Shimano have recently announced their latest 12-speed road groupset, and we're so impressed that we've managed to secure a limited launch edition, boxed version of the Dura-Ace R9200 Groupset. This will come with a power crank in 172.5mm, with 52/36T chainrings.
Shimano are making a bug fuss about this, and with good reason. The new semi-wireless groupset (or 'wiredless', as they're coining it) claims to offer the fastest, most precise shifting yet - indeed it's designed to be entirely 'shockless' with no need to slow your pedalling as you change gear. So - faster, more precise shifting, more controlled braking ... all good so far, yes?
But what does 'wiredless' mean?
The levers are wireless and powered by small coin cells, but the two derailleurs are wired into the central battery. Wireless comunication means the rear derailleurs are always on, listening for signals. Shimano say these should last 1000km of riding, with the coin cells lasting up to two years. But the rear derailleur has other work to do - it now acts as a charging port and houses a wireless connectivity sensor for your phone. (You link up via the new E-TUBE app, which allows you to fully customise the groupset, and connect with any bike computers you might have at home, via your phone.) LED lights indicators tell you which shifting mode you're in, and signal when you need to charge your battery.
As for the front derailleur, Shimano have reduced this in size by 33% and in weight up 96grams. Their smaller size is doubtlessly more aerodynamic and gives a more elegant aesthetic.
And the design upgrades don't stop there - the lever designs have longer bodies, making the grip area bigger, and the hood peaks are slightly taller.
The cassette has been designed to be backwards-compatible, so if you've fallen in love with a partcular set of wheels and don't want to give them up, you can happily integrate the new groupset into your current set up.
What's that you say - another gear??
Yes, this is a 12-speed. Turning it up to 12 gives you two main advantages: smaller individual steps for cassettes, or more range without contending with bigger jumps. The raw materials here are titanium for the largest sprockets, with the rest made of plated steel.
What else do I need to know?
The R9200 Groupset is available in rim brake and disc brake variants, with or without power cranks. WIth the power cranks, it'll set you back a handsome £4150. But what price a seamless, shockless, 12-speed precision ride? We'll leave that up to you.
Read the reviews from cycling specialist websites here:
Shimano have produced a slick new promotional video illustrating everything the new groupset can do. Take a look below - and if you have any more questions, you know where we are.