Shimano have just announced trickle-down improvements to the ULTEGRA lineup – specifically with a R8000.
Lots of words like LIGHTER, STIFFER, FASTER and MORE ACCURATE are used in the press release, below.
There’s hydraulic brakes and electronic shifting. Lighter wheels. Lots of variants on the 11-speed cassette and even slightly wider pedal options.
My favourite? Dual control for aero bars.
Read end enjoy. I suppose this is the sort of thing you’d look for on a new bike rather than a mass upgrade of your current 2-wheeled machine?
Interestingly I read a report a couple of weeks ago saying that higher-end bike sales were down over the last year or so, yet participation continues to rise. I can dig it out if anyone wants a read.
PRESS RELEASE BELOW – USE THIS TO CHECK HOW MUCH ORIGINAL CONTENT THIS AND OTHER SITES PROVIDE 😉
SHIMANO BRINGS TOP-TIER ROAD TECHNOLOGY TO ULTEGRA LEVEL
New Ultegra R8000 provides high-performance stopping power with hydraulic disc brakes, ergonomically shaped mechanical and Di2 shifting levers, new top-hood Di2 buttons for enhanced shifting customizability, Synchronized Shift TT levers for shifting simplicity and lower-profile Shadow rear derailleurs for aerodynamic advantages.
The launch of new Ultegra R8000 offers much more than pro-proven products. Ultegra R8000 takes the technologies used by professional teams and perfects them for real world riders, offering customizable, ergonomically superior drivetrain control with advanced disc brakes or rim brakes and pin-point accuracy from Di2 or mechanical shifting options.
Designed equally for racing, training, performing, or for enjoying cycling with friends, Ultegra allows you to recapture the passion of riding.
ULTEGRA R8000 DRIVETRAIN
A redesigned asymmetric crank arm takes its cue from the DuraAce 9100 design with a beefier-looking Hollowtech II 4-arm design for stiffer power transfer, whilst even dropping a couple of grams (674g, 50-34T) from the previous design (676g).
The crankset’s outer chain ring features Shimano’s Hollowglide technology for a highly rigid yet hollow structure to cut down on weight and maintain strength for more precise front shifting.
Crankset options include a standard 53-39T ratio, mid compact 52-36T, compact 50-34T, and cyclocross-specific 46-36T.
The 11-speed cassette sprocket comes in 6 ‘standard’ sizes (CS-R8000; 11-25T, 11-28T, 11-30T, 11-32T, 12-25T, 14-28T) and a wider 11-34T (CS-HG800) cassette with a hub body designed to fit both road bikes (with spacer) and mountain bikes.
New Ultegra carbon SPD-SL pedals encourage pro-level performance by reducing the stack height by 0.7mm, extending the crank’s lever effect, and shaving 12g off the previous PD-6800 design (now 248g). Pedal options are also available with 4mm longer axles.
ULTEGRA R8000 SHIFTING SYSTEMS
Ultegra offers riders incredibly fast and accurate Di2 or mechanical shifting, and hydraulic or rim braking with near-identical, perfectly ergonomical levers and hoods.
The new Di2 lever can operate with the recently released full or semi Synchronized Shifting function (with the BT-BN110 battery), giving riders the option to make automatic shifts from the front (full-) or rear (semi-Synchro) derailleurs. This means that you could set, for example, both left shifters to move up through the drivetrain and both right shifters to move down through the drivetrain. As well as this the shifters have more defined click feeling to offer quick and precise shifting with gloves.
Following the design of the ‘secret’ Dura-Ace Di2 shifter buttons, the new Ultegra ST-R8070 hydraulic Di2 and ST-R8050 rim brake Di2 levers also include the top-of-the-hoods buttons for remote shifting, which can be programmed to shift gear or to control additional devices such as compatible computers or lights.
All shift levers or buttons can also operate multi-shift which, like the top buttons and Synchronized Shift features, are customizable in the E-TUBE app for phones, tablets or PCs. The app not only allows you to customize functions and operations as you please, but also allows you to keep all units up-to-date with the latest firmware and run error checks to pinpoint and solve abnormalities.
The ST-R8070 hydraulic levers step up from the previous non-series R785 levers with greater reach and free stroke adjustments. The new hydraulic levers (ST-R8070 and ST-R8020) weigh in at 360g and 550g respectively, just 65g and 112g heavier than their rim brake counterparts (ST-R8050, 295g, and ST-R8000, 438g).
