First Ride: Shimano's Auto-Shifting XT Di2 Linkglide Drivetrain

Apr 14, 2023
by Mike Kazimer  
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Automatic shifting probably isn't something that most mountain bikers spend much time thinking about. After all, modern 1x drivetrains aren't exactly mentally taxing to operate, and with a minimal amount of practice smooth shifting becomes second nature. But what if you didn't need to touch the shift lever at all during a ride? Or what if a bike was set to automatically shift when you were coasting, selecting the right gear by the time you start pedaling again?

Both of those scenarios are possible with Shimano's latest XT Di2 Linkglide electronic drivetrain, which is designed specifically for e-bikes. The group was announced at Eurobike last year, but it's only now starting to show up on select bikes. I was able to spend two days trying out the system, enough time to get a grasp on how well the concept has been executed, and what aspects are the most relevant to mountain bikers.

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The small button under the XT logo can be used to switch between fully automatic shifting to manual shifting. No matter the mode, the shift levers can still be used for 'regular' shifting.

The Basics

As I mentioned, the new XT Di2 drivetrain is only compatible with e-bikes running Shimano's 600 or EP801 motor. It's powered by the same battery that provides pedaling assistance, which means there's no need to charge a separate battery... but it also means that it's not wireless.

The system can be configured in four different ways.

Full manual shifting is just what it sounds like – the system shifts only when one of the shift levers is pushed.

Full manual shifting with Free Shift enabled allows for shifting while coasting – the motor rotates the chainring forward while the cranks remain stationary, and the derailleur moves at the same time, making it possible to select the ideal gear for an upcoming terrain change without needing to pedal.

In the automatic shifting while coasting mode, manual shifting is required when the cranks are turning, but the automatic shifting system takes over when they're stationary and the bike is moving.

Fully automatic mode puts the computer in charge, and the derailleur will move to the appropriate gear based on information gathered from sensors in the motor. Things like cadence and speed are taken into consideration, and the algorithm decides when to shift. There's a decent amount of customization available in this mode that's designed to help riders have the auto-shifting match their preferred pedaling style.

To add an additional layer of confusion, there are two versions of the drivetrain, XT Di2 Hyperglide+ and XT Di2 Linkglide. Hyperglide+ is the lighter weight option, based around a 12-speed, 10-51 tooth cassette. It doesn't have the fully automatic shifting option, although it can be configured to shift automatically while a rider is coasting, and shifting manually while coasting is also possible.

Fully automatic shifting while pedaling and coasting is only available with the Linkglide drivetrain, which uses an 11-speed, 11-50 tooth cassette.

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Three different modes can be programmed, with further levels of customization a few taps of the app away.
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The behavior of the EP801 motor can also be fine tuned as well - there's no shortage of configuration options here.


Setup

One of the biggest hurdles the system faces is the amount of experimentation required to get it personalized for each rider. I can see the setup process being daunting for a beginner, which also happens to be the type of rider who would be most likely to use the fully automatic setting.

Shimano's app allows for two different settings to be adjusted – shift timing and climb response. Shift timing adjusts when the computer will decide to make a shift. Riders choose a numbered setting between 50 to 100 (Shimano says 72 is a good starting point), and then adjust accordingly depending on how the response feels on the trail. That number doesn't directly correlate to cadence, but the higher the number the faster the cadence will end up being.

Climb response sets the torque threshold for a shift. Basically, if you push hard on the pedals, as you would during a climb, the drivetrain will shift to an easier gear. Choosing a higher number (there are 5 levels) for the climb response will create more time before the shift to an easier gear is initiated. It's worth mentioning that a sudden stomp on the pedals, like what would happen if you sprinted out of a start gate, will make it want to shift to an easier gear. That's not exactly the ideal scenario when you're trying to put down as much power as possible, so if you're racing or tend to sprint everywhere, then manual shifting while pedaling might be the better bet.

The final setting involves selecting a start gear. This is the gear that the system shifts towards when a rider is slowing down. Imagine stopping at a trail intersection. What gear would you want to be in when starting up again? More than likely, that's the best choice for a starting gear. It's also the gear that the system will likely be in after slowing down for a tight turn, or technical section of trail.

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Ride Impressions

So, how well does it actually work? Better than I'd expected, to be honest, although I wouldn't say it's 100% perfect - I still regularly used the shift levers to fine tune the gear selection when the system didn't behave the way I wanted it to. That said, there were several instances when it was genuinely impressive. One particular section of trail had a flat approach to a fairly steep slab of rock, and I was able to leave the shifter alone while the derailleur moved the chain to the appropriate gear as I climbed, making the shifts exactly when I would have on my own. There were also times while descending that I heard the chain move to a different cog, and was then able to pedal out of a corner with the bike already in the correct gear.

