Shimano's new version of their top-level Dura-Ace groupset is comfortably their best yet with an extra sprocket taking it up to 11-speed, ultra-light shifting and improved braking.
Back in December we did a First Ride report on the new SRAM Apex groupset. At the time, we liked it. Move on two months and we've done a bunch more miles on the Apex-equipped test bike, and we still like it. We like it a lot, in fact.
Microshift Centos is another groupset more than capable of giving the household names a really good run for your money. Designed to compete and be compatible with Shimano’s venerable 105, it shares many similarities- good enough for racing and audax duties but practical for the less glamorous worlds of winter training and even commuting. The high lustre finish, low weight, robust build quality and ready spares availability mean it’s a winner on every level. If you're looking for a mid-range groupset to build up a bike, or you want to replace a 105 component without paying 105 prices then Centos is worth a look.
Interesting thing number 1: these groupset components aren’t made by Shimano, SRAM or Campag.
Interesting thing number 2: they’re very light.
Interesting thing number 3: they’re highly affordable.
Microshift are a Taiwanese company who’ve been around for a few years now and Upgrade Bikes have just begun UK distribution for their products, which cover both road and mountain biking.
Although it's great to look at new and shiny Dura Ace (and Di2) kit, it's always the announcement of the new Ultegra groupsets that generates the most excitement here at road.cc towers. Ultegra has always been the smart choice in the Shimano range: affordable enough to be a serious consideration with first dibs on all that innovation trickling down from the top.
Di2 is Shimano's new, flagship groupset. Combining Dura Ace 7900 ergonomics with the performance of an electronic shifting mechanism sets this apart. Di2 is the best groupset that I have ever ridden, but then for this money so it should be.