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<b>Shimano's Dura-Ace group is well thought-out</b> and promises high-end performance and reliability. Dura-Ace is featured on nearly all production and race bikes because it is made to be the racer's standard. In 2004 Shimano decided to add an extra gear to make Dura-Ace a 10-speed setup. Dura-Ace is now in its 6th incarnation after almost 30 years. We hope to find that Shimano has once again set the standard for high-end groupos.

<img src="https://gallery.roadbikereview.com/data/roadbike/504/241932Dura-Ace-Wheel.jpg" width="800" height="426" alt="Dura-Ace Wheel" border="0">


<b>Appearance:</b>

While building our test bike we could see the time that went into not only craftsmanship, but into the look and feel of this group. Some of the pieces seem to belong in a museum rather than on a bicycle. The polished aluminum rivals that of something you would see on a 1950's show car that has been restored from the ground up. Clean lines and a smooth finish will most likely satisfy your need for function and fashion. Let's face it, you want your $6000.00 bike to ride killer, but also look great!


<b>Shifting:</b>

The Dura-Ace group includes an adaptation of Shimano's "Dual Control" shift levers that have been used successfully for years. For the recent re-design, the levers have a longer brake arm which gives the rider more leverage and thus easier braking. They also have a taller hood and a larger perch with a more substantial surface for a more comfortable ride. We liked the safe, solid, and comfortable feeling of the taller hood for both climbing and descending.

<img src="https://gallery.roadbikereview.com/data/roadbike/504/241932Dura-Ace-Shifter.jpg" width="433" height="578" alt="Dura-Ace Shifter" border="0">


We have done over 400 miles of downhill using this kit, the taller hoods make it much easier to descend at higher speed. With the longer lever we found one-finger shifting up and down to be easy and reliable. The shift engagement is quick and positive, it feels solid with good engagement. This is a huge improvement over previous years where the shifting was not as crisp.


<b>Drive Train:</b>

<img src="https://gallery.roadbikereview.com/data/roadbike/504/241932Dura-Ace-Front-Der-and-Cran.jpg" width="352" height="360" alt="Dura-Ace Derailleur" border="0">

The Dura-Ace group utilizes an integrated crank set and bottom bracket, the single unit gives the added stiffness that all riders want. The outboard bearings on the Dura-Ace cranks give increased stability and a rigid feel, and promise longer product life. We noticed that the high quality chain rings and strategically located pins and ramps made for excellent shifting and great feel.

<img src="https://gallery.roadbikereview.com/data/roadbike/504/241932Dura-Ace-Crank.jpg" width="543" height="632" alt="Dura-Ace Crank" border="0">

The 10-speed cassette has super-durable titanium sprockets, and even with the added gear we were surprised by the light weight.

<img src="https://gallery.roadbikereview.com/data/roadbike/504/241932Dura-Ace-Cassette-and-Der.jpg" width="800" height="737" alt="Dura-Ace Rear Cassette" border="0">

The new 10-speed chain feels lighter and smoother. The angled inner links make for better shifting.

The derailleurs have very little flex, and feel rigid despite their light weight. Front and rear, we noticed crisp shifts without rubbing.

<img src="https://gallery.roadbikereview.com/data/roadbike/504/241932Dura-Ace-Rear-Der.jpg" width="800" height="507" alt="Dura-Ace Rear Derailleur" border="0">


<b>Braking:</b>

The Dura-Ace brakes are a front and year specific system. Shimano claims the new system is more powerful and lighter. Our testing displayed brakes that are rigid and powerful despite their compact size. We have tried a plethora of different brakes, and Dura-Ace brakes are by far the strongest. Shimano felt that by increasing the caliper size they would get better braking performance and extreme reliability. The difference is noticeable, and the security of solid braking is, in our opinion, is worth the added weight.

