Updated: Dura Ace to go 11-speed?

Parts list published on twitter with some interesting kit included

by Dave Atkinson   November 30, 2011  

Dura Ace 9000 schematic (via Velorunner)

There's been plenty of rumours flying around about where Shimano will be going with their groupsets, only last month we were talking about 11-speed Di2 and hydraulic brifters* and today a parts list has surfaced on twitter via @mvogt46 and The Inner Ring that appears to show a full spec for a new 11-speed system, Dura Ace 9000. And now thanks to the folks at Velorunner there's a schematic too, pictured above.

If it's genuine, then what does it tell us? Well, for a start they've skipped 8000 and gone straight to 9000, suggesting that maybe 8000 was in development but got binned. It's eleven speeds to hit parity with Campag's top-line offerings. It's double chainset only, with a very wide selection of chainset options. The standard 53/39 and 50/34 options are slated to come first, but there's also 52/36 and 52/38 options to arrive later, and the dinner plate stash at Shimano HQ looks likely to be raided to provide 54/42 and 55/42 options as for TTing.

At the back the rear mech looks like it'll be designed to cope with a maxiumum sprocket of 28T. The schematic lists the options as 11-23, 11-25, 11-28, 12-25 and 12-28. That 11-23 is almost a straight-through TT block in 11spd, and also on the list is a bar-end shifter to work with the new system. Curiously the bar-end shifter seems to have a triple option, even though no triple chainsets are mentioned and we can't imagine that 9000 series Dura Ace would be your choice for touring...

Even curiouser are the brakes; you'll have a choice of standard dual callipers or a 'direct mount' option. We'll put our hands up and say we don't really know what that means. Talk in the office has been of a screw-in, rather than a bolt through, calliper, for mounting in difficult places on TT machines. Or possibly a mini-V affair like TRP's TT offering. The pictures of the direct mount calliper on the schematic are the same as the standard calliper. lending weight to the former theory.

The schematic also shows the wheel options. As you'd expect you get Shimano's current offerings of 24, 35, 50 and 75mm. The 24mm will be Alu/Carbon clincher or road tubeless, and the two middle wheels are available as either an Alu/Carbon clincher or a full carbon tubular. The C75s are tubular only. All of that is pretty much on a par with the range as it stands.

Do we think it's genuine? Yes, probably, although from here it's impossible to know whether it's a discussion document or a proper plan for the parts and their introduction. Given the appearance of the schematic too, it's looking more like a done deal. Assuming it is the latter you'll be hearing about it from the horse's mouth in the middle of next year, with the parts available from August onwards. Let's wait and see...

*we're unapologetic about using the term brifters

26 user comments

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"Well, for a start they've skipped 8000 and gone straight to 9000, suggesting that maybe 8000 was in development but got binned."

Or more likely that they want to leave a gap for Ultegra once it runs out of 6000 revisions. Thinking

posted by NoMapNoCompass [32 posts]
29th November 2011 - 12:54

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NoMapNoCompass wrote:
Or more likely that they want to leave a gap for Ultegra once it runs out of 6000 revisions. Thinking

aye, mebbe that too. Ultegra 8000 series in 2013 would make sense.

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7312 posts]
29th November 2011 - 13:06

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So no hydraulic disc brakes for 2012/2013? That would be sad... Or maybe they are planning to release something else (like 9500?) which would be 10/11-speed but disc brake-compatible.

blog rowerowy - my blog about bicycles (written in Polish, but feel free to visit me! Smile )

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posted by mikroos [181 posts]
29th November 2011 - 16:15

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Disc brakes have no place on racing bikes. END.

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posted by Municipal Waste [190 posts]
29th November 2011 - 22:59

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Why don't you try to provide any argument to support your statement?

blog rowerowy - my blog about bicycles (written in Polish, but feel free to visit me! Smile )

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posted by mikroos [181 posts]
29th November 2011 - 23:15

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Disc brakes on road bikes are coming, whether they have a place there or not...

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7312 posts]
29th November 2011 - 23:23

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i read in an interview not to long ago ,cannot exactly remember what mag it was ,but a guy from shimano admitted that they had shelved some plans they had for a new 10 speed group set and started working on a 11 /12 speed groupset to match campag ,,,i just dont think its a big deal 11 speed was always going to happen and so will 12 speed ,i also think and we have seen them on cross bikes that discs brakes for road bikes are going to be an option ,,,but i dont think you will see them at the tour de france, i mean the d12 caused enough trouble with the puritans and i understand that, theres a beauty about riding a bike and we dont want to end up with a robot on board ,anyway they still have not dropped the weight limit ,,,

posted by rayjay [40 posts]
30th November 2011 - 0:36

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The weight limit isn't going to make any difference to whether disc brakes are fitted on top end road bikes rayjay… they can be made very light just like any other braking system certainly easily light enough to make the current weight limit

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4135 posts]
30th November 2011 - 9:17

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Top-level cyclists will switch to disc brakes as soon as they realize the benefits - easier braking, more modulation and lighter rims. There will of course be some puritans but in the end everyone wants to win TdF so they will take any advantage they can to make it more probable.

