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Is "groupset" an outdated concept that only mfgs are pushing?

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Is "groupset" an outdated concept that only mfgs are pushing?

Old 05-12-19, 04:03 AM
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Obeast
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Is "groupset" an outdated concept that only mfgs are pushing?

except for shifters and possibly matching derailleurs I have mixed tons of stuff across brands and speeds and they all work fine. The front derailleur can be swapped across brands and even between speeds and they work fine. Same for most Shimano rear derailleurs. As a last resort, I put on a 7 or 8 speed thumb friction shifter and it shifts everything from 8 to 12 speeds in the rear.
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Old 05-12-19, 05:08 AM
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True

Great Thoughts
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Old 05-12-19, 05:46 AM
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Nobody said you HAVE to use all parts from a certain groupset together. Shimano even publishes a compatibility matrix for parts from different groupsets. Call it series, call it line, call it what you want, it's still a set of parts that were released together as part of a group, no?
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Old 05-12-19, 06:03 AM
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At least OP didn't call it a "gruppo" or some variation of such.
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Old 05-12-19, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Obeast View Post
except for shifters and possibly matching derailleurs I have mixed tons of stuff across brands and speeds and they all work fine. The front derailleur can be swapped across brands and even between speeds and they work fine. Same for most Shimano rear derailleurs. As a last resort, I put on a 7 or 8 speed thumb friction shifter and it shifts everything from 8 to 12 speeds in the rear.
"Except" the most expensive and most important stuff that everyone cares about....
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Old 05-12-19, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Obeast View Post
except for shifters and possibly matching derailleurs I have mixed tons of stuff across brands and speeds and they all work fine. The front derailleur can be swapped across brands and even between speeds and they work fine. Try a shimano Mt FD with an indexed road shifter. Same for most Shimano rear derailleurs. As a last resort, I put on a 7 or 8 speed thumb friction shifter and it shifts everything from 8 to 12 speeds in the rear. If it has enough cable pull to cover the distance on a 11 or 12s
When you're building up a frame some of us want all our stuff to "match". Sure a quick build from the parts stash. Or repairing something that just needs one item replaced or needs to fit in a budget, no need to match the existing group.
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Old 05-12-19, 07:05 AM
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I mismatch all the time. On my bikepacking bike, I use Deore XT derailleurs as they are heavier than XTR but I use XTR shifters because they shift better.
On my road tandem I have 105 shifters but Deore derailleurs as they come in a long cage to handle the 3x10 drivetrain and large cassette on the back.
My Giant TCR though has all 105 components as that is what it had when purchased new.
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Old 05-12-19, 07:05 AM
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The "component group" concept started out as a marketing scheme and only gained a functional relevance with the advent of indexed shifting, where drivetrain components could only be expected to work well together when designed together.
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Old 05-12-19, 07:06 AM
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the groupset is how manufacturers differentiate certain levels of quality and use. Like someone who is a pro racer would want extremely light and good XTR hubs, brakes, crank and RD and so on. nothing really stops you from mixing or using other manufacturers where possible (i.e. you can use a RF crank with SRAM Rd etc.). It is reasonable to assume that someone who has an Altus RD isn't in need of an XTR crank.

The only thing that really needs to match are derailleurs and shifters that most often need to be from the same manufacturer. There are exception. but often you can mix different levels from the same manufacturer (i.e. NX RD and X01 shifter etc.).

Of course the manufacturers would love to have a bike equipped with everything from them. Part is marketing.

In many drivetrain discussions people seem to not understand that the number of speeds matters. For example, people argue over upgrading from NX Eagle to GX and think they also need to upgrade the freehub to use GX (xD) cassettes. Totally not true.
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Old 05-12-19, 07:16 AM
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How thinly can you slice the baloney?

Campy, Shimano and Sram all want to extract the maximum revenue from each rider. The way they do this is by offering components in a range of prices. The more expensive ones really are nicer but, honestly, even the cheap stuff still works pretty well. In general, performance improves linearly while price increases exponentially. Everybody gets to decide their own performance/price sweet spot. My personal sweet spot keeps drifting toward the lower end offerings.
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Old 05-12-19, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
the groupset is how manufacturers differentiate certain levels of quality and use. Like someone who is a pro racer would want extremely light and good XTR hubs, brakes, crank and RD and so on. nothing really stops you from mixing or using other manufacturers where possible (i.e. you can use a RF crank with SRAM Rd etc.). It is reasonable to assume that someone who has an Altus RD isn't in need of an XTR crank.

