From cranks and derailleurs to brakes and wheelsets, Shimano’s new GRX goes all in on gravel.
Longer miles on safer and extra adventurous roads, gravel biking holds attraction for roadies and mountain bikers alike. And up till now, body builders have led the cost with purpose-built bicycles that try to make driving on gravel sooner and extra enjoyable.
However at this time, Shimano unveiled the “world’s first devoted gravel element collection.” Dubbed GRX, the setup gives a dialed, in-line element groupset to tackle the everyday a la carte builds extensively employed to outfit gravel frames.
And whereas the tech seems to us like a stable setup for the calls for of off-road adventures, it additionally suggests an evolution of the game itself. As soon as an offshoot of journey touring and bikepacking, gravel driving now has its personal groupset to enhance a rising fleet of “grinder” frames.
Shimano GRX: Gravel Groupset
In a nutshell, the brand new GRX collection contains a set of particular modifications many gravel fanatics beforehand needed to make themselves to every particular person element.
For instance, the GRX drivetrain facilities round an 11-speed drivetrain, out there as 1x and 2x setups. Gearing for the 2x represents the most important delta between massive and small chainrings: 48-31 with Shimano’s current 11-35 cassette. The thought is that this may fulfill mashers on lengthy flats whereas additionally giving them a combating shot at brutal or sloppy climbs.
Plus, the drivetrain, like the remainder of the GRX collection, is available in stepped costs and efficiency ranges. So riders can go for mechanical shifting (600 collection) or Di2 (800 collection). Shimano additionally affords an entry-point 2×10 drivetrain.
Entrance derailleurs sport a brand new outboard +2.5mm chainline design to supply extra tire, particles, and body clearance. Due to this, GRX entrance derailleurs will solely work with Shimano’s GRX cranks. The rear derailleur, in the meantime, is supplied with the model’s RD+ know-how to forestall chainslap on washboard terrain.
Shimano didn’t cease on the drivetrain, nonetheless. New GRX disc brake levers have a better axis (by 18 mm) to supply higher braking whereas driving on the hoods. Equally, Shimano added an antislip floor to the levers for higher buy when braking in muddy, moist circumstances.
GRX additionally provides extra braking choices with hydraulic sub-brake levers mounted to the highest of the bars. Riders with a 1x setup may even route a dropper cable into one of many GRX hydraulic disc brake levers.
Final however not least, the GRX collection features a gravel-tuned, thru-axle wheelset. Accessible in 700c and 650b, the edges sport a wider 21.6mm inside width to simply accept burlier tubeless setups.
Shimano GRX Pricing
What’s going to all these goodies price? Properly, there’s a lot mixing and matching inside the particular person parts, it’s powerful to say. For instance, wheelsets run between $200 and $420, and top-speccing the drivetrain will price nicely over $1,000.
However that’s most likely not the purpose. The aim of GRX is probably going to supply OEMs a full gravel suite to equip on brand-new gravel builds. Shimano stated GRX will turn out to be out there on 2020 mannequin yr bikes, so we’ll maintain an eye fixed out for the primary choices.
In all, GRX alerts a significant affirmation of gravel driving as a definite and more and more in style self-discipline. It permits highway riders to maneuver away from harmful, high-traffic roads. And it offers mountain bikers, cross riders, and bikepackers an adventurous choice for long-distance driving.