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NEW Shimano Ultegra Groupset – GCN’s First Look At The Tech

NEW Shimano Ultegra Groupset – GCN’s First Look At The Tech


– Shimano released the latest version of their all conquering
Dura-Ace Groupset last year. But hot on its heels, is
this, the little brother. The Ultegra R8000 Groupset. Now it was announced, a
couple of months back, but seeing how Shimano
actually invited us out to Austria to have a look at it, and to have a little ride on it, we thought it would be
a bit rude to say no. (upbeat music) Shimano Ultegra has always
promised the functionality and the durability of Dura-Ace, but at a lower price point. But recently as well, I
think it’s also added in a little bit of versatility, which we’ll see later on. Because it’s not just about racing. Now as with Dura-Ace, there
are four options here. So you have a mechanical
shifting, rim brake version, which is R8000. You also have a mechanical shifting, hydraulic disc brake version, which is R8020. Then, you have an electronic
Di2 shifting rim brake version which is R8050. And then finally you’ve got this, which is the bells and whistles R8070, electronic Di2 shifting
with hydraulic disc brakes. There here is a whole load of tech that is new to the Ultegra level that’s trickled down from Dura-Ace. So I’m going to walk you through it. Staring with shifters, up there. (electronic music) The big news with Shimano Dura-Ace was the improvement of the ergonomics of their hydraulic levers. And rejoice, the same
things has happened here. So we’ve now got a smaller
diameter lever body and also with shorter reach. I am told that it is every so
slightly larger in diameter compared to the Dura-Ace 9170 version. But, frankly I’ve held
the two side by side and I couldn’t actually
tell the difference. Sticking with ergonomics,
you also still have the reach adjust, so great
for people with small hands. You can move the lever
in a little bit more. And you’ve also got lever
pull adjustment as well. So if you’re like me,
like a lot of lever pull and therefore more pad clearance, you can set it up as that. Or, if you like a more immediate brake, so less lever pull and less pad clearance, you can have that as well. Now that’s something
that we take for granted on rim brakes, but until recently it didn’t use to be
possible on disc brakes. Now, having a look up
here, the hidden buttons from Dura-Ace Di2 have
also migrated across. So on the top of each shifter
you have a little button. Now out of the box, they’re
not set up to do anything. But, you connect up your Di2 to your phone via Shimano’s E-TUBE app
and then you can customize it’s functionality to
your heart’s content. So, in it’s current set up here, we’ve got them to shift up through the cassette at the back, with your left hand. And then down through the
cassette with your right hand. But you can also, very cooly,
actually connect these up to a third party device
like a GPS head unit, or indeed your lights. And then you can toggle through screens or turn things on and off, which is very cool like I said. You’ll notice that the Di2 junction box, which normally stored under
your stem here, has gone, hidden like the Dura-Ace version. So you can either put it
in your bar end plug here or like this BMC’s actually got
it built into the down tube. Set up is identical to
the Dura-Ace version. And it also means that
you’ve got a synchro and semi-synchro shifting options as well. So this is Shimano’s kind
of semi-automatic function where when you switch
it on, you effectively hand over control over
your front derailleur. Shimano does it very ably I might add. So that you don’t have to think about it. Or you’ve got semi-synchro, which means that when you do
shift at your front derailleur it then compensates with one or two shifts on the rear cassette to stop the jump in gears being too big. Now whilst I’m loitering at
the front end of the bike, let me also talk you
through the brake calipers. So, they’ve got Shimano’s ice technology, so you can see the fins, the cooling fins, on the brake pad there. And also, these mega
striking looking disc rotors. So, you can see the
huge cooling fins there. And also the construction of the rotor where you’ve got two durable stainless steel outers
that sandwich a lighter, more thermally conducted aluminum core. And it means that despite
it’s pretty solid appearance, actually for a 140 mil center lock rotor, it’s just 106 grams. Shifting then, you can see at a glance that the rear derailleurs
are very different indeed, now in like with the Dura-Ace versions. And that is because they’ve
got this new rearward position. And actually, this BMC is one
of the first frames out there to accommodate this rear
position with a dedicated and pretty striking looking new drop out. The derailleurs are compatible
with standard drop outs of course, they come with
an additional connector piece that moves it back. Now the reason that you’ve
got this rearward position, firstly was to improve the shifting and also the durability of the groupset because certainly higher up the cassette you actually get greater coverage so the chain wraps around
more of the cassette, spreading the wear and also
