The all-new Shimano Dura Ace Di2 groupset launched to the public earlier this year after months of speculation, rumours and the odd spyshot taken of pro racer’s bikes at races leading up to this year’s Tour De France. That steady build up to launch gave us and many other cycling nerds the chance to speculate on the finer details of Shimano’s premium road groupset; would Shimano go wireless just like the SRAM eTap system? Would they increase the gearing from 11-speed to 12-speed or even 13-speed?! Would Dura Ace be launched with separate mechanical and electronic groupset options? At the end of August all was revealed and it was immediately clear that Shimano had gone down the route of careful refinement rather than implementing any major radical changes; that said when you began to look in more detail and started to read the Shimano press release there was plenty of new innovation and clever features.
The long-awaited all-new Dura Ace Di2 R9200 groupset is finally with us.
Given the ongoing impact of delayed overseas production and delivery times following the Coronavirus pandemic we knew that it would inevitably take us a while after launch to see the new Shimano Dura Ace Di2 groupset for ourselves. Thankfully Pinarello came through for us and we got notification that a new Dogma F Disc (their premium road model launched this year just before the Tour France) spec’d with the new Dura Ace Di2 groupset was winging it’s way to Wheelbase HQ in the Lake District. When it arrived we made the Dogma F bike-build a priority and hit speed-dial, calling up our talented photographer James Vincent to get him in to shoot the bike for us!
Our first look at the new 12-speed Dura Ace Di2 R9200 groupset came with the arrival of this stunning Pinarello Dogma F Disc.
The all-new Shimano Dura Ace Di2 groupset looks stunning on our Pinarello Dogma F Disc road bike; we made sure that James captured all of the aesthetic qualities of this premium road bike and its brand new electronic groupset in his photos. In our feature below you’ll find a mix of his images along with some technical illustrations and plenty of detailed information on the all of the new technical features that make up Dura Ace Di2 R9200…
Shimano have done it again, with their top-end groupset looking stunning, but what’s new this time round?…
OK, so there’s two significant headliners when it comes to the new Dura Ace Di2 groupset; both of them were already widely speculated on in the lead up to Shimano’s official launch. Firstly we were all expecting to see the Japanese brand make the leap to a 12-speed drivetrain, just as their nearest component-manufacturing equivalents SRAM and Campagnolo have done previously; we and countless other tech geeks were right on that count. The other big rumour or reasonable theory being circulated was that Shimano who were first to market with the original electronic groupset would move from a fully wired system to a wireless system mirroring how SRAM eTap works, with a wireless signal being sent from the shift levers to the front and rear derailleurs. Well, it turns out that we all only half right on this count.
Instead of going the whole-hog and making the system completely wireless Shimano have introduced a semi-wireless configuration for the Dura Ace Di2 R9200 groupset. It’s a sort of ‘best of both worlds’ approach that sees all the benefits of having wireless shifter units that don’t require wires to be routed from the handlebar, through the stem and then through the frame as was the case with the previous version. This wireless cockpit is paired with a wired portion which links the front and rear derailleur with an internal battery that powers them both; Shimano state that this solution guarantees longer run times thanks to a more efficient central source of power, compared say, to totally wireless front and rear derailleurs which require their own battery power source located on the mechs themselves (as seen on the SRAM system).
Dura Ace Di2 R2900 features a semi-wireless electronic shifting system.
The wireless gear shifter and hydraulic brake units are powered by small non-rechargeable CR1632 coin-cell batteries which have a run time of 1.5-2 years. Shimano state that not only does this new wireless control system keep your cockpit looking clean and uncluttered as well as making bike building that much easier and efficient without the added complication on intricate cable routing they have also been able to increase the speed at which the signal to shift gear travels from shifter to derailleur; yes apparently these wireless signals are four times faster in processing shifting commands than their wired predecessors. Shimano claim that the new-gen Dura Ace Di2 delivers 58% faster rear shifting and 45% front shifting so we’re not talking about insignificant amounts here. There’s an updated smartphone app which allows you to fine tune shift speed, letting you determine how fast the rear derailleur moves; you can also customise button function too.
The new wireless shifters feature coin-cell batteries that boast a 1.5-2 year lifespan.
