Shimano XT Di2 - Double Header Review

Apr 27, 2017 at 16:22
by Mike Levy  
Shimano XT Di2 drivetrain review test


Shimano began using batteries to power some of their high-end drivetrains over seven years ago when they first introduced Dura-Ace Di2 for the road. That was eventually followed up with an electronic drivetrain for us dirty mountain bikers, XTR Di2, in 2014. The latter cost around $2,800 USD for a complete 2x11 group, which is enough coin to buy a decent entry-level bike, one that even comes with a drivetrain, albeit controlled by silly steel cables. XT Di2 costs roughly half as much depending on how you configure it, with a 1x11 setup coming in at around $1,300 USD. Yeah, that's still a load of money—I could live in Central America on $1,300 for a long time—but it's at least a bit more realistic for some riders to consider.

XT Di2 is, for all intents and purposes, the working man's electronic drivetrain. It should function to within a shift cable's width of its twice as costly XTR Di2 brother, and it sure as hell better offer some sort of advantage over the now "antiquated" traditional XT drivetrain.

So, does it? To find out, I spent far too long installing an XT Di2 1x11 drivetrain onto my bike in December, and Vernon Felton had the same thing but with two chainrings (argh, a front derailleur!) bolted to his own bike. Two testers, two different setups on two different bikes, and four solid months of use throughout the wettest, nastiest winter that we can remember.
Shimano Di2 Pricing



Shimano XT Di2 review


It'd be easy to add another thousand (or ten thousand) words pouring over all the details of what makes XT Di2 tick, and while that's usually how I roll, I'll spare you the essay by sending you elsewhere on Pinkbike. You can read all the tech mumbo-jumbo in Mike Kazimer and Vernon Felton's 'First Ride' piece from back in November of last year, or if you're really keen, you can get the lowdown on the history of Di2 in the dirt by reading RC's comprehensive early look at the first XTR Di2 group back in 2015.


Shimano XT Di2 drivetrain review test
Shimano XT Di2 drivetrain review test


XT Di2 can be had in either a single or double-ring configuration, and just like the more expensive XTR version, shifting speed and style can be customized to the rider's preference. Shimano's app can be connected wirelessly, or via a USB cable to your computer, and it allows riders to tailor the shifting to their liking. You can speed up or slow down the shifting, switch the function of the shift levers, and even enable Synchro Shifting that sees one shifter control both the front and rear derailleur.

All neat stuff, but the question that really needs answering here is if there's actually an advantage to letting a computer and tiny motors do the work for you instead of ratchet wheels with cables controlled by your thumbs. I'm a lover of any interesting technology, even electronics, but the product needs to do something better, doesn't it? Let's find out if it does.


Shimano XT Di2 drivetrain review test
Shimano XT Di2 drivetrain review test

Shimano XT Di2 drivetrain review test
Shimano XT Di2 review





Installation and Setup


Levy's Take:

• Drivetrain: XT Di2 one-by
• Bike: Rocky Mountain Element 990 RSL BC Edition
• Duration: early December to mid-April

Shimano XT Di2 review


Are you prone to fits of rage? Or do you have the calmness of a sloth high on laughing grass? Those who fall into the former category may want to put on a soothing nature soundtrack with rain noises and birds making bird sounds before jumping into this job; it's not nearly the simple task that I was lead to believe. Sure, bolting the bits onto your bike and plugging the wires in isn't difficult—this is actually easier than installing a traditional drivetrain as there's no farting around with cable tension to get it just right—but it's the damn battery, junction box, and rat's nest of wires that nearly gave me a stroke.

You having a stroke or not might come down to whether your frame was designed to accept Di2, and it's not a homerun even if it is. To be fair, a lot of bikes will require you to remove the fork and slip your bubble-wrapped Di2 battery and junction box into the downtube, so that's what I did... only to have one of the wires pull out, forcing me to start over. I did eventually end up getting everything jammed in there only to have the battery rattle loose from its bubble wrap cocoon during the next ride and slide down towards the bottom bracket. And that's when one of my eyes started to twitch all on its own.

In the end, I swallowed my pride and strapped my lithium-ion foe to the side of the bottle cage. Ghetto, yes, but it took all of three minutes, and I avoided having a nervous breakdown, which is nice.

Battery battle aside, XT Di2 is simple to get running once you have everything installed and connected. There's zero cable tension adjustment because, well, there is no steel cable, and the brain in the control box figures everything out for you. I wish the rest of my life were like that.
Vernon's Take:

• Drivetrain: XT Di2 two-by
• Bike: Pivot Switchblade
• Duration: early December to mid-April

Shimano XT Di2 review


Shimano kitted out my Switchblade test bike with the 2x version of XT. I opted to control both my front and rear derailleurs with a single (right-hand) shifter. Installing the front derailleur took all of two seconds. Wiring the whole system up, however, took longer. A lot longer. Shimano’s Joe Lawwill did all the hard work, I helpfully sat around and made jokes while he snaked miles of wire through the frame.

The installation should have been a breeze. Pivot Cycles’ notoriously Type-A founder, Chris Cocalis, sent over a wiring schematic. What’s more, his bike features a very tidy port for the battery, so we didn’t have to stuff the battery in a top tube or fork steerer or stoop to strapping it to the side of the downtube with duct tape and baling twine (What’s up, Levy?). The Di2 battery went in easy. Teasing all that limp wiring through the down tube and chainstay? That proved more of a pain in the ass—even for a seasoned wrench and, yes, even with Park Tool’s handy-dandy magnet tool. The phrase, Like sticking an oyster into a slot machine comes to mind. Going wireless would be a boon.

Snaking a steel cable through some housing is, no doubt about it, a whole lot easier. To be fair, however, once those Di2 wires are tucked away in the frame, they are not likely to need replacing for years. In my mucky conditions, on the other hand, I’ll swap out a cable once or twice a year.

Once the wiring was done, it was time to adjust the shifting. It’s absolutely painless. Pushing the Mode button on the visual display sets you into Maintenance Mode. From there, you select which derailleur you want to adjust and then you use the shifter paddles to fine-tune the shifting.




XT Di2 Review





XT Di2 on the Trail


Levy's Take:

The first thing I took note of is how the Di2 shifter feels just right in every possible way. The adjustable paddles are exactly where I want them, and both the throw and the tactile feel is spot on—if I were blindfolded and had never seen a Di2 system before, I might even tell you that the positive 'ka-chung' of each shift surely comes from a steel cable being pulled through black housing and that there are no servo motors or electricity involved. Shimano has clearly strived to keep the mechanical feel of their, ahem, mechanical system, and aside from the oddly satisfying ''zzzzt'' of the tiny motor doing its job, they definitely succeeded.

