Groupsets buying guide

Category: Components

Groupsets buying guide

Your groupset is the collective term for all the bits that make your bike move (and in some cases, stop again). That is, the transmission including chainset and gears, and in many cases the brakes too.

A bike’s full groupset will normally consist of the following:

Gear shifters
Front derailleur
Rear derailleur
Cassette Bottom bracket Chain Cables

Basically, all the parts on your bike that aren’t your frame, wheels and finishing kit.

Which groupset is right for me?

Groupset buying guide

Or you might also ask, why would I buy a groupset, seeing as my bike already has all of those bits? Good question.

Full groupsets are an option for road or mountain bike riders who wish to build up a bare frame from scratch to their chosen specifications, or for riders who wish to upgrade an existing bike with a completely new suite of parts, to save weight, improve performance or both. In either case, a full gruppo may appeal as in most instances, the constituent parts are designed to work best in unison, i.e. Shimano shifters will only work with Shimano rear derailleurs, a 10 speed chain with a 10 speed cassette and so on…

• Component parts of groupsets, and in particular transmission elements such as cassette, chain and chainrings are also what’s called consumable parts, in that they wear down over time and need to be replaced. When enough of them need replacing a full group might be the best value option.

• Some riders lucky enough to own much-loved or classic frames – a classic steel-tubed steed with the geometry dialled just right – may also want to upgrade their transmission to take advantage of technological improvements in the interim. Developments in recent years have seen changes to ‘standard’ gearing, with 2×10 now commonplace on MTBs and more road bikes moving up to 11-speed, electronic or even hydraulic shifting.

• While parts get lighter and better-engineered over time, riders who are prone to breaking bits might also want to beef up their bike with a gravity-geared gruppo that can take a bit more punishment.

Whatever your reason for considering a new groupset, and be they down to practical considerations or simple upgrade-lust, our selection will see you right.

MTB groupsets

Choose from our double- and triple-ring setups with options for budget cross-country and all-round trail riding, gravity bikes or top-end race kit. Select the correct derailleur type for your bike and pick your preferred gear range, crank length and more.

Read our guide to Shimano mountain bike groupsets

Mountain bike groupsets at Chain Reaction Cycles

Road groupsets

Upgrade your 10-speed road groupset or make the jump to 11-speed with our mechanical and electronic options. Select the correct derailleur type for your bike and pick your preferred gear range, crank length and more.

Read our guide to Shimano road groupsets

Road bike groupsets at Chain Reaction Cycles

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