Shimano Ultegra R8100 review: next-gen 12-speed

Electronic only, 12-speed gearing, semi-wireless, and it fits the old standards, what’s not to like?

A close up of the crankset from the Shimano Ultegra groupset
(Image: © Josh Ross)

Cyclingnews Verdict

Shimano Ultegra R8100 covers everything a modern groupset should and it does it without needing a new freehub standard. It’s nearly perfect although the small gear change levers continue to be a challenge even after the update.

Pros

  • +

    12-speed gearing without any freehub change

  • +

    Wireless front controls make for a more aero setup

  • +

    Almost all the performance of Dura-Ace at a fraction of the cost

  • +

    Simplified wiring and built-in wireless connection

  • +

    Excellent braking performance

  • +

    Mobile app for customisation and maintenance

  • +

    Visual indication of derailleur micro-adjustment in the app

  • +

    Top of hoods button feels like magic

Cons

  • -

    Small shift buttons

You can trust Cyclingnews Our experts spend countless hours testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

The year 2018 seems like a lifetime ago given where the world has gone since then but four years ago Campagnolo dropped the first 2x12 groupsets into the market. At the time it was mechanical only but it was the first. A year later, in the beginning of 2019, SRAM brought its own version of 2x12 shifting to market. This time electronic wireless shifting only and with a unique take on gearing. Now it's time for Shimano to take its turn in the 2x12 spotlight with Dura-Ace R9200 and Ultegra R8100. 

At the end of last summer, the announcement was official that the next generation of shifting from Shimano would be 2x12 and electronic only. Given Shimano's place in the history of cycling, they were both almost a shoo-in for our roundup of the best road bike groupsets available. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Header Cell - Column 1 MSRP $MSRP £Weight
DrivetrainRow 0 - Cell 1 Row 0 - Cell 2 Row 0 - Cell 3 Row 0 - Cell 4
FC-R8100Ultegra Cranksets with Chainrings$314.99£299.99711g
FC-R8100-PUltegra Power Meter Crankset with Chainrings$1,159.99£999.99769g
ST-R8150Ultegra Di2 Shift/Rim Brake Lever Set (Left and Right)$424.99£399.99Row 3 - Cell 4
ST-R8170Ultegra Di2 Shift/Disc Brake Lever Set (Left and Right)$809.98£699.98391g
CS-R8100Ultegra Cassette (11-30)$111.99£119.99297g
FD-R8150Ultegra Di2 Front Derailleur$259.99£249.99116g
RD-R8150Ultegra Di2 Rear Derailleur$409.99£379.99262g
Row 8 - Cell 0 Row 8 - Cell 1 Row 8 - Cell 2 Row 8 - Cell 3 Row 8 - Cell 4
BrakesRow 9 - Cell 1 Row 9 - Cell 2 Row 9 - Cell 3 Row 9 - Cell 4
BR-R8100Rim Brake Caliper Set$162.99£159.98Row 10 - Cell 4
BR-R8170Hydraulic Disc Brake Caliper Set$170.98£179.98282g
RT-MT800Disc Brake Rotor (140mm and 160mm)$55.99£49.99 (each)212g
J-Kit Brake SetUltegra Hydraulic Disc Brake Set (Calipers and Levers) - Front$536.99£449.99Row 13 - Cell 4
J-Kit Brake SetUltegra Hydraulic Disc Brake Set (Calipers and Levers) - Rear$536.99£449.99Row 14 - Cell 4
Row 15 - Cell 0 Row 15 - Cell 1 Row 15 - Cell 2 Row 15 - Cell 3 Row 15 - Cell 4
WheelsRow 16 - Cell 1 Row 16 - Cell 2 Row 16 - Cell 3 Row 16 - Cell 4
WH-R8170-C36-TLUltegra C36 Tubeless Disc Brake Wheelset $1,399.99£1,259.981,488g
WH-R8170-C50-TLUltegra C50 Tubeless Disc Brake Wheelset $1,399.99£1,259.981,570g
WH-R8170-C60-TLUltegra C60 Tubeless Disc Brake Wheelset $1,399.99£1,259.981,649g
Row 20 - Cell 0 Row 20 - Cell 1 Row 20 - Cell 2 Row 20 - Cell 3 Row 20 - Cell 4
Di2 PartsRow 21 - Cell 1 Row 21 - Cell 2 Row 21 - Cell 3 Row 21 - Cell 4
BT-DN300Di2 Battery$184.99£174.9953g
EW-EC300Di2 Charger$49.99£44.99Row 23 - Cell 4
SW-RS801-SShift Switch for Drops (pair)$139.99£119.99Row 24 - Cell 4
SW-RS801-TShift Switch for Tops (pair)$139.99£119.99Row 25 - Cell 4

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