<img src="https://gallery.roadbikereview.com/data/roadbike/504/241932Dura-Ace-Caliper-Rear.jpg" width="500" height="512" alt="Dura-Ace Rear Brake" border="0">


<b>Wheel Set:</b>

The Dura-Ace wheels are the newest addition to the line-up. They are 16 spoke front and 20 spoke rear wheels attached to hubs with 15 mm axles. The bladed spokes have a straight-pull design. This allows higher spoke tensions to be run; we liked the resulting stiffness of the wheel.

<img src="https://gallery.roadbikereview.com/data/roadbike/504/241932Dura-Ace-Front-Wheel-easton.jpg" width="457" height="687" alt="Dura-Ace Wheel and Easton Fork" border="0">

We also liked that the hubs are fully serviceable and have high quality roller ball bearings, delivering solid riding. While the hub does not have extremely precise engagement, it is on par with most wheels on the market. Overall the wheel set is fast and very well-designed for speed and reliability, and delivers middle of the road stiffness.

<img src="https://gallery.roadbikereview.com/data/roadbike/504/241932Dura-Ace-Front-Hub.jpg" width="323" height="702" alt="Dura-Ace Front Hub" border="0">


<b>Pedals:</b>

The SPD-SL pedal system Shimano chose for the Dura-Ace group utilizes a three-bolt shoe mounting system with a larger platform for bigger riders. We found that the wide base gives stability, which allows the rider to put more force into the cranks. The cleat is grippy and makes putting a foot down in traffic safer and easier. The pedal system gave us a level of comfort and stability that encouraged putting the power down!

<img src="https://gallery.roadbikereview.com/data/roadbike/504/241932Dura-Ace-Pedal.jpg" width="607" height="800" alt="Dura-Ace Pedals" border="0">


As expected, we found the Dura-Ace group to be light, fast, easy to shift and easier to maintain. The new 10-speed group looks great and performs like it should, "the best".


Reviewed and written by:

Forrest Arakawa
Devlin Koehler
Greg Olson
 

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hooray!!

Slayer77 said:
<b>Shimano's Dura-Ace group is well thought-out</b> and promises high-end performance and reliability. Dura-Ace is featured on nearly all production and race bikes because it is made to be the racer's standard. In 2004 Shimano decided to add an extra gear to make Dura-Ace a 10-speed setup. Dura-Ace is now in its 6th incarnation after almost 30 years. We hope to find that Shimano has once again set the standard for high-end groupos.

<img src="https://gallery.roadbikereview.com/data/roadbike/504/241932Dura-Ace-Wheel.jpg" width="800" height="426" alt="Dura-Ace Wheel" border="0">


<b>Appearance:</b>

While building our test bike we could see the time that went into not only craftsmanship, but into the look and feel of this group. Some of the pieces seem to belong in a museum rather than on a bicycle. The polished aluminum rivals that of something you would see on a 1950's show car that has been restored from the ground up. Clean lines and a smooth finish will most likely satisfy your need for function and fashion. Let's face it, you want your $6000.00 bike to ride killer, but also look great!


<b>Shifting:</b>

The Dura-Ace group includes an adaptation of Shimano's "Dual Control" shift levers that have been used successfully for years. For the recent re-design, the levers have a longer brake arm which gives the rider more leverage and thus easier braking. They also have a taller hood and a larger perch with a more substantial surface for a more comfortable ride. We liked the safe, solid, and comfortable feeling of the taller hood for both climbing and descending.

<img src="https://gallery.roadbikereview.com/data/roadbike/504/241932Dura-Ace-Shifter.jpg" width="433" height="578" alt="Dura-Ace Shifter" border="0">


We have done over 400 miles of downhill using this kit, the taller hoods make it much easier to descend at higher speed. With the longer lever we found one-finger shifting up and down to be easy and reliable. The shift engagement is quick and positive, it feels solid with good engagement. This is a huge improvement over previous years where the shifting was not as crisp.


