Shimano GRX Di2 review It’s pretty fun to be a gear tester in the age of gravel’s rapid birth and astronomical rise. Everyone’s got an opinion about what gravel is and what it should be. Perhaps Shimano has an outsized say in that narrative. With the launch of the GRX drivetrain, Shimano sent a loud message to the bike world: Gravel bikes deserve their own drivetrain. No more retrofitting.
A company makes such claims when it recognizes a certain type of riding isn’t going away. So drop-bar riding on dirt? Here to stay. (Yep, you can argue it never went away. I lived through the 90s and early 2000s too!)
That means the GRX drivetrain deserves analysis on its intended use, rather than against drivetrains retrofitted from the MTB or road world. And that’s what I’ve done over the course of the last year.
See it in action in my video review above, but keep reading for closeup photos and a few extra details not included in the video. What is GRX?
The rear derailleur features a clutch system. Engage the clutch to add tension to the cage and thus the chain, and disengage it to add slack to the system for easy wheel removal. The GRX drivetrain looks a lot like any other drivetrain, which shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Gravel looks an awful lot like other types of riding, at least at first glance. But as is the case with gravel riding itself, the subtleties of the […]