Microshift Mezzo vs Shimano Tourney: Surprising Winner!

by | Oct 17, 2023 | Tips & Guide

When outfitting a new bike or upgrading components, one key decision is choosing the right groupset. At the entry-level, two popular options are the Microshift Mezzo and Shimano Tourney groupsets

This article provides a detailed comparison of the Microshift Mezzo vs Shimano Tourney to help riders select the best drivetrain for their needs and budget.

We will overview both the Microshift and Shimano offerings and highlight the key features and differences between the two brands’ entry-level groupset lines. Comparing factors like intended use, performance, gears, weight, price, and availability

By the end of this guide, readers will understand the strengths of each brand’s budget groupset and be able to confidently choose either the Microshift Mezzo or Shimano Tourney

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Microshift Mezzo vs Shimano Tourney Groupsets: Comparison Table

BasisMicroshift MezzoShimano Tourney
Intended UseOff-road, rough terrainCasual recreation, commuting
FeaturesPrecise shifting, wide gear range, hydraulic disc brake compatibleAffordable, durable, easy maintenance
Speeds6-9 speeds6-8 speeds
PerformanceAdvanced, smooth, fast shiftingBasic, adequate for beginners
WeightSlightly heavierSlightly lighter
PriceAffordable, better valueMost affordable entry-level option
Terrain SuitabilityRough, mountainous terrainFlat roads, mild trails
AvailabilityLess common, limited distributionVery common, wide distribution

Shimano Tourney Overview

Shimano’s Tourney groupset line aims to provide an accessible entry-level option for recreational and commuter bikes. Tourney prioritizes affordability, durability, and simplicity over maximized performance.

a shimano tourney groupset in a bicycle

Intended Uses:

  • 📌Shimano Tourney groupsets are designed for recreational bikes and commuter bikes like hybrids, rather than high-performance road or mountain bikes.

  • 📌They are intended for bikes that will be used for casual riding at relaxed paces, often in urban areas or on paved roads and gravel paths.

  • 📌Tourney is not optimized for aggressive cycling, racing, or demanding terrain. It prioritizes reliable everyday function over maximized speed or precision.

  • 📌These groupsets are ideal for beginning cyclists or commuters who ride shorter distances at slower speeds. The components are built to handle flat routes with occasional hills, not steep mountains or fast racing.

  • 📌Tourney bikes are popular for recreation and fitness, allowing riders to enjoy cycling as a hobby or low-intensity exercise. The components facilitate relaxed riding for fun and transportation.

  • 📌Hybrid bikes equipped with Tourney parts are used for riding around neighborhoods, running errands, commuting to work or school, and similar purposes where performance takes a backseat to practicality and value.

Key Features:

  • 🔑The key features of Tourney groupsets are low cost, durability, and ease of maintenance.

  • 🔑Tourney uses cheaper materials like steel and plastic to keep prices accessible to novice riders.

  • 🔑The groupsets have limited speeds, usually 6, 7, 8, or 9 rear cogs, providing a basic range of gears.

  • The Tourney components use these model numbers:
    • Tourney as A070 (6-speed)
    • Tourney TX as TX800 (7-speed)
    • Tourney TZ as TZ500 (8-speed)


  • 1.👍Tourney groupsets are very budget-friendly, making cycling more financially accessible for beginner or casual riders who want quality components without a huge investment. The affordable prices allow people to get started in the sport at the entry-level.

  • 2.👍The components are designed to be durable workhorses that can withstand regular use with minimal maintenance required. They are made to be rugged rather than featherweight. This makes Tourney ideal for daily commuting and recreational rides.

  • 3.👍Beginner cyclists can easily service and maintain Tourney components on their own without many specialized tools. The simple construction facilitates repairs and adjustments that even novice riders can handle, saving on tune-up costs.


  • 1.👎Tourney lacks advanced features like lightning-fast shifting, wide gear ranges, and powerful hydraulic disc brakes that are found on higher-end Shimano groupsets and competing brands. The technology is basic to keep costs down.

  • 2.👎The components are heavier due to the use of affordable materials like steel alloys rather than lightweight metals and composites. Weight reduction is not a priority for these groupsets.