Even after a fair bit of adjusting the settings via the app there were still times when I found myself pedaling in a harder gear than necessary, or when the system shifted at an inopportune moment. More experimentation on a wider variety of terrain would be needed to tweak it even futher – I'd need to do repeated laps on the same section of trail to get it closer to matching the shifting experience I was looking for. As I mentioned in the setup section, the amount of tinkering required to really get it dialed in seems to be fairly high.

Taking a step back from the automatic part of the shifting, the actual shifting feel on the Linkglide cassette was very good, especially under load – I'd fully agree with Shimano's claim that it's smoother than Hyperglide+, which already worked well under power.

I get the sense that Shimano created the auto-shifting algorithm, realized that it worked well, and are still trying to figure out where to implement it. Realistically, I think electric commuter bikes are the ideal use case – I can see riders who haven't been on a modern bike appreciating the fact that they don't need to think about the nuances of shifting on their trip to work or the store. Shimano has done automatic shifting in that realm before, but this is by far the best iteration of it yet.

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The ability to shift while coasting is one of the more compelling features of XT Di2.

The good news with this technology is that it's not an all-or-nothing proposition. Riders that purchase an e-bike with XT Di2 will be able to decide which mode best suits their needs, rather than being locked into one setting. Personally, full manual shifting with Free Shift is the mode that I'd probably use the most, and I have a feeling that's the one many mountain bikers would immediately appreciate - there are all sorts of on-trail scenarios when being able to shift while coasting can come in handy.

It's going to be interesting to keep an eye on this system and see where the technology goes. Personally, I'm more curious about what Shimano's response to SRAM's Transmission drivetrain will be, but in the meantime I guess I'll keep myself occupied playing around with the thousands of different motor and shifting settings to see if I can unlock a combination that works well enough to convince me to let the computer take charge and do all of the shifting.




Author Info:
mikekazimer avatar

Member since Feb 1, 2009
1,742 articles

221 Comments
  • 576 95
 This is a great start, but what if we also made the pedaling automatic? Its an Ebike, after all. They are intended for the elderly and those with physical limitations (such as being out of shape or overweight). This would solve the shift timing issue as the motor would just cut out power during shifts.

Since pedaling is automatic, you could replace the cranks with pegs, giving the rider more clearance, something desperately needed on IMBA trails that are always too rough for good climbing.
  • 96 9
 Next step, a bike that does automatic manuals. For safety reasons, such a bike should come with a comprehensive manual. Which obviously is written automatically by ChatGPT.
  • 60 4
 How about we just put an extra wheel on the back and make it a trike, mount a camera on it so we can virtually ride it from our homes....less chance I will smash my balls on the stem.
  • 39 1
 Paired with Trailforks+Peloton integration and an LCD screen in front of the bars, so that Olivia Amato could keep you pumped on your ride and talk you through features in GPS-powered real time with a 2000's R&B soundtrack dear god what have i done
  • 102 5
 Hard agree.

I often find myself dinging my pedals on rocks and roots even in boost mode while going up a technical climb. Usually, I carry a saw and shovel to cut away offending roots and dig up exposed rocks, but when I'm pressed for time it would be better to have my feet higher off the ground via pegs. I can see how your suggestion would be a huge time saver, and look forward to the future of true & extreme mountain biking.
  • 9 2
 All of the upvotes to you
  • 7 0
 @rickybobby18: Shake and Bake
  • 53 52
 I mean if you don't like it or want it, then don't buy it. Let other people play with their toys like they want.
  • 9 0
 Can't quite put my finger on what exactly, bit I think you're on to something.
  • 55 3
 Been running single speed for 12 years without a single shifting problem.
  • 14 0
 @wheelsmith: Sounds like you didn't try.
  • 10 1
 I'm OK with the pedaling, when are they gonna bring out something to automatically upgrade my skills though?
  • 25 0
 what if we just stayed home and put on our VR goggles instead
  • 3 0
 @RadBartTaylor: less chance, but still not zero????
  • 8 0
 we can make it a 4 seater with a roof! Riding in the rain would be no problem at all
  • 5 3
 As funny as this is, fun fact: in some states like Texas, if you remove the pedals then it becomes a motor vehicle that requires a motorcycle license to operate on a road.


