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2018 Road Bike Buyer’s Guide

Shimano Ultegra 6800 Rear Derailleur


Item # SHI0652

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  • Gray, Short Cage ($75.99)
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Item # SHI0652


Shift with less effort, and gain an additional gear.

Many of the greatest refinements to Shimano's new Ultegra 6800 groupset were reserved for the rear derailleur. The new 6800 mechanism is the result of a complete overhaul, as it's more compact and lightweight than 6700, and it now operates using a redesigned spring mechanism that works to ensure shifts are equalized across the cassette's entire 11-speed range.

For this the new iteration of Ultegra, the majority of the previous version's dependable alloy construction carries over, as this rigid design assists in the light, crisp shifting experience over the entire cassette. Shimano devotees, however, will immediately notice the focus paid to making a slight alteration to the feel of the shift through the derailleur's new spring design. This is the result of the new Ultegra 6800 having been engineered with the same shifting objective as Dura-Ace 9000 -- easier action with a shorter stroke at the lever. To achieve this required a revision of the mechanism's spring. The new design relies on a more linear spring rate, which results in seamless shifting across the entire block.

As we all know, Ultegra tends to snap the chain up the cassette, but it feels like it drops the chain from cog-to-cog on the way down. Now, the RD-6800 creates an equal, positive sensation regardless of the direction of your shift, or the size of the sprocket that you're shifting to. Shimano calls this its Vivid Index Technology. And for the first time you'll find a large, 11-speed cluster at your disposal. Not only can you expect to apply an equal lever-force at the top and bottom of the cassette, but the Ultegra 6800 Rear Derailleur can now handle up to a 32-tooth cog with its GS (long) cage model. Shimano is also releasing the Ultegra 6800 in a SS (short) cage option.

All in all, Shimano claims that the new rear derailleur system creates a reduction in shifting effort over 6700 at the lever. And to round things off in the efficiency department, the RD-6800 is pulled by Shimano's proprietary, polymer-coated shift cable. Shimano's new cable nearly eliminates mechanical drag, and it further enhances shift accuracy. Altogether, the minimization of stroke and required effort creates a shifting experience on-par with the accuracy found in both Dura-Ace and Di2 systems.

The Shimano Ultegra 6800 11-Speed Rear Derailleur is available in one size and one color. Please note that it has been designed for use with Shimano's PTFE derailleur cables and exclusively for the complete Ultegra 6800 component group.

  • Vivid Index Technology
  • Proprietary, polymer-coated shift cable
  • Handles up to a 32-tooth cog with the GS (long) cage model
  • SS (short) cage option available
  • Designed for use with Shimano's PTFE derailleur cables
  • Designed to work exclusively with the complete Ultegra 6800 component group

Tech Specs

[cage] alloy
Recommended Use:

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Commuter/grocery getter/pub crawler

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I put this on my Salsa Casseroll and have zero complaints. I had planned to use 105, but picked this gem up from my brothern, and sisters at Backcountry.
The short cage works perfectly for road applications and medium burrly gravel roads.

Solid, reliable, Shimano.

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Great derailleur. It is light and smooth. Nothing complicated about it. It works when you need it to.

Awesome upgrade from 105-5700

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Recently upgraded my Lynskey R230 from 105-5700 to full Ultegra 6800 and what a difference. 105 is rock solid but the 6800 is so smooth. The longer throw arm on the FD makes front shifts much easier. RD is sure, quick and precise. I run compact up front and for the upgrade changed from 11-25 to 11-28. Went to the long cage derailleur in case I find I need more climbing gears. Well worth the upgrade

Unanswered Question

Hi! Do this Shimano Ultegra 6800 Rear Derailleur works with Dura Ace Shifters?

Shimano Works...

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Building up a new bike and chose Shimano because of my previous experience with how well these parts work.

Ultegra short cage derailleur

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Had to replace a derailleur due to crashing and bending it. The ultegra derailleur is super smooth shifting and easily adjust.

Rivals Dura Ace

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Shimano Ultegra derailleur is the best performer and value in the Shimano line, it rivals Dura-Ace. It might be as good if not better. Every shift is smooth and perfect.

Avg. ride time: 40m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Smooth shifting.

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I made the upgrade from Shimano 105, along with the cassette and the chain. And I feel a better response on the shifters. The Ultegra cassette helps on shaving off some weight too. The sale on this components are great. I could nt find a better price anywhere else. I hope the next generation of Ultegra comes with the actual DurAce design.

Avg. ride time: 19m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Are Ultegra 6800 rear derailleurs interchangeable with Dura-Ace 9000 rear derailleurs? For a bike with all Dura-Ace 9000 components, can the long cage version of this Ultegra derailleur be installed, along with the CS-6800 11-32 cassette to achieve lower gearing with a full size, or a mid-size crank-set?

Yes you can interchange these. All shimano road derailleurs are compatible with each other.

Silky smooth shifting!!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been a long time 105 user believing that they get the trickle down technology from the Dura-Ace stuff, and you are always playing the trade off game between increased performance and increased cost.. After a test ride of new 11 spd Ultegra equipped bike I was hooked. This thing shifts smooth and quick. It's as good as Dura-Ace was a couple of years ago (again, the trickle down of technology). Plus, you get another gear! Combined with the PTFE cables this is one slick setup.

This is ok with 11-32 cassette?

    is this derailleur ok with 11-32 cassette? Thx

    The GS version (medium cage) will support an 11-32 cassette. The SS will support up to 28t.

    I'm running a newer short cage with an 11-32 with no issues. I have an older medium cage on my other bike. To be honest you can't really tell any difference, just don't X-chain with the short cage.

    can this be used on a 10 speed

    can this be used on a 10 speed

    This will not work with 10 speed. It is 11 speed only

    I have a 10 speed cassette and a Tiagra 10 speed shifter. Upgraded fron a Tiagra derraileur. It works like a charm. It even shifts to the 34 tooth cog. The pull distance is determined by the shifter, at least on Shimano components.

    Will the Ultegra 6800 work with a 2012 -...

    Will the Ultegra 6800 work with a 2012 - 10 speed Tiagra system?

    Yes, the indexing is in the shifter, not the derailleur. Be sure to adjust the H/L stops for your installation.