Background and Identification
Shimano, Inc. is a Japanese manufacturer of cycling components, fishing tackle, and rowing equipment. Shimano also produced golf supplies until 2005 and snowboarding gear until 2008. Shimano includes 32 consolidated subsidiaries and 11 unconsolidated subsidiaries. The company is headquartered in Japan and has primary manufacturing plants in China, Malaysia, and Singapore.
In 2017, 80% of Shimano’s business came from bicycle components, 19% came from fishing tackle, and 0.1% came from other products. Shimano sales constitute approximately 70-80% of the global bicycle component market by value. Shimano’s products include drivetrain, brake, wheel, and pedal components for road, mountain, track, and hybrid bicycles. The components include cranksets, comprising cranks and chainrings; bottom brackets; chains; sprockets and cassettes; front and rear wheel hubs; rims; brake calipers, levers, and cables; gear shift levers; and front and rear derailleurs.
Shimano is credited with developing many innovative products including Shimano Pedaling Dynamics (SPD), a range of clipless pedals and matching shoes that link to provide foot retention, and “Dual Control” to mountain bikes, where the gear shift mechanism is integrated into the brake levers.
Shimano also offers a range of fishing reels, rods, fishing line, fishing lures, and various fishing accessories, clothing, and electronics. Their spinning reels are Shimano’s best-selling product series.
The letters “VIA” (“Vehicle Inspection Association”) is stamped on all Shimano parts as an official approval stamp used to certify parts of Japanese vehicles, including bicycles. The VIA mark signifies compliance with certain quality standards.