Saturday, July 30, 2022

Focus Paralane: Dura-Ace Di2 12 Speed Rear Derailleur R9250

Next component to be introduced for the new 12 speed road system is the rear derailleur! The new Dura-Ace R9250 rear derailleur has a lot of stuff packed into it, I will get into the details in just a while.

This is the next generation electronic rear derailleur, upgraded from the previous 11 speed R9150. This post will focus on the new 12 speed rear derailleur and what it can do. All these components will go onto the Focus Paralane road bike.

New Dura-Ace RD-R9250 Di2 rear derailleur for 12 speed road drivetrain!

Glossy black surface finishing, in line with the appearance of this groupset. Even the hardware such as bolts and screws are black in colour.

Focus Paralane: Dura-Ace Di2 Shifters R9270

The previous upgrade for the Focus Paralane was the change to a 2x11 speed drivetrain, up from the original 1x11 speed system. Reasons for the change can be found at the previous post.

Now, we are entering a new phase for this all-weather commuting road bike. With the release of the new Shimano 12 speed road groupset, it is time for me to scratch the itch and upgrade the bike again!

Due to high demand and restricted supply, I had to wait quite a bit to receive all the components for this 12 speed upgrade. As most of the components are not compatible with the previous 11 speed system, almost all the components need to be changed at the same time.

Let's take a closer look at each of the new 12 speed components before assembling them onto the bike. This time, the 12 speed Dura-Ace and Ultegra groupsets were introduced simultaneously, so riders can choose either groupset to suit their needs and budget, or even mix and match if that is what you prefer.

Starting with the 12 speed hydraulic Di2 road shifters, let's check out each of the new components. A new blog page has been created for the 12 speed Focus Paralane.

Dura-Ace ST-R9270 hydraulic Di2 road shifters! Comes pre-bled with the brake calipers for convenience.

Instead of using plastic packaging, paper packaging is used to make it more environmentally friendly. Looks like curry puff packaging to me...

Here is how the pair looks! Dura-Ace has the shiniest clear coat you will see on any bike component.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Shimano RX8 Gravel Shoes - Bronze

Just a short post showing the new RX8 gravel shoes that I just got! I really love the RX8 gravel shoes as they are so comfortable and yet still high performance. They look like sleek road cycling shoes, yet uses the more walking-friendly SPD cleats.

Check out this new Bronze colour! I had previously bought the Silver colour and also the limited edition Cactus Berry colour versions.

Great looking bronze colour! Fades to black colour towards the rear of the shoe.

UItegra Di2 Shifters R8070 vs R8170: Internal Comparison

Now, let's look at the internal area of the shifters, with the rubber hood removed. Just before that, check out the weight difference of the shifters.

Old ST-R8070 shifter, 182 grams per side, giving 364 grams per pair.

New ST-R8170 shifter, 192 grams per side, giving 384 grams per pair.

There is a slight weight increase of 20 grams per pair, which is not a problem given that the ergonomics have been improved quite a bit, along with the wireless capability.

Next, the rubber hoods are removed to check out how it looks under the cover.

Old shifter on the left. Ribs and cutouts are larger on the new shifter. General shape and layout looks similar.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

UItegra Di2 Shifters R8070 vs R8170: External Comparison

Now that I have both the new 12 speed road shifter and the previous generation 11 speed road shifter, I can do a side by side comparison!

The new 12 speed road shifter is the Ultegra Di2 ST-R8170, while the 11 speed road shifter is the Ultegra Di2 ST-R8070. Note that for these two generations of shifters, the Dura-Ace and Ultegra versions are very similar, so I will often refer to them interchangeably.

For this post, I will compare the exterior features, with extra focus on the ergonomics. If you are interested in other Di2 shifters, such as the GRX Di2 ST-RX815, check out this other post!

New shifter on the left, old shifter on the right. Old brake lever has a more pronounced "kink" to it, while the new lever is nearly straight.

Ultegra Di2 Shifter for Road 12 Speed

In Year 2021, the new 12 speed Dura-Ace and Ultegra road groupsets were launched to the market. During that time, there was a brief display at the Shimano Cycling World, you can read all about it here.

After a long wait, I finally managed to get my hands on a new Ultegra 12 speed road shifter, for a closer analysis. This is the most common specification for high end road bikes nowadays, with hydraulic disc brakes and electronic shifting. Let's take a closer look at this new 12 speed road shifter.

Dura-Ace and Ultegra shifters are almost the same, so almost everything that you see below are equally applicable to both Dura-Ace and Ultegra versions, unless otherwise specified.

Side view of the shifter. Looks better compared to all other versions.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Bestrider Pump Pro 16: Pedals for Kids

Remember when I had a hard time finding the Early Rider pedals for the Bestrider Pump Pro 16 kids bike? I finally managed to buy it as an aftermarket order, but later realized that it was actually slightly larger than the original ones that came with the Early Rider Seeker 14.

Then, someone told me about this particular model of Promend pedals that are not specifically labeled as kids size, but they are smaller than usual. These pedals use sealed bearings, and are of better quality than most pedals out there. Out of curiosity, I decided to get a pair to check it out. It was available at a reasonable price, cheaper than the Early Rider pedals that I bought.

To my surprise, I found that they are the same size as the Early Rider pedals that I got for the Bestrider kids bike!

These Promend PD-R87 pedals are the same size as the Early Rider pedals that I bought. In fact, they look 90% the same!