The only thing that really needs to match are derailleurs and shifters that most often need to be from the same manufacturer. There are exception. but often you can mix different levels from the same manufacturer (i.e. NX RD and X01 shifter etc.).

Of course the manufacturers would love to have a bike equipped with everything from them. Part is marketing.

In many drivetrain discussions people seem to not understand that the number of speeds matters. For example, people argue over upgrading from NX Eagle to GX and think they also need to upgrade the freehub to use GX (xD) cassettes. Totally not true.
Unless you use Campagnolo.

They've openly had incompatible tiers within the same MY pretty much this entire millennium, as a means of upselling and tier differentiation (combined with different mechanisms like the awful "Escape"). It has gotten so bad and byzantine what with all the different cable-pulls and what not, that in 2015 they started stamping "LETTER" (e.g. "A" to denote 2015+ Chorus compatible and up) to try and make what does and doesn't work remotely knowable by someone not a professional Campagnolo historian.
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Old 05-12-19, 07:23 AM
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My 83 Team Fuji came new with Suntour derailleurs, a Sugino crankset, and Gran Comp brakes, so I don't think having a complete groupset was ever a big deal except on high end stuff.

My CF Ridley does have a complete Force 22 groupset, but it was a Competitive Cyclist build bike.
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Old 05-12-19, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
How thinly can you slice the baloney?

Campy, Shimano and Sram all want to extract the maximum revenue from each rider. The way they do this is by offering components in a range of prices. The more expensive ones really are nicer but, honestly, even the cheap stuff still works pretty well. In general, performance improves linearly while price increases exponentially. Everybody gets to decide their own performance/price sweet spot. My personal sweet spot keeps drifting toward the lower end offerings.
Then again.. you don't see any of these companies offering product lines that target the others. Ie. Campy introduce a line of shimano derailleur compatible brifters? Campy does do Fulcrum wheels, but you don't see Shimano offering campy hubsets.
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Old 05-12-19, 10:13 AM
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I've always known them mixed on account of importance. Like low end pedals or discs, knowing the customer is likely to upgrade those parts.

We've seen the same with steel wheels on a Miata and BMW's without a radio.

And at the low end, they'll throw on a posh rear derailleur to get the sale on a mediocre frame, but not bother so much with BB or hubs.
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Old 05-12-19, 10:15 AM
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I still have a hard time upgrading or buying anything higher than 105 lol...

Mixing stuff is a great way to keep on rolling on a budget. Buy what you can find used or old stock. I do this on ebay when I need parts. I rarely buy latest and greatest just to save the cash.
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Old 05-12-19, 03:33 PM
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Grouping like parts takes most of the guesswork out when meshing parts together.
I will be first to admit that I will try oddball parts with other components. The risk is that you may create a dysfunction with the operation/use that you the installer might only be able to address or is willing to deal with.

The cable pull ratio between road & mountain bicycle parts is an experience I can say I've had to address. The fix for it in the end was just going with the specific category for the intended parts.
Did I know what I was getting myself into? Somewhat, but not entirely at that time. I did take some good information away in doing the trial & error.

If you can risk the effort, time, costs, & all else that comes with trying out things, why not give it a shot? Otherwise, stay with the cookie cutter design of group sets.
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Old 05-12-19, 06:57 PM
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I recently upgraded the transmission on my not-a-bike (Street Strider) from 3-speed to 8-speed, using a whole rear wheel I bought from Terra Trike. I didn't want the twist-grip shifter, so bought one off Amazon, but it's not listed as being compatible with that hub. It's an Alfine shifter, and I have the Nexus Inter-8 hub. However, reviewers on Amazon said they had paired it up with the Inter-8 and it worked fine--and it does.
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Old 05-12-19, 06:57 PM
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I have a bunch of road specific rear derailleurs that I no longer use. All my road bikes use MTB rear derailleurs. They seem more technically advanced, shift better, can accommodate bigger cassettes, and cheaper when purchased in used condition. It seems weird but road parts are more expensive in my experience buying them mostly secondhand but have received very little technical innovation that MTB parts have received over the years.
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Old 05-12-19, 06:59 PM
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It makes less sense now more than ever. The newer Tiagra and even Sora stuff look very 105-ish compared to a few years ago.