How it feels notwithstanding, Di2 doesn't actually shift any quicker than a mechanical drivetrain, and dumping a bunch of gears in a hurry to get to a larger cog actually takes more time to do than with Shimano's standard XT drivetrain. While a mechanical XT shifter can jump up through four cogs with the full push of a thumb paddle, XT Di2 is a one-click, one-cog kind of operation. Sure, you can hold the paddle down and Di2 will run up through to the largest cog, but the action isn't as fast as smashing up through the gears with a mechanical setup.

But while XT Di2 might not move the chain with quite the same urgency, there is absolutely zero smashing involved. Quite the opposite, actually, with it offering metronome-like precision for Every. Single. Shift. You and I both know how to shift, of course, but I think we've forgotten that it certainly does take some know-how, especially from drivetrain to drivetrain and knowing just how far to push the thumb paddle. This is basic stuff, yes, but stick a neophyte on your bike, point them towards some sharply undulating terrain, and they're going to f*ck it up. With Di2, however, you literally can't do anything wrong; pushing the paddles will do exactly the same thing every time, no matter what. It's next-level consistency, really, which is impressive given that the bike was abused, often covered in a week's worth of mud and grime, and pressure washed with the kind of recklessness that can only come from someone actively trying to trouble Di2. But I couldn't and now I feel a bit defeated; like the damn robot has beaten me.

Vernon's Take:

Again, I was running both derailleurs off the right-hand shifter, which frees up room for a dropper-post lever on the left-hand side of my bars. The basic idea behind Synchro shift is that, in any multi-ring drivetrain, there are a bunch of redundant gear combinations—many of them awkward combos that have the chain running at crazy angles. Synchro shift basically eliminates the shittier, duplicative gear combos, while affording you the full gear range of a dual-ring setup. Sweet! It accomplishes that feat by automatically shifting the front derailleur as you run up and down the cassette. Wait! What the f*ck?

Automatic front shifting? That sounded crazy to me, as if Shimano's computer was suddenly calling the shots. I mean, what if that computer and I disagreed at a key point in the ride when I didn’t want to be talking to a computer at all?

Amazingly, Synchro mode works brilliantly. You aren’t surprised that a front shift is going to happen because the system beeps at you when you are one rear derailleur shift away from the front derailleur bursting into life. Moreover, front derailleur shifts are natural and smooth, even under heavy pedal loads. I prefer the simplicity of a 1x drivetrain, but if I used a front derailleur, I’d only run it in Synchro. Rear shifting has proven flawless from day one. After about five rides, however, the front derailleur began struggling to hoist the chain from the small to large chainring. On downshifts (and particularly chunky descents) I was also starting to drop the chain onto the bottom bracket.

Solution? I simply entered Maintenance Mode and used my shifter paddle to reposition the front derailleur; that remedied the weak shifts to the big ring. Front and rear shifts have been perfect ever since. I still encounter the occasional dropped chain on particularly fast and technical descents; frequency-wise, it's about par for the course for a front derailleur system. After four years of running 1x drivetrains, however, I have little tolerance for that kind of thing. So, while I am impressed as hell by Synchro, I’d personally opt for the single-ring version of this group.






Shimano XT Di2 review
Shimano XT Di2 review


XT di2 review
Shimano used to get slagged for not providing riders with options, but Di2 opens up all sorts of options. In my case, I could choose to use two shifters, or just one, to operate both front and rear derailleurs. Riders can also use their computer, iPad or smart phone to tweak shifting speeds and, if you are running a front derailleur, to adjust the points in the shifting process when the front derailleur kicks in (in Synchro mode) and does its magic.
XT di2 review
While I personally prefer the simplicity (and lack of dropped chains) of a single-ring drivetrain, I'll readily admit that the front derailleur has achieved its apex of performance when operated in Synchro mode. You essentially use a single shifter, just as you would with a 1x set-up, and the front derailleur kicks into life at the right moments, to provide you with a wider gear range. Moreover, it does the auto shifts magnificently well. I had to ride it (a lot) to believe it.





Reliabilty


Levy's Take:

Nothing to gripe about here. I've had the XT Di2 system on my Rocky Mountain Element 990 RSL BC Edition since December, enough time to completely wear out the stock Shimano chain, and have had absolutely zero reliability concerns. No amount of water has been able to give the electronics any trouble, and nothing has disconnected since I managed to sort out the install. Hell, I only just had to charge the battery a few days ago, after roughly four months of use. A typical B.C. winter and spring will usually see me change a few shift cables in that time, depending on the bike, but the XT Di2 has made exactly zero fuss.
Vernon's Take:

A well-maintained cable-driven derailleur is dead simple to operate, but I will concede this: With Di2, Shimano has created a system that does not degrade in performance—no matter how much you abuse it. That’s no small thing. Mud, water, general mean-spiritedness… none of it fazed this robot version of Shimano XT. Push on the paddles and you are rewarded with a firm click and a perfect shift. Every. Damn. Time. While I was initially concerned about battery life (the front derailleur uses more juice than the rear derailleur), I squeezed in two months of riding before I needed a recharge. You won't suddenly lose power out on the trail; it's a non-issue.





Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesOn the one hand, the XT Di2 drivetrain offers an atomic clock-level of precision and consistency, something that I don't think a traditional setup can ever match. Cable operated drivetrains have, for the most part, plateaued as far as shift performance goes, and there's not much to complain about, regardless of if it's an NX, SLX, XTR, or Eagle group—Shimano has shown that the only way to raise the bar is to employ electronics. But while XT Di2's consistent shifting performance is impressive, I find it hard to justify the group's cost when I could get a lighter, easier to install, and much less expensive standard XT drivetrain and call it done. No Di2 for me, thank you very much. Mike Levy

bigquotesI’ve come away entirely impressed by XT Di2's durability, precision, and adjustability. This group is nothing shy of a modern marvel. But does going electric actually improve my ride? That is the question. For me, the answer is “Not really—not the way that suspension forks or disc brakes fundamentally changed my rides for the better.” Shimano has lowered the price of dirt-ready Di2—props to them for that—but when a Di2 system costs more than its equivalent, cable-driven counterpart, it needs to bring much bigger benefits to the table. Regular "old" cable-driven XT is already damn good to begin with. Is Di2 impressive? Yes. Is it necessary? Not for me. Vernon Felton

182 Comments

  • + 260
 Glad to hear a "Not for me" in a PB review. Ballsy.
  • + 79
 Especially in the 'free' internet medium, let's be honest, it's never a good idea to ruffle the feathers of your advertisers...

