Shimano’s latest bike bling is a gravel rider’s dream

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Shimano’s limited edition GRX 800 groupset, looks great on a custom steel gravel bike. (Photo: Shimano/Kevin Fickling)
Shimano’s limited edition GRX 800 groupset, looks great on a custom steel gravel bike. (Photo: Shimano/Kevin Fickling)
  • Want Japanese reliability, modern functionality and a classic aesthetic on your gravel bike?
  • Shimano’s latest product release is a very bright version of the GRX 800 gravel bike specification groupset.
  • To show its support for independent frame builders, you won’t be able to buy these special edition GRX 800 components through a normal retail channel.

Shimano’s GRX 800 is a popular gravel bike groupset. The Japanese component supplier is renowned for its robust products, and gravel riders appreciate the durability of GRX 800 groups.

But there is always the question of aesthetics. In all segments of cycling. And gravel riding is no different.

Riders covet bikes that ride well – and look good. And in the gravel riding realm, that often means going custom.

To provide its custom gravel bike customers with something that will increase the appeal of their boutique builds, Shimano has created a limited edition GRX 800 groupset.

GRX 800
Polished aluminium crank arms work with any custom frame colour. . (Photo: Shimano/Kevin Fickling)

Gears for all handlebar types 

There aren’t notable mechanical changes to the GRX 800 drivetrain or brakes. But it has all become a lot shinier.

Riders can choose from three drivetrain options. There are 1x11 and 2x11 drivetrains, with dropbar specific shifting.

For those gravel riders who edge closer to a retro mountain bike build, with flat bars, there is a polished GRX 800 1x11 drivetrain, with conventional thumb-trigger shifters.

Gravel bike Shimano
The GRX 800 2x11 option gives you all the gear ratios you could need. And a polished large blade chainring. (Photo: Shimano/Kevin Fickling)

Make it better - by going brighter 

Shimano’s industrial engineering department has applied a polished finish to these limited edition GRX 800 groupsets.

This bright metal finish, glimmering in the sun, is something that completes the look of a custom colourway gravel bike. 

All colours and graphic patterns, subtle or bright, work with a polished metal finish. Whatever build you desire, Shimano’s new GRX 800 groupset, will work a treat.

Shimano GRX gravel
Even Italian road and gravel bike groupset fans, will admit to the aesthetic merit of these new Shimano bits. (Photo: Shimano/Kevin Fickling)

You can't buy it online - or at the local bike shop

Riders who are keen to upgrade their existing Shimano groupsets for a polished GRX 800 option, need to manage expectations.

Shimano will only produce a few thousand of its polished GRX 800 groupsets – and they are allocated to custom bike builders.

If you want the proven reliability of Shimano GRX 800 shifting and brakes, with a polished finish, you’ll need to commission a custom gravel bike, from an independent builder.

The GRX 800 groupset has been an enabler for gravel riders, to grind out big Karoo distances, without mechanical issues. (Photo: Shimano/Kevin Fickling)

Rewarding custom bike builders

 Since the pandemic, Shimano’s bicycle component business has posted its greatest revenue numbers. It controls the global bicycle market, by enabling standards and steering design trends.

By limiting its polished GRX 800 gravel bike groupset to custom builders, the Japanese company shows that it values the art of independent fabrication.

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