Shimano, Inc. (株式会社シマノ, Kabushiki-gaisha Shimano), originally Shimano Iron Works (島野鐵工所) and later Shimano Industries, Inc. (島野工業株式会社), is a Japanese multinational manufacturing company for cycling components, fishing tackles and rowing equipment, who also produced golf supplies until 2005 and snowboarding gear until 2008. Named after founder Shozaburo Shimano (島野庄三郎, 1894-1958) and headquartered in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, the company has 32 consolidated and 11 unconsolidated subsidiaries, with the primary manufacturing plants based in Kunshan (China), Malaysia and Singapore.
|Headquarters||3-77 Oimatsu-cho, Sakai-ku, Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture 590-8577, Japan|
|Yozo Shimano (CEO), Taizo Shimano (President)|
|Revenue||$ 2.93 billion (FY 2017) (¥ 322.99 billion) (FY 2017)|
|$ 462.65 million (FY 2017) (¥ 50.89 billion) (FY 2017)|
Number of employees
|Footnotes / references|
In 2017, Shimano had net sales of US $3.2 billion, 38% in Europe, 35% in Asia, and 11% in North America. Bicycle components represented 80%, fishing tackle 19%, and other products 0.1%. The company is publicly traded, with 93 million shares of common stock outstanding.
They are also the official neutral support for most of the UCI World Tour.
Shimano sales constitute an estimated 70–80% of the global bicycle component market by value. Its products include drivetrain, brake, wheel and pedal components for road, mountain, track and hybrid bikes. The components include cranksets comprising cranks and chainrings; bottom brackets; chains; rear chain sprockets and cassettes; front and rear wheel hubs; gear shift levers; brakes; brake levers; cables; front and rear gear mechanisms or dérailleurs. Shimano Total Integration (STI) is Shimano's integrated shifter and brake lever combination for road bicycles. The Italian firm Campagnolo as well as US based SRAM are Shimano's primary competitors in the cycling marketplace.
When the 1970s United States bike boom exceeded the capacity of the European bicycle component manufacturers, Japanese manufacturers SunTour and Shimano rapidly stepped in to fill the void. While both companies provided products for all price-ranges of the market, SunTour also focused on refinement of existing systems and designs for higher-end products, while Shimano initially paid more attention to rethinking the basic systems and bringing out innovations such as Positron shifting (a precursor to index shifting) and front freewheel systems at the low end of the market. In the 1980s, with Shimano pushing technological innovation and lower prices, the more traditional European component manufacturers lost significant market presence. During this period, in contrast to the near-universal marketing technique of introducing innovations on the expensive side of the marketplace and relying on consumer demand to emulate early adopters along with economy of scale to bring them into the mass market, Shimano and SunTour (to a lesser extent) introduced new technologies at the lowest end of the bicycle market, using lower cost and often heavier and less durable materials and techniques, only moving them further upmarket if they established themselves in the lower market segments.
In the 1980–1983 period, Shimano introduced three groupsets with "AX" technology: Dura-Ace & 600 (high-end), and Adamas in the low-end. Features of these components include aerodynamic styling, center-pull brakes, brake levers with concealed cables, and ergonomic pedals. By 1985 Shimano introduced innovation only at the highest quality level (Dura-Ace for road bikes and XT for mountain bikes), then trickled the technology down to lower production levels as it became proven and accepted. 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. Also, these components could only work properly when used with other Shimano components; for example, its rear derailleurs have to be used with the correct Shimano gear levers, cables, freehub, and cassette. SunTour tried to catch up, but by the end of the 1980s they had lost the technological and commercial battle, and Shimano had become the largest manufacturer of bicycle components in the world.
A 2008 Shimano XT rear derailleur.