Awesome review; unbiased, witty, and practical; keep them coming guys!
  • + 35
 They can probably afford to be more honest as I don't think Shimano pour in ad money like some... Cynicism aside, it is indeed refreshing to see such an honest summary and I really like the two viewpoints in one review. More of the same please!
  • + 8
 I think people need to realise as well though this may be the way forward, this is just the first iteration of it, shimano know the price and cons of it will put most consumers off, they just want it to keep selling bit by bit whilst they improve it to a point it's a competive choice
  • + 1
 Ballsy but that is their job! And on this one they've hit the nail on the head
  • + 9
 I want auto transmission where they shift based on cadence.
  • + 4
 'not for me' based on price, though it works well. We all know over time Shimano will reduce the price to something sane. And then will it still be not for me?
  • + 15
 I think it is a totally fair review, and I think the fact that the reviewers stated that they enjoyed Di2 but the price kept them from flat out recommending it is a challenge Shimano is very aware of. Shimano's target market for this is definitely the guy out there buying $10k+ bikes anyway.

Shimano HAD to be aware of how this review would turn out. Great reliability and effective shifting, but not worth it price-wise. For them, that's still a win, because, again, for their target here, $ is not an issue.

Great honest review, great to see Shimano out pushing the technological limits, just a good article overall.
  • + 3
 Di2 would be great if it were internally geared in a hub. Then I could convert my old 1x to a geared bike.
  • + 51
 I’ve got to call a little bullshit on this not for me business. They admit that it’s an order of magnitude better, for only around $500 more, than a cable actuated XT group. Yet, they have no issues with gushing over carbon wheelsets that cost $2000 more than their aluminum counterparts, yet deliver marginal performance improvements.
  • + 1
 @TheDoctoRR: In this case it probably doesn't matter, Shimano won't lose money and Di2 XT will still sell because people want new shiny things and it costs less then the XTR version
  • + 6
 It might just be me, but the main thing I like about 1x is that there is only one shifter paddle, and I can run a dropper post under the bar on the left. So having the range of a 2x drivetrain running off a single paddle on the right would be amazing. It would make my bike so much more versatile having more gearing, i'm straight onto the highest gear when on flat tarmac heading to the trails. If going electronic it would only be for 2x.
  • + 3
 @sevensixtwo: They have an Alfine 11speed DI2 which has been out for a while.
  • - 6
flag sevensixtwo (May 4, 2017 at 14:41) (Below Threshold)
 @SlodownU: You didn't carefully read the article. And you haven't ridden carbon rims. But you've got the complaining part on lockdown.
  • + 1
 @ryan77777: Yeah man, I saw that! ...that might be in order to revive this old SS project. Thanks man!
  • + 3
 @sevensixtwo: You know me so well! Not. I've ridden carbon wheels. First a cheap brand, that you all know well, and after I broke those, twice, I figured you get what you pay for, right? Ponied for a more expensive and well known brand, broke them, sold the crash replacement set, and learned my lesson.
  • + 1
 @sevensixtwo: Alfine Di2 Hub already exists.
  • + 3
 @toad321: I agree. We take clicky shifting for granted but it wasn't always this way. Before Shimano's SIS system one had to feel the shifts. It took a while to convince riders to convert fully, there used to be a lever that could turn the indexing off, just in case a problem arose whilst shifting, to placate cyclists. People are resistant to change, even for their best interest.
  • + 5
 @Mojo348:

Reckon most people will be all over electrogears (Shim or Sram) once the price hits SLX level, where the question becomes "do I spends $500 on SLX Di2 or $500 on XT mech?"

My choice was between XTR mech vs XT Di2 and I don't regret the electronics a single bit. As both reviews point out, it's the consistency and predictability of the shifting action that sets it apart from mechanical gears and that's a major concern for XCM and stage racers.

Battery life it's not even a discussion point. I had to charge mine once since November.
  • + 10
 I love it how some people find it "unbiased" solely because it is not positive while any "controversial" piece of equipment that gets praise or, even worse, the Pinkbike Award, makes the comment section squirt outrage and accusations of Pinkbike sucking up to a particular company. maybe Sram paid more for advertising than Shimano, hey, I know you can get quite paranoid Pinkbike audience - you can do this! geez, I hope this is not too counter-intuitive...

Anyways love the format of the review!
  • + 1
 @bender-oz: we were talking about that. Def looks good. Have any experience with Alfine? I thought it was only for like beach cruisers and hybrids...
  • + 0
 @sevensixtwo: They already have that... Alfine Di2 hub... Welcome to the future grampa
  • + 1
 @SlodownU: tbh I don't hear them 'gushing' about carbon wheels without the normal caveats. And they mentioned some very practical reasons here why they wouldn't jump on Di2 -- slower dumping a bunch of gears being the deal killer for me even if i wanted electronics.
  • + 1
 I'm running di2 on my front derailleur only. Got Alfine tensioner on the back. Go low, go high. It's about evolution.
  • + 70
 #shiftcablesaintdead
  • + 63
 Ya, but it's only a matter of time until the new #BoostCable standard shows up!
  • + 18
 @pinhead907: Don't give them any ideas!
  • + 10
 @pinhead907:
Definitely need 2.7mm cables to improve shifting performance. Of course you'd need a larger housing to go with that. And oh, while you're at it, you'll need a new frame with internal guides that can accommodate said housing.
  • + 9
 @maxlombardy: Don't forget that you also need a compatible derailleur! .... and shifter. I don't know how people can even ride bikes without #BoostCable - the new 11/12/13 speed cassettes require a lot of shifting precision that you just don't get with antiquated 1.2mm shift cables.

[it's sarcasm, but I still feel dirty typing that]
  • + 5
 maxlombardy@ Wouldn't 2.7mm cable be too heavy? I think someone should start making titanium ones and sell them for at least $50.
  • + 6
 @Extremmist: if I'm gonna shell out 50 bucks for a cable it better be made of carbon
  • + 26
 Love the honesty of this. "It's cool--fantastic, even. But there's not really a need for it, and it's super expensive." To those of you on the cycling-industry-conspiracy-theory bandwagon, this is a pretty clear stroke that the cycling media is, in fact, going to report their OWN opinions.

