June 01, 2012

Shimano Turns It Up to 11 With Dura-Ace 9000

     Shimano just announced that they will be releasing their first 11 speed groupset. The mechanical 9000 group will be available in September for a MSRP of $2,700, and the electronic 9070 Di2 group will follow in December and be a whopping $4,104. All the specific groupset details they can be found in this Velonews article. The key points are that there will be one extra cog (duh), it will not be backwards compatible with previous DA groupsets, it can not be mixed with SRAM components, at first it will only fit new Shimano wheelsets and some Mavic wheels (wider rims and new wider brakes), the shifters have better ergonomics, it's lighter, the crank spider only has four arms and is in my opinion quite ugly and it's pricey.

     This will be great for people who like to have the newest thing, or for weight weenies who want to shave 77 grams from their bike. I personally do not see the advantage of adding an 11th cog. Current 10 speed drive trains already have narrow spacing, tight gearing and a decent range and for someone like me who lives in a fairly flat region an 11th gear isn't going to do anything for me. One advantage is that with this new groupset all the obsolete 10 speed components will be going on sale!

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