Shimano's marketplace domination that developed in the 1990s quickly led to the perception by some critics that Shimano had become a marketplace bully with monopolistic intentions. This viewpoint was based on the fact that Shimano became oriented towards integrating all of their components with each other, with the result being that if any Shimano components were to be used, then the entire bike would need to be built from matching Shimano components. The alternative perspective is that by controlling the mix of components on the bicycle, a manufacturer such as Shimano can control how well their own product functions. Shimano's primary competitors (Campagnolo and SRAM) also make proprietary designs that limit the opportunity to mix and match componentry.
In 2003 Shimano introduced "Dual Control" to mountain bikes, where the gear shift mechanism is integrated into the brake levers. This development was controversial, as the use of Dual Control integrated shifting for hydraulic disc brakes required using Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, locking competitors out of the premium end of the market. However, with their 2007 product line, Shimano moved back to making separate braking and shifting components fully available in addition to the integrated "Dual Control" components, a move to satisfy riders that wished to use Shimano shifting with other brands of disc brakes.
Shimano in 1990 introduced the Shimano Pedaling Dynamics (SPD) range of clipless pedals and matching shoes, designed so that the shoes could be used for walking. The shoes have a recess in the bottom of the sole for fitting the smaller cleats and therefore it does not protrude, while conventional clipless road pedals are designed for road cycling shoes that have smooth soles with large protruding cleats, which are awkward for walking. The SPD range, in addition to other off-road refinements, was designed to be used with treaded soles that more closely resemble rugged hiking boots. SPD pedals and shoes soon established themselves as the market standard in this sector, although many other manufacturers have developed alternatives that may be less prone to being clogged by mud or easier to adjust. However, the SPD dominance in this sector has meant that alternative pedal manufacturers nearly always design their pedals to be usable with Shimano shoes, and likewise mountain bike shoe manufacturers make their shoes "Shimano SPD" compatible. SPD has spawned 2 types of road cleats that are incompatible with standard SPD pedals and some shoes – SPD-R and SPD-SL. SPD-R is a now-defunct pedal standard. SPD-SL is basically a copy of the standard Look clipless pedal system. It has a wide, one-sided platform and a triangular cleat that is Look 3-bolt compatible.
|"Shimano Alfine"||The Alfine 700 is an internally geared hub with 8 or 11 speeds, weighing less than 1700 grams (auxiliary components not included). The product was introduced to the market in 2010. It comprises four stepped planetary series offering up to 11 speeds.|
|"Dyna Drive"||A pedal system with no pedal axle and with the bearings located in the part of the pedal which screws into the crank. This required an oversized hole in the crank 25mm (1" diameter) to accept the Dyna Drive pedals. The theory behind this was to allow the foot to be lower than the pedal axle for better biomechanics. This system was relatively short-lived, one reason being that the pedal bearings wore out quickly. However, they were used by Alexi Grewal (USA) in his gold medal-winning ride in the 1984 Olympic cycling road race in Los Angeles.|
|"Freehub"||Shimano introduced a combined rear hub and freewheel in the late 1970s which they named "freehub". But it did not catch on, as its arrangement of internally splined sprockets sliding onto the matching externally splined freehub was incompatible with the then standard separate hub and screw-on freewheel. When a larger number of rear sprockets came to be used, the freehub concept was re-introduced and is now the dominant rear hub type. Freehub style hubs are inherently stronger than screw-on sprocket and freewheel setups because it allows the bearings on the drive side of the hub to sit nearer to the end of the hub axle, reducing bending in the axle caused by chain tension and rider weight, a significant problem leading to fatigue failure in many axles as 6 and 7-speed blocks were introduced.|
