NUNSPEET, the Netherlands – For model year 2012/2013 Shimano launched the city touring Alfine group with integrated Di2 electronic shifting. The Di2 technique was introduced in Dura-Ace and Ultegra component groups in the last years. The Di2 technology has proven itself in the most extreme weather conditions.
The advantages are clear to everybody: changing gears becomes easier, it gives a clear feeling and it is more durable than mechanical shifting. Shifting becomes more reliable and faster simply by touching the shift buttons.
It is even no problem to shift gears while standing on the pedals. The electronic offers easy access, short strokes and a lighter shifting effort. Next to the switch is a minimum information display that indicates in which gear your riding and what the status is of the battery life. The compact shifters provide a clean look on the handlebar.
The compact size makes it possible to grip the handlebar firmly and reduced change to be damaged by hitting. Another durable advantage is that an electric cable does not stretch compared to the mechanical version. Naturally the cables are water proof. The Alfine 11 and 8 speeds electronic gear hub will be available next September.
Improved disc brakes
Shimano has improved their road mechanical disc brake for all-weather significantly. For optimal performance Shimano managed to increase braking power by 30% compared to the current BR-R505 model.
Besides the increased braking power the designers were able to lower the profile design by 20% which saves the mechanical disc brake from damage and reduces weight. The BR-R515 weighs 181 gram. Shimano also takes the improved road mechanical disc brake to cyclo cross. In tough cyclo cross conditions the BR-CX75 shows its full potential. The BR-CX75 weighs 156g.
Shimano redesigned the Sora group completely and introduces a shifting option on a flat handlebar for a smooth design and more comfort. The Sora 9 speed group set offers wider gear range than before and a special 12-30 cassette but there also will be a 11-30 available. For a flat handlebar and cyclo cross Sora has a dedicated compact crankset (FC-3550) available with a 46-34T chainring combination.
For racing style Shimano added a suitable high gear 52-39T combination (FC-R350). This 2-piece crankset with integrated BB design has hyper drive SG-X chainrings. Next to the dual control levers Shimano introduces flat handlebar shifting options to road style bikes. The front derailleur is compatible with dedicated flat handlebar shifters (SL-3500). Rapidfire Plus, 2-way shifting and optical gear display becomes available thanks to Shimano expertise in both road cycling and MTB.
The new Sora group comes in a clean design and is available in stylish Mica Black.