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A deep dive into the new Shimano Dura-Ace and Ultegra groupsets

Dave Lawrence and Nick Legan of Shimano discuss features and design of the road bike components

Shimano Dura-Ace R9200 crankset Photo by: Nick Iwanyshyn

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Lately, on this podcast, the focus has been on athletes, on their successes, challenges and just what makes them tick. But this episode is a bit different. The discussion gets into just what makes bikes tick.

A few days ago, bike component maker Shimano launched its updated version of both the Dura-Ace and Ultegra road groupsets. It’s a big deal. These are the brand’s top and second-from-the-top component lines. You see the pros riding Dura-Ace in the major races. Calling Ultegra “second-tier” doesn’t do the lineup justice. Ultegra parts are usually pretty much the same as Dura-Ace, just a bit heavier and often friendlier on the wallet.

This episode’s guests are Nick Legan and Dave Lawrence. Nick is the road brand manager at Shimano and Dave is the road product manager. (Nick says that they both love road and managing.) Dave is actually more involved in the nitty-gritty of making road components, while Nick’s priorities are letting people know about them. Dave cooks the steak, Nick sells the sizzle, if you will. They are both incredibly knowledgeable about bike components and their design.

What does Dura-Ace mean to the world of road cycling? How much did road group developers steal from the mountain bike side? What were some of the ideas that led to some of the newest features like wireless shifters, wired derailleurs and updated braking dynamics? These are just some of the questions that come up in the discussion.

Time to get techy.

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