The long awaited Shimano 6800 11 speed groupo is now available and it is exactly what Shimano described. This trickle down version of the Shimano Dura Ace 9000 groupo has more similarities than less. The ergonomics of the levers feel much more natural, especially compared to previous versions like the Shimano 6600 10 speed group. Shifting feels almost effortless with the reduced shifter ratios and shift cable that appear to defy friction.
On the first test ride, I immediately noticed the increased braking power as I squeezed the front brake; it was very reassuring having that much stopping power. Unfortunately, the kit I built up did not require the installation of the Shimano bottom bracket because I went with a Chris King bottom bracket instead. I believe that it is very difficult to top the quality and reliability of King products and plus, who doesn’t like a little extra bling?
One feature I am sure that cyclists will like is the 11/28 cassette, with 11,12,13,14,15,17,19,21,23,25,
The chain ring bolts screw directly in the chain ring, this means no more butter knife or silly chain ring tools. According to Shimano North America, the 6800 crank is supposed to be as stiff as the Dura Ace 9000 11 speed crank set. The Hollow Tech 2 designs allow cranks to be hollow internally yet incredibly stiff, without sacrificing structural rigidity. This technology seriously drops the weight and makes these cranks the benchmark for stiffness in the industry.