then improving the shifting. But as an added bonus, it
moves the whole derailleur assembly into a more
crash protected position. Not just for if you fall off our bike, but even, it’s a bonus if
someone knocks your bike over whilst you’re sat in a cafe. The capacity of the derailleur,
this short cage version, means that you can use an 11-30 cassette. So pretty big gear ratios there. But, actually the big news is that there’s a long cage version,
both mechanical and Di2. That means you can put a
whopping 11-34 cassette on there. There isn’t a specific Ultegra one, but there is an Ultegra
level out of (mumbles) that will of course work perfectly. The New Di2 front derailleur
doesn’t change very much, just sheds a couple of grams. But the mechanical version,
is completely different. So that adopts the new
toggle cam mechanism and loses the traditional level arm. It gives a much lighter
feel at the shifter but it also dramatically
improves tire clearance when you’re running those
big, all road tires, so up to 37 millimeters wide. Now, whilst we’re talking about tolerances and clearances actually, let’s
move on to the chain set. You’ll see striking new
design, which (mumbles) really, really do like personally. But actually the most
subtle but significant part of the redesign comes
with the chain rings and more specifically the pitch of the chain, which has been moved inboard
by naught .4 millimeters. I told you it was subtle. But, bear with me, because in doing that Shimano have then changed the minimum chainstay length requirements they specify to manufacturers
on disc brake bikes. Bear with me, because if you
can shorten the chainstay by 10 millimeters, which Shimano
have said you can now do, you actually change the
way a bike feels to ride. It feels much more
exciting, more responsive and more nimble. So, big thumbs up for that. Now that different chainset
does mean that actually this isn’t compatible
with old Shimano Ultegra. But the chainset is the only
bit that isn’t compatible. Brilliantly the rest of it
is backwards compatible. Even a new front derailleur
with an old chainset. Finally there are also new wheels as well. Still in short supply, which is why this bike
has Dura-Ace ones on. The new ones won’t be called Ultegra. They’re actually RS700 series. They’ve got new hubs, which
make them a little bit lighter and also carbon laminate on the rim. But then one last new
bit, that is on this bike are the new Ultegra pedals. Weight wienies can celebrate
because they shed a few grams. But bike nerds can celebrate generally because the stake height is
naught .7 millimeters lower. Tell ya, it’s one for the nerds. But also bike fitters too
have reason to celebrate, because there is also
a longer axle version. So you can have a Q factor
that is four millimeters wider. So that is an overview of
the significant changes. Though I haven’t spent
half enough time talking about the look of it, which
is particularly striking with this lovely two tone black on there. In terms of weight, you
won’t be saving a great deal with new Ultegra compared to old Ultegra. So in the lightest configuration, which is the 8050 one, which is Di2 shifting with rim brakes, you’ll shed 81 grams. But in order to get that weight saving, you do have to use the new wheels and also the new pedals as well. Now, in a direct comparison with Dura-Ace, there’s a weight penalty
of about 500 grams. And there is also no power meter option available at Ultegra level
either, only at Dura-Ace. In terms of availability,
it’s already in the shops now actually, the R8000 version, so mechanical with rim brakes. And the Di2 version is
on it’s way to the shops as we publish this video. Cost, it’s difficult
to go into costs really in this video because they
are specific to the region in which you live. Now, all the features, I
think it’s fair to say, of new Dura-Ace have trickled
down to this Ultegra level. And when that was launched,
a number of you said, that the changes weren’t
significant enough for you, but I’m actually inclined to disagree. I don’t think you can
overstate the importance of improved ergonomics which shifters. I spend most of my rides holding on to my levels and not
actually changing gears so the ergonomics of them are probably the most important bit. But then, when you also add in the refined shifting performance, the hidden junction box and the ability of frame manufacturers to actually now improve
their frames with the new derailleur hangers and
crucially the shorter chainstays, You end up with a package
that actually has more significant impact than you
might originally have thought. And I’m going to go into that
in a little bit more detail in the first ride video, which, depending on when you watch this, you may well be able to get to by clicking just down here now. Otherwise you might have
to hang on a few days. Right, do make sure you subscribe to GCN before leaving this video. To do so, you just click on the globe and it’s completely
free, need I remind you. And if you want to see a little bit more information about the big
brother, the Dura-Ace Groupset, you can click just down there for a comprehensive first look at that.

