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…
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.
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.
The inside of the big ring is close to the small ring with a nice ramped shape so the chain slides up.
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.
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.
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.
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…
…but the caliper’s tell the story. Only about 0.23mm difference in outer plate outside width (11-speed on left).
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.
All the details are as minimal as you’d expect on their top end piece. Lots of shaping on the backside shaves grams.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last but not least are the brakes, another item heavily revamped for the 9000 group.
These are the first to get a true dual pivot design, and they open and close on bearings.
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
Crankset parts are 457g driveside with a 172.5 length and 53/39 chainring set and 175g for the non-drive arm. Total: 632g
The 11-28 cassette is 192g and chain is 249g.
Derailleurs are 160g rear and 60g front.
Brakes are 150g and 145g each. Difference mainly due to longer bolt on front brake.
Shifter levers are 184g (rear) and 181g (front).
Pedals are 248g and cleats and hardware add 71g. Total: 319g.
Front wheel is 647g with tubeless valve stem, skewer is 61g.
Rear wheel is 854g and skewer is 66g.
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.