Shimano’s Official Di2 XTR Launch

Feb 19, 2015
by Richard Cunningham  
 
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Riding the Palm Canyon Epic during day two of the Shimano Di2 XTR Press Launch.
PALM SPRINGS 2015:
Shimano Di2

























BY: R. Cunningham
IMAGES: Colin Meagher
With 21 miles of trail behind him, Shimano's Joe Lawwill takes in the scenery before leading out the final drop into town.

Palm Springs became a favorite winter resort for Hollywood's beautiful rich for good reason. Temperatures here rarely dip below 70 degrees and there is always a patch of blue sky peeking through when the rest of California is blanketed by angry clouds and pelted by rain. But, we didn’t come here to be seen at fancy restaurants or sip umbrella cocktails at swim-up bars. Palm Springs sits at the foot of Mount San Jacinto, one of Southern California’s tallest peaks. Mountains flank the city like a formidible wall of stone, and hidden within their folds is an extensive and little known trail network. We were here to put Shimano's electric Di2 XTR drivetrain to task in a very unforgiving desert environment.


Pivot mach 429 with Shimano Di2 and M9020 XTR components
Riding the Palm Canyon Epic during day two of the Shimano Di2 XTR Press Launch.

Shimano Di2 XTR
Di2 Press launch in Palm Springs CA


Pinkbike, along with a hand-picked cadre of editors from North American media outlets, were invited by Shimano to take possession of the bikes of our choice, outfitted with electric shifting Di2 M9050 XTR drivetrain components. The plan was to familiarize ourselves with Di2’s variety of options and tuning features, then ride and repeat until each of us found a configuration that matched our riding styles. While they were at it, Shimano pimped out the bikes with its Pro cockpit accessories and its huge-for-Shimano, 24-millimeter inner-width, XTR Trail wheelset. Without question, many in attendance were riding bikes that were more valuable than their daily drivers.


What We learned at Shimano Di2 Camp

Di2 for XTR was launched last year, but Shimano took their time releasing it, presumably to be sure that its product and support were in place before the media started talking about it in earnest. We will post an extended review after we get sufficient time on Di2 on our home trails, but in the meantime, if you want the short version of how Shimano’s Di2 XTR gets to it on the dirt, it put in a very convincing performance. I chose a Pivot Mach 4 Carbon to test Di2, because I am familiar with the bike, and also because Pivot was on board with Shimano since the inception of Di2 and as such, was the first brand to integrate it into a frame design with internal wiring and a hidden battery. Pivot designed molded plastic ports where the wires enter or exit the frame - one kit for Di2, and another for cables and hoses. The installation looks very tidy.

Shimano’s contribution to the Pivot beyond its Di2 derailleurs and shifters was an entire XTR M9020 trail ensemble, including brakes with Freeza rotors (160mm R, 180mm F), a 36 by 26 double crankset, carbon-laminate Trail wheels, and pedals. The bar, stem, and saddle were Shimano’s Pro components. Suspension was all Fox Float Kashima, and Fox also kicked in the dropper posts. The entire bike, including the Shimano XTR Trail pedals weighed 12.52 KG (27.5 pounds), which was two pounds heavier than expected. Most of that excess heft was attributable to the enduro-weight Vittoria Goma TNT tires that Shimano selected to prevail against the desert's pointy plants, and rocks that glinted like knife blades.

RC with Di2 equipped Pivot Mach 4 2015
One Di2 XTR equipped Pivot Mach 4 Carbon with everything on it, please. PB's test bike is a one-off build with a complete Shimano kit. For the price curious, Pivot sells its Di2-equipped Mach 4, decked out with different accessories and wheels for $8999.
Programmable shift controls: Di2 can be configured to shift in a number of ways. I chose to use a conventional arrangement to begin with to establish a base line, with the downshift button on top and the up-shift button below on the right side and the opposite configuration on the left. Shimano representative Nick Legan plugged my bike into a laptop computer and ran me through some of the options available. Shimano's E Tube software is free and easy to use, with clear prompts and click-box toggles to switch functions.

Shimano Di2 XTR
The USB charging cord plugs into the back of Di2's handlebar-mounted mode indicator and is also used to program shift and suspension functions.
Shimano Di2 camp
Shimano representative Nick Legan sets up the shift buttons to emulate the functions of XTR mechanical thumb and trigger levers using a PC and E Tube software.

Any button can be used for any function. Nick said that some riders program both buttons to shift like paddles on a sports car – all up on one side of the bar and all down on the other. After giving the conventional arrangement a go, I opted to ditch the left shifter altogether and use the right lever to do all the tasks – which does not require any programming. Just tap a small button beneath the handlebar-mounted display twice to choose either of the two “synchronized” mode options. In 'synchro’ mode, hold down a button and Di2 will march all the way across the cassette, automatically choosing the most effective gear combinations, while making automatic cross-over shifts and trim corrections at the front derailleur. It’s pretty cool to watch.

Pivot mach 429 with Shimano Di2 and M9020 XTR components
E-Tube wires and Di2's compact shift selector controls make the front view as clean looking as the business end of a single speed.


Shifting Speed: Shifting speeds can be set in one of five options from “very slow” to “very fast” modes. In the two fast modes, the derailleurs get the job done in an impressively short time. Shimano says that riders with slow cadences, however, should avoid the faster shifting options, because the front changer can over-shift in extreme cases and derail the chain.

No Mac version yet: Presently, Shimano’s free E Tube Di2 software only works with later model PC computers. A Mac version is said to be in the works, but there is no date set for its release.

Display options: I despise hand-held devices, or any computerized thing that requires a long sequence of programming to set up. Fortunately, Di2 is not one of those. The handlebar-mounted display only lights up for an interval when a shift is called for, or when its mode button is pushed. While riding, the display indicates remaining battery life, which of the eleven cogs you are using out back, and which chainring you may have selected, but nobody gives a crap about that at 30kph on a narrow trail. The better use of the display is to switch shifting modes and make adjustments. Battery life is rarely a concern. Reportedly, burn times are averaging well over four months.

Two taps on the button cycles it through “manual” shifting mode, which allows the rider to hit any gear combination he or she wants; or to either “synchro one” or “synchro two” shifting modes, which are both pre-programmed to shift sequentially, using an optimized selection of the cassette and chainring sprockets. S-1 keeps the chain in the big chainring longer, while S-2 mode favors the small chainring when using the lowest gears.

Self-healing derailleur: There is also an emergency “saver” mode that restores the rear derailleur to life. Should a crash or an impact threaten the rear derailleur, it automatically disconnects from the power source and disengages the motor drive. Switching to the SV “saver” mode and holding the button down restores power to the rear mech and causes it to seek out its last position to restore accurate shifting.

On-the-fly adjustments: Holding the display button down brings up the lateral adjustment modes for the derailleurs. Tap one button to adjust right, the other to adjust left. Plus or minus numbers indicate how far you have moved the changer from zero position. It was very intuitive to learn and use.

Battery and UST charger: Shimano abandoned its clunky Di2 charger and instead, uses a USB-type interface that plugs into the handlebar display and functions as both a charging and a programming cable. The lithium ion Di2 battery comes in a slender, cylindrical version that can be slipped into a conventional frame’s seat tube or mounted externally, parallel to a water bottle on the down tube. The smaller, internally mounted battery option that Pivot uses allows frame designers to be more creative with where and how the battery is stashed in the frame. Pivot mounts the battery to a screw-in plate beneath the down tube of the Mach 4 to conceal the power source.

Pivot mach 429 with Shimano Di2 and M9020 XTR components
Shimano's shift buttons can be individually adjusted side to side from behind, programmed to shift up or down, and to operate either derailleur. I set my top button for down-shifts and the lower for up-shifts and replaced the left-side controls with the Fox dropper lever.

Pivot mach 429 with Shimano Di2 and M9020 XTR components
Pivot's screw-on exit port makes for a clean installation for the Di2 rear derailleur. I smacked mine hard in the rocks more than a few times and it never balked.

Shimano Di2 XTR 2015
Shimano says that its front changer sucks up the lion's share of the battery's life. Di2 can be easily programmed to operate as a one-by drivetrain - which reportedly doubles the lithium ion battery's burn time.
Riding the Palm Canyon Epic during day two of the Shimano Di2 XTR Press Launch.
The ease and accuracy of push-button shifting encourages riders to change gears in high-pressure situations where prudence and a mechanical transmission would dictate otherwise.


Noises, planned and otherwise: To provide feedback, Di2 shift buttons produce an audible click that can be sensed by the thumbs. Shimano also programmed in warning beeps; One beep to let you know when you have reached the end of the line and there are no smaller or larger cassette cogs available. Two beeps to warn that a double shift is next in line. Double shifts make a crunch and a snap as the powerful front changer switches chainrings and the rear mech moves the chain over two cogs. The beep at the lowest end is the most often heard - and Di2's most disappointing sound. The front changer’s motor is quite loud, while the rear mech’s is rarely noticed. What is never heard, though, is the rattle of the chain links on the front derailleur cage, as Di2’s computer makes quick and sure lateral compensations while the chain is being shifted across the eleven-cog cassette. Beyond the whirr of the servo motors, Di2 runs silently.

Optimized shift action: Because the derailleurs are controlled by a computer, Di2 moves the chain at a rate that optimizes the locations of the gates and ramps on the sprockets, so it can be shifted under full power without too much uttering from below. Good thing, because while becoming familiar with Di2’s two-button selectors, I shifted a handful of gears in the wrong direction more than a few times, and was forced to reverse back to my intended selection while mashing Shimano’s carefully profiled steel 11-speed chain against a paycheck’s worth of titanium teeth. Typically, my transmission party foul would take place on the face of a steep, techy climb, but Di2's recovery was swift, and the derailleurs could march through a handful of shifts quickly enough to keep me in the game.

Riding the Palm Canyon Epic during day two of the Shimano Di2 XTR Press Launch.


