shimano-dura-ace-9100-P-lead-product-release

Shimano Dura-Ace 9100 and 9150 – Everything to know

by David Rome

June 30, 2016

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Three years. That’s the approximate shelf life of a major-brand product in the bicycle industry. Whether it’s a carbon frame or an entire groupset, it has proven to be a consistent number. And that number has been overdue for the market leader, with Shimano finally unveiling its much-rumored Dura-Ace 9100 mechanical and Dura-Ace Di2 9150 groupsets.

While those expecting wireless 12-speed shifting are likely to be left wanting more, the new top-tier road groupsets showcase Shimano’s continued efforts towards greater efficiency and easier operation. Component integration, aerodynamics and ergonomics were also terms thrown around at the official product launch.

Much of the new groupset carries familiar features, but key standouts include Shimano’s first power meter, overhauled aerodynamic wheels, the first ever Dura-Ace hydraulic disc brakes, ANT+/Bluetooth connectivity, and a little automated shifting for Di2 users. All of that, plus a rather fancy black-to-silver fade aesthetic.

With it all being released at once, there’s plenty to tell. And remember, what starts at Shimano’s top-tier almost always trickles down shortly after.


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shimano-dura-ace-powermeter-9

Dura-Ace power meter. A first for Shimano

by David Rome

Long discussed, and prompting nervousness from other power meter brands, Shimano has finally entered the data-driven market. Closely based on technology from its previously acquired BikeFitting.com business, the new dual-leg power meter packs a number of industry-first features into its new Dura-Ace crankset host. Shimano quickly stated that reliability and accuracy were two key design factors in the new power meter.

The Dura-Ace FC-R9100-P power meter places strain gauges at three key points: one on each hollow aluminum crankarm and a third inside the 24mm steel spindle. Doing things a little differently, the left and right gauges are connected via a wire that runs through the crank spindle. This allows the use of a single battery and less chance of transmission issues.

While Shimano’s own literature doesn’t mention it, we’re told the spindle-based strain gauge provides the impressive vector data that the BikeFitting.com machine has become known for. We originally witnessed the BikeFitting-specific power meter a few years ago, where it was shown that the pressure spots through the pedal could be detected. In turn, providing useful information regarding the effect of cleat position and even innersole type. Whether the data is useful or not to have on a bike or even detectable at all by current head units is perhaps too early to tell.

Upon recently getting our hands on a working prototype (for five minutes…), we received word that the new power meter offers 2% accuracy. While this may seem equal to many other options out there already, we’re told that Shimano is achieving 2% accuracy at 200 and 1,200 watts, and everything in between.

Previously the company had been coy as to where exactly the battery is housed, however, we now know the Lithium-Ion battery sits within the steel axle and should provide over 300 hours of use between charges. Additionally, we can confirm that the hollow crank arms are indeed being used for at least the routing of wires.

Charging the battery will be achieved externally by connecting a sealed magnetic plug to the driveside ‘brain’. It’s a similar technology to that of modern smart watches and should help in making the system truly waterproof.

Shimano has made no comment in regards to a Shimano head unit, but the Dura-Ace power meter will offer both ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity. While Shimano has not confirmed it, the Bluetooth is more likely to be used for firmware updates and systems checking than live connectivity.

It’s worth noting that the integrated nature of this power meter means it’s an out-of-the-box item only. You won’t be able to fit the technology to existing 9000 or even new 9100 cranksets.

Changing chainring sizes is said to be a non-issue for the new power meter, and it’ll use the same rings as the standard 9100 crank. Shimano has claimed the power meter adds 70 grams over a standard 621 gram 9100 crankset (170mm, 52/39T, no bottom bracket). Pricing is still to be confirmed, with availability scheduled for approximately April 2017.

(Updated 07/11/2016 with photos and further information following a closer look at a working prototype.)

  • .: Son1ze :.

    Damn! I just got poorer and I haven’t even placed my order yet. What’s the availability though? When’s the app available? The suspense is killing me.

    • .: Son1ze :.