100 comments on “NEW Shimano Ultegra Groupset – GCN’s First Look At The Tech

  1. That's cool and all, but it still uses a hidden junction box and separate battery. LAME!!! Never buying that shit.. SRAM did it right. True wireless.

  2. If someone knocks your bike over, you save your rear derailleur as your $5000 frame takes the hit! Really like that feature!

  3. Thank god the chainring scant be used across the generations, because shortages in the 9000 series can be carried forward on the new set!

  4. im using the r8000 rear derailieur with the new 11-34 hg 800 casette and its just awesome. climbing has never been so much fun 🙂 hope we will see 11-36 soon

  5. Hey ! Great video ! I'm about to change my Crankset from my "old" Ultegra 6700. Do you think I can fit the shimano r8000 crankset to my old 10 speed ultegra ? Thanks in advance !

  6. Why are you dinks still using 2x?juat slap on an eagle with a 50t chainring. 1 to 1 climbing gear, 50 to 10 speedy gear.

  7. a little worried that "hidden buttons able to connect with third party hardware" could mean hidden motors, or electromagnetic wheels without obvious buttons to turn anything on…. but maybe I'm being paranoid…

  8. Where's the backup camera?  Where are the disc brake temperature sensor and tire pressure gauges?  Where's the Automatic Park Assist?  Where's the Automatic Emergency Braking System?  Where's the 'Check Drivetrain' light alerting me it's time to take my bike in for service?  Not to mention the curb proximity warning light and the low shoulder warning siren. 

    Sorry guys, I'm just not feeling this whole di2 thing.  I have a bike.  I have a car.  I don't like cars.  I like my bike because it's simple.  A cable breaks, I just replace the cable and I'm on my  merry way.  I like biking 'cause it gives me a chance to 'unplug'.  I don't want to have to upgrade the firmware on my bike… EVER!  Yet this seems to be the direction everyone's going. 

    Bikes are becoming too much like cars.  I mean… now I need a cellphone to program my bike to shift properly?  I get it… I get it… they're just options.  Options I won't be getting.  And don't get me started on the 11-34.  Sorry for the rant. 

    Me in 2020: "Oh shit, I think I just bricked my bike!"

  9. I have "old" Ultegra Di2 and really the only item that appeals on the new one is the hidden junction box. Having it in the frame is neat and a better position but other than that can't say I'm bothered on having the new set up.

  10. I would like to change my front crank set from Ultegra 6800 to R8000. So shall I buy also a new chain for that? Was replaced this spring…

  11. The only improvements are ergonomics of shifters for disc version and the front mechanical derailleur rearwards compatible. So for 6800 mechanical owners i think the only value for upgrading is the front derailleur. All the rest of the video is just marketing void.

  12. The design of new ultegra isn't cool, especially chainring.
    Shifting smoothly, maintenancing easily, but designing badly.

  13. Lever throw doesn't effect pad clearance on hydraulic brakes, it only changes the point at which the pads start moving.

  14. What makes the new chainset incompatible with the old Ultegra? I'm guessing the same number of teeth as before (53/39, 50/34) and same spacing between chainrings? So what has changed?

  15. This video just helped my build decision. Ultegra R8070 on a Scott addict.
    Was going to go full Dura Ace but figured this would be a better choice to get into road disk and not permanently break the bank!

    Thanks guys!

    PS: or should I build up a super six Evo? Nope, maybe a 2018 synapse? Oh the options!

  16. Only bike manufacturers release something then are unable to gtee avaliability or give final price. If this was any other field eg new cars, computers, phones etc they would be laughed at and out of the market place

  17. I love Shimano equipment, especially Ultegra and I'm sure this new groupset will perform flawlessly, however…
    That crankset is HIDEOUS!!
    I think the 9100 crank arms look awful too, but you have that shiny blacker than black finish to hide it.

  18. Thank you so much GCN for making the new Shimano range FAR easier to digest. I find the numbers meaningless, I prefer names.

  19. Looks greats I bet it works great too. It is a bit out of my price range I can only dream. May I say great bike too.

  20. I've done 3-4 rides with a new 8000 series 5034 chainset with Ultegra 6800 11-28 cassette and short cage rear mech and front mech – have not experienced any issues at all, just clean shifts and smooth running. This is a bit like the "don't ride with 52/34 chainrings as the drop is too big", tried that as well and shifts are just the same as 50/34 – having completed the Grandfondo Stelvio with it. But I do this at my own risk outside of what Shimano recommends and seems to work!

  21. I assume it's the same, but can you confirm it's possible to mix mechanical 6800 with R8000, as in do they have the same amount of wire pull? For instance I could benefit from upgrading just the rear derailleur so I can use the 12-30 cassette

  22. Wow. Stunning video, amazing production quality. I'm not sure if I'm convinced about the hydrogen (wouldn't it be more efficient to install an HV cable instead of electrolysis/truck/ferry/fuel cell…) but great that they got so much renewable energy.