Consistent steps between gears: Shimano admits that there are a number of redundant gear selections within its 22-speed two-by-eleven drivetrain, but that is intentional. When in manual shifting mode, the rider can leave the front derailleur in either chainring and enjoy closely-spaced jumps that average close to 13-percent while shifting across the 11 by 40-tooth cassette. Using synchronized shift mode, Di2 preselects the transmission's most efficient gear combinations (it turns out that there are 13 of them) and jockeys the chain between the two chainrings, double-shifting both changers to avoid the draggy cross-chain options. Consistent steps between shifts take some of the workload from tired legs and gives the drivetrain a very precise feel on trail. In case you wanted to know, the cassette ratios are: 11-13-15-17-19-21-24-27-31-35-40T.



Di2 XTR Component Weights:

• Front derailleur (D-type): 115 grams
• Rear derailleur (GS): 289 grams
• System display: 30 grams
• Shift switch: 64 grams
• Battery Module: 51 grams

How Di2 components stack up against mechanical XTR:

• Front derailleur: Di2 is 5 grams lighter
• Rear Derailleur: Di2 is 68 grams heavier
• Shift lever: Di2 is 36 grams lighter (if you just use one, it is 136 grams lighter)
• Battery Module: 51 grams (extra item)
• System display: 30 grams (extra item)



Pivot Mach 4 Shimano Di2 battery port


Di2 First Impressions:
bigquotesWhen I tested the first Di2 Dura-Ace on the road, I was sure that I could shift a manual transmission equally well, but on pavement, there is more time to react and fewer distractions than one encounters riding on the dirt. After spending trail time on Di2 XTR, I don't think I could manually shift through a two-by-eleven transmission and consistently hit all the sweet gear ratios, and that's what Di2 does best. You still have to push the correct button, however, but the learning curve is short and I expect to be seamless with the new shifting configuration after a proper long-term review. I can say with surety that, after putting in a long day on desert singletrack, the reduced workload that Di2 shifting brought to the game was readily apparent. I was changing gears much more often, taking advantage of Shimano's cleverly crafted shifting sequence, which uses only 13 of the two-by-eleven's 22 available gears. The feel was distinctly Shimano, with over-the-top ergonomics and controls that seemed to always be at the ready. Still, I was left with some unanswered questions. One of which was: Why, with 22 gears available, does XTR M9050 only produce one click taller and one click lower than SRAM's XX1 does with only 11 speeds? Another was: Considering that Di2 can be controlled with a single shift pod, if there is no weight penalty, then why would there be any downside to running a two-by drivetrain over a one-by? Only time on the bike will provide those answers, so check back in a couple of months for the final verdict on Shimano's turning-point electronic transmission. - RC


RC on Pivot Mach 4 at Shimano Di2 launch




OPINION: Why Electric Shifting?



Mountain bike development has reached a fork in the road, where new bike buyers are being asked to choose new technologies and accessories that promise to make riding easier at the expense of reliance upon electronics and more complicated mechanical components, or to choose technology which has evolved in a linear progression, from cycling’s traditional more organically based mechanical roots. No single product better captures the essence of this crisis of opportunity than Shimano’s Di2 XTR.

Shimano made it absolutely clear at the launch that they had no intentions of ramming electric shifting down every mountain biker’s throat. Their up-to-the-minute, 11-speed mechanical M9000 and M9020 ensembles are proof enough that Shimano understands that the lion's share of today's elite mountain bikers are either unprepared, or unwilling to move forward with Di2. So long as riders call out for more refined mechanically-actuated drivetrains, Shimano will answer as it always has: first with XTR and later with mirrored technology in its more affordable groups. We have learned to trust mechanical shifting largely because of Shimano’s commitment to it, which begs the question: “Why would they move forward with a new, largely unpopular electric shifting system while they were ruling the world with their mechanical know-how?”
Riding the Palm Canyon Epic during day two of the Shimano Di2 XTR Press Launch.

The answer may be staring us in the face. The most oft’ quoted reasons for sticking with mechanical shifting are that it is simpler and that any good mechanic can fix it should the worst occur. But is that true today? Mechanical shifting systems may seem to be more easily understandable, but in the quest for perfect gear changes, the inner workings of trigger shifters have become more like timepieces, front changers are twisted like dowsing rods, sprockets have ramps and shifting aids that look like patterns on exotic shellfish, and the parts count of a modern mechanical drivetrain numbers near the hundreds. Most mechanics would not take the time to repair a broken shift lever or derailleur, even if the parts were available. Today’s mechanical shifting is the equivalent of the typewriter: human-powered, elegant, complicated, finely tuned, and somehow, evolution has made it reliable - I have one stashed somewhere, I think.

Di2 is actually a far simpler mechanism. Firmware replaces ratchets, pawls, bearings and springs. Software eliminates guesswork. Buttons replace levers, and a single wire connects all of Di2’s components. Servo-motors communicate with each other and precisely repeat each shift action, so human error is taken out of the loop. Di2 takes care of trimming the front derailleur, and it automatically makes the double shifts to avoid cross-chain situations. Di2 has far less parts, it can successfully operate in worse weather than its mechanical counterpart, and it can better survive crashes. But, the selling points of Di2 are applications that lie beyond the reach of a mechanical system.

If you want simple, Di2 can be programmed with two touches of its display key to shift through every useful gear, consecutively, using only the right-side buttons. Keep a shift button depressed and it will march through all 13 of the Di2’s useful gear selections. Lose the use of your right thumb? No worries. Download Shimano’s free software, plug in the USB charge cable and you can move all the functions to the left-side buttons. Shimano added options in there for remote suspension functions, and when a partner is chosen, Di2 owners will see the day when lowering your dropper post will automatically unlock your suspension’s pedaling platform and fully extend its travel - or vice versa. Di2 promises to do all those things and more with a pair of compact shift buttons and one internally routed wire. To duplicate those functions mechanically would add so many levers and cables to the front of the bike that it would look like a cheap Hollywood sci-fi prop.

So, we have made our way back to the premise of this sidebar. There are an equal number of riders who would choose a mechanical system for its perceived simplicity and reliability as there are potential customers who would not balk at replacing an electronic component if it failed, and who would gladly choose the no-brainer precision of push-button shifting. Certainly, for those who want all the extras, like one-touch shifting, remote droppers, remote suspension controls and the option to personalize those functions, Di2’s electronic solution represents the simplest way to achieve those ends. That said, those who prefer a more basic cockpit layout will not suffer an indigestible reduction in performance by sticking with mechanical shifting and one or two cable or hydraulically actuated remote accessories. The difference lies in the future of each strategy. Once each group has chosen their technology, it is doubtful that their paths will cross again.




View full-size and additional images in the feature gallery.



MENTIONS: @shimano, @pivotcycles, @vittoria
Must Read This Week

340 Comments

  • + 348
 I'm looking forward to the day when shift systems become self aware then start eliminating riders by making them miss shift off cliffs and into trees until we declare war with the bike machines and Rob Warner-ator is sent back in time to stop the madness. Dun dun dun duuun.
  • + 10
 ...so did the machines or man create Deadly Ned Overend (terminator in Magnum Pi's skin)?
Note to future humans, send friendly terminator back to 1986 and help Suntour build indexing into their new XC Pro shifters, that will change the course of this madness for sure..
  • + 13
 Was gonna comment, I'll be impressed when they hook it up to a power meter an make it automatic
  • + 1
 @bigtim I don't think that this will be possible in the near future. For example, the terrain I'm riding often has very steep lifts after steep downhill sections. I see the terrain coming and so I shift accordingly. A fully automated shifter would need to constantly monitor the required torque and adapt to that, making it somewhat reactive instead of proactive. On another note, right now, there are just a hand full of ANT+ power meters for mountainbikes available, and they are expansive as f****.
  • + 7
 The other cool thing they fail to mention about the Di2 setup is that it works with Fox's iCD system and there are indicators on the Di2 screen for its use. Plus you can use the Di2 systems battery to power the suspension servos and the shifters can be setup to control the iCD setup. Not that I will EVER be able or justified in getting such a setup....
  • + 8
 Here is one for the haters......electric assisted motors on the MTB....we are talking electronic shifting...to automatic transmissions....the next step is automatic pedalling...then is it a bike or a moto......Personally I could not give a sh.t...But I already have enough motorcycles, but my love for bikes is in its simplicity. K.I.S.S. and in this simplicity is the bliss and fun that I find myself when reaching the top of a mountain winded and energized with burning lungs and lactic filled muscules, to the sound of nature and a thumping heart.....I am good with that!
  • + 2
 Okay Waki. Start working on that movie!
  • + 4
 wireless shifting over wifi... your move sram
  • + 1
 Sram is working on the whole wireless road thing, not sure about mountain yet though.
  • + 31
 Wireless braking powered by Tesla's death ray using 4G communication (you only get 2GB of braking commands per month, Shimano charges $5 per extra GB after that - failure mode is no brakes). Complete with ABS and vectored braking - Only 1 lever needed - saves you 100grams!!
  • + 0
 nobody remembers the AUTOBIKE?
images1.americanlisted.com/nlarge/autobike-classic-175-owasso-americanlisted_22941901.jpg

