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Shimano Ultegra Di2 Coming In October

Cheaper and heavier version based on Shimano’s incredible Dura-Ace Di2 component.

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Cheaper and heavier version based on Shimano’s incredible Dura-Ace Di2 component.

Click here to view a photo gallery of the Ultegra Di2.

Shimano is releasing Ultegra Di2 in October 2011. The component company, which just celebrated its 90th anniversary, is releasing Ultegra-level electronic shifters, front and rear derailleurs, an electric cable junction and battery later this fall. The Shimano Di2 Ultegra 6770 kit will be completed with standard mechanical Ultegra crankset, brake calipers, cassette and chain.

Shimano calls the 2012 Ultegra Di2 component group the “most advanced shifting system ever,” which begs the question: What are the differences between Dura-Ace Di2 and Ultegra Di2.

Ultegra Di2 electric cables require only two core wires while Dura-Ace Di2 needs four. The Ultegra connectors are 42% smaller in diameter and will be available in different lengths to streamline the connections.

Although the differences in shifter and derailleur performance are not yet clear, the biggest obstacle preventing cyclists from riding Shimano’s outstanding Dura-Ace Di2 kit has been price. Ultegra Di2 is substantially cheaper, although still pricey.

The Ultegra Di2 components and all the other electronic necessities total $1,595, costing dramatically less than the corresponding Dura-Ace Di2 components.

The biggest question about Ultegra Di2 will be whether it truly lives up to the shift performance, reliability and durability of Dura-Ace Di2 and fulfills Shimano’s claim that Ultegra Di2 is the “most advanced shifting system ever.” We have not yet ridden Ultegra Di2, but will feature a full report in a future issue of Triathlete magazine and tell you if we think it matches Shimano’s lofty claim.

Click through to get a look at every Shimano Ultegrea Di2 component and their prices.

Click here to view a photo gallery of the Shimano Ultegra Di2.

Shifters: ST-6770 Dual Control Levers $444.99

The 313-gram shifters (58g heavier than Dura-Ace Di2) are compatible with double crank sets and feature shift quality Shimano describes as “intuitive… similar to mechanical Ultegra.” They boast reach adjustment, which allows the distance to the shift and brake levers to be tuned to fit the rider’s hand size.

Click here to view a photo gallery of the Shimano Ultegra Di2.

Rear Derailleur: RD-6770$339.99

The Ultegra Di2 rear derailleur has many of the features found on the Dura-Ace Di2 version, including the ability to shift under load, the ability to electronically adjust the derailleur from the front of the bike and the break-away feature that allows the derailleur to survive a crash. It can accommodate a cassette with a 28-tooth climbing gear. It weighs 270 grams, 45 grams more than the Dura-Ace version.

Click here to view a photo gallery of the Shimano Ultegra Di2.

Front shift quality is considered by many to be Dura-Ace Di2’s most impressive feature. It allows the rider to shift while sprinting and from any gear combination. Shimano says the Ultegra Di2 front derailleur is capable of shifting under load, just like the Dura-Ace version, and also automatically adjusts the derailleur position based on the gearing ratio to ensure crisp shifts and prevent chain rub. It is 162 grams, 38 grams more than DA.

Click here to view a photo gallery of the Shimano Ultegra Di2.

The lithium ion battery weighs 71 grams, identical to the battery that powers Dura-Ace Di2, and can achieve a maximum charge in 90 minutes.

Electric Cable Junction: SM-EW67-A-E – $404.93

All the electronic necessities required to set up a bike with Ultegra Di2. It includes the Cable Junction Box, Front Wiring Harness, Wires and the Battery Mount. The connectors are narrower than the Dura-Ace version.