Few brands in the cycling industry carry the cachet of Shimano. Known by all types of riders from casual to professional, in March 2021, it will have been 100 years since Shozaburo Shimano started the company with only a lathe that was borrowed at the time.

Obliviously, Shimano’s catalog has grown exponentially and has advanced by light years compared to their first product. But that 3.3.3 freewheel set the tone for the next 100 years to come by pushing the limits of what was possible with the manufacturing abilities at the time.

The history of Shimano Dura-Ace dates all the way back to 1973 when it debuted on the bikes of the flandria pro road team from Belgium. In 2021, it will have been more than four years since Dura-Ace’s last refresh – will a new Dura-Ace group be the big product launch to celebrate the Centennial?

We all know that everything old is new again, but this 80’s-tastic video promoting the Shimano Dura-Ace AX group with its revolutionary aerodynamics is a must watch.

Most of the videos uploaded so far focus on road bikes (or fishing reels) but that’s partly because Shimano’s purpose built mountain bike components didn’t really exist until the early 80’s.

Most recently, Shimano released a video focused on the Dura-Ace 7400 series. This group was notable for the option to run either friction or Shimano Index System (SIS) shifting – which seemed to be the key to getting the pro peloton to adopt the technology.

For more on the lead up to the Shimano Centennial, follow the youtube channel as Shimano continues to add new videos in the lead up to March, or check out the Anniversary site below (including their photo contest). Future videos will cover HG Gear, Dual Control Levers, SPD pedals, XTR, Hollowtech II, and Dura-Ace Di2. Only 193 days to go!






    • John on

      Is SRAM just squeezing every dollar from the wireless AXS groups until Shimano releases their mechanical 12-speed DA/Ultegra? Or are they still working on a reliably-shifting mechanical front derailleur?

      I’m guessing it’s the latter but, if not, it’s crazy how much money SRAM must be leaving on the table abandoning all but high-end road bikes (defined as >$5K) and would be the exact opposite of what they’ve done with MTB groups.

  1. Oliver on

    Probably new Dura Ace & Ultegra, with GRX and 105 a few months later. We’re expecting Campag 13 speed gravel (and I suspect Record & SR) before the end of this year, so the Shimano stuff is unlikely to be later than Spring ’21.

    • TheKaiser on

      That would be a big break from Shimano’s normal very orderly schedule, no? They usually do D-A, followed by Ultegra a year later, followed by 105 the year after that, and then back to D-A, on a more or less 3yr schedule.

  2. Jamey on

    Going back to a free wheel in the back and fully internal gearbox. It will be mountain first. Stronger wheels and less unsprung weight

  3. Rich on

    New Di2 wires and plugs already revealed on the new EP8 ebike motor, smaller, narrower, more data.

    They even list an adaptor to allow backwards compatibility (how compatible components between ranges will actually be is anyones guess).

  4. Eli on

    Wireless testing with the XTR group has been done by Emil Lindgren, check his instagram and scroll true the pictures.
    You must watch carefully to the pic,s of his handlebar and count the cables.

  5. Tim on

    I don’t know if new groups for MTB and road have the same kind of release schedule, but XTR M9100, XT M8100, SLX M7100 and Deore M6100 were all out within a year. Maybe Shimano has moved to a faster trickledown schedule?


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