i'd rather learn more about the trail network at palm springs also. did not know there was legit riding out there, but not at all surprised given the rocky/steep terrain.
  • + 5
 I'd watch that movie. "I need your clothes, your boots and look at the time!"
  • - 5
flag Quesadilla34 (Feb 19, 2015 at 14:54) (Below Threshold)
 This is pointless imo. All its gonna be is extra problems that don't need to be there, extra weight, and for what reason, to save your thumb that effort of clicking? A big party of mountain bikes is their pure mechanical beauty. No thanks
  • + 13
 I'm too busy upgrading my bike's software to read this article.
  • + 4
 Automatic bike transmissions will first be available in Texas, and they will come with a 36 cylinder ford f-950 pickup, an american flag and a cheeseburger
  • + 1
 Aha! Yesss! ....I knew there was a reason Tomac ran GS!
  • + 0
 I don't know about you guys but the simplicity of the og shifter is all you need! what if you take a biff and the shifter hits the ground? Force upon impact will surely disable a computer system much quicker than regular shifters. Oh yeah, and what if you want to go ride and the battery is dead? Totally takes away the peaceful aspect of biking in my opinion. The point is to get out there and get away from all that crap we consume so much of.
  • + 2
 For the battery to die you would have to neglect charging the system for almost 4 months.... Surely you can handle charging it 4 times per year under heavy use. In terms of simplicity, the one thing people never seem to pick up on is NO CABLES TO CORRODE! I have been working on Di2 equipment for a couple years now and the best thing about it is you never have to deal with cable stretch, and you never have to deal with the shifter "gumming up" and getting dull/ lacking accuracy. It's a system that I admit to being initially reluctant to use but have found over time that it's a system that appears to be more complicated but in fact, in terms of the maintenance it's way simpler. I am one of those people that tends to hate fancy new elctro-shiftron-o-matic BS, like in cars for example, nothing will replace a good ol' stick shift, for anything electronic takes away from the driving experience, but on bikes (which are my life in all ways) I have to say I have come to really like Di2. It is the future, but like cars, they will likely continue to produce high-end mechanical versions for many, many years.
  • + 97
 this is going to be the type of product that people hate till they try and realize its potential
  • + 18
 Ok so they have electric shifting now. That's fantastic! I wonder if a Bluetooth or wireless connection is possible to eliminate the cables... Then there is the question of: "will there be any delay of shifting without a cable that instantly delivers input to the derailleur?" Idk. Do I think they should try it out? Absolutely. How cool would it be to have your shifter and derailleur do their job without cables!? Less cable rub on your bike. Less weight. Now what about wireless brakes......
  • + 25
 I'm not really the biggest fan of electricity powered devices on MTBs but that picture with only two visible cables running from handlebars is simply beautiful compared to the mess we have to deal right now (brakes, mechs, seatposts, lockouts)...
  • + 2
 As long as they have a mechanical version of it, I'm okay with the it. And I'll be one of the people who would get a XT Di2 if it comes out. The sequential shifting sounds like the bees'knees.
  • + 1
 I see it the same way, it will be like an automatic gearbox in cars. The only problem I see is:
a) What happens if it stops working?
b) How difficult and how expensive is it going to be to fix it? (To replace a wire cost me about €5 - I paid my LBS to do it because I didn't have a spare one anyway).
  • + 4
 mooseman414 "will there be any delay of shifting without a cable that instantly delivers input to the derailleur?" - the answer is yes, and always, at least 3 nanoseconds (exact value will depend on the frame size). Signals cannot propagate faster than the speed of the light. Source: special relativity, author: A. Einstein Razz
  • + 4
 Meh I wouldn't want wireless. And in a 2x setup you'd have to have 3 different batteries to charge. Screw that.
  • - 3
 If i read the article correctly when the battery dies you can still mechanically shift like a normal drivetrain, which is pretty cool if yuh ask me. I wouldnt buy it yet, but i would give it a go and it doesnt sound overly complicated.
  • - 3
 The battery suck on wireless is huge considering trying to keep weight to a minimum. Battery technology would have to improve. Also, the derailler and shifter would have to be smart a la cpu unit adding even more weight. In the next few years it's possible with the weight restrictions.
  • + 2
 its always the case. try before you judge it?
  • + 1
 hmm I don't think that indicator thingy would last very long for me, but I'd seriously like to try it on a XC bike.
  • + 44
 “Grandpa?”
“Yeppers?”
“Is that you in the photo?”
“Yep.” Chuckles. “I used to be quite the shredder back in the day.”
“What are those?”
“What?”
“Those extra cables criss crossing your bars.”
“Oh. Those. Well, everything was mechanically driven back then, steel wires inside of plastic housing that actuated a d… Never mind. The point is, we needed those extra cables to shift gears.”
  • + 35
 “Seriously?
“Yeppers. Funny thing is, most riders considered mechanical drivetrains simple to use and maintain.”
“Were they?”
“Hell no! You grandma almost divorced me over the hours I spent in the garage trying to adjust the damn things so they would shift right.”
“Wasn’t their wireless tech back then?”
“Sure there was. Not as advanced as what you young’uns have now, but even for back then the tech was pretty solid. Low power requirements, encrypted, and reliable.”
“So why didn’t you have wireless shifting?”
  • + 27
 “Well, the market timing wasn’t just right, so the component industry dragged their heels.”
“Why?
Sighs. “You have to understand son. People are naturally change averse. A small portion of ‘purist’ riders hated the idea of complicating things by adding “electronics” to their bikes. And to grow their ranks of dissenters they relied on FUD ta”
“FUD?”
“Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt son.”
  • + 30
 “As I was saying, they relied on FUD tactics to convince others that change was bad.”
“Like what kind of FUD tactics Grandpa?”
“Let me think. Well, they used to tell people that they might get stuck miles from home if their battery died. Or that someone would hack their wireless in a race. Or that it would be more complicated for the beginner, which was the biggest lie of them all.”
“So what happened?”
  • + 25
 “You can’t hold back progress son. People came around in time. Hmmm… The early adopters suffered a lot of ridicule and scorn though.”
“Were you an early adopter Gramps?”
“No, I had quit riding by the time the market was ready. Your dad was an early adopter though. Run along now and talk to him about it. He can tell you all about it.”
“Thanks gramps!”
  • + 6
 lol nice.
  • + 3
 I was all for wireless until I saw the battery stuff going on with SRAM's wireless road group.. Right now, it makes more sense to have a wire just to make it easier to use one battery, & hide it in the frame, I think. I could see making the shifter's connection to head unit wireless, though, to avoid wires on the handlebars. you should be able run the shifters off a coin battery for years, they're a glorified remote keyfob.
  • + 1
 Well the shifter has to send and receive (thus listening for radio waves) so batt life will not be the same as a keyfob. .. unless you designed the system so that the rear der doesn't give any feedback to the shifter etc.
  • + 1
 That can all be done at the head unit(I think it already is, actually.) all the shifter needs to do is send user input, just like a keyfob. it's the difference between having the shifter buttons be electrically connected to the head unit, like they are now, or including a small wireless transmitter inside them. battery life might be better than a keyfob, as it doesn't need as strong a transmitter.
  • - 3
 I like wires. Wireless just adds a potential issue where many people with any experience programing could hack into the signal via a cell phone and start shifting their friends bikes as well. Or worse, a competitor. It's not complicated at all, and done currently with other devices on wireless and Bluetooth. Every single high performance system, the world over, uses wires and redundancy to perform it's tasks within itself. For instance, a military drone has several redundant signals for control and feedback (using a GPS satellite AND a military communications satellite), and ZERO wireless control for the systems within itself. Same for F1, same for Jets, same for really anything: the mechanical/electrical systems are all driven via a wired signal, because it's the most reliable and not susceptible to outside influence. Wireless shifting is just a gimmick for people who don't know any better. defensesystems.com/articles/2014/08/15/drones-can-hack-wifi-networks.aspx
  • + 1
 the irony is obvious, and most unfortunate.
  • + 14
 this is going to be the product that everyone hates until they try it. realize it's pretty cool, and then figure out they can't afford it. then they hate it again
  • + 1
 It's nifty, cool sure, but i like mechanical, if I'm making it shift, j have total control, i don't wanna rely on yet another electronic that won't worrk perfectly
  • + 3
 I've had it for road, never missed a shift in 5 years. Im sure it will be good and you should have complete control over your shifting. As for price yes its insane, but eventually it will go down to something reasonable.
  • + 2
 Thorsbane - I like the term early adopters, especially when it comes to 650b wheels - those were the times! 2006 and proud of riding bikes like Haro with shtiest geo, suspension and tyres out there. Everyone else was enjoying minions, nobby nics and Spec SX Trail while you rode that crap foreseeing the "obvious" advantages of the larger wheels. I tell you one thing - it is the company pushing the risky new product that deserves credit for taking one for the team. Early adopters are guinea pig losers, sorry.
  • + 2
 @thorsbane - Sorry, did I hear you right? You spend hours adjusting your shifters? The only time I need to adjust cable tension is when I bend a derailleur hanger. And some fancy electronic shifter isn't going to stop that from happening.

Actually!!! (Light bulb goes off..) How would the system know if the hanger was positioned incorrectly due to a bent hanger?
  • + 4
 can we just get a gearbox instead of polishing a turd?
  • + 0
 Looks like the butthurt crowd is out in full force. I guess 12 year olds have a lot to learn about how shitty wireless controls actually are.

@iffy , you are right. But that won't change for a while. Got to milk the cow for what it's worth, first.
  • + 48
 Waste of resources. The bike industry needs to get the ball rolling on gearboxes and stop this dumb derailleur bs. You can polish a turd but in the end it's still a fucking turd.
  • + 2
 cant remember the exact name but honda had a DH bike for like one race with THE sickest internal gearbox i ever saw. and that was at least ten years ago.
  • + 5
 You're thinking of the Honda NR01. The 'internal gearbox' was just a gear mech and a cassette encased inside a box away from dirt and rocks. I guess it kept the weight a bit more central too and reduced the unsprung mass, but it was still just a gear mech. What we need is miniaturised sequential motorbike gearboxes in dirt/watertight cases!
  • + 1
 i thought they were all destroyed except for the few that were stolen? i wouldnt be advertising that too much just in case.
  • + 5
 I'm pretty sure the stolen ones were eventually recovered, and are now being worked on by top men.
  • + 7
 Who?
  • + 1
 The original Honda gear box bike used a ratcheting CVT style transmission - which is commonly used on variable speed conveyor belts. Only later did they move to a DiaB configuration (Derailleur in a box).

