So our LBS had 2 of the new Ultegra Di2 groupsets in on demo bikes today (both Basso). I had about 20 minutes on one of them. Given some of the discussion about groupsets on here lately, I thought I’d set down a few of my thoughts.
Rear shifting: I can’t tell the difference between this and the previous version (and there isn’t much between it and AXS). It is maybe a little noisier/positive than previous Shimano equipment I’ve used (in a good way: a hint more Campag, if that makes sense) but that may be down to the demo bike having a brand new groupset.
Front shifting: very fast. I mean, remarkably fast. Maybe just a little less smooth than expected, though; it feels a tiny bit abrupt or harsh. Once more, though, this could be a new chain and ring bedding in. I couldn’t get it to misbehave, despite trying. Shifting to the big ring under full gas almost threw the chain, but the FD saved it.
Brakes: amazing. Tons of power, great feel. No rub whatsoever either. Couldn’t fault them. A1.
Other: great hood shape and feel - probably the best I’ve used. The app isn’t super intuitive, admittedly from a quick play rather than a thorough examination. Still a smidge robotic in feel IMO.
Overall: it feels like a subtle improvement on the outgoing version, rather than a radical upgrade, though tbf the previous incarnation was pretty damn good. The brakes are substantially better than the AXS I have on my Giant, and the front shifting is more reliable under pressure (albeit based on a brief test ride). It didn’t feel quite as refined as I might have hoped. All in all, it’s incredibly competent, but I don’t love it, somehow.
I’d have it without reservation, but if I had a good, reasonably modern groupset, I don’t think I’d pay the £2k+ to upgrade.