Shimano today announced Dura-Ace R9100, a group to provide power and performance measurement in one sleek package.
According to Shimano, the concept behind the new Dura-Ace R9100 was to examine and improve every component to optimize the input and maximize the output. Or to put it another way, 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.
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.
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.
The concept behind Dura-Ace R9100 was to maximize the output of the rider by minimizing the energy loss through the drivetrain. That process starts with the crankset.
A new design for the 2×11 Hollowtech II crankset brings a new aesthetic and enhanced shifting performance to the Dura-Ace line up. An enlarged yet 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)
With Shimano’s first integrated power meter you can expect extremely accurate real time power data to track and analyze 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, utilizing technology from bikefitting.com, a Shimano-owned company specializing 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 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.
In the creation of its wheels, Shimano has considered primarily reducing 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 scenario1, 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 customizable for a precise position. Riders choosing Di2 electronic shifting can also customize the option for multi-shift either through an on/off switch or, for further customization, 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).
Synchronized 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. Therefore Synchronized 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.
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 Shadow RD technology, positioning the derailleur further below the functioning sprocket.
Front and rear Di2 derailleurs are connected to 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 the need 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, optimized 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 minimizing energy losses throughout every component. Incredibly reliable shifting performance, enhanced by Synochronizd 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.