Dubbed the GRX RX820 and the GRX RX610, Shimano has bumped its gravel-specific groupsets to 12-speed, offering gravel cyclists and bikepackers alike a wider range of gearing.
According to Shimano, both groupsets are broken into three categories, Unbeatable, Undroppable and Unstoppable, which are differentiated by the three available setups, 1x for gravel racing, 2x for all-round gravel riding and a 1x mullet drivetrain within each tier.
Additionally, the ergonomics of the shifters have also been updated, treating them to more flare, while the signature ridges on the top face of the shifters are carried over for optimal grip in wet or muddy conditions. Moreover, Shimano says it also improved the contact angle of the shifter body where it meets the bar, which is aimed at reducing hand pain thanks to a wider surface. Interestingly, the levers have also been treated to a new anti-slip finish that’s borrowed from the component giant’s fishing segment, which features a coarser surface for even more enhanced grip.
Regarding gearing, whereas the outgoing 11-speed groupset topped out at 11-42T in cassette size, the GRX RX820 groupset will now come with a choice of two even-larger cassettes, 10-45T or 10-51T, providing more top-end speed and bottom-end range, while things turn on Shimano Hollowtech II 1x chainsets with a choice of two chainring sizes, 40T or 42T, and three crank lengths, 170mm, 172.5mm and 175mm.
However, for those who opt for a 2x set-up, you’re limited to just one crankset option that comes fitted with 48/31T chainrings and paired with a choice of 11-34T or 11-36T cassettes. Depending on the configuration, it will require a third derailleur, the short cage RD-RX820 with a maximum cassette compatibility of 36T.
For the GRX RX610, the same 10-45T and 10-51T cassette ranges are offered for the 1x variant, but relies on a Deore M6100 component level, along with Shimano’s Microspline freehub. Also, unlike the RX820, a long-cage rear derailleur can accommodate both cassettes, while the 1x groupset comes with two chainring options, 38T and 40T rather than the 40T and 42T offered above. There’s also an extra crank length option of 165mm, meaning four in total (165mm, 170mm, 172.5mm and 175mm).
For 2x users, the same four crank lengths are offered, but chainring configurations are limited to just one option, 46/30T, but the group can be mixed and matched in order to devise more choices. There’s also only one cassette offered, an 11-36T, while an 11-34T cassette will also work.
Lastly, the shifters are also available in a 1x or 2x compatible format, with the latter foregoing the left-hand shift mechanism in favor of a brake lever only.
Here’s how the groupsets breakdown in further detail:
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