The front derailleur (FD) is designed to handle quick and smooth shifting under high pedaling torque. Combining with the re-designed crankset, the FD has been redesigned so it can accommodate wider tyres as well as a wider gear pitch without sacrificing shifting.
The Di2 (RD-8050) or mechanical (RD-R8000) rear derailleur (RD) adopts the Dura-Ace low-profile Shimano Shadow RD design to sit fully under the cassette, tucked away from potential damage. The RD comes in a short cage (SS) design to cover 11-25T to 11-30T and a longer cage (GS) design to cover 11-28T to 11-34T. Both front and rear Di2 derailleurs communicate with each other to operate full or semi Synchronized Shifting mode, allowing the rider to maintain concentration on the road or the race ahead.
The mechanical shifting levers are available as hydraulic (ST-R8020) or rim brake designs (ST-R8000) featuring Polymer-coated cables for an incredibly light shifting operation. Furthermore the design does away with the in-line barrel cable tension adjustor and instead offers an allen key adjustment for easy, precise and accurate cable tension settings.
ULTEGRA R8000 ADDITIONAL SHIFTING COMPONENTS
For time trials and triathlons a pair of dual control Ultegra ST-R8060 levers plug into the ends of the bar extensions to offer braking and shifting. The design offers a new dimension for TT/Tri riders by simplifying the shifting operation when the rider is at his or her maximum level of effort. One shift button and the switch box of the ST-6871 unit have been removed, making the design smaller, shorter and more aerodynamic.
The effect of eliminating a button on each shifter means that TT/Triathlon riders will use full Synchronized Shifting mode in this position. That means there is one button on one shifter (ie on the left of the extension bars) to move up through the entire drivetrain and one button on the other shifter (ie on the right) to move down through the entire drivetrain. Alternative compatible options here still include the non-series SW-R671 TT shifters plus the SW-R600 or SW-R610 climbing or sprint buttons.
ULTEGRA R8000 BRAKE SYSTEMS
The new Ultegra Hydraulic braking options include advanced stopping power from the direct mount BR-R8070 calipers, offering sleek integration into a road bike profile. The rotors feature distinctive enclosed disc fins which allow a greater surface area for heat dissipation. A pair of BR-R8070 disc calipers weigh 280g plus 212g for a pair of SM-RT800 rotors, compared to 360g for a pair of Ultegra BR-R8000 dual pivot rim brake calipers.
As well as the dual-pivot design, Ultegra’s new rim brake calipers also come in a direct-mount design. Both designs are compatible with up to 28c tyres and feature sleek designs with narrower gaps between the arms. The dual-pivot design features a stabilizer between the arms to reduce deformation and improve braking efficiency. Meanwhile the direct mount design connects directly to compatible frames to reduce weight and increase overall performance.
Complementing the new Ultegra line-up are two new lightweight wheelsets – the tubeless carbon-laminate WHRS700 rim brake wheels (which replace the Ultegra WH-6800) and the tubeless WH-RS770 disc brake wheels (pictured) with road e-thru axles.
New hubs (HB/FH-RS700/770) within the wheels encourage faster acceleration with a weight saving of almost 60g compared to a pair of Ultegra 6800 hubs, whilst the rims use a new rigid but lighter carbon lay-up procedure to create a rim brake wheelset that comes in 80g lighter than its predecessor.
ULTEGRA R8000’S DEVELOPMENT
Shimano Europe Product Manager Tim Gerrits: “The goal was to bring high end technology to a wider audience of riders. We wanted to offer high performance riding to the many types of road cyclist with a wide variety of products to serve the ever-growing road bike landscape.
“Ultegra is designed to cover everything from TT/Triathlon racing, to those who want disc brake and Di2 race or Gran Rondo performance, to the digital intelligence and shifting accuracy of Di2 and rim braking, to the braking performance of discs with the reliability of mechanical shifting, or to the simplicity of rim braking and mechanical shifting. With five different ‘standard’ set ups the choice for consumers is really broad.
“To retain that Ultegra quality level across such a wide variety of products and for such a wide range of uses was a big development challenge, especially when it came to integrating some of the new features from our top-tier Dura Ace R9100 series. Hydraulic disc brakes and Synchronized Shifting for example, were two completely new areas for Ultegra and we needed to find the right balance between high performance, high quality and high levels of durability and reliability.
“We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve created. Ultegra has such a loyal and enthusiastic appeal that it is associated with the true spirit of the sport. We’ve pushed that forwards, and hopefully in the process we can attract more people to the sport of road cycling.”