Groupset is the name for the collective group of parts on the bike covering transmission, gearing and braking. Each groupset is created to suit a certain style of riding and grouped into a range with matching gears, brakes, transmission and wheels. They are categorised by name with all the new innovation coming in at the top then trickling down several layers in following years. Today’s mid-price groupsets have features which were only available to professional riders several years ago albeit with only a slight weight gain as you move down the hierarchy of groupsets being the only penalty.
Components include: bottom bracket, brake callipers, brake discs, brake levers, cables, cassette, chain, chainset, gear levers, front and rear mech (derailleur), hubs, pedals and wheels – although pedals, hubs and wheels are rarely included in groupset sales.
Shimano is the biggest bicycle component manufacturer in the world. The Japanese company makes groupsets for road, mountain, trekking and leisure bikes meaning they have a product suitable for almost any kind of bike.
Shimano off-road groupsets are categorised by discipline and hierarchy as follows:
Downhill / Freeride
SRAM are the newest groupset manufacturer and have come up with a series of ingenious inventions which have quickly gained a wide fan base from professional to recreational with their alternative view on operating systems.
The hierarchy of SRAM off-road groupsets from professional to entry level is as follows: