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Shimano CUES: Affordable Components Boost Durability, Ease of Maintenance

Looking to upgrade your bike for commuting or moderate weekend adventures? The Shimano CUES lineup aims to improve your kit's lifespan — and wait times for repairs.

Cyclist sitting with Shimano CUESShimano drops the new CUES component lineup for "lifestyle" cyclists; (photo/Shimano)
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When Shimano unveiled its LinkGlide drivetrain in 2021, the company claimed it offered cyclists three times the cassette durability. 

Now it brings the technology to Shimano CUES, a mid-tier lineup of “lifestyle” bike components aimed at easier maintenance, smoother shifting, and improved lifespan. It also “standardizes compatibility across a wide range of categories,” the company said in a press release. 

BR-U8000 and RD-U4000 of the new Shimano CUES component series
The BR-U8000, left, and the RD-U4000 of the new Shimano CUES component series; (photo/Shimano)

Shimano CUES: Details

A closer look at the CUES lineup reveals streamlined parts and increased versatility for drivetrains, in addition to the claimed boost to durability. 

For starters, Shimano consolidated its nine-, 10-, and 11-speed component ranges with interchangeable components, including common derailleur pulleys, cassette sprockets, and chains. That should reduce the pressure on bike shop inventories and simplify the service process for mid-tier bikes, the company claims. 

There’s also the unified sprocket spacing across nine-, 10-, and 11-speed drivetrains, so “components can be intermixed across a wider range of user groups and riding styles,” Shimano said. 

With the LinkGlide technology added to the mix, Shimano claims to have extended the lifespan of many components for both electric and analog bicycles. Cassette teeth in the lineup are also taller and thicker, reducing chain skipping and improving shifting overall, the company said. 

The Shimano CUES U4000 forward cassette and the CS-LG300 rear cassette
The U4000 forward cassette and the CS-LG300 rear cassette; (photo/Shimano)

Shimano CUES: Affordable Pricing

While pricing will vary for the various components of Shimano CUES, a company spokesperson provided some sample prices for the lineup. 

A complete setup of the 11-speed Shimano CUES U8000 costs about $452. That includes the crankset and bottom bracket, as well as the chain, rear derailleur, rear shifter, and cassette. Without the crankset and bottom bracket, the remaining components will set you back around $288. 

The latter price will save riders about $70 compared to the Shimano XT LinkGlide kit, which costs roughly $362. 

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