  • 3.👎While the performance is reliable, it is more Basic compared to pricier groupsets. The shifts are rougher, less refined, and slower. Tourney is not made for competitive cycling or maximizing speed.

Microshift Mezzo Overview

Microshift Mezzo takes a different approach While Shimano Tourney focuses on value and practicality Mezzo is optimized for off-road versatility and performance. Mezzo prioritizes precise shifting and rugged durability to handle variable terrain.

microshift mezzo rear derailleur x9

Intended Uses:

  • 📌Mezzo groupsets are designed for off-road mountain bikes and gravel/cyclocross bikes rather than road or commuter bikes. They are optimized for versatility on variable terrain.

  • 📌Mezzo is intended for riding on dirt paths, trails, forest roads, gravel, and through rugged conditions. The components can withstand the impacts and stresses of off-road riding.

  • 📌The groupsets suit more adventurous riding styles rather than casual riding. Mezzo gives riders wide gear ranges to power up steep hills and precisely control speed on descents.

  • 📌The durable shifting performance supports mountain biking disciplines like cross-country, trail riding, and enduro. Mezzo also facilitates bike trips into the wilderness.

Key Features:

  • 🔑Mezzo groupsets deliver precise and responsive shifting to adapt to changing trails on the fly. Front and rear derailleurs move smoothly between gears.

  • 🔑They provide wide gear ranges on MTB cassettes and chainrings to handle steep grades off-road. This caters to riding varied terrain.

  • 🔑Mezzo is compatible with hydraulic disc brakes, which offer superior stopping power and modulation to rim brakes for off-road riding conditions.

  • Here are Mezzo variants:
    • RD-M21: A 7-speed rear derailleur
    • FD-M20: A 3-speed front derailleur
    • RD-M36L: An 8/9 speed long cage rear derailleur
    • RD-M36S: An 8/9 speed short cage rear derailleur
    • MSH-TS39-7: A 7-speed triple thumb-tap shifter set
    • TS39: A 3×8-speed thumb-tap shifter set

brand new microshift mezzo thumb shifter image


  • 1.👍The shifting performance of Mezzo groupsets is quick and crisp, allowing riders to change gears rapidly in response to changing trail conditions. The derailleurs react swiftly and smoothly for seamless gear changes.

  • 2.👍Mezzo offers a wide range of gears through mountain bike-specific cassettes and multiple front chainrings. This gives riders the lower gears needed to climb steep grades and higher gears to build speed on descents. The gear range suits varied off-road terrain.

  • 3.👍The groupsets are affordably priced compared to Shimano mountain bike component tiers aimed at enthusiasts, like SLX or XT. Mezzo provides greater value, maximizing performance per dollar.

  • 4.👍Mezzo is designed to support more aggressive riding styles associated with disciplines like trail, all-mountain, and enduro. The precise shifting and wide range enhance the control needed for speed, jumps, and technical sections.

ALSO READ: Recorded Average Cycling Speed on Indian Roads and Tips to Increase it!


  • 1.👎Because Microshift is a smaller component company than industry leader Shimano, there is a slightly higher risk of breaking or malfunctioning compared to reputable Shimano groupsets. More frequent adjustments may be required.

  • 2.👎The gear indicator windows on Mezzo shifters have empty spaces between each numbered gear, lacking the uniformity and refinement found on Shimano’s indicators. This is an aesthetic downside.

  • 3.👎Mezzo components may require more frequent replacement and maintenance compared to Shimano due to the use of materials that prioritize value over maximizing durability.

ALSO READ: All the Bicycle Component names And their Functions Explained.

Key Differences Between Microshift Mezzo and Shimano Tourney

With an understanding of their intended uses, pros, and cons. We can now dive deeper into the key differences between these two budget-friendly groupset options.

1. Performance and Features

Microshift Mezzo offers more advanced performance and features compared to Shimano Tourney. Mezzo components provide smooth, fast, and precise shifting that can handle aggressive off-road riding. Mezzo shifters utilize a dual-push design for intuitive shifting.

The groupsets offer wide gear ranges to tackle varied terrain. In contrast, Shimano Tourney has a more basic performance suitable for recreational riding and commuting. It lacks some of the advanced features and capabilities of Mezzo.

