Value Product of the Year Winner
2020's Value Product of the Year nominees
included Microshift's Advent X drivetrain, RockShox's DebonAir spring and Marzocchi's Z1 coil upgrade, which all offer a whole lot of performance for the money but to us, the winner is Shimano's Deore drivetrain.
Why it's the winner
Deore has always been the more budget-friendly drivetrain from Shimano and the updates it received this year put it in a class of its own. Not only does it perform well, but it's widely compatible and has accompanying 11 and 10-speed groupsets which carry over a lot of the features of the full-featured 12-speed edition in an even more value-focused package.
At under $300 USD for a derailleur, shifter, cassette, chain, and crankset, it's a value that is hard to beat. It comes in at a fraction of the price of Shimano's XT and XTR groups. While it does weigh a bit more, it offers a lot of the performance we see in the higher tier groups and is the widest range drivetrain in this price range we have seen perform at the level it does. The cassette and chain use Shimano's Hyperglide+ technology which allows riders to shift while they're pedaling hard, under load, without it feeling like you're going to break your bike...and in this case, it keeps your bank account intact as well.
Yes, we know that it also won 'Component of the Year' but, it's also the best value product in our minds for a lot of the same reasons.