|"Hollowtech" cranks||These are cranks that are pressure die-cast as tubes open at the pedal end and forged closed before being threaded for the pedals. Previous to this hollow cranks tended to be tubes with a solid part welded to each end to take the pedals and the bottom bracket.|
|"Hollowtech II"||This was the next iteration after Hollowtech cranks. For this system, the spindle was fused to the drive side crank arm and the non-drive side crank arm fitted on the splined spindle using pinch bolts. The bottom bracket bearings sat outside the bottom bracket in the frame, allowing the spindle to be a larger diameter, making it stiffer and lighter. The bearing reliability of this system remains quite variable compared to previous Shimano cartridge bottom bracket bearings as Hollowtech II bearing alignment is at the mercy of the alignment of the bottom bracket threads and the facing of the shell rather than the factory set by Shimano in the case of the cartridge BBs.|
|"Interactive Glide" (IG)||Gears feature "pick-up teeth" and specially shaped tooth profiles for smoother and faster shifting.|
|Metric chain||Shimano designed chains with a 10 mm pitch instead of the conventional half inch pitch as well as sprockets and chainrings for use with this metric chain; however this did not catch on. For a time 10 mm pitch chains, sprockets, and chainrings were used for motor-paced racing, to reduce the size and weight of the transmission system.|
|"Shimano Nexus"||Shimano's family of internally geared hubs. Available in 3-, 7- and 8 speed with or without a coaster brake. The Nexus hubs are comparable in range to a full 16–20 speed system.|
|"Servo Wave"||Introduced in the mid-1990s, this system allowed brake levers to pull more brake cable at the start of the lever stroke than at the end. This improved separation between the brake blocks and the rim to accommodate for mud and lack of trueness in the wheels, while still delivering the same braking power like traditional systems. This was implemented initially by mounting the brake cable on a roller that moves towards the lever pivot in a slot in the lever blade as the lever is pulled. A second design pulled the brake cable downwards towards a cam near to the brake lever pivot instead. Servo Wave appeared for the first time on a hydraulic disk brake lever on the 2008 Shimano XT groupset.|
|SLR ("Shimano Linear Response")|
|SPD ("Shimano Pedaling Dynamics")|
|STI ("Shimano Total Integration")||
The marketing term for the integration of shifting into the brake levers for road bikes, enabling the rider to shift without taking the hands off the brake levers. This made it possible to shift during uphill passages that require getting out of the saddle and added general convenience for the rider. Although the first generation of STI was unable to downshift multiple cogs which was not a problem in downtube shifters.
Alexi Grewal used a bicycle equipped with Shimano DynaDrive chainset and pedals (the remainder of the components on his bicycle were primarily Suntour and DiaCompe) to win the 1984 Olympic road race in Los Angeles. In the 1988 Giro d'Italia, Andrew Hampsten rode Shimano to its first Grand Tour victory. In 2002, world championships in both the road and time trial disciplines were won on Shimano equipment. Alberto Contador's 2007 victory in the Tour de France on a Shimano-equipped bicycle represents the first official General Classification victory in that race by a rider using Shimano components (Lance Armstrong originally won the TDF with Shimano in 1999 but was later disqualified due to drug use).
"VIA" ("Vehicle Inspection Association") is stamped on all Shimano parts. It is an official approval stamp used to certify parts of Japanese vehicles – including bicycles. This mark signifies compliance with certain quality standards.
