Shimano 2013 – Alfine Di2 and other Shimano Tech

Chipps was recently at a Shimano presentation for 2013 and, while we can’t tell you everything about next year just yet… We can give you a few glimpses at some of the highlights… And then later in the year, we can probably fill you in with a few more juicy bits too…

First up is the most surprising revelation from Shimano’s 2013 range – a Di2 electric version of Shimano’s hub gear system. It’ll come with either drop bar levers or flat bar shifters. It’ll probably make it on to many post town bikes, but we reckon that there’ll be a few people who’ll give it a try off road.

That looks identical to the newish Ultegra Di2 brake/shift lever...

 

There's not much to give it away, apart from the battery (which you could always move elsewhere or hide with some creative fairings...)

 

This appears to be a bog-standard Alfine 11 hub, with the only change being an electric shroud with gubbins to move the gear selector. Very neat.

Alfine Di2 will use the same wiring harness as currently used on Ultegra. It’ll work with 8 or 11 speed Alfine (and we assume that it’ll be retrofittable too).

There’ll be a drop bar lever of Ultegra quality, plus a flat bar lever. (Does that mean that the flat bar lever will work with Ultegra Di2 too? Hmm…) and there’ll be a digital display (nicely mocked up here with a sticker… – hey it’s a prototype, OK?)

Does that really say 'Do not use as a step'?

 

No denying it's pretty neat...

 

Not actual technology! Artist's impression...

 

That is just an Ultegra lever, isn't it? That means they'll be doing a non-STi shaped lever for the other side. We've not seen the flat-bar shifter yet.

 

So that’s Alfine Di2. Very unexpected!

Some of the more mainstream stuff that we saw at the New Product Presentation includes even more ratios for Dynasys chain sets. Of interest to the double-and-bash brigade will be an XT chainset with a 40/28, or 38/26 or 38/24 ratio. We can see those being popular in the trail-bike world.

New Shimano SLX is covered in another story, but as always, it’s looking really nice and ‘why does anyone need to buy XT?’ quality. We love SLX here.

Of HUGE interest to 29er fans will be the new Shimano MTB front derailleurs coming out. There will be a change for all front mechs from SLX up to XTR that will move the cable pinch bolt (and a bit of the inner parallelogram link) out of the way of the tyre. This will help designers pull the back wheel in even more without having to do odd things to the seat tube.

Oh, and, again, we have other news that’ll interest the trail riders – the ‘Shadow Plus’ rear derailleur cage clutch, as seen on some XTR mechs, will become available on all derailleurs from SLX to XT to XTR. Could this do away with the need for lower chain devices?

Hmm, what else… well, there’s a new Direct Mount rear derailleur story that you’ll be surprised to hear, doesn’t involve a new standard, or need a different mech… See it on our SLX story.
There’ll be lots of shiny photos available later, but we thought we’d give you a quick heads-up on some of the stuff we’ve seen.

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