Choosing an (electric) bike will be greatly facilitated by this radical innovation from Shimano

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The renowned supplier Shimano has made significant changes to its range of drivetrains. One, it brings simplicity to its 9-, 10-, and 11-speed systems through simplified naming and grouping under the CUES entity, and two, it enhances their durability through its LINKGLIDE technology. Which makes it much easier to choose a bike equipped with this type of transmission.

To fully understand the ins and outs of this article, you first need to remember some basic principles specific to bicycles and e-bikes. A cycle is made up of a transmission group, which is made up of different components related to gear changes, braking and the transmission itself.

Shimano is one of the best known drivetrain providers in the world. We find their brake levers, their gears, their cassettes, their pedals, their chains or even their brakes on millions of two-wheeled vehicles. This may not be what neophytes look at at first, but these are very important systems here.

Les Shimano CUES en force

Inevitably, there are different transmission groups depending on the use –road, mountain biking, city, trekking–, since the abilities of a bicycle and the expectations that we have change according to the practice. This has a direct impact on the price of the groups, and therefore on the final price of your machine.

Source: Shimano

The great novelty recently introduced by Shimano is called CUES. Here’s a whole new range of components aimed at simplifying 9-, 10-, and 11-speed drivetrains. how to explain Bike RadarCUES intends to replace the groups Alivia, Acera, Altus and Deore to a lesser extent.

First, range naming is simplified. Here is his name:

  • U4000 series: 9-speed;
  • U6000 Series: 10-speed;
  • U6000 series: 11-speed;
  • U8000 series: 12 speed.

Alivia, Acera or Altus transmissions can appear very blurry to the general public. Citing them, it was difficult to understand their position in the manufacturer’s catalog. Here, the system by number is immediately easier to understand: the lower it is, the less sophisticated it is. And conversely.

But Shimano goes much further: it wants to bring some uniformity to this range of drivetrains, which share a large number of common components. Consequences: These famous components can be compatible with both the U4000 Series and the U6000 Series, for example.

interchangeable components

To be more precise, “the range includes standardized sprocket spacing in [les] 9-, 10-, and 11-speed transmissions, so components can be compatible for a wider range of users and driving styles.», explains Shimano in its press release.

Its interchangeable components, according to the manufacturer, would reduce the need for store inventory and simplify the maintenance process for bikes equipped with a Shimano CUES drivetrain. In addition, the latter benefit from LINKGLIDE internal technology.

shimano bike
Source: Shimano

LINKGLIDE technology provides smoother, smoother shifting and longer-lasting components – up to three times longer. Still according to Shimano, this system “can withstand the high stresses an electric bike places on drivetrain components“. So it’s just a bonus to our future VAE.

To cite a clear example, the cassette teeth here are taller and thicker. This provides more surface area for the chain, reducing the risk of chain skipping and derailing. Shimano also explains that this “distributes pedaling forces to prevent premature wear of gear changes».

For affordable bikes probably

In short, it is an entire ecosystem that is transformed here, which many users will be able to try in the future. Because the drivetrains unofficially replaced by CUES fall into the entry and mid-range category, which are intended for relatively affordable bikes.

Shimano doesn’t specify when its CUES drivetrains will land on our bikes, but it would stand to reason that we’d see the tip of its nose pointing in the coming months.

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