The immaculate re-conception.
We get it, improving upon perfection is a difficult, thankless task. After all, the cycling world was tilted on its head when Shimano released Dura-Ace Di2 Di2 7970. Mechanical was declared obsolete by nearly every cycling publication, and demo stations at bike shops developed a queue as deep as a carnival ride. This left the question to be asked, how do you make it any better? Not surprisingly, Shimano found a way, well, several ways, with its new Dura-Ace Di2 9070 11-Speed STI Shift Levers.
It's too easy to go on and on about ST-9070's 11-Speed shifting option, and while it adds a powerful advantage over the field, we know that the new Dura-Ace shifters can't be defined by one feature. In typical Shimano fashion, the 7970 levers went on a diet and came back into the fold 18 grams lighter under the title of ST-9070. However, while satisfying, weight savings are the least impressive of the improvements that encompass ST-9000. Starting with the shape of the levers and hoods themselves, Shimano introduced brand new designs to improve the touch-point experience. Knowing that you spend 95% of your time in contact with the hoods or levers, Shimano wanted to enhance the comfort, reach, and feel.
The hoods now feature a smaller and slimmer shape. Made from a dual-compound rubber composite, the low-volume hood design retains the slight perforated form of 7970, and makes lever accessibility easy. The lever blades and paddles have also received a sleek redesign. Their outward curve and feel is more pronounced than in the prior generation, and make for a more positive interaction from either the hoods or drops. Additionally, the blades have been lengthened a short bit in order to accommodate multiple hand sizes with multiple bar shapes. In terms of the shift buttons, Shimano has widened them, creating an easily navigable shift interface. And when you're buried in the drops on long descents, you'll be happy to know that Shimano has continued to include 10mm of reach adjustment for the levers.
Dwarfing all other advancements to the ST-9070, however, is the shifting itself -- this is where Shimano's 'Rider-Tuned' philosophy really makes itself known. This is the title given to Shimano's campaign of providing you the best rider-experience of your life. Throughout the group, every component has been given little custom touches, but the levers have received several. Addressing the 7970 complaint of dirt, grime, snow, or water getting into the small crevice between the lever and the hood, Shimano has narrowed this area, nearly eliminating the possibility of element corruption. Even more impressively, 9070 now enables you to select five different shifting speeds to the rear derailleur. And while this isn't a function that can't be performed on-the-fly, the option still creates a customizable ride quality that's specific to your riding style and requirements. Additionally, these shifters present the distinct ability for something that we've, literally, always been waiting for from Shimano -- the ability to dump through the entire cassette with one shift movement. That's right, once programmed through the E-Tube software, one sustained motion will take you all of the way up or down the cassette. And for the proverbial icing on the cake, 9070 is now capable of performing shifts up to 28 teeth on the cassette.
Of course, the shifting precision of 9070 is immaculate, providing an equalized feel, regardless of the direction of movement on the cassette. However, 9070 has eased your shifting options through the incorporation of cleaner, more minimal single-wire E-Tube connections. This way, the positioning of satellite shifters is wide open for either the drops or the top of the bars.
The Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 ST-9070 11-Speed STI Shift Levers are available in one size and one color.
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- Updated lever and hood design with 10mm reach adjustment
- Programmable shifting options
- Compatible with Di2 9070 components