The new R9200 is the long awaited update to the venerable Dura-Ace Di2 11-speed group - we've just received our first few kits from our friends at Shimano Australia.
Let's get straight into it.
Initial impressions - the new hydro shifters immediately appear to have gained in size, but when compared directly to its 11-speed counterparts, the difference is very minimal. Nice hand feel, clean aesthetic, very sleek and not too bulbous. Big tick.
The new flat mount calipers also feature a minor redesign, and now boast an improvement of ~10% pad clearance. These should be a neat little retrofit upgrade to the 11-speed gang wanting the additional clearance too - the system runs on the true and tested mineral oil fluid.
The front and rear derailleurs are looking really tasty now. The front derailleur cage is now blacked out and features a very prominent (oversize) "Dura-Ace" logo. It also seems more shaped and even smaller than the previous gen. The rear derailleur is very nicely sculpted, and now has the long cage to accommodate the 11-34 cassette (more on that later). Removeable B-Link so direct mount hangers (like our popular Sigeyi ones) can still be used.
The updated Di2 battery. The 12 speed system runs on the new EW-SD300 cables, these have a smaller head connector compared to the previous gen. You have the option of running the shifters wireless (ala' eTAP) or wired (like prev gen Di2) the latter offers additional battery life. Big.
The revised crankset is now more angular, more aggressive and just plain mean looking. The liquid metal finish is back in black and so is the beloved 24mm spindle standard. Chainring sizes are compact 50/34, mid-compact 52/36 and 54/40 for the hitters.
Finally, the pièce de résistance, the 12 speed cassette. Choice of either 11-30 or 11-34 gearing. Interestingly, no 10 tooth cog, just the trusty 11 and an extra gear in the middle. One of the most common questions we field at retail level is..."will 12-speed groupsets make me faster?" The answer is generally no, but in reality it's not quite that simple. Having the wider range of 12-speed allows a rider to spend more time in the big ring overall, and wasting less time trying to find the right gear.
What about that big hitter combo? Turns out 54/40 with a 11-34 cassette is surprisingly usable. The 40t inner ring into 34t yields a granny gear with ~33 inches, that's equivalent to a 36t ring into a 30.5ish cog. On the other end of the spectrum, compact 50/34 with a 11-34 cassette affords a 1:1 granny gear...you can climb Mt Everest in this combination.
We didn't get photos of the XTR level MT900 disc rotors as these have been around for a little bit now, and they're widely adopted by the pros already. Neat little upgrade over the old RT900 rotors as they're lighter (more cutouts) and stiffer (less prone to warping and pinging).
Thoughts and feelings? Our initial testing revealed insane shifting speed, super accurate front shifts, and the whole system overall feels really polished, and really solid. We're liking the R9200 kit and can't wait to get these bad boys installed on some custom builds.
Shifters :: 372g (pair)
Calipers :: 230g (pair, without cabling), 290g (with cabling)
Front Derailleur :: 94g
Rear Derailleur :: 217g
Crankset :: 685g (52/36 170mm)
Cassette :: 230g (11-30)
Chain :: 248g
Battery :: 52g
Rotors :: 108g (160mm), 88g (140mm)