Bicycling (South Africa) - - STORIES -

With the price of top- end bikes and parts sky­rock­et­ing, the trick­le­down ef­fect – by which tech­nol­ogy is passed down over time from top­tier to lower-tiered prod­ucts in a com­pany’s range – is be­ing hugely ap­pre­ci­ated, in terms of both per­for­mance gains and im­proved value.

A per­fect ex­am­ple is how we all drooled at our first sight of the new Dura Ace R9100 when Shi­mano launched it last year. Then we all baulked at the price tag. The new tech was sim­ply out of reach for most of us.

Luck­ily, the tech­no­log­i­cal trickle- down has be­gun: Shi­mano re­cently un­veiled the new Ul­te­gra R8000, which bor­rows many of the en­gi­neer­ing aces hid­den up the sleeve of its more ex­pen­sive Dura Ace sib­ling. More er­gonomic levers (es­pe­cially when it comes to Di2 ver­sions), a more in­tu­itive Di2 brain, re­designed de­railleurs and re­fined brake cal­lipers make the Ul­te­gra R8000 a su­perb pack­age – and ar­guably, Dura Ace’s great­est com­peti­tor!

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