Shimano unveil new Claris groupset

Shimano has unveiled a new entry-level groupset.

Claris is the new name for components previously identified as 2300 series.

The new eight-speed groupset is aimed entry-level road riders, including those who might never have previously owned a road bike, according to Shimano’s UK brand manager, Mark Greshon.

Shimano’s UK distributor, Madison, displayed the new Claris groupset on a demonstration bike

Greshon said the Japanese component manufacturer had placed an emphasis creating a ‘Shimano feel’ and with it a quality experience intended to keep first-time users on bikes.

Let’s take a closer look.

FC-2450 chainset

The Shimano Claris chainset comes in double and triple configurations and in metallic stone silver (pictured) or black

The Claris groupset has four chainset options: a double or a triple, in stone metallic silver or black. The double comes in a ‘compact’ 50-34 tooth configuration, matching the groupset’s design philosophy as one for newcomers. The triple provides a still broader range, courtesy of a 50-39-30 tooth set-up. Both are compatible with eight-speed systems.

FD-2400 front mech

The Shimano Claris front mech comes in clamp and brazed on configurations

The Claris front mech has a slim and attractive design, with a highly polished cage and a clamp band finished in metallic stone silver to match other components in the groupset. Shimano promise moderate spring tension, so while it’s unlikely to have the positive feel of its upscale cousins, it’s gentler actuation might be well-suited to its intended audience.

CS-HG50-8 cassette

The Claris cassette comes in 11-28, 11-30 and 11-32 configurations

There are three Shimano Claris cassettes: running variously from 11 teeth to 28, 30, and 32 teeth. All will have eight sprockets. Used in combination with the inner rings on either the double or triple chainsets, very low ratios indeed will be available, another feature that accords with the philosophy of creating a groupset for newcomers.

RD-2400 rear derailleur

The Shimano Claris rear mech comes in short and long cage options. The short cage is pictured

Another component from Claris’ eight-speed drivetrain, the RD-2400 rear mech comes in short and long cage configurations, both in the stone metallic silver finish of the groupset’s remaining components (only the chainset has an optional colour). Shimano offer a light action, in keeping with their stated intention of bringing ‘Shimano feel’ to this entry-level groupset.

ST-2400 STI lever

The ST-2400 lever dispenses with the thumb shifter of the previous incarnation

Gone is the thumb shifter of the 2300 groupset, replaced by the mechanism found on all of Shimano’s upscale mechanical groupsets, in which the brake lever and a second lever operated by the index finger control shifting. Shimano claim the design offers a more intuitive feel; a sentiment Campagnolo is unlikely to share. The gear indicator, superfluous to more experienced riders and notably absent on Shimano’s more sophisticated groupsets, is retained from 2300.

BR-2400 brake caliper

The Claris brake caliper is a dual pivot unit

The Claris brake caliper is a simple unit equipped with many of the features of its upscale cousins, including dual pivots for an even application of power from both braking arms. The barrel adjuster and cable quick release are both standard issue for a modern caliper. Only the pads belie the BR-2400’s budget status, but cartridge pads don’t come as standard until Shimano 105.

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