In its unending march of product development, Shimano has announced its latest Acera line of mountain bike and trekking components will feature many of its technologies that once debuted at a higher price point. The new M3000 series features a new compact triple crank, the introduction of the Shadow rear derailleur design, and shifters that stand alone or are integrated with the brake levers on a single clamp.
Retaining a nine-speed layout, the drivetrain starts with a new “compact triple” crank that has 40/30/22 gears, better suited to the overall larger diameter of 29er wheels.
The front derailleur has been redesigned for more tire clearance.
And the rear derailleur has adopted the Shadow design that tucks it in closer to the wheel, making it less prone to damage from impacts.
The Mega-9 shifter include a gear indicator window and is available as an integrated unit with the brake levers on a single clamp, freeing up handlebar space. They are mated to the new Acera hydraulic disc brakes.
Both the brakes and shifters are also available as standalone units.
Look for the Acera group to make its debut on 2016 model year bikes from various brands. While it might not take the mountain bike market by storm, it’s great to see how technology the is pioneered at the high end works its way down to more affordable price points, making everyone’s ride a little better.