Shimano Di2 XTR - Long-Term Review

Nov 4, 2015 at 4:05
by Richard Cunningham  
Shimano Di2 XTR 2015


Shimano’s asking price alone assures that most riders who take offence to its Di2 XTR electric shifting system do not factor into its marketing strategy. Di2 XTR, if you can find it, will run you about $2800 for a complete two-by-eleven drivetrain. That’s a lot of cash for a small pile of parts. Consider that in a recent PB poll, an overwhelming number of responders placed the optimal MSRP of a mountain bike capable of elite-level performance between 3000 and 4000 dollars, and you may begin to realize that Shimano probably did not make Di2 for you.



Shimano Di2 XTR: Long-Term Review

Di2 XTR exists exclusively for the cycling’s top-level competitors and for top-level recreational shoppers. Unless you count yourself among them, your opinions about batteries on bikes, non-standard parts and Shimano’s pre-determined gear selections are wasted breath. Whether you are a naysayer or a supporter, the bottom line is that Di2 XTR shifts better and is easier to use than any derailleur bicycle transmission that has ever been mass produced for cyclists. Those who presently ride Di2 will no doubt agree that: “No. You don’t need it.” And, “Yes. You do want it.” Lazy readers can stop right here, because this entire story is summed up in those few short phrases. Riders who are curious about how Shimano’s push-button shifting performed over a long-term test, however, should find this review interesting.
Shimano Di2 XTR 2105
Colin Meagher/Shimano photo


Why You Need Di2 XTR

Forget how Shimano’s electric shifting operates, clear your mind of its cost and perceived complexity, and you will find it very hard not to like. The rotary action of the shift levers are a near-perfect ergonomic match to the natural sweep of the thumbs. Shimano’s artificial mechanical click provides audible and tactile assurance that a shift has been called for, and (providing that it has been set up correctly) Di2 responds with a perfect shift - every time. There is no mechanical connection to the derailleurs. You ask for a shift and then pedal, knowing that, regardless of how much pressure you are putting on the pedals, or how your human form may be twisted around the cockpit, that Di2 will manage to shift to the next gear. There is no “maybe” in Di2’s vocabulary.

bigquotesMy mechanical drivetrain does the same things - at one fourth the cost.

We imagine that we can shift our mechanical transmissions with resolute perfection, but that is simply not true. A few months on Di2 are all it takes to realize how much knowledge and learned behavior a cyclist must assimilate before he or she can operate a mechanical derailleur system with surety. Consider for a moment, the actions that take place during a conventional cable actuated shift to a lower gear option:

First, you must remember to depress the lever just far enough to shift one gear (both SRAM and Shimano levers can shift multiple gears in one throw). Next, you listen for sounds that the mechanisms emit which give you verification that the shift is taking place. Then, you hold the lever in position until you are convinced that the shift is finalized and finally, you release the lever and check leg pressure to reconfirm that you have selected the proper gear.

All of the above may have been committed to muscle memory and subconscious action, but that does not take away from the fact that the rider must participate in each step in order to complete a perfect shift. So far, we are only using rear shifting as an example. The front changer’s reverse function, along with its distinctly different feel and sound, add further complexity to shifting a mountain bike’s transmission.

Shimano Di2 2015
Di2's shift paddles are designed to follow the natural curved path of the thumb, and each can be programmed to perform either upshift or downshift duties. I chose the upper "X" button for downshifting and the lower "Y" button for upshifting to emulate the action of mechanical levers. RC photo


When a conventional shift lever is releasing cable to shift to a higher gear (smaller cog), it operates very much like Di2. You flip the trigger lever and forget about it, leaving the mechanisms to take care of everything necessary to make the shift. The only action required from the operator is to check leg pressure to confirm that he or she has selected the correct gear. Imagine the same action in both shifting directions, with an added measure of smoothness and precision, and you get Di2.

Conventional shifting also puts the burden of selecting the optimal gear range from a wide variety of options – some of which can create problems, or in extreme cases, destroy the drivetrain. For example: Di2 can shift a wide-range two-by or three-by drivetrain using a medium-cage derailleur, with a chain that is too short to operate when the transmission is cross-chained in the largest sprockets and NEVER make the mistake of shifting into the forbidden combinations.

Customization is also a unique attribute of Shimano Di2. By downloading Shimano’s e-Tube Project software to your PC (not ready for Macs, yet), you can program the shift levers to command any of the system’s functions. You can program Di2 shift like the paddles of a sports car with one side for up-shifts and the other for downshifts. You can program either the right or left-side buttons in Synchro mode to automatically shift both the front and rear changers. The functions of either button on one shift lever can be reversed, and given single or multi-shift powers.

Confusing? Having so many options can be daunting, but like suspension settings, you will quickly discover that only one or two choices are useful. I found E-Tube software to be easy to use, but Shimano has done its homework. After messing with a number of custom options, I opted to return to the default Synchro mode, where it stayed until I returned the bike.
Shimano Di2 XTR 2105
Synchro Shifting offers two default options: S1 (left) and S2. (right). The graphic shows that when downshifting to a lower gear in both modes, Di2's computer leaves the chain on the big ring until the last two shifts. While upshifting, however, the S1 mode switches over to the big chainring one shift earlier than S2 mode. If you spend a lot of time grinding up steeps, S2 mode will stay in the small ring instead of annoying you with a hundred double-shifts. Racers like S-1 because they prefer to stay on the big ring. Shimano graphic

It’s easy to imagine why cross-country pros, (who, I assume, are pretty handy with mechanical shift levers), have embraced Di2. Shifts are easier and more accurate, so a rider can confidently change gears more often to manage power output and, perhaps more importantly, make fewer errors towards the latter stages of a race when fatigue dulls reflexes and judgement. For both professional and rank-and-file-trail riders, Di2 simply means never having to worry about shifting. You place the order, turn the pedals and, “bzeeb, bzeeb, bzeeb” - Di2 handles it.


Why You Don’t Need Di2 XTR

Truth is, Di2 doesn’t bring any major revolutions to the table. Shimano’s conventional XTR shifts well enough to make almost any rider happy. Di2 simply offers better shifting, and a Synchro Shift feature that allows two and three-by XTR drivetrains to be operated by one set of levers. Di2 in the 22-speed, two-by-eleven configuration offers 13 well-spaced gear options. That works out to one gear lower and one slightly higher than the SRAM one-by-eleven. I was also riding SRAM X1 during the long-term test period, and I put a lot of time on Shimano’s conventional XTR in both two-by and a one-by arrangements. In the end, I can comfortably state that, unless you absolutely need (or want) slightly better shifting and a wider, more evenly spaced gear range than a SRAM X1 drivetrain offers, you don’t need Shimano Di2.

Why state SRAM as the alternative instead of XTR? Because a Di2 two-by transmission, used in Synchro mode, is its direct competition. Paradoxically, once you have experienced the self-trimming feature and ease of shifting that Di2 brings to the table, you would never want to use a mechanical front derailleur. If Di2 can be considered revolutionary, it is because it demonstrates how cumbersome a mechanical front mech’ is – and thus furthers the case for eliminating them. But, presently Shimano lacks a competitive one-by option for XTR. If one compares gearing options, chain retention, and shifting stability of the two brands in a one-by arrangement, SRAM is the clear winner over Shimano in all three categories.

Shimano has been awarded patents for narrow-wide chainrings and has recently released an 11 by 45-tooth eleven-speed cassette that operates with Di2, so there is evidence that its mechanical and electronic one-by options will soon close the gap to SRAM.
Sbimano Di2 XTR 2015
Shimano's front derailleur is the masterpiece that defines Di2's mission. In its most basic role, it is a necessary top guide to keep the chain in place. With its self-trimming feature and in combination with Synchro Shift mode, the front mech' allows Di2 to cherry-pick 13 well-spaced gears from the 22 available, which keeps its two-by drivetrain competitive with SRAM's popular one-by-eleven option. RC photo
But, as it stands, if you want a one-by drivetrain, buy SRAM - and if you want a two-by drivetrain with closer-spaced shifts and a slightly wider gearing range, buy Shimano Di2. Both give you best-in-category performance and both free up the left side of the handlebar for a dropper seatpost lever.

Shimano Di2 2015
RC photo


How Di2 XTR Stood the Test of Time

Shimano’s Di2 XTR earns the high marks for reliability and durability – and after a full season of thrashing, all indications say that Di2 will hold up better than mechanical XTR. Check out Mike Levy's review of Shimano's M9000 mechanical XTR for the full story. Wear on the cassette cogs was slightly less on the larger and smaller sprockets and about the same in the middle ones – which stands to reason, because the computer manages the two derailleurs to keep the chain in the middle of the cassette, which eliminates the most offending cross-chain combinations. Good thing, because new XTR chainrings are P R I C E Y items to replace.

