Shimano Ultegra ST-R8000 Dual Control Levers
With a striking look, greater gearing capability, and considerable practical and design influence from Dura-Ace 9100, the much anticipated Ultegra R8000 11-speed groupset is here. Cable actuated shifting and braking with the ST-R8000 STI Dual Control Levers offers more positive shift action and better braking with less effort and a light feel. Wait? Isn't that contradictory? Perhaps but Shimano has cracked the code in R9100 and carried the capability to Ultegra. The improved ergonomics, textured hoods and all important integration with other key components make these the best performing Ultegra Dual Control Levers produced.
That integration, plus a re-engineered internal shifter mechanism, is key to the improved overall performance. You will only feel the greatest effects when using the R8000 front and rear derailleurs and dual caliper brakes. The components have been designed together, with subtle mechanical changes from Ultegra 6800, that are keyed by the lever actions. You get the increase (from 10mm to 14mm) of brake lever throw adjustment to accommodate your hand size. You still get consistent, quick shifts; but the actions require less force. Most of the materials are shared with Dura-Ace, but Ultegra R8000 uses Shimano's wholly reliable multiple bushing system rather than bearings. Only a sensitive rider can tell the difference, and Ultegra durability is unquestioned.
The lever body is made from Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP), just like R9100, but the main lever blade is also CFRP, not the carbon found on Dura-Ace. Only 73 grams for the pair heavier than the 365 grams R9100 model, the R8000 list nearly $200 less expensive. You get a full cable set, with all fittings, OT-SP41 cable housing, and polymer-coated SUS stainless steel cables. A 240mm long section of OT-RS900 housing is for the rear derailleur loop. This housing is much more flexible for the tighter, shorter curve used with the Shadow-style road rear derailleurs. Those who haven't felt the improved texture and ergonomics of the R9100/R8000 will be pleasantly surprised at the new hoods.
A word on cross compatibility: the R8000 Dual Control Levers are backward compatible with Ultegra 6800, but the overall improvements with derailleur and braking performance will be negligible. If you are planning on upgrading a piece or two at a time, we recommend the R8000 Dual Control Levers and RD-R8000 Shadow Rear Derailleur first. That way if you can take advantage of the new GS mid-cage version and the 11-34 cassette for greater range. The improved path and frame clearance/compatibility of the new FD-R8000 Front Derailleur essentially requires the R8000 crankset as well, as there is a difference in the position of the small chainring.
There was a time when a new Ultegra release was greeted with more talk of value, but over the last few generations, excitement about the real improvements in performance overshadow the value. Shimano has always filtered down technology, but now it seems more of the real developmental gains of Dura-Ace live in Ultegra, and you have substantial savings overall. If you are running mechanical shifting and braking, the Ultegra ST-R8000 Dual Control Levers will bring a smile to your face, and you can use the extra cash elsewhere.
- Improved 11-speed dual control levers for mechanical shifting / braking
- New ergonomics, subtly smaller shape, with improved textured hood
- Re-engineered shifter mechanism reduces effort, yet has positive feel
- Improved braking power with less lever action, now 14mm throw adjustment
- Best results when used with R8000 RD, FD, and Brakeset
- CFRP body design is stiff, and strong, CFRP lever blade
- Multi-bushing internal system is exceptionally durable, smooth, efficient
- Full cableset: ferrules, end caps, OT-SP41/OT-RS800 housing, Polymer coated SUS cables
- Sold as a pair, Right and Left
- Color: Black fade
- Weight: 438 grams (levers only)