To me, it's just a matter of time. Maybe they won't be here on 2012 Tour, but 2013-2014? Most def.

blog rowerowy - my blog about bicycles (written in Polish, but feel free to visit me! Smile )

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posted by mikroos [181 posts]
30th November 2011 - 9:46

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I would wager that top level cyclists who have been riding bikes all their adult lives, are fully aware of the benefits of disc brakes. The reason they don't ride them is because the manufacturers do not make them and the teams they ride for do not spec them.

This is the part that is about to change. Everyone knows the issues of braking on a carbon rim so discs are the logical step forward until a newer, lighter solution is found. It's progress and whether we like it or not, it's coming.

posted by Winton [65 posts]
30th November 2011 - 17:08

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I'll take advancements in braking on a carbon rim over putting hideous disc brakes on a road bike.

posted by iamelectron [108 posts]
30th November 2011 - 17:51

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@Winton - it's just my guess, but I believe it's just a matter of giving discs a shot. Just two or three years ago, when Di2 was a novelty, everyone said "cyclists are too conservative for this, they will never switch". Now it's obvious that electronic shifting has passed its exam and is now widely adopted simply because it works better and gives you a better chance of winning. Like I said, to me it's just a matter of trying out the new technology.

blog rowerowy - my blog about bicycles (written in Polish, but feel free to visit me! Smile )

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posted by mikroos [181 posts]
30th November 2011 - 18:16

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When you look at a TdF stage or a one day classic, the pros don't use their brakes half as much as you or I. Whilst modulation etc will be better, the inevitable additional weight of the discs, calipers, mounts, hosing/fluid and beefed up hubs will mean they are used selectively. A lightweight caliper setup is about 200g whilst the current lightest disc set up would be nearer 600g.It will be interesting to see how the Big S shave weight off a disc brake set up.

I image they would have a use in say a wet Paris Roubaix for example, but that's a very specific situation.

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [551 posts]
30th November 2011 - 18:17

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Oh bugger. I'm just trying to come to terms with Campag EPS and it's price - and now I have to start thinking about Campag disc brakes (at what £300 each?) as well?

I have a lovely Condor Ti with carbon group set that's only 2 years old and at this rate by 2014 it's going to be the cycling equivalent of Stevenson's Rocket..

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [1055 posts]
30th November 2011 - 18:49

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Don't the UCI have to approve disc brakes for road racing anyway? How long did it take them to approve disc brakes for 'cross? Don't hold your breath!

"Curiously the bar-end shifter seems to have a triple option, even though no triple chainsets are mentioned and we can't imagine that 9000 series Dura Ace would be your choice for touring..."
- am I correct in thinking that Shimano have historically only make bar end shifters in Dura-ace spec - and the touring types with triples will still want them for putting in the end of drop bars I think?

Exercising my rights by taking them cycling

posted by pedalingparamedic [86 posts]
30th November 2011 - 18:50

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My understanding was that pro teams already have to add weights to the bikes to get them over the UCI's limits. Wouldn't the additional heft of discs just replace the weights?

posted by drnolittle [32 posts]
30th November 2011 - 20:44

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Quote:
Don't the UCI have to approve disc brakes for road racing anyway? How long did it take them to approve disc brakes for 'cross? Don't hold your breath!

given that they have approved them for 'cross, where they'll take much more of a beating, it's hard to see what their objection would be for road riding.

Quote:
am I correct in thinking that Shimano have historically only make bar end shifters in Dura-ace spec - and the touring types with triples will still want them for putting in the end of drop bars I think?

more or less, yes, though it's difficult to see why you'd buy a new 9000 series one for your tourer over a cheaper version from the back catalogue. eventually they'll need it, but it was interesting to see it on the up-front parts list, that's all.

Quote:
A lightweight caliper setup is about 200g whilst the current lightest disc set up would be nearer 600g

that disc setup includes the weight of the levers though, which you're not including in your comparison with callipers. Dura Ace dual pivots are around 300g a pair and you can get a set of Formula R1s for about 550g (including levers, not including rotors).

Adding a rotor to the hubs adds weight, not only of the rotor itself but the hardware needed to fix it and a bit of extra shell to make sure it's strong enough. on top of that, you can't radially spoke the front wheel. On the flip side there's no need to build the rims to cope with brake wear and heat, so you save a bit of weight.

Overall wheels would be heavier, but not much, and the braking system would be heavier, but not much. Most of the extra weight in the wheels is at the hub, where it doesn't affect rotational inertia as much. Assuming you added 100g to the hub, you'd need to save maybe 25g from the rim to keep the same rotational inertia. Overall I reckon you're talking 200-250g extra. Plenty of pro bikes are already that far under the limit.

