VIDEO Review - Shimano Di2

 Sep 7, 2011 article & images by Nick Salazar

Di2 has a bright future ahead of it.

Ultimately, are Di2's benefits worth the drawbacks? Absolutely, unequivocally, YES. Di2 is changing the way our bikes work, and its future as a platform is looking bright indeed. On the tech side, we've seen a lot of innovative hacks to the system that have brought advances like sequential shifting, custom shifting hardware, hidden batteries, and others. And on the budget side, Shimano has already announced its availability at the Ultegra level, slashing the price in half. We can expect both the innovation and the trickle-down to continue. But for now, know that Di2 is a fully-formed system, it works wonderfully, and for those who can afford it, it's easily the best system on the market. I'll admit, that when the system was first announced, I thought it was superfluous -- I could shift just fine with a cabled drivetrain. And I didn't want a battery-powered bike. I thought some of the "soul" of riding a bike would be lost. But just the opposite has happened. Di2 makes the ride an even more connected, even more fun experience than ever before. Now that I've has the experience, I don't want to use anything else.

  • Industry-altering functionaity
  • Best ergonomic experience on the market
  • Makes tri bikes more FUN
  • Amazingly expensive
  • Heavier than any other group

For those who can afford it, Di2 is simply the best group out there.
Rating: 4.5

  • The bar-end shifters are an ergonomic dream, encouraging a pistol grip, and making shifting incredibly easy.
  • I have my shifters pointing upwards, and I shift via my thumbs.
  • The underside of the bars.
  • The brake lever shifters are phenomenal, and put shifting control right at your thumbs.  And at just 112g, they're lighter than any STI on the market.
  • Internal cable routing give this Di2 installation very clean lines.
  • I really like how clean the Di2 setup looks.
  • I cut a hole in my Speed Concept's stem cover in order to integrate the control box.  I stole the idea from Team HTC Columbia
  • A zoomed out view of the stem area.
  • No cables on this Di2 beauty.
  • The front derailleur shifts beautifully.  We paired ours with a set of super light Fibre-Lyte chainrings, which shift amazingly well.
  • The front derailleur is one of Di2's marvels.  Shimano recommends using only Dura Ace cranks and rings, but the Fibre-Lyte rings work VERY well.
  • The gorgeous rear derailleur, mounted on my Kurt Kinetic trainer.

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