Shimano GRX goes 12-speed and adds a huge gearing range

Shimano GRX goes 12-speed and adds a huge gearing range

New groupset day is our favourite day, and last week Shimano lifted the lid on their latest GRX groupsets. With multiple different configurations over two levels (800 series and 600 series), GRX is one of the most versatile groupsets around and has options to cater for almost any kind of off-road or all-road riding you can think of. For an in-depth dive into the new groupsets, you can head over to Cyclist or BikeRadar who have had their hands on the new components for a while, or read on below for a top-line run down of what's available. 

First of the new GRX groupsets is GRX 2x12 which Shimano is calling 'Undroppable'. It's a 48/31 double front chainset paired to an 11-34 or 11-36 cassette at the back which provides a large gearing range while also keeping jumps in cog size relatively small. 

If you're racing or want a bike that you can use on and off-road without too much trouble, 2x12 is a sensible way to go. The cassette is compatible with the standard Shimano HG freehub body so you can stick whatever wheels you're already running in the bike and you're ready to go. 

Next up is the first 1X groupset, and that's 1x12 'Unbeatable' which pairs a 40 or 42t front chainring with an 10-45t cassette at the back. That's a wide range with plenty of difference between, but doesn't go all-out for maximum range like the final groupset in the 800-series GRX. 

That's 'Unstoppable' which takes the same front crankset as the previous, but pairs it with a massive 10-51t cassette, perfect for rides where you're planning on taking on any really steep climbs, but still want the convenience of a 1X setup at the front. 

Both 1X groupsets take their cassettes from Shimano's MTB range, and as such require a rear wheel with a Microspline freehub. 

All the GRX rear mechs use Shadow+ technology, which places the mech further inboard and in a safer position should you crash. They also have longer cages and - in the 1X mechs - far larger jockey wheels to help cope with the shifting over much larger cogs. The mechs also have a clutch mechanism - which can be turned on or off - which keeps the chain tight over rough ground to make sure that you don't drop the chain at an inopportune moment. 

Below those RX820 groupsets, Shimano has also launched 600-series 12-speed GRX that uses the same derailleurs as RX820 but pairs those with a cheaper crankset, shifters and calipers for anyone who wants a 12-speed GRX setup on a smaller budget. One difference to those RX610 groupsets is the option for a 38t chainring on the front, increasing gear range even further. 

If you're interested in the new GRX groupsets, you can take a look at them right here on Freewheel