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Thread: Di2 Road Synchro Shift first impressions

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    Default Di2 Road Synchro Shift first impressions

    I updated my 6870 derailleurs to the latest firmware and set up sychro shift. Before I start, if you hate motorized derailleurs or are going to be snarky and say "hey, why don't they just make it telepathic?" or something like that, this isn't the thread for you. If you love Di2 like I do, you might like this thread. Luvahs gunna love. I'm not going to try to sell anybody on Di2.

    I think synchro shift is awesome. I've only had one ride out on the road with it because the storm hit the next day. But I have also done a couple of indoor workouts. I am running 36/52 and 11/28. The way I have mine mapped is it will go to the 25 while in the 52, but instead of shifting to the 28 with one more click, it shifts down the the 36 up front and down to the 21 in back. You do notice the shifts when going in this direction. It shifts the big ring and then the two shifts in back. But it does not feel any different than what I usually do manually. And since you are rarely attacking and going one gear easier at the same time, it feels normal to me.

    Going in the other direction is where I really like the system. My mapping is that it will drop down to the 17 while in the 36, but instead of dropping to the 15 with one more click, it will shift to the 52/21. That shift feels totally seamless. It feels like the front and rear shifts occur simultaneously. In other words, it feels like you shifted to the 15. It's that smooth to me. I tried it while going hard up a steep hill and doing some flat sprints and it is so smooth. I haven't touched the left shifter since setting up synchro and haven't even thought about it.

    You can change these mapping points. You can use more of the cassette while in the little ring if you want. You can also change which cog it shifts to since some riders might want a slightly harder or easier gear with the shift. It's all customizable to a point, but some combos (ones that just don't make sense anyway) are not available.

    There is also semi synchro mode. I didn't really understand this mode when I first read about it. Here is what it does. You still use the left shifter and no auto shifting occurs as you move through the range in the back. What semi synchro does is shift the rear when you shift the front. You can set whether it shifts 2 or 3 cogs when you shift up front. For instance, if I have it set for 2 cogs change on both upshift and downshift and I am currently in the 36/15 and then I shift to the big ring (using the left shifter), it will shift the back to the 19. Or if I am in the 52/21 and shift the front, it will shift the rear to the 17. You can set the number cogs independently for the upshift and downshift. You might want it to go 2 cogs bigger when shifting to the big ring and 3 cogs smaller when shifting down the to the little ring. It's up to you. Note that your options are limited to a change of 2 or 3 cogs.

    I liked the full synchro enough that I didn't try the semi synchro out on the road yet. But I plan to at least try it. If you have 6870, 9070, or R9150, I encourage you to at least try snchro.I did not think I would like it. The reason I thought that was when I shift up front, it's usually because I want a bigger jump in the gearing. At least, that's how I've trained myself over the years. Now I just shift when I want and don't "plan" that shift up front.

    I hope that helps clarify some details if you are thinking about trying it. Have fun!
    Mike Zanconato
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    Default Re: Di2 Road Synchro Shift first impressions

    I guess the next gen will adjust the mapping live based on the powermeter data.
    --
    T h o m a s

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    Default Re: Di2 Road Synchro Shift first impressions

    Great review, Mike! Is there a way to set the buttons so that it's in Synchro mode and the left shifter shifts up and the right shifts down?
     

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    Default Re: Di2 Road Synchro Shift first impressions

    Yes, Matt. You could set it up like etap. All of the buttons can be customized.
    Mike Zanconato
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    Default Re: Di2 Road Synchro Shift first impressions

    Is there a terrain difference where each system would work better? Semi versus full synchro? Say when you were setting up for a day in the mountains versus a day of mostly flatlands.
    Jorn Ake
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    Default Re: Di2 Road Synchro Shift first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by zank View Post
    Yes, Matt. You could set it up like etap. All of the buttons can be customized.
    I kinda wish you had said no.
     

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    Default Re: Di2 Road Synchro Shift first impressions

    Would like to try this. But alas, I am an eTap user. I guess I will hope that eTap has some firmware update that allows similar function.
     

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    Default Re: Di2 Road Synchro Shift first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Is there a terrain difference where each system would work better? Semi versus full synchro? Say when you were setting up for a day in the mountains versus a day of mostly flatlands.
    Interesting question, Jorn. Semi might be a good solution for that case.
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    Default Re: Di2 Road Synchro Shift first impressions

    Sorry, my reply above was confusing. I meant to say that semi might be better for the flat day. But after thinking about it more, the shifts are so seamless when the system shifts the front that I don't know if I would pick semi over full in any particular circumstance. Of course, I only have one outdoor ride in on it. My opinion might change after more time on it. But so far I really like it.
    Mike Zanconato
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    Default Re: Di2 Road Synchro Shift first impressions

    I did my first road synchro setup yesterday as well. I think full synchro would be best for hilly as it will drop you from big to small in the front before you run out of cassette.