      Oh…I see an “early 2017” mention for the power meter crank… Why Shimano…why you gotta tease me for a full half year…WHHHHHY?! Lol.

  • Mayhem

    Nothing about the new Scylence ring drive hub technology that was first uncovered in patent filings? I definitely thought it would’ve been used for the latest generation of Dura-Ace wheelsets…

    • James Huang

      Nope, no mention from Shimano. We’re trying to get clarification but yes, we expected it to be used here, too.

      • Evan Feekes

        The scylence hubs are back on the drawing board after they ran into issues late in product testing. The freehubs failed when run without grease, which is apparently a necessity for shimano hubs. It really sucks because they had rideable prototypes and were relatively close to production.

        If you’re looking for a silent hub with very low friction coasting, I’d suggest looking at Onyx hubs: https://onyxrp.com/

  • cthenn

    This bit:
    ——–
    For those who don’t want to think at all, it’s plausible that a fully automated shift setting based on power and cadence from the power meter could potentially exist down the line.
    ——-
    I may buy this (mechanical) simply for the derailleurs. Lighter FD shifting action, and improved throw, yes please! That should tide me over until we get full Shimano wireless.

  • winkybiker

    Hooray for hidden j-boxes (at last). But “direct mount” derailleurs look anything but. They look to have an extra linkage piece between the parallelogram and where they bolt to the frame. What am I missing?

    • James Huang

      The new rear derailleur configuration is basically the same as what Shimano uses for its mountain bike derailleurs. The extra link allows it to work on standard hangers but there’s the option for bike companies to use a Direct Mount-specific hanger that angles further rearward. The idea there is that it creates a stiffer foundation (which equates to better shifting) and leaves more room for the wheel to drop out of the frame for faster changes.

      • winkybiker

        So if I have a frame with a direct mount hanger, it is essentially the same as what I have now (main pivot bolts to hangar which is attached to frame). If I don’t, “direct mount” needs an extra link (main pivot bolts to link which bolts to hangar which is attached to frame). Seems a bit of a misnomer to me.

  • jon

    Someone finally understood just how ugly the current offerings of hydraulic-brake shifter are.

    • But at the same time, failed to realize how ugly their current cranks offerings are…as they have definitely carried on that legacy.

  • Alex

    I was hoping that in the Di2 case your power meter would be able to run off the drivetrain battery. That way you can just charge up with one cable and let it go. It would also be great if Shimano eventually open’ed up the system to people that could make lights, etc.

    • James Huang

      That’s a nice idea in theory but it’d be difficult to do given that the crankset is rotating.

      • Alex

        Indeed. I was hoping they could use induction charging of some sort, but I doubt it’s possible to make a charger that takes a + and – that is circular around an axle.

      • Lyrebird_Cycles

        It’s pretty easy to do, just look at the carbon brushes in your power tools.

        It’s been done on bikes before too; Rene Herse did “wireless” front lights with a carbon brush contact on the steerer back in the 50s.

  • Conscience_of_a_conservative

    Lots of exciting stuff, but the big weakness in Dura Ace mechanical doesn’t appear to have been addressed which is premature fraying of the rear derailleur cable after just a little over 2,000 miles. Come on Shimano, what good is all the goodies you are packing in if you can’t get something as basic as a rear derailleur cable right?

    • Andy B

      I’ve never had this issue?

      • Conscience_of_a_conservative

        good for you. many people have, including me.

        • BC Neudi

          Are you talking about the cable issue with the 9000 shifters that was fixed with 9001 update?

        • tobyshingleton

          Cable issue was fixed on ST-9001, which was introduced some time ago.

          • Conscience_of_a_conservative

            Nope. I have it.

    • Nick Squillari

      Precisely the question I had, that (at least to me) is the elephant in the room. Not a mention of it being addressed with the new system.

    • alexvalentine

      The cable issue was fixed when they introduced Di2 ?

  • Legstrong

    Oh my lawdy… This is too much to digest during business hours. I need a private time at my bedroom corner…

    Quick observations:
    Certainly the cleanest crankset + PM integration to date.
    That rim brake caliper… Are you kidding me!?! That’s just outrageously immaculate!