Dura Ace ST-R9270 Dual Control Lever Key Features:
- 1.5 to 2 years of battery life with easy-to-change CR1632 shifter batteries
- Raised hood peak improves ergonomics, longer hood body increases hand support
- Compatible with satellite shifters
- SERVO WAVE technology optimizes brake control
- Lighter, smoother lever action
- Enhanced modulation thanks to an expanded braking control area
- Carbon fibre brake lever and titanium hardware
- Customise button function with the E-TUBE app
- Find your optimum lever position with simple reach adjust
So we now know that wireless is faster than wired; 58% faster in fact. The Shimano Dura Ace ST-R9270 Dual Control Levers send their wireless commands directly to the rear derailleur which is the designated ‘connectivity unit’ or brains of the system, those signals from the lever either move the rear mech as required or instantly send a message via the wired portion of the system to activate the front derailleur. There’s a whole lot going on that rear derailleur which now also communicates wirelessly with Shimano’s E-Tube smartphone app, features the function button which used to sit within the Junction A box as well as a new charge port and LEDs to indicate charge level. This all-new Di2 rear derailleur is now only available in one cage length which is compatible with a maximum cassette size of 34T making the groupset just a little more versatile than its predecessor.
The RD-R9250 rear derailleur is the brains of Shimano’s semi-wireless system.
Dura Ace RD-R9250 Rear Derailleur Key Features:
- Fastest ever rear shifting (58% faster)
- Compact design includes an integrated wireless unit, charger and switch
- LED status indicator
- Battery indicator
- Adjust mode
- Wider range capacity with maximum 34T low sprocket
The Shimano engineers have been able to remove a significant amount of bulk from the Di2 front derailleur thanks to that semi-wireless configuration, with a wired central battery and all of the command signals going to and from the rear derailleur. The new, smaller front derailleur now tips the scales at under 100 grams while an overall reduction in size means less aerodynamic drag on your super-aero road bike.
The all-new FD-R9250 front derailleur is super-compact.
Shimano have reduced frontal area by 33% making the front derailleur more aero.
Dura Ace FD-R9250 Front Derailleur Key Features:
- Fastest ever front shifting (45% faster)
- Smaller, sleeker, lighter
- Frontal area reduced by 33%
- Weight cut to 96 g
- Top gear teeth capacity: 50-55T
As we’ve already highlighted, in the lead up to the launch of the new Dura Ace Di2 groupset both the cycling industry and the wider cycling public expected Shimano to increase their cassette-cog-count up to 12, following suit with their rivals Campagnolo and SRAM. This new 12-speed configuration means there’s less of a jump between ratios while giving a bigger range of gears; there are three options when it comes to the cassette – 11-28T, 11-30T and a super-low ratio 11-34T option. Shimano have taken their Hyperglide+ technology first seen on their 12-speed mountain bike groupsets and applied it to this new road-going groupset; Hyperglide+ tooth shaping provides smoother and faster upshifts and downshifts with Shimano claiming that gear shifts down the block now happen 66% faster. As you’d expect, despite the extra cog this Dura Ace cassette is nice and light with the five largest cogs being made of titanium with the rest being made of steel.
Hyperglide+ tooth shaping provides smoother and faster upshifts and downshifts on this 12-speed cassette.
We can’t help but to look straight to the chainset when a new-generation Shimano Dura Ace groupset launches; the reason for this is that whatever aesthetic quality you see on the top-level drivetrain usually filters down the range and forms ‘the look’ of that particular generation of Shimano groupsets. When it comes to styling there’s no radical departure with this RD9200 chainset, just further refinement of what Shimano have previously engineered; years of development mean that this latest version benefits from all of the science and testing that went into previous versions and includes hollow arms and chainrings to keep weight to a minimum while ensuring stiffness and shifting precision are enhanced. Shimano have changed the chainring sizes for this all-new groupset with 3 options – 50/34T, 52/36T and a whopping 54/40T available for the super-strong racers out there.
As expected the Dura Ace FC-R9200 chainset is great looking, but there’s plenty of proven performance benefits too.
The moment we looked at the hydraulic brake calipers we could see that Shimano had spent some considerable time on developing the new Dura Ace BR-R9270 versions; they are noticeably more compact. Rather than a subtle refinement over their predecessors the BR-R9270 calipers are a completely new design which address some small issues that were identified on the previous versions; while there was never an issue with the amount of braking power generated they could be a little noisy and difficult to setup. The new Dura Ace BR-R9270 hydraulic calipers feature Shimano’s one-piece Mono-Body construction technique to help decrease weight and increase rigidity while a greater amount of pad clearance (10% more) guarantees a much quieter ride; there’s also a redesigned bleeding process to help make workshop maintenance more simple and user-friendly.
