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The all important Shimano ''codes" explained

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Ok so this is the Shimano codes explained.

I just want to start of by saying that I got this from an international Cycling forum.(BikeRadar.com) And I don't want to take credit for someone's  work , I just found it interesting. It is quite helpful when buying second hand and there is no name like XT or SLX on the part.


Shimano part numbers are of the form

AB-C wxy

Where AB and C are letters, and w, x and y are numbers

AB denotes which bit of the bike it is, some examples:
RD=Rear Derailleur
FD=Front Derailleur
HB=Hub (front)
FH=FreeHub (rear hub)
BR=Brake (caliper)
BL=Brake Lever
SL=Shift Lever
ST=STI levers (road or mountain)
FC=Front Crankset
BB=Bottom Bracket

C denotes which discipline. M for Mountain, R for Road, A or T for Audax or Touring.
So BR-Mwxy is a mountain bike brake caliper.

w is used to denote the product group:
M3xy and M4xy are below Deore
M5xy is Deore
M6xy is LX and Hone
M7xy is XT
M8xy is Saint
M9xy is XTR

The x is the 'major' change. M95y was the matt XTR, M96y was the shiny, M970 is the latest.
The y are minor variations. RD-M951 was the rapid-rise version of RD-M950. But otherwise they are exactly the same. They do similar things with front mechs and clamp sizes, too.

You also sometimes get letters after the codes. RD-M951 SGS is the SGS version.

Below is the date codes they are normally a little silver sticker somewhere on the part.


A 1976
B 1977
C 1978
D 1979
E 1980
F 1981
G 1982
H 1983
I 1984
J 1985
K 1986
L 1987
M 1988
N 1989
O 1990
P 1991
Q 1992
R 1993
S 1994
T 1995
U 1996
V 1997
W 1998
X 1999
Y 2000
Z 2001
A 2002
B 2003

C 2004

D 2005

E 2006

F 2007

G 2008

H 2009

I 2010

J 2011

K 2012

L 2013

M 2014



If I made any mistakes or if there is already a topic(I couldn't found one) like this on the hub please tell my, and I will edit.

Edited by R.smith
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According to google its a rear XTR hub. So looks like there might be a few variants in the codes above. I guess its never clear cut but just a very good guideline in most cases.

nah its a thru axle, just wondered if the code fitted in with the key above


the date sticker fitted, which is useful


thanks for posting this guide, always wondered what those little silver stickers were!

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SM denotes SMall parts...AX is AXle and 75 is the groupset code so the older XT/XTR


Also the groupset numbers can denote the years i.e. XTR 960 series was released in 2006 and ran till late 2009 when XTR 970 series came out, then XTR 980 was released 2011 there abouts...there is generally a 3-4 year cycle between revamps.

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