The derailleurs cranked out shifts without fail and with no need for an adjustment for the first three months of testing. After bashing against some hefty boulders, however, the rear changer needed a slight adjustment. Di2 derailleurs are adjusted using the small display. After selecting the adjustment mode, tapping one paddle will move the changer left, while the other moves it right. One adjustment in an entire season of riding was pretty hard to believe.

The front changer was equally reliable. Its motor is massively powerful and can force the chain up to the larger chainring under full climbing torque - and that is how I used it. I never let off the gas to make its job easier in either direction and, except for one rather embarrassing moment, it never tossed a chain, left me to deal with a grinding noise, nor missed a shift, The big moment came immediately after I loudly proclaimed during a popular group ride that I had never tossed a chain - then, boom! It shifted the chain off the small ring and into neutral. I swallowed my pride, made a tiny adjustment to the inside stop and never had another issue.

Water and mud did not adversely affect either changer, nor was there any lapse in service that may have been caused by a leaky fitting. Shimano must have a Di2 test submarine in their research and development wing. I did have some issues with the tape that is used to conceal the wires where they pass under the handlebar. Once dust sneaks under the adhesive, it starts to look natty. The tape did remain in place, so functionally, it was a win for Shimano. I purposely photographed the components unwashed and beaten by the elements, but the changers did clean up well.

bigquotesBattery life was so good (Shimano insiders say 20 hours of race-shifting between charges) that I actually forgot that I had to charge it the first time and nearly ran it down to nothing.

Battery life was so good (Shimano insiders say 20 hours of race-shifting between charges) that I actually forgot that I had to charge it the first time and nearly ran it down to nothing. There is a USB port in the display that hooks up to the Di2 charger, so there is no need to remove the battery. I charged the system twice in five months and the indicator said I had a third of a charge left when I sent the bike back.
Shimano Di2 2015
Shimano uses a row of titanium sprocket teeth to extend the wear of the big ring. The small sprocket is aluminum. Both held up surprisingly well. RC photo

Shimano Di2 XTR 2015
The Di2 rear derailleur took some serious abuse in the boulders without suffering a debilitating injury. Ball-bearing pulleys spun perfectly after a season of neglect. RC photo


Sbimano Di2 XTR 2015
Display functions (clockwise): battery indicator says full charge, "T" stands for big chainring, no suspension components show in the far right, the cassette is in fourth gear, and shifting is set in Synchro Shift 2 mode. RC photo
Sbimano Di2 XTR 2015
A look beneath the handlebar shows the e-Tube wire ports behind the display. The empty socket (highlighted) is designated for the missing left shift buttons - it doubles as a computer access port for programming Di2. RC photo


Technical Report:

E-Tube program: Good marks to Shimano for making its programming software easy to learn and intuitive to manage. Sadly, it is still PC only. A smart phone app would also be great.

To beep or not to beep: When I first started in with Di2 XTR, I hated the warning beeps that sound when you have reached the last cog of the cassette and also before the system executes a double shift (both derailleurs simultaneously). I used the E-Tube program to eliminate the warning sounds, but after a month, I wanted them back. Turns out, it's nice to know that information.
Shimano Di2 XTR 2015
Most of the XTR cassette cogs are titanium, and they showed little wear. The derailleur's plastic clutch housing took a beating. RC photo

Noisy cassette cog: Not something that I was expecting from Shimano, the chain seems to struggle slightly when pedaling hard in the large chainring and the second largest cog. There seems to be some noticeable drag in that option as well.

Syncro shift modes: Shimano nailed it. Don't bother trying to outfox the computer and don't bother with a left-side shift lever. Depend upon either of the two default Synchro options to select the proper gear sequences and forgettaboutit.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThere is a reason that top sports car makers have abandoned the stick shift and adopted electronically assisted dual-clutch transmissions and paddle shifters. They shift faster and more accurately and, more importantly, paddle shifting removes much of the workload from the driver. The same can be said for Shimano's Di2 XTR. If money were no object, only nostalgia would be a reason to choose mechanical shifting on a mountain bike - or a stick shift on a road car.

Is Di2 for everyone? Certainly not for the budget minded. Bike makers could offer a substantial suspension or chassis upgrade for the additional expense of Di2 XTR, but at the price point that Di2-equipped bikes will be offered, it would be as difficult to defend the retail cost of any other component. The bottom line is that Shimano's take on electric shifting will make you a better rider, and that is true whether you are a top pro or a rank amateur. No. You don't need it. Yes. You will want it. Look no further than SRAM for verification - their electric mountain bike group should debut this spring. - RC



View more images in the review gallery.


MENTIONS: @shimano, @pivotcycles,


269 Comments

  • + 325
 I can't afford it so I hate it.
  • + 34
 I don't hate it but i don't want it, crashing through gears is part and parcel of riding lol
  • + 14
 I don't want it, but I won't mind if it came within XT price tag.
  • - 81
flag caste1200 (Nov 4, 2015 at 7:05) (Below Threshold)
 I can afford it but I think it's a stupid idea, I do a lot of multiple day trips and this is just source of problems! Sometimes I'm not near bike shops, specially ones with di2 equipment. Di2 is for posers.
  • - 89
flag pigit77 (Nov 4, 2015 at 7:17) (Below Threshold)
 What happens if you drive thru a puddle and all the electronic shit gets wet?
  • + 36
 Just wait for it to come down to XT/SLX level. SLX is like having your beer and drinking it too.
  • + 70
 @pigit77 You don't "drive" a bike, but nevertheless Di2 is waterproof...do you really think they would overlook such a basic aspect?
  • + 14
 It's no more a source of problems than your regular mechanical groupset. You're no more likely to sever a cable or destroy a shifter/derailleur than your mechanical pieces. You just have to learn how to maintain a new kind of groupset is all.
  • - 80
flag caste1200 (Nov 4, 2015 at 8:38) (Below Threshold)
 @zsandstorm well, I can have a spear cable on my bag, also if you broke something maybe you can guru fix it, and if the mec is dead, you have better chances of replacing it than a di2! not everybody lives in the alpes and can ride awesome trails like I do, someday you'll get it
  • + 42
 you have no idea what you are talking about. go count your money
  • + 16
 For me, the fact of the matter is:

If I was given it, would I use it and like it? Yea, probably.

Would I spend money on it? No.

I can see the appeal, the smart and smooth shifting is pretty appealing and I'm sure the next gen won't even require a shifter (like an automatic car.) but the problems for me are: hard to troubleshoot and fix myself, if I forget to charge and run out of juice, the battery will degrade over time, and it's too expensive.

Honestly I'm more excited to see a light, reliable, and inexpensive internal gearing option. That's where it's at IMO.
  • + 11
 Can't afford it applies to sram as well. Just ask anyone who chews through a sram 11 speed cassette every other season. 1x has worse chainline on both the top and bottom ends of the cassette, which leads to faster wear on chain and cassette. Having better chainline for most gears in 2x makes a huge difference in terms wear. Also the whole chain retention thing that reviewers harp about with 1x is total bs. With a front derraileur, chain drops, you just shift it back on. Everyone I saw squatting by the side of the trail messing with their derraileur from the last couple xc races this summer had 1x. Because with 1x when the chain drops, you have to get Off your bike to put it back on. 2x, you lose a pedal stroke, shift and then it's back to business riding.
  • + 32
 Until somebody develops a better alternative to the derailleur system, this is just very expensive lipstick on an old pig. The beautiful thing about bikes at the core is that they are simple and elegant, a mechanical extension of the human engine.

