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After having shown up as a concept groupset for the last two years at Eurobike, Shimano is finally hitting the streets with its clean and futuristic looking Metrea component group. Building on the two-tone aesthetic of its top-level Dura-Ace and XTR groups, Metrea aims to set itself apart from the more workingman Alfine and Nexus groups. Besides just looking to solve the needs of city biking, Metrea steps it up to cater towards a more sporty type of urban rider. Get a closer look at who that is after the jump…

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Shimano has seen a trend of urban cyclists building more customized bikes for quickly getting around the city. Having grown out of the faux-messenger and urban track bike trends, the new high-performance city bike has developed a focus on curating a specific look that reflects the personality of each urban cyclist. Metrea’s goal is to be that refined group that can fill this type rider’s desire for a well-built, well-designed component group that can both express a sense of style and at the same time form a backbone that can complement the individualism of custom urban bikes.

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Metrea exists in the space between proper road riding and the comfort city bike, offering a balance of speed, performance, and simplicity. In a bit of marketing speak its name is derived from metropolitan and real, trying to signify a blend of city functionality and authenticity in its quest for speed.

The group itself is actually tailored for a unique riding style, and the ergonomics of it controls get adjusted to accommodate a slightly more upright position than road riders for quick handling, but a bit of a more comfort-oriented posture overall. From a functional perspective the group focuses on quick acceleration, quick shifting, and quick braking to survive riding in the busy traffic associated with true city riding.

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The new U5000 series Metrea component breakdown is geared towards two build options: either a flat bar or bullhorn-style handlebar setup. So there are both MTB-style rapidfire shifters and more unique looking bar end integrated Dual Control levers. While there are plenty of flat bars on the market, Shimano has a new squared off bullhorn-like H-bar in the works for this summer with straight extensions via their PRO cockpit line (in 40 & 42cm widths).

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To sort braking, both flat bar and bar end systems will use hydraulic levers pushing two-piston, flat-mount calipers, and a new Centerlock style 140mm set of Ice Tech rotors.

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The Metrea drivetrain was specifically developed to resist corroding, so likely avoids any lower quality steel parts. Both 46-32T double and single 42T ring Hollowtec cranksets will be offered, with integrated chain guards for both to keep your pants away from their standard chain drive. They also both appear to use the new 4-bolt 110mm BCD, although no more crank tech details were provided. For the double, a special front derailleur was developed to handle just this 46-32 combo.

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Either option combines with a single cage length version of an 11 speed, wide range rear derailleur, designed to work with a 105-level cassette.

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Lastly, as we had thought back at Eurobike, Metrea does get its own disc-specific 700c wheelset with the matching look. The wheels use alloy clincher rims with quick release hubs. The get built up with 24 bladed straight pull spokes both front and rear, and use hidden nipples in the medium profile rim.

Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but availability in set for April 2016 in Europe from either your local bike shops or regular Shimano retailers.

Bike.Shimano.com

29 COMMENTS

  1. 46-32 is pretty nice. It would be even nicer if the 32t’s BCD was the same as the Tiagra 30t BCD. Maybe finally a subcompact for the masses?

    Can’t say I like the bullhorn STIs though, unless they’re significantly cheaper than normal STIs. I doubt it.

  2. @Durianrider

    Sugino makes one or two different subcompacts.
    I’ve been using some Rotor mtb cranks with a 110/74bcd on my gravel bike with a 45t/30t combo.
    Velo Orange makes some also.

    There are probably more, but those pop into my head.

  3. I like this, but am old school, with mechanical brakes on my bullhorn-bar bike. Bummer, the levers won’t work for me. I will have to stick with my improvised set up until another option is made.

    • I’d like to get on the horn with that dystopian society to tell them their styling and design are on point. This groupset looks like it pulls from so many great industrial designs of the past, but refreshes them to bring a touch of vintage style to a modern package. I’m just going through frames in my head to think of one that would fit it.

      • Don’t get me wrong. I think it looks great, too. But its primary design cue WAS probably the metropolis movie poster, especially given the name!

        I guess I hadn’t considered… given metropolis is pushing 100 years old, maybe the dystopian future is now…?

    • I was thinking the same thing. This looks like it came from the 1983 school of futuristic industrial design, in the best possible way. Install them on a brushed aluminum bike mounted to a Delorean and you’d have the most ridiculously cool setup.

    • Centerlock is a licensed mating interface that is becoming the standard for road and cyclocross disc brake attachment. 140mm is the rotor diameter. Ice Tech implies aluminum core with hardened stainless braking surfaces, the two metals are explosively welded together. Ice Tech rotors cool the braking surface by approximately 300°C under hardest braking.

      • I should have been more clear. I know what Centerlock is, I was wondering what they meant by “new Centerlock style”.

        What’s “new” and/or different about theses Metrea rotors, vs. the Centerlock we all know and love?

    • I admit my first reaction was, “Why don’t I have a commuter with bullhorns?”

      That said, I’m not liking those straight ‘bullhorns’ in the second image at all! They need a little upcurve, IMO.

    • You are RIGHT! It is a 96mm BCD (29 being the smallest ring possible on such). I commute on a fixed gear, but this 32×46 would be perfect for my gravel bike, rather than the 36×46 6800 model I’m close to installing…will chainline be okay? will that FD work with 6800 shifters?

  4. Can we get a version that doesn’t require discs? I have the perfect carbon frame set lying around that would love this group set.

  5. Quit crying about the wheels, though I agree with the sentiment. I’m sure the groupset will be available sans wheels. I think this set looks fantastic, and I love the bullhorn shifter.

  6. still have to ride in the drop.. But all of the components look top notch.. can’t wait to see what the new Ultegra and Dura-Ace Group-sets are going too look like. Can’t wait!

What do you think?