|1973||'Dura-Ace' introduction (used 'Crane' rear derailleur) No series number|
|1976||Dura-Ace 10 track (later 7000)|
|1978||Dura-Ace EX (no more 'Crane' RD) - 7200 name added later||600 EX ('Arabesque') - 6200 name added later|
|1980||Dura-Ace AX (7300) - 'aerodynamic' sold alongside EX|
|1981||600 AX (6300) 'aerodynamic' sold alongside EX|
|1983||600 EX (6207)||105 'Golden Arrow'|
|1984||7400 : 6 speed and SIS|
|1985||7600 : track|
|1986||600 EX (6208) : 6 speed SIS|
|1987||7400 : 7 speed||1050 : 6 speed|
|1988||7400 : 8 speed||600 Ultegra 'Tricolor' (6400) : 7 speed SIS|
|1989||updated for 7 speed
|1990||7400 : STI levers||1055: renamed to 105SC
|1992||600 Ultegra (6402) : 8 speed SIS and STI levers|
|1993||FC-7410 low profile crankset
FD-7410 front derailleur
|105SC : 8 speed|
|1996||7700 : 9 speed|
|1997||6500 : Name shortened to just Ultegra : 9 speed|
|1998||25th Anniversary Groupset|
|1999||5500 : 9 speed|
|2001||4400 : 9 speed|
|2002||3300 : 8 speed|
|2003||7800 : 10 speed||2200|
|2005||6600 : 10 speed|
|2006||5600 : 10 speed||4500 : 9 speed|
|2008||7900 : 10 speed||3400 : 9 speed|
|2009||7970 : 10 speed Di2||6700 : 10 speed||2300 : 8 speed|
|2010||5700 : 10 speed|
|2011||6770 : 10 speed Di2||4600 : 10 speed|
|2012||9000 : 11 speed
9070 : 11 speed Di2
|3500 : 9 speed with STI|
|2013||6800 : 11 speed||2400 : 8 speed|
|2014||6870 : 11 speed Di2||5800 : 11 speed|
|2015||4700 : 10 speed|
|2016||R9100 : 11 speed
R9120 : 11 speed, w/ disc brakes
R9150 : 11 speed Di2
R9170 : 11 speed Di2, w/ disc brakes
|R3000 : 9 speed internal cable routing|
|2017||R8000 : 11 speed
R8020 : 11 speed, w/ disc brakes
R8050 : 11 speed Di2
R8070 : 11 speed Di2, w/ disc brakes
|R2000 : 8 speed internal cable routing|
|2018||R7000 : 11 speed
R7020 : 11 speed, w/ disc brakes
|2019||4720 : 10 speed, w/ disc brakes|
|2021||R9250: 12 speed Di2
R9270: 12 speed Di2, w/ disc brakes
|R8150: 12 speed Di2
R8170: 12 speed Di2, w/ disc brakes
|2022||R7100: 12 speed Di2, w/ disc brakes |
The first Shimano MTB groupset was Deore XT in 1983. It was based on a 1981 Deore derailleur built for touring.
Mountain bike groupsets include:
|1983||M700: 6 speed|
|1987||M730: indexed 6 speed||MT60: 6 speed|
|1989||M732: 7 speed||MT62: 7 speed (Deore II)||M500: 7 speed (Mountain LX)||M450: 6 speed (Exage Mountain)||M350: 6 speed (Exage Trail)||M250: 6 speed (Exage Country)|
|1990||M735: 7-speed Rapidfire||M650/550: 7 speed (Deore DX/Deore LX)||500LX: 7 speed (Exage)||400LX: 7 speed (Exage)||300LX: 7 speed (Exage)||200GS: 7 speed|
|1992||M900: 8 speed rapidfire+|
|1993||M560 : 7 speed (Deore LX)||M520 : 7 speed (Exage ES)||(discontinued)||M320 : 7 speed (Exage LT)||A10, A20, C10 : 7 speed
C20 : 6 speed
|1994||M737: 8 speed||MC30/31 : 7 speed (STX/STX-SE)||MC10/MC11 : 7 speed (Alivio)||(discontinued)||C50 : 6 speed|
|1995||M910: 8 speed||M565 : 8 speed (Deore LX)||MC32/MC33 : 7 speed (STX/STX-RC)||MC12 : 7 speed||M290 : 7 speed (Acera-X)||C90 : 7 speed|
|1996||M950: 8 speed||M739: 8 speed||M567 : 8 speed (Deore LX)||MC34/MC36 : 7 speed (STX/STX-RC)||MC14 : 7 speed|
|1997||M569 : 8 speed (Deore LX)||MC37/MC38 : 7/8 speed (STX/STX-RC)||MC16 : 7 speed||CT92 : 7 speed|
|1998||M951: 8 speed||M291 : 7 speed (Acera X)|
|1999||M952 : 9 speed||M750 : 9 speed||M570 : 9 speed (Deore LX)||MC18 : 8 speed||M330 : 8 speed|
