Triathlon Magazine Canada - - SWIM BIKE RUN TRANSITION -

When it comes to com­po­nents, Shi­mano re­mains the big player on the triathlon mar­ket, with SRAM the next in line. While Cam­pag­nolo re­mains a pop­u­lar op­tion for road rid­ers, you’ll have to work hard to find a tri-bike that comes with a Campy groupset, so we’ll fo­cus on the two main play­ers in the mar­ket. Over the last cou­ple of years we’ve been see­ing disc brakes be­com­ing a more pop­u­lar op­tion for both road and some triathlon bikes and both Shi­mano and SRAM have added some new disc brake op­tions to their line ups.


Most triathlon-spe­cific bikes on the mar­ket that are specced with Shi­mano parts are likely to come with one of three of the com­pany’s groupsets: 105, Ultegra or Dura Ace. Shi­mano does of­fer other grup­pos that fall be­low 105 in the hi­er­ar­chy (Claris, Sora and Ti­a­gra), but it is rare that you’ll see those groups on a triathlon bike, es­pe­cially since they aren’t avail­able in 11-speed, which is rapidly be­com­ing the norm.

The 105 groupset was re­vamped in 2015 and of­fers much of the same per­for­mance and tech­nol­ogy that you’ll find in the more ex­pen­sive Ultegra set, but weighs a bit more. You’re hardly go­ing to go wrong with a bike equipped with 105 com­po­nents.

The Ultegra line up is lighter than the 105 com­po­nents, but not as light as the top of the line Dura Ace group set. Both Ultegra and Dura Ace are avail­able in elec­tronic ver­sions, known as Di2. The Ultegra level com­po­nents of­fer ex­cel­lent shift­ing and dura­bil­ity. Last year Shi­mano added a disc brake op­tion to the Ultegra line up.

The flag­ship groupset in the Shi­mano line up is Dura Ace. Renowned for the light com­po­nents, su­per-sharp shifts and out­stand­ing brak­ing, these are the com­po­nents you’ll see on the high­est-end bikes and, most of­ten these days, that means the elec­tronic ver­sion, Dura Ace Di2. The Dura Ace brakes are avail­able as ei­ther caliper or hy­draulic disc brakes.

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