Some of these cheapo e-bikes that first came out during COVID learned this the hard way, which is why you now see most of them equipped with pedals.
  • 9 52
flag IronWheel (Apr 14, 2023 at 9:13) (Below Threshold)
 @corposello:
Please leave the trails alone. Your lack of pedal timing technique should not dumb down the experience for the rest of us.
  • 18 0
 Not Wall-E status yet, but getting there...
  • 1 0
 @Mtbdialed: lol - good catch!
  • 37 1
 “ After all, modern 1x drivetrains aren't exactly mentally taxing to operate”

I reckon they got all the shimano engineers in a room and made them watch tiktok , from this they deduced the human race is f*cked and will need any help it can get
  • 9 7
 @FMHUM: logic has no place here on pinkbike, sir! the only responses accepted are those from the jealous insecure pinkbike populace.
  • 4 2
 Staggered or inline pegs? Mimic an mtb, or just make it what is supposed to be?
  • 4 1
 @vinay:

"To safely do manuals I recommend reading books or videos on how to manual such as;

- Manuals For Dummies
- The Power To Manual Is In You
- Manuals With John Tomac
- Manual of Manuals
- The Manual Bible

And other literature that will enable you to learn manuals. Once you learn how to manual, you can then move on to more advanced skills like jumping, technical climbing, and observed trials riding."
  • 3 0
 God I am thankful for this post. Amen brother
  • 6 0
 @nickfranko:

Hmm, what if the crank length is 1.5mm, would it qualify as bicycle technically?
Then just mount pedals that happen to look like pegs...
  • 6 0
 @vinay: The manual for automatic manuals should be written manually by a guy named Manuel.
  • 3 0
 @mkul7r4: Automatic Mannies: by Manny Manuel
  • 9 0
 I like bicycles, not this kind of "bicycle thing".
  • 3 0
 @rippinrob: true, "meta biking" abbreviated would still be "mtb"
  • 2 0
 @chakaping: automatic steer ftw!
  • 1 0
 Maybe a Anti-OTB safety feature also?
  • 3 5
 Does being a supercilious holier than thou kinda guy come easy, or you have to work at it?
  • 4 2
 @IronWheel: you tell him. Guys like him are ruining the trails!
  • 5 1
 @kiwidoc: I've been training for this my whole life
  • 2 1
 This is the typical old trope and borderline trolling, yet still I upvote. And if anybody uses the word "analog", so help me...
  • 8 0
 @Mtbdialed: We are taking E-bikes, so it’s Emanuel
  • 2 9
flag skippy888 (Apr 15, 2023 at 0:12) (Below Threshold)
 Dude, buy a moto then. The idea of when the motor turns off is usually because you don't need it. "pedaling automatic?" on a DH section? I'll see you on Friday fails.
  • 1 0
 That last statement put a proper smile on my face. I read it as if you spoke with dry satirical monotone, and it was perfect.
  • 1 0
 actually it could hav been a good ideas untill you gave pegs to it and it got fuked
  • 1 0
 @vinay: they already have wheelie-control for motorcycles....why not with e-mtbs? It'll happen soon enough.
  • 2 2
 In my defense, The post I referenced was about not being able to time his pedaling due to the power of the moped that he uses on mountain bike trails. He then manicures the trails so that the moped can go wherever mountain bikers already enjoy.
  • 2 0
 @IronWheel: y’all need to get over it lolol.
  • 2 0
 @jokermtb: Oh, that sounds scary. What if someone is so used to relying on that system, gets on a bike without and forgets about that for a second.

Either way, I was talking about manuals, not wheelies. What's the opposite of a wheelie? A caterpillary, footy, wingy?
  • 6 0
 @IronWheel: This is why organizations like IMBA are so critical to the future of the sport. Without properly groomed climbing trails and flow downhill trails, things like rocks, obstacles, or trails steeper than 2% grade hinder access to the mountain, and also cause erosion. Without IMBA safeguards, the occasional rut might form, and trails could get dangerous!
  • 2 2
 @hamncheez: Funny, I'd say the opposite. Tight trails, lots of corners, roots and rocks are what prevents erosion. Wide flow trails where people can develop a lot of speed without any skill yet who grip the brakes hard at the mere sight of something challenging causes more erosion.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: Ignoring that hamncheez's reply was obviously sarcastic, you're right.

There's a reason trails in Squamish and North Shore hold up a lot better than most, especially compared to the stuff in Bellingham and the Seattle area. I've noticed Squamish descending speed (on sanctioned trails) is often limited below 15mph due to all the fun jank-ridden features, whereas a bit further south it's pretty easy to be going 20-25+ on any given trail. Unsanctioned trails need not apply. I personally love how North Shore trail is built and buffered against erosion, though I know that's not everyone's type of riding fun.
  • 1 0
 @corposello: Yeah, I was aware it was sarcastic but I also feel it is mentioned too little so I just took the opportunity to point it out. Every "highway" ends somewhere it is where people suddenly feel the need to decelerate for a corner or whatever they feel can't be ridden fast is where you get braking bumps, erosion etc. And these very roots and rocks keep the dirt from flowing away, plants (so whatever grows next to the trail) regulates the moisture. Wide, groomed and cleared sections may look pretty to some but they're just a nightmare from a maintenance point of view. Nothing necessarily against pedal assist in this discussion, but it has increased the number of places where people can exhibit such behavior (go too fast, then brake too hard). It can be so easy. Keep the trail tight, twisty and keep the roots and rocks in place. You may end up going slower overall, but you'll continue to be entertained. I definitely think this is the way this sport can be sustainable. Not elitist by any means. Anyone can learn to ride slower tech stuff in a safer manner than one can learn to have fun on wide and open trails.

