Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070
We’ve had enough time to give the Dura-Ace Di2 9070 a thorough test. So, does it live up to the hype?
Once upon a time, Shimano had a blanket hold of the market. Sure, Campagnolo and SRAM had their share, but it’s not until more recently that the Japanese manufacturer has been pushed to lift its game. It will no doubt continue to be pressured by the Italians and Americans – especially when SRAM release their response to the electronic competition.
Dura-Ace Di2 11-speed is not just a case of adding another cog – clearly. We knew it worked from Day One when the groupset was featured in the second issue of Cyclist, but with a compete overhaul of the 10-speed ensemble it deserved a little more time before a full assessment could be compiled.
Dura-Ace Di2 11-speed is not just a case of adding another cog – clearly
Our groupset quickly found its way onto a 2013 Giant TCR Advanced SL 1, and while internal wiring is an exercise in patience, the time saved over mechanical adjustments is enough to make you never go back. Is there anything missing from Shimano’s 9070 package, or perhaps something we would like to see in the future?
Well, yes – but first let’s take a look at some of the main features we think deserve a bit of attention. As a rule of thumb, Shimano has delivered a durable finish for each component. With the 9070, even after six months of use it still looked like it was when being installed by the Australian distributor. It shares a crankset with the mechanical group, but it’s worth mentioning the neat solution regarding chainring choice. It’s very simple: buy a crankset, choose from a variety of chainring sizes, and install. No compact BCD; it’s a one-stop shop.
The textured STI hoods, absent on the mechanical counterparts, would seem to have little effect at first glance, but paired with winter gloves and some moisture you’ll never be concerned about slipping off. We’ve spent many hours with and without gloves and the surface is yet to show signs of wear, remaining tight around the lever body.
Unlike some of the other brands that seem to wear prematurely or become loose, Shimano has this dialled. There’s an increased number of ports in the levers, and the junction box provides the user with a one-stop shop for accessories. Sprint shifters, climbing switch and aerobar satellite control levers – with either single or dual button – are all available, and the latest ensemble allows more than one accessory to be installed. It ticks a lot of boxes.
It’s a debated topic, but this particular reviewer would have appreciated a little more tactility from the shift buttons. A redundant ‘click’ or requiring a little more pressure to shift would negate any chance of a misfire and provide greater tactile response in the colder months when thick gloves and cold hands can leave you needing a little more feedback.
Never one to rest on its laurels, Shimano will undoubtedly lift the bar again soon, but with a groupset that is nearly flawless, what’s next is anyone’s guess…
Rear Mech Di2 RD-9070
Front Mech Di2 FD-9070
Shifters Di2 ST-9070
Chainset Dura-Ace FC-9000 (with BB-9000)
Brakes Dura-Ace BR-9000
Chain Dura-Ace CN-9000
Cassette Dura-Ace CS-9000
Price circa $4,299 (depending on cable/battery options)
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