Shimano DURA-ACE R9200 Sportive Series Announced

Shimano DURA-ACE R9200 Sportive Series Announced

Shimano just released its new DURA-ACE R9200 groupset, and Zwift has automatically applied it to three in-game frames: Specialized Tarmac SL7Canyon Aeroad 2021, and Pinarello Dogma F. And this week, a sportive series begins which features each of these upgraded bikes. Here are the details…

See details and sign up at zwift.com/events/series/shimano-dura-ace-r9200

What Is a Sportive?

“Sportive” isn’t a commonly-used term in the US, but it’s quite common in the UK. It’s a shortening of “cyclosportive”, and it’s sort of a catch-all term that can refer to just about any mass-start organized ride you would pay to participate in which isn’t an official road race.

There’s some overlap between “fondos” and sportives, since they are similar in nature – not an official race, but more of a personal challenge in a group ride setting. But a sportive can also be much shorter than a typical fondo, even just an hour long.

Zwift hasn’t really used the “sportive” term for events in the past, but watch for its future use in events Zwift often organizes with partners that are “shorter than a fondo” group rides and not official races.

Is This a Race?

Ah, the perennial Zwift question. Zwift has five different types of ride events, which you can filter in the Companion app:

  1. Workout: group bike workouts
  2. Race: competitive events which count toward ZwiftPower ranking points, etc
  3. Time Trial: a non-drafting event where it’s just you vs the clock
  4. Fondo: only used for official Zwift fondo events, as far as we’ve seen
  5. Ride: everything else. These could be anything from casual group rides to 4+ w/kg slugfests – but they aren’t official races

This series is defined as “Ride” events. Some riders will join just to ride with others and complete the route. Others will ride these events as races. Either approach is perfectly acceptable. You do you!

Categories

Categories in this series are not used to break riders into ability groups, but rather to determine which route you ride.

There are 4 category options:

  • A: men’s/mixed longer route
  • B: mens/mixed shorter route
  • C: women only, longer route
  • D: women only, shorter route

A and C groups ride the same “longer” route selection, while B and D share the same “shorter” route.

Schedule and Routes

This event has three stages, each lasting three days, with events staggered two hours part.

Each stage places all participants on a particular DURA-ACE R9200-equipped bike. But it looks like you’ll be able to pick your wheels – so choose wisely, if you’re trying to go fast! We’ve included recommendations below.

Stage 1: September 22-24

  • Longer route: 3 laps of Makuri Islands Flatland Loop (38.8km/24.1 miles long, 298 meters/978′ elevation)
  • Shorter route: 2 laps of Makuri Islands Flatland Loop (26km/16.2 miles long, 199 meters/653′ elevation)
  • Bike: Specialized Tarmac SL7
  • Wheel recommendation: it’s a flatter route, so grab the fastest wheels you can from this list

Stage 2: September 25-27

  • Longer route: 1 lap of Watopia Out and Back Again (42.3km/26.3 miles long, 334 meters/1096′ elevation)
  • Shorter route: 1 lap of Watopia Figure 8 (30.2km/18.8 miles long, 255 meters/837′ elevation)
  • Bike: PInarello Dogma F
  • Wheel recommendation: each route features one or more decisive climbs where the main selections will be made. If you’re concerned with hanging onto the front group up the climbs we recommend picking a strong all-arounder wheelset to match your all-arounder Dogma F. Check out the Zipp 454. DT Swiss ARC 1100 DiCut 62, CADEX 65, Zipp 353 NSW, ENVE 3.4, or other wheels ranked near the top of our stacked wheel percentile ranking.

Stage 3: September 28-30

  • Longer route: 1 lap of London Triple Loops (41.4km/24.4 miles long, 569 meters/974′ elevation)
  • Shorter route: 1 lap of Keith Hill After Party (36.7km/16.3 miles long, 198 meters/435′ elevation)
  • Bike: Canyon Aeroad 2021
  • Wheel recommendation: each route features one or more decisive climbs where the main selections will be made. If you’re concerned with hanging onto the front group up the climbs we recommend picking a strong all-arounder wheelset to match your all-arounder Dogma F. Check out the Zipp 454. DT Swiss ARC 1100 DiCut 62, CADEX 65, Zipp 353 NSW, ENVE 3.4, or other wheels ranked near the top of our stacked wheel percentile ranking.

See details and sign up at zwift.com/events/series/shimano-dura-ace-r9200

Unlocks

Complete any stage to unlock the Shimano S-Phyre jersey.

Looking a Gift Horse In the Mouth

With its latest update, Zwift auto-upgraded everyone’s Specialized Tarmac SL7, Canyon Aeroad 2021, and Pinarello Dogma F frames to use the new DURA-ACE groupset. It’s like a ninja mechanic snuck into your Zwift garage and upgraded your bikes for free!

The only downside is that our tests show that the new DURA-ACE isn’t performing as well as the old stuff. The upgraded bike frames have slowed by 2 seconds in our flat tests, and 19 seconds in our Alpe climb tests.

It’s a bug Zwift will be fixing ASAP. It’s sort of excusable – in the entire history of Zwift, groupsets have never been upgraded. Attempting to do so has apparently had unintended consequences.

With all of that said: everyone is being put on the same (slightly slowed) frames for these events, so at least we’re all equally disadvantaged. But we wouldn’t recommend racing Alpe du Zwift or any major climbs on one of the upgraded frames until Zwift issues a fix.

Questions or Comments?

Post below!

About The Author

Eric Schlange

Eric runs Zwift Insider in his spare time when he isn't on the bike or managing various business interests. He lives in Northern California with his beautiful wife, two kids and dog. Follow on Strava

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Brian
Brian
1 month ago

It’s a bug Zwift will be fixing ASAP. It’s sort of excusable – in the entire history of Zwift, groupsets have never been upgraded. Attempting to do so has apparently had unintended consequences.”

How or why would changing the graphics of a groupset affect speed in the game?

Carsten Re. from Germany
Carsten Re. from Germany
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian

I don’t understand this, too ! But many thanks to Eric for testing and knowing about this crazy issue !!! And I hope that all 3 frames will reach the SAME times for Tempus and Alpe again after the bug fix. Eric, please let us know again. Many thanks in advance, I appreciate your support.

abcd
abcd
1 month ago

i won’t care if my bike is 6800 or 9200, the bike >70km won’t fall or stop in Alpe Du turns sharply downhill after all😂

frames have slowed by 2 seconds in our flat tests, and 19 seconds in our Alpe climb
i won’t use any of those frames in race now

Jason Baker
Jason Baker
1 month ago

Hopefully they get the bug fixed soon! For those in Zwift Academy, they made a big point of doing the baseline and finish line rides on the same equipment, for better apples to apples comparison. I used the Dogma F for my baseline ride . . .

Daniel Connelly
20 days ago

The whole Zwift equipment model is badly flawed. There should be more transparency in bike performance — assign points, then have all bikes with the same points be the same. For example, have three categories of frame (aero, light, all-around), with 4 levels of performance (level 10, 20, 30, 40 unlock). Then have wheel unlocks at level 5, 15, 25, 35, and have aero and climbing and all-around wheels. But then different brands can fill these bins. Is there IRL precedent for this? Of course: Specialized SL7 is an “all-around” frame. It has different component specs. So a 105/Rival bike… Read more »

Ryan
Ryan
16 days ago

Have they fixed the bug yet for slowing the bikes down yet?

Jan
Jan
7 days ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

There was a Zwift update last Tuesday, I’m assuming your post included that and it’s still not fixed? Thanks in advance

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