It was similar in design to this www.zero-max.com/adjustable-speed-drives-c-21-l-en.html
  • + 15
 Top. Men.
  • + 29
 In 2 years from now, SRAM will come out with 1x12 that's lighter weight and comes with colorful graphics to compete with this.
  • + 4
 In 4 years from now, Shimano will come out with a hybrid electronic/mechanical/hydraulic setup that uses an electronic indexed shifter, hydraulic line, derailleurs actuated by pistons, that uses the small internal wiring diameter to route the hydraulic line internally (naked inner tube in current brake lines), with ferrules and quick disconnects for the hydraulic lines. They will then make it premium by reducing the # of hydraulic lines it uses, by using modern fighter jet technology in the form of something similar to the pitch roll channel assembly.
  • + 10
 And two years from then Shimano will come out with a 2x12 and we will be right back where we started in the 90's with 3x8's...do the math, I still have mine so should I hang on to it, cause it will be all the rage again, maybe slap it on a 29er (or who knows then, maybe a 36er) and pawn it on PB.
  • + 11
 dude, sram's coming up with an electronic road groupset that uses wireless technology. no wires! that will keep shimano busy, haha.

www.bikerumor.com/2015/01/20/sram-wireless-shifting-caught-on-video-more-details-emerge
  • + 12
 Meanwhile, Sram issue another mass recall...
  • + 1
 I am surprised shimano released this with wires. Why not go Bluetooth?
  • + 9
 And in 3 years from now the derailleur will (hopefully) be obsolete as it will now be gearbox shifting...
  • + 7
 Shimano went wired because the battery lasts longer. WAY longer. Also they don't need to worry about shielding out interference from other sources.
  • + 4
 Also, the SRAM road set has something like 4 batteries (shifters, FD, RD).
  • + 5
 I'd rather have wires.
  • + 4
 The gearbox will never be the norm. It is not as efficient or light as our current system. When was the last time you broke a derailleur?
  • + 1
 See the discussion below about gearboxes.
  • + 8
 Both Shimano and Fox chose to avoid wireless because it requires a battery at every component, which dictates throwaway batteries or individual charging of each station. The coaxial cable that Shimano chose transmits digital information and also powers the system from one rechargeable source and thus, the system can be serviced, checked and charged from one input location. Shimano no doubt tested both strategies and reportedly, decided on e-Tube wires because it is simpler, more reliable and easier to service- reasoning that makes more sense for a racing environment. Warplanes use coax cables for the same reasons.
  • + 2
 @RichardCunningham Can you unplug the cables from each component? ie. if a cable gets damaged in a crash etc can you just replace the cable?
  • + 2
 @zephxiii yes you can replace every component. The whole thing is modular, which is pretty neat. Its just so damn expensive.
  • + 1
 @Varaxis that was funny
  • + 26
 I dont like electronics on my bike...
  • + 50
 Girls love it .. Bitches loves things with batteries Wink
  • + 8
 You carry a smart phone?

Electronics are becoming ubiquitous. As long as they use then intelligently it isn't so bad. Still want cables for week long epics though.
  • + 5
 I'm a viking, so no, I don't have a smartphone, and my computer is stationary.

So did anyone ever speak about a Di2 jammer? Remember seeing somewhere that the shifters sends frequencies on 802,3 Hz ??
  • + 7
 The shifters are not wireless.
  • + 2
 But the new SRAM ones are.
  • + 3
 I love the simplicity and reliability of mechanical sifting too, and I am actually really not excited about this in its current form, but I think there is potential in electronic shifting that maybe we will see some day.
The system is run off of software, and new software can be downloaded. Software can also be hacked. I think that's where things could get exciting. Hear me out now..lol
What is stopping an electronic shifter/derailleur from being very adaptable and future proof? If they release a 12 speed cassette, which is not that unlikely, could you not still use the same shifter and install an update or some sh*t like that? Maybe you could even program the same system for a 10 speed cassette. Its just a computer telling the servo's how far to go and in which direction.
None of us really hesitate to climb into a car/truck/bus/train/airplane that has a multitude of electronics going on around you operating dependably with much more at stake.
With where its at right now, I'm sure it's sick, but it just doesn't really offer an advantage in my opinion. If it gave me the ability to run whatever kind of cassette or ratio out back that could ever be conceived without ever having to swap anything more than the cassette, maybe even provide shifting to a gearbox some day in the distant future... That'd be pretty sweet and could prove to be a worthy investment if it ever gets there. That would be a real advantage over mechanical shifting for the average and professional user alike.
  • + 0
 Once someone comes out with a programmable wireless set up and I need a new ride(or want as is often the case) I will buy. Wires don't seem to solve a whole ton. Low power locked frequency units wouldn't be too difficult. Just can't shake the boat too much though, right?
  • + 1
 I am excited because it is an advancement. I don't think it is ready yet, but I look forward to seeing improvements.
  • + 2
 @Metacomet do some googling, people have already done all sorts of hacks to road Di2. Think I even saw a 10sp mod(I think somebody wanted it for cyclocross.)
  • + 4
 When I was riding the Lapierre Spicy Team at their press launch, I wanted to hate the Ei suspension, but it was amazing. After riding it for two days with zero worries, I wanted it. Same with the Di2 stuff that was on my photographer's bike at this launch; it was pretty damn good. I tried a few cross shifts to see what would happen and the computer system flawlessly compensated shifts to give me the same gearing but without the cross shift. And just being able to press and hold the shifter button and have it drop (or add) multiple gear shifts without having to repeatedly stab the button was sweet in the technical stuff with 25 lbs of camera gear on my back.
  • + 3
 That's interesting, as I rode an Ei bike, as well as a Di2 (a mach 4 actually, natch) at test a month or so ago. I liked the Di2. The Ei, on the other hand, not so much. Look, I'm not a guy who generally wants a silent bike, I have Hope hubs, never really hated chainslap to the extent some people do, live with squeaks, etc. That Ei, though, was noisy enough to annoy even me, & I came in excited about the idea, too. I think it really had to do with how much it was working, it really never shut up. whizz whirrrr whizz whizz constantly.
  • + 0
 @Bikelover079:I cant agree with you only more...i hate those electronics on my bike.i love mechanics only ...
  • + 17
 Usually i would argue that anything electronic should never be allowed on a bike. BUT i'm amazed by this. I can see now why shimano took their time in coming to the market with a competing product to sram 1x11 and although we probably wont be seing this on many bike manufactures list of standard equipment if you consider this as Shimanos flag ship range and srams xx1 as theirs its clear who is ahead of the game. im not sure how many people actually watched the youtube video on the cross/double shifting but i for one found the efficency of this system all be it on paper to be brilliant. I look forward to the long term test results and i will be keeping my fingers crossed that it works as well as Shimano hope.
  • + 5
 Well said. It's the kind of technical innovation that only Shimano could pull off, and I think the market and riders would expect them to be the leaders with products like this. That video is awesome.
  • + 8
 keep in mind, it's been tested by quite a few people now: XX1 cassette + Di2 XTR works with zero problems, so in a way, this is just as good for the 1x crowd, too. That's how I'll run it when price comes down into my bracket.
  • + 15
 it's going to come to a point when you can link di2 to your smart phone use the shifter to skip music , take calls while browsing you porn the futures looking bright
  • + 14
 Hey guys, I just ordered a pizza with my shifters. It'll be waiting at he trailhead.
  • + 3
 Hey guys, wait up. My hard on gets really uncomfortable now...
  • + 3
 I want a vibrating and blinking dildo coming out of my dropper post, through my Selle Flite Flow seat into my bum, at all times when the chain is on granny ring - why? Because spinning circles on granny is so fantastically gay - in a good way off course!
  • + 7
 I guess we are past 29er jokes at least.
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns you are getting too complicated. All those upgrades sound like a real pain in the a$$.
  • + 3
 No outsmith - it would be a very good feeling, trust me. The real fear behind men coming for prostate check up is that they are terrified of the thought that they may actually enjoy it, which would totaly ruin their idea of masculinity. As I wrote, I meant gay in a good way, at high cadence my bum jumps a bit up and down inintially because I am used to hard gears and got to get used to engaging muscles a bit later in the stroke. That initial saddle humping is very enjoyable, try to giggle while it happens! You'll find the gay side of you and it is fantastic!
  • + 3
 I feel like you might get in trouble for patent infringement Waki. I think Fizik's lawyer are probably getting ready to send you an email.
  • + 4
 Ha ha. I'm going to keep my bike in the closet for now.
  • + 0
 @tworldsmine...Thats the best comment ive ever heard in my whole human life ...
  • + 12
 What a bunch of battery-phobic luddites. Have none of you ever charged a cell phone before? How many exploding phone batteries are ending people's live? Grow a pair, already.

I have Di2 on my road bike, it works flawlessly. I charge it twice a year (oh my what a strain that is) You charge this XTR battery 3 times a year, let me repeat that for the hard of reading... Three (3) times a year. Christ on a crutch, you lube your chain way more than that and with more effort than plugging in a simple cord.

This Di2 stuff is bulletproof tech, way simpler and easier to maintain than mechanical shift. I have done nothing to my road Di2 and all the wires are protected through internal routings. Hike your skirts ladies, the future is here and you're stuck in first gear.
  • + 12
 one of the many beauty's of mountain biking is being able to hop on and ride whenever suits you. but when you have to wait for your bike to charge up, that's where i lose hope.
  • + 66
 If you can't find a time to charge it within a 4 month battery life you need to re-asses some priorities. You gotta sleep sometime.
  • + 2
 or i save £1000 and stay with XT?
  • + 12
 Or better, wait for the Di2 to go down to XT, and then buy! Wink
  • + 1
 don't get me wrong, if i could afford it.....I'd buy it.
  • + 2
 Me too! but i can't afford it so would wait for the XT Di2. Smile
  • + 4
 Have a charger where your bike sits when you aren't riding it and plug it in?? ...and you don't need to even do that very often.
  • + 3
 That was one of the worst cases of back pedaling that I have observed.
  • + 2
 also, aren't spare batteries fairly cheap, $50-ish?
  • + 13
 this made absolutely nobody's day better
  • + 7
 My wife doesn't like changing speed. Beetween front and rear its always a mess. She tries 1x10 (36-42) and like it but miss a real granny gear; Di2 could be a solution with 2x10 only with right hand.
  • + 1
 Great point. My wife is the same. She's a real butcher with a 3x10 but not strong enough for 1x anything.
  • + 12
 At first I wasn't sure you were actually talking about riding bikes. Were you???
  • + 1
 You should try a 28T chainring with that 42T rear cog. It is nearly the same as a common granny gear. That's the setup on my wife's bike and she loves it. Unless she pedals fast down she will never notice the difference. Not all cranks will take a 28T so check it out first.
  • + 1
 with 28T chainring x 11 cog, you spin out (100 rpm crank cadence) at 20 mph (32 kph). So, if she needs to pedal faster than than you may need a 2x or 3x setup.
  • + 1
 Same. Mess, granny, right hand... That post was messed up.
  • + 8
 Actions under such articles: Ctrl+F, type "waki". Relax and enjoy your coffee.
  • + 8
 I like the fact that Mac fanboi's can't use it Big Grin hahahahaha
  • + 4
 The future of transmission is not this. Even though I also use a wide ratio cassete I think it is an outclassed concept. For me the future is something like a light hammerschmidt with more rations than it actually has now and just 3 or 4 cogs at the rear.
  • + 3
 I'd be apprehensive about this kind of technology, but I don't think alot of people here realize that shimano's Di2 is used be tonnes of pro road cyclists and its already proven itself in that field so I don't see why not on a mountain bike. In saying that, it would be abit excessive for the average weekend warrior.
  • + 4
 Just imagine hackers hacking shifters on a race so that the opponent loses due to gear failure... gear suddenly drops to 11th speed while the rider is on an uphill and stuck there hehehehhe
  • + 3
 If you have cadence and speed sensors sending info to the Di2 computer, couldn't gear changes be made automatic? Or pre programmed? Perhaps connected to a power meter and heart rate monitor for ultimate accuracy. It would eliminate the human factor and could maximize power output... Maybe even a CVT type thing in the future???
  • + 1
 This is the same thing that went through my head when i first heard about an electronic derailleur/shifter.
  • + 2
 The problem with an automatic system is that the shifter can't know what you want. Sure it could be very fast and shift the moment your effort starts to vary but it won't know if that variance is because you are struggling or wanting to sprint. Personally I like to shift but it will be interesting to see if they could pull something like that off. Maybe 50 years from now we'll have telepathy chips that will eliminate the need for physical shifters.
  • + 3
 It's totally cool. I don't understand why they would release two shifters though. Sequential sounds rude, and the cost of one shifter is very high I bet. You'll probably be paying a couple of hundred dollars more for a downgrade in performance. Yes, two shifters gives you more control over the gears for preemptive shifts perhaps, but the sequential mode also stops you using inappropriate gears.

