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Shimano announces Di2 Alfine option, more

Published February 29, 2012

IRVINE, CA (BRAIN) Feb 29, 15:33 MT—Are you ready for an 11-speed internal-gear road bike with electric shifting and disc brakes?

Shimano will be combining its Di2 electric shifting with its Alfine internal-gear hubs later this year, when it introduces Alfine Di2 levers for flat or drop handlebars, with rim or mechanical disc brakes.

The electric-internal-disc parts are among the selection of road, mountain and city components that Shimano announced Wednesday. The information was given to some members of the press earlier this month on condition it was not published until 4pm Pacific time Wednesday (midnight March 1 in Europe).

Among the highlights:

    Road and cyclocross:

  • Alfine Di2. Alfine Di2 will be available in 8- and 11-speed hub options. A handlebar-mounted display will show gear selection and battery level. The Alfine group includes Shimano's first drop-bar shifter for internal gear hubs. The system offers several battery options, including a seatpost-mounted battery. It will be available this fall.
  • Ultegra Di2. Ultegra Di2 will offer an optional satellite shifter, available in June.
  • Wide-range road drivetrains. The Ultegra 6700 group now includes short and mid-cage rear derailleur options that can accommodate a 30-tooth cassette. The 105 and Tiagra groups will include a short-cage rear derailleur that can handle a 30-tooth cog and a mid-cage derailleur that can take a 32.
  • Road and cyclocross disc brakes. No hydraulics, but Shimano is offering two new cable-activated disc brake systems for road and cyclocross, the BR-CX75 (for cross) and the BR-R515 (Tiagra-level). Shimano also will offer new road compact V-brakes for use with road brake levers. The new brakes will be available this summer.
  • New road wheels. Two new value-priced wheels are 10- and 11-speed compatiible. The WH-RS61 is Shimano's lowest priced tubeless-tire compatible wheel (the company did not release specific price information).
  • New 9-speed Sora road group. The Sora 3500 group will come in flat-bar and drop-bar options in 2x9 and 3x9 options.
  • Entry level clipless pedal. The PD-R540 pedal has a new lighter action spring said to improve ease of entry and exit.

    Mountain:

  • Upgraded SLX. The value-priced SLX group is getting more trickle-down technology from the higher-end XT and XTR parts, including the Shadow Plus rear derailleur with direct-mount options and 2x10 and 3x10 crank options. The shifters have a new ergonomic shape with two-way release and can be converted between two-chainring or three-chainring options. Front derailleurs have improved compatibility with rear suspension and 29ers. The new SLX group will be available in July.
  • XT and XTR additions: The XT and XTR groups each get direct-mount rear derailleur options. A new XT double crank is being offered with 29er gearing of 38x24.
  • New mountain wheels. Shimano has three new offroad wheels. A Deore XT 29er wheel, available this fall, has a 15mm E-thru front hub and a QR rear and is UST-tire compatible. The WH-MT66-29 is another 29er wheel, available this September with 135mm or 142mm E-thru rear spacing and 15mm front E-thru hubs. The 26-inch WH-MT68 wheel, available in July, is intended more for trail riding, with 15mm E-thru front spacing and 135 and 142mm rear options.

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