Shimano introduces the new DURA-ACE groupset

Kieran Howells
Shimano introduces the new DURA-ACE groupset

Shimano today announced DURA-ACE R9100, which the brand says is the most advanced Shimano groupset ever.

Shimano has said that concept behind the new DURA-ACE R9100 was to minimize 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 new DURA-ACE R9100 adopts a system developed first for Shimano in mountain biking by introducing SHIMANO Synchronized 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 optimize shifting preferences from smart phones and tablets. 

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A new design for the 2x11 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) 

The power meter allows integration and simple installation (pairing) with third party display units to enable sophisticated and accurate levels of performance measurement. Left and right legs can be measured separately, as well as cadence, giving the user the truest measure of performance, isolated from external factors such as gradient, road surface and wind.

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. Because the power meter is connected to the spider, chain rings can be simply changed without affecting the power meter’s accuracy. The system checking and firmware upload can also be operated via a 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 commented: 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.” 

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