It may be a bit in the shadow of the new Dura-Ace group, but the Ultegra Di2 group has also been completely renewed. As with Dura Ace R9200, the Ultegra R8100 series is also wireless and with 12 gears. As I promised in our article about the new Dura-Ace groupset, the ins and outs of the Ultegra groupset are now also discussed.
Ultegra Di2 vs Dura Ace Di2: same shape, same technique, different color
The 12-speed Ultegra groupset is technically the same as its big brother, but in a different guise. As with the previous groupsets, the Ultegra is recognizable by the anthracite-grey matte color. Just like the Dura-Ace group, this group is only available in a Di2 version and is available for disc brakes and rim brakes. Also here the note that the rim brake groupset does not switch wirelessly. With the Ultegra group, Shimano is targeting cyclists who go more for the experience, because as they say themselves: ‘There’s more in life than racing’.
This is also reflected in the proportions of the cassettes and sprockets that are available for Ultegra. For the front sheets you can choose from compact (50/34) and semi-compact (52/36). So the double (which has been replaced by the 54/40 at Dura-Ace) is no longer in the Ultegra range. Ultegra’s cassettes are 11/30 or 11/34. Where Dura-Ace uses discs and a chain from the XTR series, this is for Ultegra discs and a chain from XT.
Another difference compared to the Dura-Ace group is the available crank lengths. The Ultegra cranks are available in sizes 160/165/170/172.5 and 175 and therefore have the most common dimensions in the collection. If you look closely you can see that the shape of the caliper is not quite the same as the Dura-Ace calipers. The Ultegra caliper is composed of two halves unlike that of Dura-Ace which consists of one piece. The shape is therefore slightly different, but according to Shimano, it is comparable in terms of function and properties.
Ultegra series now also has wheels and a Powermeter
Two new additions to the Ultegra range are the double-sided power meter and three different wheelsets. The Powermeter is exactly the same as its big brother, but mounted on an Ultegra crankset. The same rims are used for the wheels as with Dura-Ace. You can choose from three rim heights and those are the 36, 50 and 60 mm wheels. The aerodynamic properties of the rim are therefore the same as with Dura-Ace, but with an Ultegra hub that is slightly heavier in weight. Also different spokes are used than with the Dura-Ace wheels. The wheels are full carbon clinchers for disc brakes and all have a Shimano 11-speed body, which also fits 12-speed cassettes. They are tubeless ready.
Specifications and prices
Weight groupset: 2716 grams (excl. power meter and pedals)
Cranksets: 52/36 of 50/34
Cassettes: 11/30 of 11/34
Price groupset R8170 with Power Meter – Ultegra Di2 Disc from € 3499,-
Price groupset R8170 Ultegra Di2 Disc is available from € 2449,-
Price groupset R8100 Ultegra Di2 is available from € 2149,-
Price wheel set Ultegra in different heights: € 1398,-
prices are without Disc rotors and Di2 cabling
More info via Shimano