Go Mike and Vernon.
  • + 7
 "Mike and Vernon." MTB sitcom waiting to happen
  • + 11
 Dude, when was the last time you saw a shimano ad on this site? Nuff said.
  • + 16
 @mikelevy - You talk about the Di2 rear derailleur shifting more slowly than a mechanical XT derailleur. Did you know you can program the shifting speed of the rear derailleur in E-tube project from your smart phone? The setting is called "gear shifting interval" and the out of the box setting is 'normal'. You can change it to 'fast,' 'very fast,' 'slow,' 'or very slow.' Sounds like fast or very fast might be the ticket for you.
  • + 6
 Yup, but dumping a bunch of cogs up to an easier gear is still noticeably slower than with a cable operated system.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: If you put on an XTR shifter you can push through 2 clicks in a fraction of a second (XT limits you to one click at a time). Two of these multi clicks and you are 4 gears up in less than a second. Pretty dang quick.
  • + 3
 @mikelevy: I'd go as far as to say that with the mechanical XT group, once that precise feel is figured out, you can just rely on muscle memory to pound out a 2, 3, or 4 gear slough in one movement, line up the pedaling timing to allow the chain to move over, and then be done with it.

I'd describe it as faster in the cognitive load sense - as that's the most important. I'm sure that it would be possible to get the time difference really small with tuning the controls, but the fact that your brain is at some level tracking the number of times a repetitive task is performed feels more taxing than just doing one thumb movement until the right tactile feedback is achieved. So, I'd say that the outright timed 'speed' is nowhere near as important as 'how fast can I stop having to think about the drivetrain of my bike and worry about the change in the trail that has convinced me to use a different gear' - and in that regard the cable system still holds an edge: importantly an edge significant enough to make riders including myself not want to part with the already really dialed in standard XT groupset.

@cmanser: The M8000 XT has the double upshift capability as well, once again something that I could quite contentedly live without, but having experienced it and realizing that it's a tiny cost difference above stuff without that feature, I'd continue to buy stuff with that ability.
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: Well, if you're looking to dump a bunch of gears quickly, go Gripshift :-)
  • + 5
 I am sorry but shifting speed is a horrific first world problem and SRAM has been shown to wear no underpants under "instant shifting" of their 1:1 ratio, already 10 years ago. Actual gear shift interval, that is the moment your thumb touches a shifter pad and when chain lands on the desired cog depends mostly on how fast you pedal. The chain has to be derailled by specially shaped rotating cogs of the cassette, there is no way around it. Revolution speed of the cassette is therefore the major factor in shifting speed and it has very little to do with mechanical, electronic or nuclear shifting mechanism
  • + 1
 @tehllama: I've been running a hacked Di2 system using an Ultegra derailleur and the Shimano climbing shifters for a few seasons and i would disagree with your assertion.

I've been on frigid death marches where you lose the feelings in your fingers. With Di2 you don't need that fine tactile feedback to make a crisp shift.

And BTW while the XT shifters are better ergonamically, the R600 shifters can shift much much faster. How-fast-can-you-tap-the-spacebar-of-your-keyboard kind of fast.
  • + 1
 So you can program and adjust the speed of the shifting? Sounds like a waste of time. I would rather go ride and be well-adjusted to my mechanical drivetrain by the time I shift 5 times....done. No batteries, extra energy or extra time required.
  • - 1
 @WAKIdesigns: It took me a while to scroll down to finally read this. There are still ways to speed it up (while riding at the same speed):

- More ramps on the cassette along which to shift up and down.
- Fewer cogs (and bigger steps in between) so you're quicker in about the right gear.
- Smaller rear wheel so the cassette rotates faster.
- ...

But yeah as it is, the cassette determines how fast your gear changes are. Same with most internal gear boxes (hub or frame mounted). The cogs still need to to synchronize. Actuating the shifter merely pre-loads it. NuVinci could be quicker but that is typically too heavy for conventional mountainbikes (though I think Ellsworth has used them in the past). It is not about how fast shifting is though, it is about removing friction between shifter and mech. We've seen it all now. Cable actuated is quite common. A few companies tried hydraulic shifting. Shimano had pneumatic shifting for a while (Airlines), it was only a matter of time that they're going to implement an electronic signal between shifter and mech.

That 1:1 ratio, I thought it was so that the cables and system could get stickier and dirtier and still shift reasonably fine. Shimano needed to be more precise. That changed with their 10sp groups (so now they pull more cable too). But yeah, this is what I liked Sram for at the time. The cable for my 9sp X9 short cage rear mech is probably nine years old now but it still shifts reasonably well. Every once in a while it gets too inaccurate and think of replacing it. But then I add some lube and the cable does fine for another while.
  • + 12
 I wonder if XTR Di2 actually sells proportionally better than XT Di2. I wouldn't be surprised. For mountain bikes, electronic shifting seems like more of a luxury feature than it does on road bikes, and so it seems to fit better with the luxury offering. Either way, props to Shimano for making something else perfect, and for giving us the opportunity to choose.
  • + 4
 Its still a major luxury offering on road bikes...New Dura-Ace 9150 is like $3500 (full groupset), but you likely get more of an upgrade on performance on a roadie than mtb
  • + 2
 @ross005: you can get into Ultegra di2 6870 for excellent value if you look for sales. 99% of the performance of Dura Ace for a minimal weight penalty.
  • + 8
 I haven't bought a complete drive train ever..I simply ride what comes on my bike and then fix it when something breaks...I don't race so as long as shifting is precise and the drive train is reasonably quite I am a happy kid....but I am a bit surprised that the whole article keeps harping about the price...we are talking a complete drive train...how does this compare to an xx1 or an eagle drive train...I doubt it be far off....
  • + 2
 Same here, but that's also the reason I'm riding a 9sp drivetrain Wink . If you need to go from cable actuated to a Di2 drivetrain, you'll need to replace several components at once. Hence maybe why buying the complete bundle might make sense here.
  • + 8
 only thing which could make me consider Di2 is synchro shift, all the range of 2x but none of the faff, but still hard to swallow when you could get an XT group for the price of the Di2 rear mech.
  • + 4
 Ya, to me, it seems like that is the most compelling reason to switch to Di2.
  • + 6
 the e*13 9-44 (and now 9-46) is only $279 and works great with XT derailleurs. Its over 100g lighter than XT 11-42 cassette alone, then if you factor in the front derailleur and extra chainring you really start saving weight. Plus you can't really run oval rings on a 2x
  • + 1
 Idk, I prefer having control over the front der, but I also haven't tried it so I can't knock it either!
  • + 1
 @zephxiii: That was my initial reaction, but if you read Felton's review, the way that Shimano has implemented it seems to make a lot of sense. And, it does give you a warning beep before before it shifts the front derailleur, so it's not like it just happens by surprise. But, at this point, I'm running 5 year old SLX - so it's not like I'll be spending this kind of coin on my bike any time soon.
  • + 6
 Anyone else experiencing cable durability issues with XT 11 speed? I'm going through cables at rate I've never experienced before. They always fray between the attachment bolt and housing, but I can't find any reason why this is happening over and over? No burrs, new housing....
  • + 3
 It's a long shot, given most people use plastic ones, but do you have metal ferrules on the ends of your cable housing? A sharp edge there could perhaps cause fraying
  • + 1
 Had the exact same problem and even after talking to several mechanics with no fix I just switched to a XO der. and shifter. Issue is now gone.
I ride 4-7 days a week and was replacing the rear cable about every 3 months, even had two cables break on the trail. I've been riding 25 plus yrs and never experienced this problem.
Just a guess but on my ride (Fuel EX) I was thinking might be the DW suspension causing it, who knows?
  • + 1
 @Smevan: I've tried different ferrules, I even put tape between the cable and bolt so there's no metal on metal contact. I've been riding for 18 years switching between sram and shimano over that time, I've never had an issue with cables until XT 11 speed?
  • + 1
 @DadOfMtbRacer: You know I was thinking my VPP might be the culprit (lots of chain growth) but I've owned multiple VPP bikes and never had cable issues. I recently switched to shimano because my sram 11 speeds were coming loose even with lock tight. Now sram has addressed that issue, but I sold all my sram 11 speed stuff and bought xt for both my bikes.
  • + 2
 @DadOfMtbRacer: The Fuel EX doesn't use DW suspension, and I can't imagine any reason any suspension design would effect cable life. That said, I go through cables at a similar rate to you and attribute my increased cable wear to having a tall 42t gear and a mid length derailleur cage. I believe the large amount of force required to get the chain onto the granny gear has caused my cables to wear out faster.
  • + 2
 Yep, I've been having the same issues... even with XTR stuff
  • + 1
 @shredteds: I can rule out the 42t because I ran sram 11 speed for a good while with no issues. I agree more stress is put on the cables from the bigger cogs, and the clutch must add stress too, but what's going on with xt is something different all together. I went a full year on one cable with sram 11 speed, I'm lucky to get 2 months with xt.
  • + 2
 Yes exact same issue here
  • + 1
 Generally if your cable is fraying in the middle or starts to unravel it means that the cable pinch bolt was over tightened.
  • + 2
 @shredteds: no not a true DW I know...I should have called it by its true name. I think he knew what I meant though...that possibly suspension might be causing the issue...I never figured it out on my bike and just switched drivetrain.

