Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Gravel Grinder News: Shimano Introduces ESSA 8 Speed Components

Today Shimano announces a new component parts name in ESSA. This will be a designation for a new rear derailleur and crankset that will be seen on many "affordably priced" new bicycles in the marketplace. ESSA will be compatible with all current Shimano Hyperglide 8 speed parts with the exception of CUES, which is its own standard. 

ESSA will also be paired with Acera, Altus, and Tourney TX systems. The rear derailleur will have a maximum capacity of 34T and a maximum low cog size compatibility of 45T. The ESSA rear derailleur will use the Shadow profile developed for MTB rear derailleurs. There is no clutch, but Shimano claims that the derailleur spring tension has been optimized for 1X drive train operation.

Image courtesy of Shimano

In other news Shimano also has introduced a new CUES shifter which has been optimized for smaller hands called S-Reach. The throw of the triggers has been reduced by 11% and the triggers have been placed to be more on the same plane to enhance ergonomics for smaller hands. 

Finally, Shimano has also revamped it's non-series hubs for more robustness and better sealing to adapt to the needs on eBikes. 

Comments: While not really gravel specific, ESSA and the new S-Reach CUES probably will find their way onto many youth bikes which may see gravel use. Additionally, CUES S-Reach shifters may see spec on some lower priced flat bar gravel offerings in the youth and women's bike ranges of some companies. 

It is hard to imagine that 7 speed components will be left behind, but with no mention of ESSA working with 7 speed, it may mark the beginnings of Shimano finally leaving 7 speed components behind for good. In this old mechanic's opinion, I have found it hard to believe 6 and 7 speed stuff still exists as new parts on bicycles. It would make sense from a business standpoint for Shimano to cut those SKU's and focus resources on 8 speed and above. Perhaps this ESSA introduction marks that this time has arrived. 

Note: Images and information used in this post were provided to Guitar Ted Productions by Shimano.

1 comment:

MG said...

I suspect you’re right… 7-speed will be relegated to the history books and ‘bicycle shaped objects’ from big box stores.