With the start of the Tour de France just around the corner, the cycling industry is in its usual product launch frenzy, looking to capitalize on the renewed attention that comes with the world’s most important bike race. But even if it were the dead of winter, the release of a new Dura-Ace level groupset from Shimano would turn heads.
Available with either Di2 electronic or mechanical shifting, for the first time, riders now have the option of Dura-Ace level hydraulic disc braking. Other new technologies further integrate into the Dura-Ace system, including a power meter and wider range drivetrain that includes intuitive Shimano Synchro Shift control. The Japanese giant is also rolling out new wheels and pedals. Here’s a part-by-part breakdown of what’s new and cool from the world’s leading cycling component maker, starting with this video that breaks it all down. (For a full breakdown of weights and pricing, plus a video from the product launch, skip ahead to page 4.)
Starting with the new Dura-Ace crankset, Shimano says efficiency and versatility are increased. The FC-R9100 HOLLOWTECH II crankset’s shaping improves on Dura-Ace’s 4-arm design, adding strength and rigidity while lowering weight. Shimano’s gearing offers a number of chainring configurations with a singular BCD for ease of use. Through redesigned chainring tooth profiling, the DURA-ACE R9100 crankset is adapted for the latest disc brake frame designs without the need to increase q-factor.
The new design also saves 7 grams and the new chainring tooth profile is adapted for race bike specific disc brake systems. It can also accommodate shorter chainstays down to 410mm.
Crank arm lengths are 165, 167.5, 170, 172.5, 175, 177.5, and 180mm. Gear combinations for 2×11 are 50-34T, 52-36T, 53-39T, 54-42T, 55-42T. Claimed weight is 609g (50-34T), 621g (53-39T).
Also noteworthy is the inclusion of the new 11-30T R9100 cassette, which expands gearing options further. The cassette features CFRP and alloy spider arm, plus five titanium sprockets for lightweight performance. The full range of gear combinations are now 11-25T, 11-28T, 11-30T, 12-25T, 12-28T. Claimed weights are175g (11-25T), 193g (11-28T), 211g (11-30T), 189g (12-25T), 205g (12-28T).
Meanwhile, the new HG901-11 chain features an asymmetric plate design that improves shift quality, increases chain retention and reduces drivetrain noise, says Shimano. It also bolsters chain retention across the range of chain line angles, helps improve front and rear shift performance, and has a hollow pin design for low weight, which is claimed to be 247g for 114 links. The new chain comes with a SM-CN900-11 QUICK-LINK for tool-free connection for quick and easy assembly. It’s compatible with current 11-speed chains.
New Power Meter
The FC-R9100-P, says Shimano, delivers top-shelf power measurement seamlessly designed into the new DURA-ACE HOLLOWTECH II crankset. The dual-sided strain gauges are internally hard wired together for reliable performance in all weather conditions and accurate measurement regardless of pedaling position. Shimano’s integrated approach also ensures simplified maintenance with a single rechargeable battery powering the entire unit and the ability to wirelessly update firmware.
Shimano claims ±2% strain gauge power measurement accuracy, and points out that you can easily swap chainrings without affecting power measurement. Communication is via Bluetooth and ANT+ wireless. Crank arm lengths are 170, 172.5, 175mm (w/chainrings), or 165, 167.5, 170, 172.5, 175, 177.5, 180mm (w/o chainrings). Gear combinations for 2×11 are 50-34T, 52-36T, 53-39T.