Cyclocross Magazine was the first cycling publication to get an exclusive preview of the new CX70 cyclocross components, as seen at the Raleigh Dealers symposium in Washington. The Ultegra-level cyclocross components include a front derailleur, a crankset, and a cantilever brake. The CX70 is the first and higher-end cyclocross mini-group from the Japanese company. A more-affordable CX50 family of cyclocross components will be released later this year, and will sit between Shimano’s 105 and Tiagra road components in terms of the quality and price.
Shimano offers a new CX70 cyclocross crankset that features Ultegra’s Hollowtech 2 technology, but in a 110 BCD and with a 36/46t chainring set. The large chainring features four sets of dramatically machined ramps, approaching the style of WickWërks chainrings, in order to ensure fast, accurate upshifts onto the big chainring.
Video overview of the new CX70 cyclocross components with Andrew Kempe of Shimano:
The CX70 front derailleur is sized and tuned for the smaller 36/46 chainrings used in cyclocross, and is available in a top-pull or a bottom-pull cable configuration with all clamp size and braze on mounting options.
The last component is the long-awaited CX70 cyclocross brake. Shimano admitted to Cyclocross Magazine that their R550 cantilever brake, previously the only Shimano option for cyclocrossers, was designed with tourers in mind, not cyclocrossers, but Shimano expects the all-new CX70 should address the need of barrier-jumping, mud-loving racers.
The brake features road-style cartridge brake pads for easy pad changes, a semi-low profile arm design, vertical brake pad height adjustment, and dual arm spring tension adjustment. Shimano still doesn’t offer a wide-profile cantilever brake for racers who want to maximize their mud clearance over braking power, but the new CX70 looks to be an attractive, adjustable option for racers looking for braking power over gobs of rim and mud clearance.
If you believe having options is a good thing, Shimano now adds two new options with their CX70 and CX50 cyclocross-specific component groups, joining SRAM, Campagnolo and FSA in offering manufacturers and cyclocrossers components designed for barrier-hopping and mud-slinging.
Stay tuned for a full test and review of the CX70 cyclocross components.