Top 10 road bike groupsets manufacturers in the world

Top 10 road bike groupsets manufacturers in the world

After many newbies contact road bike, the first thing to consider is the choice of bike groupsets.

Today, we start from scratch with an in-depth understanding of road bike groupsets.

Bike groupsets include brake, shift lever, front and rear derailleur, crankset, chain, and freewheel, which are the parts involved in brakes, gear shift, and gearing system.

Here are the top 10 road bike groupsets manufacturers in the world: Shimano, SRAM, Campagnolo, Rotor, FSA, microSHIFT, LTWOO, SENSAH, S-ride and WheelTop.

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    Top 10 road bike groupsets manufacturers in the world in 2023

    Bike groupsets are usually the most important thing we look at when buying a road bike apart from frame and wheel groupsets, and it is also the key factor that directly affects the price of a bike.

    Higher grade bike groupsets are usually lighter and more durable. There are more and more electric bike groupsets available on the market.

    These products use electric bike batteries and electric motors to power front and rear derailleur shifts, and generally offer greater performance and durability than traditional mechanical derailleurs.

    Shimano

    Company website https://www.shimano.com/

    Shimano is currently the world’s largest and best-known brand of bicycle parts and accessories. It is also one of the top 10 e-bike conversion kits brands in the world.

    Shimano was founded in Osaka, Japan in 1921 and has a history of more than 100 years. With subsidiaries in 17 countries around the world, Shimano has a wide range of products and businesses in addition to bicycle parts and accessories.

    Shimano is passionate about technological innovation and has a wide range of bike groupsets to choose from, with Claris and Sora groupsets being the top choices for entry-level road bikes, and Tiagra groupsets being the most advanced.

    105 Groupets are ideal for use with high-performance bikes. If you want to go a step further in performance, consider the Ultegra series of bike groupsets, which is basically close to the top-of-the-line Dura-Ace groupsets in performance, but just a little heavier.

    8-speed groupsets Claris R2000

    Shimano also has a Gravel bike groupsets called GRX, and the latest versions of the Ultegra and Dura-Ace groupsets released by Shimano in 2021 are only available with electronic derailleur groupsets.

    Shimano claims that the current generation of Dura-Ace R9200 groupsets further improves shift speeds, with the rear derailleur being 58% faster and the front derailleur 45% faster than before.

    The size of the shifter has changed from the old version, making it easier to grip on bumpy roads, and the cassette is 12-speed, the minimum cassette is 11-gear.

    The brake discs are XTR-style. Calipers also use mountain bike technology to minimize disc rubbing.

    105-class R7000 bike groupsets are Shimano’s only 11-speed road bike groupsets at this time, using most of the technology used in the previous generation of Ultegra groupsets, and equipped with a chunky crank similar to the top-of-the-range product.

    Until now, Shimano Tiagra and lower bike groupsets do not use Shimano Shadow RD+ technology derived from mountain bikes.

    Tiagra 4700 is a 10-speed groupset that can be paired with finger pivots for mounting on flat handlebars on road or folding bikes, and is also available in an oil disc version.

    Similar to Tiagra, the SORA R3000 groupsets come with a four-jaw crankset, and the groupsets remain a 9-speed design. The brakes are double-axle clamps, improving performance by 20% over the old version. There is no oil disc version.

    Speaking of Shimano’s entry-level models, the Claris R2000 8-speed groupset offers riders a more cost-effective option with Shimano’s signature clean look.

    Dura-Ace R9200 groupsets

    There are six different cassettes available. With only eight cassettes, shifting may not be as smooth as the higher-end products.

    For those on a budget, Shimano also offers Tourney groupsets, a model of groupsets that you may not see on sports bikes, and shifter that operates slightly differently than the higher-end models, and has a more vintage look and feel. It is available in dual and triple disc versions.

    In response to the current growing gravel bike market, Shimano introduced GRX groupset in 2019. This groupset is available in mechanical and electronic versions.

    Compared to the regular road bike groupset, the GRX has 2.5mm more front derailleur clearance for compatibility with wider tires.

    The rear derailleur is equipped with Shimano’s Chain Stabilization System for reducing chain hop.

    The short-legged rear derailleur for twin discs is compatible with up to a 34-gear cassette, while the long-legged rear derailleur for single disc systems is compatible with up to a 42-gear cassette.

    The discs are smaller in size, and appear to be more like mountain bike cranksets.

    SRAM

    Company website https://www.sram.com/

    As one of the top 10 road bike groupsets manufacturers in the world, SRAM was founded in 1987 in Chicago.

    SRAM is an acronym that includes the names of its founders Scott, Ray and Sam.

    The year after the company was officially founded, Ray took inspiration from motorcycles and introduced turnbuckle shifting for the road bikes, and then followed the mountain bike trend with a mountain version of turnbuckles.

    The use is similar to driving a motorcycle. You only need to gently turn the handle to realize the speed change. It can be said to be very easy and convenient.

    SRAM Force eTap AXS

    Such a product naturally became popular in the industry very quickly, and SRAM is also known by more and more people.

