SHIMANO introduces new DURA-ACE groupset
Synchronised Shifting, power measurement, hydraulic stopping power, new wheel profiles and wireless connectivity all part of new line up.
Shimano today announced DURA-ACE R9100, the most advanced Shimano groupset ever, providing today’s road racing professionals and enthusiasts with the answer to the question of how to elevate performance levels.
Ever since the first competitive bike race, riders have been looking for the winning combination of lighter, stronger and more reliable components. Over 150 years after the development of the first bicycle components, Shimano continues to drive forwards that quest for innovation with the most advanced road cycling groupset on the market.
The concept behind the new DURA-ACE R9100 was to examine and improve every component to optimise the input and maximise the output. Or to put it another way, to minimise the energy loss between the effort a rider puts in and the performance he or she achieves. In this way each DURA-ACE R9100 component is designed to work at maximum effectiveness with every other component in the system. This is Shimano’s system component concept. The result is SYSTEM SUPREMACY.
The new DURA-ACE R9100 adopts a system developed first for Shimano in mountain biking by introducing SHIMANO Synchronised Shift derailleur technology for road bikes, allowing riders to control both derailleurs with the touch of just one shift button.
DURA-ACE R9100 also includes an integrated power meter option, hydraulic disc brake options for enhanced stopping performance and new wheel profiles to provide a new level of wheel performance.
Furthermore DURA-ACE R9100 benefits from Shimano´s new Bluetooth-enabled E-TUBE app, allowing riders to download user profiles to multiple Di2-equipped bikes and optimise shifting preferences from smart phones and tablets.
OPTIMAL POWER TRANSFER
The concept behind DURA-ACE R9100 was to maximise the output of the rider by minimising the energy loss through the drivetrain. That process starts with the crankset.
A new design for the 2×11 HOLLOWTECH II crankset brings an iconic new aesthetic and enhanced shifting performance to the DURA-ACE line up. An enlarged but lighter HOLLOWTECH II crank arm and HOLLOWGLIDE outer chainring improves rigidity and power transfer from the rider through the pedal to the drivetrain, whilst still shaving 7g over 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. Weight: 609g (50-34T), 621g (53-39T)
MEASUREMENT OF POWER
With Shimano’s first integrated power meter you can expect extremely accurate real time power data to track and analyse your performance. The power meter allows integration and easy installation (pairing) with third party display units to enable the most sophisticated and accurate level of performance measurement and anatomic analysis available today. 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.
The FC-R9100-P is Shimano’s first pedaling power measurement product and also the first crank-integrated power meter on the market. It is built to provide riders with one of the most accurate systems of power measurement, utilising technology from bikefitting.com, a Shimano-owned company specialising in highly advanced bike fitting and bike measuring instruments.
The power meter ‘brain’ sits inside the Dura Ace drive crank body (the spider) and the strain gauges sit inside the crank arms to measure left and right leg power. The brain is discrete and compact, providing a system that’s one of the lightest and cleanest on the market. Because the power meter is connected to the spider, chain rings can be easily changed without affecting the power meter’s accuracy. The system checking and firmware upload can also be operated by your smart phone or tablet PC through a Bluetooth connection (E-TUBE).
An integrated rechargeable battery powers the unit. This can be charged with a small magnetic adapter without needing to remove covers or casings.
Fred Grappe, Head of Performance at Francaise Des Jeux professional cycling team was part of the DURA-ACE power meter development team.
“Modern day cyclists cannot train more, they can only train smarter. A power meter allows this, giving riders feedback on what their legs are doing. It takes the guess work out of riding, providing valuable and relevant feedback on performance and telling riders what they need to do in training and/or recovery. If you’re riding by feel, or training by hours, or trying to maintain an average speed, then you’re ignoring so many other variables that could turn you into a better rider or tell you when to make your efforts count. Now, your real benchmark of performance will be the sensations you associate with the output of power from your left and right legs.
“In the past Shimano developed the most advanced power crank I’ve worked with for use in a laboratory. We took that technology and experience from the laboratory and transferred it into a system suitable for use in real world racing situations. Together with the Francaise Des Jeux team we’ve been testing it throughout the 2015-2016 season and we’re incredibly impressed with the breadth of powerful analytical information.”
A NEW LEVEL OF WHEEL PERFORMANCE
Two forces combine to slow down riders: air drag and inertia. DURA-ACE R9100 wheels are designed to combat these forces through aerodynamic features and reduced rolling resistance.
Two new 28mm wide C60 and C40 rim platforms bring a stiffer wheel to enhance forward and side-to-side (lateral) power transfer and, with ultra-light carbon rim heights of 60mm and 40mm, are also designed to reduce air resistance. This allows Dura Ace R9100 C60 wheels, in a real world scenario , to save 16W over Shimano’s current DURA-ACE 9000 C50 wheelset.
C24 wheels complete the DURA-ACE lineup giving riders three rim heights to choose from (60mm, 40mm and 24mm). Selected wheels are available as clincher, tubular or tubeless versions with Shimano quick release hubs and the option of road E-thru axles (12mm).
The breadth of shifting options in DURA-ACE R9100 is comprehensively designed to cater for all top level riders; mechanical or electronic gear shifters and derailleurs can be combined with hydraulic or mechanical brake levers and can be set up on drop bars for road bikes or on TT bars for time trials and triathlons.
