Home > Other Fun Stuff > Advocacy & Industry News > News

Shimano’s New ESSA 1×8 Drivetrain is Backwards Compatible + CUES Short Reach & New Hubs

Shimano Essa 8 speed drivetrain
15 Comments
Support us! Bikerumor may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

Bicycle component giant, Shimano, is launching their new 1×8 drivetrain, ESSA. The new affordable drivetrain is geared to target the active, entry-level cyclist. ESSA will be compatible with the current 8-speed flat-bar ACERA, ALTUS, and TOURNEY TX systems.

Engineered with an Essence of Active concept, Shimano Essa is equipped to elevate Shimano’s existing 8-speed lineup. Essa will simplify an often complex set of component groups. Being both versatile and robust, Essa is ready for the next generation of cyclists.

ESSA- The Essence of Active

Shimano ESSA Launch ESSA drivetrain
(Photos/Shimano)

Shimano says ESSA is ideal for a wide range of casual sport bikes. These types of bikes would include MTB, fitness, and city bikes. The ESSA narrow/wide teeth profile and Dynamic Chain Engagement technology will ensure reliable chain retention while riding the rougher stuff.

The new 1×8 speed system is said to have a 400% wider gear range. And the compatibility with Shimano’s current 8-speed Hyperglide systems will make things easier for retailers and cyclists.

RD-U2000 Rear Derailleur

Shimano ESSA Launch U2000 RD

Stable drivetrain performance on trails

  • Optimized geometry and spring retention reduce chain drop
  • Low-profile design is optimized for rough terrain
  • Total capacity: 34t
  • Max low sprocket: 45t
  • Shimano Shadow RD

FC-U2000-1 Front Chainring

Special gear tip shape improves chain engagement and retention for smooth riding over rough terrain.

  • Chainring option: 32t, 40t
  • Dynamic Chain Engagement+ (32t)

CS-HG400-8 Cassette

Shimano ESSA Launch HG400 8-speed cassette

Wide range 8-speed cassette provides reliable shifting performance for various riding styles.

  • Wide range: 11-45t (11-13-15-18-22-27-35-45)
  • Hyperglide

ESSA branded products will only include the rear derailleur and crank, based on the existing Hyperglide platform, and seamlessly integrate with the existing Shimano branded products in that range.

New CUES Short Reach

Shimano has optimized the ergonomics of the new CUES group that was released last year. The update, called S-Reach, is a shorter reach to activate both the shifter and brake levers throughout the CUES line. This change will be a pleasant change for those riders with smaller hands. This will provide a more comfortable and confident riding experience for all riders.

Shimano ESSA Launch S-Reach 10mm diagram
Shimano ESSA Launch S-Reach thumb travel diagram

The new S-Reach shifters are more intuitive and comfortable. They’re equipped with distinctive push/push shifting and two thumb-accessible buttons close to the grip. Thumb travel is reduced by 11% and the two levers are 10 and 12mm closer to the rider.

Shimano ESSA Launch S-Reach brake lever diagram

The new CUES update applies to the brake levers as well, as they bring the lever 20% closer to the handlebar, making stopping easier and building confidence.

Shimano Non-Series Hubs

Riding piggyback on the launch of the Shimano ESSA and the increased diversity of the new updated CUES group, sits a refresh for Shimano’s non-series hubs. Both the front and freehubs will be completely renewed across the entire 11/10/9/8-sp[eed lineup. They will also be concentrated around a simple and easily understood line-up.

TC600 ad TC/QC500

Shimano ESSA Launch TC500 rear hub
Shimano ESSA Launch TC500 front hub

The sealing performance of these two hub models will include labyrinth and contact seal bearings – designed to endure extreme torque levels for aggressive trail riding.

QC400 & QC300

This series features contact seals only, while the QC300 series retains traditional cup and cone bearings.

Shimano ESSA Launch QC400 rear hub
Shimano ESSA Launch QB400 front hub

FH600 and FH500 (eBike use)

Shimano ESSA Launch bearing seal chart

These are designed for reliable eBike use. The FH600 and FH500 Freehubs with Microspline will be compatible with Shimano LinkGlide 11-speed hubs and be easily upgraded from Linkglide to Hyperglide+ 12-speed. This creates peace of mind for riders and mechanics when it comes to any after-service maintenance of the hubs.

Bike.Shimano.com

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

15 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tom Wenzel
9 days ago

Can’t wait for ESSA XTR.

David
9 days ago

Looks decent, I’d be interested to ride it and compare it to more expensive drivetrains from say 15 years ago.

Really?
Really?
8 days ago
Reply to  David

For the purpose of what, exactly?

David
8 days ago
Reply to  Really?

To see what its like

Enrico
Enrico
9 days ago

Curious about ESSA compatibility with Sora 8 speed brifters.

pete
pete
6 days ago
Reply to  Enrico

ESSA is designed to work with MTB, not road.

Pine Cycles
4 days ago
Reply to  Enrico

It’ll work perfectly! ESSA is designed around the historic pull ratio so it’ll work with all non Cues Shimano 7,8,9 and some 10 speed shifters (Not 4700 or RX400) Basically what we Cues should have been.

syborg
syborg
9 days ago

What does “Engineered with an Essence of Active concept” mean?

Nathan
Nathan
8 days ago
Reply to  syborg

It means Shimano needs a copy writer.

pete
pete
6 days ago
Reply to  syborg

Active concept getting is a deliberate, methodical approach to arriving at concepts to address concerns and problems, while passive concept getting allows concepts to emerge naturally..

Pierre
Pierre
8 days ago

It looks that Shimano is giving up on cup-and-cone bearings for hubs. That would then be one of reasons for the ESSA new range.

I like cup-and-cones for there ability to withstand axial loads (provided their preloading is adequate). However, from the graphics, it seems that the new ESSA hubs offer a better sealing.

To be noted also, the three different bearing designs of the freewheel bodies. Suprising ! And hard to say which one is the best …

Eddie
Eddie
8 days ago

Great to see development at this level. Cues, Essa and Linkglide are the best things from the big 2 drivetrain brands in years.

RetroRider
RetroRider
8 days ago

Anyone reckon this gear will be compatible with retro 90s thumbshifters and 7sp hubs?

King County
King County
6 days ago
Reply to  RetroRider

I cannot answer your question, but to take a guess.. if your 7sp shifter works with the original 8sp Shimano cassettes then this seems to be the same thing as it. The article states Essa is “based on the existing Hyperglide platform”. I never tried the classic 7sp shifter with an 8sp cassette, but I have a lot of that stuff laying around.

pete
pete
6 days ago
Reply to  RetroRider

The RD and chainring will work; 8 speed cassette would not fit the hub though..

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.