    Well played Shimano…

    • Right? That brake caliber is just pure awesomeness. Fade to black…oh my god. And we are talking Shimano…

      • Trudiejjones1

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        ??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??::::::!bg916mm:….,….

      • winkybiker

        Yep, direct mount brakes like that on Exalith (or similar) rims must offer disc-like power and control.

    • Ashok Captain

      Love the crankset, especially now that the crank has the broader edge leading (like the ol’ Sugino Aero Mity). The calipers are great too, just wish the qr wasn’t ‘off or on’ and could be used anywhere fro fully open to closed (useful at times).

      • Legstrong

        From GCN video, Simon opened and closed the QR. It looked like a regular Shimano QR operation. So no worries.

        • Ashok Captain

          Thanks for that. I should’ve been more clear – I meant the quick release of the brake caliper and not that of the hub/ wheel. : )

  • bigdo

    Wow, wow, wow… the new generation of bike gruppo bling has arrived… I have to say, it definitely is good looking gear. That new crank arm looks stiffer than a 10 yr old corpse! The claims made about the new teeth on the cassette are interesting as well…

  • cthenn

    Anyone know what packages these components may be sold as? Meaning, based on timelines, it looks like the mechanical stuff will be out first, followed by Di2, and the PM crank still not even in production yet…I’d like to upgrade my drivetrain only (and the PM crank when available), the look of the new FD is just beautiful, and shortened throw, easier shifting, I”m all over that. But I don’t necessarily want new brakes. So will Shimano be selling a “drivetrain” kit with just the shifters and derailleurs? I’m sure it would be much cheaper than buying parts individually, or buying a bigger kit with more than I want.

  • TomG

    Surprised they have not updated the rim on the c24 carbon laminate clinchers – very popular wheelset that could do with getting a bit wider IMHO

    • Eat More Lard

      Agreed. All the equivalent factory built competitors – Mavic, Fulcrum, DT Swiss to name a few – have gone wider. I can’t help but think Shimano have missed a beat in the lightweight alloy crowded marketplace.

      • Rob Pittman

        Just because they haven’t mentioned it doesn’t mean it won’t receive the update. They announced a huge amount of info. Presumably, the C24 will receive an update to the graphics, hubs, and the new rim profile. I’d be curious whether the fairing remains asymmetric if there is in fact an updated C24 model.

  • Andy B

    I can’t help but feel all my dura ace bikes just got old

  • Riley

    This is all bloody amazing. I want the C40 wheels.

    • Andy B

      yep they are one of the first shimano wheelsets ive feel desire for :)

  • De Mac

    DA PM may be outta reach for me, but if they trickled-down to an Ultegra PM it’d do! It’ll be interesting to see how Shimano price the PM – if they want to make serious inroads, it must be competitively priced…

  • Eat More Lard

    Seems very focussed on electronic and power. Not sure there is much in it for a mechanical luddite like me, although it sure is pretty ;) Seriously, though, is this the way of the future with the top end groupsets heading more and more towards electronic? This is what makes Ultegra mechanical such a top touring/audax groupset – super reliable performance that can be bodged back to life on the side of the road. A 30mm crank option would be nice, though, creaking risk aside!

    • Ah – the entire middle of the article was about mechanical. I mean – they ‘improved’ virtually all the mechanical items. Hell that front mech alone is insane, better shifting feel, and the new rear mech – come on. I mean, what else are you looking for (this coming from a luddite too/all my bikes are pre-wired routing options)?

      I’m running force22 and have been thinking of moving back to Shimano…may have to either save my pennies, grab some discounted 9000, and slowly upgrade (starting with the shifters and front mech).

      • Eat More Lard

        You are, of course, correct. That FD with the integrated tension adjustment is pretty cool. From a mechanical point of view, I always thought that 9000 was pretty much as good as it can get. I was more talking the general vibe of Shimano (not this article) in focussing on the electronics, maybe overlooking the mechanical excellence.

        Personally I’d like to see a Shimano road 1x so I can head down that path. I could go SRAM but then I’d have to swap the entire groupset including disc brakes (and, yes, I know I this article is about the new DA!)

