Despite prototypes leaking out and Shimano sponsored teams already aboard the new group, Shimano has been tight lipped about changes to their top of the line Dura Ace group. Shimano has now pulled back the curtain and unveiled the next generation of race bred components. Visually the new components combine iconic Dura Ace styling with a smoother more organic look that when combined with a new 11-speed drivetrain signal Shimano's intentions to stay at the front of the peloton.
The new ST-9000 shifters feature a new lighter action and shorter throw. According to Shimano the Dura Ace ST-9000 dual control levers reduce shifting effort nearly in half. The shorter stroke shifter-derailleur combination not only requires less effort but also makes for quicker shifting. The 11-speed rear derailleur is said to reduce shifting effort by 47% while the front requires 43% less effort. The ST-9000 shift leavers also see revised hood ergonomics. The biggest change is a reduced diameter bracket creating a lower volume hood and refined lever shape. The lever offers 10mm of reach adjustment. A new cabling system creates significantly lighter and quicker shifting due to a new polymer coating that reduces the sliding resistance.
Of course the big news is the jump to 11-speed. The new 11-speed cassette and new crankset gearing options bring Shimano’s Rider Tuned drive train philosophy to Dura Ace. The new 4-arm Hollowtech II crank set offers two new chain ring combinations in 52-36T and 52-38T creating gearing options ranging from 55-42T to 50-34T all on one spider. The new Dura Ace is available in two bottom brackets options: threaded and press-fit. Cassette options include 11-23x25x28 and 12-25x28. Linking the chainrings to the cassette is a new chain that is no longer directional and offers 20% greater durability due to PTFE plating.
The redesigned Dura Ace brakes are designed to provide smoother, lighter operation with increased modulation and up to 20% more power. The new short arm brake calipers feature a two axle symmetric pivot design that Shimano claims improves efficiency and offers 10% more power. Two caliper options and multiple brake pad options will provide greater compatibility with more bicycle types and uses. The standard mounting caliper will be joined by a new direct mount version suited for aero road bikes. Thinner brake pad options will also be offered for wider rim sizes.
Dura-Ace 9070 Di2
Not to be out done Shimano also revamped their flagship Di2 electric system. Like the mechanical Shimano aimed to make it more compact, lighter weight and more ergonomic. The new 9070 Di2 also offers new plug and play benefits and enhanced function from new generation Di2 E-tube electronics. A new Flight Deck integrated cycle computer offers touch screen control and wireless data from ANT+ systems. When used with a new internal seat post battery, Dura Ace 9070 Di2 can achieve a lighter weight than a Dura Ace 9000 mechanical group. The new Dura Ace Di2 system expands Shimano’s Rider Tuned philosophy with electronic shifting supporting either 10 or 11- speed drivetrains. The system supports new Dura-Ace 9000 Rider Tuned gearing options in the 11-speed rear cassettes that offer up to 28T capacity.
The new Di2 dual control lever has the same new compact shifter hood ergonomics and braking compatibility as ST-9000 and shifter ergonomics are improved due to new wider shifter buttons. The ST-9070 dual control lever will now feature a programmable multi-shift function when set up through the PC based E-Tube Project Software.
The new FD-9070 front and RD-9070 rear derailleurs are both more compact are lighter weight and offer cleaner cable routing options. Both new derailleurs are E-tube compatible.
Dura-Ace 9070 Di2 will feature the most Di2 connectivity options to date through new generation E-tube compatible electronics and wiring. Four shifter options will be available for 9070 Di2 including the traditional drop handlebar ST-9070 dual control levers, TT handlebar shifters, the sprint shifter and the satellite shifter. New multi-port junction boxes, along with additional ports in the ST-9070 levers and multiple wiring lengths enable easy plug and play installation. The new internal seat post battery enables an internal power source for cleaner wiring.
The Dura-Ace 9070 Di2 system with new E-tube compatible electronics and wiring now enables an on bike programmable shifting, along with system information through the new Flight Deck computer. The new E-tube Junction A enables more shifter connection ports including a charging/diagnostic port which is especially helpful when using the new internal seat post battery.
Dura Ace 9000 tips the scale at 1978-grams and will retail for $2,700. Dura Ace 9070 Di2 weighs in at 2047-grams and will run $4,140.
Along with the new groups Shimano has revised the Dura Ace line of wheels. The new Dura-Ace Wheels debut “Blade” and “Accelerating Speed” concepts. The wheels mark a new design philosophy to address the needs of elite level racers. The “Blade” concept is Shimano’s first fully committed effort to develop aerodynamic wheels. The new Blade rim profile is the result of wind tunnel and time trial feedback and validation. The “Accelerating Speed” concept is intended to deliver efficient power transfer through the wheels structure. Key technologies and structural elements implemented in the new Dura-Ace 9000 wheel sets include extra wide hub flanges and offset rims, Opt-Bal 2:1 spoke lacing and the D2 wide rim design.
The new Dura-Ace 9000 wheelsets
Accelerating Speed Concept
C24-CL 24mm carbon clincher
C24-TL 24mm carbon Road Tubeless
C35-CL 35mm carbon clincher
C35-TU 35mm carbon tubular
C50 50mm carbon clincher
C50 50mm carbon tubular
C75 75mm carbon tubular
Look for a complete overview of the new Dura Ace line of wheels in the coming weeks on pelotonmagazine.com