As for your comparison between those trails, I've not ridden there but aren't the Squamish and North Shore area wetter than Bellingham and Seattle? Often wetter areas grow a vegetation that does a better job at keeping the top soil together (as they don't bother to go deeper as the water is already at the top) whereas the roots of plants in a drier climate claw deeper and don't necessarily hold the top soil that well. So you have fewer roots near the surface but the surface also doesn't hold up that well under intense traffic.
  • 3 2
 @hamncheez Electric motorcycles in disguise, just to people can ride trails motorcycles can’t.
  • 1 0
 @nrpuk: rawr! Argh! Why I oughta!
  • 109 4
 I am waiting for the bike that rides itself and I can watch it from the trailhead while sipping on a beer
  • 88 0
 Sorry to tell you, but you have to ride your bike yourself. The AI unit got too intelligent and took your beer instead.
  • 65 2
 Those are called having kids.
  • 10 2
 @hamncheez: awesome! Have one due anytime now
  • 14 4
 @a-b-c: Congrats! First year isn't the most fun, but at age 1 they start walking and talking and it becomes legit really fun.
  • 15 24
flag valrock (Apr 14, 2023 at 8:56) (Below Threshold)
 @hamncheez: whatever you tell yourself to justify it bro Big Grin
  • 11 4
 @valrock: Y'know what's fun all the time? Traveling the globe with my mountain bike, speaking new languages, meeting new friends, riding new trails, eating new food Smile
  • 18 3
 @valrock: If it wasn't tons of fun, I would have stopped at one. Seriously tho, raising kids isn't that hard and its really fulfilling and fun. Kids are hilarious.
  • 1 0
 A drone stuck on the ground.
  • 2 1
 @hamncheez: I don't believe you. I think you just like pain... which brought you to mountain biking Big Grin
  • 81 11
 STOP THE MADNESS AND JUST MAKE A GEARBOX THAT SHIFTS UNDER LOAD ALREADY
  • 1 0
 Valeo Cyclee
  • 3 0
 I am unsure if we will ever see a powershift gearbox on a bike. The mechanical hurdles are very high. Just having a few more gearbox compatible frames is all I ask for.
  • 14 4
 This development goes into a completely different direction. Are you just always shouting GEARBOX when anything related to drivetrains comes up.
  • 14 1
 For a derailleur system, Linkglide might be the closest you can get to a gearbox in reliability, mud performance, and durability. The whole Linkglide system is based around making the drivetrain last: fewer gears, wider cassette teeth, tougher chain, etc.

The whole reason Shimano is even making auto-shifting tech is that this particular groupset shifts so well under load it doesn't even matter if you're mashing 300 watts with an e-bike motor mid-shift.

