Shimano GRX Di2 – First Rides, Finer Details & More! – The First Dedicated Gravel Groupset

“Following a multi-year global market study, product testing and development process, Shimano introduce the world’s first dedicated gravel component line: SHIMANO GRX. New for the 2020 model year, the SHIMANO GRX 800 series offers 1×11 and 2×11 drivetrains – with mechanical and Di2 electronic options – that allow riders to tailor their mixed surface riding experience and Explore Beyond.” – Shimano

shimano grx di2 review

Shimano kindly invited me to their GRX Media camp in beautiful Whitefish, Montana, for several days of riding, tech talk and more.

shimano grx di2 review
Shimano GRX Di2 fitted to the Pivot Vault

In this video, you’ll hear about some of the concepts behind GRX Di2, see my first rides on the GRX Di2 groupset, the finer details, impressions and so forth. In particular, shifters, derailleurs and the sub brake levers are covered, along with everything else in the groupset.

shimano grx di2 review

This particular GRX groupset was installed on a Pivot Vault (see the link below for details of that frame and fork) with a full complement of Shimano Pro cockpit parts, etc, to be ridden and reviewed long term. Additionally, there will be a Montana ride experience video coming later.

Links of Interest:

Thanks for watching!

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  1. Avatar Vitaliy

    JOM, do you have any intel if 817 rear derailleur will actually work with 2×11 setup? I know it designed for 1×11, but wondering if it will. Currently have R8070 on my Lynskey GR PRO with Rotor 46/30 front and 11/42 rear, RX805 does work but wish cage was a little longer

    • Avatar John Herrman

      Can’t speak to the 817RD, and am curious myself. I went with the 815 to go with my FSA 46/30 or 48/32 combo. For me it is better to walk when the 30/34 fails me lol. I can say upgrading to the GRX FD was worth it as it got rid of the chain rub at the extreme ends of the cassette that I could never adjust out of the standard road FD. I also noticed that the Di2 software offers me a 46/30 combo as a choice now and makes for much better syncroshift experience.

    • JOM JOM

      As an FYI, the 2x specific rear derailleur aka the 815 has the longer cage of the two, and the bigger pulleys. Knowing shimano, 34T is conservative… I will have the 2x 815 Pivot bike in my possession soon from the video (winging its way from Montana at the moment), and will test it with an 11-40 or 11-42, depend on what I have laying around… if it works, there will be video 🙂

      • Avatar Vitaliy

        Jom, you haven’t mention that in the video…does it mean it didn’t work or you just didn’t have a chance to test larger cassette (11-40 or 11-42)?
        Another question, do you know if there any difference between GRX break calipers and Ultegra R8020?
        Would you personally upgrade gravel rig with R8070 do GRX ?

        • JOM JOM

          Hello there, I have a video coming in the next couple of days where I test a big cassette with GRX Di2. The GRX brake calipers are virtually identical to Ultegra, just different labeling.

          If you like the crank gearing option for a 2x (48/31), I say go with GRX… also, the GRX Di2 shift levers are really nice! Also, the rear derailleur is more rugged for gravel, another good reason to think about GRX.

          • Avatar Vitaliy

            Very exciting, thanks a lot!

  2. Avatar John Herrman

    Must get the dropper lever! I have used the PNW CX lever and now have the Wolftooth. WT is clean install, but not in a place for frequent usage. Preferred the PNW/Pro components location.

  3. Avatar David P

    Thoughts on the new Shimano Saddle?

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