I even used teflon inner housing over the section of cable where it was fraying, just cut through it after a ride or two.
  • + 5
 I'm interested in this for a 1X, but not until the pricing is sensible. To me, that's around $125 for the RD, $100 for the battery, charger, and wiring, $50 for the shifter, and $50 for the display. $325 for the electronics, not $800. It's clear this space needs more competition. It's equally clear that the competitor willing to do this wirelessly will take the lion's share of the aftermarket.
  • + 4
 Doing this wireless would mean 2 batteries. Maybe a small button battery for the shifter, but 2 batteries nonetheless.
  • + 4
 @zonoskar: Fine by me. I haven't heard any complaints about eTap's approach.
  • + 3
 SRAM already have eTap wireless shifting for the road ... mtn may be in the cards for the future.
  • + 1
 Yeah, wireless would make a lot of sence. Wireless plus gearbox around the BB. And everything light and durable.
  • + 7
 "Going wireless would be a boon."

SRAM - Wireless Etap for MTB please and thank you! I'll take the Gripshift version
  • + 3
 I'm not as a fan of grip shifts but wireless electronics are only logical thing if it come to electronic shifting. All this di2 thing with wires is useless you still have cables and all the dangers and disadvantages that they bring. Also I had installed a number of Etap systems on bikes, at first i were skeptical cause in the end i like mechanical systems but after doing few of them I actually love to build bikes on Etap cause it is so simple and straight forward like nothing else.
  • + 1
 I agree minus the gripshift version. If drivetrains and droppers went wireless then designers wouldn't have to worry about suspension growth and bikes would look really clean! Plus, you wouldn't have the rattling inside the main tubes or crazy loops on the outside of the bike. To me, that would be a big deal.
  • + 3
 This is, by far, the dumbest application for electric motors and batteries. Extra weight, and an unnecessary addition of an additional energy source. I must be a shifting god because all of this lack of precision that is being mentioned just never happens to me unless I whack the derailleur and bend the hanger which something a battery will not fix. It is probably harder to compensate on the trail to a mangled derailleur or hanger because you can't just twist the cable tension. Bikes have been full-housing for a decade now and all of my bike's cables have been smooth well beyond a year of use, especially if you use the ferrules with the little o-ring.

This is a new low for us and one that solidly puts us in spoiled-nerd territory far to deeply. I have ridden pretty much every drivetrain (including Di2) out there from years of working in shops and being an avid MTBer for 25 years and this is just an idea pandered to what cycling companies know cyclists generally are; geeks willing to pay stupid money for stupid gimmicks.

I swear there must be some inferior-performance complex that many cyclists have to make them buy into dumb shit. I have nice bikes but when I am slower than the next guy it is because I am not as fit or as skilled and I never once think, "hey, I would have beaten that a*shole if I had Titanium skewers."

Stop shopping, go ride.
  • + 3
 I rode a bike with DI2 and it was anti-climatic. It felt exactly like regular shifting. I was expecting more from it. I might in in the minority, but I want it to feel like pressing a button, not like a regular shifter.

It's impressive and works well, but what's the point?

DI2 is the best 4-head, high-resolution, VHS VCR ever made. Nobody cares about front derailleurs and Vern's review reminds us why we got rid of them.

Shimano is stuck in 2005 and falling further behind. Why anyone would buy this over Eagle is beyond me,

Plus it has wires! It's either obsolete next year when the wireless comes out or Shimano is once again stuck in the past. It's 2017, there is no reason for wires!
  • + 11
 Wireless gets you into multiple batteries to maintain plus radios; a much more likely failure point than anything in a wired system, plus they use a lot more power.

The payoff is faster install time. To me that's something that saves me an hour every 4-5 years, at the cost of having to charge the batteries every week, and knowing that a time will come when I'm near some radio source that causes it not to work (like when I ride past the airport and my wireless computer skitzes out).
The main benefit of wireless in general is portability; that doesn't really apply on a bike.

The cost is a real issue, and since we're all on 1x now, the real benefits of di2 are kind of lost.
  • + 5
 I think the main benefit of Di2 is long-term durability and 0 maintenance. Also few people are going to pay the full MSRP.

