Shimano 11-Speed Dura-Ace Outed?

2013 Shimano Dura-Ace 11-speed component group document leakFloating around the Weight Weenies forum was chatter about some secret documents, Japanese blogs and rumored wireless electronic systems.

This isn’t the first we’ve heard of a possible move to 11-speeds by Shimano, but it’s the first time there’s been any sort of visual proof.

Of course, we’ve seen grainy photos from Japanese blogs before that claimed to show the new SRAM XX before it was launched a couple years ago. While we doubt this leak was intentional, the timing is spot on for trumping some other news slated to release this week from a competitor (stay tuned…). Generally, the large manufacturers publicly shy away from leaks on massive new product intros because the news can hurt dealer stocks on existing inventory. Whether this is legit or not is anyone’s guess, but the buzz seems to be pointing toward a yes.

If accurate, the document shown here, which was captured from Michael Vogt’s Twitter stream, it means the 7900 DA group is jumping the 8000-series numbering scheme and moving straight to the 9000′s. It doesn’t show any electronic parts, but does mention bar end (presumably TT/triathlon) shifters and “direct mount” brakes, which could be discs or simply non-dual pivot calipers to save weight. Or they could be aero brakes for TT/Tri bikes. Whatever it means, it’s showing an August timeframe for most parts. If it’s real, look for the pros to be racing on it in the Spring Classics!

What do you think? Coming soon or a farce?

Thanks to Jason for the tip!

Comments

Gino - 11/29/11 - 11:39am

Well, I guess I’ll try and stay optomistic with it. But, I think gearing range wise and bike construction wise shooting for a drop down to 9 speeds out back coupled with a better triple crankset would give more utility and last longer than the thought of shrinking the chain width even further and potentially weakening rear wheels more. Maybe producing a big triple up front and doing away with the 11 cog in the back, like a 36/46/55 chain ring setup with a 12-32 narrow chain 9speed out back?

Androo - 11/29/11 - 11:46am

“More” is all well and good, but I wonder if we’re starting to reach the viable threshold of chain-link thinness with 11 speeds. Steel is steel is steel, after all.

How’s that 9-spd vs 10-spd chain stress test coming along, guys?

A.Ron - 11/29/11 - 12:58pm

I was fortunate enough to test a bike equipped with 11-speed Campy Super Record for a few weeks this fall. Holy crap it was amazing. If I could afford 11-speed or if my 9-speed Dura Ace would finally kick the bucket, I’d be all over it.

mkrs - 11/29/11 - 1:00pm

The main difference between 9- and 10-speed chains is not plate thickness but rather the length of rivets – which means there is no real difference in strength between them. The whole problem with designing multiple-speed systems is (as far as I know, at least) their precision and getting them to work with very close tolerances.

On the other hand, there is another limiting factor – this factor is called common sense. As soon as 13-speed systems are developed which could cover the whole 11-23 range with one-tooth gaps, IMHO there will be no need for more cogs.

phlat albert - 11/29/11 - 1:02pm

i thought the whole idea is to get rid of the rear mech

Call Me Elf - 11/29/11 - 1:46pm

Cue the never ending Spinal Tap “But these go to 11″ jokes in 5…4..3…2…1…….

mateo - 11/29/11 - 2:02pm

@ Androo – all steel isn’t the same. not even close. Just look at frames. Compare good old “Hi-Ten” frames to Reynolds 853. Different universes. I have no idea if the bike companies are taking advantage of new high strength steels in chains, but there are certainly options out there that didn’t exist when 9 speed was introduced.

Fred Astaire - 11/29/11 - 2:24pm

Gino has obviously never ridden a triple and if he has, must not ride it very often.

wv cycling - 11/29/11 - 3:06pm

It’s strange seeing shimano stick to their guns with Hollowtech II still being their flagship crank type. Hurry up and stop making us use adaptors for BB30/blah

mkrs - 11/29/11 - 4:31pm

OK, but what’s so wrong about HT II after all? I’m not a great Shimano fan, to be honest, but their cranks are just amazing – I see no real need to improve. Maybe they could be a bit lighter, but to me there’s really no need to improve anything on HT II, especially when BSA is still by far the world’s most prevalent BB standard.

Rick S - 11/29/11 - 6:35pm

Well, this’ll drive up the price of the Specialized Venge by another 4 grand.

Robin - 11/30/11 - 3:34am

People whined about the change from 8 to 9 speeds. People whined about the change from 9 to 10 speeds. It’s also likely that people whined about the change from 6 to 7 and from 7 to 8. Heck, I’ll bet some even whined about the change from freewheel to cassette. I’ll bet some wagon wheel owners complained about the change from wooden wheels to wheels with rubber tires!

Mark - 11/30/11 - 7:12am

Sooner or later Shimano has to embrace press-fit bottom brackets. The production frame manufactueres really don’t want to spend time cutting threads.

So what’s the “Press-fit type bottom bracket parts for DA???”

gringo - 11/30/11 - 8:51am

Mr. Vogt can expect a friendly phone call from a Japanese lawyer in 3…..2…..

Chris - 11/30/11 - 12:07pm

I love that they refer to them as “direct mount brakes” instead of calling them by their more traditional name: center pulls. The design really is no different than the Mafac brakes from 40+ years ago. Actually not a bad design – when fitted to proper braze-ons (and not the much more common center bolt mount) those Mafacs worked extremely well and were lighter than side pulls. For carbon forks it also means no longer having a hole drilled right at the most highly stressed part of the fork. Of course I think it’s just a stop gap until discs truly take over.

Robert - 11/30/11 - 2:20pm

The Press-Fit type Bottom bracket is likely referring to Shimano’s BB86/BB90/BB92 design, as used by Trek and others. Don’t think there is anything new about that.

Greg - 11/30/11 - 8:29pm

The future: Single elliptical front chainring. 14sp rear hub internal drivetrain. Wireless. You heard it here first.

Maybe keep an Apex group around for the Angrilu.

Henk - 01/30/12 - 7:03am

Why do we want 11-speed? I ride my bike still with Ultegra 9-speed. I don’t need two extra speeds.

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