Shimano

Shimano announced their 11-speed Dura Ace group set earlier this year and the new gear looks impressive in real life. The new 11-speed transmission comes in both mechanical and Di2 versions, and both feature a new two-tone black and silver finish on all the parts (except the levers). The crankset has been redesigned, so now the crank has a four-arm spider rather than five and offers some new combinations such as 52/36 and 52/38. The chainring bolts thread directly into the large chainring and there hollow gaps continue to be used to lighten the final product. Fairwheel bikes posted a thorough and very thoughtful review of the mechanical and Di2 groups a little while ago.

The little brain box receives a little face-lift for the new Dura Ace 11-speed Di2 group.

The new 11-speed Di2 receives fresh cosmetic work with a two-tone black/silver finish on the derailleurs.

A look at the new Dura Ace 11 speed front derailleur with lines that are far more elegant than the motorised version.

The two-tone finish on the rear derailleur clearly distinguishes the new 11-speed version from the all silver 10-speed derailleur.

The mechanical rear derailleur has the same finish as the electronic version.

The crank also gets the two tone treatment in the new 11 speed Dura Ace group plus the spider arms have been redesigned to create a new four arm bolt pattern.

A cut away view of the new 11 speed Dura Ace crankset. Lots of hollow areas are used to reduce the weight of the crankset.

There were a lot of other new products at the Shimano booth including a new electronic version of the Alfine group set. Alfine is intended for city bike use and comprises a single speed transmission mated to an internally geared hub. Now an electronic shifter has been added that is paired with a nifty LED indicator and is available in both flat-bar and road versions. Interestingly, holding the shift buttons on the lever allows the rider to continuously shift up or down through the gears, a feature that is absent from the Dura Ace and Ultegra Di2 systems (for the moment, at least).

Shimano's Alfine group is designed for city bike use but a new road bike version is available with full electronic shifting.

The Alfine 11-speed internal hub with electronic shifting. The system weighs about 1.6kg but offers a huge range of gears for city bikes.

 

Campagnolo

The big news at the Campagnolo booth was the release of the Athena 11 EPS group set. Up until now, riders wanting electronic an Campagnolo transmission had to buy a Record or Super Record group. The Athena 11 EPS group lacks all of the carbon that defines the Record and Super Record groups, using aluminium or steel instead and the difference in materials makes for a cheaper groupset. Athena EPS be priced just over US$3000, putting it in the same bracket as Ultegra Di2. Elsewhere, Campagnolo’s groupsets remain unchanged save for a new 52/36 compact crankset that has been added to their 11 speed groupsets.

Campagnolo releases the budget version of its new electronic shifting system using the Athena 11 speed platform.

The EPS battery retains the same bulky shape for the Athena group.

Campagnolo appears to be manufacturing its own chain catcher. Also note that a nut is used to secure the front derailleur to the frame rather than a typical bolt.

Little has changed in the mechanical groupsets in Campagnolo's 2013 line-up though a new 52/36 compact crankset has been added to their 11-speed groupsets..