I'm purchasing the 9-speed, 11-46t, Linkglide groupset soon, and I fully intend on treating it like a DH groupset for my quiver-killer. Don't sleep on CUES/Linkglide, auto-shifting is silly but these drivetrains are legit.
  • 4 3
 You do it smart guy.
  • 2 0
 YESSSSSSS .
  • 2 0
 That’s what srams new transmission system does.
  • 1 0
 This is just nonsense. Put the gears inside the motor housing. Epicyclic gearbox.
  • 2 0
 @ryanandrewrogers: That is one way of viewing it. Another one would be to think that Shimano decided automatic shifting was what we needed, and then broke so many chains and cassettes with their new invention that they made a burlier version, so it was not a mess
  • 30 3
 I'm holding out for Tesla to make a bike. It will have auto shifting, driving (no pedalling), and even steering. I could just sit there then like a dummy and look around and admire the scenery as my bike takes me on an adventure through the woods. Don't even have to break a sweat then!
  • 51 4
 Plus undocumented features like: spontaneously catching fire, it will occasionally steer you into a tree, or sending photos of you dropping a load in the woods to Tesla for them to turn into internet memes.
  • 6 0
 It’ll have shred mode too. Which fat people with think can actually make them shred
  • 4 0
 I once rode along in a Tesla. It has a pretty big display allowing you to put the fart cushion exactly where you want it. Impressive shit. With the expansion of the brand, does this also mean that you can now make these blue birds fart?
  • 1 0
 Can't wait to have a 30 inch screen mounted on my handlebars!
  • 2 0
 And it would set itself on fire without touching it - and that is a bonus!
  • 1 0
 According to Elno thats already been made. Gonna be realeased as an appendage to his pick up, which is also very ready to be released. Soon. Just ask.
  • 4 0
 Elon says it's in the works and will be fully operational in 2024. Won't actually work until 2034.
  • 28 2
 Cranky old man grumbling about e-everything aside, pretty cool tech. WAAAAYYY more fiddling with electronics than I'd ever want, but cool for those who are into it.
  • 7 1
 I agree with you, cool tech but I mountain bike to get away from the electronics including my semi smart phone. No way I'd have electronic shifting or an ebike. You can hold me to that statement, even when I'm older than my current 50 year body.
  • 9 1
 Absolutely agreed. This is the most sane comment ive read so far. You don't think it's for you but you can appreciate the innovation and changes that are inevitably coming into our lives and I massively respect that. The people who just shit on new technology because its "electric" and "electricity is unreliable" is sad. Electronics have come a LONG way. I have GX axs on my bike and it really truly has been flawless, far more reliable than any wired shifting system i've ever used. Not everyone will have that experience and thats okay but it's kinda frustrating hearing all these people complaining about something they can simply just choose not to use.
  • 3 1
 @abotchway: not to be sarcastic or flippant but have you been paying attention to people?
Flipping out seems to be a normal reaction to nearly everything these days.
Re: Bud Light, M&M's, you know.... the important stuff.
  • 21 1
 There are few things I want less than automatic shifting.
  • 13 0
 Just wait until you hear about headset cable routing...
  • 21 3
 This does NOT have the presidential stamp of approval.
  • 31 14
 If an ebike didnt make you lazy enough...
  • 9 3
 so it is just a fancy scooter
  • 3 2
 Ever carried an ebike over a stile?
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: Hey, an e-bike needs a big ass battery to power the big ass motor that is needed to power the bike. Of course that means the bike gets kinda heavy, so it needs a bigger motor to power it and that means a bigger battery is needed to power all that extra weight. So, yeah.
  • 25 12
 The PB faithful seem ignorant to the reality that 95% of new bike development will be based around e-bike development. Next up will be a combination motor/ gearbox mounted at the center of the bike.
  • 23 0
 we know that mate, thats why
  • 3 1
 As long as they split it off to be a gearbox without a motor I’ll like it.
  • 19 0
 You know, for a lot of people, they just want a bike that doesn't cost more than a downpayment on a house. Would be nice if they focused development more on doing what a bike needs to do (forget all this auto shift, wireless, live valve crap) and getting the costs down on mountain bikes so you don't have to sell a kidney.
  • 3 0
 @trillot: the reason evolution gave you two kidneys even it knew the costs of stuff would be increasing forever
  • 2 1
 I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again - as soon as they stop putting cranks on those things, and provide another way of engaging the throttle than having to pretend to pedal, I’ll be interested.
  • 11 0
 If shimano just left off the auto shift feature everyone on pinkbike would be praising it rn. Link guide and free shift are legit worthwhile innovations but comment section won’t be able to get past a feature you’re not required to use.
  • 11 0
 As someone who prefers to drive a manual transmission car, and is disappointed by the relative scarcity of them these days, I’m not looking forward to the future where I have narrow down my bike options by which ones have a manual transmission…

