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History of Shimano

With more than 90 years of history, Shimano is a state-of-the-art company in the development of new technologies: it creates products in response to the needs of cyclists all over the world, made with high quality components, original technology and innovative ideas.


In February 1921, Shozaburo Shimano opened Shimano Iron Works in Higashi Minato in Sakai City when he was 26 years old. On the site of a demolished celluloid factory, he rented a nearly 40-square-meter area. The monthly rent was 5 yen. At that time, the new establishment had only a single lathe, measuring about 1.8 meters long. He had borrowed that machine from Sano Iron Works, benefiting from his friendship with its owner.

By the time he founded his own business, Shozaburo Shimano had already decided to produce free wheels. Of all bicycle components, free wheels entailed the highest level of technology to produce.


The name is changed to Shimano Iron Works Co., Ltd. In 1940, Shimano Iron Works, Ltd. was founded with Shozaburo Shimano as its first president. The number of employee was about 300.


Production of internal speed changer (3-speed Hub) begins.


In September 1958, Shozaburo Shimano passed away. Shozo Shimano becomes the second president.


Shimano American Corporation is established in New York. As the continued existence of Shimano in the USA market seemed to be assured, the company established Shimano American Corporation with office in New York City. Yoshizo Shimano becomes the president.


Shimano Yamaguchi Co., Ltd. (present Shimonoseki Factory) is established in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. The production system was strengthened by this new factory which would produce coaster brakes at a starting output of 50,000 units per month.


Shimano Europe GmbH. is established in Dusseldorf, West Germany.


Shimano (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. is established. It was established as the first oversea factory located in Jurong Industrial Estate in Singapore.
DURA-ACE series of road racing components are released


Shimano introduces DURA-ACE AX 7300 which is aiming for reducing the aerodynamic drag at IFMA show at Koln in W.Germany.


The first SHIMANO 105 series and Deore XT series are in the market.


SHIMANO 600EX is in the market.


DURA-ACE 7400 series with Shimano Index System (SIS) is released. A remarkable function of DURA-ACE 7400 is Shimano Index System (SIS) that enable secure positioning of the speed change gear by a single action.


New Shimano 105 series is introduced with Shimano Linear Response (SLR) brake system which is to give the cyclist more control over the caliper brakes.


Andy Hampsten (Seven-Eleven Team) wins the Giro d'Italia with DURA-ACE.


Shimano Pedaling Dynamics (SPD) is in the market. A line of Shoes and Pedals are called SPD designed to be ideal for both pedaling efficiency and for walking. DURA-ACE (7400 series) with Dual Control Lever is released. The dual-control lever incorporates a shifter mechanism into the brake lever, making it possible to change speeds without removing one's hands from handlebars.


Corporate name is changed from Shimano Industrial Works to SHIMANO INC. 
The XTR series of mountain bike racing components is in the market. The first line of mountain bike components for professional racers.


Keizo Shimano becomes third president. 
The cycle center (Bicycle Museum) opens. With the cooperation of Sakai city where Shimano Inc. is located, it is established on the area next to Daisen Park. 


Yoshizo Shimano becomes fourth president.


DURA-ACE 7700 is in the market. 7700 series are developed after thorough review of the previous derailleur system based on the philosophy of "Stress-Free".


Yozo Shimano becomes fifth president. 
Shimano (Shanghai) Bicycle Components Co., Shimano Czech Republic s.r.o. and Shimano France Composants Cycles S.A.S. are established.


DURA-ACE 7800 series is in the market. The DURA-ACE 7800 series components are developed with "For 100% Power Transmission Efficiency" as a catchword. This series consisted of 10-speed rear drive trains, HOLLOTECH Ⅱcranksets, ergonomic dual control levers, and other higher performance components.


The brand Pearl Izumi is acquired.
DURA-ACE 7900 series is released. The 7900 series components were developed under the concept of "Evolution of Perfection". A derailleur comprising these components embedded the shift cable completely. Its crankset consisted of a HOLLOWGRIDE (hollow gear) in addition to a HOLLOWTECH Ⅱ. All other components were also reviewed for optimal design.


Electronic Shifting System DURA-ACE 7970 is in the market. A new technology called "Digital Integrated Intelligence (or Di2 for short) was introduced into DURA-ACE. The DURA-ACE 7900 series equipped with this electronic shifting system provide racers with a "complete stress-free" function.


Shimano STEPS ,the first components for power-assisted bicycle, is released.


DURA-ACE 9000 series is released. The DURA-ACE 9000 series have been fully re-engineered across every system. Highlights include a robust four-arm cranksets, the new SLR-EV brake system and a new 11-speed drive train.


XTR M9000, M9020 and M9050 (Di2) series is released.
Shimano Italy Bicycle Components S.r.l. is established. 


The DURA-ACE R9100 series (road racing components) equipped with power meter are released.

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