2009 Dura Ace - Eye Candy

DA 2009

It looks mostly like an aesthetic upgrade to me. It’s still over 2000g for the group and there’s nothing really “new” about it if you ask me. I do like the cranks/chainring integrated look. Very sharp.

Gotta have it? Taking a pass?


So all the rumours about electronic shifting and/or Campag-style hidden gear cables have come to naught?

Whats that enormous knob on the top of the brifter?

I’m rarely the first to jump on board with anything, but there isn’t a lot to get me to make many upgrades from the current generation.  I still use Ultegra brakes (6500) and cassettes (6600).

The new Flight Deck with HRM, altitude, and grade almost makes it interesting, but there’s a lot of computers on the market, and I’m not entirely convinced they will only work with 7900.

That’s right .  .. the media embargo has lifted. Testament to Shimano’s power in the industry is that they kept details of this group mostly contained to “leaked prototypes,” which of course weren’t leaks at all.

Note the news [on Compact](http://bikehugger.com/2008/05/the_rise_of_the_compact_crank.htm) and how Mark was right.

I’ve been switching between SRAM and DA almost daily. SRAM is absolutely competitive [as I wrote](http://bikehugger.com/2008/04/so_i_made_the_leap.htm) and here’s how I described the differences between the two groups on a ride this weekend to a Broham:

> Did you hear that shift? What?
“I just shifted under-power, uphill, crosschained, and it was as smooth as Porche’s Tiptronic . . . had that been SRAM, you’ve heard a Snap, Crackle, Pop, a few curses from me, and the bike would’ve lurched forward.”

SRAM just isn’t there yet, but that’s not saying they won’t get the refinement or a cyclist would notice as much if they weren’t switching back and forth.

That being said, competition is essential and note what Shimano’s PR manager said: he sort of almost gave SRAM props. Just like Trek taking notice of their post-Lance sales decline and the punch in the gut from Specialized’s Roubaix, Shimano isn’t just updating that cause they like to retool.

The tell-tale here is pricing. Shimano’s got to either position the new DA as competitive on price or as better than SRAM so it’s got a premium price.

For the roadies out there, let’s hope it’s priced as competitive (side note that Red is ridiculously priced).

Well, if you like compact cranks, then DA is finally catering to you with a DA branded crank and a super-wide selection of cassette ratios.

If you ride 167.5mm cranks, DA is the only choice for you.

There is a new chain than supposedly has a re-useable masterlink…a serious improvement over the reinforcement pins of before.

The hubs are easier to adjust and are backwards compatible with 9/8/7sp cassettes.

However, the 7900 derailleurs and shifters are solely compatible with each other because they use a greater cable pull. The new STI have reach adjustment.

I gotta have it…as a matter of fact, I’ve got the plan of bumping DA7800 off my carbon bike so it can replace the Suntour from my steel bike.  But I won’t have money for it until December.

Finally, someone has made a carbon cranks with aesthetics: the DA is a work of art, so was the Campy. The SRAM crank is ugly, just straight up ugly and noticeably not as stiff as the DA. (don’t get me started on FSA . . .)

I’m sticking with SRAM.  I like the positive shifting response I get when I drop to a bigger gear.

@ Andrew,

Absolutely. What DA is over 25 yrs on and SRAM is 3? It’s a great group and when switching back and forth you can really tell the difference. What I absolutely totally dig about SRAM is the hoods. It’s like holding a pistol.

having tested and touched the stuff, I can tell you it’s way more than “cosmetic”. Everything Shimano does works- period. The cable does route SRAM/ Campagnolo style. The new chain is directional and shifts crazy fast. The group is beautiful, but I have to say that for overall cosmetics (for me) SRAM and Campy still win.

And, as for electronic shifting… and one of the worst kept “secrets” in the world… I still can’t say anything publicly. But “if” they had something in the works and “if” I touched it and “if” I was WAY more impressed than I ever thought I would be, I’d tell you… no really… I would. But I can’t… yet.


We need a mole! We’re a blog, so screw Shimano’s embargo . . .

as for aesthetics, i’m totally down with the shapes, though i wish it was all shiny metal rather than the sections of ...well, something else…maybe beadblast? 

very Giger-esque.

keep in mind that the crankarms are still ALUMINIUM, not carbon.  face it, Shimano is the absolute master of forged parts.  that crank is lighter than many carbon cranks and stiffer than all. take a close look at teams sponsored by FSA and you’ll see that the big riders often choose cheap alloy cranks instead of the pricey carbon models…because of stiffness issues.

and it’s clear that chainring stiffness is an important issue for Shimano.  as I said in my article about compact cranks,  the need for stiff, well-supported chainrings for precise shifting and high loads means that the 130mm bcd standard won’t be entirely abandoned in favor of the 110mm bcd.

The not have to trim the front derailer is very interesting.  I do like my Ultegra set up that I have had for the past 5 years, but the cable routing to clean everything up is very cool too.  I would like just the derailers/shifters and front crank and I would keep the rest of my components as is for now.  I wonder if they are going to do similiar things to the Ultegra group for us poorer biking fans?

And a reason right here that the SRAM hoods work so well, you can just grab right into them, like [Andrew is doing here](http://www.wheelsinfocus.com/2008/pages/94AD0939ec.htm).


Nice catch Byronius!  Proof that I made it off the front once…too bad it was all-to-brief.

I’m a big fan of the feel on the SRAM.  Much more than the nubs of campy and the bulk of Shimano.  I think the Pistol grip description is right on.

I can understand why some people prefer the light shifting of Shimano—but the ‘red’ Campy Record shifters are selling like positive shifting never went out of style.

Frankly, I’m not sure why people should wait.  The SRAM stuff is awesome—it’s driving Shimano to make changes.  2009 Dura Ace seems more like a heavier knock-off version of SRAM Red than anything in the current Shimano line. 

The cranks are nice, and I’m sure noticeably stiffer than DuraAce (although I still think anyone who ‘needs’ something stiffer than SRAM or Campy is probably running SRM anyway).  The Red cranks look nice in person—but not in magazines.  I like the look of mine.

I’d like to see how well they pull off the no trim feature—and how finicky it is.

With DA2009, I suspect Shimano keeps their edge on brakes, drivetrain noise and crank.  I think SRAM still wins on ergonomics, weight and innovation—and is available now.  I wonder how much 09DA will cost—and I wonder if it will be heavier than 09Force.  Supposedly 09Rival weighs similar to 08DA!

I’m sticking with SRAM—and hoping it continues to force Shimano to finally make significant efforts to improve their stuff.


Heads up for all you Da fans… The COST on the new DA will be higher then Campy Record…. With that said why would you buy it. All they did is copy SRAM with looks and its still heavy. Your going to pay $500-$700 more for the new DA.

Who cares if SRAM is a little loud it still works AWESOME. With that said get the RED group and just ride your bike….

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