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Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting!
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From a CompetitiveCyclist.com email this morning...

2009 Shimano Dura Ace 7900. New & improved gossip.

Most of the press we've seen in the last few months about the new-for-2009 Shimano Dura Ace has focused on the electronic version of DA. Stefan Schumacher medaled on eDA at last year's World Championship Road Race, and he and his Gerolsteiner team mates have served as guinea pigs for eDA ever since. While the pure novelty of electronic shifting tantalizes, we got our own medals (for bravery) for fighting at the Battle of Zap and Battle of Mektronic. While we're intrigued by the alleged telepathic shift quality of eDA, it's hard to shed our concerns for its weight, its durability, and its reliability.

The excitement over eDA has been noisy, and it's obscured an underappreciated fact: Along with eDA, Shimano is also releasing a new version of non-electronic DA. It'll be known as Dura Ace 7900, and we've finally seen our first confirmed technical details about 7900. The purpose of this What's New posting is to shed some light on what you'll be seeing in the new-for-2009 non-electronic Dura Ace.

Here's what we DON'T know about Dura Ace 7900: Weight and cost. As soon as we get this info, we'll pass it along. But, for now, all we have is basic technical info. And, sorry, we don't have photos either.

Here's what we DO know, on a component-by-component basis:

STI Levers -
  • Say farewell to exposed shifter housing. Shimano is making the change to under-the-bar-tape cable routing They refer to it as "integral shift cables". We wonder if Shimano-sponsored pros will find digging deep on the front a but tougher without shift cables to grab on for stability…
  • "Better access to the lever from upper side with closer pivot." Our interpretation of this means that the shape of the brake hood will be different. We've never enjoyed the deep hook of DA brake hoods, and to our ears it sounds like Shimano is modifying the shape to make it more SRAM/Campy-like. In other words, no more plunging hook, and instead you'll see a flatter hood. Beyond the ergonomic improvement, Shimano also claims this leads to smoother braking.
  • You get a reach adjustment mechanism. This is a nice feature of SRAM Red, as well. Folks with small hands should be very pleased.
  • 20% shorter stroke to achieve shift engagement on the right lever.
  • Weight savings thanks to the use of a carbon brake lever and a titanium fixing band & bolt.

Rear Derailleur -
  • Carbon! The pulley plate will be made from carbon fiber. Shimano is a company built on their commitment to the forging of alloys, so any sort of branching out into composites is a big, big deal.
  • Increased chain wrap capacity. In other words, you can use a wide range of gears (e.g. a 50/34 & an 11/28) without having to resort to a "Triple" rear derailleur.
  • You get an "enhanced pulling cable method" with an audible click when the shift is complete. But the price of superior shifting is this: Dura Ace 7900 STI Levers and the 7900 Rear Derailleur will not be compatible with current 7800-series Dura Ace.

Front Derailleur -
  • Shimano claims that your days of trimming the front derailleur are over. No trimming will be required. This is a pretty big coup when you compare it to SRAM, since one big upside of Red (in comparison to their Force and Rival gruppos) was its inclusion of FD trim.
  • The FD spring tension has been re-tooled to achieve "featherlight downshifting".

Crankset -
  • Put aside your sugar-plum visions of a DA Carbon crankset. Rather, Shimano has forged their 7900-series aluminum crank with even thinner walls to make it lighter than any production carbon crankset in the marketplace.
  • When you use the 7900-series crankset with the new 7900-series chain, you'll get no front derailleur rub thanks to its new chainring/spider design. This also allegedly provides improved power transfer, thanks to the superior mating of chain and chainring.
  • More weight savings comes from its new aluminum/carbon composite BB axle.
  • Shimano will also introduce a 7950 version of the crankset, with 50/34 chainrings. This will be the first-ever Dura Ace compact crank (a full, what, 7 years since FSA introduced theirs?)

Chain -
  • The 7900 chain is known as the "Super Narrow" chain. The redesigned outer plate resists chain suck, and the new design of both the inner & outer plate mesh with the chainrings with such precision that Shimano claims it reduces mechanical friction by 0.6%. We're a bit unsure how to parse what that 0.6% converts to…Does that mean an extra 2.4w when you're making a 400w effort? We're unsure, and we're eager for a fuller explanation. Perhaps more important is the fact that Shimano also says it's a quieter chain.
  • The 7900-series chain has hollow pins and perforated plates to further reduce weight.
  • Shimano will introduce a "Quick Link" for its 10-speed chains. Our impression is that this means tool-free installation.

Cassette -
  • Like the chain and the crankset, the cassette sprockets get fine-tuned to optimize shifting, and the cog carrier is a lighter-than-ever aluminum.
  • You'll see a wider array of cassette ratio options. In addition to all of the options you get in 7800, you'll also see an 11/25, 11/27, and an 11/28. Before you laugh at the 11/28, keep in mind that this is SRAM's #1 selling cassette ratio! All the ratios made in the 7800 will be produced as 7900-series models as well.

