Shimano Moves into 12-Speed Mechanical Shifting

Osaka, Japan

Shimano has introduced 12-speed mechanical shifting, with the release of two new group sets this week – the 105 R7100 Mechanical 12-speed group set for the road and GRX RX820 12-speed mechanical components for the gravel.

It says the new releases are bringing “the pure joy of self-powered adventure to the massive community of cycling enthusiasts looking for reliable, easy-to-maintain componentry at an affordable price”.

The 105 R7100 Mechanical 12-speed group ensemble comes with an RD-R7100 rear derailleur equipped with Shimano’s Shadow Rd technology, offering a low profile and single-tension construction, and the FD-R7100 front derailleur featuring toggle-link construction.

Shimano says the Shimano GRX RX820 12-speed mechanical components continues the Japanese company’s legacy of innovation as the originator of gravel-specific components.

“Rooted in simplicity, reliability and adventure, the new 12-speed GRX line-up delivers more gearing options, along with unrivalled ergonomics so riders get the most out each unpaved adventure,” it says in a statement.

Product shot of Shimano 105 R7100 Mechanical 12-speed group ensemble
The 105 R7100 Mechanical 12-speed group ensemble comes with an RD-R7100 rear derailleur equipped with Shimano’s Shadow Rd technology.

“Shimano GRX includes three unique 12-speed mechanical drivetrain personalities to cover the full spectrum of riders and rides.”

The RX820 1×12 UNBEATABLE setup, with a 10-45 cassette paired with a 40 or 42-tooth chainring, targets competitors and people chasing speed.

The RX820 1×12 UNSTOPPABLE option features Shimano’s wide-range, 10-51T cassette, along with a 40 or 42-tooth chainring, to deliver optimal climbing gears for the steepest jeep roads or high mountain ascents.

The UNSTOPPABLE setup includes the RD-RX822-GSG long-cage rear derailleur and integrated SHADOW RD+ chain stabiliser optimised for use with the 10-51T cassette.

This new generation of GRX brings the ability to change or replace the derailleur cage between 1×12 options, removing the need to buy a whole new derailleur.

In addition, it brings Shimano’s Micro Spline mountain bike hub technology to gravel with both 1×12 mechanical GRX setups. The lightweight aluminium freehub design seamlessly integrates with 10-tooth top gears and features smaller, more widely spaced splines that limit cog damage over time.

The 2×12 RX820 UNDROPPABLE drivetrain combines aspects of the Unbeatable and Unstoppable pairing gravel-optimised 48/31 front chainrings with an 11-34T or 11-36T cassette. This setup delivers an ultra-wide gear range for spinning a comfortable cadence when cruising the flats, smashing endless dirt road rollers, or tackling a massive backcountry climb.

Close up of Shimano’s first 12-speed mechanical shifting system
Shimano GRX comes with the option of three 12-speed mechanical drivetrain configurations to cover the full spectrum of riders and rides – the Unbeatable, the Unstoppable and the Undroppable.

New Gravel Wheels and Cranks

Along with GRX mechanical components, Shimano is introducing an updated carbon gravel wheel.

The new RX880 wheelset is 64 grams lighter per pair than its predecessor and features the same shallow 32 mm rim height for faster acceleration and quicker climbing. The RX880 wheels are tubeless-ready and employ a progressive 25 mm inner rim width that’s suitable for tyres from 32 mm to 50 mm wide.

User-friendly compatibility is enhanced through a revamped direct engagement hub design, borrowed from DURA-ACE wheels, that easily converts between Micro Spline and HG L2 12-speed freehub bodies and features quick and efficient engagement.

The RX880 hubs and rims are laced with 24 J-bend spokes front and rear for maximum strength and reliability.

For more budget conscious consumers and to allow a wider price range on complete gravel bikes, Shimano has updated its 600-series cranks and shift levers for 1×12 and 2×12 set-ups, utilising trickle-down technology from the original 800 series GRX component line.

Features include textured hoods and anti-slip brake lever coating to bolster control on rugged terrain. The new cranksets offer gearing options that specifically cater to the demands of gravel riding.

The RX610 2×12 crank features 46/30 chainrings and is available in 165 mm, 170 mm, 172.5 mm, and 175 mm crank arm lengths. The RX610 1×12 crank has the same four crank length options and is available with new and highly durable steel 38T and 40T chainrings to pair with a 10-45T or 10-51T cassette.

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