<b>Drive Train:</b>

<img src="https://gallery.roadbikereview.com/data/roadbike/504/241932Dura-Ace-Front-Der-and-Cran.jpg" width="352" height="360" alt="Dura-Ace Derailleur" border="0">

The Dura-Ace group utilizes an integrated crank set and bottom bracket, the single unit gives the added stiffness that all riders want. The outboard bearings on the Dura-Ace cranks give increased stability and a rigid feel, and promise longer product life. We noticed that the high quality chain rings and strategically located pins and ramps made for excellent shifting and great feel.

<img src="https://gallery.roadbikereview.com/data/roadbike/504/241932Dura-Ace-Crank.jpg" width="543" height="632" alt="Dura-Ace Crank" border="0">

The 10-speed cassette has super-durable titanium sprockets, and even with the added gear we were surprised by the light weight.

<img src="https://gallery.roadbikereview.com/data/roadbike/504/241932Dura-Ace-Cassette-and-Der.jpg" width="800" height="737" alt="Dura-Ace Rear Cassette" border="0">

The new 10-speed chain feels lighter and smoother. The angled inner links make for better shifting.

The derailleurs have very little flex, and feel rigid despite their light weight. Front and rear, we noticed crisp shifts without rubbing.

<img src="https://gallery.roadbikereview.com/data/roadbike/504/241932Dura-Ace-Rear-Der.jpg" width="800" height="507" alt="Dura-Ace Rear Derailleur" border="0">


<b>Braking:</b>

The Dura-Ace brakes are a front and year specific system. Shimano claims the new system is more powerful and lighter. Our testing displayed brakes that are rigid and powerful despite their compact size. We have tried a plethora of different brakes, and Dura-Ace brakes are by far the strongest. Shimano felt that by increasing the caliper size they would get better braking performance and extreme reliability. The difference is noticeable, and the security of solid braking is, in our opinion, is worth the added weight.

<img src="https://gallery.roadbikereview.com/data/roadbike/504/241932Dura-Ace-Caliper-Rear.jpg" width="500" height="512" alt="Dura-Ace Rear Brake" border="0">


<b>Wheel Set:</b>

The Dura-Ace wheels are the newest addition to the line-up. They are 16 spoke front and 20 spoke rear wheels attached to hubs with 15 mm axles. The bladed spokes have a straight-pull design. This allows higher spoke tensions to be run; we liked the resulting stiffness of the wheel.

<img src="https://gallery.roadbikereview.com/data/roadbike/504/241932Dura-Ace-Front-Wheel-easton.jpg" width="457" height="687" alt="Dura-Ace Wheel and Easton Fork" border="0">

We also liked that the hubs are fully serviceable and have high quality roller ball bearings, delivering solid riding. While the hub does not have extremely precise engagement, it is on par with most wheels on the market. Overall the wheel set is fast and very well-designed for speed and reliability, and delivers middle of the road stiffness.

<img src="https://gallery.roadbikereview.com/data/roadbike/504/241932Dura-Ace-Front-Hub.jpg" width="323" height="702" alt="Dura-Ace Front Hub" border="0">


<b>Pedals:</b>

The SPD-SL pedal system Shimano chose for the Dura-Ace group utilizes a three-bolt shoe mounting system with a larger platform for bigger riders. We found that the wide base gives stability, which allows the rider to put more force into the cranks. The cleat is grippy and makes putting a foot down in traffic safer and easier. The pedal system gave us a level of comfort and stability that encouraged putting the power down!

<img src="https://gallery.roadbikereview.com/data/roadbike/504/241932Dura-Ace-Pedal.jpg" width="607" height="800" alt="Dura-Ace Pedals" border="0">


As expected, we found the Dura-Ace group to be light, fast, easy to shift and easier to maintain. The new 10-speed group looks great and performs like it should, "the best".


Reviewed and written by:

Forrest Arakawa
Devlin Koehler
Greg Olson
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