Brake Calipers -
  • Dig this: "Enhanced brake arch proportion." We think this means that you get quicker caliper response when you hit your brake lever, and perhaps better stiffness under heavy braking. We suspect that this is a photo of the new brake. Interestingly, the boys over at the Weight Weenies forum pointed out that this poor rider appears to have his brake shoes on the wrong side…
  • Lower profile outer cable stop. This improves cable routing, which decreases drag and improves the snappiness of the lever. If you've ever installed a set of Zero Gravity brakes, you know that fine-tuned brake cable routing is something you should never take for granted.
  • The brake pad compound changes. Shimano claims that the improvement will be most noticeable in the wet, where stopping power improves 210%. In the dry, you should expect a 120% improvement in stopping power.
  • Add'l titanium hardware saves overall weight.

Flight Deck Computer -
  • It's still integrated into the STI levers, but the functionality gets much broader -- It includes a heart rate monitor, altimeter, and an inclinometer. It's a full-on 2.4GHz wireless system, and you can even download data wirelessly onto your PC.

A final note on our understanding about backwards compatibility:
Rear Drivetain -- The 7900 system is only compatible with other 7900 components. The 7900 rear derailleur is compatible with 7800-series cassettes, but that's it. There is no other cross-compatibility. This also means that 7800-series components cannot be used in piecemeal with 7900 if your plan is to upgrade one component at a time. More or less, you'll need to upgrade to 7900 STI, rear derailleur, cassette, and chain in one fell swoop.
Front Drivetrain -- Same story. There's an Iron Curtain between 7900 and 7800. The only kinda, sorta compatibility is between the 7900 front derailleur and the 7800 crankset. Shimano states "slower shifting may occur depending on frame dimension" if you choose to mix things like this. We're not sure if "dimension" means frame size or geometry or what. But we can't imagine someone running a full 7800 bike with the exception of a 7900 front derailleur, so it's not something we're terribly worried about.

Brake Systems -- The 7900 STI Levers are compatible with 7800-series brake calipers.
We're looking at a best-case scenario of a late September 2008 delivery timeline. We're sure it'll be all over the '08 Tour de France, and in full force at the Eurobike tradeshow shortly thereafter. But in terms of delivery, if it's before Halloween, we'll be stoked.
Last edited by: Macho Grande: Mar 18, 08 4:59
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Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [Macho Grande] [ In reply to ]
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Wow... great info! Im guessing the price is going to be more inline with SRAM Red.
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Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [Macho Grande] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for posting. I read this a few days ago and it is very enticing, I have to admit. I am glad that Shimano is finally releasing a compact to the dura ace line. The big question is what price point it will come in at???? I am going to upgrade from my DA9 group in the next year or two, and it will probably be Red or DA, depending on the price points. Only time will tell!
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Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [Macho Grande] [ In reply to ]
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There is a multi-page thread over at weightweenies (http://weightweenies.starbike.com/...6aa363ee67f77537867b) about this new version of Dura Ace and includes comments from industry members who were in attendance for Shimano's recent OEM presentation of the pre-production prototypes. the discussion went on for a good month when a few images of various quality finally were posted and now their is a debate raging about whether or not the new shifters eomploy SRAM technology similar to SRAM double-tap or traditional STI shift lever actuation! Personally I like the fact that the new brake/shift levers appear to incorporate the hidden cable runs ala Campy and SRAM as well as what appears to be better ergonomics to adjust lever reach. I had not given much thought to the STI versus double tap debate until mid-way through a road race this past weekend when I realized exiting a high-speed corner just how often I shift while pedaling and using the brakes to modulate speed approaching uneven corners!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [ms6073] [ In reply to ]
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Actuation is the same as always. As for the cost - somewhere between 15-30% more. It's going to be a shock for consumers next season - especially you guys in the states with the weak currency - everything is going up big time

Speedtheory
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Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [cyclenutnz] [ In reply to ]
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Cost has been my biggest beef with the cycling components companies since the shift from 9 to 10 speeds. While I realize there was a bit of an increase in technology between the two and the companies have every right to charge for the research that went into it (being an engineer, that's the bacon I take home, too), the cost of components literally doubled overnight. If I suggested a refinement of an existing product line that would cost the customer twice the current cost, I would get laughed out of the office. Even a 20% increase is huge.

Those of us that tend to make gradual improvements over time got totally hosed by the decision to create an atmosphere of "buy a frame and get free components" (or vice versa, depending on perspective). Also, when a component breaks, which will eventually happen to every part, it's almost not worth it to replace the part versus replacing the entire bike (depending on the part), which really is completely insane, particularly considering bikes are now expensive enough that banks offer financing options for them. Now, by weight, SRAM Red is nearly twice as expensive as open market silver (although still trailing gold by a bit). By comparison, a typical $20k car is about 1% that (not counting fuel).

And I wonder, I really wonder, if Campy and Shimano have considered that that huge jump in cost opened the market for SRAM to barnstorm the party and grab relatively huge marketshare in a matter of months. And there are rumors that there is(are) additional full gruppo manufacturer(s) on the horizon.

