May 12, 2012

Although not a single one of the Pro teams competing at Amgen Tour of California are using the yet-to-be-released, 2013 Shimano Dura-Ace (mechanical) group, we did manage to find one bike in Santa Rosa that had a selection of the new, highly anticipated Dura-Ace bits mounted. 

The bike belonged to none other than Shimano USA’s Vice President of Road Product Wayne Stetina whom we met up with at the start of the Breakaway from Cancer VIP ride on the day before the racing began. Although in typical Wayne fashion he wouldn’t divulge actual information on the new components (he preferred to talk about his nephew, Peter Stetina, who had taken the Young Rider's Jersey at the Giro d’Italia earlier in the day), it was easy to decipher a few of the changes just from snapping photos. 

An obvious change to the crank is a new 4-arm design. The aesthetics are interesting to say the least, but it’s hard to say how much of a change in stiffness and weight there will be with the new design. 

The left side arm looks to have retained its hollow aluminum form, with dual pinch bolts to clamp onto the 24mm steel spindle. 

Although the crank arms were still stamped as prototypes, the finish looked as good as a production model. 

The shifters' ergonomics change in order to lose girth, and come closer to replicating the feel of the narrower Di2 hoods.

A longer cable anchor arm on the front derailleur is an indicator that the actuation ratio has changed between the derailleur and shifter. Apparently, Shimano is flouting current fashion by not including a chain catcher on the front derailleur.

Although the group is rumored to be 11-speed (11-speed is stamped on the chainring) Wayne only had a 10-speed cassette on his. This must mean that the cog spacing remains the same, with the overall width of the cassette and freehub body increasing, otherwise the 11-speed shifters would not have worked with a 10-speed cassette. 

The 11-speed shifters worked perfectly with the 10-speed cassette. 

We found this Dura-Ace prototype wheel, featuring a new hub, on the Orica GreenEdge team bikes. Our guess is that it’s an 11-speed hub with a spacer behind the cassette allowing them to still use their 10-speed system. 

Breakaway from Cancer Masters rider and Shimano honcho, Wayne Stetina, was all smiles after his nephew’s performance on Stage 7 of the Giro, which netted him the lead in the Young Rider Classification. 

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