The end for Shimano mechanical groupsets?

Today Shimano unveiled the worst kept secret in the bike industry this year – a new 12-speed groupset! Not only in their highest tier Dura Ace, but also Ultegra. This is a little different to the usual Shimano game plan of Dura Ace first, then Ultegra a year or two later.

If you were after new 12-speed Di2, you’re in luck! The Shimano 12-speed cassettes will even fit on the current 11-speed hubs! Hooray for backwards compatibility! But if you were after a new high end mechanical groupset, well that’s another story…

Shimano’s new Dura Ace AND Ultegra groupsets are Di2 only! No mechanical.

You read that right. Shimano will not produce 12-speed Dura Ace or Ultegra in mechanical, it’s all “semi-wireless” Di2 electronic shifting. The current generation of Dura Ace and Ultegra mechanical 11-speed will be produced for a while, but who knows how long complete high end 11-speed mechanical groupsets will be around for. While 105 is still 11-speed for now, I’d expect that to change to 12-speed in two years or thereabouts.

They key takeaway? If at some point you were planning on building or upgrading a bike to Dura Ace or Ultegra mechanical (especially with rim brakes) you’d better buy the groupset sooner rather than later!

I wonder if I could fit semi-wireless 12-speed Di2 to my old school Trek 5200? 😎

3 Comments Add yours

  1. kirkmtb says:

    But bikes are mechanical. They shouldn’t be electronic and radio controlled. Just my Luddite opinion. The UCI ban so much. How has this ever got through?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You mean you don’t have a wireless electric dropper post on your MTB yet? 😜

      Liked by 1 person

  2. bgddyjim says:

    I was thinking about eTap for the Trek… but the bosses would be entirely useless and it’d look WEIRD. I’m just going to stick with mechanical on the classic. At least for now. Now, thinking about the Venge…

    Liked by 1 person

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