Campagnolo’s Centaur mechanical group has been revamped for 2018. Made of aluminum, it offers race-ready performance at a more affordable price. The Centaur uses a four-arm spider crankset that is compatible with all chainring combinations. The Ergopower shifters share the same feel as the upper-end groups and Powershift internals allow for an EPS-style downshifting lever. The rear derailleur has been designed to handle a variety of 11-speed cassettes with up to 32 teeth. The chain has been redesigned for increased durability and the brakes are lighter as well. The entire group weighs 2,471g.
Campy has embraced disc-brake technology and added a flat-mount hydraulic caliper to both mechanical and EPS groups. The 11-speed shifters add a hydraulic piston, but only increase the height by 8mm. The mechanical groups with disc brakes are now Super Record, Record, Chorus and Potenza. The EPS groups with disc are now Super Record EPS and Record EPS electronic-shifting groups. Rotors come in 140mm and 160mm.
The MyCampy app has improved functionality and is the first free item from Campy. There is a MyGarage function that allows riders to keep track of their components and when they need service. MySessions lets riders keep track of all of their cycling activities, and the ETETET function allows riders to customize their EPS performance.
Shimano’s STEPS cranksets, previously only available in Hollowtech and Solid 175mm and 170mm lengths, are now joined by the company’s new 165mm Hollowtech crank arms. The shorter length provides greater ground clearance, less chance of pedal strike and is optimized for a smooth cadence.
The BR-M8020 hydraulic-brake calipers feature an upgrade to four ceramic pistons for increased stopping power over two-piston systems. Features include the ICE Technologies heat-management system, reach and stroke adjustments and one-way bleeding.
Shimano’s new Ultegra R8000 group comes in an impressive range of gear choices, including 11-25T, 11-28T, 11-30T, 11-32T, 12-25T, 14-28T and 11-34T. But gear combos are not the only option you have when it comes to Ultegra customization. Brakes are available in both rim and hydraulic options with ICE Technologies Freeza rotors, and newly redesigned dual-control levers and remote-shifting options allow you to truly customize your entire drivetrain to your desired preference.
Interestingly, the centerpiece of the Ultegra R8000 package has no cen-
ter at all. The sleek silhouette of the arms on the Hollowtech II crankset are direct from Dura-Ace design and offer low weight without loss of stiffness or power transfer.
The Ultegra R8000 mechanical shifters feature new dual-control levers that offer greater reach for adjusting brake and gear levers, and the redesigned internal-shifting unit makes rear-shifting quick and intuitive. Shadow RD technology makes the derailleur more compact and closer to the frame, ensuring less damage in the event of a crash. The groupset offers two rear derailleurs: one for 11-25/11-30 and one for 11-28/11-34 cassettes.
Shimano’s Di2 can also be customized to your personal shifting preferences via PC or wirelessly through the E-Tube app for Android and iOS. New Ultegra Di2 levers also include top-of-the-hood buttons for remote shifting, which can be programmed to shift gears or to control ancillary devices such as compatible computers or lighting.
In time trial/triathlon use, the Ultegra ST-R8060 TT/Triathlon Dual Control lever allows you to shift the front and rear derailleurs from the brake levers on your time-trial base bar. The SWR671 Remote Triathlon shifter will mount to any aero extension bar for accurate shifts while in the aero position.
New brake calipers in the Ultegra R8000 series offer superior stopping power and a wider clearance makes them compatible with larger tires such as 28C.
Shimano also rolls out the tubeless WH-RS700 rim-brake wheels and the tubeless WH-RS770 disc-brake wheels. New HB/FH-RS700/770 hubs offer a weight saving of almost 60g, compared to a pair of Ultegra 6800 hubs, while the rims are made using a lighter carbon layup process, creating a rim-brake wheelset that is 80g lighter than its predecessor.
SRAM launches the S-900 Aero HRD disc brake for aero disciplines with the idea that spending less time slowing down means more time that the rider can spend going fast. The disc brake allows for aerodynamic optimization of the front of the crown by removing the conventional brake and clearing that area.
The power of the hydraulic brakes allows the rider to go into corners faster and use a shorter braking distance. The reach-adjustable carbon brake lever is textured for better grip, and the power and modulation are optimized for triathlon and time-trial use.
The HydroT aero-specific caliper offers superior control and heat management and can work with either a CenterLineX 140 or 160mm rotor. It comes in a stealth-black finish.
Shimano’s UltegraR8000 group
Campagnolo’s new Centaur mechanical gruppo
SRAM’s new S-900 Aero HRD disc brake