|2000||M510 : 9 speed (Deore)||MC20 : 8 speed|
|2002||M340 : 8 speed||CT95 : 8 speed|
|2003||M960 : 9 speed||M800 : 9 speed||M760 : 9 speed|
|2004||M580 : 9 speed (Deore LX)|
|2005||M530 : 9 speed||M410 : 8 speed|
|2006||M970 : 9 speed||M801 : 9 speed|
|2007||M770 : 9 speed||M310 : 8 speed|
|2008||M810 : 9 speed||M660/T660 : 9 speed (SLX/Deore LX)||M360 : 8 speed|
|2009||M590 : 9 speed|
|2010||M980 : 10 speed||M773 : 10 speed||M663 : 10 speed||M430 : 9 speed|
|2011||M985 : 10 speed||M780/T780 : 10 speed||M593 : 10 speed||M390 : 9 speed|
|2012||M986 : 10 speed||M820 : 10 speed||M781/786 : 10 speed||M670/T670 : 10 speed (SLX/Deore LX)|
|2013||M610/T610: 10 speed||M370: 9 speed|
|2014||M9000: 11 speed
M9050: 11 speed Di2
|M4000/T4000: 9 speed|
|2015||M8000: 11 speed||M3000/T3000: 9 speed|
|2016||T8000: 10 speed
M8050: 11 speed Di2
|M7000: 11 speed|
|2017||M6000/T6000: 10 speed||M2000: 9 speed|
|2018||M9100 : 12 speed New Freehub|
|2019||M8100: 12 speed||M7100: 12 speed|
|2020||M6100: 12 speed
M5100: 11 speed
M4100: 10 speed
|M3100: 9 speed|
Other current and previous groupsets include:
- Capreo [F700] – Groupset designed for small-wheeled bikes such as folders and features a cassette with a 9-tooth sprocket.
- DXR [MX70] – Performance BMX racing component.
- Nexave [C810] – Several sub-groupsets are designed for comfort and commuting bikes, some of which feature internal hub gears and roller brakes.
- Tourney - Lowest-end groupset, a mix of inexpensive components including 6-, 7- and 8 speed.
- Zee [M640] - Lower-priced version of Saint, SLX-performance level.
- GRX [RX800/RX600/RX400] - Gravel cycling specific groupsets intended to be compatible with road groupsets and mountain cassettes.
Groupsets no longer offered include:
- 70GS and 100GS - budget groupsets in 1990-1992
- Hone [M600] (9 speed) – discontinued in 2008
- Exage Action, Exage Sport, Exage Motion
- RX100 (compare to Tiagra)
- RSX (compare to Sora)
- Metrea [U5000] – Groupset designed for urban riding, promising reliable performance with clean, simplistic design. Introduced in 2015 and discontinued in 2020.
Shimano offers a range of fishing tackles including reels, rods, lines, lures, as well as various fishing accessories, apparels and electronics. Their spinning reels are their best-selling product series in the world.
Shimano is a founding member of the Global Alliance for EcoMobility, an international partnership that works to promote EcoMobility and thus reduce citizens’ dependency on private motorized vehicles worldwide. The EcoMobility Alliance was founded by a group of leading global organizations on the occasion of the Climate Change Conference in Bali in December 2007.
This section needs to be updated.(March 2018)
|Revenue (in $ billion)||1.8||1.8||2.3||2.5||2.0||2.1||2.2||2.5||2.8||2.8||3.1||2.8||3.0||3.2||3.37|
|Operating Margin (%)||15||12.3||14.8||15||11||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Free Cash Flow (in $ million)||200||98||252||109||373||-||-||-||261||231||452||297||500||650|
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Currency in Millions of Japanese Yens at 100 JPY per USD for 2009-2012 Revenues = 186,686.0; 213,596.0; 221,770.0; 245,843.0
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