While the new DURA-ACE is designed for those cyclists looking for all possible competitive advantages, the new ULTEGRA it is the real world application of all these technologies.
The R8100 series shares the same DNA as the R9200 series, offering incredible performance in any situation, combining the principles of the science of speed to help riders achieve greater performance than ever.
The evolutions of ULTEGRA, like those of DURA-ACE, can be divided into five areas of development: shift platform, control interface, brake system, transmission system and wheel system. Let's take a look at those areas one by one:
Table of Contents
ULTEGRA exchange platform.
ULTEGRA R8100 shares the same Di2 platform as DURA-ACE R9200 to improve shifting speed. In turn, the connection between pushbutton and diverter is wireless, achieving in any case a absolute reliability.
The new DURA-ACE and the new ULTEGRA share the same platform, so ULTEGRA users benefit from:
- The new Di2 platform improves the design of the motor in the derailleurs, decreases the process speed (that is, the time of movement between the motor and the gear mechanisms) and the performance of the transmission for the fastest shifting in Shimano history. This results in a 58% decrease in the operating time of the ULTEGRA rear derailleur and a 45% decrease in the operating time of the ULTEGRA front derailleur compared to the previous DURA-ACE RD-R9150 rear derailleur.
- Absolute reliability of a connection when it really matters. New smaller diameter SD-300 cables connect the Di2 battery (BT-DN300) to the front (FD-R8150) and rear (RD-R8150) derailleurs. The use of an internal battery makes it a simple charging solution and ensures a stable, high-voltage connection to the derailleurs, contributing to the fastest shifting ever from Shimano. Tests show that the BT-DN300 battery lasts 1.000 km between charges. The STI shifter pushbuttons are powered by CR1632 batteries (coin or “button cell”) that can last for about a year and a half.
- A patented high security chip circuit, fast processing and low power consumption. All of this significantly reduces the possibility of interference from external devices.
- The new ULTEGRA rear derailleur is where the system charges (replacing Shimano's SM-BCR2 charger) and provides the wireless connection to STI shifters and other third-party devices (replacing the EW-WU111 wireless unit). Besides, his integrated design provides the control point to change Di2 options and Shimano Synchronized Shift modes, replacing the Junction-A button (SM-RS910) that was installed on the handlebar or on the bike frame.
The difference of the ULTEGRA derailleurs compared to the DURA-ACE is in their construction. The DURA-ACE R9200 front and rear derailleurs weigh 215g and 96g respectively, versus the ULTEGRA R8100 derailleurs weighing 262g and 110g. A difference of 61 g.
ULTEGRA control interface.
For ports, sprints or time trials, the new ULTEGRA strikes the balance between comfort, design and aerodynamic gains with a unmatched ergonomics.
The new ULTEGRA 2x12-speed hydraulic and cordless disc brake levers (ST-R8170) now have a higher tip with a slight inward curve and a larger grip surface for better control and more comfort.
This gives riders better grip when pedaling with their thumb and index finger in the area of the lever hoods and three fingers behind the brake lever, while also offering easy access to the gear lever when riding. gripping the bottom of the handlebar.
Now the Di2 pushbuttons have been separated laterally from the brake lever, allowing a better differentiation between the shift pushbutton to raise crowns and the pushbutton to lower them, especially with wet gloves or fingers.
The ULTEGRA ST-R8170 shifters work with a wireless connection using CR1632 button batteries. This wireless connection makes the installation on the handlebar easy and without cables and gives us the possibility of having a much cleaner handlebar.
The ST-R8170 are compatible with the new mini remote change buttons. The Shimano sprint button (SW-R801-S) or the mountain button (SW-R801-T) can be installed with a clamp or can be integrated into handlebars with a specific port, such as the new PRO Vibe Evo handlebar.
These new, more compact satellite pushbuttons are connected in the curved area of the handlebar using a 100mm cable (SW-RS801-S) or at the top with a 2mm Di260 cable (SW-RS801-T).
The control interface offers useful options for customization thanks to the updated E-TUBE app that is now compatible with the ULTEGRA R8100 series.
Like previous versions, E-TUBE Project version 4.0.0 allows you to configure options such as synchronized or semi-synchronized shifting, multiple shifting, shifting speed or the assignment of STI shifters. In addition, we can connect and configure third-party cycling computers to display Di2 system information.
Again, due to minor differences in construction, there is a 32g weight difference between the DURA ACE ST-R9270 (350g) shifters and the ULTEGRA ST-R8170 (382g) shifters.
ULTEGRA transmission system.
ULTEGRA has two new 12-speed HYPERGLIDE + cassettes with ratios of 11-30 and 11-34. The 11-30 cassette in particular has been optimized with an overhaul in the 'sweet spot' gears between sprockets 6, 7 and 8 to maintain Shimano's signature smooth and consistent gear changes.
