Shimano has released a silver-polished version of its GRX gravel groupset – and we want it.
Ahead of the 2022 Unbound gravel race in Emporia, Kansas, Shimano has lifted the lid on GRX Limited, which takes the existing GRX 810 mechanical 11-speed groupset and applies a brushed and polished silver finish.
It is, as the name suggests, a limited-edition finish, with a select number of custom builders getting hold of GRX Limited at launch.
Wider availability is then expected to be in extremely short supply. We’ve asked Shimano for confirmation on numbers.
Shimano GRX Limited comes in three specs, with 1×11 and 2×11 options for drop bars and a 1×11 flat-bar version. These are priced as follows (international pricing TBC):
- 1×11: $1,360
- 2×11: $1,465
- 1×11 (flat-bar): $1,015
Limited-edition finish for custom Unbound bikes
The Japanese brand says GRX Limited “celebrates the long, illustrious heritage of drop bar adventure riding, the kind of cycling that inspired Shimano to design the world’s first dedicated gravel groupset”.
Ten custom gravel bikes will be on display at the Unbound expo ahead of Saturday’s race, built with GRX Limited, with machines from Speedvagen, Low, Firefly, Mosaic, Chumba, Mariposa, English Cycles, Seven, Enigma and Angel.
It is, as you’d expect, a stunning collection of bikes, combining custom craftsmanship with the very pretty GRX Limited drivetrain.
“Handmade frame builders have significantly influenced both the culture and technical world of gravel, crafting some of the first multi-surface drop bar bikes and inspiring stories and community with each new frame,” adds Shimano.
With the exception of the silver version of 105 R7000 and a handful of lower-priced groupsets, this is the first high-end Shimano groupset available in a handsome polished finish since Dura-Ace R9000.
A polished version of Dura-Ace R9200 was high on our wishlist for the brand’s top-end road groupset – and we hope this is a taster of things to come.
A stealth update
Eagle-eyed readers may notice this limited-edition groupset appears to have adopted the new hydraulic brake caliper design from Shimano’s recent updates to Ultegra and Dura-Ace.
The updated design includes 10 per cent greater pad clearance, in order to reduce rotor rub, and a relocated bleed port for easier maintenance.
What about a new GRX groupset?
That begs the question; when will we see a new GRX groupset?
GRX was launched in 2019, with three tiers equating to Ultegra (RX800), 105 (RX600) and Tiagra (RC400) in Shimano’s hierarchy of road groupsets. RX800 is available in mechanical and electronic variants.
The gravel scene has evolved quickly since then, with Campagnolo Ekar arriving as a 13-speed, 1x-specific gravel groupset, and SRAM responding with the launch of XPLR, which includes the 12-speed XPLR gravel drivetrain, RockShox Reverb AXS XPLR dropper post and RockShox Rudy Ultimate XPLR suspension fork.
In fact, Shimano’s typical product life cycle would suggest a new GRX isn’t too far off but, for now, GRX Limited gives us something new to drool over.