Shimano Dura-Ace is the cream of road bike groupsets, with the Japanese giant applying its latest technology and most cutting-edge materials to deliver the very best in bike componentry.
Described as their “lightest, most ergonomic, and most precise groupset ever”, it comes in mechanical and electronic Di2 versions, and sits above performance road groupset Ultegra in the Shimano family tree.
As such, it’s a competitor to SRAM Red and Campagnolo Record; the latter’s Super Record can probably be deemed hors catégorie here, being so much more expensive than its rivals.
There are two versions available – Shimano Dura-Ace with mechanical shifting, and Dura-Ace Di2 with electronic shifting.
Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 / R9150 Di2
Shimano lifted the lid on the latest versions of its flagship Dura-Ace mechanical and electronic road groupsets in June 2016. Officially known as Dura-Ace R9100 (mechanical) or R9150 Di2 (electronic), the groups push several firsts for Shimano on the road side of things, including the options of an integrated power meter, hydraulic disc braking and the migration of Shimano’s clever synchronised shifting technology.
With this latest update, Dura-Ace will continue to be available in electronic (Di2) and mechanical options, and both will remain 11-speed. Along similar lines, Dura-Ace Di2 will not be wireless in a traditional sense, although it does feature some wireless functionality.
Shimano Dura-Ace 9000
Shimano’s dura-ace 9000 mechanical groupset offers clean, crisp, smooth shifting James Huang / Immediate Media
The latest mechanical version is Dura-Ace 9000, released back in 2013, was described by our tester James Huang as “plain fantastic”, especially when compared to its predecessor.
He particularly liked the fact that shifting is quieter, faster and smoother, while also praising the slight weight savings, improved hood shape and cleaner looks. Read our full review.
Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 Di2
Shimano’s dura-ace 9070 di2 improves on their excellent electronic shifting Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Called “unnecessary” and “a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist” when it launched in 2010, Shimano’s Di2 electronic shifting has since redefined how the professionals shift gears. Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 is their latest iteration, and it’s pretty damn fine.
So good in fact that our reviewer Ben Delaney says it “underscores mechanical shifting limitations”, like squeezing in shifters where previously you couldn’t, such as aero bar extensions. Read our full review
This article is updated regularly and so some comments below may be out of date.