Shimano update their premier road group about every 4 years, this time around it’s a lot more than an additional cog or a new look. The new Dura-Ace R9100 responds to the demands of the modern cyclist is such a convincing fashion that Shimano are now the clear leader in road components, and the new Dura-Ace R9100 the ultimate choice for your next road bike.
Additional gear ratios: Dura-Ace remains 11sp “Yes!!” but can accommodate larger cogs with Shimano now offering a 11-30 cassette and the rear derailleur able to accommodate a 32T.
Hydraulic brake option: Dura-Ace R9100 mechanical shifters are now available for mechanical rim or hydro disc braking. “Another Yes!!!” The disc brake is a road specific disc brake and not a repurposed MTB brake like almost everything else on the market.
The other big news is that the profile of the hydraulic brake lever is almost identical to the mechanical one, not big and bulky like most current hydro levers. The rim brake is now designed to accommodate a 28mm tire. “Yes, Yes’ Yes!!!”
Power meter & new crank: No carbon here, the new Shimano Dura-Ace FC-R9100 crankset is still made from alloy like all Dura-Ace cranks before. It’s lighter and stiffer with a new look and improved shifting but the big news is the addition of power measurement with the optional FC-R9100-P.
The Shimano power crank measures left and right leg output as well as cadence with the strain gauges inside the crank arms. It’s a very slick unit and just a fraction heavier than the standard crank.
The FC-R9100-P is also designed to work seamlessly with any data display point welcome news for Garmin owners. The cherry on top been the internal battery which is charged with a magnetic adapter, so no removing crank or battery covers.
Smartphone or tablet connectivity allow you to operate the unit, and we are expecting the Shimano power unit to be as reliable as all Shimano product which would make this the most reliable, best looking easiest to use power meter on the market.
Lighter feeling shifter: The new Dura-Ace mechanical levers have a lighter feel than previous versions. We are not expecting to love this given the 9000 already feels quite soft at our experience has been that at some point the softer feel leaves the rider unsure about shifting.
The throw of the levers has also been reduced to remove the dead spot in the beginning of the lever throw, and make shifts more instantaneous.
Adapted derailleurs: Front and rear derailleurs are updated. The front derailleur no longer has the long swing arm which we had found conflicted with larger tires on some frames.
It’s now a more compact unit that can be adjusted with a hex bolt in place of the inline cable adjuster. The new rear derailleur has a larger range and is a more compact and less exposed component than the older Dura-Ace. It borrows the shadow technology from Shimano’s MTB group.
The main benefit here is that the derailleur (and hanger) is less likely to be damaged in the event of a crash or the bike falling over. It may look a little odd for us old school roadies, but as always pure performance will win out over looks.
Thinner chain: The new Dura-Ace chain is thinner than before, has a snap link and Shimano claim it to be quieter. Given it’s 11sp and the cassette has not changed much we assume it’s a possible upgrade for current 11sp Shimano drivetrains.
New lighter pedal: Shimano update the new Dura-Ace pedal to be lighter but retain the same platform size. The old pedal was fantastic, the new one we assume will be the same.
Shimano Dura-Ace R9150 Di2 get’s a huge update as well. It’s not wireless but it has some amazing new features. Read more here.. Shimano Dura-Ace R9150 Di2 Review
Shimano Dura-Ace Wheels are now lighter and more aero and we expect they will keep the top spot as the most used wheel in professional cycling. Read more here.. Shimano Dura-Ace 2017 Wheels
We have group prices and weights see here: Shimano Dura-Ace Groupset Prices