Here is a quick preview of the new Shimano Ultegra mechanical hydraulic shift/brake levers on a 2015 hi-mod Cannondale. Also shown is their new OEM saddles from new brand Fabric. Rides quite comfortably. More details on the group later.
So, the group rode well and felt very similar to the Di2 version that is already out on the market. As you can see from the small size of the lever body, Shimano got creative with the mechanical parts and stowed them away just like normal (with a small amount of easy access to spray or clean at the anchor of the brake lever and shifter paddle). The bleed port is in roughly the same place, and the metal housing leads into the shifter body where it connects to their lower pressure hydraulic hose (which also uses a different hose nipple than the mountain style hydraulics). Other levels of Shimano brake calipers can also be used with the levers, which is a nice option to customize for certain riding situations and locations. For instance, I might use an XT or XTR caliper for a large rider on a cyclocross bike or the same components on a touring bike for long descents with great cooling.
The Cannondale bike itself looked great with a new blue and gray paint scheme with good detailing. It rode with absolute comfort with a feeling of being quite nimble. It is roughly the same frame as last year with the difference in paint schema and a few bits of hardware that look more refined and adjustable. The new saddles from a Canadian based company called Fabric look promising for an OEM saddle. There are three varying options of curvature of the shell from very flat to very profiled. The other models have more limited sizing as of the website options currently and the Cell saddle would look awesome on a pro build. Apparently they have some new styles of handlebar tape with one made from buffalo leather (likely sourced ethically) that looks like Fizik Micro Tex and Brooks mixed together. When we get a few samples, I will post photos and details on how it wraps and how long it lasts.
So I disassembled a rear Stromer wheel this morning before all of this Shimano stuff and carefully saved the spokes, spoke nipples, rim, tire, base tape, rotor, rotor bolts, freewheel, spacers, axle nuts, and axle washers safely away while I jump into the electric bike hub motor fixing and diagnosing world (EBHMFDW) and get it back up and running. From research, I am confident that a viable and cheap solution will exist when I get the motor opened up and it will be running in no time. After examining the wires where they enter the hub, it seems that one of them might be damaged and shorting out the controller (the LCD display) and the wire and possibly a hall sensor will have to be replaced. To be continued later this week when I get access to a car bearing puller for the hub motor shell.