  23. Great how you have just released this video as I am thinking of building a very similar bike as what you have in this video. Can I ask is that a BMC roadmachine or teammachine? Thanks so much for sharing and I will be checking out more of your videos.

  24. Why is the R8000 crankset not compatible with older components? I want to mix R8000 50T-34T chainset with: 5800 rear derailleur, 9100 front derailleur and 6800 chain. What is stopping me?

  25. Shimano Di2 both Ultegra 8000 and DA9000 series are simply the best shifting and braking systems going along with the best cranks. Makes SCAM electronic and Campy EPS systems look feeble. Want to see a Frankenstein if a shifter, go look at SCAM electronic hydraulic systems. LOL

  26. Hi, my name is Tony Love riding road bikes, I'm about 6'5" I go through a lot of rims 700 x 28 the problem I'm having is breaking spokes sprockets, could it be because I weighed 231 pounds or 235 lbs or Could it be because I have too much torque in my legs what type of rear wheel will hold me.

  27. Random question to anyone who might know….on long descents, what would likely fail or overheat first….the new disc brakes or rim brakes?

  28. Am I need the Shimano SM-PCE1 to install the system at the first time even I have got the EW-WU111 wireless transmitter unit installed ?

  29. Would it be possible(listen to this shit):
    To have, let's say, just 1/10th of a disc break circle(the rest is gone, never to be seen again)that somehow stays in the calliper position(doesn't turn with the wheels, is not visible from the side(is covered by the fork)) and is connected to the wheel hub by a ring thingy that presses on the hub when you want to break.
    I get that the heat dissipation might be an issue but hey, we are talking 2021 technology over here!
    The idea is to get rid of the disc and just have 1/10th of it left, flush with the fork.

    Sorry, shitty sentence, but front disc break looks ugly to me.

  30. Just for people's information was unable to get a 6800 new chainset in the compact (50/34 with 170mm crank) when upgrading from my old 5700 10-speed groupset. Was picking a complete 6800 11-speed set as well frankly bargain money to the R8000. So what did is using a 6800 front mech with a R8000 chainset (with 6800 rear mech) & 6800 front mech works perfect with the R8000 chainset (as said stock of 170mm 50/34 6800 chainset stcok disappeared very quickly). Think if he was saying my mix/match front set up wouldn't work…..well it does perfectly. Stock of R8000 short cage as becoming so cheap too going to by a spare R8000 SS rear mech (never use more than 11-28 cassette, my normal cassette I use is a 12-25….the close ratio's just sooooo good)to keep in my toolbox too so my set up can go over to a newer frame if time comes or as often can happen rear mech write off in a crash (currently on a 2013 Trek Domane 2.3 with my new ultegra & winter set Mavic wheels + lighter/faster summer Mavic wheels).

  31. I have a question : what do you exactly do with bikes that you won't use anymore ? Is it possible that you send one for a good fan ? :p

  32. I’m just buying a bike with the new 8070 . You missed reporting you need an in-line Bluetooth adapter . Out of the box you are unable to programme the top buttons nor use the E tap app. You need to buy an inline Bluetooth adapter to be able to use the app and program the buttons plus do software updates…

  33. I have a question… If I pull the brake and I move the bike back and forward, than it looks that there is some play between the disc and the axle. And it's definitely not the brake shoe moving! If I do this the brake disc is not moving but the wheel axle is turning. Looks like a little bit of rotary or radial play. I have the Shimano SM-RT800 on my BMC Teammachine. Thank for your experience.

  34. Hi GCN I always like you gus review. why did you not mention about Shimano Ultegra 6870 Di2? Is that complete different series? Thanks again.

  35. Hey GCN and everybody else. Does anybody here have problems with the rear derailleur barrel adjuster? The plastic tooth seems to wear off easily and then the outer rubber shell just spins around uselessly without changing the cable tension.

  36. Dear Is, what is the frame size of the bike shown on this video and what is your height please? Does the size of this bike fit well to you? Thanks, George.

  37. I'm in the middle of upgrading my summer bike from 5800 105 to R8000 Ultegra. Done the mechs so far. Crankset next payday…

  38. Good evening Si, could you please inform me about the bike size we see on this video? Is it a 58 ? Thanks, George.

  39. I have the same bike and would like to get these. Where can I buy the set in the video? The ones I find online don't have the box you can put in the frame, only the box that attaches to the stem. Great video!

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