It’s (nearly) here! Shimano have released news of their latest and most advanced groupsets ever, the Dura-Ace R9100 mechanical and R9150 electric.
There are several firsts for Shimano here, including the option to add in an integrated crank-based power meter and/or hydraulic disc-braking. The all new synchronised shifting technology, which seeks the next highest/lowest gear from the touch of one button on the right lever without having to change ring, could be of particular benefit to triathletes on race-day looking for even quicker and smoother shifting. Perhaps lesser news for triathletes but more important for roadies is that the groupset can be purchased with hydraulic disc brakes. The new Dura-Ace rotor is said to improve heat dissipation, and features flat-mount calipers.
Shimano are promising a high degree of accuracy in the integrated power meter: “Riders can expect extremely accurate real-time power data to track and analyse your performance. Not only can the pure output of watts be measured, left and right legs can be measured separately, as well as cadence, giving you the truest measure of performance, isolated from external factors such as gradient, road surface and wind.”
Not only this, but the power meter is totally waterproof and wireless, for easy linking to your GPS computer and Shimano’s own E-Tube wireless software.
A new crankset design improves rigidity and power transfer from the rider through the pedal to the drivetrain, whilst it’s still 7g lighter than the previous Dura-Ace crankset. Five variations on the crankset are available: 50-34T, 52-36T, 53-39T, 54-42T and 55-42T with seven crank arm lengths ranging from 165 to 180mm.
Our sister title Bike Radar gets an exclusive first look at the new Dura-Ace R9100 mechanical groupset – Shimano say the electronic version is not quite ready to ride yet
The Synchronised Shift derailleur technology could be great news for triathletes, as it allows the rider to control both derailleurs with the touch of just one shift button, simplifying gear choice and reducing the need for decision-making over which ring is most appropriate in racing situations. This means riders are able to choose the next biggest or lowest gear ratio irrespective of whether a gear change needs to be made by the front or rear derailleur. It can also be used in ‘Semi-synchronised shift mode’, which keeps the use of the left shift button, but instead of simply moving to the corresponding gear on the big ring when you shift up, moves to the next most appropriate rear gear. Both methods will stop the rider from using extreme chain angles, which can only be a good thing for efficiency and the maintenance of your components.
Both the mechanical or electronic gear shifters and derailleurs can be combined with hydraulic or mechanical brake levers, and more good news for triathletes… they can be set up with both drop bars and tri rigs.
The groupsets will be available in early 2017, and UK prices are yet to be announced.