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Shimano, Inc., established in February 1921, is a Japanese multinational manufacturer of cycling components, fishing tackle and rowing equipment. Headquartered in Sakai, Japan, the company has primary manufacturing plants in China, Malaysia and Singapore. According to a 2016 report, Shimano sales constitute an estimated 70 – 80% of the global bicycle component market by value. Regarding product range, Shimano technology offers drivetrain, brake, wheel and pedal components for road, mountain, track and hybrid bikes.
In the 1970s, Shimano stepped in the European bicycle market by providing component products for all price ranges. Initially, the company paid more attention to rethinking the basic systems. Moreover, they wanted to bring out innovation such as Positron shifting (a precursor to index shifting) and front freewheel systems at the low end of the market.
The Argon tackle any terrain with Shimano Alivio 2 x 9 speed gearing, MT200 hydraulic disc brakes and front derailleur.
In the 1980–1983 period, Shimano introduced three groupsets with “AX” technology. In details, features of these components include aerodynamic styling, centre-pull brakes, brake levers with concealed cables, and ergonomic pedals.
By 1985, Shimano introduced innovation only at the highest quality level. Then, they trickled the technology down to lower product levels as it became proven and accepted. Significantly, innovations include index shifting (known as SIS, Shimano Index System introduced in 1984), freehubs, dual-pivot brakes, 8-9-10 speed drivetrains, and the integration of shifters and brake levers. By the end of the 1980s, Shimano achieved the status as the largest manufacturer of bicycle components in the world.
As the world market leader in the bicycle gearing systems field, Shimano entered the booming electric bike market and presented its first electric bike drive system in 2010. The system, called ‘Shimano STEPS’ (‘Shimano Total Electric Power Systems’), had been completely revised and optimised for the 2014 version. Accordingly, the newer version included mid-mounted engine, battery, bike computer (display with range indicator and much more), crank shaft and chain.
Remarkably, the new Shimano mid-mounted engine scores with a powerful performance, low weight and a harmonious driving behaviour. Riders can choose between 3 different drive modes (Eco, Normal & High). In the Eco mode, the battery provides a decent range of up to 150 km.
The Adventure 1 WSD eBike offers pedal-assist riding with its Shimano drive system and large capacity battery. Additionally, this eBike utilises Shimano gearing system (shifter, rear derailleur, freewheel) and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and brake levers.
The Urban+ / Urban+ WSD eBikes are powered by the latest Shimano drive systems, which include Lithium Ion battery with high 418 Wh capacity and STEPS 6000 series drivetrain. Moreover, Shimano gearing systems, shifters, rear derailleur, brakes and brake levers are utilised for the Urban+ bikes.