Some four years after introducing electronic gear shifting at Dura-Ace level, Shimano has finally unveiled the long-awaited follow-up Ultegra-based groupset, which promises the same performance benefits along with simplified installation and, of course, greatly reduced cost.
Labelled 6770 to distinguish it from the base 6700 mechanical shift Ultegra parts, the new Digital Integrated Intelligence (Di2) component series comprises Dual Control Levers, electronically-operated front and rear derailleurs, a battery and electric cables. The remaining components: Hollowtech II crankset, brake calipers, cassette and chain, are taken from the 6700 group.
The performance advantages of Di2 are well-documented: gear shifting is accomplished at the touch of a button or pad, making it quicker and easier than with cable-operated “mechanical” shifting. The system offers greatly enhanced precision along with automatic front mech trimming as the chain moves across the rear sprockets. As a further benefit, installation and adjustment are simplified.
In a notable technological improvement over the Dura-Ace version, the wiring uses a two-core wire in place of four and has smaller 5.1mm diameter connectors. The wiring connecting the components will be available in a selection of lengths designed to accommodate most frame sizes and there will be provision for connecting to a PC to allow system diagnosis and even, according to Shimano, a change in “shift order”.
Ultegra 6770 Di2 components will be offered exclusively in the current glossy grey Ultegra colour and are not compatible with DURA-ACE Di2.
Availability is slated for September 2011.