For months, a clock has been ticking down on a Shimano Centennial website, leading to intense speculation as to how the company would mark the milestone of its 100th year. After all, this is a titan of the cycling industry – godfathers of the acronym, inventors of SPD, Di2, STI.
Yesterday, the special Shimano Countdown Clock struck zero, and the answer was finally revealed.
It is stealthy. It is stylish. It is limited to 2,000 units.
It is … a coffee-table book.
More specifically, it is the chance to enter a lottery to secure the right to buy a copy of the book, titled ‘Shimano 100 Works’. Successful applicants will find out in early June if they have earned the right to spend 10,000 Yen (AU$119 / US$92, inclusive of international shipping) on the 264-page volume, which Shimano estimates will begin shipping in September.
Admittedly, extreme close-up photos of shiny vintage fishing reels and bike parts may not be the centennial product you were dreaming of – even if it is perfect-bound, on semi-gloss stock – but it’s what Shimano has decided you deserve* (*the right to enter a lottery to maybe buy, if you’re very lucky and have “reached the age of adulthood in the country / region of the sales destination.”)
Looking on the bright side, it’s certainly cheaper than a trickle-down Di2 groupset, and more limited than the new 12-speed Dura Ace will be (whenever it actually comes out).