Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Quick Guide: Dura Ace 9000 11-Speed Mechanical Group

There is a lot that is new on Shimano's new Dura Ace 9000-series groups. Both the Di2 electronic group and the Mechanical group got overhauls for this model year.

There are plenty of places to read about the nuts-and-bolts: new lever shape, revised brake lever pivot, new brake calipers, new chainrings; crank arms; and bottom bracket bearings; oh - and it now goes to 11...

But here's what many of us are wondering: what's the bottom line? How much weight do I save and what's it going to cost me?

Price (MSRP):
Weight (claimed):
Change from 7900:
ST-9000 Dual Control levers (pair)
FC-9000 crankset (172.5mm, 53/39T)
SM-BB9000 bottom bracket (68mm thread)  
RD-9000 rear derailleur
FD-9000 front derailleur (braze-on)
BR-9000 brakes (w/o mounting hardware)
CS-9000 cassette (11-28T, w/ lockring)
CN-9000 chain (116 links)

Some interesting observations here:

  • Dura Ace 9000 saw some big changes; but the price didn't skyrocket compared to the previous generation like we saw with the 7700-7800 and 7800-7900 updates.
  • Even with some major changes to the STI levers, Shimano still managed to shave some weight.
  • The 9000-series bottom bracket features more; smaller bearings with the proclaimed advantages being more surface area for better durability and reduced weight. We'll see how this holds up as we were told the same things the last time this change was made with the ISIS and OctaLink BB's of about a decade ago. The result was that we fried bottom brackets faster... Time will tell.
  • Shimano proves again that they are not afraid to add weight if there is a significant and measurable advantage.  Example: the new brake calipers which are heavier but proclaim a 20% increase in stopping power!
  • The overall weight savings is decent - about 1/6th of a pound, but not big. Granted they have added another cog at the back - but at only + 4 grams. Are we nearing the floor with component group weight? How much farther can it be pushed?
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and share.

You know I'll post a full review once I can get my hands on a group and ride it!


  1. The new shifters are insane. It actually gets easier to shift as you sweep up the cassette. They also had to add clicks to the shift because the action was too smooth and shifts were getting missed.

    1. Something I have always appreciated about Shimano: they continually find a way to raise the bar with ergonomics and usability.

      Thanks for reading.



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