Shimano joins the 11-speed crowd with new Dura-Ace

Rumors have been swirling for months, and today it became official: the next generation of Shimano’s top-level drivetrain system will have 11-speeds in both the mechanical and electronic versions. 

Dura-Ace 9000, as the mechanical system has been dubbed, has a new, lighter shift action with shorter throws, better ergonomics to the hood shapes, new chainring options, and a new brake design. 

The Dura-Ace 9000 mechanical shifter:

The electronic Dura-Ace 9070 group also features new hood shapes, with a programmable computer that will work with either 10 or 11-speed drivetrains, changeable shift settings, plug-and-play cables and accessories, and easier installation and setup. 

The Dura-Ace 9070 electronic shifter:


What is likely the most talked about feature is the new crankarms, which use four off-set arms that can allow new chainring pairs including 50/34, 52/36, 52/38, 53/39, and 55/42, plus any combination of the two. 

The 11-speed cassette uses the same spline system as current Shimano and SRAM products, but is slightly wider. It will work with some current hubs, but not all. Shimano had to redesign its own hubs to make it work. 

Shift lever shape from top to bottom, 10-speed Dura-Ace 7900, Dura-Ace 9000, Dura-Ace 9070:

The new brakes have a claimed 20 percent boost in power:

We’re not going to go to in-depth on all the technology involved in the redesign. Even if you don’t use this system, the technologies will likely trickle-down to bikes you do own someday. We want to hear your opinion on it. Is it overkill or is it inevitable technological improvement? 


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