That being said, there are eagle complete groupsets for sale online $800, and that includes arguably the best carbon cranks out there.
  • + 8
 probably because Eagle is mostly hype.

www.ridingfeelsgood.com/topic/marketing-wank-analysis-sram-eagle-chain

Also, wireless is an issue. Wireless is never used in high performance systems for control of anything within that mechanical system, let along shifting. Imagine if Lockheed was silly enough to try to use wireless controls, or an F1 or MotoGP bike had wireless shifting or throttle for that matter. You'd be laughed out of the boardroom, but not the case in cycling! Ant and bluetooth can be hacked with smartphone and both can be jammed with cheap jammers bought online($100). It's 2017, which means sram should know better by now... but looking at that chain illustrates they just don't want YOU to know any better......
  • + 6
 cue people who don't know any better, even when provided with evidence.
  • + 3
 If I was in the market for such a thing (I'm not. I run Zee with a Oneup expander cog and cage), I'd choose this over Eagle because it's cheaper and more reliable. The main draw to Di2 for most people is the reliability. The wires don't need replacing, the system hardly ever goes out of adjustment, and it's just plain freaking cool.
  • + 3
 I'd personally never go to Eagle, simply because that 50-tooth would be wasted on me.
Since I've been on 1x11 (6 months), I can count the number of times I've had to use the 42-tooth ON ONE HAND. And if I'm not going anywhere near it, than it literally is just dead weight, isn't it?!
If I had to choose between Di2 XT or Eagle, I'd be more inclined to try the Di2. But either way it's never gonna happen... SRAM X1 all the way!
  • + 1
 @atrokz: Well, there's a range to anybody disrupting your wireless signal. I guess technically, somebody might try to do that to a competitor during a race (working with someone on the sidelines). But, honestly, this sounds like an overblown issue. I doubt many people are going to worry about it on their individual rides. I mean, I'm not that paranoid.
  • + 1
 @allballz: racing is exactly the concern since the wireless grupo is supposed to be used for racing teams. My personal concern is added points of failure and additional batteries to charge.
  • + 3
 It really only seems to me like this is good for XC racing. You get more efficient chainlines a 2x system and better range. 2x makes way more sense to me if you are racing than the Eagle. Then again I don't race, my 1x10 with a hacked cassette and 42t cog gets the job done and I will probably replace it with the Sunrace cassette when it wears out. That said I would like to hear more about the Zerode gearbox bikes. That seems like it could have a lot of benefits for people that ride mostly for fun (like 95% of riders).
  • + 1
 Shimano makes a Di2 hub gearbox... they just need to put Di2 in effigear or pinion!!!

bike.shimano.com/content/sac-bike/en/home/components11/city---comfort/alfine-di21.html
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: That is a f*cking heavy hub though.
  • + 2
 @BenPea: I meant put it in the frame like the Zerode G1 dh bike did, or use the Di2 in other gearboxes so you don't have to use a grip shift
  • + 3
 Going with cabled XT 1x11 vs XT Di2 then spending the difference on a road trip for a week of riding in ___________ (insert MTB destination of choice) including camping, bonfires, steaks, and beers. Damn, that's a tough call.
  • + 5
 My philosophy exactly. But, if you have the disposable income and bike parts make you happy, why not? I'll just run a cable mech and contribute to my 401k, thanks.
  • + 6
 After going Di2 on the roadie I never want a mechanical system again.

My next build (Bronson) will be all di2 for sure!
  • + 1
 I've been running Di2 on my road bike for the past 4 years and clearly would not go Di2 on my mountain bikes. Yes shifting is perfect everytime and adjusting it on the fly is great and can be done while riding (had to do that like 3 times so far) but it doesn't shift fast enough for me for critical parts of my dirt rides.

As for battery life, it last so long that it's not even an issue like Vernon said.

So for me :
- road bike = yes
- mountain bike = no
  • + 2
 @lRaphl: I'm the opposite. I find that the road stuff is so good and light and never needs adjusting that I would go mech road all of the time and stay electronic MTB. The electronic MTB works in the harsher MTB environments more precisely and never needs adjustments.
  • + 3
 Well I'm a front derailleur die hard because I climb steep nasty stuff all the time, and I also don't like spinning out or losing a downhill gear. I also like expensive cutting edge bike parts. But I considered and rejected Di2 vs a mechanical 2*11 system because it just doesn't sit well with me using electronics on my bike. It just crosses a line for me. Also the latest generation derailleurs especially the new side swing FD's work excellent especially with only 2 rings to shift. This isn't like some hokey e-type FD with torturous cable routing trying to swing across 3 big thick chainrings.

Besides, how can I spit out my vituperation at e-bikes if I'm also going to use an external power source to enhance my bicycle?
  • + 3
 not really interested, but with a $300 option on the horizon I am especially uninterested.
www.pinkbike.com/news/startups-300-do-it-yourself-wireless-shifting-sea-otter-2017.html
  • + 7
 more tag teaming pls!
  • + 2
 Yes, but not side-by-side formatting! Hard to read.
  • + 2
 @hamncheez: It isn't side by side when viewed from a phone or tablet. I do agree, the side by side columns can cause eyestrain.
  • + 1
 Im out until they sort out the reliability. The XTR version seems to have had more than its fair share. I also think its too late to the party as the clever and useful bit is the syncro shifting for 2x, but not many people actually ride this anymore
  • + 2
 This costs about the same as an Eagle drivetrain. Was a comparison made between the two? I get why you wouldn't bot going from Cheap XT to this, but from mega expensive Eagle?
  • + 1
 It surprises me that everyone is talking about the price of this stuff.
Even tho i admit that mountainbiking has become an expensive pastime I'm not surprised.

If SRAM can sell a big range 1x system (eagle ofc) for this amount of money I think shimano can sell a complete electronic system for roughly the same.

However I DO like to see this becoming more affordable.
  • + 1
 Hey Vernon, tell me what crank you're using on that Switchblade!

Sure looks like a Shimano crank. Did you have sufficient clearance for the 34T using just a Boost crank, or is Shimano working on some super boost spaced cranks?
  • + 1
 Five years from now, SLX and maybe even Deore have Di2. NiMH or NiZn batteries so you'll need to charge more frequently and it will be heavier obviously. But you're getting the same (or likely even better) performance. I was looking at geared hubs recently (wondering whether that Starling singlespeed bike could work with one of these) and noticed that the Alfine 8sp Di2 hub goes for 200 euros. That's not the entire system obviously, but then again it is probably going to be much cheaper than the XT offering. It sure can be done once they've got their investment in R&D out.
  • + 1
 So here are two takeaways. 1) Props to @Mike Levy and @Vernon Felton for an honest review. Should quell the haters that all PB staff are sales people for the bike industry with overly glowing reviews. 2) The cynic in me wonders if Shimano somehow sabotages their own ridiculous reliability and performance of their mechanical XT drive train in an attempt to sell more Di2. I'm sure not but if they do... you heard the conspiracy theory here first!!