In answer to the "why does it only offer two extra gears" question... that may be the case but I bet over a muddy winter the wear factor will be much lower than SRAM because those abusive cross chaining gears will be avoided.

On the other hand, if you can afford it you probably don't care about life span.
  • + 3
 Bla bla, just make 48t rear cog, 12 speeds on wider cassette, 152mm rear hub spacing to accomodate it. Then make a floating chainring in the front and chain crossing problem is solved. Front derailleur shall die!
  • + 5
 Awesome innovation of redundant technology, as Waki says the front mech shall die it's a barely breathing piece of soon to be roadkill, knocked down by the XX1 truck, I'm so glad this came too late to lure me in with its shiny tech. without a front mech Di12 offers very little. Waki, please move the freehub to your floating chainring to enable 'moving but not pedalling' shifting...
  • + 1
 @AlexH691 - Hold your horses man because... wait! that sounds freaking awesome!
  • + 1
 pushing a 28-32t by 42 is kinda for fairies (:
  • + 6
 Why anyone would choose this over Sram 1x11 is beyond me. Shimano have missed the boat a year ago with this system.
  • + 2
 why anyone would choose sram anything over shimano anything is beyond intelligent riders Wink youre not the only one who knows how to be cheeky
  • + 1
 lol
  • + 3
 I have ridden sram's 1x11- cool idea, but I would rather have a wider gear range.
  • - 2
 Why on earth would you need more range than 1x11?? I have been running single front ring for 7 years now and I just cannot understand why anyone would use 2 or 3 rings at the front. It's so 1990's!! Even my 13 year old lad tried 2x and he hated it and went back to 1x.
  • + 9
 I live in country with actual mountains
  • + 4
 @matt76, come ride southern california hercules, tell me how you like blowing legs and knees out. We have compact, steep mountains and trails. 1x sucks for everything but simplicity and rolling downhill.
  • - 3
 We do have actual mountains in the UK. Funny how most high end bikes across the world are coming with 1x set up. 2x is just not needed anymore no matter what you say.
  • + 1
 As a geologist living in SoCal this is the first time I've heard anybody throw out the term "compact mountain." I also run 1x11 throughout the San Gabes and am fine. You know you're not locked into a 32 tooth front right? The only thing that suffers if you run a 30 or a 28 is your beast cred.
  • + 1
 I live in LA also, I think he means short punchy climbs that are steep, like the Bonelli park races. That being said, you don't *need* more than a 1x drivetrain with 30T up front in this area. Just do the math - with a 30T you can cover almost the entire gear ratio range compared to a 2x drivetrain. Even in terrain like Mt Wilson.
  • + 5
 Boy I wish they would bring back 3x8 Drive Trains and that cool bolt on an Anti Chain Suck Devise bolted to the bottom of the drive side chainstay of the 90's. . . .
  • + 1
 You can have mine off my "97 thin air". I filed it down so many times it doesnt do anything any more, which is a good thing, but it's still there looking cool as ever, and beggin the question "WTF is that for?".
  • + 1
 3 x 8?? Haha my first bike was a 2 x 5 Raleigh!!
  • + 1
 how do u mean devanish?
  • + 5
 What I want to know is ; can i use XTR DI2 with a XX1 10-42 cassette . Is spacing and total width of cassette the same ?
  • + 2
 From what I've read, YES (sorry no references). This makes the most sense to me.
  • + 1
 I've seen enough people testing it & having zero problems to say yes. Some people even claim the derailleur was designed with enough range for it, not just for the XTR 11-40.
  • + 5
 Deore rear mech: $50. Shitty 10spd cassette: $40. Shitty 10spd shifter: $20. NW ring: $40. That is all.
  • + 5
 I suppose you prefer elastomers in your forks too...
  • + 1
 My 650b Pike RC suits me just fine. There's a difference between innovation and improvement, that's all. XTR seems to offer lots of innovation, but considering how much it costs, not much improvement.
  • + 1
 If you want to bury your head in the sand, thats totally cool. But dont forget that every single part on your bike is a product of incremental improvement. Some small steps, some giant leaps, but they all were the result of someone trying to improve on the previous offering.
  • + 2
 What I would really like to know is if it can auto-adjust and compensate after an impact that bends the derailleur or hanger. I'm running Sram 1x, and it's finicky. slightly touching a rock is enough to throw it off and require a hanger alignment. If the electronic derailleur can compensate and continue to shift precisely after an impact that would be a serious selling point for me.
  • + 2
 I've been working with this stuff for the past two months and it's pretty cool. You can run any config. When running 2x or 3 x you can even program to where it auto shifts to the next blade. Think 3 x is overkill as 2 x is more than enough gear combos. I want to see how long the chains last though...and the chainrings ain't cheap.
  • + 3
 Boy o boy. I can just see it now going over the boarder with my bike and the patrol guys checking out the secret compartment that holds the battery thinking I'm smuggling Drugs. Hahaha
  • + 2
 The most frequent moan on PB is always the high cost. I love high end mtb stuff & will happily pay for it, but for once I'm going to comment on the price. CRC has the rear derailleur for £320. Yes I know no one is forcing me to buy it, but £320 for something thats as vulnerable & prone to breaking as a rear derailleur? I'll stick to 2nd hand XTR off ebay for £40.
  • + 2
 I don't understand why shimano didn't choose to go for 11-42t with 11-13-15-17-19-22-25-28-32-36-42

It's almost as good as their 11-40, with a major 16% jump at 19-22 and an 17% at 36-42.

With this they could have reclaimed the market share they lost to SRAM and ghetto 11-42 10sp.
Now it's too late, xD drivers are common and ghetto 11-42t 10sp is mainstream.
  • + 1
 Because the people who'd buy this don't need a pansy 42T cog to get up a hill.
  • + 3
 This is strange... I see cables, a front mech, and a cheesy display box hanging off yer bar? What's wrong with one shifter cable, I-Spec 1X11 is clean and simple.
  • + 1
 Yeah, I hate all the electronics in my car! I miss my cable actuated brakes without anti-lock, my automatic shifting, my traction control and all that other stuff I don't even know is going on because I'm not a car designer. MTB culture is silly and their justified ignorance regarding tech is even more silly.....
  • + 1
 Why not a simple elegant power generating bottom bracket/ Front Hub setup to power the entire system?
It wont be much heavier than the battery pack... Even if they didn't completely eliminated the battery pack, a dynamo system could trickle charge a small a battery.
  • + 1
 I'm trying to be open minded about this but it just seems like a step backwards. This solution might be a great match for road bikes but not so much for mountain bikes. 1x11 was a step forward with greater simplicity, less weight, less to go wrong, less to clean - I don't want a front derailleur on my bikes ever again.

The same R&D dollars could have been spent on a compact, lightweight, mass production gearbox. That would provide a much greater improvement to my riding experience. This is making a better horse drawn carriage when you could have an automobile.
  • + 1
 Great....something with a learning curve to shift and a screen that displays info. This is going to wreck havoc for the trails with all the wealthy posers that have a Garmin already taking their eyes off the trail. Thanks for that Shimano.
  • + 1
 OMG I can't believe anyone remembers the name Ned Overend. Most of you weren't even born back then when he won the CC championship. As an old head that can barely hang on to a DH bike because of worn out hands, anything that makes it easier to shift is a blessing. My concerns include battery life, manual override if they die, survivability of electronics on impacts, water emersion and hardware fatigue, recharge options, and price for the system. I'm all for taking shifters to a new level. I remember when disc brakes were a fad and questioned. Progression is good, but keep pedaling.
  • + 1
 I'll get di2 once it trickles down the line, but by then it'll be wireless and there will be a small generator on one of the jockey wheels do power/charge the rear derailleur and a small solar panel behind the head unit screen to power/charge that and the shifters... And it'll be the bombproof saint range..
  • + 1
 Would having (for example) the down shifter on the left, and up and mode selector on the right be a useful set up?

Then a cockpit would be down shifter and dropper on left, up and mode selector on right.

