Blueseventy Thermal Skull Cap
$49 Upwards of 30 per cent of your body heat is lost through your head in the water. Realizing that, Blueseventy offers this 3 mm Yamamoto neoprene sleek cap that is lined with a thin layer of wool to keep in the heat. A broad central stretch panel decorated with racy silver stripes increases visibility in dim conditions and also allows the cap to fit a broad range of head sizes.– TMC
Front Derailleur The updated front derailleur is slightly smaller than its predecessor maintaining the ability to shift smoothly under full load.
Brake Levers Perhaps the biggest draw of electronic shifting for triathletes is the ability to shift from the brake levers when out of aero, and the new Dura-Ace does not disappoint. The ability to shift while climbing, without breaking rhythm, can gain a rider valuable time on rolling courses. Even on flat courses, shifting at the brake levers is useful at turn- around points, as well entering and exiting transition.
With a strong return spring, Shimano’s Dura-Ace brake levers offer excellent feel, especially when paired with the new DuraAce brakes. The new levers are an even bigger benefit when paired with the proprietary brakes increasingly prevalent on new Tri bikes. Brakes Shimano’s Dura-Ace brakes have gained a reputation as some of the most powerful brakes available. The new symmetrical dualpivot design lives up to that reputation and couples the power with terrific modulation. The new 9000- series brakes always offer progressive and predictable braking force, allowing the rider to brake later on both wet or dry descents. There is also a new direct mount option for frames with compatible posts, offering the same excellent response in a lighter and smaller package for improved aerodynamics. Shifters Shimano now offers two options when it comes to electronic shifters, single and dual button setup. The dual button pods (which came with our test group) are similar to the previous version. The left pod controls the front derailleur, right pod controls the rear. Or vice versa, since the new Dura-Ace is programmable, you can assign the function each button performs to suit your preference.
The new single button pods are designed to shift the rear derailleur only, left for up shift, right for down shift. Designed more for time trialists, the single button setup would be a good choice for a flat fast course like Ironman Florida, or for strong cyclists who rarely need to drop into the small ring. In both cases, the new shift pods are slightly smaller than before with more rounded edges, fitting nicely in hand at the end of extensions. Junction Box and E-tube Wiring The new E-tube wiring is not only lighter and thinner, but requires no heat shrinking of connections, making for easy customization. By plugging in a diagnostic unit from your computer and connecting it to the junction box of your bike, you can program shift speed from your computer. You have the choice of four speeds to suit your preferences. The junction box also lets you charge the internal battery unit without removing it from the seatpost. Cassette The obvious change in the gruppo is the 11-speed cassette. For triathletes wanting to stay within narrow power ranges to preserve their legs, they no longer have to choose between a closely-spaced cassette for optimal cadence or a wide-ranging gear ratio for efficiency. Titanium sprockets and a carbon-fibre spider carrier for the larger gears allowed Shimano to cram the extra cog in without adding weight. Shimano Dura Ace wheels With the move to 11 speed, Shimano took the opportunity to revamp its entire wheel range. The lineup is now divided into the Accelerate (C24, C35) series, lower profile rims that makes for great all around training wheels; and the Blade series with deeper 50 mm and 75 mm profiles for aero advantage.
The new C75 wheels have been in development with Shimano pros for several years, and has finally been released. Featuring the smooth rolling and durable hubs Shimano is famed for, the C75 has a wider, blunter rim profile, that puts its aerodynamic performance on par with the latest wide rim designs from hed and Zipp. We found the new shape vastly improved crosswind handling compared to previous Shimano offerings, making the tubular only wheels usable for all but the windiest conditions. When used with Shimano’s carbon specific Blue brake pads, the C75 offered some of the best braking we’ve experienced, with good stopping power and modulation. The C50 is useable as both a training and racing wheel, and is available in both tubular and clincher setup. Put it all together and you have a gruppo that manages to improve on something that was impressive enough before. Once again Shimano has provided lots of good reasons to think seriously about going electric.