Skip to main content

Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 group

Give-and-take road groupset

Image 1 of 24

Shimano's latest Dura-Ace group is a big step forwards in some ways, but not in others

Shimano's latest Dura-Ace group is a big step forwards in some ways, but not in others (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 2 of 24

The new STI Dual Control levers offer a drastically different shape from Dura-Ace 7800

The new STI Dual Control levers offer a drastically different shape from Dura-Ace 7800 (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 3 of 24

Last year's dip in the top of the lever has been replaced by a flatter and wider perch

Last year's dip in the top of the lever has been replaced by a flatter and wider perch (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 4 of 24

The new carbon brake lever is canted outwards a few degrees for an easier reach from the hoods

The new carbon brake lever is canted outwards a few degrees for an easier reach from the hoods (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 5 of 24

Shimano use an annoying cover plate that must be removed in order to adjust reach or replace the brake cable

Shimano use an annoying cover plate that must be removed in order to adjust reach or replace the brake cable (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 6 of 24

Shortening the reach leaves an unsightly gap – an oversight atypical of Shimano

Shortening the reach leaves an unsightly gap – an oversight atypical of Shimano (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 7 of 24

Derailleur housing now runs beneath the handlebar tape and can be run either in front or behind the bar

Derailleur housing now runs beneath the handlebar tape and can be run either in front or behind the bar (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 8 of 24

Running the derailleur housing in front leaves a sharp edge at the rear of the lever though

Running the derailleur housing in front leaves a sharp edge at the rear of the lever though (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 9 of 24

The shifter internals are dangerously exposed to the elements

The shifter internals are dangerously exposed to the elements (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 10 of 24

The new Flight Deck computer is far easier to install – just remove the top of the shifter and bolt on the new bits

The new Flight Deck computer is far easier to install – just remove the top of the shifter and bolt on the new bits (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 11 of 24

The new crankset is undoubtedly one of the stars of the group and is now offered in a compact version as well

The new crankset is undoubtedly one of the stars of the group and is now offered in a compact version as well (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 12 of 24

The deep-profile spider arms and incredibly expensive outer chainring yield superb front shifting performance

The deep-profile spider arms and incredibly expensive outer chainring yield superb front shifting performance (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 13 of 24

The heavily relieved spider keeps the weight down

The heavily relieved spider keeps the weight down (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 14 of 24

Shimano retain last year's arm attachment method

Shimano retain last year's arm attachment method (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 15 of 24

The revised front derailleur cage is wider than before yet shifts superbly and also runs rub-free in the large chainring with no need for trim

The revised front derailleur cage is wider than before yet shifts superbly and also runs rub-free in the large chainring with no need for trim (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 16 of 24

Revised front derailleur pivot geometry requires more cable pull at the lever but yields a lighter feel that requires less effort

Revised front derailleur pivot geometry requires more cable pull at the lever but yields a lighter feel that requires less effort (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 17 of 24

Rear shifts are as impeccably smooth and precise as before

Rear shifts are as impeccably smooth and precise as before (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 18 of 24

The carbon fibre pulley cage is curiously flexy but this doesn't seem to affect shift performance

The carbon fibre pulley cage is curiously flexy but this doesn't seem to affect shift performance (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 19 of 24

Braking is superb with the new calipers and revised cable pull ratio

Braking is superb with the new calipers and revised cable pull ratio (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 20 of 24

Aggressive yet careful machining sheds weight while retaining stiffness. Low-profile barrel adjusters yield smoother routing for reduced friction

Aggressive yet careful machining sheds weight while retaining stiffness. Low-profile barrel adjusters yield smoother routing for reduced friction (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 21 of 24

Shimano probably could have made the new calipers lighter but we wouldn't trade their superb stopping power and fingertip modulation to save a few grams

Shimano probably could have made the new calipers lighter but we wouldn't trade their superb stopping power and fingertip modulation to save a few grams (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 22 of 24

The asymmetrical chain is exceptionally quiet and shifts just as smoothly up front as out back in either direction

The asymmetrical chain is exceptionally quiet and shifts just as smoothly up front as out back in either direction (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 23 of 24

Cassettes have only been mildly revised and drop a few grams while seemingly losing none of their shift performance

Cassettes have only been mildly revised and drop a few grams while seemingly losing none of their shift performance (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 24 of 24

Shimano has greatly expanded the range of available ratios to appeal to a wider audience

Shimano has greatly expanded the range of available ratios to appeal to a wider audience (Image credit: James Huang)

Shimano say their latest

Shimano’s head-to-toe overhaul of its premier Dura-Ace road group has

Ergonomics – flatter and

Shimano have moved the shifter internals back into the base of the lever to

The new lever feels more substantial, with a significant increase in

The concealed cables may yield a cleaner look but some riders will

The shape changes will undoubtedly polarise opinion but a few details

The adjustable reach feature is nice to have but doing so

Shifting performance – good

We had grand expectations for 7900 after countless hours on Shimano’s

Instead, 7900 can only downshift two gears per sweep instead of

In contrast, Dura-Ace 7800 requires a 20-degree throw for both upshifts

Despite the concealed housing’s additional bend, cable friction is only

However, front shifts are flat-out amazing and without doubt the best

Interestingly, Shimano have done the same thing that many riders criticised

Cable friction remains more of an issue for rear shifting over the long

Replacing derailleur cables is just as easy as before – though the

Braking performance – best

7900’s braking performance is definitely superior to 7800 with a

The pad contact point is positive, the power comes on in a highly

These new stoppers perform at their best when run fast and hard. We quickly found ourselves braking later and

Also worth mentioning are the slick low-profile barrel adjusters. They’re bigger and easier to use while on the

Drivetrain – whisper quiet,

Though the crank arms are dramatically different from a finish

The cassette also hasn’t changed much, gaining an extra titanium cog in

The new asymmetric chain is superb, though, running whisper-quiet –

As promised, shift performance has degraded little over our six-month

Compatibility

Shimano say the revised cable pull ratios on 7900 essentially make

Mixing brake components yields either a too-firm lever with reduced

The situation with the front derailleur is an entirely different beast,

Worthy of an upgrade?

Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 offers a variety of notable improvements over

However, Dura-Ace 7900 also carries with it a hefty price hike (about

If you’re considering a new bike that comes equipped with Dura-Ace

Prices and weights:

PriceWeightChange from Dura-Ace 7800
ST-7900 Dual Control leversUS$700366g-60g
FC-7900 crankset (172.5mm, 39/53T, w/BB)$700739g-11g
RD-7900-SS rear derailleur$300164g-18g
FD-7900-F front derailleur$15066g-2g
BR-7900 brakes (w/o mounting hardware)$440285g-15g
CS-7900 cassette (12-25T)$300185g-7g
CN-7900 chain$70282g+1g
Total$2,7052,087g-112g