Shimano launches 12-Speed Ultegra R8100 Di2: Wireless Cockpit, Faster Shifting + Improved Brakes – No New Wheel Standards / Freehubs!

shimano ultegra r8100 review

Ultegra R8100 Road Components Deliver Shimano’s Unrivaled Road Performance to Even More Riders

Connecting rider to the road, Shimano’s new ULTEGRA R8100 series takes trickle-down technology to a new level with an ultra-efficient drivetrain, wireless cockpit, new levels of braking control, new carbon wheel lineup, and the fastest shifting ever

Built for the joy of riding, whether that’s the pursuit of a fiery sunset or racing friends up the local climb, the new ULTEGRA R8100 delivers Shimano’s premium road technology to a broader range of rider and riding style. Launching in conjunction with DURA-ACE R9200, the new ULTEGRA component group features the same industry-leading, ultra-efficient 12-speed drivetrain, a reliable wireless cockpit, highly refined ergonomics, new wheels, an enhanced brake system, and integrated digital technology engineered so riders can engage with the world them around and leave time behind.

shimano ultegra r8100 review

Note from JOM of Gravel Cyclist: The latest Ultegra R8100 Di2 may be engineered for Road, but if it’s anything like previous generations, it works fine slung from a Gravel Bike.

Shimano Ultegra R8100: Science of Speed

“Every detail, every decision, and every component of Shimano’s new 12-speed road groups have been engineered to deliver a faster, more reliable, and more intuitive ride experience. In the pursuit of excellence, Shimano dedicated years of research and development to refine the road riding experience. Reconnecting riders with the road, ULTEGRA R8100 is about the joy of leaning into a tight switchback, or the comradery shared amongst friends after a playful day of town line sprints and coffee stops.”

  • Evolved Di2 Platform – Completely redesigned Di2 system delivers Shimano’s fastest shifting ever in a wireless cockpit design
  • Most Advanced Drivetrain – Optimized 12-speed gearing for unmatched efficiency and Shimano’s proven HYPERGLIDE+ technology for seamless shifting no matter the situation
  • Refined Interface and Ergonomics – The optimal balance of comfort, aerodynamics, and aesthetics, ULTEGRA offers secure and comfortable ergonomics, a cleaner cockpit aesthetic, and ultimate customization
  • Enhanced Brake System – Improving braking control, the new ULTEGRA brake system offers a quieter, maintenance-friendly system
  • All New Wheel System – Blending aerodynamics, rigidity, weight, and cost in a competitive full-carbon, tubeless wheel lineup

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

Shimano Ultegra: Evolved Di2 Platform & Technology

ULTEGRA R8100’s new Di2 platform showcases Shimano’s most advanced drivetrain technology and shifting performance to date. Introduced alongside DURA-ACE R9200, the new Di2 platform delivers faster front and rear shifting than ever before so riders can focus on the terrain ahead with total confidence in their shifting performance. Further Di2 refinements include a charging port and D-FLY wireless connectivity integrated into the rear derailleur.

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

Shimano ULTEGRA R8100 is wired where it makes sense, featuring a central, multi-port battery that supplies stable, long-lasting power to both front and rear derailleurs. New smaller diameter SD300 wires connect directly from the battery to each derailleur, eliminating the need for junctions and simplifying the build process. The central internal battery also simplifies charging and remains secure over the roughest of roads.

Shimano Ultegra: Advanced Drivetrain Technology

The new R8100 ULTEGRA drivetrain provides faster, smoother shifting with Shimano’s proven HYPERGLIDE+ drivetrain technology. Developed first for mountain bike applications, HYPERGLIDE+ improves shifting both up and down the cassette, even under maximum pedaling load.”

“The new 12-speed ULTEGRA drivetrain features optimized gearing options for club racers and weekend warriors alike. Engineered for efficiency, Shimano sticks with an 11-tooth small cog on the cassette while optimizing the “sweet spot” gears between the 6th, 7th, and 8th cogs.”

“And for an easy transition to 12-speed, SHIMANO ULTEGRA R8100 retains compatibility with current 11-speed Shimano freehub bodies. No new standards or proprietary wheel parts necessary.”

“ULTEGRA offers two cassette ranges, including 11-30 and 11-34, that deliver wide gear ranges to riders of all levels. Whether climbing, descending, or hitting the flats, ULTEGRA’s gear options encourage steady and smooth pedaling so riders can switch off and enjoy the ride more freely.”

The ULTEGRA R8100 drivetrain employs the same 12-speed chain used on the Shimano XT M81000 series, simplifying inventory requirements for retailers and riders.