And, yes, I do realize that I sound like the old man on the back porch harping on about how things were better, "back in my day..." ;)
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Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [Macho Grande] [ In reply to ]
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_________________________________________________
CAMPAGNOLO GRAN FONDO NEW YORK
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Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [uli] [ In reply to ]
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Why are the brake pad carriers mounted backwards?

Dre'

Edit: They're not. My bad ... carry on.

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...
Last edited by: Dr. Dre': Mar 18, 08 9:58
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Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [Macho Grande] [ In reply to ]
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Be interesting to see how Shimano has gotten around the double tap IP if they are using the one lever for up and down shifting.
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Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [uli] [ In reply to ]
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That white-ish piece better not be ivory.





Recreational racer slaying blog:

http://rrslayer.blogspot.com

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http://home.comcast.net/...omitron_cycling.html
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Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [Koz] [ In reply to ]
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Most of the price jump is materials. Sram is taking big market share for next year because their lead time is much shorter and more reliable than shimano. Visited one of their factories and they are adding production lines constantly so that they can get to 45 day lead time on Red and stay there.

Speedtheory
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Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [Macho Grande] [ In reply to ]
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I wonder if Shimano will continue with a triple crank in the 7900 line? My guess is not because of the availability of the compact crank set. Or am I wrong?

-- Boris
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Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [Macho Grande] [ In reply to ]
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Wonderful, we are back to the days of "Dura Ace only works with Dura Ace"...another typical Shimano tactic. Want the new DA? Slash and burn your current bits....

----------------------------------------------------------

What if the Hokey Pokey is what it is all about?
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Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [Record10Carbon] [ In reply to ]
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Record this has pushed me to your side. ShimaNO sucks.

customerjon @gmail.com is where information happens.
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Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [Macho Grande] [ In reply to ]
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Post of the month for me! Thanks....excellent info....the main issue i have with Dura Ace is being addressed in that the STI levers will include reach....I have small hands and its a struggle to brake when on the drops for me......aside from that i look forward to another fantastically engineered groupset from the master of design and smoothness......

CAN SOMEONE EXPLAIN THIS THOUGH:

  • Lower profile outer cable stop. This improves cable routing, which decreases drag and improves the snappiness of the lever. If you've ever installed a set of Zero Gravity brakes, you know that fine-tuned brake cable routing is something you should never take for granted.

  • I bought some Zero Gravity brakes and took em off to put back Dura Ace as they made the bike judder BIG TIME under braking....

    Stephen Perera
    Gibraltar, Europe
    graphics@gibraltar.gi
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    Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [kristiancyclist] [ In reply to ]
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    I would highly doubt they'll have a triple if they are offering a compact. Why waste the overlap when a knowledgeable cyclist or shop owner could tell them that a compact with the right gearing will do the same as a triple?

    Bob
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    Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [Record10Carbon] [ In reply to ]
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    In Reply To:
    Wonderful, we are back to the days of "Dura Ace only works with Dura Ace"[/quote]

    my guess is that within 1 year, there will new components for all the other shimano groups that will run on the new shift standard, so all the new groups components will still interchange.





    Where would you want to swim ?
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    Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [Mr. Tibbs] [ In reply to ]
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    At least Shimano's R&D cost is relatively low; all it seems they've done is bought a Campag group and copied it!
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    Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [bigadam] [ In reply to ]
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    In Reply To:
    At least Shimano's R&D cost is relatively low; all it seems they've done is bought a Campag group and copied it![/quote]

    uh, not exactly. remember, shimano is the only maker of dual control levers where the brake lever itself has a second function: to shift the derailleurs. no other component maker (including campy and sram) have levers with this novel feature.





    Where would you want to swim ?
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    Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [sperera] [ In reply to ]
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    I have the Zero Gravity brakes installed on my bike with Dura Ace levers. The combination works well for me. It sounds like your brake pads need a little bit of toe-in?

    -- Boris
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    Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [GregX] [ In reply to ]
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    Greg:

    If tradition holds, they'll trickle the technology down year by year to the otehr groups. When the latest iteration of DA came to market Ultegra got the latest upgrade a year later followed by 105 still another year later. Tiagra et all jsut got the new shifter design, etc last year...

    Bob
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    Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [Macho Grande] [ In reply to ]
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    Tradition? When did that start? If think if you look at history Campagnolo is the one that takes the "last years Record is this years Chorus" way of doing things. What is funny is that a Centaur rear Der is identical to a four - five year old Record.

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    What if the Hokey Pokey is what it is all about?
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    Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [bigadam] [ In reply to ]
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    Huge. True too.

    Tom Demerly
    The Tri Shop.com
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    Re: Dura Ace 2009 - Interesting! [Record10Carbon] [ In reply to ]
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    Ok, they don't have the 145 year tradition that Campy does, but redesign and incorporation of new technology trickles down over the course of a few years with Shimano. They have not simply introduced 6 new product lines with the same technology because it allows people to mix and match. With introducing DA and waiting for the other grouppos Shimano allows the early adopters to buy the stuff up.

    Bob
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