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Has a Taiwanese bike shop leaked Shimano’s new 12 speed Dura-Ace groupset?

Facebook gallery of 2022 Giant range suggests 12-speed rear cassette is on the way

Has a Taiwanese bike shop leaked a forthcoming 12-speed Dura-Ace groupset from Shimano? There’s speculation over on the website’s forum that it has after a picture appeared on the Facebook page of the Giant Froging store in Taipei.

The image was included in a gallery of bikes from Giant and Liv’s 2022 range, showing a TCR Advanced SLR 0 Disc bike, described in the caption as having 12 gears on the rear cassette, with translations provided by a forum user.

Giant TCR Advanced SL 0 Disc Dura-Ace (via Facebook)

As the header to the forum post suggests, it may simply be a misprint – but it appears that image has subsequently been removed from the gallery, providing grist to the rumour mill.

But as one poster to the thread claimed: “The new 12-speed Dura-Ace groupset is the worst kept secret in the industry. Some of the ‘leaks’ aren’t all that accidental, I’m sure, since Shimano is quite behind when it comes to 12-speed drop bar groupsets. Even on the MTB side, I think their Di2 stuff is still 11 speed, too.”

Another poster focused less on the groupset and more on the aesthetics – or lack thereof, in their opinion – of the bike. “Are we not gonna talk about how ugly and poorly set-up that bike is? From the horrible bar / brifter transition, the bulbous stem and the seat height that is too tall for the Jolly Green Giant … holy hell, that looks absolutely awful!!!”

In reply, another forum user said: “I noticed the same, but what caught my eye was what appears to be the removal of valve stems via Photoshop.”

We do need to stress that to the best of our knowledge, Dura-Ace 12 speed does not exist at the moment and for all we know, this could indeed be an error – but it’s always fun to speculate on what new products could be in the pipeline, even if they never end up seeing the light of day, and we’ve been talking about this one for two and a half years now.

Shimano Dura Ace 9200 rear derailleur patent
A new Shimano 12-speed rear derailleur from the patent we spotted back in May

Having said that, with competitor SRAM already deploying 12-speed across its range of groupsets, there has been a lot of speculation within the bike industry in recent months that Shimano may follow suit, at least with Dura-Ace – with applications approved by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also apparently confirming rumours that the next generation will be at least partially wireless.

> Your complete guide to Shimano road bike groupsets

Back in March, we put a 12-speed Dura-Ace cassette on our wish-list, and as Liam Cahill wrote at the time: “11 cogs in a cassette are, let’s face it, absolutely fine. The same was said about 10 cogs, but to keep up with the crowd, Shimano will need to make their latest groupset 12-speed. Not that we'll be complaining about having an extra cog.”

> Could this be the new Shimano Dura-Ace 9200 dual control lever?

It’s a bit like razors, we suppose – however many blades one manufacturer puts on one, you can be sure that someone else will come up with an n+1 a year or two down the line.

So one prediction we can make is this – if the rumours are true, and the Japanese firm indeed rolls out a 12-speed cassette, speculation will inevitably follow over which of the big three groupset manufacturers will be first to bring a fully-fledged 13 speed road groupset to the market.

Review: Campagnolo Ekar 13 Speed gravel groupset 

ps There’s no need to mention in the comments that the picture above shows an 11-speed cassette... but we’re impressed that you took a few seconds to count the sprockets!

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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