Shimano had their annual meet and greet in New York last week, here's a quick rundown of the goodies coming down the pike in 2013. Much of this has been covered elsewhere, so I'll highlight little interesting details rather than provide a comprehensive overview.
The new 9000 crankset loses weight by dropping one of the spider arms. The arms are located to add stiffness to the power phase. The 3d outer ring is stiff enough that a smaller bolt circle diameter can be used, thereby making it an one size fits all crankset – regular, compact, whatever.
The new brakes are said to be extremely powerful, with the feel of hydraulic brakes. Part of the improvement comes from the slick new cables, which are lined a la Gore Ride-On's. That frayed texture on the exposed run of the cable is the liner. Despite the improved performance the cable sets will be the same price as last year's.
The new Di2 Durace Ace levers, with extra ports for auxiliary shifters. You can add bar top, sprint, or bar end shifters to the system. The paddles are bigger and with more distinct textures to differentiate them.
There will be another option for this junction box with 5 ports, also so you can run multiple shifters. The biggest change with Dura Ace Di2 is the adoption of the slimmer and simpler wiring of Ultegra Di2.
The front and rear derailleurs, lighter/prettier than Ultegra. There will be more battery options for 2013, including internal batteries designed to fit in seatposts. Charging will be done via a jack rather than battery removal.
The 11 speed chain is narrower, but the cogs and the chain's rollers are the same width as 10 speed. Durability should be comparable as a result.
The new cassette has a carbon body, 16 and bigger cogs are titanium.
The new 9000 shifters are mechanic friendly. The cables goes in from the other side and exit here, then a cover snaps on over it. The titanium bar clamp is a nice touch. Shift throw and effort are reduced from last year.
The 9000 front derailleur has a longer lever for lighter shift effort. The coolest new feature is the adoption of Di2's support bolt, which braces the derailleur against the seat tube for increased stiffness.
These Pro Vibe bars don't taper down from 31.8 'til it starts bending to the shifters, for increased stiffness.
Here's a nice little touch. Cables run externally except for a short internal run at the end, so you won't need to tape them down to keep them in place.
Pro's new line of saddles has three options for different riding styles – you can see the difference in the curvatures of the tops. They'll all come in two widths, with carbon or ti rails, and with or without cutouts. Your sit bone spacing is measured by sitting on a gel seat. Carbon railed saddles will go for $179.99, Ti for $109.99. Just for comparison's sake, a Fizik Aliante with carbon rails retails for $80 more and is 45 grams heavier.
Part 2 coming soon. Wheels, sunglasses, shoes, and more.