    In its subsequent development, SRAM invested in and acquired other bicycle parts companies to form a complete bicycle parts product line, and also crossed over to become the world’s top brand.

    Although it is the most acquisitive company in the industry, SRAM has never given up its research and development and efforts in technology. It launched the world’s first wireless electronic derailleur groupsets, the 11-speed SRAM Red eTap in 2015.

    In 2019, SRAM launched two more 12-speed wireless groupsets SRAM Red eTap AXS and SRAM Force eTap AXS in 2021.

    It further lowers the price barrier for wireless variants with the Rival eTap AXS.SRAM’s electronic derailleur groupsets using the same battery regardless of front and rear derailleur.

    A single disc version is available for any group level. SRAM’s wireless road electronic derailleur groupsets are compatible with mountain electronic derailleur groupsets.

    Gravel bike users can use a 10-52 gears mountain bike cassette on their bikes, and it’s also convenient for folding bike and flat handlebar road bike riders.

    SRAM Red eTap AXS

    SRAM eTap AXS radio derailleurs use SRAM’s own communication protocol, “AIREA”, instead of ANT+ or Bluetooth.

    By default, one side of the derailleur controls the rear derailleur, while both sides of the derailleur control the front derailleur, and like Shimano’s gearboxes, the buttons can be customized and set to sequential shifts.

    The SRAM Force eTap AXS groupsets are very similar to the Red eTap AXS, just a little heavier.

    SRAM Rival eTap AXS is similar to the more advanced SRAM wireless electronic derailleur groupsets, which are also 12-speed.

    Differences are in the crank, front and rear derailleur materials and weight. You can choose between a hydraulic disc brake or a mechanical rim brake version.

    There is also the option of a single-sided power meter, which is relatively inexpensive.

    Campagnolo

    Company website https://www.campagnolo.com/

    Founded in 1933, the Italian brand Campagnolo was the first of the big three to start making bike shifters.

    In the early 1920s, Tullio Campanulo was already a well-known Italian cyclist. Tullio Campanulo came to the end of his sporting career when he invented the Quick Release bike, which was the first step in his entrepreneurial career.

    Later, he invented the rear derailleur, which was a great success on the market.

    In the 1990s, Campagnolo’s road bike groupsets gradually declined in market share due to their high price, and Campagnolo introduced the Super Record EPS derailleur, which is currently the most expensive production groupsets on the market, with both rim and disc brake versions.

    Campagnolo office

    Its hand shifters are used differently than Shimano and SRAM. The brand’s disc brake system was developed in collaboration with Magura, a veteran German disc brake manufacturer.

    It is claimed to brake 23-26% faster than competitors’ wet. In addition to the high performance of the disc brakes, Campagnolo’s rim brake clamps are also impressively responsive and effective.

    Super Record groupsets are made of carbon fiber and titanium alloy, and are generally lighter in weight. Campagnolo has developed a new chain, front and rear derailleur, shifter and other components for the 12-speed system.

    The performance difference between Record and Super Record groupsets is not significant, but the amount of carbon fiber used is slightly lower and the weight is slightly higher.

    Campagnolo products

    For example, the Record crankset weighs 651g, while the Super Record standard disc weighs 603g. The Record shifter is also made of composite materials.

    However, the ceramic bearings in the rear derailleur guide wheel have been eliminated. The Chrous groupsets, which are in the same class as the Shimano 105 groupsets, are also 12-speed, with a choice of rim or disc brakes.

    The Crankset weighs 683g. In September 2020, Campagnolo is launching a new 13-speed Gravel bike groupsets Ekar, which is only available in a mechanical disc brake configuration.

    Available in a mechanical disc brake configuration. The price is similar to SRAM and Shimano products. The weight is very light.

    Rotor

    Company website https://rotorbike.com/

    Spanish manufacturer ROTOR, famous for its elliptical discs, has spent 6 years of intensive research to announce the road bike groupsets called UNO in the spring 2016 at the Euroshow.

    And further upgraded it to become the world’s first 13-speed oil-hydraulic bike shifter groupsets at the Eurobike show in 2018, attracting a lot of attention.

    Rotor product

    Its cassette construction uses Shimano’s mainstream tower base structure, paired with a 12-speed chain using KMC. It is said to be more suitable for use in races with harsh road conditions.

    Rotor products

    FSA

    Company website https://www.fullspeedahead.com/

    FSA’s main business direction is to produce all kinds of spare parts and wheelsets for road bikes and mountain bikes, and its products are complete and abundant. It is often seen in major races around the world. You can check the road bike speed vs mountain bike speed for your reference.

    They have also launched their own bike groupsets, and some time ago, Italian motorcycle giant Ducati released its first e-bike Futa, which is equipped with FSA’s K-Force WE wireless electronic groupsets and FSA motor system, which shows FSA’s recognition by the bike manufacturers.

    FSA product

    The advantages of these wireless electronic groupsets are quite numerous. With wireless technology, the shifter communicates with the chain holder without cables, allowing for more precise shifting and easier adjustments.

