I’ve based mostly this article on my improve final yr from a legacy Shimano 105 setup on a street bike to considerably of a mish-mash of upper spec Shimano ULTEGRA and Shimano DURA-ACE elements. This shortly morphed into a new body and successfully a new bike construct. While I used to be at it I made a decision to enter into the 21st Century and introduce Shimano Di2 into the combination.
Solely a lot may be stated about lighter and sleeker ULTEGRA/DURA ACE elements BUT Di2 tickled my fancy and I discovered Shimano’s Di2 to be MUCH extra of a helpful addition to my biking than I had anticipated.
98% of you’ll in all probability solely encounter Di2 if you purchase a new bike. It’s an costly improve.
So this article could be very helpful so that you can persuade your self to purchase a new bike in an effort to benefit from the delights of Di2 ? For these of you planning an improve then you must do your sums rigorously as you might nicely get a a lot better deal on Di2 elements constructed into the worth of a new bike than you’d from shopping for them individually.
Candy. I’m glad I did it.
Di2 turned out to be rather more helpful and succesful than I assumed it will ever be. Even the mixing with head models and shifters was extra in depth than I’d imagined.
There are a few negatives, however not many, for the sake of stability I’ll cowl these as nicely. Di2+Ultegra/DuraAce elements will not be low cost however the advantages are many and assorted. Some advantages could be much less apparent such as ‘automatic trimming’ aka Di2 routinely makes tiny changes to derailleur positions to cease annoying noise from the chain catching the derailleurs. Extra apparent advantages would come with NEVER AGAIN having the necessity to run close to gear cables via your body at each bike service.
I’ll cowl the advantages and my experiences in additional element. So this publish is pretty lengthy. Right here is a jump-list if you could have come right here for a particular Di2-related cause. If not then ‘Welcome!’ and skim on…
Shimano Di2 is digital gear shifting. It really works on Ultegra elements and in addition the very best spec DuraAce elements however not the entry-level Shimano 105 elements.
You take away the necessity for shifting cables however as an alternative introduce the necessity for energy cables and a battery. Each element must be linked to the battery for energy. There are numerous configurations and nuances for various frames and elements, thus set up is NOT trivial. Different producer methods have wi-fi connections, which I assume would in all probability be simpler.
There are a number of modes of operation together with the power to auto-shift throughout each entrance and rear derailleurs through the use of only one controller as properly as to regulate your Wahoo/Garmin show from buttons on prime of your hoods.
‘Di2 battery status’ and ‘current gear’ are metrics that shall be supported by many biking head models and biking watches by way of the Bluetooth and ANT+ in Di2. The Bluetooth help additional allows configuration and digital upkeep out of your smartphone.
There are ‘go slightly faster‘ performance benefits as well as ease-of-use benefits.
In no particular order here are some of the benefits
- Supports multiple locations for electronic shifters for the ideal placement for ‘normal’ driving, sprinting, climbing or TT racing. For instance, you possibly can management one derailleur from 2 totally different places on one bike eg
- on the finish of your aerobars AND in a climbing place on the primary a part of your handlebars OR
- out of your common shifters/brakes AND a sprinting place in your drops.
- Light-weight – even together with the load of the battery and opposite to what you’d in all probability anticipate, the digital groupsets are often lighter than the mechanical ones. Apparently, partially, this is because of a weaker/lighter shifter being required as solely a button must be triggered with Di2 somewhat than a extra forceful shift on a conventional shifter.
- Barely simpler (and cheaper?) servicing with out the necessity to lube and/or substitute mechanical cables.
- Low bodily effort to shift gears. This may encourage extra frequent shifting and may then arrive at extra steadily right gear ratios.
- Excessive shift high quality. Chain drops are lowered/eradicated and shifting might be completed even when ‘putting down the power‘
- Automatic derailleur positioning (TRIMMING) – tiny positional adjustments avoid contact of derailleur with the chain when riding ie when NOT changing gear. This might help oval chainrings – not tested.
- There is also a safety benefit in being able to page through/drill down into your Wahoo/Garmin screens without taking your hands from your hoods.
- Prettier – cables are hidden away
- Automatic gear selection.
- (Semi) Rear derailleur automatically chooses a cog when the front derailleur position is changed
- (Full) Effectively the rear controller runs through the gears and Di2 chooses the appropriate front+rear cog combination.
- Multiple shifting is activated by pressing and holding the rear controller, the nature/number of gears shifted is configurable through software.
- Post-ride knowledge of gear change frequency and various gear/grade/power combos is all there for the analysis. I rarely bothered to do this.
The main drawbacks would be: the cost; the complexity of installation; reliance on a charged battery; and sometimes a seemingly longer shift-time between gears. Some people also argue that the shifting ‘feel’ is just not so good when the rider is sporting gloves
Initially, shifting was completely good on my shiny bike.
