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Shimano eyes urban cycling market with new 1x11 groupset with hydraulic disc brakes

You wait ages for a new groupset, and along come loads at the same time (SRAM wireless, FSA, Magura), and Shimano's Metrea 1x11 groupset, launched at Eurobike, which is aimed at what the Japanese company calls the “forthcoming renaissance in urban cycling.”

Urban cycling is already pretty popular. Has been for many years. There’s no doubt there are more people getting into cycling as a form of transportation, for riding to and from work. The vast majority of urban bikes are designed around either road or mountain bike groupsets. Shimano is obviously keen to change this, and has designed a groupset specifically to meet the requirements of urban cyclists.

Shimano Metrea is intended to offer simple functionality with an understated appearance. It’s sleek and stylish. It’s a good looking groupset. It’s clear, from the way Shimano presented the new groupset, that it wants to appeal to the style conscious cycling consumers who value aesthetics when considering a new urban bike.

There aren’t a lot of details available at the moment. The bike pictured has a 1x11 drivetrain with a chain guard. We’re told there might be a double chainring option, but we reckon the single ring setup is perfect for most urban cyclists. With the wide-range cassette most hills shouldn’t pose too many difficulties.

Without doubt the most interesting part of the new bike are the shifters and brake levers. Fitted to a bullhorn handlebar are time trial style brake levers and shifter pods. It appears that there is one shifter paddle on each side (right paddle to shift up, left paddle to shift down) with fixed brake levers, but we couldn’t get close enough to verify this.

As well as the hydraulic disc brakes on show here, we’re told there will be an mechanical version too. We were also told that the groupset is likely to appear on bikes costing about a grand, so it's not your entry-level urban bike market, more your high-end urban market, is such a thing exists. We'll hopefully get some more details out of Shimano, including pricing and availability, soon.

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.