Another gong for Shimano's electronic groupset...

Shimano’s electronic road racing components DURA-ACE with Di2 technology (Digital Integrated Intelligence) have been awarded with the German iF Product Design Award 2009

"The Dura Ace Di2 (7970 series) was awarded in the category “ Leisure/Lifestyle”, based upon its innovation, functionality and design level. DURA-ACE 7970 series will be available in the market from spring 2009." 

We shot a video demonstration of the Di2 technology at Eurobike earlier this year and very impressive it was too in theory and practice - on a turbo. We haven't been able to test it yet in anger (we made do with a UK Exclusive on the new, and lighter, mechanical Dura Ace 7900) it's fair to say though that those who have tested it haven't been uniformly impressed. The big gripe is that it isn't wireless, and some have expressed doubts about its longevity in real world condidtions – Shimano on the other hand can point to the fact that they had pros training on it all last winter with no issues in terms of battery life or durability.

Whatever, we could spend all day watching the auto trim function on the front mech adjusting itself… possibly not the best reason to buy an electronic groupset but then again not the worst reason either.

Dura Ace Di2 will be available in the UK from January 2009 and we look forward to testing it.

Here's what Shimano have to say about it…

Revolutionary electronic shifting system for road racing bicycles 

DURA-ACE 7970 series consists of Dual Control Levers, electronically operated front and rear derailleurs and a battery kit. The other components, like crankset, cassette sprocket, chain and brakes, are equal to those of the new mechanical DURA-ACE 7900 series. 

The advantages are clear immediately for everybody who rides a bike with Dura-Ace Di2 for the first time: Shifting becomes so much easier and effortless, just tipping a shift button is sufficient to move the chain to the requested sprocket or chainring. Biggest improvement is shifting the front derailleur. No more power is needed to move the shifting lever. Just push the button and it works, even under high load. The shift action is also faster since there is no delay due to mechanical friction. 

Other advantages of using electronics: no more contaminated or stretched cables. Input is output. No matter if the system is new or has been used for a few years, the function will always be the same. Push the button and it works. Every time and in all circumstances. The components have already proven their capabilities in competition by top professional cyclists.         

When shifting the rear derailleur, the front derailleur automatically adjusts itself which eliminates the need to trim for once and for all. Further benefits can be found in electronic shifters especially for time trial and triathlon usage. These products eliminate the need to change hand position for shifting. The rider is able to change gears at the base-bar as well as at the bar extensions. The result is saving time and a better concentration on the ride. 

For more info check out www.dura-ace.com

Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.