Fiets magazine scored some prototype spy shots of Shimano’s rumored 11-speed Dura-Ace group on Great Britain’s Alex Dowsett’s team bike at an early season Belgian mini-classic. They’re reporting his was the only bike of the Team Sky group with the rough looking (read: straight from the milling machine) test pieces.
This cropped image, and the one of some new brakes after the jump, are both from their site. And they have more, check it out here. In particular, the new lever prototype looks really, really nice, especially the recessed area for the pointer finger just in front of the hoods. And the brake lever itself appears slimmer from the side profile. Shimano’s standard reply is not to comment on things not officially announced, but this timing seems about right for 2013 goodies to start appearing on sponsored athlete’s bikes.
UPDATE: Thanks to an eagle-eyed fan, we noticed a few changes to some of the components. First, check the cable run and mounting design on the rear derailleur: Super clean and much more direct. The B-knuckle is also very slick. The chain has no reliefs, but the pins appear to be hollow. The rear wheel uses radial non-drive lacing, which isn’t offered on their current DA wheelsets. Lastly, and something we’ve been looking forward to for a while, the levers have “FlightDeck” clearly labeled just under the hoods. It’s about time!
If these become reality, it looks like Shimano could be adding some manner of articulating leverage system to increase power and modulation. SRAM did this with the new Red group, and early reports are that it feels much smoother. This design looks completely different, though, with BOTH arms getting some sort of multi-linkage movement!
Thanks to Gregory, Jason and Bas for the tip!