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Shimano (Finally) Launches 12-speed Road

13621 Views 109 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  Oldteen
Thought it’d happen at EuroBike, and it did:

Campy and SRAM: “What took ya so long?” 😀

But Shimano’s elimination of mechanical shifting in Ultegra and Dura Ace might annoy some ppl.

And, no 53/39-ish option in Ultegra anymore? I personally don’t use it, but, oy. 😕

That said, at least they put the 16t cog back into their main road cassettes (11-28, 11-30) instead of going for the 10t. That was probably a good choice that’ll make most riders happy. 🚴
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Finx, definitely a plausible scenario that Shimano could release mechanical 12-speed Ultegra and DA. The reason I thought they may eliminate mechanical from the top tiers was redundancy. It costs a fortune to manufacture and market multiple, complex product lines with only minor differences in quality. If Shimano leverages DA and Ultegra tech for 12-speed 105 mechanical, development costs are kept to a minimum. Whatever the outcome, I think Shimano will offer a 12-speed mechanical group that will be good. Call it Ultegra or 105, it will only be the name that's different.
And the weight.... The weight will always matter.

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Did you read that article? It says that it will make only 105 as their top of the line mechanical components. Mechanical Ultegra will seize to exist after 2022 maybe 2023. Which means that if 105 will be the top of the line mechanical groupset it will no longer take advantage of trickle down technology from DA and Ultegra. And I have a sneaky thought that eventually 105 mechanical will go electric and they'll stop 105 mechanical as well leaving us with Tiagra.

We need to be very vocal to Shamano about their plans to eliminate mechanical DA and Ultegra, if they get enough E-mails telling them to keep the mechanical DA and Ultegra stuff they could change their minds. But as far as I'm concern I see this as a move by Shamano to try make more money by forcing us to buy batteries every 3 years at $150 dollars a pop, instead of making no money on a sale of a DA or Ultegra component package over the life of the components. And the long term life expectancy of Di2 system as a whole is only 8 to 10 years, so now you have an absolutely serviceable frame but will need to replace the entire Di2 system at HUGE cost. Like I said before this all about churning money out of our pockets into theirs constantly just as appliance companies have been doing for years (just one example), so shareholders can make money.

The only thing that story does mention is that Shamano could release a new line of mechanical derailleurs, but that only comes from the editor, it does not come from Shamano. Shamano is cagey about future release stuff, so time will tell what they'll do, but I seriously believe that if we do not take a stand and bomb them with emails requesting that they keep DA and Ultegra as mechanical they will indeed seize manufacturing of mechanical DA and Ultegra because they'll see it as there isn't enough interest from buyers to keep the mechanical stuff. So I believe it's up to us to make some noise as to what Shamano will do.
We should send them hand written letters by the USPS.

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Good luck with that. Do you think they haven't taken that into consideration? What are you gonna do? Boycott and buy SRAM or Campy? They're going to be all electric in the next few years too.
Their business is innovation. Always has been. Always will.
If it made financial sense to cater to the small minority of luddites.. they would. But it doesn't. So they won't.

These are the same arguments when they went from 7 to 8 speed. And 8 to 9 speed. And 9 to 10 speed. And 10 to 11 speed. What? I gotta buy different chains? I gotta buy different hubs to fit my cassettes? ZOMG
The same arguments when cars went from carburetors to fuel injection. Nobody makes an inline 6 cylinder with a double barrel carburetor anymore. They were so much easier to work on!

Shimano released 8 sp 6400 groupset 30 years ago. If that's your thing, you can still buy brand new modern 8 sp groupsets.... that are way more advanced that your 30yro stuff.
They are same arguments but to different degrees. Going from 8 to 11 speed isn’t on par with going from manual to electronic shifting or rim to hydraulic disc braking. I don’t think Luddite applies here... Electronic shifting doesn’t improve shifting. It has cool features, yes. Like selecting your gear combinations for you so you can mindlessly go up or down resistance. I’m not the only cyclist that doesn’t struggle with being in the gear combo we want... Yes, the big advancement is ditching cables. But is the motor and computer more reliable? Does the cost difference make it a better option? Is fussing with it better in ways that fussing with a barrel adjuster is?

