Shimano Launch Their New 1 x 8 Essa Drivetrain.

Rather than launch a 13-speed electric drivetrain, Shimano’s Essa offering is an entry-level eight speed setup that doesn’t break the bank.

Shimano Essa is compatible with their other eight speed systems whilst also compatible with 45t tooth cassettes. CUES S-Reach is also added to the line up for your mini shredders.

Shimano’s latest offering is the 8-speed Essa drivetrain that will work with all their other 8-speed systems like Acera, Altus, and Tourney TX. Sporting their venerable Hyperglide tech rather than the newer Linkglide allows this range of cross-compatibility. For serious mountain bike use, the lack of a clutch may be the deciding factor. The mech does have features of older XT and Deore mechs to reduce chain slap however.

The short cage mech will take up to a 45t top cog, which the Essa cassette offers meaning you do lose range even over the other 11-speed setups in the range but does beat other 8-speed competitors.

Key here is the price. If you’re after a rock-solid 1 x drivetrain without all the frills; the mech, cassette, chain and shifter will from around £160.

On top of that, Shimano have launched their CUES S-Reach shifters which sport 11% less thumb travel and sit 10mm closer to the hand. These will come in 9, 10 and 11-speed CUES flavours. The S-Reach brake levers also sit 20% closer to the handlebar.

You can check out the new Shimano Essa and CUES S-Reach kit on their website here.