11 Speed Trickles Down, Shimano's All New Ultegra 6800 Group

We all knew that with the success of Shimano’s 11 Speed Dura Ace 9000 group, an extra cog was soon on its way to the next step down. Not one to disappoint, Shimano looks to have taken much of the changes that were seen at the top of the line and incorporated them into the work horse of the component world, Ultegra 6800.

It’s more than just another gear, read on for more detail and exclusive tech.

11 Speed Trickles Down, Shimano's All New Ultegra 6800 Group

Easily one of the crown jewels of the new group is the all new 4 arm crankset design borrowed from 9000. Due to the 4 arm spider design, chain rings are able to be offered in standard double, compact double, and cyclocross options all on the same crank.

11 Speed Trickles Down, Shimano's All New Ultegra 6800 GroupChainrings will be offered in 53-39, 52-36, 50-34, and a new 46-36 combination specifically for cyclocross racers. This also means that the rings from 6800 Ultegra and 9000 Dura Ace are now interchangeable. This could be good news is you have a Dura Ace equipped bike with a standard double, but maybe need a compact double for a special occasion. Of course the colors won’t match up perfectly, so they’re not completely compatible. Not only will the crank offer more options for gearing, but it shaves about 26g from the previous crank with a crank/BB weight of 765g. The cranksets will be paired with a new, lighter weight threaded bottom bracket for those few lucky frames that still have threads.

11 Speed Trickles Down, Shimano's All New Ultegra 6800 Group

Wrapping around the cogs will be the new, narrower Ultegra 11 speed chain. Coated with the same Sil-Tec treatments of the new XTR chain, CN-6800 should offer lower friction, better life, and quieter performance, all while reducing chain weight by 14g.

11 Speed Trickles Down, Shimano's All New Ultegra 6800 Group

11 Speed Trickles Down, Shimano’s All New Ultegra 6800 Group

6800 chains will have the same dimensions as the 11 speed Dura Ace 9000 chains, which are precisely 0.26mm narrower than the 10 speed variants. The intriguing part is that the inner width stays the same, which means the cogs and chain rings are the same width as before.

11 Speed Trickles Down, Shimano's All New Ultegra 6800 Group

Furthering the rider tuned gearing options, Shimano is now offering more cassette options from 11-23 to 11-32.

11 Speed Trickles Down, Shimano's All New Ultegra 6800 Group


The 11-32 option is thanks to the new 6800 GS mid cage rear derailleur which allows for the bigger 32t cog, up from the previous 30t. While both 105 and Tiagra GS models can handle a 32t cog on 10 speed drivetrains, Ultegra will only run the 32t with the new 11 speed drivetrain since the new derailleur has been built with more clearance for the larger cog. Both front and rear derailleurs have been redesigned with the front derailleur equipped with the same longer leverage arm as 9000, to decrease front shifting effort by a whopping 35%. If you’ve ridden 9000, then you know how good front shifting can be and we’re hoping it’s just as good on Ultegra.

11 Speed Trickles Down, Shimano's All New Ultegra 6800 Group

Ergonomics of the new lever are claimed to be near-identical to 9000 levers which is a welcomed change from 6700 for many riders. Combined with a new polymer coated cable set, and the new shifters, 6800 is said to have lighter action and a shorter throw with release throw decreased by 13%. Along with the 6800 group, Shimano is introducing a new polymer coated cable kit that will have a lower price point than the Dura Ace kit, though final pricing is still TBD. The new Ultegra shifters will also receive Shimano’s Vivid Index technology to better define shift engagement by amplifying the feel of the click. In order to help riders dial in the ergonomics, Ultegra will feature 10mm of additional reach adjustment via an adjustment screw just like on the 9000 levers.

11 Speed Trickles Down, Shimano's All New Ultegra 6800 GroupNo disc brakes here, but there are 6800 versions of the new dual symmetrical pivot rim brake design that offers 16% better performance than the previous brakes. Offered in both standard and direct mount versions, rim brakes just keep getting better.

11 Speed Trickles Down, Shimano's All New Ultegra 6800 Group

In order to bring the Ultegra tubeless wheels up to date with 11 speed, 6800 hubs have been updated with a new freehub. In addition, they feature a new cone digital adjustment system for better adjustment and for reduced axial force on the bearings from the quick release. Dropping 12 grams from the hubs brings the WH-6800 wheelset down to 1640g for the set.

11 Speed Trickles Down, Shimano's All New Ultegra 6800 Group

Previously only available in the Dura Ace hubs, the Digital adjustment system eliminates the double lock system found on most cup and cone hubs. Instead a ratcheting ring is hidden under an end cap, and to adjust it you just remove the end cap with a 5mm allen, and then simply rotate the ring to remove any play in the bearing.

11 Speed Trickles Down, Shimano's All New Ultegra 6800 Group


11 Speed Trickles Down, Shimano's All New Ultegra 6800 Group

SPD-SL 6800 pedals are exactly the same, save for some new graphics. Molded from short fiber carbon opposed to Dura Ace’s long fiber, the Ultegra pedals are still within 10 grams of the higher end offering, with a slightly lower bearing spec for a lot less money.

Backwards Compatibility:

Every time there is a new group, one of the questions inevitably is “will the new X work with my old Ys?” Well, with 6800 the answer is probably not. While the brakes and the new bottom bracket are backwards compatible, the rest of the drive train is not compatible with 10 speed components. Not surprising since it’s an entirely new platform. The good news is that at least Dura Ace 9000 and Ultegra 6800 are now completely compatible which will allow manufacturers and consumers to mix and match.

Weights and Pricing:

Thanks to big weight savings in the crankset and shifters, 6800 ends up 35g less than 6700 even with an extra cog and a few products that are actually heavier. Purchasing an entire group minus the wheels and pedals will run right around $1249.92.