This is assuming running a 1x drivechain...
  • + 4
 Quite surprisingly Shimano never consulted you in their multi-million pounds D+R proces... Rude at least, right?
  • + 1
 Cables suck. People talk about electrics in the mud, what about cables?. This is a step in the right direction. Looking at modern bikes it was only a matter of time, everything is getting spaceage crikey we left cable brakes behind looooong ago. Kids bikes in Wal-Mart have more technology on them than the top end bikes I started riding.
  • + 1
 i dont see that comming on any of my rides in the next years.
mechanical stuff can be fixed anywhere (in most cases) with some cable-ties and creativity to keep your ride on the trail.
i like to have my gear as simple and relieable as possible.
i'm thinking about a setup with hammerschmidt and a 3-gear-hub for a while now. i might give that idea a try later in the season.
there is a good option for the hub available wich is ready for mtb-use right out of the box.
  • + 1
 I have been known to break fingers. break /sprain my hands. Using a servo motor and buttons to shift would allow me to keep riding. Shimano would not come out with electronic shifting unless it worked very well. The idea of being able to program shifts leads to many new ways to shift gears. In the future it would be nice to see different buttons for shifting such as two small buttons mounted directly on to the handle bar.
I assume you could program the amount of gears you have as well such as ten speeds, eleven speeds and seven speeds for DH.
It will be interesting if this becomes more popular or dies out as a new idea that does not catch on.
I am not happy with mechanical shifting it is refined but still antiquated. Electronic gear box is what I want to have. Perhaps by 2020 or 2030 it will be popular.
  • + 1
 yes!
  • + 1
 Another thing to go wrong as far as i can see. If your a racer with full Shimano support it might be for you but i want things simpler not more complex. I love the thick/thin rings because i can now simplify and drop my front chain device, same with my Zee shifter and mech, cheap, simple and it works faultlessly with no adjustment in 2 years- more of this less of the complex.
  • + 1
 You need to get out of the trail centres if one cable and housing is lasting you two years through british winters! A fully housed cable wont even last me one winter if I'm out regularly enough.

I can only see this product being more reliable than cable operated shifting. Charge your battery once every 4-8 months (depending on set up) and grimey, stiff or snapped cables can be long forgotten.
  • + 4
 I'm going through shifter cables once a month or so. Heck, the electronic drivetrain is one thing LESS to go wrong in my mind.
  • + 2
 Trail centers?? whats that? True i don't ride as much as i'd like but every 2 weeks its a 30mile ride in the peak district, whatever the weather. keep them oiled and there's no reason they won't last you ages... unless they're clarks cables! If you think cables are short lived wait until you get moisture in the unit or grit in the servo... lot more expensive than a cable to fix. oh and what about that lovely crunching noise when it hits a tree stump and £300 just breaks into pieces.
  • + 1
 There's no arguing that £320 for a rear derailleur is utter insanity. Like most people, I'll be waiting for the slx model before I get on board!
  • + 1
 I'll be waiting until there is a iduction cable along my trail so the battery does never run out of power.
  • + 4
 I'm never going to charge a battery to ride my bike. E-bike or drivetrain... doesn't matter.
  • + 4
 How about night lights?
  • + 5
 Said the guy who likely couldn't see why anyone would want to use a cordless phone...
  • + 2
 Not all technology is revolutionary...Di2 is more of a incremental improvement over mech. shifting rather than a game changer. In the end, it's still a derailleur that is just actuated in a different way, and therefore still has most of the drawbacks of the derailleur system, plus a few unique drawbacks. What happens if you smash it on a rock, or fry a motor? A real game changer would be a hub similar to a rohloff that doesn't add pounds to the back of your bike, or a lightweight gearbox that sits low in the front triangle.
  • + 1
 @chezotron - last time I checked my bike is not corded to a wall

@Satn69 - I do have night lights. In the winter I leave them plugged in and grab them right before a night ride. I know, a bit of a hypocrite. However, I don't need to ride at night. But I do need my gears to function.

I'm sure the technology is awesome for XC racers or people with big budgets. But I bang things up, break things often. Last I checked Di2 was a pretty expensive upgrade. The battery to me signifies the complexity of the system, it may last a long time. But given how much abuse I see derailleurs take on my bike and those of my friends, this product doesn't make any sense.
  • + 1
 @illewminati, have you ridden Di2 ? I've got it on my road bike. Without riding it it is hard to understand the mental relief that electric shift provides. You don't realize how much you actually have to finesse a mechanical derailleur until you no longer have to. There are so many times where I find that I shift while dealing with a narrow section of bike path or a busy intersection. Having only to pay attention long enough to hit a button vs move a lever sounds like it wouldn't matter, until you actually experience it. My brain can't wait to have Di2 on my MTBs, but I'll admit my wallet likely will.
  • + 1
 Understandable @MrPink51 if you're bashing things up a lot. I've only ever trashed one rear derailleur in 23 years. I'd fully go for this if it were wireless. Yes, the derailleur is spendy but I've ridden Di2 on a road bike before and it was sublime. Charging isn't a big deal and it gives more than ample warning. Mountain bikers are a funny bunch though. Fairly suspect of some advancements and overly accepting of others.

I already charge my lights and bike computer. It's not like this would be much different. Besides, you're looking at 3x a year.
  • + 4
 hmmm let's take the most unreliable part of a bike and make it more complicated.
  • + 11
 its far less complicated actually, probably has a tenth of the moving parts.
  • + 1
 The number of moving parts isn't a measure of how complicated something is. Will most people be able to fix it/take it apart if there's an issue? I imagine it will be a fun ride home once it konks.
  • + 0
 What does this article have to do with dropper posts?
  • + 1
 @jcoakes how often do you strip and rebuild your cable shifters and mech at trailside?
  • + 1
 The fact that trigger shifters and derailleurs aren't easily serviceable is hardly a justification for introducing electronics to the mix. If that were the problem then maybe these same engineers could, you know, engineer trigger shifters and derailleurs to be more serviceable.
  • + 1
 RC is certainly a die hard. Didn't like rapidrise when "Shimano tried to reinvent the derailleur " (I believe that would be the quote ) that now given the option he'd still have the shifters work the opposite of each other.
  • + 1
 Seems really stupid and just a toy for snobs.
Take that feeling of night riding where you have to carefully monitor your battery life, plan out the route and hope you don't have a mechanical, and now apply that aspect to every ride you go on. No thanks. The freedom while riding is one of the things I love about this sport. This takes away from that too much for me, no matter how "great" it is.
  • + 1
 Had to put in my two cents. I find it kind of offensive that a new tech comes along (that integrates electricity) and suddenly mechanical tech is worthless only dinosaurs will still use it. The idea that mechanical systems are hard to understand is amusing as I'd like to see how many people could take apart one of these and fix it seems like shimano wants us to throw away our drivetrain if a piece breaks. It would also seem like all of this cuts the life of your components how many shifts does a servo last compared to mechs I've had for 10 years. I've worked on well maintained bikes from the 70s and 80s that still work perfectly. But shimano has never wanted you to repair their stuff that's why most of it is riveted together no chance of repair you must upgrade.
  • + 1
 If you have cadence and speed sensors sending info to the Di2 couldn't the gear changes be made automatic? Or linked to a power meter or even a heart rate monitor to maximize power output? It would get rid of the human element. Perhaps even something like Nissan's CVT??
  • + 1
 Love it. Now I need to Fox and Rockshox needs to offer a retrofit adjuster option for its shocks and forks to take full advantage of this tech. Then I will make the investment. Couple of extra button commands for stiffer/short travel fork and CTD on the shock. Nirvana is close.
  • + 3
 Skynet will become self aware at interbike 2020. Jackson Goldstone is john Connor.
  • + 1
 i'm not even riding my bike until i can get this new stuff on my bike!!!
Yeah Shimano you guys rock!!!
Bro, Do you even innovate?
Bro!
now i wont get my shorts caught on my shift lever all the time!!!
  • + 0
 Wrecking your bike is about to seriously suck. I just don't know...I ate $hit, my bike won't turn on. Think I lost my battery over there somewhere, my derailleur is in some safe mode making weird sounds..my shifter is short circuiting, my suspension is stuck on short travel mode locked out, my auto dropper post won't stop going up and down, and my auto self inflating tubeless system is stuck on deflate. Rad wreck dudes, but my bike is done for. Best I go back to Best Buy and by an Apple mountain bike.
  • + 1
 Obviously you don't understand how electronic componets fail.

Most likely cause of failure will be impact damage, water ingress and maybe stress damage to the wires from suspension movement or handle bar movement (wich shouldnt happen if you run the wires correctly). You'll be able to fix it trailside, much like a chain and carrying extra links, ill keep an extra cable in my pack.

Worried about those stepper motors going bad? What do you think controlls the mechanical flaps of your cars hvac system with an electric controller?

