Shimano is a Japanese manufacturer known worldwide for its ranges of drivetrains for bicycles intended for occasional use up to competition practice.
Each range of groupset designed by Shimano corresponds to a use and a level of practice. In this article, we will present to you the characteristics of the drivetrain ranges designed and developed by Shimano currently available as well as those whose production has ceased.
Constitution of a traditional bicycle drivetrain:
The transmission of a bicycle consists of a crankset fitted with one or more chainrings on which the cyclist apply a force, a chain which transmits the mechanical power of the crankset to the rear wheel via a cassette made up of several sprockets, a freewheel fixed to the hub of the rear wheel and which supports the cassette. The shimano chain moves on the sprockets and the chainrings by means of derailleurs operated by gear levers actuated by the cyclist. These shifters make it possible to select the best reduction or gear ratio by the cyclist in order to adapt the torque and the speed of rotation of the crankset according to the profile of the field.
It was in 1956 that the first range of Shimano drivetrain appeared with the the first Shimano derailleur , it was a copy of the Simplex 3.3.3.
How to identify the Shimano drivetrain range on my bike:
Since its beginnings Shimano has chosen to write a part number to each item of the drivetrain offered. Indeed, for example the shifters have a code ST-xxxx, the ST for shifter and the x are numbers corresponding to the level of range, to the number of speeds and therefore gives us an indication of the compatibility and the corresponding generation.
Here is a table summarizing the codes used by Shimano:
|Code||Type of component|
Shimano drivetrain ranges and compatibility:
For road bike:
In 1973 Shimano equipped a first professional team with the Shimano Dura-ace range, then in 1974 Shimano offered the first Positron indexed derailleur. In 1982, the first Shimano 105 group was offered, followed in 1983 by the Shimano 600 EX (range subsequently replaced by the ultegra). In 1984, the first Shimano Dura-ace 7400 group with indexed shifters (SIS system: Shimano Index System) was released on the market. 1990 marks the arrival of the first STI (Shimano Total Integration) indexed gear shifters, a revolution for the period. In 2009, Shimano offered its first electrically controlled drivetrain, the Shimano Dura-ace 7970 Di2, which allowed for faster and more accurate shifting.
|Dura-ace 7100||6 speed||1977|
|Dura-ace EX 7200||6 speed||1978|
|Dura-ace AX 7300||6 speed||1980|
|Dura-ace 7400||6, 7 then 8 speed shifted SIS||1984|
|Dura-ace 7410||8 speed||1993|
|Dura-ace 7700||9 speed||1996|
|Dura-ace 7800||10 speed||2004|
|Dura-ace 7900||10 speed||2008|
|Dura-ace 7970 (di2)||10 speed electric control||2009|
|Dura-ace 9000 (di2)||11 speed electric control||2012|
|Dura-ace R9100/R9150||11 speed electric control||2016|
|Sportive use||600 AX||6 speed||1981|
|600 EX||6 speed||1983|
|ultegra 600||7 speed||1987|
|ultegra 6400||8 speed|
|ultegra 6500||9 speed|
|ultegra 6600||10 speed|
|ultegra 6700 (di2)||10 speed electric control|
|ultegra 6800 (di2)||11 speed electric control|
|ultegra r8000 (di2)||11 speed electric control|
|105 slr 1050||7 speed|
|105 1056||8 speed|
|105 5500||9 speed|
|105 5600||10 speed|
|105 5700||10 speed|
|105 5800||11 speed|
|105 r7000||11 speed|
It was in 1982 that Shimano designed the world's first MTB drivetrain group, named deore xt M700. It is initially offered in 3 chainrings, 6 speeds and a cantilever braking system. Its number of gears will increase until it reaches 11 gears today. The braking system first proposed with rim pads has evolved into a more reliable disc system with better performance in all conditions. The shifters have also undergone many technical developments, in fact, the ergonomics of the levers have been improved and the cable can now be replaced by an electrical system.
|Competition||XTR M900||3 x 8 speed||1992|
|XTR M970||3 x 9 speed|
|XTR M980||2 x 10 speed|
|XTR M9000||1 x 11 speed||2016|
|Sportive use||Deore XT M700||3 x 6 speed SIS cantilever brakes||1982|
|Deore XT M730||3 x 6 speed U brake||1987|
|Deore XT||3 x 7 speed cantilever and U brake||1989|
|Deore XT M737||3 x 8 speed cantilever and V-brake||1994|
|Deore XT M739||3 x 9 speed V-brake||1996|
|Deore XT M760||3 x 9 speed dual control and disc brakes||2003|
|Deore XT M770||3 x 10 speed disc brakes||2010|
|Deore XT||1, 2 or 3 x 11 speed disc brakes||2015|
|Deore XT M8000 (Di2)||1 chainring, disc brakes, electric control||2016