Whether authorized or not, Dutch Rabobank pro rider Michiel vd Heijden recently posted on his Twitter account an image of his new Giant TCX Advanced SL cyclocross bike – complete with a first look at Shimano's upcoming Dura-Ace Di2 hydraulic disc brakes. If you're among the skeptics who still doubt the coming of disc brakes in road and 'cross, you'd best start preparing your concession speeches.
While we have no official details to accompany the image, several features are plainly visible. As with SRAM's upcoming Red hydraulic levers, Shimano looks to have tucked the master cylinder inside an enlarged hump atop the current Di2 STI Dual Control levers. With no mechanical shifter bits to accommodate as well, though, Shimano's version appears more elegantly executed.
The two-piston calipers utilize bolted two-piece construction and are almost certainly made of forged aluminum. Rotating banjos tidy up the routing, too.
The 140mm rotors look to be current Ice Tech models although it's unclear to what wheels they're attached. Simply badged "Shimano", the 28-hole carbon fiber tubular rims could easily be current models redrilled and custom built to existing XTR mountain bike hubs. Dedicated disc-only Dura-Ace carbon wheelsets in both clincher and tubular varieties and with lower spoke counts are almost guaranteed come the official release, though.
Michiel vd Heijden posted this photo of his bike on Twitter
New Giant TCX Advanced SL, too?
It also shouldn't be ignored the Giant TCX Advanced SL frameset to which the parts are bolted as well. Giant's current cyclocross flagship is only compatible with rim brakes currently and is due for a redesign so this bike is either a custom prototype or a preview of a subtly revamped model.
We'll have to wait and see but in the meantime, ponder what's soon to come.