RC - before you call me a luddite, I am usually early to adopt new bike tech after some critical thought. New tech is great, but I can't get behind this one at all. Trying to convince the masses that this is what they actually "want" and create demand for a ridiculously expensive consumable component just reeks of marketing for future XT level kits. Your parallels to paddle shifting in sports cars are unfair- sequential gearboxes work flawlessly; the derailleur is a 100+ year old system that has inherent fundamental issues, no matter how refined.
Saying that we should "look to SRAM for verification" is ridiculous, of course they want to compete with Shimano, tell us we want it and sell product. Don't forget the saying people - never ask a barber if you need a haircut!
  • + 11
 To me this electronic stuff seems unnatural, unessacary and out of place on a mountain bike. So sue me! However I do see the appeal... To me it's like fake tits. The original ones worked fine, but the updated ones (even though I'm not really into them) are pretty sweet. I get it! Same thing happening in the auto industry. The vehicles aren't getting that much better they're just getting pumped full or electronic gizmos and gadgets. But I agree with you, my fake boobie comparison was better.
  • + 1
 I don't need it, but i'll probably get it!
  • + 4
 @caste1200 Yeah and you could also carry a spare etube wire...
  • - 5
flag JoshdoesMTBing (Nov 4, 2015 at 10:50) (Below Threshold)
 @pigman65 Hown many divetrains do you get through on a wet day?
  • + 9
 Imagine smacking that into a tree stump, think I would cry,good thing I can't afford it !
  • + 5
 @fatenduro ... I run 1 x 11 on both my bikes, never dropped a chain yet, because by design my 1 x 11 stays in place.
  • + 10
 @compaqnc6340 German speakers drive cars, drive bikes, drive skis, drive snowboards.... just about anything being steered/controlled they call "driving" Wink
  • - 1
 @JoshdoesSPELLing ,you might want to spellcheck that Smile
But yeah not as many Big Grin
  • + 3
 @pigit77 didnt read the article..... speculates on shimano having a submarine test facility......
  • + 2
 I still wear my SRAM tshirt which states, 2x10 the right gear. Lol...SRAM got over it fast. And I still ride a 2x10. I want di2. I even ran a modified top guide to fit in front of my derailleur, and it keeps it from ever dropping chain on the outside for about 25g. 2x11 is the future, for me anyway. But not at $2800. Maybe $1000.
  • - 18
flag caste1200 (Nov 4, 2015 at 12:56) (Below Threshold)
 @aks2017 LOL you would also need tools to pass the cable inside your frame... ever mounted a di2 group? guess not.
  • + 5
 @caste1200 I admit that I've never routed di wires through a frame. I cant imagine it would be too much more work than routing an internal rear derailleur cable...
  • - 27
flag caste1200 (Nov 4, 2015 at 14:23) (Below Threshold)
 @aks2017 lol ever heard about cable housing? love how many people have no idea on how a bike works! and even if the cable goes naked inside the frame, trust me. is much easier, like trying to put your flaccid mhmm into a mhhmm vs your hard mhmm into a mhmm (flaccid = di2 cable, erection = normal gear cable)
good luck with your di2s loool
  • + 9
 Don't hate it, just have absolutely no need for a $2k+ drivetrain, but I also don't spend all my time on pink bike talking shit about products I don't intend to buy or think are that necessary. I hope everyone with money to burn enjoys their new drivetrain just like I enjoy pedaling my 5 year old bike.
  • + 3
 @caste1200 I'm glad my perceived ignorance amused you. I don't regret that I grew up with road bikes, and learned my mech skills on road bikes, where internal cable routing is naked cable, and in my experience a PITA. My current, and first mountain bike, is externally routed, but the next one I am looking at is internally routed real der, so i am sure I'll see how much easier it is.
  • + 4
 I just want it to eliminate cables and cable housing and all the stretching, adjustments, drag, and having to replace that comes with them. Di2 seems like bliss when compared to that.
  • + 14
 @caste1200

you're drunk. go home.
  • + 1
 Im just going to install a midget to change gears for me they go for a round a few beers per ride.
  • + 17
 Just as a reminder. Some uf us swiss are nice people. Even if they ride in the alps.
  • + 0
 I don't need it, I don't want it, but I'll probably get it cause it's the latest and greatest. Remember, if you think that it's too expensive...it wasn't made for you!
  • + 2
 Basically, if you COULD, you WOULD (SHOULD???)
  • + 8
 What g123 said. yes, the gearbox we'll all be running in a few years will have electronic shifting. But all of this stuff is lipstick on a pig. It's like the automotive industry: we still run some pile of shit internal combustion engine which has been around forever. It's noisy; stinks; pollutes bla bla bla. How much different is a car now than 10 years ago? It has a whole whack more electronic junk on the inside but what is under the hood is pretty much the same old hunk of shit.

And here we have the derailleur drivetrain: a hunk of shit.

We bitch (justifiably) about all these new standards, but holy crap, as soon as someone figures out a gearbox or Shimano creates an MTB-able Alfine that's way lighter (and rear suspension and chain growth etc) all of what we have now will be ancient history. Then Boost 148 really will not matter; you can get those extra 3mm spoke bracing angles since you'll only have one cog on the rear and not a cluster of shit.
  • + 1
 Ride harder.
  • + 5
 The mountain bike community has so many awesome postives but one of crappy negatives is the resentment of people with nice bikes.
Back in 1993 while still in school I worked every hour I could at my lbs so I could build up a non branded British eagle frame with bits ordered at cost thanks to working there.... Over the next 20 odd years I've spent hours on scouting ebay, perfecting the last minute, slowly upgrading, buying and selling different bikes/frames/bits etc, being unlucky enough to have one bike nicked but lucky enough for the insurance to pay out, doing deals with shops I've built up relationships with, ordering parts/bikes cheap from Germany, not to mention the hours grafting as a sparky to afford the upgrades.... All to the point where a year or so ago I could afford to build myself a top of the range Bronson, great bike and I loved it.... But you just know as your pulling up to the trails with the bike on the roof there's a load of people in the car park thinking 'look at this flash d***head with his carbon Santa Cruz' Frown
Yeah there maybe people who've just taken up the sport and gone an bought the most expensive bike they can find.. BUT then there are also some that have got here through years and years of searching and gradual slow upgrading. If you are one of the latter then enjoy your expensive bike and f**k the haters!
  • + 2
 Oh goodness the idea that people resenting people with nice bikes is some sort of problem in the biking community. Get over yourself. When I see a guy roll up with a nice bike I think that's a sweet ride. If I bomb past you on my old bike I'd probably think maybe he should have spent some that on resources to learn how to ride. Bikes are expensive and while it can be annoying seeing the stereotypical dentist crawling down the hill on his expensive bike most every rider I know doesn't resent anything. Mtn biking isn't or shouldn't be the new country club sport and have people bragging over gear or people jealous of people with nice bikes.
  • + 1
 some people ride move bikes. some
don't. Doesn't mean sh$t.
  • + 3
 I totally agree. There should be more internal geared hubs in the market.
  • + 1
 @jozhua130: Your prayer has been answered! Shimano is releasing XT Di2 very soon!
  • + 125
 "Di2 XTR exists exclusively for the cycling’s top-level competitors and for top-level recreational shoppers. Unless you count yourself among them, your opinions about batteries on bikes, non-standard parts and Shimano’s pre-determined gear selections are wasted breath. " I guess that is one way to shut the butt-hurt up before it erupts.
  • + 71
 Trying to shut the butt-hurt is also wasted breath.
  • + 24
 Perfect statement. The majority of comments about components these days are just complaints complaints complaints. The amount of negativity from members is astounding.
  • - 1
 My thoughts exactly. I'm one of those "butt-hurt" people, but I won't "waste my breath"...