However, this is really cool tech and I am cautiously excited. As long as the option remains to have full manual shifting, I’ve got no qualms. I’m sure this was also a really interesting and exciting project for the engineers to work on.
  • 5 0
 In a sports/race car i want manual shifting, in a daily driver its hard to deny how good automatic shifting is. If be fine with an auto transmission on a beach cruiser or commuter, I would never want it on my mtb.
  • 4 1
 That's exactly the point all those 'let people ride what they want' sayers fail to see: embracing this will forever change bicycles as we have always known them. We are tossing away all that made bicycles so great in the first place: simple, relatively uncomplicated fun, easy and cheap to maintain, lasting for years, decades even.
here in The Netherlands bikes are rapidly becoming the norm for school going kids, and I f*cking hate it. Parents will no longer be able to just buy a reasonably priced, decent-ish bike for their kid (that will be heavily used and abused in the school life), but they will need to fork out big money for an ebike, and the maintenance costs won't be pretty either.
Such a shame.
  • 1 0
 Well we gotta be climate neutral asap. So enjoy shifting cars while you still can.
  • 12 0
 My 3 year old derailleur already auto shifts every time I back pedal in the largest cog.
  • 2 0
 Add spacers till it doesn't
  • 7 0
 I'm skeptical, but I REALLY like the idea of it keeping me in the optimal gear on descents so I can pedal out of corners better.
  • 15 0
 Yeah, that feature and the ability to shift while coasting are the two that I think most mountain bikers would appreciate. Mick Hannah was at the press camp, and he said for ebike racing he typically sets his bike up to auto shift while coasting, and then manually shifts while pedaling. This stuff's obviously not for everyone, but there are some interesting tidbits that I think could have a broader appeal.
  • 2 0
 A pretty cool next step would be a GPS "talking" to the auto shift, always in the right gear with gps grade and turn information.
Ducks, waiting for thrown rocks
  • 1 4
 @mikekazimer: that should be outlawed like active suspension in F1.
  • 9 5
 In 1958 my brother and I built our first skateboard. We took metal skates, split them in half, put two wheels on the front and two wheels on the back of a 24 inch long 2x4. We rode the crap out of them until mom took them away because we were always getting hurt. Many years later they came up with flexi boards and poly wheels but that was cheating. Real skateboarding was what we did.
  • 6 0
 Calling it "Free shift" for manual because they will charge .03 cents per shift in the future for auto shift. Brilliant subscription service idea.
  • 7 1
 GASP! What will they think of next? Before you know it, these mountain bikes will have full suspension and disc brakes…JUST LIKE A MOTORCYCLE!!!
  • 5 0
 I saw some Pinion Prototypes with electrical shifting and also automatic shifting. Automatic shifting makes much more sense in a gearbox and from what I´ve heard they work quite well. Can´t wait to see them be available.
  • 8 4
 It's not for me, don't see the need for it. That said, I am wondering who the core mountain bikers are? Do you need a Klunker to be a core biker? Or is it ok if you have a rigid 2x8? Oh wait, what about an elastomer suspension fork? Is that alright for you core bikers? Maybe it's ok to have a 1x and a dropper... What about tubeless? 29'r, Mullet? 800mm wide bars? You core bikers always find your best day and stay there. That's what you do... Just like 58 year old's listening to nothing later than dirty deed done dirt cheap. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Live your life, stay in your lane. Live and let live.
  • 13 8
 I reckon the innovation in the industry has stagnated to such a degree because all these companies dumped their engineering and r&d hours into e-bike silliness
  • 6 22
flag mcozzy (Apr 14, 2023 at 8:40) (Below Threshold)
 Same reason Sony don't have engineers working on black and white TV sets. Flintstones bikes are obsolete.
  • 11 0
 @mcozzy: still see plenty of mini humans Fred-ing it around the pump track
  • 6 1
 Auto-shifting is definitely silly but you guys are discounting the practical innovation (Linkglide) than enabled this for Shimano. Linkglide is all designed around durability and load-shifting, by using wider teeth profiles and fewer speeds on the cassette. They even incorporated a stronger chain into the system to handle the power an e-bike can put down.

I don't give an eff about e-bikes or auto-shifting, but I'm sick and tired of breaking drivetrain bits. That 9-speed, 11-46t Linkglide that you can shift while pedaling your arse off sounds like my dream drivetrain
  • 3 0
 For years Shimano has been obsessed with the idea that more people would ride bikes if they didn't have to "figure out" how to shift.

I can't reconcile that with why they are targeting the enthusiast price point. I can't see the average person saying that they would pay $5000 for a bike they didn't have to shift.

Maybe Shimano will get there for the non-eBike market when they combine Di2 with power meters. Wait, let me patent that idea first.
  • 1 0
 Targeting me, willing to pay that much to build up a stupid proof bike for my wife…
  • 1 0
 @rubberbutter “she’ll never know the difference.”
  • 8 2
 My singlespeed has had automatic shifting for decades
  • 6 1
 Stuck in first gear, you mean.
  • 6 0
 @mi-bike: 2 speed: Pedaling and walking. Plus occasionally pedaling and yelling in displeasure as knee cap disintegrates.
  • 5 3
 So, what’s next? SRAM licensing PDK from Porsche?

