Shimano brings electronic shifting to the new ultegra platform.
In 2008 SHIMANO first introduced electronic shifting to road cycling in its Dura-Ace 7970 groupset. In 2011 it became available for Ultegra.
Today SHIMANO announced they will integrate its electronic shifting technology (Di2) in their recently introduced Ultegra 6800 groupset. Ultegra takes pro-tested technologies to a wider audience. Whether it is a mechanical or electronic shifting interface, Ultegra provides the highest quality outside professional racing.
The DNA for both the mechanical and electronic version of the group is the same. They share the same 4-arm cranks, 11-speed cassettes, dual pivot brakes, Sil-tec chain and 11-speed wheels. What makes them different is the shifting interface (shift lever and derailleurs). Where Ultegra 6800 uses the well known mechanical parts and cables, Ultegra 6870 (Di2) uses an electronic shifting system.
Compared to the previous Ultegra Di2 (6770) SHIMANO improved the ergonomics of the dual control lever for easier access. Especially on top of the – slimmer – hoods riders have more control than ever. Also the shape of the shift button improved and the contrast of the surface is more recognizable. New to the Ultegra category are the so called time trial shifters (ST-6871). They offer the same braking control as the Dura-Ace ST-9071 and allows a rider to shift gears while braking.
The derailleurs are more compact and lighter than their predecessors. The rear derailleur is updated with an automatic protection system that moves the cage out of harm’s way in case of a crash. There are two versions of the rear derailleur. A SS for cassettes up to 28T and a GS for cassettes up to 32T. The 32T GS rear derailleur in combination with a compact front crank setup offer a full wide gearing setup. Both rear derailleurs are featured with multi shifting. With a single press and hold of the shift button the rear derailleur goes all the way up or down the cassette. Or, when programmed at the E-tube platform, two or three gear shifts. Also the speed of gear shifts can be adjusted. In five steps, from very slow to very fast.
The Ultegra 6870 products are build based on the E-tube platform and can be adjusted with the dedicated E-tube (project) software. E-tube is SHIMANO’s electronic shifting program where shifting functions can be customized. For example all the shift buttons can be individually programmed. Besides customization E-tube offers the possibility to upgrade components with firmware upgrades after its purchase. Because of the E-tube compatibility other shifting functions are available to Ultegra 6870 like Dura-Ace sprint and Roubaix shifters. In contrast to mechanical shifting, E-tube allows a rider to install multiple shifting options on a single bike.
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