Shimano

From Academic Kids

Shimano is a Japanese manufacturer of cycling, golf, fishing and snowboarding components.

Cycling

Shimano products include drivetrain, brake, wheel and pedal components for leisure, road and mountain bikes. These components are generally organised and sold as groupsets intended to be supplied as a near complete collection of a bicycle's mechanical parts.

Groupsets commonly include: crankset comprising cranks and chainrings; chain; rear gear cogs or cassette; gear shift levers; brakes; brake levers; cables; front and rear gear mechanisms or derailleurs.

The Italian firm Campagnolo is a competitor as the other major manufacturer of road groupsets.

In 2003 Shimano introduced "Dual Control" to mountain bikes, where the gear shift mechanism is integrated into the brake levers, and reintroduced the "Rapid Rise" rear derailler which works in the opposite direction to traditional deraillers. This development was controversial and cynics viewed it as an attempt to monopolise the mountain bike components market because the use of Dual Control integrated shifting requires the use of Shimano brakes, and the Rapid Rise derailler is believed to work more effectively with the Dual Control system. Shimano also introduced new proprietary standards for disc brakes and hubs, and for bottom brackets and cranksets, further fueling speculation about monopolistic intentions.

In 2004 the SRAM group acquired the capacity to compete with Shimano in building complete groupsets for mountain bikes, including complete drivetrains, brake systems, and suspension components. With refinements by both Shimano and SRAM, such as the different leverage ratio used by SRAM rear deraillers and Shimano's move to Rapid Rise deraillers, many of the components produced by each company are incompatible with the other's products. Many users of high-end components believe SRAM's high-end products perform better and are more durable than Shimano's, so as of the beginning of 2005, many users are threatening to switch to SRAM groupsets as a result of Shimano's move to proprietary standards.

Many people believe that "VIA", which is stamped on all Shimano parts, is a form of corporate logo, since it does not appear on Campagnolo parts, for instance. In fact, VIA is an official approval stamp used to certify parts of Japanese vehicles - including bicycles.

Current road bicycle groupsets include:

  • Dura-Ace
  • Ultegra
  • 105
  • Tiagra
  • Sora

Current mountain bicycle groupsets include:

  • Saint - This is the top of the range for DH/FR bikes
  • Hone
  • XTR - This is the top of the range for XC bikes
  • XT
  • LX
  • Deore
  • Alivio
  • Acera
  • Altus

External links

de:Shimano

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