The launch of new DURA-ACE isn’t just the development of an outstanding new groupset, it’s also the culmination of a study into the science of speed.
Shimano has delivered its fastest and most precise shifting series, expanding its legacy of innovation while setting a new benchmark in road performance. Every detail, every decision, and every component of the new DURA-ACE R9200 series is engineered to deliver a faster, more reliable, and more intuitive ride experience.
Developed with the Science of Speed design concept, the R9200 series component group features an ultra-efficient 12-speed drivetrain, a reliable wireless cockpit, highly refined ergonomics, new aerodynamic tubeless and tubular wheels, an enhanced brake system, and integrated digital technology engineered for those who never compromise.
The pursuit of perfection doesn’t come easy. Developments with the world’s best athletes and bicycle component developers meant researching, investigating and analysing product performances in the laboratory and the real-world, leaving no stone unturned to find the science of speed. The result can be broken down into chapters: shifting platform + control interface + brake system + drivetrain system + wheel system.
Let’s take a look at the improvements within each chapter:
Shifting platform: fastest-ever shifting, absolute reliability, integrated design
Shimano has completely revised its Di2 platform to improve shifting speed whilst making the shifter-derailleur connection wireless, and still ensuring absolute reliability.
Shimano’s new Di2 platform brings an improved motor design in the derailleurs, which decreases the processing speed, i.e. the moving time between motor and gear mechanisms, and the transmission performance, to enable Shimano’s fastest-ever shifting. The result is time saving in fractions of a second but it does result in a 58% decrease in rear derailleur operating time and a 45% decrease in front derailleur operating time.
Absolute reliability is provided by a wired connection where it makes sense. New smaller diameter SD-300 wires connect the Di2 battery (BT-DN300) to the front derailleur (FD-R9250) and rear derailleur (RD-R9250). This single internal battery makes for a simple charging solution and ensures a stable and high voltage connection to the derailleurs, contributing to Shimano’s fastest-ever shifting. Absolute reliability is further guaranteed by a high security, fast processing and low power consumption proprietary chip circuit, which significantly decreases the chance of interference from external devices.
Tests show that the BT-DN300 battery, which powers the derailleurs, lasts for 1000 km between charges. The STI shifter buttons are powered by coin-style CR1632 batteries which last for approximately 1.5-2 years of usage. To increase battery capacity further, a fully wired option is also possible, offering a 50% increase in capacity and has practical benefits for riders using new DURA-ACE in combination with an e-bike.
Shimano’s new DURA-ACE rear derailleur is no longer just a rear derailleur. It is also the point at which the system is charged (replacing Shimano’s SM-BCR2 charger), it provides the connection to the STI shifters via Shimano’s proprietary integrated circuit, the ANT+ connection to other 3rd party devices (replacing the EW-WU111 wireless unit), and it replaces the handlebar or in-frame Junction-A (SM-RS910). This results in the RD-R9250 rear derailleur having an integrated design with a hidden charging port, a button for Di2 operations and LED lights, which denote Synchronized Shifting mode, settings mode, or any charging requirements.
Control Interface: unparalleled ergonomics, clean cockpit, customization
In recent years professional and high performance riders have started to change their riding positions and riding preferences. Shimano worked in conjunction with many professional riders to study those changes. For climbing, sprinting or time trials, Shimano has balanced comfort, looks and aerodynamic gains with unparalleled ergonomics.
New 2x12-speed wireless hydraulic disc brake shifters (ST-R9270) now come with a raised head portion with a slight inward curve and increased area between the shifter and the handlebar to bring new levels of comfort and control. This provides riders with better index finger and thumb grip on the hoods and better 3-finger grip behind the brake lever, whilst still giving easy access to the shift lever in the drops. Another change comes in the increased offset between Di2 buttons on the lever, allowing for better differentiation between the up-shift and down-shift button, especially with gloves or wet fingers.
The shifters operate with a wireless connection. This allows for a simple installation procedure and no shift cable ports in the frame or handlebar. Together with internal hose routing, it allows for a beautifully clean cockpit.
Where cable ports can be used is in the installation of minimized remote shifter buttons. Shimano’s sprint (SW-R801-S) or climbing shifter (SW-R801-T) can be used with a clamp band or can sit integrally in the handlebars with a specific port, such as the new PRO Vibe Evo bar. These new more compact satellite shifter options either attach to the drops via a 100mm cable (SW-RS801-S) or to the tops via a 260 mm Di2 cable (SW-RS801-T).
The control interface of course offers some handy customization options thanks to an updated E-TUBE app which is now compatible with DURA-ACE R9200-series. Much like previous versions, E-TUBE Project version 4.0.0 allows for preferences such as Synchronized or Semi-Synchro shifting, Multi-Shift, shifting speed and STI shift button mapping to be set up on the go. Also connections with 3rd party cycle computers can all be set up to display Di2 information.
Drivetrain system: optimized drivetrain components, quick and shockless shifting, integrated power meter
Competitive road cyclists are usually looking to get from A to B in the fastest, most efficient way. Taking that simple insight, Shimano has optimized its gearing, shifting and power meter to set a new benchmark for performance, improving rear shifting speed by 58% and front shifting speed by 45%.
The new DURA-ACE 12-speed HYPERGLIDE+ cassette retains the top 11T gear but has been optimized with a revision in the ‘sweet spot’ gears between the 6th, 7th and 8th sprockets to keep the Shimano hallmark of smooth and consistent gear steps.
Combining this with quick and shockless shifting thanks to the cassette’s clever ramped profile allows for smoother gear changes, even under heavy load, no matter whether you’re moving up or down the cassette.
The result is that there is no longer any need to back off an acceleration or time an easy pedal stroke with your shifts. Riders can now put the hammer down and shift even faster, with smoother cadence and better speed transition thanks to DURA-ACE cassettes with HYPERGLIDE+ technology.
In total there are two DURA-ACE Hyperglide+ cassette options; 11-30T and a new DURA-ACE 11-34T ratio for steep climbs. The cassettes come with a new spline fitting pattern, which is also backwards compatible to DURA-ACE R9100 11-speed freehub bodies, meaning that new DURA-ACE R9200 components can be used on the previous R9100-series wheels.
As well as the new larger DURA-ACE cassette (11-34T) for more modern racing styles, a new larger 54-40T chainset option offers higher transmission efficiency than smaller chainring options and helps pro riders respond to ever-increasing speeds.