        • Gotcha – you’re 100% on. Yeah, all the gruppo’s are focused on e-shifting. Di2 never did much to impress me; I have yet to test eTap, but everyone who’s tried it likes it too. All my bikes are setup for mechanical – so unless I go eTap – mechanical is my path for now. I’d like to see a 1x too, as it wouldn’t be all that difficult for them to develop it. I like Force22, but again…love to switch back to a killer issue free mechanical group. If I save my pennies, this gruppo would go on my Six13 I have been keeping for a fun future build (that or if I resurrect my old 1in steering Merckx ti).

    • Sean Doyle

      What benefits do you suppose you are going to get going to a 30mm crank? Do you really think you need it to be stiffer or are you relying on the marketing department to tell you, you NEED stiffer?

      • Eat More Lard

        You are right. I don’t need a 30mm spindle. I don’t need the new Dura Ace either. If I do want to put it on my BB30 frame however, it would be nice to not have to use the adaptor hack. After all SRAM and Campy have managed to support a BB30 frame!

        • Sean Doyle

          The ‘adapter hack’ is no different to a PF30 really so I don’t see an issue. Personally I would never buy a frame that uses bearings that press directly into it. Especially carbon! Even the PF30 has inherent issues in mass production frames. Id much rather use a 24mm axle and get bigger bearings in use than trying to make it all stiffer and then look for weight savings in smaller bearings. ?

  • Cam

    Stick an aftermarket Dura Ace sticker on your Ultegra 6800 crank and you have Dura Ace 9100. Cheap upgrade.

  • Hamish Moffatt

    You said Shimano hasn’t forgotten us owners of older Di2, but sadly I doubt that will apply to those of us with 10-speed 6770. Reportedly recent versions of the Shimano software have refused to allow 6870 and 6770 parts to be mixed even when it shouldn’t matter (old shifters + new derailleurs for example), so it seems unlikely that this new stuff will work. And will they offer it in an external battery option anyway?

    • David

      Details are currently a little scarce but I was told everything running Shimano E-Tube should be cross compatible and upgradable. The exception would be original Dura-Ace 7970 Di2.

      I believe an external, higher capacity battery will be available.

    • Legstrong

      As of 8/3/14, a 6870 front and rear derailleur are both required to allow 6770 shift levers to work with an 11 speed cassette.
      http://fitwerx.com/converting-shimano-ultegra-6770-di2-to-11-speed/

      • Hamish Moffatt

        Oh well at least you don’t have to replace everything then. Could be worse.

      • RayG

        As of now, though, even that might not work. My LBS got that to work recently but, I was told, only because I hadn’t done any firmware updates on my shifters since new.

  • Velt

    Ugh, the wheels are through axle only. Knew I should’ve waited longer to buy my disc brake bike. It has QR front and rear and post mount calipers :(

    • Andy B

      At least road “standards” don’t change as much as MTB, trying to keep up with that will send you mad.

  • Laurens

    Ahhh, that moment where you are excited about the new stuff and sad because you’re now riding on the previous Dura-Ace….

  • lefthandside

    My brand new bike with DA 9000 (damnit) fits a 32t rear cog so what would this take.. a 34? could have 1 to 1 gearing with a 34t compact!

  • So the C24 clincher will be full carbon? Interesting if correct…

    • David

      Not this time. C24 sticks with the same as rim as current 9000.

      • I thought that would be the case, but the text clearly says otherwise. Might be good if this could be updated (and the caption below one of the images):
        “All models will feature full carbon rims with exception to the rim-brake clincher versions of the C40 and C60”

        • Dave Rome

          I’ve fixed this to make it clearer. Thanks!

  • Dude pedalling

    Best analysis on the web. As a campagnolo user when could I expect the Italians to respond with an equivalent integrated power solution?

  • velocite

    If we’re in the big ring and changing down we’ll swap rings before we get to the 28 cog, and after the swap we might drop down a cog or two, ie we’re tending not to cross the chain. I’m guessing that Synchro Shift does this, ie you just get a sequence of gears, up or down?

