Quad Cycles is an authorized dealer and service center for Shimano, providing sales and service of all Shimano products for the greater Boston area.
Dura-Ace. XTR. Ultegra. XT. If you love cycling, no matter your discipline or level of interest in the sport, the chances are excellent that these names are as familiar to you as Dunkin' Donuts, Toyota, or Levi's. Also, since Shimano makes the widest range of drivetrain parts, wheels, and shoes in cycling, it's likely that the Shimano logo can be found on your favorite bikes and professional riders; over half of the professional road peloton rides Shimano drivetrains.
Shimano is known for having the best systems engineering in cycling, which means their parts are designed to work better than anything else when paired up. So when you buy a Shimano-equipped bicycle or any of Shimano's products, from disc brakes to cranksets, derailleurs, shifters and wheelsets, you know you'll experience unparalleled performance and outstanding reliability, especially when Shimano's parts are used with each other.
Shimano's commitment to innovation is no less impressive. The top end of Shimano's offerings showcase the latest, best materials and the most advanced contemporary designs, ensuring that they make the best components possible with modern manufacturing. Just a few examples include their Hollowtech cranksets, based around hollow, cold-forged aluminum crankarms and oversized integrated bottom bracket axles for an amazing combination of high strength and low weight; their Custom-Fit cycling shoes that boast the ultimate in pedaling efficiency and comfort because the shoes are heated and vacuum formed to fit your feet exactly; and their wheelsets, which sport crossover-lateral spokes, angular-contact bearings, and advanced rims made of high-grade aluminum and carbon fiber for top-notch strength, stiffness, weight and aerodynamics.
Always fascinated with bicycles and their parts, Shozaburo Shimano opened Shimano Iron Works with a single metal lathe in 1921 to produce a one-speed freewheel, a key component for city bikes of the time. Ten years later, the Shimano corporation was exporting its freewheels to China. Fast forward to today, and Shimano is the world's largest manufacturer of bicycle components with 477 bike-related patents in America alone. Their list of firsts could fill this page, including but not limited to: AX components, the first aero racing parts group (1980); Deore XT, the first dedicated mountain bike groupset (1982); SIS, groundbreaking indexed shifting (1984); and Dual Control STI shift/brake levers (1990). More than any other company, Shimano pushes bicycling technology and the rest of the industry to innovate or imitate.
Featured Parts Shimano Di2 (Available in Road & Mountain Options)
While Shimano wasn't the first company to release an electronic drivetrain - that honor goes to Mavic, with the Zap wired rear derailleur and the Mektronic wireless rear derailleur and shifter in 1993 and 1999, respectively - they were the first to release one that worked well enough for regular use, and thereby to force Campagnolo, SRAM, and FSA to develop their own electronic shifting systems to remain relevant. Mavic's Zap rear derailleur shifted slowly and required the rider's pedaling force to generate its electricity, making the system considerably harder to use than its mechanical cousins if a rider was in the wrong gear when they started, or suddenly needed to change gears due to sharp ascents and descents. The Mektronic wireless shifting system was innovative, but the delay between pushing a button and rear shifting ranged from half a second to infinite due to a poor derailleur design (which also couldn't take a wide range of gears), the front derailleur and shifter were mechanical and extremely heavy, and it could be shut down by a radar gun or interference from a radio tower.
In 2009, Shimano released Dura-Ace Di2, and those earlier failures became a distant memory. Shimano parts are known for their reliability, but even Shimano's best mechanical systems are overshadowed by Di2. Push the shifter button, and it shifts. Period. It doesn't matter how rapidly you need to shift, what the weather is, whether you're standing or seated, climbing, descending, or riding by Hanscom Air Force Base or on the worst roads downtown Boston has to offer. Dura-Ace Di2 is a great option for road cyclists who want the best for all conditions, and Ultegra Di2 retains most of its big sibling's best qualities and adds some of its own, such as additional gear range in the cassette and rear derailleur.
But Shimano hasn't stopped there. The XTR group, Shimano's top-end mountain biking drivetrain, now comes in an electronic version as well, and if merely having a perfect shift with every push wasn't enough for you, the (so far XTR-only) Synchro feature is almost as revolutionary. Synchro keeps track of your gearing ratios when you shift so that, when you're on the verge of cross-chaining, one of the worst things a rider can do to their drivetrain, the next shift you make towards a crossed gear will instead shift both derailleurs into the next "step" without putting your drivetrain or yourself in danger of running out of gears. If Shimano holds to their usual pattern of releases, we should see XT Di2 in the next year or so.
Swing by the shop and test ride some Shimano components soon. You'll find them on road, mountain, comfort, hybrid, fitness, cruisers and every other type of bicycle imaginable, and we have a wide selection to upgrade your ride, too!