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Shimano goes public with 11-speed Ultegra group

Published April 30, 2013
The new Ultegra crank borrows features from Dura-Ace

IRVINE, CA (BRAIN) — Shimano on Tuesday gave the media the go-ahead to publish details of its updated Ultegra mechanical road group, which borrows features from its top-of-the-line Dura-Ace mechanical group.

Like the Dura-Ace 9000 group, the Ultegra 6800 group is 11-speed and features a four-arm-spider crankarm that accepts chainrings in standard road, compact and cyclocross combinations. Available chainset combinations will be 53-39, 52-36, 50-34, and 46-36. The group also has a mid-cage rear derailleur option allowing use of cassettes up to 11-32. 

Shimano says the new group's "shifter ergonomics are near-identical to Dura-Ace 9000 thanks to a compact design." The shifting also has a lighter action and shorter throw, and the lever reach is adjustable by 10 millimeters. Redesigned front and rear derailleurs and a new polymer-coated cable set also reduce shift effort. Like the Dura-Ace 9000 group, the new Ultegra front derailleur has a long lever arm that reduces front shifting effort by 35 percent.

The new Ultegra brakes also borrow features from the Dura-Ace 9000 stoppers, promising up to 16 percent more braking power with better modulation than the previous generation. Ultegra 6800 brakes are offered in standard and direct-mount versions.

The Ultegra group also includes a tubeless wheelset that is lighter than the previous versions and is 11-speed compatible. The WH-6800 wheels weigh 1,640 grams per pair. The hubs also feature a new cone adjust system that Shimano said eases adjustment and reduces axial force from the quick-release.

The group's chain also gets Shimano's "Sil-Tec" treatment to reduce friction and increase chain life. The bottom bracket also is lighter and available in press-fit and threaded versions. The group's pedals are unchanged, except for the finish to match the rest of the group.

Overall the group, not including the wheels, is 35 grams lighter than the previous version, with weight savings in the crankset, levers and chain.

The group, without pedals or wheels, retails for $1,249.92 and will be available in September

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