The more compact Shimano BR-R9270 calipers are a completely new design.
Shimano have paired the BR-R9270 calipers with their RT-MT900 disc rotors, yes, their existing Shimano XTR mountain bike disc brake rotors lifted directly from their top-of-the-range mountain bike groupset. These disc brake rotors are actually a little lighter than the road-specific rotors they are replacing and have proven to better withstand temporary deformation caused by overheating on long alpine descents; in fact we’d noticed earlier this year that some of the professional road racing teams were already fitting Shimano mountain bike rotors to their race bikes, perhaps this is what led Shimano to do the same?
With some key performance improvements Shimano have spec’d their existing RT-MT900 disc rotors as part of the new Dura Ace groupset.
So that’s the all-new 12-speed Shimano Dura Ace Di2 R9200 groupset which we’re mightily impressed by both in terms of looks the amount of innovation and refinements that have gone into it. The semi-wireless approach makes sense and offers some key improvements over their fully wired system, especially when it comes to the simplicity of setting up your cockpit and controls. The 12-speed drivetrain increases efficiency when it comes to gear ratio selections while the combination of high speed wireless signals and subtle but improved profiling of the rear cassette and front chainrings means the speed of gear selections have increased by an impressive 58%. It’s important to note that for the first time ever Shimano have only launched a Di2 electronic version of this groupset, there is no mechanical equivalent; a sign of the times and an acknowledgement of just how far this sort of technology has come.
The Dura Ace Di2 R9200 semi-wireless configuration is a clever approach and offers some key improvements over their fully wired system.
We shot the new Shimano Dura Ace Di2 R9200 groupset on a stunning Pinarello Dogma F road bike; newly arrived at our Wheelbase Lake District store this Italian masterpiece is a truly lust-worthy race bike which has had staff and customers alike drooling over it. We recently took a detailed look at another Dogma F spec’d with Sram Red eTap AXS; if you want to find out more about this cutting-edge aero road bike hit the link to read our recent Pinarello Dogma F ‘Fast Bike Friday’ feature. We’ve also included some more shots of the Dura Ace Di2 R9200 equipped Dogma F below…
Pinarello have built the Dogma F to be light and stiff, aerodynamic and more comfortable over longer distances.
The Dogma F is made from TorayCa T1100 1K Dream Carbon with Nanoalloy Technology.
This disc-brake-equipped Dogma F has clearance for up to 28mm wide tyres.
Dropped seatstays help to add more compliance where it’s needed.
An integrated seat clamp wedge is secure and aerodynamic.
Pinarello have given the Dogma F a fully aero front end with stem, headset, frame and fork all blending seamlessly into one.
This new-generation Pinarello Dogma F boasts a fully integrated cockpit with no exposed cables.
Pinarello’s own MOST Talon Ultra-Fast integrated handle bars are super-aero to cut through the air efficiently.
The Dogma F includes a lightweight pair of MOST bottle cages.
The lightweight MOST Lynx Ultrafast Superflow saddle boasts carbon rails for increased comfort.
Talk to our dedicated road department to find out more about the Dogma F and the build options available.
- Frame: Pinarello Dogma F TorayCa T1100 1K Dream Carbon with Nanoalloy Technology
- Fork: Pinarello Dogma F Onda Fork with ForkFlap
- Shifters: Shimano Dura Ace Di2 R9270
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano Dura Ace Di2 RD-9200 12-Speed
- Front Derailleur: Shimano Dura Ace Di2 RD-9200
- Cassette : Shimano Dura Ace 12-Speed, 11-30T
- Chainset: Shimano Dura Ace 12-Speed, 50-34T
- Chain: Shimano Dura Ace 12-Speed
- Brakes: Dura Ace BR-R9200, 2 piston caliper
- Rotors: 160 front /140mm rear
- Wheels: DT Swiss PRC 1400 Spline
- Tyres: Pirelli Pzero Race 26mm, black 127 tpi Aramid breaker (Max Tyre Size 28mm)
- Stem: MOST Talon Ultra-Light Integrated
- Handlebar: MOST Talon Ultra-Light Integrated
- Bar Tape: MOST Bar Tape
- Seat Post: Pinarello Aero Seatpost with 3D printed Titanium Top Seatclamp and bolts
- Saddle: MOST Lynx ULTRAFAST SUPERFLOW L Carbon Large 145mm
Written by Johnny Dodgin
Photos by James Vincent
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