Across Dura-Ace 9100, Shimano made subtle, rather than monumental, shifts in design to improve a system that was already pretty damn good. Proving that mechanical drivetrains can—and still should—be improved, Shimano focused most of its attention on the derailleurs, making the biggest changes to ride experience with important tweaks to both the front and rear derailleurs' designs. The resulting Dura-Ace FD-R9100 11-Speed Front Derailleur delivers concrete improvements to its predecessor's shortcomings, behaving far more consistently than its often moody forebears, whose changes in attitude could be set off by cable entry angles and cable tension that didn't suit it.
How'd they do it? Not by magic, though sometimes we wonder. No, Shimano found a way to redesign the body of the derailleur, equipping it with a new linkage system and integrated cable tension adjuster that does away with the need for a barrel adjuster. The design embraces multiple routing options that its previous version wouldn't dream of allowing, and requires low rider effort to generate precise, crisp shifts. Key big ring shifts in the heated moments of a race are no longer just possible within a strict set of parameters; now, you'll only have to lift a finger. Plus, the derailleur's more compact internals mean that the entire body has shrunk, increasing clearance and eliminating the infuriating cable rub that has irritated many of us to our limits at some point in our cycling careers.
- Experience more agreeable shifts with this ambitious redesign
- New linkage improves responsiveness across changing conditions
- Accommodates broader range of routing options
- Integrated cable tension adjustment eliminates barrel adjuster
- Provides clearance for frames with bigger tires and disc brakes