In all honesty, for most of us $1,200 will be WAY too much for a drive train electronic or not. However, for those with a hard on for tech and/or with the disposable cash sounds like they can knock their boots off.
  • + 1
 $2800 for decent entry level bike? My ars! I am riding a 2017 Enduro Comp $3200 right now. I got the chance to ride a 2017 S works Stumpy. Was it lighter? Yah a bit. Was it stiffer? Slightly. Worth $9300? Balls no! $2800 is mid range. Anything over $5000 is High end, and honestly has minor ride quality improvement.
  • + 1
 My thought by a different perspective. My main concern is the presentation of the overpriced category as the new norm….
We all love to take a look on the “overpriced / high-end / experimental / early (and expensive) prototyping / race-only bikes.
But these are not the bikes we ride (once upon time I was riding a prototype bike…)
So,
The difference between the mid - prized bike and a high – end one is quite… nothing. I do agree with you.
  • + 1
 One benefit of the di2 system that didn't get mentioned - it's compatible acros the board. You can swap your 11sp wheel with your old 10sp (or gosh - 9sp) fumble with the settings for a second and voila - it works. So it is also future proof (13sp anyone?), altough I am certain that this can be remedied in some way.
  • + 1
 Hey guys, I just let a few pros ride my Di2 bike at Sea Otter and they were ALL very impressed. And.... I even had the f@&king chain routed the wrong way in the derailleur.

Seriously. The shifting is the best. If you're a racer, you'll go to Di2 after you try it. Just like hydraulic brakes. Just like tuneable suspension. Just like carbon frames. It makes a big difference. Now the cats outta the bag, haha!

Full disclosure: I'm on Shimano's friends-and-family plan but don't get things for free. I also worked for one of those crazy tech startups and still had difficulty with the "tech" side of setting up the Di2 system (it's not easy yet). And I've done product development for various bike and action sports companies.
  • + 1
 pinkbike's gonna pinkbike..
  • + 1
 I am still struggling to fathom what difference it could possibly make beyond more complexity. It seems to be solving a problem that doesn't exist. Who is having all sorts of shifting issues unless they bludgeon their derailleur? I can't think of a single person in my world of biking buds that has any shifting complaints for years.
  • + 1
 I was seriously considering XT Di2 last month but after weighing up the pros and cons for me personally I ended up upgrading the rear shock, front shock internals and changed to 1x11cable XT for the same price the Di2 conversion would of cost and I'm happy I went that way
  • + 1
 Same price and performance in wireless form would make me think about it. Don't see why the batteries have to be so big. If the battery could last 2 days of riding that would be sufficient. I rather save the weight and recharge more often
  • + 1
 I saw the function and value of Di2 back when the road system came out - and I watched the front der auto trim as we shifted through the cogs. I also see the value of MTB Di2 when you are talking about a 2x system. If you need a 2x system, the ability to simply shift up and down and let the computer move your front der when needed is definitely an advance. However, as the reviewers share - most people don't need a 2x any more. Because of this, in my opinion, it is a hard to argue any real technical advantage of motorized shifting when we are only working with a single, rear derailleur.
  • + 4
 they should concentrate on making the XT cassette lighter not making pointless electronic shifting.
  • + 2
 Yeah you think it wouldn't be that hard to drill some holes and take off some weight... Somehow SRAM kicks shimano's ass with cassette weight. I appreciate shimano's durability but they should offer some lighter options!
  • + 2
 @bikekrieg: Seems like there's a very different emphasis between those two companies. Shimano cassettes sport weights and prices equivalent to stuff several notches below in the SRAM hierarchy. As in, XT cassettes weighs slightly more and costs slightly less (at street prices) than SRAM GX (their lowest priced XD driver 10-42 offering). Given the obvious ability on Shimano's part to build finely machined stuff, I'm thinking that's a deliberate decision. They seem to think that optimizing cassette weight to that extent does not pencil out on cost/benefit. Overall, I get the idea that their stuff is meant to be a bit more bullet proof and value minded - my X1 derailleur that came with my bike has needed a LOT more fiddling and adjusting than the SLX 10sp I had on my old bike, with similar use (if anything, I'm a little less hamfisted now...). Part of that may just be 10sp vs. 11sp - but I keep hearing from 11sp Shimano users that the new stuff is similarly set-and-forget.
  • + 4
 @g-42: All of SRAM's 10-42 cassettes have steel cogs for every gear but one. The weight savings come from the machining, not at the expense of reliability.
  • + 1
 @alexdi: Exactly. Just drill some friggin holes.
  • + 1
 This review mostly mirrors my own experiences with XTR Di2- it's kinda nice, but really not worth the money or weight.

Although I will dispute one thing- the shifter(s) are terrible. Nowhere near as smooth or nice as the mechanical versions.

Di2 is great for CX or road bikes, not really necessary or an advantage for mtb.
  • + 1
 Maybe this doesn't matter to many, but I tend to keep bikes for a long time and shuffle components from bike to bike to keep my kids, friends, etc riding on the cheap. The last thing I want is expensive parts that rely on cell phone apps to be functional, unless you believe that shimano will support this system through many generations of apps, it will be as useless as a flip phone within the next ten years..
  • + 1
 How do you sleep at night when you you know how much this industry hates you... Wink
  • + 3
 Sooo....did you read this left down, right down? Did you read it left, right, left, right? Or did you just skip to the comments?
  • + 1
 I read left, right, left, right, etc...
  • + 1
 I did right left right left per section (so Vernon first). Thanks for asking.
  • + 2
 @MikeLevy + @VernonFelton, can you comment on actuation pressure? There is a group of us aging riders that suffer from finger fatigue (due repetitive motion issues and too many crashes). It is "easier" to shift with di2?
  • + 1
 Going from xx1 to xt di2 I have been very impressed. I've only ridden it for 20h or so but it's flawless, by far the most accurate shifting I've ever had. I personally don't have any complaints about downshifting gears as mentioned here. The upgrade cost me about 1k cad. Biggest issue was figuring out where to put the battery but steerer tube and then cover the bottom with a plug made out of a spray paint can plastic top worked perfectly.
I debated going eagle but decided that the cost of consumables (chains and cassettes) was ridiculous, I can replace my chain and cassette five times for each eagle one.
  • + 1
 I think technology is awesome and we rely on it heavily but I like the tactile and feel of shifting. Also the possibility of forgetting to charge the battery or another type of failure could really be a party foul.
  • + 1
 Kind of funny that they complain about price when XT Di2 costs actually less than SRAM Eagle! not to mention that they think it works by far best then any other system on the market but ... they don't want it
  • + 1
 I am glad they said it wasn't for them and mostly unnecessary. At the cost of Di2 it would have been a sham if they had said it was completely worth it. Happy to see PB hasn't been bought out by Shimano for good reviews!!
  • + 0
 "The latter cost around $2,800 USD for a complete 2x11 group, which is enough coin to buy a decent entry-level bike"....