Am I allowed to say that I disagree with the Sram being best option though? I own XO1 and its performance is reliably unreliable at best.
  • + 8
 On that note I'm wondering if anyone has matched a shimano shifter and derailleur to a sram cassette (10-42). With a true NW up front, wouldn't this be the best of all worlds? Good retention, wider gearing, and Shimano shifting (for those who prefer it).
  • + 2
 I have no probs with Pinkbike getting positive but honestly the alternative forums that are not so negative, seem extremely dorky. I'd rather read hate in comments under Pinkbike articles than threads like: "is 11sp worth trying?" "I want to buy a 29er" "which Maxxis tyre" "show your Trek" "Nomad or Enduro29" "ceramic bearings for suspension pivots"
  • + 18
 WTF is a top-level recreational shopper?
  • + 21
 Somebody who buys this equipment just to say they have it then hangs the bike in their garage next to their Lambo.
  • + 23
 @dump - a man who wears a suit to work, drives an expensive German car and has a fleet of carbon bikes in his garage next to his golf clubs
  • + 3
 @powderturns, I've wondered that myself. Would love to hear from someone that's tried it. Surely they're out there.
  • + 7
 Di2, a groupset for Dentists
  • + 7
 I can afford it but I still don't want it. My XX1 kit is now 3 seasons old and has barely needed to be touched. Great gearing and it just works.
  • + 12
 Next time I'll go to a dentist I'll ask him if he can sell me his Di2 set as soon as he gets bored with it. I'd rather do it after the visit though, I don't want an offended man putting a drill into my mouth
  • + 0
 ^^^ Hilarious and original!
  • + 26
 Shimanos next advertising campaign: 'Di2 for dentists who don't like to shoot Lions'
  • + 3
 ^^^ Also hilarious and original!
  • + 8
 I think the PB writers should stop pandering in new articles to the negative comments of previous articles. It really puts a downer on how the articles read for me.
  • + 2
 @powderturns, I've seen an 11-42 XT cassette work flawlessly with an otherwise SRAM XO1 drivetrain (because they're so much cheaper then an XO1 or even X1 cassette), so I imagine the opposite would also work fine.
  • + 2
 @dump if you don't know, you can't afford it.
  • + 1
 @phobospwns hahaha... maybe it means I'm not one Smile top-level recreational shopper sounds a really sweet hybrid bike that you take to the grocery store.
  • + 5
 Could be a polite way of saying a fool and their money are soon parted?
  • + 5
 Talk to anyone who has used Di2 on their road bike and they would never go back to mechanical shifting. Just like when Dura Ace came out it was f'ing pricey. Prices for Ultegra are bearable and a new rear derailleur from one of the German retailers is manageable. When it hits the XT level which will likely occur in the next year or two I would have no hesitation in running it.
  • + 1
 Up in the Hollywood Hills with their books...
  • + 1
 I'm one of them top level shoppers, I'd probably get it. I save for things I plan to buy in the future, sell my old parts to buy new parts, and work long hours.
  • + 0
 If you get it, @drivereight , let us know how you get along with it! I'm particularly curious about battery longevity. Not how long it will hold a charge, but how many charge cycles the battery will be able to withstand. That's my main beef with electronic stuff like that. Seems like once the battery is toast, the whole product is toast due to the prohibitive cost of new batteries.
  • + 3
 @biking85 I would not call 60 Euro per battery a prohibitive cost... it's like whining on fuel consumption after you bought a Range Rover. Battery life argument is gullible since cables can easily become a pain. @drivereight - some people simply don't understand that when you get a career, an occupation directly contributing to well-being of humanity (unlike being a sponsored rider...), be it a business owner/partner, lawyer, dentist, doctor, engineer, you work a lot and there's not much option for cutting working hours, you either go all in or settle for a job that doesn't really give you much opportunity to buy latest and greatest stuff. You get paid for the value you bring to the people, when you make hospital equipment, pay for building houses, you get paid more than a dude who works at the dishwasher. I am of the latter kind (an architect hahaha) but I ain't going to whine on people who are better off financially. It's such a self righteous bullcrap to say that super stuff is bought by losers with fat wallets. Such claimers should go fk themselves. 99% of super cars in the world are owned by people who barely drive them and they exist just because those people are willing to spend the large money. It is a perfectly natural, mutual relation. Lately I am so tired of people who behave as if keeping their 2010 bike was making the ice caps on Greenland regenerate or as if running 10sp without clutch was decreasing crime rates among underaged. I like super stuff just like I don't mind riding shitty bike from time to time, but I am patient - I just wait 2 or 3 years and I buy them second hand or at dead-on sale outs.
  • + 1
 Waki your fooling nobody, I'm a Civil Engineer and work with architects all the time, your all earning a nice wedge haha. Admittedly I fit into the category of recreational shopper Quite well but my disposable income won't quite stretch to that level of spending without a bit of saving up first.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns

Relatively speaking, this system's battery isn't cost prohibitive. But it probably will be cost prohibitive and impossible to find when it does die in 5 years after they've moved on to a different type that's no longer compatible.

I suppose I personally am just annoyed with expensive products with rechargeable batteries that don't last. My beef wasn't necessarily with this particular system's battery, just batteries in general. Like cordless drills - the are nearly worthless with a bad battery. And, I've been through several mtb rechargeable lighting systems that once batteries were kaput, they were nearly useless. I have a nice streamlight flashlight that's only a few years old...guess what? Toasted battery.
  • + 1
 And I'm certainly not railing against Di2. I think it's an excellent step. It'd be cool if they could make the battery recharge during use, just like an auto, like something in the bottom bracket or a hub. I wonder if they could figure a way to produce electricity from suspension cycling, then, it wouldn't be using the rider's energy to charge the system.
  • + 2
 I am not sure, battery on my shtty, 5 year old Magic Shine died - I bought a similar one for 20$ or so. All new ones come with a same battery. Also, highly probably, when you open it, inside you will find 2 most basic batteries out there, just ask your nephew to fix it on his classes in school
  • + 2
 I can't wait till the day we loose all the cables altogether, it's looking like a birds nest on the bikes. I wan't to see wireless and multi function shifters in the near future.
  • + 1
 Definitely, @drivereight. Would be sweet.
  • + 86
 stick shift only for nostalgia?
dear americans, you have to learn to drive a car properly. you know, through turns and stuff.
  • + 61
 Jea, kom try my BMW M3, draiv it on se Nurburgring - zoopa coool. Den ve kan hev Wurz and kartofeln at se Wisitor senter und drink lager, talking ebout muscle car und Greece problem
  • + 15
 F1 disagrees.....Frown
  • + 0
 cut it out
  • + 3
 So how is driving your M3 at the Nürburgring different from riding your bike in the woods with your mates?
  • - 27
flag kleinblake (Nov 4, 2015 at 6:30) (Below Threshold)
 America is a big country. People don't want to deal with shifting for a 20 hour drive
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns--that was great. Be careful how much humor you put into these comments. Thanks for the laugh though!
  • + 1
 Don't down-vote me. It is a serious doubt: its both fun, both something you do with your lads, its also both tech-geeky. But riding your bikes should have less environmental impact and do more for your fitness. But I would argue there are as many airheads in motorsports as in cycling. We should not be too smug about our sh*t.
  • + 12
 Well, at least our drives are fun. Nothing beats a good old stick shift down a European country lane or Alpine road. Also @WAKIdesigns, @jzPV can at least hammer his M3 down his Autobahn at whatever speed he wants, just before the beer, wurstl und kartofln stop. Enjoy your straight, slow road to sloppy tacos.
  • + 0
 How did we get to this twist of conversation? I don't think electronic gears increase environmental impact of mountain biking by any significant beat, especially in top end groups. FYI hybrids were considered as utter bullcrap, even in Europe, until people saw McLaren P1 on a race track like Nurburgring so do not downgrade stuff so easily. What created P1? Ecology? No - the strive for shorter lap times, for more power. Sour hippies can keep on composting their poop and buying organic food, that helps, yes. But getting more people to live in a hole in the ground doesn't solve the other problems. Also I am yet to see a hippie with a decent wage living this "modest" life. Think of new technologies in all sectors as a remedy
  • + 6
 You take that back! Our tacos are f*cking awesome!
  • + 1
 @vesko - 99% of newly produced cars in 2020-2025 will have dual clutch automatic gearboxes since they are more efficient on fuel. In 2040 there may not be any Gearboxes in affordable cars since even BMW announced that in 10 years all their cars will go full electric. Volvo is all balls out into this stuff. By 2040 you'll have to buy a Morgan to have a manual gearbox. Plan your future ideals wisely
  • + 10
 ask anyone who drives a car for fun (and who is good at it, I'm not btw): they all want a proper manual. why do you think cars like the cayman gt4 are immediately sold out? unfortunately, the car industry can't live on enthusiasts and has to bend on regulations and all those dickheads with shitloads of money who only see in the brochure that a dual clutch is faster from 0-100...
  • + 13
 jzPV - the future is simply more race circuits and driving for fun after work, while streets will be filled with little, slow electric vehicles which will also start to disappear in favor of better and cheaper public transport. Car sharing, car rental is already booming, I just sold my car because for the same amount of usage, I can rent a better car, annually spending half of the money. That is in Sweden where a car costs me 2k Euro annually without driving out of the garage: Tax + insurance + garage rent + service + cleaning. Then I have to add horrendous parking costs in the center and "drive into the city" tax which takes additional 1k. Then we can start talking petrol... my rental plan for the year of driving almost top end Volvos is barely 1,5k Euro incl. everything. I'd rather spend the money on gokart track every weekend for the "driving experience" advertised in the commercials
  • + 0
 winner
  • + 3
 looking at the future you got it right waki. living near the alps I don't see that happening too soon... but germany, especially the south and bavaria around munich, is obviously different when it comes to cars and petrolheads.
  • + 4
 i think go kart tracks might become a bit of a thing for those who love to drive. cheaper, smaller space required, and fun as hell. i also wonder if more people will ride motorcycles since riding will be much safer with all the texting/drunk/drunk & texting morons off the road.
  • - 6
flag MojoMaujer (Nov 4, 2015 at 10:36) (Below Threshold)
 Dear Germans, you need to learn how not to be so full of yourself.... vw docet... Not mentioning all the lightweight stuff that breaks just looking at it (tune, German-a etc etc...)
  • + 3
 RC obviously has never tried to drive an automatic car on snow...
  • - 2
 C'm on @michibretz, if they can make ABS and ESP then how hard can it be to design an algorithm that preselects 2nd or even 3rd gear and then controls the Clutch to assist starting a car on uphill road covered in snow and Ice?
  • + 2
 @michibretz that's a pretty weak argument for buying a manual transmission. If you really drive enough in snow to affect your car choice, you should probably spring for a set of winter-only tires. In snow driving tire choice trumps transmission type every time.
  • + 17
 To paraphrase my boss who just bought a brand new stick shifting Impreza - "some day in the future, artificial insemination might be the recommended and faster method of reproduction, but I'll still prefer the manual way".
  • + 3
 Waki, apparently they cant.... or they don't bother too.
Have you ever been to the alps in the winter? have you ever seen the tourists stuck on the smaller side streets with their late model SUVs while the locals drive circles around them in their small front wheel driven cars? Well i spent the first 32 years of my live exactly there doing exactly this. It was fun.
What i loved most was seeing an BMW x5 not being able to get going on the slightest uphill instead just having his breaks glowing in the dark because the ESP and traction control is working sooo well.

