Barely lift a finger.
For Dura-Ace 9100's redesign, it was only fitting for Shimano to update its ST-R9100 11-Speed STI Shifters alongside the reworked front and rear derailleurs. When it unveiled Dura-Ace 9100, Shimano subsequently gave a nod of solidarity to double cranksets and mechanical shifting for road. Rather than stubbornly refusing to let traditional standards die, Shimano demonstrates these technologies' ability to transition into the future. Sure, a few of us at Competitive unabashedly love the soul of mechanical shifting, but with the crispness, precision, and sinewy curves of the new R9100 Shifters, the system makes the argument for itself.
Shortening up the lever stroke and updating the internal shifting unit were first on the list for the shifters' upgrades, and Shimano succeeded admirably at what it does best: creating incredibly reliable, functional componentry. Quick taps deliver smooth, effortless shifts along the cassette and crankset compared to 9000, whether you're mashing down on the pedals in a race or out for a Sunday hill climb with your ride crew, which places Dura-Ace 9100 at the zenith of mechanical shifting.
Shimano waved its meticulous wand over the brake levers as well, achieving improved hand/lever interaction by carving the lever blades into a more sinuous, contoured shape. This shape enhances braking leverage in a decidedly European style not previously seen from the more utilitarian brand, giving you the ability to shave, rather than dump, speed on serpentine descents from the hoods as well as the drops. Further, the brand cleaned up the hoods, sculpting them into a smaller, more organic shape that enhances both rider comfort as well as the groupset's already classy aesthetics.
- Shift and brake with unparalleled reliability and ease
- Shorter lever stroke requires less effort and pressure
- Reshaped brake levers for easier braking from the hoods
- Smaller, more organic hood shape improves rider comfort
- Shimano proves that there's still a place for mechanical shifting at the top end