Well, for once you DID address one of the mail drawbacks of today's bike sub-culture. I am NOT "attacking" the very high-end bikes, nor the experimental ones or even the pure racing beasts. But the mainstream of mountain bikers, as things seem to evolve, are forced to pay more & more for a "decent" bike...

It seems that the bike related press, purposely "pushes" the envelope of "decency" quite ahead, pricewise, excluding nicely made bikes within the price tag of the 2500 - 3000 USD. Most of the people who enjoy mountain biking don't have the support of a sponsor.
A few years ago the 2,800 USD was almost at the top, as a cost for a bicycle, as most of the magazines and articles were claiming... Now the 5000 to 7000 (or more) seems to be the high limit.
We all seem to forget that the evolution of technology on mass production, was supposed to make those products ALSO cheaper…
As for the not-that-new idea of electronic shifting, if I had to choose between having a battery less to worry about while I ride my bike in the wild (it is called reliability) of be able to pose with the “latest cool part from the shelve) I do refer reliability.
Yep.
I know, I am an old guy.
  • + 4
 Fools and their money are easily parted.
  • + 1
 until electronic shifting goes wireless, I;m out.

Assuming we are still using derailleurs and cogs there will come a day when the shifter(s) and derailleur(s) are all you install; no wires; no cables.
  • + 1
 Yeah, still holding out for SRAM eTap to come to XO1/XX1. The road version is incredible, and a wireless setup would be great for MTBs.
  • + 1
 I think that the next breakthrough in shifting will come when electronic shifting becomes wireless... Then there will be more motive to jump on the train
  • + 1
 I could see if everything was blue tooth and wireless, but a cable and wire to me are close enough. Not to mention I don't need to worry about soldering to fit a cable.
  • + 1
 This is polishing a turd -- here's a thought; lightweight gearbox with electronic shifting so everyone won't have to complain about the dreaded gripshift
  • + 1
 Did anyone else read this like a battle of who could write the more entertaining, yet informative, article? It's a draw! Well done, @mikelevy and @vernonfelton !
  • + 2
 This looks great! New tech to impress my friends with! Wait, another battery to babysit in my life, I'll pass.
  • + 3
 Give me a simple cable any day
  • + 1
 Vernon echos my feelings on 2x... I'd only go back if it was to Synchro-shift Di2. Dropper post remotes under the bar on the left are just too good...
  • + 2
 I'm glad they included the stuff about the installation. I know myself and would not have the patience for this.
  • + 1
 a good way to make XT the same price as XTR and make XTR way out of reach for us 99% people
  • + 1
 "Dumping a bunch of gears actually takes longer than a standard mechanical" - all I needed to hear, moving right along...
  • + 1
 Back handed compliment review, everyone buy cable XT rather than a few buy Di2 XT. Clever fellas.
  • + 1
 If it isn't wireless AND the same or less cost than cable, I'll pass. But nice review. Very fair.
  • + 1
 The battery can power your e-bike and charge your iPhone in case you need to check your up/ down votes in PB!
  • + 1
 Cables with electronic shifting make no sense. Sram needs to bring their E-tap stuff to mountain bikes.
  • + 1
 Wireless gearbox and servo actuated wireless braking. The Cassette & Cable-Free bike is coming!
  • + 1
 Can't wait to tryout my XT Di2!! Still trying to figure out where to hide the battery though..
  • + 3
 Cables4Lyfe
  • + 3
 Gearbox
  • + 2
 Ill wait for the wireless version.
  • + 2
 I didn't even read it cause I don't need it!
  • + 6
 Excellent feedback.
  • + 1
 We're coming for you Di2. My friends call me DIX.
  • + 1
 Changes up like an Xc drivetrain and down like a dh drivetrain?
  • + 1
 the $145.00 battery lasted 4 months and it is rechargeable.
  • + 1
 About as necessary as an electric bike.
  • + 1
 I'm a mechcanical sort of dude not an electronic sort of robot, no for me!
  • + 1
 fantastic write up - a breath of fresh air
  • + 1
 And shimano's Di2 systems are about to hit a price adjust...
  • + 1
 Awesome review, love the format. MOAR!!
  • + 1
 Is the display optional? Seems like an easy $160 off the price.
  • + 1
 What the hell makes a battery charger cost $109?
  • + 1
 Low supply and high demand.
  • + 1
 Why does an XT Di2 derailleur cost DOUBLE what an Ultegra Di2 one does?
  • + 0
 Did the battery last twice as long on a 1x?
  • + 1
 In theory the battery should last more than twice as long on a 1x system because the front derailleur takes a whole lot more energy to shift than the rear derailleur does (something like 10x more). You also typically use your front derailleur a lot less than your rear derailleur as well so the ratio of front shifts to rear shifts will come into play.
  • + 6
 It wasn't that great of a difference between 1x and 2x. The front derailleur does use more juice in Synchro mode, but it's not a power hog, by any stretch of the imagination. I still has a bar and change left on the visual display and could have eked more time out of it. I just felt like charging it before it got too low. The big takeaway is that battery life is nothing shy of amazing. You can run the hell out of Di2...for months...without recharging. Shimano did their homework on that, for sure.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton: They are still Lithium-Ion and they have an finite lifetime, they will need to be replaced at some point in the future.
  • + 1
 @allballz: True. I am trying to remember the number of recharges Shimano said you could get out of the battery. I do remember it amounting to not needing to replace the battery for several years, given the run time you get out of a single charge. The battery isn't cheap, but the battery life is really pretty amazing. Of course, if we get to a point where we are universally running a ton of other products off that battery (dropper posts, suspension, etc.) you can expect more frequent charging and battery replacement.
  • + 1
 #Ballstoyou
  • + 0
 #26isdead
  • + 3
 Pretty much, and I still own one too.
  • + 0
 #Balls_to_you
  • - 1
 I would replace cable by hydraulic. Batteries are not for me.
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