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New Ultegra Di2 and road discs available in November, Shimano says

Published July 1, 2013
The ST-R785 hydraulic/electric lever.

IRVINE, CA (BRAIN) — Shimano this weekend publicly released details of its updated Ultegra Di2 group with a hydraulic disc brake option. The Japanese component giant said the new parts will be available in November.

The company also launched a limited-edition high-end road shoe on Saturday, the first day of the Tour de France. The bright blue R320B model is being worn by several riders in the Tour and will be available in limited quantities worldwide. The company said it will make 350 pairs available in the U.S.

Road discs

Shimano said its R785 disc brake system is customizable for cyclocross or road use.

The rotors and calipers use Shimano's ICE technology, introduced on its mountain bike groups several years ago. The ICE materials and design are said to disperse heat faster than earlier technologies to provide consistent braking.

The R785 levers are compatible with Ultegra 6870 Di2 or Dura-Ace 9070 Di2 components, including remote shifters.

SRAM also has announced hydraulic brakes for road bikes; SRAM's Red 22 Hydro SL levers contain a hydraulic piston and a cable-activated shifting mechanism and are noticeably taller than SRAM's cable-activated brake levers. In a press announcement, Shimano appeared to allude to this difference: "With Di2 electronic shifting internals, the svelte form factor of the ST-R785 hydraulic/shift lever is highly ergonomic to accommodate a variety of hand sizes, yet more comfortable, with its compact aesthetics resembling a typical Shimano Di2 road shift/brake lever."

Shimano said the new lever includes reach and free stroke adjustments in addition to a pad clearance auto adjustment at the caliper.

The BR-R785 hydraulic disc brake caliper is a two-piston design. Rotors will be available in 140 millimeter and 160 millimeter sizes.

According to Shimano weight specs for the new parts, the new hydraulic levers weigh 515 grams, compared with 295 grams for the new Ultegra Di2 levers.

The system also includes the new CX75 hub sets with Center-Lock disc rotor mounting. The WH-RX31 is a compatible wheelset for road or cyclocross use with a 17c-wide clincher rim.

Blue shoes

The special edition SH-R320B made its debut at the Tour de France.

When the Tour started in Corsica on Saturday, the entire Argos-Shimano team, as well as select members of ORICA GreenEDGE, Team Sky, Team Belkin, BMC and Francaise des Jeux were sporting the company's new highly visible SH-R320B shoe.

The special-edition shoe has the same features as the SH-R320 shoe, including a Custom-Fit upper and the new Shimano Dynalast outsole. The carbon outsole has a hollow channel for lightness and a new ergonomic carbon fiber-reinforced nylon monocoque heel cup.

A new insole has two different arch pad height options.

Shimano said the Dynalast outsole was developed with input from WorldTour riders and "secures the foot in the optimized ergonomic position for cycling." The company claims the design translates to 5 seconds gained for every 25 kilometers ridden.

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