If we add to this combination quick and smooth shifts Thanks to the intelligent ramping profiles of the cassettes, we achieve smoother gear changes, even at times of maximum load and tension, regardless of whether you are raising or lowering sprockets.
As a result, we achieve that there is no need to stop accelerating or seek a smoother pedaling when we shift. Now riders can go deep and shift even faster, with a smoother cadence and better speed transition thanks to ULTEGRA cassettes with HYPERGLIDE + technology.
The ULTEGRA cassettes come with a new knurling pattern for installation, which is also compatible with Shimano 11-speed freewheels, which means that the new ULTEGRA R8100 components can be used on previous Shimano 11-speed wheels.
For the first time ever, ULTEGRA cranksets come with the option of a power meter. The FC-R8100-P offers up to 300+ hours of riding thanks to a built-in, waterproof and rechargeable Li-ion battery.
Pedaling data is obtained from Shimano's proprietary sensors installed on the two cranks.
The ULTEGRA potentiometers use Bluetooth and ANT + technology to transmit the data.
Cranksets with potentiometers and are potentiometers have 50-34T or 52-36T chainrings configurations with 160, 165, 170, 172.5 and 175mm crank lengths. The ULTEGRA potentiometer crankset weighs 716g, which is a savings over the stiffer DURA-ACE potentiometer crankset, which weighs 754g.
The ULTEGRA R8100 uses the same 12-speed chain used in the Shimano XT M8100 groupset, simplifying inventory needs for shops and riders.
ULTEGRA brake system.
Shimano's new ULTEGRA brake components offer more precise control in the tightest, fastest and most aggressive corners you can find.
With the incorporation of SERVO WAVE technology, already used in Shimano's MTB and Gravel brake systems, the brake levers have less travel to the point of contact with the pad, obtaining a more immediate feel and allowing a smoother modulation. brakes, faster actuation and greater confidence in tough situations.
Additionally, brake noise reduction has been improved thanks to a 10% increase in the distance between the pads and discs and the use of Shimano RT-MT800 discs. The result is a quieter system, thanks to a lower thermal expansion of the disc and a lower probability of occasional friction between disc and pads.
In addition, brake maintenance has also been improved. Now it is possible to bleed the brake without removing the caliper (BR-R8170) from the frame thanks to the fact that the traditional bleed screw has been changed to a system in which we have separate the screw that regulates the bleeding and the hole through which the brake comes out. liquid. A new funnel and spacer also help improve the bleeding process.
The new ULTEGRA brake calipers weigh 282 g per pair compared to 233 g for DURA-ACE.
ULTEGRA wheel system
The last pillar in the development of ULTEGRA is the point that joins the power developed by the cyclist with the speed. For the first time, Shimano has introduced a line of tubeless carbon wheels for disc brakes to the ULTEGRA level.
Like the new DURA-ACE wheels, optimal performance comes from a balance between three factors: reduced wind resistance without sacrificing control, stiffness and lightness. All this available in three wheel options "full carbon" and tubeless.
The three tire profile measurements offer different benefits and performance levels for cyclists:
- The C36 wheel (WH-R8170-C36-TL) is focused on the mountain and is the lightest wheel since it offers a weight of 1488 grams per pair (in comparison, the DURA-ACE WH-R9270-C36-TL have a weight of 1350 gr).
- The C50 (WH-R8170-C50-TL) is a very versatile wheel with a great balance between aerodynamics, lateral and handling stiffness, peripheral and total weight and controllability. ULTEGRA C50 wheels have a target weight of 1570g per pair (DURA-ACE WH-R9270-C50-TL weight: 1461g).
- The C60 (WH-R8170-C60-TL) is the most aerodynamic and fastest wheel. Its design is focused on lateral and driving stiffness and reducing drag. The ULTEGRA C60 wheels have a target weight of 1649 grams per pair (in comparison, the DURA-ACE WH-R9270-C60-TL have a weight of 1609 grams).
All the new ULTEGRA wheels have the same rim profile as the DURA-ACE, with an internal rim width of 21mm. However, unlike the DURA-ACE, the ULTEGRA C36, C50 and C60 wheels use a standard 1: 1 spoke pattern with 1,5mm spokes to reduce weight.
Driving stiffness has been increased to increase power transmission when accelerating. This has resulted in a 36% increase in stiffness on the new ULTEGRA C9 wheel compared to the current Dura-Ace C40-TL wheel.
Shimano's study of the science of speed has taken the development of road bikes to a whole new level.
The ULTEGRA R2's new levers, brake calipers, wheels, derailleurs, cassettes and cranks, plus new EW-SD300 Di8100 wiring and batteries, show that Shimano is sparing no effort when it comes to reaching the next level in technologies that allow us to reach maximum speed and that can be applied to the real world.
The comprehensive component table shows new products and recommended compatibility with existing products.
Riders who choose ULTEGRA can immediately benefit from the DURA-ACE design philosophy and many of its technologies to take their performance to a new level.
ULTEGRA R8100 components will be available in stores from October 2021.