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Race tech: Giro d'Italia, May 19, 2008
Production-ready Dura-Ace 7900 makes Grand Tour debut
By Shane Stokes
Any doubts as to whether or not Shimano would be introducing its new Dura-Ace 7900 mechanical group this year were erased at this year's Giro d'Italia. No fewer than 14 riders from the Rabobank, Française des Jeux, Milram, Gerolsteiner and High Road teams were using what looked to be production-ready components whereas previous sightings were clearly prototype test mules.
While the parts weren't visually badged as 'Dura-Ace', some of them were clearly marked with official model designations. We've already revealed most of the technical details on the upcoming new group but this sighting provides more detail on the visual cues we can likely expect to see in a few months' time.
We already knew that the new brake lever blades were going to be carbon fibre
but we can now say in good confidence that they'll bear a sleek unidirectional
finish and a pronounced hook at the tip for a positive grip while in the drops.
Reach adjustment looks to be accomplished from the top of the lever beneath
the hood and the derailleur housing, at least on the Milram, exits the lever
on the outboard side. For now, it is unclear if the option exists for running
those lines to the inside as with Campagnolo's Ergopower and the latest generation
SRAM DoubleTap levers..