Unboxed, Weighed & Photo’d – 2013 Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 11-Speed Group

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

The new Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 component group has finally arrived in the Bikerumor office, and here are all the parts fresh outta the box and on the scale.

Shimano had announced all the tech specs and performance claims earlier this year, but there’s nothing like getting your hands on it to see all the little details a press release can’t convey. First impressions are very good – the boxes all have top quality, glossy finishes, as you’d expect from a group with a suggested retail around $3,100 (components plus pedals, not wheels). Inside the boxes, the gloss gray and black finish is even better, giving the group a stealthy overtone with enough shine to let everyone know you’re rockin’ the best.

Click on through for a complete overview and actual weights for all parts…

THE DETAILS

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

Love it or hate it, Shimano’s making a statement with their four-armed crankset. The crankarms use their Hollowtech II hollow forged alloy technology, and the Hollowglide chainrings use similar tech to save weight. Yes, it means a new BCD pattern and size, but once you’ve committed to the system, you can run all chainring sizes on the same crankset: 50-34T/52-36T/52-38T/53-39T/54-42T/55-42T. And crank arm lengths come in a whopping seven sizes from 165 up to 180 in 2.5mm increments.

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

One of the surprising features is how shallow and minimal the ramps and pins are on the big ring…

…and they’re not evenly spaced. In this photo, the bottom two sets are closer to each other than to the top set. Shimano has said the crankset’s design puts material where it’s needed, and those same studies must’ve yielded some data on chain pickup points.

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

The inside of the big ring is close to the small ring with a nice ramped shape so the chain slides up.

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

The crank preload cap is a composite rather than metal. Since the pinch bolts hold the crank in place after this is snugged down, it can be composite rather than metal.

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

The cassette holds a few surprises, too. The top five cogs are titanium to save weight, letting this 11-speed cassette come in within a few grams of it’s 10-speed predecessor.

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

On the backside, Shimano did the unthinkable on another of their drivetrain components – they used carbon fiber for the middle carrier for cogs 7-9. Previously, about the only place you’d find carbon on their groups was on a rear derailleur cage or brake lever.

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

Connecting those two bits is the new 11-speed chain. Shown here is an Ultegra-level 10-speed chain on the left and the 11-speed Dura-Ace on the right. Visually, it’s tough to tell much difference…

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

…but the caliper’s tell the story. Only about 0.23mm difference in outer plate outside width (11-speed on left).

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

Making the chain move are the front and rear derailleurs. The rear derailleur doesn’t seem to hold any surprises, just a revised cable entry and clamp points that Shimano says makes for lighter shifting effort.

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

All the details are as minimal as you’d expect on their top end piece. Lots of shaping on the backside shaves grams.

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

Like the rear, the front mech’s cable pull positions were revised, most notably with the very tall leverage arm giving a lot of power over the cages movement. Unlike the rear, though, the front derailleur did have one nice little secret.

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

Details are also heavily shaped to save weight, looking much more refined than lower level groups. Click any image to blow it up for detail.

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

The secret is that little bolt hiding underneath the hi/lo adjustment screws (the one with the blue thread compound visible here). Shimano calls it a support bolt that gives the derailleur a more stable contact patch with the frame. We’re thinking it’s going to make alignment and set up much, much easier. Brilliant.

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

Tying all of it together are the shifter levers. They make some of the biggest claims of the group, citing 30% less release stroke than the model before, and almost 50% less effort at the end of the shift stroke for both front and rear derailleurs. Part of the reduced effort also likely comes from the new polymer coated cables, too. The hoods are smaller than before, too, which should improve reach and grip ergonomics.

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

One thing that does carry over from previous groups is the exposed bottom and inside edges of the shifter’s internals. Compared to the enclosed mechanics on SRAM Red and Shimano’s Di2 shifters, these are almost completely open to the elements. We’ve been running current generation 105 for more than a year on two separate bikes (one road, one cyclocross) and haven’t had any problems with contamination. Those shifters are equally open, so we don’t anticipate big problems, but if you regularly ride in foul conditions, might be worth checking and cleaning them once in a while.

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

Last but not least are the brakes, another item heavily revamped for the 9000 group.

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

These are the first to get a true dual pivot design, and they open and close on bearings.

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

As they close, a roller rides along a curved arm to keep action butter smooth and symmetric. A small bolt facing out of the cable side adjusts the angle of the curved arm to fine tune pad position and feel.

