Asleep at the wheel.
Right out of the gate, it’s with my foot on the gas, and unconsciousness by my side that I’ve finally at long last been given the green light to go ahead and unveil the new Shimano GRX group;
I got to rub my junk all over this some number of months ago, and was absolutely sworn to secrecy until a couple of days ago, when I wrote some questionable copy about it on my Instantgraham feed.
But because this is serious business, and there are actually a number of specific points that actual cyclists and tech nerds (unlike me who is a faker of both) would find of interest, I’ll dish up the goods as they came straight from the horse’s mouth;
Key Product Points:
Shimano GRX’s Gravel Specific Ergonomics keep you comfortable and secure when the going gets rough. With new brake lever shapes and finishes, new braking positions, and dropper post integration, GRX sets itself apart. (shifters, dropper, sub-levers)
Let others clatter down the road. The quiet, stable drivetrain of Shimano GRX doesn’t distract, instead it lets you enjoy your surroundings or focus on your effort. (rear derailleur)
Whether you prefer a single chainring or a double chainring drivetrain, Shimano GRX features Gravel Tuned Gearing that offers incredible range and a wide variety of gearing step options. (FD, crank)
Mechanical or electronic, single ring or double, 700c or 650b, dropper post or no, Shimano GRX provides a vast menu of options that allow you to customize your bike for where, how, and why you ride.
Shimano GRX encourages you to Gravel Your Way.
I second all of those sentiments, although personally, I have no idea what ‘Gravel Your Way’©™® means.
Having said all of that, real quick, let me address some bullshit before anybody has a chance to dish it up.
Already, the rumbling of naysayers can be heard on the wind, which I don’t quite understand. You see, I’m old enough to remember a time that whenever Shimano released a new group, people were stoked. In 1995 when the XTR M950 was released, across the board, everybody absolutely lost their minds;
Were people bellyaching that it wasn’t as good at the previous years’ M910 group, or that this was wrong with it, or that was wrong with it?.. Of course they weren’t. And it was expensive as hell, but it didn’t matter because it was bitchin.
The only thing that I can recall anyone ever legitimately complaining about, (and rightfully so, on account of they were impossible to keep from screaming like a scalded cat) were the XT M739 V-brakes. That’s it. Shimano makes the raddest stuff, and they stay at that drawing board until they get it right. Does the world need a gravel group, or gravel frames, or electronic shifting, or hydraulic brakes, and clipless pedals, or suspension forks, or purpose built one speed hubs, or even for that matter, production one speed frames? No, it does not. But for folks who want the option, at least in this particular case, Shimano decided to bring a group to market that provides it. You don’t want a group? Turn a blind eye and keep using your old trusty. You want one? Save up and get it. It’s not rocket science. Perhaps I’m looking at the past through rose colored glasses, but I was always stoked to see what the Evil Empire came up with, because while I generally could never afford it, both aesthetically, and obviously mechanically it was always dazzling, and that was good enough for me.
Having gotten that off my shoulders, I’ll now point my rant beam in another direction. It was just a couple of days ago Childish Gambino turned me on to this nonsense;
A 1.6 million dollar water startup, huh? Lets us take a moment to remember, and shall we never forget- Flint still doesn’t have clean water.
Mike Cessario gets the Gas Face;
You know who doesn’t though?
Cranpa from FBM, who wrote thusly;
You on weed?
STAY OFF DRUGZ
Wu Tang Cran
I’m clearly not on enough.
Lastly, I’m gonna put a bit of new info up that’s just come in from the Paul Comp camp;
YES, “SWEEPY” IS A REAL WORD, I SWEAR.
Some people just like thumb shifters! They’re simple and reliable, you can rip through a huge number of gears in one sweep, and on some shifters there’s even a “friction” setting in case you’re riding with a bent derailluer hanger, frayed cable, or mismatched drivetrain and the indexing isn’t lining up quite right.
For years now we’ve been machining Thumbie perches that enable you to convert bar-end (aka “Bar-Con or TT”) shifters into thumbshifters. These have been super popular amongst people converting drop-bar road bikes to flat, MTB riser and sweepy city handlebars.
They’ve also become a cult classic on custom touring/adventure bikes where people prefer a simpler, more reliable mechanism or a multi-position touring handlebar (like the Jones bar). Up until now we’ve offered them in Shimano and Microshift versions, but people kept asking for a SRAM version, so here we are;
These have a hinged clamp for easy installation and are compatible with 10 and 11 speed SRAM bar-end shifters, but NOT with their “R2C” (return to center) time trial shifters.
Precision machined out of American 6061 Aluminum to the highest tolerances here in sunny Chico, California!
If you’d like more information on these bad dogs, head to the SRAM Thumbies page and drink it all in.
And as I told Travis, at least in my experience, ‘sweepy’ is the word you use when putting baby animals to bed.
My riding these days is more “putter down to my beer spot down by the river” than grinding of the gravels, but I like the shape of those shifter/brake lever/ whatever the hell they call em’s.
Are they offering those in different speedways, or is it going to be 11 (12?) Speed only?
Also I loved those old Shimano xtr headsets and brake levers. When the MTN Bros would upgrade every season, you could pick up used sets for pocket change and they last forever. I probably still have some stuck in a box somewhere.
From a cursory glance, it looks like 10, and 11. https://gravel.shimano.com/en/components/
They have a 10speed compatible der that is compatible with Shimano road shifters.
Hatin’ on parts they don’t want is a shitty way for humans to live. Yet, so many choose this path. Why? My theory is the steep decline of riding in jean shorts.
Sir, what do you make of the hydraulic braking only; if I wanna be all Paul “Jed” Klampett on my decelerators instead of them hybollocks numbers, what, then? And that fucker cessario doesn’t need the gas face, he needs a fucking donkey punch…
I woke up this morning not knowing that Prime Minister Pete Nice was what my life had come to lack, but now I know. And for that I say, thank you good sir!
Or when I ask Alicia if she is AsswipE’
Now that I finally growled up and have a job and huge piles of money I have no time. I buy more and more cool assed bikes and bike shit every year and ride less and less. Goddamitt, Inused to fondle and drool over every mag issue and glass case in LBS. WTF. I used to repack bearings and reuse frayed cables by moving tears to the front. Goddammit.