Shimano unveil new Claris groupset

Entry level gear gets Dual Control and replaces 2300

by Dave Atkinson   March 1, 2013  

Shimano Dual Control isn't so much trickling down right now as cascading. Hot on the heels of Sora, which made the switch to nine speeds and Dual Control (downshift behind the brake lever rather than a thumb button, the same as the higher end groupsets) comes s completely new groupset: Claris.

Number-wise – all Shimano groupsets have to have a number – this is 2400, so it's replacing the 2300 groupset which was called, erm, 2300. "As the market continues to grow and the entry level becomes more important, we thought it was important that the groupset had a name for next year," Shimano's Mark Greshon told us.

It's aimed at entry level sportive and road riders and Shimano are gunning to get an even bigger slice of the first-time-rider market with this new running gear. It's an eight speed system, with the capacity for up to a 32T cassette at the back and double and triple options at the front, so should give enough ratios for

"One of the the key things we've tried to do with Claris is give the groupset a quality feel," Mark told us. "So when people start road riding and then they upgrade, it has a fimiliar Shimano feel to it. Also, if it's someone's first experience of a road bike they don't want to be put off by bad shifting; we want to keep them on road bikes for the future."

There's plenty of different configurations available for touring, long distance riding and sportive and road riding too. There's a triple chainset (53/39/30) as well as compact (50/34) and cyclocross (46/34) options. The lower ratio double will also be specced on flat bar bikes, and there's Rapidfire shifters, levers and integrated controls for flat bars as part of the groupset.

The STI lever, like we said, is proper Dual Control so you use your fingers to change down, not your thumb. Double and triple options are available, and ergonomically the lever is exactly the same as the current Tiagra and Sora models in terms of shape.

The chainsets use an Octalink bottom bracket, and they're available in silver or black, as are the hubs. One of the things Shimano have worked on really hard with Claris is the front shifting. "In the past on entry level road bikes, front shifting has never been a highlight, So we've done a lot of work to make sure that riders get a real feeling of quality from the front shift," Mark said.

The groupset has been designed as a system, like the more expensive gear. The front derailleur and the ramps and pins on the chainset have been specifically designed to work together, unlike previous entry level groupset where it was a bit more mix-and-match. Shimano are hoping that this will encourage manufacturers to spec the complete groupset on bikes instead of downgrading certain components: usually it's the chainset and the brakes that give way.

The rear derailleur can handle up to a 32T sprocket and takes its design cues from Shimano's higher end groupsets. It features a wide-link design and light action spring for crisper shifts with less effort.

Braking is taken care of by a 49mm calliper that uses the same Super SLR cable pull as all the other existing Shimano road brakes. The flat bar lever is designed for use with V-brakes, cantis and mechanical discs with the same cable pull as a V-brake, although it'll also work with callipers.

The rear hub has been designed to cope with the torque generated by the large 32T sprocket. As with all Shimano hubs it uses a steel freehub body and cup and cone bearings.

The groupset will be launching later in the year, so we expect to see it on entry level bikes that see from the summer onwards, and we're sure it'll be all over Eurobike in September.

24 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Well given that you can get Sora for about £200 online, this will come in at less than that around £160. Pretty impressive amount of kit for that kind of money. Although I would presume the primary market for this is on complete bicycles.

I think 105 is still the best value for money at around £400 for the groupset.

posted by jackh [105 posts]
1st March 2013 - 10:44

19 Likes

Claris??? really????

posted by chrisb87 [67 posts]
1st March 2013 - 11:10

14 Likes

In the words of Hannibal Lector "Well hello Claris...."

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
1st March 2013 - 11:23

28 Likes

This looks ok i might buy the shifters

posted by Portableaj [1 posts]
1st March 2013 - 11:31

21 Likes

46/34, at last! A better option for most people than 50/34.

Coupled with cassettes running to 32 teeth. Eentry level riders are likely to appreciate low gears, though they are certainly not the only ones!

49mm caliper? Hmmm, not mudguard-friendly.

Would prefer good ole square taper over Octalink for the BB, but I'm sure it will work fine.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1965 posts]
1st March 2013 - 12:23

1 Like

Shimano Claris is one of their fishing reel model names Cool

posted by Ian Venables [1 posts]
1st March 2013 - 13:16

24 Likes

Nice looking kit - shame about the name (imho) and I am pleased they got rid of the thumb shifter - it is the only negative comment I can say about my Allez.

posted by Super Domestique [1600 posts]
1st March 2013 - 13:52

19 Likes

I wonder how the performance of this groupset compares to the original dual-control 8 speed Dura-Ace.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1345 posts]
1st March 2013 - 14:28

2 Likes

cat1commuter wrote:
I wonder how the performance of this groupset compares to the original dual-control 8 speed Dura-Ace.

*that* would be an interesting comparison. i know someone who's till running the original STIs too...

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7385 posts]
1st March 2013 - 14:37

1 Like

Do it Dave, do it! Big Grin That would indeed be interesting to know.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3198 posts]
1st March 2013 - 15:32

2 Likes

Looks hot.