We didn’t get the bottom bracket in for testing because the bike it’ll go on is PFBB30. Pedals are in (as are the new R320 road shoes!), just not shown above. This particular group is going on a rather sick project bike using a custom Argonaut Cycles frame, so first ride impressions are still a few weeks off.

SHIMANO DURA-ACE DA9000 ACTUAL WEIGHTS

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

Crankset parts are 457g driveside with a 172.5 length and 53/39 chainring set and 175g for the non-drive arm. Total: 632g

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

The 11-28 cassette is 192g and chain is 249g.

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

Derailleurs are 160g rear and 60g front.

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

Brakes are 150g and 145g each. Difference mainly due to longer bolt on front brake.

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

Shifter levers are 184g (rear) and 181g (front).

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

Pedals are 248g and cleats and hardware add 71g. Total: 319g.

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

Front wheel is 647g with tubeless valve stem, skewer is 61g.

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

Rear wheel is 854g and skewer is 66g.

2013 Dura-Ace 9000 road bike drivetrain group details photos and actual weights

From left to right, the other little bits are:

  • Various length brake mounting bolts add up to 21g, but you would only need two if the ones on the brakes don’t fit.
  • Shift cables: 29g
  • Brake cables: 40g
  • Composite crank arm bolt: too light to register
  • 10-speed spacer ring for freehub body: 3g

The latter piece is included with the wheels, which come set up for 11-speed. For more on Shimano’s 2013 wheels, check this post.

Comments

First Troll - 12/13/12 - 5:40pm

Packaging material!?!?! Un-cut chain!?!? No chain pin weight?!?!? For Shame!

Derek - 12/13/12 - 6:32pm

BB Weight?

Kyle - 12/13/12 - 6:57pm

@Derek – 65g advertised weight.

bc - 12/13/12 - 7:39pm

Weight schmeight. I’ve ridden this stuff, and it’s phenomenal. Who cares how much it weighs when it works this perfectly? 7900 blew and Shimano knew it, and they told their engineers that this had to work as well as Di2, or there may be no mechanical Dura Ace to speak of. Well, they listened, and they bettered Di2 all around. I see no reason for electronics and batteries when something mechanical works this perfectly.

After a dozen years primarily on Campy, I’m debating a switch, when this stuff trickles down to the Ultegra level.

Seriously people, this stuff is that good.

bigrider - 12/13/12 - 7:43pm

So what is the total weight and how does it compare to Sram Red or last year’s Dura Ace?

bin judgin - 12/13/12 - 8:04pm

this looks hot! death to di2 by better engineering of cable pull systems <3

ManGotMeDown - 12/13/12 - 8:23pm

@bigrider

~150 grams heavier than 2012 red.

I think the total for the group is 2020 grams or so. Sram’s red is exceptional, and now dura-ace works very well. In my opinion, the refinement/tactile feel is on par with or slightly below super record mechanical, but performance is slightly better. There is now very little to choose from between the three’s flagship groups: it comes down to small tradeoffs in weight, cachet, and ergonomics.

Steve - 12/13/12 - 9:22pm

I tested it, and even though I will never own it, I put it through it’s rigors. Tried my best to make it shift poorly, it just wouldn’t. As flawless as you can get. Seriously.

g - 12/13/12 - 10:37pm

“…with enough shine to let everyone know you’re rockin’ the best.”

Because that’s what it’s all about, right? Maybe stop for a picnic and stare at the clouds for a minute, next time your out for a ride.

Jeb - 12/13/12 - 11:49pm

@g…….I don’t ride my high end Dura-Ace equipped race bike when I’m out for a picnic or looking at the clouds, I have other bikes for that. Maybe you should re-think your purchase if that’s what you want from a high performance “race” group.

guy - 12/14/12 - 1:40am

This stuff seriously feels amazing all around. Pick gripes if you might (and there’s always going to be a few), but after riding this group on a couple different bikes I’m sold on this being a more than competitive flagship for Shimano; as well as representing the direction for the trickle down hopefully. All parts of the group felt really balanced for braking and shifting efforts. Just a damn fine group.

Mr4strings72 - 12/14/12 - 2:23am

those shifters are cute.

Bertie - 12/14/12 - 6:23am

I feel sorry for the people that shelled out for 7900! Had a few rides on 9000 now and it’s a massive improvement on all fronts.

Brandon - 12/14/12 - 9:10am

Man, I wasn’t totally unimpressed with 7900 as it was, but after riding 9000 I’m really impressed as well.

Loook - 12/14/12 - 9:42am

Only shame it not works with 10 speed hubs like campa does.