I’m not the perfect individual on the planet at preserving my bike wanting shiny-new though I’m cautious sufficient to not throw it into issues or crash. However, after a few months, I needed to re-index the rear gears by way of the app. The app does work and it does do the required job. However the interface and suggestions it provides could possibly be improved.
Ever since that re-indexing, there’s one particular downshift that simply gained’t work correctly. It simply doesn’t fairly go in on a regular basis. If I modify to both of the subsequent settings on the app then a number of different gears don’t work. I’ve not obtained a bent hanger, so who is aware of the issue? Truly, I do. On the uncommon event that I give my chain a good clear and lube and the clear every little thing else within the neighborhood, then shifting in that one pesky gear is nearly good – the remaining being good.
In my naivity, I assumed that the Di2 unit despatched ‘current gear’ information again to the top unit. It, type of, does that. For an 11-speed cassette it might ship again which cog you’re in ie 1 by means of 11. However it does NOT know what number of tooth are on every cog.
“How could it?” I hear you cry. Nicely, you possibly can program that into the Di2 unit by way of the Shimano app. So it ought to know. Nicely, it does know, it simply doesn’t broadcast that information. Thus, as nicely as establishing your numerous cogs/tooth on the Shimano E-tube app additionally, you will should make the identical modifications to your head unit eg immediately onto an Edge or by way of Wahoo’s app. You don’t HAVE to try this, the shifting will nonetheless work, it’s simply that your post-ride evaluation of gearing can be mistaken if you don’t. In case you are altering rings/cassettes on a common foundation then this can be a actual PITA. I’ve not modified mine for over 6 months, so I can’t actually complain.
One other factor to be cautious of is the battery location. Mine is hidden away within the seat submit. When a long-legged pal of mine borrowed my bike there was a lot seat publish adjusting happening. After whacking it up and down a few occasions I remembered there was a battery in there. All was fantastic however..you simply have to be aware of that quite costly piece of Shimano componentry.
My unique plan was to place Di2 onto my climbing bike however it turned out that the body was from the yr earlier than Specialised provided them with the holes pre-drilled. I might have drilled some holes in my pretty body however that simply didn’t appear proper. Plus, I think, the one that was doing it for extra me couldn’t be bothered.
A number of the seen digital elements are exensive. I’m surpried that extra are usually not stolen and re-sold. (I’ve by no means heard of it occurring)
The ultimate and most blatant disadvantage is operating out of juice. It looks like I’m a type of folks that incessantly change gear and therefore quickly depreciate my juice reserves within the Di2. When you solely ever do 1 or 2-hour rides then all will probably be superb as my generally used head models (Wahoo/Edge) give a battery warning adequate to get you to the top of these 2 hours (in all probability). Nevertheless, on one lengthy (5 hours?) journey I obtained to the purpose with slightly below an hour to go the place the battery received essential. IIRC what occurs then is that the smallest entrance ring is shifted to and you aren’t allowed to maneuver from that. IE you might have a remaining grace interval of simply over half an hour (perhaps longer) with rear gears solely – a comparable end-game is arrived at with wi-fi shifting, you find yourself switching the lesser used entrance battery to the rear. One other close to catastrophe was firstly of an eight hour day once I found I hadn’t charged my Di2 in any respect, fortunately I had the charging cable and a few insulating tape and another person had a USB battery to cost the Di2 on the fly – all was good.
There are Shimano element choices that cowl
- 10 velocity and 11 velocity
- Hydraulic and cable brakes
- MTB vs Street
- Ultegra vs Dura Ace ( and totally different elements inside that)
- Dash/Climb/Drops/Aerobar controllers
- Shifters for integration with Garmin/Wahoo…or not.
- Exterior wiring (not a good concept) or wiring inside the body if your body permits it
There are a lot of mixtures there which I’m not even going to attempt to cowl.
I deliberate to put in writing a publish on “The Shimano Bible”, nevertheless, that’s a large and sophisticated enterprise. Plus I already realised another person had already completed it! So right here is a hyperlink to Carlton Bale’s fairly nice submit on this topic – nice for you wannabe Di2 DIYers.
Shimano Ultegra and Dura-Ace Di2 Digital Shifting – Every little thing You Have to Know
One Particular Configuration
When you perceive the broad precept of what connects to what, then you possibly can in all probability extrapolate the way you may add that ‘special’ bit into the system sooner or later.
If a diagram is your factor…this is a good overview
Some issues to remember
- All of the elements are joined with Shimano wires and these wires transmit management alerts as properly as energy.
