Where Dura-Ace leads, Ultegra undoubtedly follows. Last summer Shimano unveiled its latest Dura-Ace 9100-series groupsets, and photos shared on Instagram a few days reveal what appears to be the new Ultegra. You can't keep anything secret these days.
That there’ll be a new version of Ultegra coming soon is no surprise, but when it’s coming is unknown. We'd guess at a 2018 model year with the launch later this year, making it roughly since the launch of the new Dura-Ace, which roughly follows with previous Ultegra launches.
What can we expect from the new Ultegra 8000?
Cosmetically the new Ultegra inherits the same design language as the updated Dura-Ace. That’s really no surprise, Shimano's flagship groupset tends to introduce new technology which is then trickled down through Ultegra, 105 etc. The chainset gets the same enlarged crank arm design as first seen on the latest Dura-Ace, which Shimano claims improved shifting performance and saves weight. Will we see a power meter version of this new chainset? Given the delays Shimano has been having with the Dura-Ace power meter, you probably don't want to be holding your breath.
The photo shows the Di2 version of the new groupset, and we can see that the front and rear derailleurs get the same angular design treatment as first seen in Dura-Ace. The rear mech looks to be a low profile Shadow design which reduces the amount of rear mech jutting out from the frame. It’s also direct mount compatible as well. The mechanical front mech doesn't have the long arm of the previous version, a change that provides more rear tyre clearance.
The disc brakes appear to get the same rotors as developed for the first dedicated Dura-Ace disc brake groupset. The rotors have a radical new look that is designed to increase the cooling effect.
And that's about all we know so far, well until the next images get leaked on social media...
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.