The introduction of hydraulic road disc brakes in the DURA-ACE lineup brings more control and confident braking in tough weather conditions. The hoods of the hydraulic levers (ST-R9120/70) are designed to incorporate the hydraulic reservoir and provide an ergonomic hand position, similar to the mechanical brake hoods (ST-R9100/50). Lever position is customisable for a precise position. Riders choosing Di2 electronic shifting can also customise the option for multi-shift either through an on/off switch on the lever or, for further customisation, through E-TUBE software.
A pair of mechanical shift levers (ST-R9100) with rim brake levers weigh 365g and for a pair of mechanical disc brake levers (ST-R9120), 505g. Meanwhile, electronic rim brake shift levers (ST-9150) weigh 230g (pair) and electronic hydraulic shift levers (ST-9170) weigh 360g (pair).
SHIMANO Synchronised Shift is a new feature introduced to Shimano´s electronic road groupsets, designed to simplify gear choice and reduce decision making in racing situations. When riding at maximum capacity, decision making can be impaired. The less stresses on a rider and the less decisions a rider has to make, the less mistakes they will make. Therefore SHIMANO Synchronised Shift is designed 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.
Two SHIMANO Synchronised Shift modes will be available:
• Full SHIMANO Synchronised Shift: the front derailleur reacts based on the rear derailleur’s shift action. This essentially means that, when activated, there is no need for two separate shifters to control front and rear derailleurs, the two buttons on one shifter will control both derailleurs.
• Semi SHIMANO Synchronised Shift mode: the rear derailleur reacts based on the front derailleur’s shift action, shifting to the next most appropriate rear gear when the rider makes a front shift.
Nowhere is full SHIMANO Synchronized Shift more beneficial than in time trials and triathlons. Reducing the number of buttons simplifies decision making stress for riders and allows lever dimensions to be slimmed down by 28% (from 40mm wide to 29mm) and lever weight to be reduced by 22% (from 128g to 100g). Satellite shifters also incorporate this new one button feature.
Front (FD-R9150, 104g) and rear derailleurs (RD-R9150, 204g) incorporate these new cockpit functions. Both electronic derailleurs are compact and designed to protect the shifting operation in the event of a crash. The low profile of the rear derailleur also comes with SHIMANO SHADOW RD technology, positioning the derailleur further below the functioning sprocket.
Front and rear Di2 derailleurs are connected via Shimano’s small EW-WU111 wireless unit allowing for an ANT Private connection between DURA-ACE R9100 and third party devices. These components can be connected to Shimano´s E-TUBE software, which supports the programmable aspects of the Di2 electronic gear shifting system. Additionally, via Bluetooth technology, this is also accessible on smart phones and tablets.
The latest version of E-TUBE (2.11.1) also allows individual rider profiles to be saved and downloaded to the bike, preventing you from having to re-program the system from scratch for each ride or race.
The position of the junction box for electronic shifting drivetrains can be determined by frame compatibility. Frame manufacturers can design frames that accommodate junction boxes in the downtube. Alternatively component manufacturers can design handlebars or stems to accommodate the junction box. Finally, junction boxes can still be stored externally beneath the stem.
Mechanical shifting sees improvements too with the primary goal being to produce incredibly responsive gear shifts. A new front derailleur structure and direct mount low profile SHIMANO SHADOW RD reduces shift effort to make mechanical shifting performance better than ever. Weights of the front (FD-R9100-F) and rear derailleur RD-R9100 are 69g and 158g respectively.
At the rear of the drivetrain a new 11-30 rear cassette with HYPERGLIDE technology expands the gear range for riders and still allows for a smooth and quick chain engagement, whether the rider is shifting up or shifting down.
Completing the drivetrain is a new lighter DURA-ACE pedal, optimised for the perfect balance of weight and rigidity.
Two braking options now exist for riders at DURA-ACE level; mechanical rim brakes or hydraulic disc brakes. Hydraulic road disc brakes in the new DURA-ACE line-up add an extra element of control and confidence to brake performance in tough (weather) conditions.
Dual-pivot or Direct Mount type rim brake calipers bring incredibly powerful performance, offering the best balance between rigidity, weight and stopping power, providing a sleek design, bringing better clearance for tires up to 28c and a 43% reduction in flex over previous DURA-ACE brakes. Direct mount options provide integrated aerodynamic designs at the front (BR-R9110-F), on the rear seat stay (BR-R9110-RS) or under the bottom bracket (BR-R9110-R).
Hydraulic disc brake calipers can be directly mounted on the frame (flat mount) for a clean low profile design. New dedicated DURA-ACE rotors bring better heat management properties to provide stability in brake performance. With an increased adaptor size, heat transfer through the rotor is decreased and more heat can dissipate through the air. This results in a 30°c reduction in rotor temperature over Shimano’s ICE TECHNOLOGIES FREEZA rotors.
Overall, new DURA-ACE R9100 offers a truly superior drivetrain by minimiSing energy losses throughout every component. Incredibly reliable shifting performance, enhanced by SYNCHRONISED SHIFT and HYPERGLIDE technology, together with improved braking performance and aerodynamically efficient wheels add up to a superior system.
Meanwhile, the new DURA-ACE R9100 power meter brings integrated intelligence to cranksets, helping riders make the most of their increased power output with the first crank-integrated power meter on the market.
Without doubt the unparalleled performance coming from new DURA-ACE R9100 is the result of the most advanced system of road cycling components in Shimano’s 95-year history.