything above that and your asking too much of it. the construction is sturdy except at the connection to your frame, the shifting is slow and sometimes innacurate and takes a fair amount of fiddling to get it shifting nicely. dont even try and use this for jumps...your just asking for bent spokes.
Similar Products Used: Shimano SLX shadow, Alivio.
Bike Setup: Weinman xtb 26" rims, 2.1 Crossmarks, Sr Suntour xct v3's, bb7 with 6" tektro rotors, alivio cassette, alivio crank, prolite saddle blah blah blah....
a Cross Country Rider
from Kamloops, BC, Canada
Date Reviewed: September 30, 2010
Strengths: Cheap, reliable
Weaknesses: Cheap, ugly
The bottom line is that this derailleur is perfect for the money. I hit a log within 1 month of buying my bike in the spring (Alivio derailleur originally on then) and bent/busted the rear derailleur. Not having much cash but needing to ride, I bought the Altus for $30. Yes, it's ugly. Yes, it's cheap.
However, do I have issues with it? Not in the least. I have put over 2500 kilometres on it and it shifts just as nicely as when new. Each cog is hit precisely. I clean and do any necessary tuning every weekend (I commute to work, 5 days a week, 2 hours a day riding trails). I ride this bike with buddies riding bikes that cost 3x as much just as fast if not faster than them, so this derailleur is seeing more abuse than it was made for and yet it is standing up without an issue.
With proper maintenance and tuning, this derailleur is a great buy for the money. For those complaining about it not keeping adjustements for more than a few minutes, there might be other factors to consider (like shifters, cables, housing). Honestly, my bike is entry level with cheap components and it is all holding up to my abuse in stride. I ride the bike as intended, CROSS COUNTRY. I do not drop off 10' drops or hit berms and jumps! Obviously for that riding, spend the money to get something durable. For cross country, this is a fine product.
Similar Products Used: Alivio, STX, Deore LX, Deore XT
Bike Setup: Altus drivetrain, RST Gila front fork, Tektro I/O mechanical disk brakes
a Cross Country Rider
from Belgrade, Serbia
Date Reviewed: July 22, 2010
Weaknesses: Needs adjustments constantly. I would go to the mechanic and he would adjust it so that it works flawlesly. Ten minutes later it needs readjustment again (chain slips off, it's hard to change from the second to the third gear, the chain rubs against the cage etc.) It even broke six spokes on my largest chainwheel on my first Tourney crankset, and one on my second Deore crankset.
If you don't change the front gears too often - it's great for the money. It changes gears pretty okay apart from going from the second to the third gear. Of course, if it breakes cranksets while going to the third gear, it's no good at all.
Strengths: Excellent performance when used as intended.
The bottom lins is that the Altus like other moderately priced derailleurs will function flawlessly for years IF they are used as intended and maintained. When used with a Shimano indexed shifter under the conditions it was intended for, the Altus will flawlessly move the chain from one cog to another with no missed shifts.
According to Shimano literature the Altus is designed for city and youth bikes. Consequently it is not meant for trail and mountin riding. Those of us who are purchasing a mountain bike should do their homework and look beyond the price tag and actually consider whether the components are designed for mountain riding.
ITS CRAP! it does shift nicely but is weak just today it snapped at the top bracket connecting it to my bike its not good if you are a serious mtber it wasnt the bolt that broke it was just below it the hex key is still in the frame its the main arm i think that snapped and i have not a clue how
from Saugerties Ny, USA
Date Reviewed: September 28, 2009
Strengths: shifted well, not to many skip shifting, good for climbing,
Weaknesses: weak cage, parts wore out fast, came off jump the cage bent, went into my rim and cost me 5 spokes,a new derailleur, hanger, and cassette
worked well for the first few months but wore out fast, shifted well, i would recommend for the cross country or road cyclist, but it isnt to good for freeriding and downhill, bottom line worked good but ended causing more damage then it was worth