    And with adjustable travel and two brake lever lengths to choose from, the shifter allows users to achieve excellent settings.

    Battery life is also long, and even if you forget the battery in the bike, there is an alarm to remind you to charge it. There are also smooth and quiet gear changes that are excellent.

    The combined configuration is similar to the latest 12-speed Shimano Dura-Ace and Ultegra.

    FSA products

    microSHIFT

    Company website https://www.microshift.com/

    microSHIFT has long been a favourite among bike manufacturers, professional athletes and entry-level cyclists.

    The product line-up ranges from recreational to entry-level and even sports.

    microSHIFT product

    Over the past few years, microSHIFT has launched products with very good value, and the current popular trends have not been left behind.

    Whether from the price point or aesthetic smoothness is a good choice.

    microSHIFT products

    LTWOO

    Company website https://ltwoo.bike/

    Founded in 2013, LTWOO is the first company to develop bike groupsets in China.

    Since its establishment, LTWOO has been dedicated to the R&D and production of sport and civilian bike groupsets, which is a completely different path from those brands that are bent on imitation.

    LTWOO product

    The company has launched good products in both mountain bike groupsets and road bike groupsets, and has won orders from many Chinese bike brands.

    LTWOO products

    SENSAH

    Company website https://www.sensahsmart.com/

    Founded in 2014, SENSAH is a Chinese brand, just one year after LTWOO.

    SENSAH not only has its own manufacturing supply chain, but also has a perfect material processing system and very mature industrial support.

    SENSAH office

    The fineness and maturity of the products are very high. SENSAH folding bike modification parts in the early years are also doing a good job, and product quality is very guaranteed.

    SENSAH’s road bike groupsets have gained a lot of attention and support at the beginning of the market, coupled with its own excellent reputation and the international factory groupsets out of stock and price increases in the environment.

    It can be said that the timing is right. There are no accidents in the true sense of China’s explosion of the road bike groupsets.

    SENSAH products

    S-ride

    Company website https://www.s-ridebike.com/

    S-Ride is a brand that still has a lot of room for improvement in terms of marketing.

    Anyone who has tried their products will be impressed by their excellent feel. The 13-speed groupset they introduced is close to industry-leading.

    Shifting is fast, precise and smooth, and it adapts well to various road conditions.

    S-ride product

    In the past few years, due to the rising demand of Chinese bicycle users, Chinese bicycle groupset brands are also in rapid development, with more and more investment in R&D technology, as well as a variety of OEM factories honing production capacity, so that the Chinese bicycle groupset brand is no longer cheap and inferior before.

    It is believed that in the future, with the development of the market and the improvement of their own strength, there will be more bicycle manufacturers who will also begin to adopt the Chinese groupset.

    S-ride products

    WheelTop

    Company website https://WheelTop.com/

    Established in 1951, WheelTop was founded on the pursuit of excellence in bicycle drivetrain components.

    With rigorous craftsmanship and quality, the company gained market recognition and gradually expanded its product line to include various bicycle parts.

    WheelTop has established close partnerships with major global bicycle manufacturers.

    WheelTop product

    The company has always adhered to its vision of making the world a better place through better bicycle products.

    It continuously promotes technological innovation and quality improvement, allowing more cycling enthusiasts to enjoy better products and services at more affordable prices.

    In 2015, WheelTop initiated research and development of high-end bicycle components to meet the growing global demand for premium cycling products and experiences.

    Seven years later, in 2022, WheelTop proudly launched the EDS OX series.

    WheelTop products

    WheelTop’s cutting-edge EDS OX series is designed to deliver efficient, high-quality wireless gear shifting while providing exceptional value to our customers.

    WheelTop have streamlined installation and operation processes to ensure riders can focus solely on the thrill of the ride – both uphill and downhill.

    Conclusion

    Above are the top 10 road bike groupsets manufacturers in the world.

    For new riders who are hesitant to buy a groupset, it may be a good idea to raise the budget for the purchase.

    As the price rises, the weight of the groupset decreases. Manufacturers usually use more expensive bike frame materials to maintain the strength, durability and rigidity of the components.

    For example, an entry-level groupset is usually made with a steel cassette, while a high-end product may use titanium alloy to make the cassette.

    High-end products are usually made with tighter tolerances. Shifting is smoother, more precise and faster.

    At present, high-end groupset has basically adopted electronic shifting, which also provides smooth and fast shifting performance when going uphill or cranking the bike.

    The top of the range groupset from all the major brands is very close to the second top of the range groupset. The main difference between the two is the weight.

    If properly maintained, a low to mid-range groupset will last a long time.

    There is no need for the average rider to consider purchasing a top-of-the-line groupset such as SuperRecord or Dura-Ace, which are not designed for everyday use.

    In contrast, the sub-top groupset is more robust and cheaper. Consumables such as chains and cassettes can be saved significantly if you use a Chorus groupset or 105 groupset.

    Chocolatezhu
    Chocolatezhu
    Hi, I'm an experienced writer about mechanic and an expert on bike and e-bike tech who appreciates practical, beautifully-engineered things. And of course, I love cycling.
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