- The whole lot is related again to the battery both immediately or by way of a Three-way or 5-way junction Field
- You might take into consideration your Di2 configuration as all of the elements linked to both a Three holed junction or a 5 holed junction after which the junctions hyperlink again to the battery
- Thus, I’ve a Three-way junction beneath the handlebar stem (EW90A, under). As nicely as a junction it’s a charging port and has a button beneath for numerous bits of performance, like a pairing, and LEDs to point out standing. The EW90A (or EW90B or EW-RS910) is a key half.
- The junction beneath the handlebar stem connects to every shifter left/proper.
- For those who had a 5-way junction (EW90B) you may hyperlink to a different controller or two on, for instance, the top of your aerobars.
- Should you additionally need to hyperlink to your Garmin/Wahoo by way of ANT+ then you’ll need the D-fly ANT+ E-tube (EWWU111) – that’s underlined as it’s an necessary piece. You’d unplug the cable that hyperlinks the 2 junctions and plug one finish into the D-Fy port and you then would wish one other brief cable to reattach the D-Fly port again to the port in your handlebars.
The great thing about all of this is that a lot of it’s hidden away. Even the port on my handlebar stem could possibly be changed with a equally functioning port which fits on the finish of your handlebar drops…cool! Intelligent. (EW-RS910 above)
You NEVER want entry to the battery in your seat publish as it may be charged by way of the port beneath the handlebar stem. Or, as within the case of the EW-RS910, you’ll be able to see the charging port beneath the button within the diagram additional above.
That each one sounds nice.
Newer frames could also be particularly designed to accomodate the junctions and wiring routes. Older frames and handleabrs might current you with a few challenges, solely solvable solely with a drill and endurance.
It’s attainable to improve from an older Shimano Di2 system to at least one that connects shifters and information to your Wahoo/Garmin models. You will have the EWWU11, as properly as a newer sort of battery BTDN1100/01 to energy it and the remainder of your present Di2 system. These two elements will collectively set you again over $/£/Eu100.
To be truthful. If I used to be in ‘bike toy mode’ that might be £100 well-spent.
Sigma Sport had just lately bought out of these particular elements, so that you may need to buy round.
As soon as the Di2 is paired to your Garmin there are literally fairly a lot of delicate configurations you can also make such as
- Which shifter has which motion (entrance or rear, up or down) – NO this is completed within the Shimano app;
- D-Fly Channel – shifter prime button motion eg lap or web page to subsequent display;
- Particular shifter press configurations eg press and maintain;
- New show metrics.
These are coated in a bit extra element in this publish.
Shimano Di2 – the darkish aspect of the metrics
I’ve few regrets with this improve.
The one part-regrets are
- I want I might have had Di2 on my climbing bike. In actuality, I exploit that bike much less, in order that counterbalances my slight disappointment.
- I might undoubtedly have gone for the EW-RS910 – the bit the place the charging port is inserted into the top of the handlebar drops. that was an aesthetic mistake on my half.
- In a really perfect world, Di2 can be a welcome addition to my TT bike. While I don’t use that bike an excessive amount of I *DO* use it for necessary races and so it might be cool to have the shifters on the top of the aerobars to save lots of me 10 seconds over my subsequent HIM bike ?
That’s a extra fascinating query.
I’ve used non-Di2 bikes fairly a lot over the previous few months and it’s straightforward to return to ‘the old days’ of guide shifting
I suppose I might miss the convenience, consistency and smoothness of digital shifting. However I might additionally miss the coolness of the tech too. However extra importantly, I simply wouldn’t be capable of reduce it with a number of of my biking buddies who’ve top-end bikes which naturally all have Di2.
For those who’re shopping for a half-decent bike then you need to think about Di2.
Personally, if I used to be to purchase a new bike, I might virtually definitely have Di2 on it. However I don’t assume I’ll carry out an improve on certainly one of my different bikes, despite the fact that it’s tempting on the TT bike.
I might discover it exhausting to advocate anybody to carry out an improve until they REALLY liked bike DIY and didn’t thoughts the fee.
There’s additionally reassuringly costly noise of adjusting gear which broadcasts to throughout you that you could afford Di2 ? [C’mon, that’s the main reason you’re going to buy it, right?!]
For most individuals, if you are attempting to justify Di2 on the post-ride knowledge insights that you simply may get for optimum gearing then I reckon these advantages are fairly skinny on the bottom. Equally, a few new knowledge fields in your Wahoo or Garmin aren’t value a number of hundred bucks. A minimum of they don’t seem to be value it for me.
Nevertheless, I like the power to make use of the buttons on the tops of the shifters to set off Di2 occasions like altering knowledge screens on the Wahoo however extra usefully so as to add a lap with out having to succeed in for the top unit – though if both Garmin or Wahoo had ‘lap by position’ I might use that even much less on my laps of the native park.
I didn’t just like the (Semi-) Synchro Shifting modes however thought, initially, that I might. A few of you’ll love them, in all probability one in four of my Di2-enabled buddies use this mode.