The chicken little argument is stupid. I'm thinking of selling one of my extra bikes and buying a xt di2 setup when released.
  • + 0
 Let's be honest here, there is not a issue manually changing gear to begin with!? What was the design breif shimano were working to!? It seems pretty clear to me this is a money making exercise, I don't see how it would benefit a ride at all. The only part I liked the idea of is your dropper post linked to your suspension so when you dropped it would unlock your suspension pedaling platform and fully extend your travel but how does that then link to electronic gear shifting!? I just hope this whole di2 thing will hurry up and disappeared! Its really disappointing me....... Just shimaNO!
  • + 1
 I am all over this and drooling, sadly this is worth more than both my bikes put together, so when this system isn't worth more than my bike, I'll be down to shell out as much as they ask for it.....
  • + 1
 We are all going to be sitting on our rocking chairs with our grandkids one day and the look on their faces of disbelief. "I remember when we actually had to pedal and shift a mountain bike"...
  • + 2
 Random question: What if you decide to go 1x on this? since its configured for 2x, will shimano release a 1x version or this?
  • + 2
 It'll probably just be a software update to change it
  • + 2
 It can, it's a setting in the laptop setup i believe
  • + 4
 waow 28 thousand dollars whata great price i can sell my house
  • + 4
 but.........will it blend?
  • + 1
 Hopefully YES a.s.a.p.
  • + 1
 Did Shimano say anything about the chainring/crank problem?
It's 10 months after they released the mechanical groupset and the (majority of) chainring/cranks are still not available on Wiggle or CRC.......
  • + 1
 Aftermarket sale chains always get things last after OEM producers, especially discount stores that shimano gets a lot of dealer complaints about.
  • + 1
 Front deraillers are outdated. Adding electronics still doesn't make it worth having one. This seems like an overly complicated solution to redundant shift patterns that can easily be solved by going 1x.
  • + 1
 The only way this could compete with SRAM is if it was 1x11 with at least the same range of gears.
  • + 2
 As much as I like Triple and Double setups, for this electronic system eliminating the front der with a 1x setup makes more sense... more batt life less weight.
  • + 1
 You can run 1x on this. Several other people in the EWS had run 1x on their Di2 XTRs
  • + 1
 Hey RC,
Did I miss or did they avoid talking about true battery life? I think we have all gone out with out a full charge on our night lights, garmin, or even mobile phone.
  • + 1
 Ask a Di2 road bike rider ... the battery lasts for many many many rides.
  • + 1
 I don't trust anybody who willfully wears spandex.
  • + 2
 Does it come with a crash replacement for th mech? Ouchies that's gonna be expensive when you smash it up!
  • + 3
 The cost of regular mechs like XTR, X0, X1 is already above common sense... I like those, but I buy them second hand with 5 year delay, hurray for people with money and will to buy a new one Big Grin
  • + 2
 I had a zee, smashed it up! Bought a deore from my local shop. Shifts just the same!
  • + 2
 But... don't you know that jockey/pulley wheels on Deore, Zee, SLX don't have bushings/bearings, therefore they create more resistance, jeopardizing the optimal performance of your drive train?
  • + 1
 if its roughly inline with roadie Di2 stuff the rear mech will be cheaper than a sram X11 mech.
  • + 1
 so looking for a day to get a d-rail conected with my brain, just necessary to think in a new speed and get it. worst of all, there is people exciting for this!
  • + 1
 The software needs to be installed? Um, how about a web-based solution that's platform-agnostic. How about a web-based solution that works with your phone via Bluetooth?
  • + 1
 whats next? voice command shifting? if you build it, they will buy it. yuppie consumerism! can you update your status on facebook with this too?
  • + 2
 Did shimano really just spend r&d $ to develop an electric front shifter?
  • + 2
 What I really want to know is when does the standard cabled XT 11x1 come out?
  • - 1
 Seems like they are failing to take advantage of he possibilities here. If you are going electronic then why do a rear derailleur at all? Instead go single on the back and use a servo to move chainrings on a stack on the spider so you have a while cassette up front. You would have to go wireless, but this system will be wireless soon enough. It moves the weight to the bb, makes for less exposure of moving parts, possibly less moving parts alltogether, and generally makes sense. The downside is 2 batteries; one in the hollow spindle and one in the bar, but both would be light enough.
Any engineers here want to tell me why this hasn't happened?
  • + 7
 And we could power it from the nuclear plant hidden in the new standard 198mm wide hub. We could then hook it up with the water cooling device hidden in the new standard 76mm wide and 58mm deep rear rim. Let's do it!
  • + 1
 What I have proposed is a simplified sequential gearbox without any loss in efficiency. It is mechanically less complicated than a standard rear derailleur and far less complicated than a gearbox. The only reason it can't be done with a cable instead of a servo and battery is because it needs to be able to rotate with the crank.
Instead of hyperbole how about some honest criticism? Here, I'll start: What about achieving current ratios while maintaining sufficient ground clearance?
  • + 2
 Gearboxes. Great idea but there is one significant issue with any of them; it is not a sheer size of them as we are doing quite well recently, it is not the complicity of them as we are doing quite well recently, it is not the ratios as they're good too. It is the weight of these- there is hardly any way we can put that weight into a current design and maintain the same weight and the same centre of gravity. There were attempts below the BB, above the BB, front of the BB and a few other silly ones too. All was good until the weight is mentioned- the lightest probably still heavier than Mai's bike. Additionally you have the complicity of it, the additional hardware required, the price of repairs...


And quite frankly they are not cross compatible with the current nuclear plants either.
  • + 2
 The weight of a gearbox located on the bb is not an issue since weight there is a trickle added to a flood. All of the rider's weight is already on the bb. If your frame weights 3lbs and you weigh 180lbs then your bike is 183lbs at the bb. Weight matters where it is unsprung, up high, or our on the ends. Truth is, the weight of your derailleur is probably a bigger effect on your bike handling than the weight of a bb mounted gearbox. (This is the same reason to not buy carbon cranks)
As for maintenance, they require almost none. Change the oil at the end of the season and you are done. Nor are they that complicated. Parts in gearboxes don't require exposed bits that move in odd curves and on diagnals like a derailleur does.
The real issue with a gearbox is efficiency. The loss of energy between your foot and the rear wheel gets worse with every step of removal. A gearbox adds a step.
  • + 1
 Of course my design isn't a gearbox. It is a bit more finiky but it is also more efficient.
  • + 2
 I've been told that chain at the edge of being rusty put on worn our cassette and front cog(s), all crossed for more than 2 gears from up to down, (which means we talk 1x setups) is actually worse than a gearbox in terms of efficiency. Sure, the gearbox design is a subject to this as well BUT if someone is really after efficiency he should change his drivetrain components often and that costs, so I don't think it is that bad. One cannot optimize everything, as everything is a matter of compromises. It is a dogma of our civilisation though that one day we will arrive at some place where everything will be ultimately right and we won't have to do sht after we get there, as if, for example, in 3 years Fox would make a fork that would tick all the boxes and we would never ever need anything else (although some people behave like this about the PIKE). Nothing ever ticks all the boxes of everybody and never will.

I don't care about the weight of the gearbox, I care about the current price and commitment I need to make when buying a frame with one. If Shimano or Sram made one, it would go down. I think they are reluctant also because bike manufacturers would need to make a commitment to a certain design and with gearbox making thing compatible is not as easy as setting a standard for derailleur mount.
  • + 1
 Too bad Hammerschmidt was so loud and only two gears.
  • + 2
 It was also wearing out almost as quickly as regular drivetrain so it was quite expensive in the end!
  • + 1
 FWIW, Cavalerie was claiming that this design was weight competitive with a Derailleur: www.bikerumor.com/2014/04/23/soc-14-effigear-calls-in-the-cavalerie-for-new-gear-box-bikes-in-the-us

It helps if your rear hub weighs close to a the same as a front, & belts are lighter than chains.
  • + 1
 @taletotell to actually address your cassette on the crank design: What's guiding the chain to shift from cog to cog? just moving the cogs side to side isn't enough to force the chain to shift. What's keeping the chain tensioned? & if it's the same device, how is it simpler to move the cogs than to move the tensioner, essentially making it a derailleur? Not to say that putting the derailleur at the BB isn't a worthwhile endeavor.

Personally, I'd like to see a gearbox that uses a servo & gear to change ratios, instead a shifter that pulls to 2 cables. battery lives inside the gearbox assembly, runs wireless, & the shifter runs off a coin battery, & can be a trigger instead of a twister(or any kind of electrical switch you can think off. sliding switch like the fox electronic shock might be interesting.)
  • + 0
 This is probably the reason why it still has not been done. The mech design is simpler. And cheaper. And it brakes. So we need another one on a regular basis. This is the reason why it is still in use...
  • + 0
 Let's reinvent the Sturmey Archer. Go!
  • + 1
 From what I saw of how you can reconfigure that effigear, it also means that there's almost no "gear count creep:" you pick how many gears you want, to cover a certain range, buy it set up that way, & ride off into the sunset. Decide you need different gearing? replace some, or all of the pinion gears, add some aluminum spacers if you're reducing the count, ride of into second, more awesome sunset.
  • + 1
 You would need a frame mounted guide, but existing ones should work.
  • + 3
 agreed, but since you're only affecting the shift mechanism, rather than the gearing mechanism, I'm hoping this is something that could be integrated into the gearbox chassis sooner rather than later. that way the servo is protected, & everything is enclosed. Heck, it wouldn't be a bad idea to make it electrically compatible with Di2, that way you don't even have to make the controller or the shifter, people can just buy Shimano bits.
  • + 1
 ^^ What @groghunter said - spot on
| |
  • + 2
 naeee, I want a mechanical CLUNK, like the 9sp Sram X0 used to make. I don't want... click, that thing a sensitive metrosexual painter does when browsing web for the first time in his life... a calick... I want mofukin sphincter ripping CLUNK! BAM! DING! DANG! DONG! Sir! The gear is on! We shifted the Gaed daemn Gear Sir! All done right Sir! Sir! Siiiiir! Waiting for more clunks Sir! CLUNK! Yea!!!

Click... shifty nifty click bumsy pamsy click? - fk that!
  • + 1
 I will agree that I sometimes miss that authoritative, frame vibrating clunk that 9sp SRAM made. Twas a thing of beauty.
  • + 2
 I mean, the last version of 10sp XTs and XTRs are quite alright, the feel is quite distinctive, especially with clutch rear mech, IMHO beating 10sp SRAM X0. But 9sp X0 shifter-mech combo was really felt throughout the whole bike. I am thinking of buying it for my HT which is useless for Strava anyways.
  • + 1
 That is not even close a test. Real riders don't go only under comfort enviroment conditions. Ride it in a forest under the rain. That will be a test.
  • + 1
 Because the years of testing the road Di2 stuff has had in torrential downpours and muddy/snowy/slush cyclocross racing, somehow wasn't good enough for you ? Why is it that some mountain bikers magically think that water or mud is different depending on the tire width of the bike ?
  • + 2
 One of the reasons I ride bikes is to get away from things with "i" in the name...but that's only me.
  • + 3
 this isn't better than my gas powered shifter!
  • + 2
 I just wish you could reprogram the shift noise. Monkey hoots for down shifts, lion's roar for up shifts.
  • + 0
 Im still on a 2006 sram x7, its as reliable as it should be and can be. No need for stuff like this. I like the advancements, but we "common" people really do not need this. Mid range derauilers are just fine
  • + 7
 It's XTR. nobody needs it, many people want it, a few will buy it and enjoy it. You're not the target market. What's your point?
  • + 4
 Where do you think mid range derauilers got their technology from?
  • + 1
 You don't need to buy the XTR you know? Why do you think Shimano makes XT, SLX and even Deore?
  • + 0
 Every time i ride a sram x7 or x9 setup i throwup in my mouth a little and long for an xtr shifter. It's reliable but not in the same league. i like being able to dump gears and sweep the casette in both directions.
  • + 2
 Sorry @v1k1n9 but you're wrong. Faster better bikes are more fun to ride than their predecessors. 2015 XTR is way better than 2006 x7 to the point where its not even funny. Fast forward another 9 years and I hope we all get electronic everything. I'm sure you own an iphone, progress is good.
  • + 1
 The comment was in a sense that to the avverage joe fun matters more than performance. I believe that most of us cant make a good usage of this, neither have the tools for the maintenance. Most of the latest technologies require a professional team. I understand perfectlly that it requires time for the technology to become available to the massess and that it all starts with stuff like the di series. Yet most of us will have this mounted after some time. Ill be one of them, in the next dekade probabllyWink
My comment was in the sense that we all droll, all want but the $ is a major issues for any of us
  • + 1
 Seriously?

