Shimano is rolling out a brand new drivetrain group but, unlike its usual releases, it’s not a new top-level group. The new Cues group actually occupies the opposite end of the Shimano range. While that might not seem as exciting as fancy race bits, this is actually a very interesting release from the global component giant.
The basic idea behind Cues is that Shimano wants your bike to work better, last longer, cost less and be easier to work on. All of which are good things. The Cues group covers 9-, 10-, and 11-speed drivetrains for mountain biking, eMTB/e-bikes and commuter bikes. For mountain bikers, it finally brings Shimano’s 1x drivetrain to a sub-Deore price point. Shimano also said that, just as Cues works across mtb and commuters, the new ecosystem is designed for further expansion in the future.
How much less does Cues cost? The group starts out as little as USD 151.00 for a 9-speed Cues cassette, rear derailleur shifter and chain. Which is substantially less than for a cassette alone on many 12-speed drivetrains. It will be interesting to see what effect this new group has on the pricing for entry-level mountain bikes.
Cues brings 1x tech, like clutch rear derailleurs and durable parts, to 9-,10-, and 11-speed shifting
Shimano also sees Cues bringing reliable wid-range 1x shifting to commuter and city bikes where the durability is key
Yes, Cues shifting has e-bikes in mind
But there’s a wider range of uses, from urban bikes to eMTB
What is Shimano Cues? The concept
Cues group the Linkglide tech are, in a sense, an inversion of Shimano’s traditional product development process. Well-known groups like XTR, XT and Deore started in racing. As new technologies were developed for the top end, older ones trickled down to the lower price points. This is a formula that’s worked well for Shimano for decades, so why change now?
Well, Cues and Linkglide start from the idea that what racers want might not be the best for all riders. The group of “non-racers” Shimano has in mind is diverse. New riders, budget-conscious riders and electric bike riders are all roped in there, as are the shop employees that have to work on those bikes.
Different aspects of the new line are designed to work for this variety of riders in different ways. But, to sum up the difference in approach, HyperGlide-Plus (HG+), which remains Shimano’s performance-focused group, aims for lighter weights and faster shifting. The tradeoff is durability. In contrast, Cues…
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