2009 Shimano Product Launch event 21st July 2008, courtesy of Shimano Singapore

Continued from 2009 Shimano Product Launch Singapore: 21st July 2008…

Something to think about…

Weight of 2008 Dura-Ace Groupset: 2181.00g
Weight of 2009 Dura-Ace Groupset: 2044.90g


The difference is much more than just 136.10 grams. We’ll break it down further in the following pages.

Introduction


Shimano has made a lot of changes to Dura-Ace, and its weight. The new 2009 Dura-Ace groupsets weigh 2044.90g compare to the 2008 Dura-Ace groupsets which weighs 2181.00g. Thats 136.10g of weight savings.

Introducing first with the ST-7900 or Dual Control Lever. With integral PTFE cable routing, shifting will be lighter. Also, for the right side lever or Rear Shifter, the amount of pull required for a shift has been reduced for 20%, resulting in snappier shifts. There is also a reach adjust mechanism combined with better ergonomics that sees easier access to the brake lever from the upper side with a closer pivot. Important also is the new FlightDeck compatible wireless speed sensor on the bracket which will reduce the need to change hand position for operation. For weight-weenies, I am sure that the new carbon brake lever and titanium fixing band & bolt should come as good news.

Note also that Shimano has the SL-7900 for down tube shifters and BL-TT79 and SL-BS 7900, Shimano DA bar end shifters for Time Trialists and Triatheletes.

Heart Rate Monitors & CN- 7900 Dura Ace Chain

By the way, the FlightDeck Cycle Computer finally has a Heart Rate Monitor which should be good news to some. Also, it is now completely wireless, besides wireless transmission between sensors, it will also connect to computers wirelessly to transmit riding data for analysis on PC software which I assume will be provided with the computer. Shimano is also including altitude and inclination data which should be useful when climbing up Mt. Faber.

Another interesting revamp is the CN-7900 Dura Ace Chain which as far as I know, is the first chain to have specially designed outer and inner plates for better contact with gear teeth. It’s supposed to be 0.6% more efficient than before with less noise and better rigidity while decreasing the chances of chain drop. It is available with hollow pin and perforated plate, to shave about 18 grams off but what I really find interesting is the quick-release link.


Now, I know that SRAM popularised the power-link which is really strong, stiff and everything but Shimano’s quick-release link for a road chain is interesting. You remove it by sliding the smaller pin towards the centre before pushing the pin out from the side to take out the chain. What I found most interesting though, was that it was practically effortless to push the small pin towards the centre, unlike SRAM’s power-link which is sometimes quite tough to push. Noted, on a road bike with little chain slap, it is unlikely for any release to happen accidentally, but I wonder if it is possible to put this design on MTB Chains as well. Oh and before I forget, if you haven’t realised, because of the specifically designed outer and inner plates, when installing the chain, care must be taken to ensure that the right side of the chain is installed.

A wide range of choices

Now, for 2009, Shimano will no longer offer triple Cranksets as they are not allowed in races, which is what Dura Ace  is designed for. So instead, Shimano will be offering a very wide range of choices for its cranksets. Anywhere from 53/42T, 53/39T, 52/39T until 56/44T. In addition, Shimano says that all 20 gears should be usable with no cross-chaining problems when using the CN-7900 chain. The Dura Ace  crankset is now also 20% more durable for better power transfer because of the hollow chainring while the crankarms will be 20% more rigid to allow for more aggressive pedaling (think sprinting) and better power transfer.

The seal for the BB adaptor has been redesigned for smooth rotation and longer durability while the teeth have a better design now for better contact with the chain and more efficient power transfer.

The Crankset also has a duo-tone for aesthetics, which is something that Shimano is moving to towards these days for all its groupsets.

Shifting has been even further improved by creating an even more rigid (and lighter) aluminum carrier unit along with re-engineered teeth profile. Cassette design is lighter as Shimano has developed a super lightweight and rigid aluminum cassette sprocket carrier. The largest four cogs are titanium and weight is reduced by 10 grams. Available combinations will be: 11-21T, 11-23T, 11-25T, 11-27T, 11-28T, 12-23T, 12-25T, 12-27T

Now, on to the derailleurs.

Derailleurs

The front derailleur is touted as outer-trim-free on the front top with optimum spring tension for feather-light downshifting. The rear derailleur will have a carbon pulley plate for weight savings and also, a total capacity of 33T so that it will be wide gear-ratio compatible. Again, this is to cope with the absence of a triple crankset without having to change to a GS rear derailleur. There is an enhanced pulling cable method and clicking sound whenever shifting is complete that hopefully assures more than annoys

With a new carbon fiber rear pulley cage, the rear derailleur loses another 16 grams while maintaining durability and improving performance. The new design is compatible with wider range cogsets and can accommodate a maximum 28 tooth cog. The available wider range creates even better compatibility with compact cranksets.

 

The front and rear hubs of the 7900 group have an easy bearing adjust system and better rigidity.

There are a couple of changes to the brake caliper but readers will be pleased to know that the compound of the brake shoe has been revised to have 110% more stopping on wet surfaces and 20% more on dry surfaces.

The brake arch proportion has been enhanced for quicker response while the outer cable stopper has a low profile for better cable routing, which of course means reduced cable friction. 

The new STI Dual Control levers offer a refined ergonomic shape while reducing the weight by over 40 grams. With a Shimano first, the new STI levers offer unidirectional carbon fiber lever blades which reduce weight and offer shift cables hidden under the handlebar tape for a more sleek design. Using a revised internal mechanism along with PTFE lined casing, the shifting is still as light as ever.

Shifting stroke for the rear derailleur has been reduced by 20% for quicker shifts and a built in reach adjuster allows for fine tuning the fit for riders with smaller hands.

The shifters continue to have integrated controls for the all new FlightDeck computer (SC-7900), which has been updated to include heart rate, altitude, grade, cadence, gear position, and directly downloadable data via a wireless connection. The new SC-7900 is completely wireless.

New Wheelsets


Also, there are several new wheelsets, 2 of which are the WH-7850-C50-CL, Carbon Clincher Race/Everyday Wheels and WH-RS80-C24-CL. The latter is a Road Tubeless Race/Everyday wheel WH-7850-C24-TL, weight: 1420g that is meant to be offered as the tubeless version of the Carbon 1380. Like the 1380, it has a thinner 0.55mm aluminium alloy rim laminated with 1mm of carbon to achieve the same results as a 1.00mm aluminium rim. The rims will weigh 390g compared to the 450g clincher

Do note though, that although the new pulling cable method improves performance, the 7900 group will be unmatchable with any previous Dura Ace groupsets.


New Shoes

Also, Shimano is introducing more new shoes with 6 custom-fit shoes. Currently, the vacuum pump and oven for Shimano’s patented custom fit technology that moulds not only the sole but also the shoe to your feet are only available in the Jurong Kechil Rodalink

Shimano has expanded its custom fit technology to Triathlon shoe, TR-70.

Not forgetting the women, Shimano also has Women Specific Designs the SH-WT51.

105 Groupset

Lastly Shimano is launching a new colour scheme for its 105 groupset

PRO Subsidiary

Shimano is also starting to introduce its PRO subsidiary which specialises in accessories and components like handlebars and stems so you can expect to see more of these hitting your LBS

Although I took some pictures at the launch, I missed certain shots so credits to www.sicklines.comwww.bikeradar.comwww.bike.shimano.com for the photos provided.