  • RD – 195g – $99.99
  • FD – 89g – $59.99
  • Shifter – 425g – $399.99
  • Brake – 335g – $174.99
  • Crank/BB – 765g – $319.99
  • Cassette – 212g /11-23, 232g/11-25g, 243g/12-25, 251g/11-28, 292g/11-32 – $109.99 (11-28)
  • Chain – 253g – $49.99
  • Wheels – 1640g – $749.99
  • Pedals – $199.99


  1. Hank on

    The “digital adjustment” hubs look remarkably like what Campy introduced on their hubs almost 15 years ago – adjust the cones by hand, then lock it down with a set-screw.

  2. jon jon on

    if the cogs and chain ring are the same width as before, does this mean that you can run the 6700 crankset or any other old 10 speed spec crankset with the new 6800?

  3. fraser on

    Yes, you can run any 10 Speed crankset with the new 11 speed DA or ultegra. Even a lot of pros use their “old” 10-speed SRM cranks with the new 11 speed DA. 🙂

  4. Tom on

    @Ben: That is pretty much my only beef with Shimano groups. IMO they make the ugliest cranks! Same goes for the Dura Ace ones.

  5. Jake on

    Does anyone know if the brake levers still move inward sometimes when braking on DA9000 and/or the Ultregra 6800 levers? That’s the only thing that really bothered me about Shimano’s 5700/6700 levers.

  6. jrandom on

    Been waiting for this announcement before buying a new road bike. Can finally have the sexiest cranks on the market at a somewhat affordable price!

  7. Badbikemechanic on

    I think the crank is beautiful and is reminiscent of the shimano biospace era. I am happy they are going to offer a proper cyclocross option rather than a mod like they did in previous generations.

  8. Skeptic on

    15% shorter throw coupled with a 35% decrease in shifting effort. This seems to defy the laws of physics to me. More for less?

  9. Peter on

    Fine. Do this literally the day after I popped for a 6700 crank to replace a Gossamer.
    I’ll be over here grumbling in envy at the 6800 gruppo.

  10. David on

    With the 32 tooth cassette, Ultegra double crank rigs finally reach parity with SRAM. But for me and my 7000′ Saturday rides, the steps are still too big. So my question is, what happens to the Ultegra triple crank?

  11. Scott on

    The cogs are the same thickness as the 10 speed. Hmmmm. So the spacers are thinner? Does this mean I can modify a current cassette to 11 speed spacing?

  12. Mike Hare on

    I believe both the SS and GS versions of the rear derailleurs (for the A models) will handle the 30t cog. The total tooth capacity is the real difference so the GS works with the triple chainrings and the SS is specific to the doubles.

  13. Guy on

    Here’s a group that really gets the bang-for-the-buck award. A well rounded group that’s fairly affordable AND rideable for quite some time without becoming obsolete. Not that great things won’t happen in the future, but I feel like this could be one of those groups that people talk (good) about for years. As for the crank debate. Pretty or not, the DA crank shifts sooooo well and offers such a range of rings that it’s hard to hate. While others can be improved with aftermarket rings, Shimano still kills it out of the box.

  14. dislivello on

    perfect gruop!only adjust sistem bearing i don t like becouse cone is notvery fixed respect axle. campy here is better. about wheels nothing sex

  15. mateo on

    @Francis – the 11-32 will work on DA except for the rear derailleur. You’ll need the mid cage (GS) Ultegra derailleur to run the 11-32 cassette.

  16. evenfasterson on

    There will be no Di2 firmware update to change 6770 to 11 speed, there are mechanical restrictions which make it impossible.

    If the hub is a Shimano 10 speed hub it cannot be converted to 11 speed. Other brands which are convertable between campy 11 and shimano 10 speed can be converted but only if the manufacturer produces a new Shimano freehub body for 11 speed. a Lot of Mavic wheels already do this, hence the extra 1.85mm spacer with some models, remove this and you can run 11 speed.

  17. Chris on

    Regarding backwards compatibility, could we assume we can use the crankset on a 10sp group given the chainring width? That seems like a good budget oriented step in regards to upgrading.
    Has any one tried this with the 9000 crank?

  18. CXisfun on

    The 9000 crank works just fine with 7900, and the 7900 crank works just fine with 9000. I’ve done both.

  19. someslowguy on

    @francis & @mateo,

    You can use the D/Ace 9070 derailleur with 11-32 on almost any bike. You just need to remove and flip the b-screw and of course use a much longer chain. We’ve been successfully doing this on Di2 equipped bikes for well over a year. We’re ready to setup 9070 this way, just need an 11sp 11-32 cassette first… Well, and of course you need to avoid the small-small.

  20. Claas on

    when will the new Ultegra Di2 be presented? and when availible on the market? also in summer/autom this year? or later on in spring 2014?

  21. Phil on

    Does anyone know if the actuation ratio for the RD-6800 is the same as the old RD-6700? In other words, is the RD-6800 compatible with Shimano’s previous 10sp SIS shifters operating on Shimano 10 cog rear clusters?

  22. Lenny on

    Is it possible to use a 11 speed Shimano cassette on a Simano 10 speed hub by leaving off the smallest cog and effectively using it as a 10 speed hub?

  23. Mark shaw on

    Just ordered 6800 for a bike build.
    All the wheels I’m looking at say 9/10 speed
    Shimano ordering wheels from china so need to be sure before my purchase.
    Hope you can help, Thanks mark.

  24. pault on

    jehosephat! things are getting uglier by the year – i wouldn’t put that on my bike if you gave me the money instead of me paying for it – what has happened to biking recently? think i’m gonna hurl


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