One of my other winter hobbies is racing rc cars. People feared brushless motors and speed controllers that required laptops. Guess what? Everyone started bringing $200 laptops to the races to tinker with the electronics. You forget your laptop? No big deal, someone would loan yours to change that quick setting.

You can't fix electronics? seriously you just replace the defective part and stuff will work. Ill just keep one of my old laptops in my bike bag to swap what i need until it's dialed and then you wont need it again.

Some people can afford this stuff. Some people can't. Its ok. I could, but i choose to buy another bike before i get a di2 setup. Pretty soon (probably 5 years or so) di2 xt will be fairly affordable and very commonplace.

I remember reading the santa cruz review of the aqua and pink 10k bike. People bitching about how much they were and how unobtainable they are. I see like 2 a week on the trails.
  • + 1
 @v1k1n9 , I think you're vastly underestimating the amount of people that are good enough riders and good enough home mechanics to benefit from high end gear.
  • + 1
 By the way, what has happened to Sram's electronic suspension control? It seemed to be a great invention, but now I don't hear about it very often...
  • + 1
 gotta sit on the sidelines with a transmitter and make bikes shift as they pass. that would mess things up!
  • + 1
 how to fix your bike? get a laptop www.pinkbike.com/photo/11065715 plug in the usb and run the software. DONE!
  • + 2
 I'll have a full Zee/Saint groupset, please
  • + 2
 watch out, the ludites are coming
  • + 1
 oh yhhh one more device to charge. "Awesome!" people keep increasing our bills.
  • + 1
 This is so Nice - i m waiting electric brakes now so that there are no more cables at all !!!
  • + 0
 I think one of the nice benefits of a electronic shifting system is the elimination of small but annoying issues related to cable stretch.
  • + 1
 Like they said move this on to F1 style fly by wire brakes, electronically actuated dropper posts, and travel adjust, in a few years time bikes are about to become very very awesome, I can't wait for all this - BRING ON THE ELECTRIC stuff it's 2015 already...
  • + 1
 meanwhile, road bikes have had this for years and already going into wireless
  • + 1
 Wow, I really respect that technological advancement. Now I am gonna go ride my single speed. Smile
  • + 1
 i don't see a place to mount a bashring on that crank...removable spiders need to be standard.
  • + 1
 news release-shimano announces partnership with Quirky to produce bicycle powered egg separator...
  • + 2
 Palm Canyon Epic trail... Gonna be there next week. Smile
  • + 1
 Good time to ride Palm Canyon! Enjoy!
  • + 1
 @littlefisheries

I love me some Palm Canyon. I'm curious how you know of it, you being from Canada. I doubt most SoCal MTBers know it exists.
  • + 1
 @sOOper-nOOb my parents are snowbirds. Got tired of the road biking. Googled "mountain biking in Palm Springs", found www.mountainbikebill.com/PalmCanyon.htm

The first few times were a little rough... Wasn't sure we'd ever get back to civilization, but now it's easy.
  • + 1
 Lucky man. You probably have some epic rides back home too.

In case you haven't tried it, the start from Pinyon Flat Campground (Pinyon Flats Trail) is more fun and technical than the one from Pine View Road. It's the green trail on MountainBikeBill's map. You can ride from the parking lot, south of Hwy. 74, on Pinon Flats Transfer Station Road. Here's more info: www.geoladders.com/show_route.php?route=64909

Have fun!
  • + 1
 @richardcunningham
If you're using 1x11, do you still have to use the display?
  • + 1
 No.
  • + 1
 Actually, you have to use a Di2 junction box of some sort, it's a required component. If you don't use the XTR display, you have to run another Di2 junction box. They do make one designed to live in your downtube, however.
  • + 1
 Won't be long until you hear someone's race run getting hijacked due to their shifter being hacked. Haha
  • + 2
 I'm pretty sure you could shoot down 787 with that stem...
  • + 1
 surprised the battery isn't hooked up to brakes like a prius. c'mon shimano, get with the program...
  • + 3
 Single speed is cool!
  • + 2
 Haha! It's all fun and games till someone hacks into our drivetrain!
  • + 2
 Great article as usual RC!
  • + 1
 How do the wires connect to each component? ie. What happens if damage one of the wires in a crash etc.
  • + 2
 Interesting but not interested.
  • + 2
 Shut up and take my money!!!
  • + 1
 I don't need yer fancy robot shifters Shimano! I'll stick to hookin' up my good ol' fashioned cable.
  • + 1
 I will probably try all this wizardry when it hits Deore levels.
  • + 1
 And the chain still fell off.
  • - 3
 So, why'd your ride get cut short?
--Damn battery went flat
Oh, ya got tired, huh?
--No, I couldn't shift outta low gear
Yeah, like I said..
--No, my bikes shifter stopped working
because the battery died
Wait... What?
  • + 5
 someone else that didn't read the article, battery life is over 4 MONTHS!
  • + 5
 @b45her - As long as screen does not blink and speaker doesn't scream "charge my battery you wanker, you useless piece os sht", vast majority will still procastrinate and wait with charging until it dies - the situation above is still likely to happen, it doesn't matter if it's 2 weeks or 4 months. Unless you mean someone is going to sell it after 3,5 months anyways.
  • + 1
 I prep for rides the night before. That would cover plugging in. The real issue comes when a lithium battery catches fire and you don't notice until your bike is cooked.
  • + 1
 That's not gonna happen unless you expose that battery to a LOT of heat, like put your bike into a fire pit at the camp ground. Of course at that stage the battery igniting is the least of your worries.
  • + 2
 lithium polymer batteries often burst into flame for no visible reason. Looks like this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3o_2mwRPdw

of course that is why I am sure this uses lithium ions.
  • + 2
 My father presented this thing to me when purposefully charging an already "worn out" Li-Ion battery in "some wrong way" (I don't know naything about this sht to use proper terms, and I am not willing to learn) for his RC airplane model. Since then I never charge anything when I am not in the apartment, like leave it for charging while I am at work. I am even thinking twice before charging something during the night, while I am sleeping. I still think it is very unlikely for Di2 to catch fire and if it would happen to me, I'd take it as a sign from God that I am a greedy basterd living in gadget vanity.
  • + 1
 lipo batteries are sketchy. My brother had one for his RC plane go up in his car while it was simply sitting on the seat. He keeps them in a jar when not in use now.
  • + 1
 The problem is often the wrong charger for the battery chemistry, or cheap chargers without voltage protection circuits matched to battery packs without the same, or basically crappy quality cells used to build the battery packs. The problems with the Boeing 787 battery packs has been for example, traced back to the battery supplier in japan ordering crappy cells from china. If an aerospace company screws up with millions of dollars, then I think RC hobbyists would be even more likely to end up buying cheap batteries. Overcharge them and they'll ignite from internal resistence inside producing a lot of heat. Most of the videos on youtube involve deliberate over-charging of the batteries, or other poor battery handling procedures. Lipo's are often used in RC because the batteries packs can be thin and flat, so they easily fit into the spaces inside plane fuselages or wings, but most commercially availableli-ion cells are more powerful still for the size/mass.
  • + 2
 "Supplier in Japan ordering crappy cells from China" - you aren't making it any better, just sayin' Big Grin
  • - 1
 You're right, I didn't read the article.. I usually do but I was too drunk
  • + 1
 ooh so cool! will be a long while till i get one though!
  • + 1
 What do you mean they put shocks on a bicycle! Thats Preposterous!
  • + 1
 Does this thing turn my bike into a E-Bike? Either way I don't want it!!!
  • + 1
 Why no bluetooth or ANT+? While Di2 may be cool it is not needed.
  • + 1
 i like the idea of it...can we make it a little more steampunk?
  • + 1
 rather buy a new second hand bike than this personally ,
  • + 1
 no 10-42...drops the mic....
  • + 1
 No Mac version?? What is this, 1998? Get with it Shimano!
  • + 1
 Now this is real tech boffin stuff
  • + 1
 @tworldsmine imagine when your battery runs out in the middle of a DH run.
  • + 1
 i wish my mac had a default font setting for sarcasm
  • + 1
 this is going to be affordable here in the PH.
  • + 0
 Ha! The wireless brakes are next! Yay!
  • + 1
 hmmm....nope.
  • - 1
 What?!?!?!?! No pun thread yet? You guys need to get into gear! Let me just charge my battery first.
  • + 1
 looks like the mood has shifted...
  • + 1
 And the price is?
  • + 0
 Yet ANOTHER dumb "innovation" nobody wants/needs/ask for!
  • - 1
 Well you don't have to buy the XTR you know?
  • + 1
 Jesus weeps.
  • + 1
 My home trails!!!
  • + 1
 TL;DR
  • - 1
 sad day for the mtb industry.
  • - 1
 Why is shifting gears more often a good thing?
  • + 2
 For the same reason a 6 speed car is better than 3-on-the-tree. Oh wait, me thinks you're a trolling single-speeder.
  • + 0
 No, I run 1x10. Switching gears more frequently doesn't mean better. It just means your legs cant turn what your turning so you downshift. I didn't ask why are MORE gears better.
  • + 1
 Switching gears more frequently... ...just means your legs cant turn what your turning so you downshift

Suddenly there is only one direction to change gear?
  • + 1
 Of course not, but it is more of a phenomenon when Downshifting, you don't see people spinning 160rpm because they don't want to upshift. But you do see people bail downwards, instead of standing up and putting more effort in maybe. My point in the comment was why is that the first positive thing he says about its performance? I equate it to when someone gets a dropper and at first they are using it every 30 seconds, then as it becomes less of a novelty they don't use it as frequently. I just wouldn't use that as a selling point: "use this and you can switch gears more often!" Yes I have a dropper, and yes I use it all the time, and yes I would love the di2 system on my bike.
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