This is Sora R3000 9 speed




Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
I still have a hard time upgrading or buying anything higher than 105 lol...

Mixing stuff is a great way to keep on rolling on a budget. Buy what you can find used or old stock. I do this on ebay when I need parts. I rarely buy latest and greatest just to save the cash.
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Old 05-13-19, 07:17 AM
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STI = Shimano Total Integration ... before indexing, friction shifting era, Mixing worked fine,

but marketing wished to convince you otherwise..

now , mixed components are more about cost.. a FSA crank may be offering OEM a better lot sized deal than Shimano..

and so leeps the selling price more attractive to the customer... for the whole bike..








...
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Old 05-13-19, 07:38 AM
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Ive kinda always wanted a pair of early 80s Dura Ace pedals, with the massive hollow axle. I think only one crank in history fit it.
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Old 05-13-19, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Wileyrat View Post
My 83 Team Fuji came new with Suntour derailleurs, a Sugino crankset, and Gran Comp brakes, so I don't think having a complete groupset was ever a big deal except on high end stuff.
According to Sheldon Brown: "Throughout the '70s and '80s, the Japanese bicycle industry was polarized into two contending factions: Shimano vs. everybody else. "Everybody else" mainly amounted to a loose association between SunTour (derailers [sic], shifters & freewheels), Sugino (cranks) and Dia Compe (brakes.) While European and American manufacturers would feel free to pick and choose components, Japanese bikes would generally be equipped with parts entirely from one camp or the other."

from Disraeli Gears: "From 1969 until (probably) the early 1990s Sugino was part of the JEX group (Japan Bicycle Parts Manufacturers Group for Export Promotion) along with SunTour, Dia Compe and a number of other companies. In many ways, SunTour acted as the locomotive in the JEX group, designing groupsets and sourcing the brakes from Dia Compe, the chainset from Sugino etc. etc.."
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Old 05-13-19, 09:25 AM
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As others have said above, if I'm building from the frame up, then the groupset is matching.

If I'm repairing or returning some bike to use, then the replaced component is merely functioning.
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Old 05-13-19, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
At least OP didn't call it a "gruppo" or some variation of such.
...e.g., "groupo?"
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Old 05-13-19, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Obeast View Post
Is "groupset" an outdated concept that only mfgs are pushing?
except for shifters and possibly matching derailleurs I have mixed tons of stuff across brands and speeds and they all work fine. The front derailleur can be swapped across brands and even between speeds and they work fine. Same for most Shimano rear derailleurs. As a last resort, I put on a 7 or 8 speed thumb friction shifter and it shifts everything from 8 to 12 speeds in the rear.
A lot of bikes come with a mix of components on the drivetrain. The most common is for an FSA crank to be used with an otherwise Shimano drivetrain.
The next most common approach is to use a higher spec rear derailleur with an otherwise lower group- so an Ultegra RD with an otherwise 105 drivetrain. The theory being that the name on the RD is easily seen and recognized as an upgrade.
Then there are the non-series components that get added in as cost savings. Still really quality stuff, but it just isnt part of a group. Cranksets and shifters are most common, followed by brake calipers, from what I see.

So while a groupset is a default approach to OEM bikes, you need to recognize that a large % of OEM actually isnt a full groupset even right now. MFGs dont push groupsets, they push components that will get the most bang for their buck at designated price points.

Super to hear you mix components- pretty much any tinkerer does that too. As long as you play within the established rules for given coponents, everything works fine.
That doesnt mean groupsets should be eliminated or that bike brands are pushing groupsets to exist.

As for your last resort of throwing a friction thumb shifter on anything and it working...well ok, but i dont think that is a solution that most would want to entertain since its janky as can be.


Your threads are...interesting.
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