FC-R8100 Crank

  • HOLLOWTECH II Crank Set
  • 2×12-speed
  • Chainring combinations:
    • 50-34T
    • 52-36T

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review
No mention in the press release, but there is a Power Meter option

CS-R8100 Cassette

  • HYPERGLIDE+ Technology
  • 12-speed
  • 11-tooth small cog for optimal efficiency
  • Optimized “Sweet Spot” Gears for pedalling efficiency
  • Compatible with 11-speed freehub bodies
  • Cassette Options:
    • 11-30T
    • 11-34T
shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review
Ultegra R8100 11-30 Cassette
shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review
Ultegra R8100 11-34 Cassette

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

RD-R8150 Rear Derailleur

  • Shimano SHADOW Rear Derailleur
  • Integrated D-FLY Connectivity
  • 12-speed
  • Compatible with 11-28, 11-30, and 11-34T cassettes

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

FD-R8150 Front Derailleur

  • 12-speed
  • Smaller and lighter (110 grams)

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

Shimano Ultegra: Refined Interface & Ergonomics

Shimano’s wireless ULTEGRA cockpit delivers a clean aesthetic and simple setup while reimagined ergonomics bring a new level of comfort and control. The ULTEGRA hoods are taller with a slight curve inward for a more secure, natural perch over any terrain. The lever body reach is also extended by 4.6mm to create more space between the brake lever blade and the handlebar.

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

The new ULTEGRA Di2 lever switches are also redesigned for better control and easier access. The longer switches are easier to reach when riding in the drops and an increased offset between the switches makes them easier to differentiate while riding. A third switch on the hoods continues with the new R8100 series shifters.

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

A new Shimano E-TUBE App (version 4.0.0) offers intuitive operations for personalizing the ULTEGRA R8100 drivetrain.

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

Offering a suite of customizable options, riders can choose between different shift speeds, customize shift button assignment (what buttons performs which functions), program different automatic shift modes like Synchronized and Semi-Synchronized shifts, fine-tune shifting, and connect with third party bike computers

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

ST-R8170 Shifter

  • Wireless Di2 connectivity
  • 2×12-speed Dual-Control lever
  • Refined hood for improved ergonomics and aerodynamics
  • Improved button access
  • 4.6mm longer reach for increased security and control

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

Shimano Ultegra: Enhanced Brake System

Confidence on the bike comes with control, and Shimano’s new ULTEGRA brake system provides better brake performance for faster, more confident cornering. The new R8100 brake system now features Shimano’s proven SERVO WAVE technology that enhances brake performance thanks to a faster initial bite point followed by a wider control area. This allows riders of all abilities to modulate their braking more easily and precisely.”

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

“ULTEGRA 8100 also includes a refined brake caliper design, delivering a quieter brake system. The new brake calipers boast a 10% increase in pad-to-rotor clearance to reduce noise while a separate bleed port and valve screw simplify the bleeding process. Likewise, it’s now possible to bleed the system without removing the caliper from the frame.”

BR-R8170 Brakes

  • More fine-tuned control and heightened braking performance
  • 13% wider control area from the brake lever
  • 10% wider pad clearance
  • Easier bleeding process
  • Servo Wave Technology

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review
Rim Brakes Live On! We expect regular mount as well

Shimano Ultegra: All New Wheel System

Delivering the first full-carbon wheel lineup in ULTEGRA’s history, the new R8100 wheels blend exceptional rigidity, faster aerodynamics, and lower weight so you can hit your PR and feel more confident riding in varying conditions. The full-carbon, tubeless wheel range features wider 21mm internal rim widths suited for modern road tires and is offered in three rim depths so riders can choose the best option given their chosen riding terrain and conditions. Aerodynamics haven’t been ignored either, with even faster and more stable rim profiles used across the ULTEGRA range.

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

WH-R8170_C36_TL

  • Lightweight wheels for riding where acceleration is key
  • Front 1:1 standard spoke lacing // Rear 2:1 Optbal spoke lacing

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

WH-R8170_C50_TL

  • All-around wheels for breakaways and more
  • The perfect balance of aerodynamics, rigidity, and lightweight construction
  • 5-watt reduction in drag compared to current Dura-Ace C40-TL wheels
  • Front 1:1 standard spoke lacing // Rear 2:1 Optbal spoke lacing

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

WH-R8170_C60_HR_TL

  • Aero wheels for sprinting and high-speed pursuits
  • Optimized lateral rigidity for sprinting and larger riders
  • Front 1:1 standard spoke lacing // Rear 2:1 Optbal spoke lacing

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review

Pricing & Availability

SHIMANO ULTEGRA components will be available in Fall 2021.

shimano ultegra r8100 di2 review
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