Ultegra has long been the workhorse group in Shimano's road lineup. But there is also beauty in strength, functionality, and fortitude. Shimano did not just rename the 6700 tier, however. Instead, just as the Dura Ace groupset was completely redesigned for the 9000 series, so too has the Ultegra 6800 line been given a similar makeover so that it mimics the 11 speed functionality and aesthetics of its older sibling. Beginning with the most visible and noticed portion of the groupset, the ST 6800 levers feature a refined hood shape. They borrow the look and feel of Dura Ace 9000, which, in turn, borrow their aesthetics from the venerable Di2 levers. The new design allows for improved grip and comfort, combined with crisper shifting. The hoods are molded from a dual compound rubber composite. Below the hoods you'll find a sleek carbon lever with a more exaggerated outward curve than on the 6700. This makes for a more pronounced interaction with your hands from either the hoods or drops. Ten millimeters of reach adjustment for the levers accommodates a large variety of hand sizes and shapes. Although the redesign of the shifters is eye catching, Shimano's Rider Tuned philosophy is what gives the newly redesigned Ultegra such a solid rider experience. Rider Tuned is the philosophy of providing added touches throughout the group, such as a shortened lever stroke. This shortened lever stroke increases the speed with which your shift moves up or down the chainrings and cassette. Moving through the drivetrain, the redesign of the front derailleur matches the new shorter stroke lever action of the shifters. To achieve this, Shimano had to revise the actuation ratio and pull yet another page from the Dura Ace manual. The derailleur body was given a more heightened profile, with the leverage point at the top of the body. This creates a larger pull arm with more leverage, which strengthens the pull and eases the actuation, and thus lessens the shift stroke. In a simi...