Hydraulic disc brakes will stop a bike better and more reliably, especially in wet conditions. I can’t imagine snow and ice riding on my mtb without the great performance of my discs. But what % of roadies will experience any performance improvement in their riding? None? That’s my guess or Ineos would have made the swap. Yes, in racing, small changes matter more than for us. But if it amounted to marginal gains, they’d be doing it. Brailsford may be a lot of things, but he is no idiot about gear and performance.

These two improvements seem to be pure pork barrel. Are they advancements? Yes. Are they better? Probably yes, in some cases. Is the cost worth it? For some yes and for others, their gear isn’t improved enough to bother.

It’s all very cool, it’s good swag. It’s just that neither solve a problem or really improve existing tech.

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Yes it does.
Fussing? lol. There is no fussing. I've got 3 bikes with tens of thousands of miles. Never fussed once. Haven't touched a derailleur once after it was setup. It shifts exactly the same on mile one and mile 20,000 with zero maintenance between.

But hey... you can still buy brand new 10 speed mechanical.

Even 9 speed mechanical.
My Dura Ace 9000 is push button perfect. Granted, I only have maybe just short of 1K on it… How is a system better than one that works flawlessly? I understand innovation and sales… Neither mean improved? I have not ridden electronic shifting so I can’t really compare… But if any system, if it works flawlessly, how is it made better?

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Sorry, there was so much Campy stuff available I couldn't select it all. But alas... SR and Record are there too.

So, electronic shifting is better because it eliminates cables?

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No, it’s better because it costs a lot more and pro racers use it.
Wait now, I’m susceptible to that argument. Except, well... It’s heavier and less aero? Pure pain!

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Yeah, sometimes I forget that my sarcasm sounds pretty much like how they market it.
Haha, I read it right...

I’m a little discouraged at my group choice, I couldn’t find any of the cable eating commentary when I made the choice. Reviews were glowing. Performance matched the reviews when it was assembled. I wanted Campy to match my Italian tubes but the selection and cost were just prohibitive for no functional gain. I may have been wrong... Albeit, I hate thumb buttons But I’d do it for the sake of continuity. I may still do it eventually.

I’m far from anti e-shifting. It’s just a solution to a non existent problem. My SRAM cables last forever. I wouldn’t make the jump just to ditch cables. That lean claim as an advantage.

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Uh huh. And we all know how that turned out.
All the same arguments. Nobody wants disc. Rim brakes are fine. We're gonna boycott. They're gonna lose money doing this.

And nowadays.. virtually every new bike is disc (even TT ) . And business is as good as ever.
I have no question the industry will continue to force change… My question is simply practical. Neither change fixes or improves anything.

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That’s capitalism at work. After Shimano designs solid performing groupsets do you think they’ll tell their engineers to just chill or get new jobs? No way, design to make what you previously designed obsolete. It’s all about a constant revenue stream. If the average cyclist doesn’t wear out their components except for chains and an occasional cassette, how will they survive? You’re seeing a similar reaction in other areas as things such as software are becoming subscription based.
Exactly. Design for the sake of design. New products simply to feed the beast. Sure, replacing cables is a chore as opposed to eliminating them, but the tech will be replaced and consumers will be at the mercy of the software developers. Cables are cables. In the e-shifting model you are 100% at the mercy of the manufacturer. Cab,es aren’t cables and WE will tell you when to spend on an upgrade and WE will tell you when, where, how and how much $ this is going to cost. The tech isn’t bad, the model is. They own you. That’s cool. Any iPhone user can relate.

But it’s a bicycle! A barrel adjuster will fix so many little niggles with cab,es. Sure, we don’t have maintenance niggles with e-shifting.... Yeah right. That scenario doesn’t exist. Computerized shifting and hydraulic braking are the future, no doubt. Not because they are better or improve anything, but because the parts cycle will ensure it. This crap isn’t indexed shifting. That was BOOM! Wow! Shitty downtube shifting has been fixed!!! This is the opposite... Upgrade because we are making you, and once you do, we own your upgrade cycle.

That’s the problem with innovation that doesn’t advance or solve any problems....

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In my 50 years of riding, it seems like "the next big thing" only has about a 50% chance of succeeding. Remember oval chainrings?
Stop. The next BIG thing is Pitbulll Pedals.

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