Shimano Dura-Ace 11-speed prototype spotted at Belgian race
Shimano Dura-Ace 11-speed prototype spotted on Alex Dowsett's Team Sky Pinarello. Photo: Fiets/Rodrick.

Fiets magazine scored some prototype spy shots of Shimano’s rumored 11-speed Dura-Ace group on Great Britain’s Alex Dowsett’s team bike at an early season Belgian mini-classic. They’re reporting his was the only bike of the Team Sky group with the rough looking (read: straight from the milling machine) test pieces.

This cropped image, and the one of some new brakes after the jump, are both from their site. And they have more, check it out here. In particular, the new lever prototype looks really, really nice, especially the recessed area for the pointer finger just in front of the hoods. And the brake lever itself appears slimmer from the side profile. Shimano’s standard reply is not to comment on things not officially announced, but this timing seems about right for 2013 goodies to start appearing on sponsored athlete’s bikes.

UPDATE: Thanks to an eagle-eyed fan, we noticed a few changes to some of the components. First, check the cable run and mounting design on the rear derailleur: Super clean and much more direct. The B-knuckle is also very slick. The chain has no reliefs, but the pins appear to be hollow. The rear wheel uses radial non-drive lacing, which isn’t offered on their current DA wheelsets. Lastly, and something we’ve been looking forward to for a while, the levers have “FlightDeck” clearly labeled just under the hoods. It’s about time!

2013 Shimano Dura-Ace 11-speed group prototypes and new brakes with leverage arms
Could these be new Shimano road brakes with articulating arms to increase leverage? Photo: Fiets/Rodrick

If these become reality, it looks like Shimano could be adding some manner of articulating leverage system to increase power and modulation. SRAM did this with the new Red group, and early reports are that it feels much smoother. This design looks completely different, though, with  BOTH arms getting some sort of multi-linkage movement!

Thanks to Gregory, Jason and Bas for the tip!


  1. Really, Sram is quite fearful, that’s my theory. They see us in a stage race with tight trousers. We’ve got, you know, armadillos in our trousers.

  2. It’s not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You’re on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on ten on your bike. Where can you go from there? Where?

  3. Reminds me of the 8-minute vs. 7-minute abs bit in “Something About Mary”…

    “Think about it. You walk into a bike shop, you see a 10-gear drivetrain sittin’ there, there’s a 11-gear drivetrain right beside it. Which one are you gonna pick, man?”

    “That’s right. That’s – that’s good. That’s good. Unless, of course, somebody comes up with a 12-gear drivetrain. Then you’re in trouble, huh?

    No! No, no, not 12! I said 11. Nobody’s comin’ up with 12. Who wants 12-gears? You won’t even get your heart goin, not even a mouse on a wheel.

  4. the hub shell does say prototype on it
    and its still looks to have standard 20 spoke rear so the rime is the same as 7900/7800
    so clearly this is not an off the shelf part
    i hope this can up shift more than two cogs on the rear unlike the 7900 cabled

    Surprised unlike in SRAM threads there is no one demanding STI-Hydro and saying that its a garbage group

  5. @Tom Yes I hate the after the jump/ after the break. It is obvious and if it must be there it should only be on the front page not in the main article.

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