FIRST LOOK - Ultegra Di2

 Jun 20, 2011 article by Nick Salazar, images by Shimano

The slick Ultegra Di2 rear derailleur

The word is finally out -- Shimano is trickling down its famed Di2 technology to the Ultegra level. This move was inevitable, but it's worth noting that this is Shimano's second electronic group, and no other manufacturer currently even makes one. Campagnolo is on the way, but still hasn't been given an official release.

The good news is that Ultegra Di2 is a lot like Dura-Ace Di2, just heavier -- and it costs HALF of what Dura Ace does. That's an enormously important bit that's going to put it in the hands of a LOT more riders. The bad news is that there's no TT components in the group at this time (so it's not really for tri bikes), and it's not backwards-compatible with any components from its big brother.

The wiring has also changed -- the connectors are smaller, and there are fewer of them. How they manage that exactly, we aren't sure (we don't have images of the junction boxes themselves). But suffice it to say things are getting revised for the better.

For now, Ultegra Di2 is Road only -- no TT parts

But the big story here is really that Di2 is becoming cheaper. Why's that so great? Because Di2 is AMAZING. It's already changing the paradigm, and has an enormous potential for future innovation. But so far it's been out of reach for all but those with the deepest pockets. Our full writeup is currently in the works, so sit tight on that one. But seeing this groupset trickle down and become more readily available is awesome. The downside? Well, it is heavier. And the Dura-Ace version of Di2 is already heavier than EVERY groupset that SRAM makes (even Apex is lighter). And while that's not a great concern on a TT bike, it's still worth noting. We're excited to see where this goes. But watch for our in-depth review of the TT version of Di2, which will be published later this summer. A couple more photos below.

Tags » di2group,  electronic,  shimano

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