Shimano have announced details of their 2014 Ultegra 6800 11-speed mechanical groupset.
The next model year sees many refinements and technology that's trickled down from the higher Dura-Ace group, along with a slightly lighter grey colour. Ultegra 6800 also offers a total weight saving of 35g over the previous generation Ultegra 6700 group. Pricing stands at US$1,249.92 whilst UK figures are still to be announced. Distributors are expecting to receive stock as of September 2013.
The new Ultegra chainset gains the four-arm design that's proven itself with Dura-Ace applications – it's lighter but with the same stiffness as before. Options will be 53x39T, 52x36T, 50x34T or 46-36T, with a triple in the pipeline for later release. Both press-fit and Hollowtech II outboard bottom brackets will be available.
The new ST-6800 shifters feature refined ergonomics that are said to offer improved comfort and control, particularly on the hoods. In fact, the ST-6800 shifters now have the same shape and feel as current Dura-Ace shifters.
ST-6800 also gains a carbon fibre lever and uses a new lower friction, polymer coated gear cable. A lighter, shorter and more positive shift action has been introduced, something that Dura-Ace users will also be familiar with.
RD-6800 rear derailleur
The 2014 Ultegra rear derailleur gets a full overhaul. It's more compact and lightweight, and gets a new spring mechanism that works to ensure shifts are equal across the cassette's range.
Improvements have also been made to maintain shifting precision over long term use. Both SS (short) and GS (long) options are available, with the latter now compatible with a 32T cassette.
FD-6800 front derailleur
The 6800 front derailleur gets a revised actuation ratio, meaning a shorter and easier action at the lever. New polymer coated cables add to the slickness, while stability has been improved with a new support bolt for brazed-on applications.
The Ultegra cassette has gone 11-speed and will now be sold in five options ranging from 11-23T all the way to 11-32T. (11-23T, 11-25T, 12-25T, 11-28T,11-32T)
Shimano's 6800 chain gets a new Sil-Tec PTFE surface coating to improve long-term durability and corrosion protection. This technology has trickled down from last year's Dura-Ace 9000 chain. It's also a non-directional design.
Ultegra's brakes change to a new symmetrical dual pivot design for 2014, with Shimano claiming a 10 percent power increase over previous Ultegra stoppers. The BR-6800 also use Shimano's new BC-R680 polymer coated cables for less friction and improved modulation.
Aerodynamic direct mount versions have also been developed both front and rear (BR-R6800).
WH-6800 tubeless wheelset
The Ultegra wheelset is a tubeless-ready design and uses a wide flange hub and offset rim to keep things stiff and efficient. The wheels use Shimano's usual cup and cone bearing system that now features tool-less adjustment – so no more messing with cone spanners. Weights are still to be confirmed on these wheels.
PD-6800 SPD-SL pedals
If it ain't broke, don't fix it… That's Shimano's take on the PD-6800 pedals. They've remained largely unchanged from the current PD-6700s, with only minor aesthetic tweaks to the body and logo, to match the new 6800 colour scheme.
Weight comparison: Ultegra 6700 vs Ultegra 6800
- ST-6800 shifters - $399.99 / £299.99 (pair)
- RD-6800 rear derailleur(SS) $99.99 / £74.99
- FD-6800 front derailleur $59.99 / £42.99
- FC-6800 chainset $319.99 / £229.99
- CS-6800 cassette (11-28) $109.99 / £69.99
- CN-6800 chain (114L) $49.99 / £36.99
- SM-BBR80 bottom bracket $34.99 / £39.99
- BR-6800 caliper brakes (pair) $174.99 / £119.98
Total: US$1,249.92 / £914.91
- WH-6800 Wheelset: $749.99 /
- PD-6800 Pedals: $199.99 / £149.99
See www.shimano.com for more information on Shimano products.