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Shimano GRX Detailed & Demoed | The First Gravel Specific Groupset


– Shimano have just launched
the world’s first gravel and adventure riding specific groupset. Shimano GRX. Here it is. Now in this video, I’m going
to give you a first look at it. I’m going to go through all
the features and options, there are quite a lot. And crucially, I’m going to explain what makes it different from
a road-specific groupset. But before I do any of that, if you appreciate our content then please subscribe to the channel and also click the bell
icon to get notifications as this really helps support the channel. (relaxed hip-hop music) Shimano GRX is the first groupset that is specifically designed
for mixed-surface riding, gravel, and adventure
riding on drop-bar bikes. The fact that it exists
at all is a testament to the growth of this kind of riding. Being able to take your bike off roads, allowing you to explore
and go on adventures is great fun, and comes with
an amazing feeling of freedom. Essentially, what you have
is Shimano’s road groupset merged with its mountain-bike ones. And firstly, there are different tiers, like other groupsets. So, you’ve got RX800, RX600, and RX400. Think of it like Shimano
Ultegra, 105, and Tiagra. Now RX800 and 600 are both 11 speed, and RX400 is 10 speed. This is the RX800 mechanical groupset. And along with the RX600 version, it’s both available in a one by 11 setup that you can see here, but also with two by
double chainsets as well. Now the 10 speed RX400 groupset is only available with two by chainsets. Oh, and there’s also a top of
the range electronic version with Di2 called RX815. There’s loads of cool and interesting tech built into the new groupset,
which I will now explain. Firstly, the levers, they’ve
been completely redesigned. And this is because
Shimano did some research and they found that riders preferentially are in the hoods rather than the drops when negotiating descents and
technical sections on gravel. So they’ve improved the braking when you’re in the hoods. And they’ve done this by
raising the pivot point of the brakes 18 millimeters. And it means you have
even greater leverage than riding in the drops, too. Making one-fingered braking easier. Riding in the hoods is actually something I found myself
doing when I was in Iceland. There’s a revised shape to the hoods and the levers as well
for better ergonomics in that off-road riding situation. And you’ve also got a textured pattern on the hood, and a matte
finish on the lever which is designed to give a bit more grip. So it’s less slippery when wet. There’s also Servo Wave technology borrowed from Shimano’s top of the range mountain-bike groupsets in the Di2 levers, these are the mechanical ones. And the Servo Wave technology results in a non-linear brake pull. The idea is that when you pull the lever, the first part of the
lever stroke is quicker and then when it engages the brake pad it comes on slower, and this is designed to give you greater
modulation when braking. However the calipers and the discs are essentially the same as what you’d get on a Shimano road groupset, you can use the mountain-bike disc rotors if you want. But they’re just badged up differently with the GRX logo on there. Interestingly though, you can fit in-line, cyclo-cross style brake levers on the tops now, if you want. Which in a hydraulic
groupset, that’s really cool! (rhythmic hip-hop music) We need to talk about gears, because there are loads
of different options. Essentially though, what you have is easier gears than what you find on most road bikes. And this is designed to
help with riding off-road, on rougher terrain, perhaps
up steep, short climbs or when the bike is loaded up with kit. Also, you have bigger spread of gears than you find on most road bikes too. And this is designed to help
with mixed-surface riding. Because sometimes you might
need or want to go faster because you’re on tarmac,
and then other times you’ll be off-road. Our bike is fitted with
the one by 11 drive train. And we’ve got a 40 tooth
cassette at the front. But there’s also a 42 tooth option if that’s what you want. And at the back I’ve
got an 11 40 cassette. But again, there’s an 11 42 tooth. And you can use other
Shimano cassettes as well, any 11 speed cassette will
in theory be compatible so you could use an 11 30 if you wanted. And the rear mech has been
completely redesigned as well. So, I really like the way this looks. It kind of blends the
aesthetic of Shimano Ultegra with their mountian-bike tech and you’ve got that direct mount linkage and the long cage, but
it looks really cool. And it also has a clutch
built into it as well. Similar to the Ultegra RX rear derailleur we did a video on last year. The clutch is there to
keep the chain tight and stop it slapping when
you’re going over bumpy terrain. And as mentioned, there are
Di2 and mechanical options. And the one by rear
derailleurs like this one have a longer cage on them to
accommodate that bigger spread of gears in the cassette. The two by rear derailleurs
are officially rated up to 34 tooth cassettes. If you go for the two by option, you’ve got a choice between two chainsets. A 48 31 and a 46 30, and good little tech
nerd fact for you here, 48 31 is the biggest spread or range of gears that
Shimano has ever offered in a chainset. Cool. There’s also another interesting
bit of tech about it. So, the chainset and front derailleur are actually shifted
outboards by 2.5 millimeters to be precise, making them slightly wider. And the idea behind this is to give you greater
tire clearance potential and also improve the chain line with those wide ranging cassettes. It’s a very similar feature
to the boost concept that you find on some mountain-bikes but with that the cassette
is also shifted outboards as well, and that’s not the case here. You just use a standard hub,
a standard cassette, easy. But you do need the
specific front derailleur because it is shifted that
2.5 millimeters outwards. Essentially the GRX front
derailleurs are exactly the same in terms of their mechanical workings as the road ones, they’re just
shifted slightly outwards. And this means the GRX has
a slightly wider Q Factor than the road groupsets. The Q Factor is the
distance between the pedals. It’s 151 millimeters here,
rather than 146 millimeters on the road groupsets. Now, Shimano reckons that this helps with greater freedom with frame design and also helps stopping your heels catch the chainstays as well. (relaxed ambient music) Overall, the key differences in the new groupset are as follows. You’ve got one by and two by options, you’ve got a bigger range
of gears at the back with a wider spread in the cassette. You’ve got a revised lever design on the brake levers and
also improved ergonomics on the hoods. You’ve got a clutch
equipped rear derailleur and you’ve got offset
chainrings at the front. Anything else? Oh yeah, if you’ve got a
redundant left hand shifter such as we have with the one by set up, you can use that to control
a Shimano dropper post. Shimano now has some dropper posts, cool! As for weights and prices, well, at the time of making this video, the pricing is still to be confirmed. But as mentioned earlier on,
the RX800 top of the range is said to be roughly
equivalent to Shimano Ultegra, which should give you an
idea of what you can expect. Regarding the weight of RX800
mechanical and Di2 groupsets, they’re roughly similar
to Shimano Ultegra. So for example, the chainset
is a little bit heavier. The one by chainset we have here is 655 grams, and the two
by 48 31 tooth version is 722 grams. If we compare this to Shimano Ultegra with a compact chainset, 50 34, that’s claimed to be 676 grams,
so, there or thereabouts. As for the shifters, well there’s a bit more difference there, so for the Di2 gravel
shifters, they’re 565 grams for a pair, and this is
compared to 458 grams for Ultegra Di2 shifters,
so, about 100 grams. The rear derailleur’s much closer though. So the GRX rear derailleur we have here with the clutch built
in, is 251 grams claimed. Versus, 248 grams, so just three grams, for Ultegra RX, also with a clutch in. So there you have it. I hope you’ve found
this video informative. And if you have then
please give it a thumbs up and share it with your friends. And let us know in the comments section what you think of
Shimano’s new GRX groupset. And also, what gearing option you’d go for if you were speccing in on a bike. Now to watch another video
on Shimano’s clutch mechanism that it has here in the GRX mech and how it stops you getting chain-slap when riding over bumpy terrain, we’ve got one in more detail down here.

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