Talking about hot brakes, since i moved to the US every time a drive down a mountain road i have that smell of overheating brakes from the guys in front of me in my car... yeah automatic, good job, so much better.

and so you dont get the wrong idea, i actually run Di2, its cool but you cant really compare it to a freakin automatic gear box in a car.
  • + 3
 what happens when electronics do everything for you?
you forget how to react. or you never learn it. automatic transmission, no clutch and snow/ice is the worst...
btw all our ski roadtrips are done with a diesel 3 series, manual, rear wheel drive and no esp at all times.
  • + 3
 To not show my penis as too big I can shift without using clutch. But this spartan BS gets on my nerves. Electronics will solve all that. SUVs are fkng dumb, anyone who drove a modern saloon like S-class or A8 knows that since they cost the same and center of mass sits lower they both handle better and are more comfortable
  • + 6
 I swear I've heard all the comments on this chain on Topgear before.
  • + 2
 @Waki

A high percentage of new cars in 2025 will be 100% electric.
  • + 1
 @hillclmbr @WAKIdesigns

and will have/need no gear box whatsoever...
  • + 2
 Exactly. I mean if you like shifting gears with a stick - fine, I love it too - In town... I would really like to see the driving of all those dudes talking of "control" and "right technique". It seems like the internet is filled with rally drivers. You know the classic case of a dude who feels he's a good driver cuz he can do spin outs on a gravel field or parking lot and press the pedal to the floor between 0 and 60kmph, then drive 20 more than allowed on the highway. Then he goes off the road, smashes the car and says the magic words: I tried to save it but in the end I haven't managed. Everyone can do the first counter steer with steering wheel, 0.01% can correct ehat follows after. And then they talk that shifting is an element of car/bike control... Jesus...
  • + 1
 That said, i drive a BMW 635 as a daily driver in LA, 2nd gear handles the usual traffic jams from 0 to 40 mph and if miraculously it should happen that there is no traffic fifth gear does anything between 25 and 135 mph. There is really not much shifting and clutching happening in my car and also there is no need to step on the brake all the time either. just ease of the accelerator and the car slows down. The thing just cruises around with minimal effort... very comfy...
When i am going somewhere long distance i usual get me a rental car which in the states is always automatic.
These f*ckers just drive me nuts when i am rolling up a hill using cruise control and they down shift and start revving up like i am fighting for pole position in an f1 qualifying knocking my had backwards against the headrest every time...
Why is it that a 30 year old car that once had 200 horses, a good amount of them probably escaped throughout the years, has no problems cruising up a hill at 65 miles an hour, but a brand new luxury automatic has to down shift in to 3rd gear like its a freaking 50cc scooter every time a hill appears on the horizon?
On the same note why does and modern sports car needs to extend a freaking spoiler at 30 miles an hour when my 30 year old piece of junk can easily do over 100 mph without wings and sh*** coming out of the trunk and is not lifting off either? Are the aerodynamics on these new cars so bad you cant drive to grocery shopping without looking like you just coming for an audition for fast and the furious 48?

its just a weird world...
  • + 1
 Michibretz - I know all that but the reality is gearboxes will disappear from cars and all the problems that you talk about will be non-existent. I will gladly welcome electronic gears and seatposts. Same with suspension. At least as long as price will go down, I can wait. Right now Fox 36 fork with Öhlins damper will cost you 2k+. Can it get much worse? I doubt it. Will a super electric bike make me twice as fast? No fkng way. If they will make me 5% faster then it will be a gigantic success of science. It will make my riding more convenient and more comfortable. I want an electronic gearbox even though it has no place in racing
  • + 1
 @michibretz here's your answer: Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. The 30 year old car in your example had its top gear and final drive set so that the engine was dead in the middle of its power band at highway cruising speeds. My 1988 Audi revved about 3100rpm at 70mph in 5th gear with a 2.3L inline 5. No turbo and 2 valves per cylinder. It could climb any hill on an interstate in 5th unless it was at altitude (Colorado or the Sierra), then I maybe needed to downshift to 4th occasionally. Automatics of the day were mostly 4-speed plus overdrive, but regardless of auto or manual, top gear at highway cruising speed put the motor in the middle of its power band.

Today, most cars (I'm talking automatic trans) from mid-low end all the way to high end like the automatic version of your 635 have 5-8 gears, with the highest 2-3 being overdrive. Today's version of my Audi will rev at or below 2000rpm when in top gear at 70mph, purposely limiting the power on hand in exchange for better fuel economy. Plus there's all sorts of engine tech going on with valve timing, turbos, etc to purposely weaken the engine--while you aren't paying attention and just cruising along on a flat stretch of road at a constant speed--all in the name of economy. In a better car you won't notice the weakling your motor has become because the instant you step on the gas all of that tech switches from economy settings to performance settings, pumping fuel to the fire for as long as you ask it to before turning into a neutered milquetoast once again.

But tech is expensive, and what better way to cut corners (even on luxury brands) than eliminating the tech and claiming to accomplish the same results using something you already have to have in the car anyway -- the transmission. The fact is, most late model automatic trans cars don't achieve top speed in their highest gear. The top couple of gears are now solely there for fuel economy. The reason your luxury rental downshifts into 3rd is because that's the gear which creates the revs required to put the motor at the peak of its power range. When the driver no longer wants the motor to be Mr. Hyde, everything goes back to the super economical, quiet, boring (and unfortunately default) Dr. Jekyll state.

Currently, my home has an Sti (manual) and a Honda (automatic). I curse the Honda every time I have to drive it.
  • + 2
 Car nerds should stick to renovating cars with a manual gearbox and 2l+ engines. 99.99% of drivers don't even care since their cars spend so much time between neutral and 3rd gear in traffic. What you are talking about is a wasted dream presented to you on commercial of Dacia Sandero, a piece of car poop shown scaling a volcano. You think you are going to drive it off-road this one time during the year, but in reality the buyer won't ever do it. Buy an Aygo and save money for renting F458 on Monza, buy a gokart or a folk race car, do the actual fun driving bit. The matter of a fact is that not only Porsche GT3 as a street car is useless. Most of average carslike Audi A4 are overbuilt as Hell. Driving experience? Potential? In a traffic queue? Please... It's about having a toy, no reasoning needed
  • + 1
 Great if automatic is for you but ist not for me. It's sad I can not chose anymore how I get my ass from A to B but have to buy what someone tells me...
  • + 1
 I also embraced the thought of driving Toyota Aygos with electric engines with power equal to 650ccm petrol engine. How often can I use the power of 3.0L engine in Audi A7? Virtually NEVER. How many people annually die on roads of EU in speeding related accidents ? More than due to all terrorist attacks all over the world since 9-11. How many lives will be saved?
  • + 25
 I think Di2 is really cool. However, I think you could have made the opening paragraph a little more condescending. Example:

"Shimano Di2 XTR: BE GONE, PEASANTS!"
  • + 6
 Dude, you made chuckle. Thank god im still in bed and not drinking my coffee.
  • + 5
 Cables are for the 99%!
  • + 24
 Kidney for sale... still a few years left in it...
  • + 4
 I might have to take you up on that offer. How much?
  • + 2
 Ha ha....what about my arm and leg?
  • + 3
 Wont you need those for shifting and pedaling?
  • + 14
 'There is a reason that top sports car makers have abandoned the stick shift and adopted electronically assisted dual-clutch transmissions and paddle shifters. They shift faster and more accurately and, more importantly, paddle shifting removes much of the workload from the driver. The same can be said for Shimano's Di2 XTR.' There is also a reason why Rally cars 'still' use a mechanical shifter operated by cables. its because in the world of off road. its more reliable.
  • + 3
 Secuencial transmitions in rally cars are not really different than other racing touring cars, but really different to the ones in road cars. Going off road is not really the issue. Very few race cars actually use a fully electronic comand and are extremely sophisticated and expensive
  • + 2
 Sequential transmissions are, however, the transmission of choice for all motorcycles and dirtbikes (race or otherwise) I really wish there were true sequentials in common cars; it's such a better transmission.
  • + 1
 The reason rally cars use mechanical shifters is to keep the cost down. They used to use electronically actuated paddle shifters back when they had active diffs. That said what's the point of having a high powered car if you can't pop the clutch and snap necks or induce drifts. I just miss the days when I could keep up with faster riders by finessing the gears on a 3 by system.
  • + 8
 I'd like to try it. I am for sure in the can't afford it group, but ever since the first release talking about synchro, I though it would be cool to try. You don't have to hate stuff just cause. Didn't your parents tell you to try new things before you decide if you like it?
  • + 4
 Boom. Agreed. I hope that the price range comes within reach in a few years so I can give it a go.
  • + 8
 I love the "old school" dudes in Marin County who hang out at the trailhead, with jeans and work boots, talking about the good ol' days and how bikes should cost no more than $500, and suspension is not needed, "all that fancy stuff you kids ride these days. Back in my day, we used to...blah blah"

And this d0ouchebag drove to the trailhead in a 2017 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GTS.

