11 speeds for all!
It was only last fall when Shimano launched its high-end Dura-Ace 9000, complete with 11 speeds and 77 less grams in weight. Now much of the DA9000’s technology has trickled down to the less expensive Ultegra 6800.
For starters, the Ultegra 6800 features an 11-speed cassette. The addition of another gear means a wider range of gear options. (Cyclists may remember the days of 9-speed cassettes, before the 10-speeds became ubiquitous.)
The Ultegra crank has the same stiff four-arm spider design as Dura-Ace. The four-arm design means that riders can swap gearing without having to swap crank arms.
The Ultegra front derailleur has been redesigned with a larger lever arm like that of Dura-Ace 900. Shimano claims the larger lever requires 35 percent less force input into the shifter. VeloNews announced that it offers “the best mechanical front shifting” that they have tested.
Plus, you don’t need to push the lever as far with the new design. In fact, to initiate a shift, the shifter needs to move about 13 percent less. That and Shimano’s added 10mm of reach adjustment, making the ergonomic shifters adjustable for smaller hands.
All these improvements AND the complete Ultegra 6800 groupo weighs in at 2,309 grams, 35 grams less than the previous generation.
The weight savings, the extra gearing and the technological improvements, all available in the Ultegra package, means that 11-speeds are now available to all. Now, will you go to 11?