By Jim Weaver, Service Manager, Fit Werx, VT
Last night I had the opportunity to attend a display of new Shimano equipment, as well as attend a tech session with Shimano representatives. I will be writing a more extensive article that will be posted shortly, but I wanted to get some valuable information out there as quickly as possible for owners of Ultegra Di2-equipped bikes.
One of the drawbacks to Shimano’s electronic shifting was that a rider could only shift one rear cog at a time. To shift multiple gears, you had to repeatedly press the lever. Campagnolo’s electronic system allows a rider to simply hold the shift lever, and the derailleur will keep shifting until you let go. I felt this was a notable advantage of Campy’s system over Shimano. Well, Shimano has addressed this shortcoming, and the new 11 speed Dura Ace 9070 Di2 allows multiple shifts in the same way – simply hold the shift lever, and the rear derailleur will keep shifting until you let go. Because the 11 speed Shimano Dura Ace 9070 Di2 shares the same wiring and “brain” as the 10 speed Ultegra Di2, this means that a firmware update will allow this same “multi-shift” feature to work on existing Ultegra Di2 systems.
If you have Ultegra Di2, all the hardware you need was installed on your bike originally, the feature was not available because it was not in the firmware. With this firmware upgrade, not only do you get the advantage of multiple shifting, but at the time of installation the speed of shifting can be adjusted to one of five speed settings as well. For example, if a rider tends to spin at a high cadence, the shifting speed would be set faster than for someone who tends to spin at a lower cadence. With the firmware upgrade, other user-defined changes can also be made to your system. For example, would you rather have the left hand control the rear derailleur? No problem, that can be changed.
In order to make this improvement to your existing Ultegra Di2 system, you will need to take your bike to an authorized Shimano dealer equipped with the correct Ultegra Di2 diagnostic equipment with the latest firmware updates from Shimano. We here at Fit Werx are equipped to take care of this update to your system. The price of this update is about $25. Unfortunately, this change cannot be added to existing 10 speed Dura Ace Di2 systems as the wiring and “brain” in that system was completely unique.