    • winkybiker

      I’m guessing you’re right. I imagine it’s pretty programmable so you can limit how much cross-chaining you’d “allow”, as well as how much front shifting you wanted Vs skipping possible intermediate ratios to stay on the same ring (and avoid frequent front/double shifts). For me, I don’t tend to shift at the front to get a specific intermediate ratio, but only when needed to get higher or lower without cross chaining. It is one of the advantages of 11 speed that the steps on the rear are small, even with a fairly wide-range cassette.

      • velocite

        If that is the case to describe it as automatic front shifting is selling it short – it’s just two button shifting, one up, one down. A very good idea, and I wonder why it’s not a standard option with all electronic groupsets.

  • winkybiker

    I find it slightly odd that the crankset is really extra-beefy right at the point where the maximum power from right-hand crank-arm is applied, yet is relatively spindly at 180 degrees to that, where the maximum power from the left-hand crank arm gets applied to the chain.

    • dcaspira

      It’s possible the BB takes care of these NDS forces,

      • winkybiker

        Well obviously, the NDS torque is transmitted through the spindle (held in place by the BB) to the DS spider. The force/torque still needs to get to the chain, though. The main point where the chain is being “driven” is about 2-o’clock as you look at the DS crankset, thus the beefy crankarm. But when the NDS pedal is being pushed hardest (180 degrees from the crank’s position in the photo), the spider arm that would seem to be most loaded is the one that is currently pointing to 8 o’clock in the photo (which would then be connecting the spindle to the point of chain loading when it is at 2’oclock). It is much less solid looking than the the one opposite (currently at 2 o’clock in the photo).

        Maybe the forces are more evenly distributed when they come only from the spindle, rather than from the DS crankarm. I just thought it looked a bit odd.

        • jules

          ^^ the last bit. they’re evenly distributed. the spindle can only transmit torque from the NDS crank to the spider. that torque is resisted by the spider arms that are in contact with the chain, so the 2 and 4 o’clock arms.

          • winkybiker

            No, the chain loading forces are greatest shortly after engagement (12 o’clock to 2 o’clock, then the force transmitted by the teeth declines steadily until the tooth about to release at the bottom has effectively zero force.

            • jules

              different forces. you’re talking about the chain acting against the ring. I was responding to your statement about where the NDS force is transferred. it’s not through the 8 o’clock spider arm, the NDS force is transferred through the spindle as pure torque. that torque is resisted by the 2 and 4 o’clock arms, which are being pulled by the chain in the opposite direction. there’s no significance force acting against the 8 o’clock arm, so no significant load through it.

              • winkybiker

                The arm that is at 1 o’clock to 2 o’clock does the lion’s share. When the maximum force is being applied through the NDS pedal (cranks have rotated 180 degrees to the photo), that is the arm shown at 7 o’clock to 8 o’clock in the photo. My point is that this arm seems spindly compared to the one 180 degrees opposite. That’s all.

                I’m sure the Shimano engineers are smarter than me, and have it right. I do wonder about the benefits of such beefy 3D forged chainrings in general, when Campag see to do just fine with flat, thin chain-rings (and let’s not talk about FSA).

  • Sean Doyle

    Ugh…..that Dogma is ugly as sin. I vomited a little in my mouth when that popped up.

    • Hamish Moffatt

      it seems to have had a nasty accident at birth near the headtube …

    • winkybiker

      They’ve always been ugly. Might be getting worse, though.

  • singlespeedscott

    It’s all looking pretty slick, but it’s disappointing to see that Shimano has pushed the chainline even further out. Not great for wear on the inside cogs when in the dog ring. Does this also mean a yet another increase in q factor from the big S? Thank God Campagnolo has still got a narrow chainline and low q factor?

    • Dave Rome

      There was no mention from Shimano of an increase in Q-factor. Hopefully another specific detail we can confirm soon.

  • dllm

    Shimano product page mentions that the freehub body is of aluminum, not titanium.

    http://productinfo.shimano.com/#/spec/2.2/ROAD/Wheel?q=WH-R9100-C40&popup=1&from=lc

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