Don't get why shimano don't tuck those bloody cable where they belong - under the bar tape!

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1730 posts]
1st March 2013 - 18:35

21 Likes

To be honest I quite like the cable routing outside the bars from a maintenance point of view.

My girlfriend has the new 105 (I have the old version) and I'm certain the underbar routing degrades the shifting unless you are very careful with the cable routing and bar tape wrapping.

posted by jackh [105 posts]
1st March 2013 - 20:14

25 Likes

Lovely frame in the shots by the way, where is that from?

posted by jackh [105 posts]
1st March 2013 - 20:15

20 Likes

londonplayer wrote:
In the words of Hannibal Lector "Well hello Claris...."

Damn! You beat me to it Wink

Sq

Squiggle's picture

posted by Squiggle [414 posts]
1st March 2013 - 21:45

19 Likes

Reminds me of Claris Works, the office-ish program that came with the original black and white Macs. It was fine actually. Wonder if they bought the brand off Apple?

drmatthewhardy's picture

posted by drmatthewhardy [315 posts]
1st March 2013 - 22:06

21 Likes

Nice! Also HAIL OCTALINK!

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ValentinKokorin

London2Paris24: 450km, 24 hours, 5th-6th July 2014

I will miss TdF in Yorskhire!!! Please donate! Big Grin

koko56's picture

posted by koko56 [322 posts]
2nd March 2013 - 1:25

16 Likes

it says 46/34 is the cyclocross option; don't think many riders would want a 46 big ring on the road once they have reached any degree of fitness, spinning out on the descents is a pain! Otherwise groupset loks pretty good.

New Forester

posted by Forester [86 posts]
2nd March 2013 - 6:55

20 Likes

Forester wrote:
it says 46/34 is the cyclocross option; don't think many riders would want a 46 big ring on the road once they have reached any degree of fitness, spinning out on the descents is a pain!

It also says "The lower ratio double will also be specced on flat bar bikes".

There aren't many people buying £400-500 bikes that are spinning out their gears, and even pro riders freewheel downhill so why can't you? Most people need smaller gears, you're merely perpetuating the "real man needs big chainring" myth.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1965 posts]
2nd March 2013 - 12:15

22 Likes

Forester wrote:
it says 46/34 is the cyclocross option; don't think many riders would want a 46 big ring on the road once they have reached any degree of fitness, spinning out on the descents is a pain! Otherwise groupset loks pretty good.

Yeah, but how fast do you want to go before you freewheel? If you like to pedal at 90rpm and 'spin out' at 130rpm (but you could probably get to 150rpm at a push), and your in 46x11... Your doing 43mph! How many times a year do you hit that speed and not just tuck?

Vin Cox

posted by Vin Cox [46 posts]
2nd March 2013 - 12:29

14 Likes

double post...

I don't follow trends. Trends follow me.

posted by BBB [181 posts]
2nd March 2013 - 14:42

14 Likes

The only purpose that 50T chainrings serve is to make consumers feel better about themselves and to sell more bikes... Wink

Most of people (not just beginners) DO NOT need it.

I don't follow trends. Trends follow me.

posted by BBB [181 posts]
2nd March 2013 - 14:42

2 Likes

Vin Cox wrote:
Forester wrote:
it says 46/34 is the cyclocross option; don't think many riders would want a 46 big ring on the road once they have reached any degree of fitness, spinning out on the descents is a pain! Otherwise groupset loks pretty good.

Yeah, but how fast do you want to go before you freewheel? If you like to pedal at 90rpm and 'spin out' at 130rpm (but you could probably get to 150rpm at a push), and your in 46x11... Your doing 43mph! How many times a year do you hit that speed and not just tuck?

But maybe there are people out there who don't want to spin like that going down hill? I'd prefer to be in 50/11 and be a bit more relaxed.

posted by Pauldmorgan [179 posts]
3rd March 2013 - 10:11

12 Likes

Got the 2300 triple on a Specialized "entry level" bike (all I could afford and better than walking). I assume this would be an easier upgrade than to something too good for the rest of my bike.

Any logic in upgrading the group set? I'll personally miss the thumb shifting, like it still after a year riding with it.

Why upgrade? Well let's just say that the changing I get on the 2300 is a trifle industrial (or maybe I just need to learn how to service my own bike)...

daysofspeed's picture

posted by daysofspeed [10 posts]
4th March 2013 - 16:20

14 Likes

I bought the Cannondale Synapse that comes with 8 Speed Claris a week ago. There's nothing wrong about Claris. It's rather an efficient, economical and quiet rear shifting set that I kinda of like. The only problem is when one wishes to upgrade their component individually, one has limited choice for a 8-Speed. Unlike 9, 10 or 11-Speed there are ample of choices of components from Shimano Tiagra, 105, Ultegra etc...

If Shimano interested in promoting 8 Speed, they should also explore upgrading higher end of 8 Speed or at least make come component that are backward compatible with 8-speed.

Otherwise, if I need to upgrade I have to explore in upgrading the whole groupset. That doesn't really give me much options.

posted by d_chew [2 posts]
16th May 2014 - 10:47

3 Likes