In response to the growing number of entry-level road bikes being sold, Shimano has launched its newest groupset – Claris, also know as 2400. Claris takes over from 2300 componentry, currently the go-to components for bike manufacturers looking to hit shop floors with road bikes below £600.
Not only is Claris a full groupset, but also includes upgrades over its previous 2300 carnation, not least of which is the addition of a name, Shimano didn’t previously see the need to name its first ‘serious’ groupset.
Still eight speed, the Claris shifters have received the most noticeable reworking, with Shimano waving goodbye to the thumb-activated shifter, upgrading to ‘dual control’ STi’s – inline with the rest of the Shimano performance offerings. Ergonomics have also been improved to bring it in line with Sora and Tiagra that sit consecutively above it in the Shimano family tree.
The chainset gets a significant makeover, a standard compact of 50-34T makes it more in tune with the beginners’ market, where the previous 2300 only offered 52-39T or a triple chainset (which will still be available). Whilst the square taper bottom bracket is ditched in favour of Octalink that, let’s not forget, used to be found on the company’s range-topping Dura-Ace.
Shimano’s ethos is very much on the compatibility of the groupset as a whole, but according to Shimano it will still work with ingredients from other brands (brakes, chainset, cranks etc) and this fact allows bike manufacturers to reduce the cost of specific models by fitting non-Shimano elements.
With many bike manufacturers speccing Claris on 2014 entry-level models, after-market sales will mostly be as replacement parts rather than complete groupsets: the price of which is still to be confirmed.