Shimano GRX 12 speed reviewed: Shimano shows just how good mechanical shifting can be but is it enough?

Powerful braking, smooth shifting, 2x and 1x options, and a wide gear range to suit modern-day gravel riders – I can’t really fault the new GRX groupset

Shimano GRX 12-speed mechanical - 820 level
(Image credit: Anne-Marije Rook)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

Powerful braking, smooth shifting and 2x and 1x options, and a wide gear range to suit modern day gravel riders — I can't really fault the new GRX groupset . It’s a great mechanical system, and many gravel riders will be very happy with this groupset. This 12-speed offering is also a much-needed update indeed if Shimano wants to remain competitive in the gravel market, but is it enough?

Reasons to buy
  • +

    2x and 1x options

  • +

    Crisp, reliable and exceptionally quiet shifting

  • +

    Powerful braking

  • +

    Wide gear range

  • +

    Redesigned hoods and levers are very comfortable

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    (Still) mechanical

  • -

    Micro-spline freehub body needed

  • -

    Hood texture leaves something to be desired

  • -

    Hydraulic disc-brake only

  • -

    No power meter (yet)

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

With three new 12-speed drivetrains to choose from, updated brake levers and a wider gear range, Shimano’s latest generation of the gravel-oriented GRX groupset ticks a lot of boxes. But is it enough? 

Launched in late summer 2024, the new GRX makes use of Shimano’s existing mountain bike technology to add an extra cog in the rear, yet maintains its shift cables.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ComponentWeight (g)
Shimano GRX RD-RX822-SGS rear derailleur290
Shimano CS-M8100-12 10-51t cassette470
Shimano GRX FC-RX820-1 crankset655
Shimano GRX ST-RX820 and BL-RX820 shifters and brake callipers943.2
One set of Shimano RT-CL800 160mm rotors228
CS-M8100 chain247

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Anne-Marije Rook
North American Editor

Cycling Weekly's North American Editor, Anne-Marije Rook is old school. She holds a degree in journalism and started out as a newspaper reporter — in print! She can even be seen bringing a pen and notepad to the press conference.

Originally from The Netherlands, she grew up a bike commuter and didn't find bike racing until her early twenties when living in Seattle, Washington. Strengthened by the many miles spent darting around Seattle's hilly streets on a steel single speed, Rook's progression in the sport was a quick one. As she competed at the elite level, her journalism career followed, and soon she became a full-time cycling journalist. She's now been a cycling journalist for 11 years.