Wireless shifting on a gravel bike? Why not! With the 2024 GRX Di2 12x groupset, Shimano finally introduce their updated wireless gravel bike components. But what could they possibly have improved over the excellent predecessor? Optimised ergonomics, semi-wireless shifting and, of course, 12-speed cassettes promise to raise the 2024 GRX Di2 to a new level.

Less than a year after the launch of the mechanical 12-speed GRX, Shimano introduce its wireless sibling, the new 2024 GRX Di2. As with Shimano’s current road components, the gravel groupset relies on a single, wired battery, wireless shifters and a new “control centre” integrated into the rear derailleur. The rest of the Japanese brand’s latest gravel groupset is made up of components from the mechanical 12-speed GRX range, like the crankset and callipers.

But there’s an elephant in the room! For the time being, Shimano will not be offering a 1x version with wide-range MTB cassettes based on the mullet concept. That’s a pity, especially since 1x makes a ton of sense on a gravel bikes, leaving SRAM to dominate that part of the market.

New cockpit with proven ergonomics

If there’s one thing Shimano GRX Di2 stands for, then it’s excellent ergonomics. We couldn’t fault the previous iteration in this respect. It’s no surprise that some roadies replaced their slim 11x road shifters with the grippy gravel versions. However, Shimano claim to have improved the ergonomics of the new GRX Di2 even further. Despite using a similar shape, the new hoods look quite different. The slightly bigger and bulkier shifters look almost futuristic thanks to the new position of the status lights. Thanks to the angled brake levers, they work particularly well with flared bars, which have become standard in the gravel scene. A larger, more rounded contact surface should reduce pressure on your hands. Unfortunately, we’re yet to confirm these claims in practice, but we’re eagerly awaiting a groupset from Shimano that we can put to the test.

According to Shimano, the ST-RX825 shifters should tip the scales at 415 g per pair. The front brifter and calliper come as a set for € 449.95, and € 454.95 for the rear.

The brains of the new Shimano GRX Di2 groupset

The brains of the 2024 12-speed Shimano GRX Di2 group can now be found in the rear derailleur. It doesn’t just communicate with external devices like head units or mobile phones, but also serves as the control centre for the whole system. The charging port is hidden beneath a small cover at the rear of the derailleur. However, the derailleur can only accommodate up to 36 t cassettes.

One of the big differences compared to Shimano’s road counterpart is the clutch on the GRX Di2 derailleur, which can be engaged or disengaged via the usual rocker arm. Of course, this added feature also adds weight, and so the RD-RX825 derailleur tips the scales 310 g, making it slightly heavier than its 287 g predecessor. The new Di2 derailleur can be yours for € 369.95.

Same look, new design? – The front derailleur of the Shimano GRX Di2

Although slightly revised, the front derailleur of the 2024 Shimano GRX Di2 is strongly reminiscent of its predecessor. It doesn’t feature the more compact design of the latest ULTEGRA and DURA-ACE Di2 front derailleurs. However, the chain line has moved outwards by 2.5 mm specifically for gravel bike demands. This gives frame manufacturers a little more space to allow clearance for larger tires, or increased mud clearance, which can make all the difference.

The derailleur is compatible with the existing 2×12 GRX RX820 crankset, offering a 48/31 t configuration. The FD-RX825 front derailleur weighs 142 g, and is priced at € 204.95.

Software for the win? – A software update for the GRX Di2 groupset

As part of the GRX Di2 launch, Shimano present their latest software innovation called “Front shift next”. While somewhat cryptically named, it allows you to program the Di2 buttons in such a way that you can shift the front derailleur with just one push of a button, regardless of the position it’s in, leaving a button free to program as you wish. For example, you can assign this function to a button on the hoods, which you can then use to shift the front derailleur both up and down, depending on its position. Similar to SRAM’s counterparts, this is intended to make shifting easier for drop bar newbies. Alongside the new GRX Di2, this innovation will be available to all 12x Di2 Road groupsets via a firmware update.

Conclusion on the Shimano 2024 GRX Di2

Shimano’s 2024 iteration of their gravel groupset combines the latest in wireless shifting from their road components with gravel cranks, cassettes, and brakes. Coupled with ergonomic refinements and easier shift button assignment, Shimano have brought GRX Di2 up to date. The wireless cockpit also keeps things neat, even on bikes with external cable routing. We’re looking forward to reviewing the first bike with a 12x GRX Di2 groupset, and are curious if the 1x version will eventually see the introduction of a long-awaited mullet option.

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Words: Calvin Zajac Photos: Shimano