Seriously however, growing up as a “4 (or 5) on the floor” guy, I can never ever see myself using this until I’m well into my cognitive decline. However, there are people I love who are challenged by even a can opener and I can see this being a winner for them.
  • 3 1
 In the future I envision bikes that have all plug in parts and no wireless. The dropper lever and brake levers plugs into the bars, the bars, stem and headset connect to the frame via some new connector port and have internal connections to the calipers, shifters and dropper. No more shifter, the hydraulic brake controllers are stored within the frame, no reservoirs on the levers. Heck the frames will come with a chip inside of it that handles the automatic shifting and hydraulic brake triggers. I bet the dropper lever will be a button attached to the grips which also have to plug into the bars.
  • 5 0
 My ebike buddies don't shift, they just play with the pedal assist + - buttons.
  • 5 0
 Sorry Kaz. Just went straight to the comments on this one. Not disappointed.
  • 5 0
 From a tech standpoint this is ridiculously cool, from any other standpoint it's just ridiculous
  • 1 0
 You know in films, where the person puts the (normally American) auto car or truck into drive, to let it go off on it's own and crash into the bad guys, or a police station or something...
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer, if you've still got access to this stuff, could you please plug the shifter and derailleur into a normal sd300 di2 battery without the motor and see if it works for just regular shifting?
  • 2 0
 As little as I care for this specific piece of tech since I dont have an e bike and dont plan on getting one, its still pretty damn impressive !
  • 7 4
 I try not to hate things just because they’re new. But I hate everything about this. F*cking gross, I want to gag.
  • 8 7
 Ah sir/madam, you seek a motorbike, not a mountain bike. Please feck off to your nearest Honda showroom Smile Want to bet they have ABS next......oh wait..... Fxxk off ebike industry.
  • 2 2
 MTB is a performance gear sport. Does anyone in motor sports have an automatic? Genuinely curious. I would not like the idea of an automatic shifter aside from fireroad climbs. I suppose with an ebike it would be less of a big deal, but on technical climbs it sounds terrible, but I guess you could do full manual then. Maybe it'll be amazing, but the luddite in my isn't stoked. How about an ebike system that powers an auto clutch for a gear box that needs maintenance like every three years?
  • 2 1
 Drag racers commonly use automatics.
  • 1 0
 Not quite automatic, but f1 racers use paddle shifters with no clutch, so not too far from being automatic in some peoples opinions.
  • 2 5
 @Darwin66: f1 ‘drivers’ don’t actually drive the cars , a bloke in a truck with his laptop does that , the ‘drivers’ are just puppets like stingray or thunderbirds , but more dim
  • 2 0
 @pedro46: I hope you know more about bikes than you do F1.
  • 1 0
 I'm hoping these become the normal and then 25 years after that will only be automatic shifting bikes and then manual shifting bikes will never be stolen because people don't know how to ride them.
  • 1 1
 All ebikers have daddy issues, trust me I am one... But when I'm out in the woods on my adaptive cycle, getting rad with my boyfriends, accept no substitute. So when you see me out whirring along with a drill motor up my ass please be mean to me, cause I deserve it!
  • 2 2
 All I see is another EXPENSIVE rear DERAILLEUR that could get damaged on a ride and I’d seriously consider a DERAILLEUR GUARD!…
Like the one made by www.geohandguards.com
It’s a helmet for your DERAILLEUR and only $30.00
And it’s a INSURANCE POLICY for your next ride!
  • 3 0
 Can’t wait to put this on my Yeti!!
  • 1 0
 Shifting unexpectedly, especially under load, is the last thing I would ever want my bike to do. I can even comprehend how this is a good idea for a mountain bike!
  • 4 2
 come on shimano, just do a new Di2 for regular bikes. No one cares about this
  • 3 5
 I once made the mistake of spending money on a mtb Shimano Di2....
  • 6 3
 Mtb is becoming two sports one for normals and one for the rich.
  • 9 2
 my willingness to own an ebike or electronic components has nothing to do with money
  • 4 0
 every sport does that! golf started as some Scots hitting a stuffed cat intestine with sticks.....lol
  • 10 0
 @Mtbdialed: nah, that's their national dish, you must be mixing stories XD
  • 1 1
 @iiman: f*ckin'el mate.....why you gotta do them like that? Big Grin
  • 6 2
 this is disgusting
  • 3 0
 and yet, it still has WIRES.
  • 4 1
 There is nothing I want to buy less than this product.
  • 1 0
 This is a lot of work and effort to still have a vulnerable derailleur and a relatively heavy cassette all hanging off the back of the swingarm.
  • 2 3
 I quite like the way that my brain actually tells my thumb to press the shift lever on my std XT drivetrain so I can change into a different gear , if gives my brain something to do while riding …..also the extra brain capacity that that generates enables me to use my legs and turn the crank so I can move along instead of relying on a battery power - sorry I mean motorcycle power , oops wrong word or am I not allowed to say the EBIKES ARE MOTORCYCLES…..
  • 3 0
 My $10,000 ebike can now cost me 13,000???? Did I get that right???
  • 2 0
 the real question is, does this new Xt clutch last longer than the pre-existing xt clutch.
  • 1 0
 Can someone please tell me why Shimano has not fully developed a wireless shifting system to compete with AXS? Or have I missed something that is in the works?
  • 1 0
 e bike already have battery, EV bikes are most Growing Market, and revenue generating product, basically whatever generate more revenue will get development
  • 3 3
 Ebikes are good for the invrironmen, ya know the thing. Auto shifting ebike are gooder. They told me there would be ice cream here...where's the ice cream?
  • 3 4
 I wonder which manufacturers are going to spec this in the MTB world, this product is clearly aimed a little bit more for trekking/city ebikes.