I hate these dudes.

XTR Di2: Bring it on. This is awesome. Technology moves the needle forward, bicycling included.
  • + 4
 We call this being a poser...unfortunately this is all too common in the US now. Rich guys posing as 'old school' and poor guys posing as rich guys. Just be comfortable in your own skin!
  • + 10
 i dont want to charge my bike, its just THAT simple.....
  • + 3
 I agree that a mechanical bike is awesome, for the same reason that I want a Ferrari F40 so bad: it's basically a go-cart in terms of technology. However, there is a place for a techno wonder. I wouldn't turn away a Porsche 918 Spyder either. Can't we have both?
  • + 1
 I wouldn't even mind, but there is no socket where I store my bikes Big Grin
  • + 9
 I dont understand, if all I ride is bike park, than why do i need to shift so much?
  • + 9
 Problem is,I'm not "budget minded",but I'm definitly "budget walleted".
  • + 1
 ˆˆ
This!
  • + 5
 Xtr di2 rear derailleur €500
Dura ace di2 rear derailleur €480
Ultegra di2 rear derailleur €170
Xt di2 rear derailleur???

Do xt di2 should be cheaper than x1, no f'ing around with shift cables, it might even be worth the risk of smashing one every 18 months. Sounds good to me.
  • + 3
 Exactly what I'm waiting for. Over years it will get cheaper and they will introduce it to lower class models aswell to keep up the competition against Sram. I think it's just a matter of time before they do Di2 XT and Di2 SLX. I would definitely buy that Smile

In that case upgrading the rear derailleur and rear shifter wouldn't have to cost too much.
  • + 4
 I'm waiting for 11 speed SLX myself. with a 50eur cassette and sub 100eur crankset.
  • + 1
 Would be nice indeed. Until that day though we have SunRace providing us with 11-42T cassettes for 10 and 11 speed for only $59,99
  • - 9
flag torero (Nov 4, 2015 at 6:01) (Below Threshold)
 Fuck electronic systems !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 8
 In a zombie apocalypse, I would have nowhere to recharge the battery.
  • + 8
 Do you even solarpower bruh! Or even better. Get a dynamo wheel, the more you ride more power you get!!! Win-win
  • + 1
 In a zombie apocalypse cenario, Aaron Gwin would have no problem. He rides chainless.
  • + 4
 I sell my soul to the devil. I gave it a thought and I love it. I would love to have simple buttons for shifting and for the dropper. Shimano guide us! (and that said make a brake that feels like Guide). The only thing I wish is that Shimano makes rear mechs with easily exchangeable components so that when you wreck it, you can for instance buy only the messed up body, using untouched motor. Fix your cages as well, Sram cages are more durable. Give carbon plate already on XT level. OR just make the gearbox... call it XTR GT - XTR Gearbox Technology. No hurry, one step at a time!

*sarcasm has not been included in making of this comment
  • + 3
 Be careful with that sarcasm here...
  • + 2
 how about just make an electronic automatic transmission that's in-sync with your cadence and power output which adjusts suspension performance.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns
Have you tried the OneUp Rad or Radr cages yet? They are much more robust than the standard cages shimano mechs come with. I have a Radr cage on a Saint derailleur and a expanded 10 speed 11-42 cassette, with a direct mount hanger, and it does not leave much room for wanting in any area. Price, durability, repair-ability, shifting performance and gear range. I am in absolutely NO rush to change this drivetrain setup.
  • + 0
 JesseE - cuz roots and rocks mate, you don't want your smart bike to shift for you when you try to catch balance on a rocky uphill as gear shift will mess it up. On another hand if you cater to a rider who just sits on his bum and shifter will get info about incoming obstacles from some sensor scanning the ground ahead and under the bike, coped with accelerometers around hubs telling the processing unit to not shift at some particular moment then... mhm...
  • + 1
 I was being facetious, but yeah, good point @WAKIdesigns . Having a sensor that could read and understand the terrain is getting into AI territory. Feels like bikes are going closer and closer to being small motos, which I'm not sure how I feel about.
  • + 0
 Some people like big motos, some like small ones... I am scared of riding motos
  • + 1
 Only people who have a small moto say its what you do with your moto that counts. Some people are scared of riding a big moto but once you've had a big moto you never go back to a small moto.
  • + 1
 When I was a kid I had a Honda CR80 (I think?). Had a blast on it. but when my dad got me this big old 400 four-stroke bruiser, there was no looking back. I like bikes for different reasons than I liked my old dirt bike and I have never wanted to fuse the experience of the two. That's just me, though. Back to electric derailleurs....
  • + 0
 I have never ridden a moto but something tells me that e-bikes, at least pedal assisted oneswith Bosch engine have nothing to do with them. That Stealth Bomber thing though is dumb as fk because it is so heavy that it gets next to impossible to ride it like a mountain bike, while Trek Powerfly or Haibikes behave more or less like pre 2010 DH bikes. So as you can see E-bike is s very broad term and I'd be careful with throwing too many different species on one ark just to send it to hell
  • + 1
 Duuuuude, quote of the day. "be careful with throwing too many different species on one ark just to send it to hell". I'm taking that one to the bank.
  • + 4
 These negative comments will be entertaining to read in ten years when electronic shifting becomes standard and is even found on low end mountain bikes. Mechanical drivetrains will be archaic. This is the future. Give it time, the price will come down and the quality will improve.
  • + 3
 I feel like this would hold me back as a rider because it's so insanely expensive that I would really be sketched out to do any technical or heavy riding on it for fear of busting something. It's all fun and games until a detailleur snaps or something and you have to pay for it with vital organs.
  • + 6
 On the other hand, that's not every ride you smash a derailleur. My Dh bike is fitted with and old blackbox X0 9s in carbon plus resin (yes the fragile ones). This mech is 5 years old, had many brutal encounters with boulders and is still alive. At the time I bought it I was like : "pfff won't hold an entire season !".
And don't forget that the breakable derailleur hanger is there for that too.
  • + 1
 Ack. Neg propped by accident. Fat fingers. Totally agree. I started riding in an era where parts regularly broke. I hoarded things and now have a garage full of 10 year old parts, and gave away the older stuff a year ago...
  • + 3
 Yeah I totally get what you guys are saying, it's just that mental state of mind thinking 'man I have a 2800$ drivetrain, I gotta be careful!'
  • + 2
 My last entire bike cost me about that much. It is a freakin complete bike with all the stuff in place needed to properly shred a trail. And when shit breaks I replace it with new shit, because I dont have to worry about breaking anything full-bike-priced. Holy cow, man, 2800 bucks. Like they said - not for me.
  • + 2
 S S O D bitches! your money, spend it how like! but I seriously don't understand why anyone, would want to take the complexity of the world on a ride. with push of all these electronic aides, in a short while, the roadies will be laughing at mtbers for being soft.
  • + 2
 Spent a good 10 mins at the Shimano stand at Eurobike this year just pressing the shifter back and forward watching the derailleur smoothly slide back and forward, very slick and hypnotizing. One definite benefit would be those with disabilities/injuries/limited thumb movement. Maybe in a few years when the price gets in reach of the top end "manual" XTR I can see this being a definite option for the average tech obsessed mtb'er.
  • + 2
 Already met a guy with missing fingertips who got Di2 for his road bike because it was easier for him to shift.
  • + 3
 I thought electronic shifting was a horrible expensive waste of time and then I tried a Di2 bike. Now I'm just mad my road bike isn't DI2-ready and I'm considering it for my Nomad.
  • + 2
 I like the fact that each of these brands is concentrating on their own thins instead of trying to beat each other. You know SRAM is doing their 1x system an with X1 or GX it is becoming more and more accessible and Shimano is sticking with 2x while optimizing it with electronics.
There will always be some competition (Shimano XT 11sp for example) but you can say that Shimano still concentrates on optimizing 2x solutions!
What a time to be a mountain biker!
  • + 3
 All innovation hits the market expensive, its what marketers call "skimming". Just give it a few years and Shimano will probably offer XT Di2 for a price we mortals can afford.
  • + 1
 Possibilities are endless with this technology. How about an rpm/ power meter based automated shifting system. Would be great for those who do heart rate training. Maximizing the time spent in your own a personal power band, and not ever having to think about it while doing it would be awesome. You could have training modes, were it makes you slog up a climb in a taller gear to get stronger. God forbid an "enduro mode/ liaison mode" where, like Jared graves does, you could sit and spin in a comfortable range. Of course you can do this all now, but why not use this bad ass technology as a platform
  • + 1
 I am lucky enough to buy a gently used 2015 Specialized S-Works Epic XTR and the original owner upgraded to Di2, and I absolutely LOVE it! Electronic shifting is is so quick and precise. Love those cute little electric grinding sounds when it's shifting for you. I never thought going back to 2x11 setup(1x11 XX1 previous bike) until Di2 made 2x11 so convenient and easy. More gears to play with!
  • + 1
 " “No. You don’t need it.” And, “Yes. You do want it.” Lazy readers can stop right here, because this entire story is summed up in those few short phrases. "

