Riding Shimano's New GRX at Dirty Kanza XL

I was fortunate enough to ride Shimano’s news gravel-specific component group at Dirty Kanza this year. GRX launched in early May and several of Shimano’s Gravel Alliance members put the new parts to the test in one of the most grueling, rugged races on the calendar.

After 350 miles of super rocky and hilly Kanza roads, I can honestly say these parts rock. The ergonomics of the hoods are amazing and the just cradle your hands so you stay securely in place even over the bumpiest sections of trail and road. The levers are also designed for a better grip and feature a higher pivot point so the brakes feel more powerful and consistent when braking from any position.

As for gearing, I ran the GRX crank with 48/31-tooth chainrings paired with an 11-34-tooth cassette. Sure, you may call me wimpy for riding that 31-34 ratio but let me tell you how much my legs appreciated this spinny gear after 300+ miles and who even knows how much elevation gain. Being able to spin up some of those steep climbs at the end of the race kept my spirits up and kept me moving a heck of a lot faster than walking. Worth it.

More impressions on GRX and the rest of the gear I used at DK coming soon. But for now, check out this video for a taste of DK and the equipment needed to tackle this beast.

Kristen LeganComment