Shimano is very, very calculated with their product releases. Their engineers are methodical and protective of their well-earned reputation for reliability — something that consumers and bike manufacturers appreciate. Shimano’s road groupsets, particularly Ultegra, are the veritable benchmark of road drivetrains. We’ve tested, loved and continue to love the Shimano’s Ultegra R8070 Di2 Disc group because it just plain works.
Heading into the 2020 model year, Shimano is setting themselves up for gravel domination. SRAM has had a stronghold in that regard with both Rival 1 and Force 1 groupsets that have dominated the all-road market for years. Well, Shimano (though late to the party) has entered with solid offerings in both mechanical and electronic flavors. SRAM still has the 12-speed edge with both Red and Force eTap AXS, but the ergonomics of Shimano’s new GRX shifters aims to provide an edge in the rough stuff.
What’s different with Shimano GRX?
There are a few key differences between GRX and Shimano’s existing drop-bar groupsets. The biggest one is an official blending of their road and mountain bike drivetrains. Throughout the GRX range, you can go 2x or 1x and each borrows slightly from the MTB side of the house, but with gravel-focused enhancements.
- All-new 1x and 2x hoods for optimal ergonomics on rougher terrain
- Offset chainrings push things out 2.5mm for better tire clearance
- 1x setups are compatible with Shimano’s wide-range 11-42t cassette
- Clutched rear derailleurs are standard across the range
- Specific 1x and 2x derailleurs and shifters for a clean look
- GRX Di2 offerings are compatible with existing E-Tube wiring and batteries
- Can install separate inline brake levers on the tops
- Brake lever pivot point is moved upwards by 18mm for better leverage in the hoods
Expect Shimano GRX to be available on 2020 models coming out soon.
More Info: Visit Gravel.Shimano.com