There are very few people for whom the $1,000 upcharge over a nice mechanical 1x will be worth it if compared to, say, the same money invested in skills training at Whistler (to take a cue from RC's "Ask Pinkbike" advice given yesterday). For most of us, that's an investment that would make a much bigger impact on how much we get to enjoy our riding than the better shifting experience and range that comes from this. If you're already maxed out on that aspect of things, and if money is not the limiting factor, then yes, you might be the target market for this.
  • + 1
 It looks pretty impressive, but you'd really need to be a bleeding edge type to fully appreciate it I think. Also, something turns me off of having electronic gadgetry on a bike, what's next, servo assisted power brake levers?
  • + 5
 Front deraliurs are super cool
  • + 1
 I look at all of this uber expensive gear the same way I look at a new Ferrari in a car magazine. It's bike porn. Do all of the haters actually expect this new stuff to be in the same price range as the components you find on sale on CRC? Just read the article, drool a little bit, and move on... Just like you do when watching Jeremy Clarkson burn through sets of $4k tires in the new 458. Do you want Top Gear to exclusively review the new Camry and Accord? What anybody actually want to watch that?
  • + 2
 If I had the money I'd buy this without hesitation. It would be worth it, just to avoid ever having to deal again with the total crap internal cable routing on my Trek Slash.
  • + 5
 What is a front derailleur?
  • + 1
 I'd love Di2. Can I afford it. Maybe if I sell some body parts. would I rip it off the bike when I smashed the mec on a tree stump and had to pay ott prices for a new one. yes Its a great idea but I think the front mec is going the way of the dinosaurs you get the equivalent of two extra gears for a massive cost when you can now get a cassette with a 45T if you so desire
  • + 5
 i will buy it when it can shift with mind control
  • + 1
 "Shimano's front derailleur is the masterpiece that defines Di2's mission. In its most basic role, it is a necessary top guide to keep the chain in place..."

My favorite comment, so much for narrow wide rings and clutched rear derailleurs keeping crossed chains on without a guide as promised.

Looking forward to XT Di2 at a more palatable price. I did a spin class DA Di2 and learned just how clunky and antiquated our best mechanical derailleur systems are. Mind you a ride on an Alfine hub will show you that too at a fraction of the cost.

Ultimately as mentioned derailleurs are 100 year old tech and sooner or later someone is going develop an internal system that provides much of what Di2 does with a cable and no batteries at a fraction of the price. Now that Shimano has their Steps E drive in production maybe they will get to work on the internal shift system of the future. If you think it can't or won't ever happen think about how many times game changing tech has been added to those original fat tire single speed coaster brake clunkers Gary Fischer started with to get our bikes where they are today.
  • + 1
 I'm betting they will tie this in with torque and speed sensors in the crank after a year or two. If your cadence goes below some threshold, and torque is high, it shifts down... If cadence is high and torque is low, it shifts up. Just like driving an automatic, it would always shift a couple seconds after you want it to. Which is why I drive a stick.
  • + 5
 It's still a derailleur hanging off the back end, just buying its time.
  • + 1
 Awesome stuff; I believe priced relatively fair, however I would not buy it cause I ride once in a month or so and prefer weekly trip to bike parks where I am ok with 4-7 speeds on cassette...

In case you ride hard often and wanna get as much pleasure as you can better to stick with top end components
  • + 3
 Xtr is like buying into a prototype program, I've never heard of anyone who's had to pay for a replacement that they bought off a local dealer.
  • + 1
 This electronic shifting will make me a better rider.... wow... how do my legs get stronger and my descending ability change by changing my shifter and mech... think I would be scared of breaking them and not being able to get spares so ride slower and more tentative... therefore I can justify they would make me a worse rider with ease Smile
Still not bought a 29er, a fat bike, a 650b, carbon rims and many other must have items to make me a better rider. Knew it was not my fault for being an average Joe all along.
  • + 1
 I was lucky enough to get a rocky element 999 with di2 this year and after moving to electronic I can't say I like going back to my cable actuated bike on the mtb side. I still prefer cable on the road, but di2 on the mtb is fantastic. super crisp, super reliable, batter charging is not an issue. no maintenance, and within spitting distance of cable group weight. it's awesome.
  • + 1
 I've got di2 on my road bike and I'm a convert. Once you've get used to the benefits there's no going back. However I'd be reluctant to have it on my mountain bike just because it's so expensive to replace damaged or worn components. This is coming from a rider that goes through a rear derailleur a season. I can get cheap spare mechanical derailleurs, but the di2's are going to cost you at least 2x more. And that's assuming you can even find one because Shimano is terrible for discontinuing
  • + 1
 Don't need it. Don't want it. If I got the whole Di2 kit for free i would've sold it and buy real bike parts for the money.
Why make it 11-40, when SRAMs offering 10-42?
Oh, you mean I should get a front derailleur again? Good idea! Just lost alot of dead weight when I threw that in the garbage, why do i want it back?
It's not a finished product yet!
It's like. Hey! You want electronic gearing that's not as good as a traditional gearing? And wait! It costs a shit load of cash and it's also heavier! Sounds tempting?
Byt hey, I understand Shimano. They have to do something. They have to evolve too.
Maybe in 5 years there's something awesome coming and this was the first attempt.
  • + 1
 Don't agree entirely with the sports car analogy. Shifting in a sports car is an fundamental factor in the human/machine experience and a key psychological factor in determining out connectedness to the vehicle. Shifting on a bicycle is much less so since we have so much body interaction with the machine as well as so much control over its dynamics. I think electronic shifting on a bike eliminates a nuisance as compared to a sports car where it eliminates a positive interaction.

As evidence, my buddy bought a used GTI with a stick rather than a new GTI with the paddle shifters.

Just my 2 cents...
  • + 4
 I just scan through to all the drama waki creates. I love it. Don't stop.
  • + 3
 I want it. I hate drivetrains, they're the one component I can't seem to keep running annoyance free for longer than a month. Anything to improve this is welcome.
  • + 1
 Well if $2800 is Shimano s retail price, then that means online it'll be wholesale pricing like all Shimano parts are...so it'll be more like $1400 to $1800. Still bloody expensive, but hey mountain biking lost its counter culture years ago and is turning more into a rich man's sport each year. So makes sense why Shimano would basically say, unless your a pro racer or a rich guy, this isn't for you. For us mere mortals...I love the idea of electronic drivetrains, but in my real world...1x10 kicks a$$ with those ancient things called cables and housing!
  • + 1
 To me, the verdict on this product will come be decided when it is released to public.

Meaning: quality control will make or break this product.