Shimano motor only, not wireless and still a whole generation behind SRAM.
  • 3 2
 that first picture... highlighting that the spindle comes pre-corroded? rad
  • 2 0
 Im surprised these companies haven’t released a cvt yet.
  • 2 0
 Gearbox IN the motor....why is everyone dancing around this???!?!?!!?
  • 2 0
 I hate this automatically
  • 3 1
 Motorcycles aren't even automatic transmission.... Is it April 1st?
  • 1 0
 Please make my bike do everything for me, I can't bear to do any of it myself...
  • 2 0
 perfect for beer runs
  • 2 1
 Amazing product. I want it.
  • 1 0
 What bikes are available to purchase in the USA with this?????
  • 3 1
 The fail of the article, or shimano, a list of bikes available now with this system. I like it and I am surprised so much negativity around it here. I don't think I 'need' this, but, I do have friends who are new to riding MTB and could benefit from a system like this, would love for them to try a demo or something.
  • 5 0
 @yakimonti, I’m still waiting for an answer to that question myself - I’ll update the article one I get a response.
  • 1 0
 I’d like to select one of the “select bikes”
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: @Tigergoosebumps

Orbea Rise M-Team 2023 has the auto-shift - but with HG-12, not LG-11
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: @Tigergoosebumps

Correcting myself - the Rise has freeshift - but not auto.
  • 4 5
 @mikekazimer - Did Pinkbike take that first photo?!?! Sure looks like some corrosion and maybe a broken spindle at the hole they so wisely drill into the splines!
  • 5 0
 That photo was from Shimano, but I'm pretty sure that's just some dirt you're seeing - I zoomed in on the hi-res version and that's what it looks like to me.
  • 1 0
 TBH, automatic shifting while coasting sounds awesome to me
  • 1 0
 I just want to ride my bicycle
  • 2 0
 What about auto braking
  • 1 0
 So now the bikes have joined Skynet.
  • 1 1
 Once again shimano, an obscure product that misses the mark, way too late into the game.
  • 1 0
 Still waiting for self-riding bikes
  • 16 16
 This isn’t mountain biking..
  • 13 1
 THIS IS SPARTA!
  • 3 0
 When the time comes that their ebike specific tech blots out the sun, then we shall cycle in the shade
  • 4 0
 No! This is Patrick!
  • 1 3
 if its in fully automated mode do we need to stiffen the cranks? Or will they flop around disconnected to the system?
I am very confused.
  • 1 3
 I'm amazed anybody even gets off the couch these days..here u don't have to even move this automatic spoon feeding device will do the trick
  • 1 1
 Why are they using a slant parallelogram for a 1X11 system?
  • 5 5
 How lazy are people getting??? This is so unnecessary
  • 5 6
 Now you not only don't need strength, but you also don't need intelligence to ride an ebike.
  • 1 0
 Its a bike, intelligence shouldn't be that important.
  • 4 4
 Is this a mountain bike website or scooter space?
  • 1 4
 I'm looking forward to getting some shuteye or reading a book while a fully automated bike takes me on a cruise through the forest.
  • 7 1
 Does the millionth person to make this joke win something amazing?
  • 2 0
 @BenPea: its fresher than half the "acceptable" corny jokes on pinkbike.
  • 4 7
 Pretty neat, but still wouldn't buy a bike with a Shimano motor.
  • 10 9
 wouldnt buy a bike with a motor
  • 11 1
 @ilike01: I wouldn't buy a motor


(I identify as Amish)
  • 2 1
 Satanic>Amish
  • 3 2
 @mcozzy Why? I currently have an ep8 bike, while it has an annoying rattle that ive just come to learn is the way it is, its been super reliable, and the assist delivery is quite nice, compared to a former Bosch bike I had, and a levo before that.
  • 5 5
 @yakimonti: guys, i ride real mountain bikes, not motorcyles
  • 1 2
 I did. I still regret it. I also had an mtb with Di2 . A freaking disaster.
  • 2 0
 @yakimonti: that rattle does suck though. lol. I have an Obea Rise with it and I still haven't been able to tune it out....
  • 1 0
 @ilike01: I did, it's a Triumph!
  • 2 5
 Next step…. Automatic breaks
  • 16 0
 Soon to be followed by.... Automatic brakes
  • 2 1
 @mi-bike: right. automatic breaks are Box Components specialty!!!
  • 3 0
 The already have ABS so in theory it is possible....
  • 1 0
 That has been always available in shimano's electric stuff...
  • 2 2
 Shimano has it. Automatic bite point change.
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