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ShimanoGRX ST -RX810 STI Shifter & Disc Brake Caliper
Item # SHIU19I
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A Big Step in the Right Direction
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Gravel has been the fastest growing segment for the past few years and Shimano has finally done something about it. GRX is a much needed drivetrain but doesn't quite go far enough with gearing for us casual riders in the mountains.
To start with, performance and looks are on par with Shimano's road groups, so really good. It's a very clean looking groupset. So if you've liked your Ultegra drivetrain but want easier gearing, going to GRX makes good sense. There's some compatibility between the two groups too which is nice.
The shifter bodies seem a bit larger for more grip but still work well for my small hands. They've got reach adjust (useful) and free stroke adjust which is not really useful - these brakes already seem to have a lot of throw and I had to do some fine bleed tuning to firm them up - bleeding these was a pain (but I've not bled other Shimano road brakes before). A very exciting step from Shimano is their decision to offer their 1x shifters with a left lever that activates a dropper! I plan to add one to my gravel bike eventually. One minor complaint I had that doesn't affect performance is that after folding the hoods back a few times for bleeds they tend to pucker away from the body on the sides.
I've had a 105 shifter paired with an SLX rear derailleur and 11-42t rear cassette (using Wolf Tooth's excellent Tanpan adapter) on the bike until now so I already knew what to expect for gearing but GRX really does shift crisper without that adapter and this group feels lighter weight.