Dura-Ace 9100 Preview


Hey everyone!  I wanted to share a few photos and thoughts after seeing and riding the new Shimano Dura-Ace groupset.  It features some really nice improvements and has some new tech that stays in line with the prior model.

The lever throw is significantly and noticeably less that 9000 and has a slightly crisper feeling to the shift.  It reminded me of old school 9 speed Dura-Ace and how the lever actuation felt like there was a beginning and end to the throw for each shift.  The hoods are redesigned as a single compound hood with some grip pattern in the right places.  While it resembled the more ergo feel of Campagnolo, it had its own unique feel overall and was pleasant to hold on to.

The front derailleur is by far the most innovative piece of the system (other than the power integration with the cranksets, which I haven’t seen yet).  It uses a separate spring tension to actuate the derailleur that is separately adjusted from the cable tension.  It is kind of like having a built in inline barrel adjuster at the actual component rather than in the housing routing.  It gets rid of the tall arm that was getting in the way of some gravel grinder frames in the 9000 series because it would rub the fatter tires (thus, most were coming spec’d with 10 speed front derailleurs).

The brakes are slightly more responsive and use a nicely redesigned cam action to open and close the brake for narrow or wide rims.  It moves opposite to the prior models.  The dial goes inward towards the brake rather than opening to the outside.

The crank looked slightly more molded and shaped to accommodate strong pedal forces in the downstroke while giving it a nice blacked out finish that might appeal some more than others.

Lastly, the rear derailleur seems to take a lot of its tech from the XTR derailleur.  It now sports a shadow plus style mounting system, but doesn’t include the clutch (likely for weight savings0.  A full carbon parallelogram holds the pulleys, which are different in size and closely resemble the slightly larger pulley on 11 speed 105 derailleurs.

Anyways, on to the photos, shown below.  I’ll be adding a build review and other tech as we begin to install it in the shop in the weeks to come.  Enjoy!  Stop by and check it out!  I’ll also being adding a few more detailed photos below in the next couple days as I have a chance to take it apart.

 

 

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2015 Turbo and Turbo X Preview / First Thoughts

The 2015 Turbos have arrived! I was psyched on Friday to see the truck roll up with four brand new Turbos and 1 new Turbo X (with a  suspension fork and knobbier tires).  We had been expecting them and I started the builds right away.  I documented the process of unpacking and setting up the bike and the pros and cons of that and exploration of the features as a quick first look.  I am sure we will be seeing them find homes shortly and will continually add summary progress in a troubleshooting article that will build with time.

They were the middle range motor/battery option which seemed to top out at around 21 mph with moderate effort.  Both models feature some great new tech options and builds upon prior years’ success.  They substituted their own branded stem on both models this year instead of the Crank Brothers model from prior years.  The key and battery lock look like a different make and the disc brakes are Formula C1 models.  Much of the rest of the bike is the same.  The Turbo X front light mounts on the handlebar, which I prefer over the Turbo mount at the crown of the fork.  The Rock Shox Paragon 50mm (regular QR) air fork with remote cable lockout is a nice touch on the Turbo X. It is also spec’d with Trigger tires, which I believe might be better suited to substitute Electrak tires.  The first nine photos are of the Turbo X and the rest are of the Turbo and its accessories.  The LCD controller looks the same and mounts in conjunction with the shifter and brake lever.

New Shimano Ultegra Mechanical Hydro

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.

STROMER!

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.

– SNC

Wheel Truing and Specialized Turbo Long Term Review

I will be posting a short article tomorrow evening on wheel truing and will also post Part 1 of all the info and tuning/adjustments I have been through and discovered with the Specialized Turbo S Pedelec bike. I look forward to your thoughts!  Stay tuned for for great info and photos.

P.S.  I also edited the Dura-Ace 9000 front derailleur setup article after reviewing a few comments from readers and my own experiences with the setup.

 

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– SNC