2. Weight

The Microshift Mezzo groupset tends to be slightly heavier than the Shimano Tourney. For example, the Mezzo crankset weighs approximately 350g more than a comparable Tourney crankset. However, weight is not a major point of differentiation between these two entry-level groupsets.

Both use heavier materials like steel alloys to keep costs down. For beginning and mid-level riders, Mezzo’s minor weight difference is typically not a significant disadvantage.

3. Pricing

Shimano Tourney groupsets are generally more affordable than the Microshift Mezzo. As Shimano’s most budget-friendly offering, Tourney is designed to appeal to new riders looking for the lowest-cost option. Mezzo costs slightly more as it incorporates some higher-end features and technologies borrowed from Microshift’s mountain bike lines.

However, Mezzo still provides good value for riders wanting better performance without paying premium prices. Both groupsets are significantly cheaper than pro-level components.

4. Riding Suitability

The Microshift Mezzo groupset is better suited for off-road riding and rough terrain with its smooth shifting performance across a wide gear range.

In contrast, the Shimano Tourney is more appropriate for casual riding, commuting, and recreational cycling on paved roads or mild trails. Tourney lacks the advanced features to handle aggressive trail riding or steep hills.

5. Availability

Shimano Tourney components are more readily available in both online and offline bicycle markets compared to Microshift Mezzo. As a major global brand, Shimano has a stronger distribution network making Tourney groupsets easy to find. Mezzo may be harder to find in local shops and some regions.

6. Other Key Differences:

Wheels – Both groupsets are compatible with standard wheel sizes for mountain or hybrid bikes. The specific wheels depend on the bike model, not the groupset selected.

Cassettes – Mezzo cassettes come in 6-9 speed options with a 32T max sprocket. Tourney offers 6-8 speeds and up to 34T sprockets. More speeds allow smoother gear transitions.

Gearing – The gearing ranges to suit different riding purposes. Mezzo caters to more aggressive riding with harder gear ratios. Tourney gears are easier for casual recreational use.

Pedals – Pedals are separate bike components not included in the groupsets. Both Mezzo and Tourney work with the standard platform or clipless pedals.

Efficiency – Mezzo provides higher efficiency and smoother shifts. Tourney has basic efficiency adequate for entry-level use. Advanced riders may eventually want to upgrade.

Durability – Both groupsets should deliver durable performance with proper maintenance. Mezzo aims for increased longevity under rigorous riding conditions.

Recommendations for Choosing Between Mezzo and Tourney

a shimano groupset on a bike been tested the tourney as model

Microshift Mezzo is the better choice for off-road, aggressive riding, and tackling rough terrain. The smooth shifting and wide gear range help handle trails, hills, jumps, and racing-style riding.

Shimano Tourney is more suitable for casual recreational riding, daily commuting, and entry-level cyclists. It provides basic performance for paved roads and flat paths at an affordable cost which makes them a great go for ranger cycles.

When deciding between Mezzo and Tourney, consider your budget constraints, riding style, and performance priorities:

  • 🔍If you require advanced shifting for downhill, trail, or competitive riding, Mezzo is the better investment.

  • 🔍For basic transportation and leisurely cycling, Tourney offers savings without compromising quality.

  • 🔍Mezzo fits enthusiast riders wanting better performance without the cost of pro components.

  • 🔍Tourney appeals to value-focused beginners not yet need high-end features.

  • 🔍Analyze the gearing ratios to ensure they match the terrain you plan to tackle.

By weighing factors like price, intended usage, and performance needs, you can determine whether the Microshift Mezzo or Shimano Tourney groupset is the right fit for your bicycle.

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In summary, Microshift Mezzo and Shimano Tourney each have their strengths as entry-level groupsets. Mezzo offers greater performance for aggressive off-road riding, while Tourney provides maximum affordability for casual recreational cycling.

By understanding their intended uses along with the key differences in features, capabilities, and cost, riders can decide whether the Mezzo or Tourney best matches their riding style, terrain, and budget constraints.

With this side-by-side comparison of Microshift Mezzo and Shimano Tourney groupsets, I tried to provide riders with the key information to select the best entry-level drivetrain for their particular bike and riding style.

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