New Shimano product range out September 2006

We look forward to testing the new Shimano range that was launched to the press last week, headed

By Paul Vincent

We look forward to testing the new Shimano range that was launched to the press last week, headed by a complete revision to their entry level Tiagra 4500 groupset. This brings it closer to the spec of the 105 series but with a 9 speed operation an Hollowtech 2 crankset, available in triple and double, that is far lighter than its predeccesor. The STI levers have a graduated gear indicator at the front of the hood.

There are now two non-series compact cranksets - one named FC-4500-S for 9 speed operation and FC-R600 that optimizes performance using the narrower 10 speed chain, and a CS-5600 11-25t cassette in the 105 series that is intended for use with compact cranksets.

There is a new group of non-series flat-handlebar road components that are compatible with SLR road callipers including individual brake levers (BL-R770 and BL-R550) and a two ST-R221 and STR-225) E-Z Fire shift combined brake/shift levers. Though Avid have produced a cable operated, fork mounted disc brake callipers for some time now-Shimano has entered the fray with the BR-R505 that is of compact dimensions and there are accompanying hubs based on a 135mm over locknut dimension that is suited to touring bikes.

The new Alfine groupset that Shimano describe as intended for 'sporty and fashionable cycling' features a refined 8-speed system that is based on the Nexus internal hub gear that enables shifts to be made with virtually no interruption to pedalling.

There are new wheels including a new hub dynamo commuting wheel weighing 1305g and called the WH-3N71-road that sports a 3 watt, 6 volt generator. WH-7801 deep section 16/20 bladed spoke, deep section carbon wheel weighing 1525g per pair that will appeal to time triallists.
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