Carbon Ceramic rotors anyone? They're a £4k upgrade on the Factor 001...

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7312 posts]
30th November 2011 - 21:40

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drnolittle wrote:
My understanding was that pro teams already have to add weights to the bikes to get them over the UCI's limits. Wouldn't the additional heft of discs just replace the weights?

I think that correct about the weights, but only ever heard it from commentators, never seen proof

The other thing that would benefits if disc brakes do come to the pro peloton, they can then make their frames even lighter

As disc brakes in cross have proven, they are effective and work on road style frames, so i can't wait for them to be used more widely on proper road specific bikes

As for gearing, everyone has their own preference, so i don't care for 11,12,95 speed, as long as i have the range i want, i dont mind if its double or triple either

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posted by Gkam84 [8798 posts]
30th November 2011 - 21:48

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@arrieredupeleton

If you take TdF into consideration, please remember how great braking forces are needed (and - which might be even more important - how long they are applied) on descents in the Alps. Provided that the biggest drawback of superlight carbon wheels is their heat resistane (or rather lack thereof), discs can make a HUGE difference.

What's more, disc brakes are totally independent from a wheel being true or not - it works perfectly even after hitting a huge pothole so that you could brake more safely.

What also comes to my mind is the ability to install extra brake levers on TT bar extensions (so that you could have one caliper operated by two hydraulic levers). If you want to do the same with a traditional cable-operated brake, you come up with awkward cable routing which results in extremely poor braking power.

When it comes to weight, please also remember that road bikes could probably be well off with 140/120 rotors so the could be much lighter than those designed for MTB.

@ pedalingparamedic - legalizing disc brakes is no problem. Please remember that Shimano is an official UCI sponsor so it's enough to ask them politely the officials to do so Smile

blog rowerowy - my blog about bicycles (written in Polish, but feel free to visit me! Smile )

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posted by mikroos [181 posts]
30th November 2011 - 22:55

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With my weight and the fast often technical hills around where I live/cycle bring them on. At present I could sing Wagner's ring cycle before my inertia is overcome. I suppose that could be a reason to shed some kilos but for now Discs sound like a great interim measure.

THE ONLY WAY IS BIKE

posted by lushmiester [156 posts]
1st December 2011 - 1:33

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as an aesthetic argument some would say no but from a simple efficency gain the answer is yes, disc brakes will give more power for a give lever ratio , better modulation and stress the wheel less.
Whether some like it or not its the way it will go and i for one would like to try them on a high end road bike.

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posted by andrew miners [46 posts]
1st December 2011 - 9:29

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Quote:
I think that correct about the weights, but only ever heard it from commentators, never seen proof

it's perfectly possible to build a 1,500g frame and fork into a sub-6.8kg bike with fairly standard components. with a lighter frame and fork - the Cannondale SuperSix frame is 695g - and lightweight wheels and finishing kit, you can go under 6kg without trying too hard

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7312 posts]
1st December 2011 - 10:34

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Great points made above. I think disc brakes are a great idea, especially for wet conditions and fast downhill finishes like the ones we see in the massive mountains at the TdF.

And on my commute into London from Croydon, I can remember more than one occasion in wet weather where disc brakes would have been perfect!

I can also see how they would be beneficial in crit racing etc

I say bring it on! Cool

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posted by Argy [147 posts]
1st December 2011 - 14:39

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dave_atkinson wrote:
Quote:
I think that correct about the weights, but only ever heard it from commentators, never seen proof

it's perfectly possible to build a 1,500g frame and fork into a sub-6.8kg bike with fairly standard components. with a lighter frame and fork - the Cannondale SuperSix frame is 695g - and lightweight wheels and finishing kit, you can go under 6kg without trying too hard

I know its easy to do a lightweight bike, but what i meant, is i've only heard of weights being used on the pro bikes, never seen proof of it

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posted by Gkam84 [8798 posts]
2nd December 2011 - 3:40

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It definitely is true.

On flat stages weight is not that important so in most cases riders tend to use deep-profile wheels and less exotic parts so the bikes often weigh more than 7 kilos.

For mountain stages bikes are often made to weigh exactly 6800 grams (that is especially true for GC contenders' bikes where the mechanics have more time to work on them). It's actually quite common to build the bike even lighter and then drop chainlinks into the seat tube to adjust the weight. So it's perfectly true that for hilly or mountainous stages.

blog rowerowy - my blog about bicycles (written in Polish, but feel free to visit me! Smile )

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posted by mikroos [181 posts]
2nd December 2011 - 8:29

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Here's a link to an article about custom weights that Cannondale devised for Vincenzo Nibali's 2011 TdF bike. It says that the bike's nearly half a kilo under the limit, which would offset arrieredupeleton's 600g minus 200g for the traditional calipers you're replacing. (And a few years back I remember seeing something in a cycling mag about David Millar's Felt TT bike that mentioned additional weights too.)

posted by drnolittle [32 posts]
3rd December 2011 - 9:52

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