At this price point they can't have any sanfu's from the factories making the product.
  • + 3
 although I would like to try Di2, I doubt I ever will get the opportunity. It would be hard to beat my sram x01 1x11 imho.
  • + 0
 Very nice report but it is mistaken when comparing gear ranges between SRAM and Shimano. First of all 1042 is basically identical to 1145 that you now can get after market and is coming up from Shimano et al as complete cassette (I run 1145 with Shimano 11 speed XT and One Up 45 cog and works flow less). More important a dual will always beat the range of a single by miles, and offer more options. Try to do the math for a 24+40 front with a 1142 rear and see what a huge advantage it has!
  • + 3
 Is satan still buying souls? I could use some money! I am not a sinner, so I believe my soul is expensive!!!
  • + 1
 What does di2 do when you are standing grinding up a hill in too big a gear and then try to downshift? Does it just wait until its not stupid to shift?
Conventional systems no likey when you do that
  • + 5
 will it blend
  • + 1
 Largest flaw of XTR Di2 is how many 1x specific frames have gone to market in the past few years. The Norco Range frames kits going from 1x specific to having a front derailleur posts on all models
  • + 4
 Just makes my crash more expensive.
  • + 7
 If you are a "dirt roadie" then this is perfect. However, if you ride any technical trails such as South Mountain (Phoenix), Northstar, or other rocky areas then you probably go through a few derailleurs a year. I also find it sad that if you don't want to drop $2,800 on a drivetrain you are now considered budget minded.
  • + 3
 Great, but does it actually deliver groceries? Because I see value in that.
  • + 2
 Did anyone else feel insulted by the smug-ness of the way this article was written? Sorry I'm not in the 1%...Geez
  • + 10
 Believe me, I am far from that one pecent as well. Perhaps I should post: "What editors would choose to ride if they had to pay full retail for their bikes and kit." That might be an illuminating read.
  • + 4
 I'm sincerely looking forward to that article, RC
  • + 3
 Do it
  • + 2
 Yes please RC
  • + 3
 Sturmey-Archer all the way.
  • + 1
 Its cool but I'm poor, nothing wrong with my non electronic mech, so no worries either. Hopefully with time it becomes standardized and therefore cheaper.
  • + 2
 If i wanted an uber xc bike i would want this new servo shifting. Cool that it is the new teck from Shimano. And it works!
  • + 2
 The troll disclaimer was obviously too long and complex. Really people? How do you talk so much crap about progression.
  • + 3
 nice review, won't be buying it
  • + 1
 I still do not get why Shimano dropped idea of 9 or 10 cassette rings that they had previously?
  • + 2
 Compare the price with ENVE rims and starts to feel cheaper....
  • + 1
 BRING OUT SAINT please. Or a 10 speed mid cage option. Or something. Please.
  • + 1
 The current Saint can take up a 10 speed mid cassette, You can even run it with a 42T cassette.
  • + 1
 Saint still isn't Di2.
  • + 1
 Then again do you really need Di2 on the saint?
  • + 1
 Sure Di2 is epic. I've used on bikes before but no way to try on a gravity based system. My next bike I want it all. I'm willing to blow close to $20k on it.
  • + 1
 .....I'm just gonna pretend this doesn't exist till theres an accessible price for everyone..
  • + 0
 If you want 1x drivetrain, buy XT. The chain retention is the same, adjustable clutch, and the quality of the XT is higher than its priced competitors at SRAM.
  • + 1
 I recently bought a new bike with full XT 1x groupo and I couldn't be happier after coming from X01. The XT cluster may be heavier, but it is a third of the price. Plus, now I have XT brakes.
  • + 1
 why waste our time telling us about things we cannot afford..i like my bike being simple and me to do the work..
  • + 2
 One fourth....otherwise known as a quarter.
  • + 0
 I find the technology quite cool, but I do not think that the world needs more batteries. BTW, I have driven a car with shit paddles but prefer by far a stick shift!
  • + 2
 I will buy when we can chage it with "voice control" so simple!
  • + 11
 Or better yet, grunt control. Reads your audible pain levels and shifts.
  • + 3
 for PC only, nope.
  • + 6
 pretty sure if you're buying this you'll own a mac. guess you could bring your bike to work and park it beside your desk and plug it in to switch modes... shimano, just build a web based app instead, and go bluetooth on di3.
  • - 1
 So they created an expensive piece of machinery to make money on, but then tell 98% of their market that it is not for them and they are even wasting their time simply reading about it? That's a brilliant marketing plan.
  • + 1
 no weight references... shame...
  • + 4
 84 grams heavier than the cable version.
  • + 1
 thanks. i think it was a question many would wanted to know!
  • + 1
 cant wait till this stuff is cheaper and more developed
  • - 3
 I will stick to my xo1 11 speed. Sorry shimano but your xtr trail shadow plus ruined so many rides that I will be more than pleased to be a dick and never buy your products (shifting grouppo) again.

Still electronics shifting components looks awesome but I think production cost and retail are too expensive.
  • + 0
 Sram fanboy?
  • + 2
 For drivertain yes. Wheels, brakes and cockpit I am not really impressed with Sram so far.
  • + 1
 When XT drops, I'm getting it. Fact...
  • - 2
 And it's going on my Ebike...
  • + 1
 Parts for cottered cranks are still available.
  • + 1
 Bahahhahahaa! What a joke.
  • + 1
 no e-tubes on mac is hilarious
  • - 1
 "The rotary action of the shift levers are a near-perfect ergonomic match to the natural sweep of the thumbs. "

Where do I even start with this...smh
  • + 1
 Running an XT 2x9 with a 26/36 crankset; perfect.
  • + 1
 BE GONE SHIFTER CABLES!!
  • + 1
 Jk
  • + 0
 Is there an enduro version?
  • - 3
 This will never be main stream IMHO. It is certainly nothing I would ever buy regardless of the price. Batteries to have to remember to charge & fail on the trail ... no thanks
  • + 0
 Let me know when they come out with a DH version.
  • + 1
 LOUD NOISES!!!!!!!!
  • - 1
 Drive stick LOOOOOL. Gear stick FTW. Well some women like drive stick. It's ok.
  • + 0
 More excited for that 11-45 cassette
  • - 3
 Go for 9-51 to save knees and crank up those effective 90RPM in a circular manner. Or just get a frickin e-bike, let's be honest to ourselves... #stopmtbsuffering #easymtbforthepeople
  • - 3
 why I get downvoted? 11-45 is a hair more range than 10-42, and the perfect range for most bikers on most trails.
  • - 1
 because you are a stinky capitalist who just wants more
  • + 5
 i exist only to grind the worker under my heel.
  • + 4
 10-42 is the eco-warriors choice. Obviously with a 28t up front...vegans don't have the energy to grind anything else
  • + 2
 Where did you see the 11-45? If real, I also hope that 11 becomes a 10.
  • + 0
 "and has recently released an 11 by 45-tooth eleven-speed cassette that operates with Di2, so there is evidence that its mechanical and electronic one-by options will soon close the gap to SRAM"

use ctrl+F to find in page. I use it all the time
  • + 0
 @hamncheez I think he means when did Shimano release an 11-45 casseette? There is only the One-Up option that I am aware of.
  • + 2
 I have the 11-spd XTR cassette with the One-up 45 tooth conversion. Love it and it works flawlessly.
  • - 1
 RC SAID IT IN THIS ARTICLE!! THATS THE MOST INTERESTING THING FOR ME IN THIS ARTICLE
  • + 0
 @hamncheez I think we all get that. Is it true and just not public yet? Or is he just misinformed? That is what we want to know.
  • + 3
 11-45 is actually a hair LESS range than 10-42.
  • - 1
 Just train your core a bit, forget roadie science, stop whining and mash those pedals up the mountain. I was training quite little and rode up some good dosage of vertical meters on 32t front 36 back with 900g tyres. As to technical uphills "harder" gearing is superior, providing better traction and minimizing chance of striking rocks with pedals and improving balance for handling.
  • + 2
 How does 11-45 have more range than 10-42? Please give your explanation using math.
  • + 2
 Yes!! What @socratease said. Please explain your math @blinkpike on how 10-42 has more range that an 11-45?
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns, can you convert 'vertical meters' to imperial please?
  • + 2
 @bman33 - It basically comes down to the fact that going from 11 to 10 teeth is roughly a 10% higher gear, while going from 42 to 45 teeth is only a 6% lower gear.

So if you have 26" wheel bike, with 170mm cranks, a 30 tooth front, pedalling at 90 rpm with an 11-45 cassette you can do between 7.5km/h and 30.6km/h. If you have a 10-42 you do between 8km/h and 33.6km/h. Adjust that front chainring to a 28 and with an 10-42 you are doing between 7.5km/h and 31.4km/h. Hence, more range with a 10-42...
  • + 4
 42/10=4.20
45/11=4.09

So with the former you have a 420% difference between your highest and lowest gear, and with the latter a 409% difference.
  • + 1
 @bman, @socratease, I forgot to tag you in the comment above, but it has the math you asked for. :-)
  • + 2
 Also, the math in @burnbern's first paragraph is how I knew @hamncheez had it wrong. It is probably the most intuitive way to see that 42/10 > 45/11.

You don't need a calculator to see that the jump from 11 to 10 is a larger percentage than the jump from 42 to 45.

I did need a calculator for response above, but I only used that approach because I think that's the most convincing way to prove this to someone who needs proof.
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