Bikemechno3 - 12/14/12 - 9:49am

“The non-drive crank bolt is a composite rather than metal. Once you clamp the two bolts on the arm itself, it should stay put with this simply acting as a backup after driving the arm into place.”

No that is the preload adjuster for the crank. It isn’t a backup.

trexor - 12/14/12 - 12:08pm

From what I’ve been reading (and as you noted), the new cables and housing are a big part of the reduction in shift effort. While you’re waiting for that Argonaut dream bike to show up, think you could try a hack and put them on the 105 equipped bikes you’ve been using? It’d be interesting to see if they could help out other groups that most people can afford!

Paul Rago - 12/14/12 - 12:27pm

Nice lookin group fo sho.

@Bikemechno3
Yep, right on–I was thinking the same thing when I read that. It’s exactly like on my XT crankset.
I would like to add that this preloader cap goes on BEFORE clamping the two bolts on the arm itself, not after as stated in the article. This is important b/c otherwise tightening it does nothing to preload the BB bearings (the arm will not slide on the spindle if it’s already tightened).

@Mr4strings72
agreed, they’re very cute!

fraser - 12/14/12 - 3:40pm

Wow! The crank cap has no weight at all!!THATS weight shaving! :D

Tyler (Editor) - 12/14/12 - 5:38pm

Trevor – Ha! No way, man, we’re keeping this set pristine until it’s fully installed as intended. But, the current 105 group is amazing. Honestly, it works as well as their top end stuff, excepting perhaps the new Dura-Ace, but it’s a darn good group. And the black looks pretty awesome, too.

All – Yes, the crank cap bolt goes on to tighten the non-drive crank arm into place (also known as setting preload), then the bolts on the arm tighten it onto the spindle. At that point, it’s merely a back up to keep tension set properly and hold the arm on if its bolts accidentally loosen.

Echo - 12/14/12 - 8:29pm

The big thing is how many rear shift cables are you going to cut because of the way that the cable runs to the pinch bolt ?

Pete - 12/14/12 - 9:03pm

I have the older 7800 and it has probably 40k kms on it and runs flawless, I was thinking about going to 7900, but am I better off waiting for 9000? What was the main probs with 7900? I read some reviews people preferred the older 7800 over 7900!!! what gives?

cheers

Pete

Sam - 12/15/12 - 7:50am

The support bolt is NOT simply for angle adjustment. It’s not enough to leave the clamp bolt slightly loose and adjust angle with the support bolt. Tighten the clamp bolt with the rear of the cage .5-1.0mm tilted inwards. Then preload the derailleur with the bolt to achieve the correct alignment. You WILL need this……http://si.shimano.com/content/si/front-derailleur/english/FD-9000_RD-9000/_jcr_content/headerpar/sidownload/file.res/DM-FD0002-01-ENG.pdf

Jordan - 12/15/12 - 4:29pm

Pete: 7900 introduced a lot of friction. None of the buttery smoothness that Shimano is known for. Required a lot of force to pull the cables and the shifts were not distinct enough. If you had small hands the levers were too wide for braking purposes. The crankset and brakes were good though.

Rick - 12/21/12 - 5:56pm

7900 shifting was very poor with the stock shimano cableset, marginally better with Gore. I just put NOKON on the bike and my old 7900 shifts like a well tuned 7800. This cableset just saved me from having to go out and buy the 9000!

Huddini - 12/26/12 - 7:14am

My 7900 shifts better then my 7800. I use Yokozuna Reaction cables. They are a bit on the heavy site, but never had a problem!

Nick - 03/21/13 - 5:11pm

“Shown here is an Ultegra-level 10-speed chain on the left and the 11-speed Dura-Ace on the right. Visually, it’s tough to tell much difference…”
Surely when showing such a great new groupset, why use a zoomed in photo of the same chain rather than a real 10spd vs 11spd chain? Looking closely it’s clearly the same chain – same dark spot in the background, same shiny spots and bits of debris/lube on the chain itself. I know that’s being picky but c’mon guys, it’s disrespectful to 9000!

Tyler (Editor) - 03/22/13 - 9:52am

Nick – each photo shows both chains…note the Left picture is 10sp and the Right picture is 11sp. The pic on the right is just a closeup of both chains to show better detail. Note the inner plates are visibly thinner on the 11-speed chain.

David Paly - 04/23/13 - 12:16pm

Which wheel set was it that you reviewed? These weights are much greater than the C24 claims.

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