The battle rages on.
Shimano’s top-shelf road drivetrain has had to make some pretty serious improvements to keep up with its number one competition—the Dura-Ace Di2 drivetrain. Electronic shifting is proving to be very, very good, so the Di2’s mechanical siblings are working extra hard these days. The Shimano Dura-Ace FD-9000 11-Speed front derailleur’s improvements focus mainly on one area: usability. That means a lighter action and a shorter lever stroke. Electronic shifting is good, but if it also works to make mechanical shifting better, that’s just a bonus.
The FD-9000 claims a 43% reduction in shifting effort compared to 7900. That’s an enormous improvement. This is helped along by Shimano’s polymer-coated shift cable, which nearly eliminates mechanical drag. Shimano then shortened the lever stroke by manipulating the leverage at the front derailleur. All this adds up to shifting that’s on par with Shimano’s Di2 system.
- 43% lighter action
- Shorter lever stroke
- 28.6/31.8mm or 34.9mm clamp