    Mike, do you have the bt-dn110? I grabbed a second bike with a btr2 yesterday to try and E-TUBE said it wouldn't allow the changes to take effect on that battery. I meant to confirm that you need the newest batteries for synchro to work.
     

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    Default Re: Di2 Road Synchro Shift first impressions

    Yes, you need the new battery. I forgot to point that out. There isn't enough memory on the btr2 for the latest firmware.
    Mike Zanconato
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    Default Re: Di2 Road Synchro Shift first impressions

    GREAT commentary Mike. It makes sense now.

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    Default Re: Di2 Road Synchro Shift first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by sk_tle View Post
    I guess the next gen will adjust the mapping live based on the powermeter data.
    And heart rate with team car shift control, that way the DS can set all the bikes in the team to the same gear, great for TTT.
    Maybe the next version will give cog & ring spacing control, Di2 8s half step triple syncro.
    If you have a computer you might as well have fun with it.
     

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    Default Re: Di2 Road Synchro Shift first impressions

    Having the shifting tied into power seems to make the same kind of sense the change to auto-ISO made in digital cameras. Seems logical to me. Maybe not logical for me to use necessarily, but would be for pros.
    Jorn Ake
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    Default Re: Di2 Road Synchro Shift first impressions

    Can we keep this thread focused on how synchro works?
    Mike Zanconato
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    Default Re: Di2 Road Synchro Shift first impressions

    Yes. Are these parameters switchable on the fly - can you change from full to semi and back again while out on a ride? Or turn them on and off?

    I assume the double shift points are based on gear inch sequence, but is there flexibility on the position of the double shift? I can see situations where I might want the front to get to the small chainring sooner and stay there, rather than having the double shift point right in the middle of what I am doing on the bike.
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    Default Re: Di2 Road Synchro Shift first impressions

    Yes, you can change modes on the fly. If you double click the junction A button, it will cycle through from synchro to semi to manual and back to synchro with each double click.

    Yes, all based on ratios. The software is pretty cool in that it gives you the ratio chart for your chainring/cassette setup. Then you can drag and drop the mapping points based on the gear ratios and based on how much of the cassette you want to use. Like I said earlier, I think the system limits some choices that just don't make sense and might be difficult for the system to handle. But other than that, it's very customizable.
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    Default Re: Di2 Road Synchro Shift first impressions

    Mike - Thanks for this thread. Its nice to see something technical and current here.

    Couple guys are getting the system for TT rigs (not me). Wondering how full synchro will work out on a TT (or Tri) bike. With bikes that have notoriously poorer shifting and when guys might run non-standard rings up front it moves away from Shimano's total system integration approach. Do you know if the system can be set to full manual as opposed to semi or full synchro?


    ***** Ha - Looks like you answered this while I was typing: There is a full manual mode? *****


    Take a flat TT for example:

    Start in small ring, come up to speed with maybe a cog or two shift in back before wanting the big ring.

    Up to the big ring and once in the big ring don't want the bike trying to shift back to the small ring.

    Approaching the turn around, shift up in the back a few cogs and to small ring in front.

    Exiting turn around repeat start line process.

    Once in the big ring you won't want to see the small again for the duration of the race.

    Any thoughts on how the system will work out for this type of use case?

    --Mark
     

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    Default Re: Di2 Road Synchro Shift first impressions

    Happy to, Mark. I think you could still use synchro and limit the amount of front shifting. Kind of like how I have mine set up. 10 cogs in the rear while in the big ring and only a few cogs in back while in the little ring. That could be the answer.

    The new bar end TT shifters and new climbing switches are one button switches like etap blips. And I bet a lot of guys will set up right and left shifters etap style like Matt mentioned above. I know a few mountain guys running only a right shifter with a 2x. I bet you can get the shifting retty dialed even with non-Shimano rings.

    One thing to keep in mind that I should have mentioned earlier is that you can still shift the front derailleur at will in full synchro mode. It will just do the double shift again when it gets to a mapping point.
    Mike Zanconato
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    Default Re: Di2 Road Synchro Shift first impressions

    Thanks Mike - appreciated.

    Looking at the manual and available parts for the latest DI2, one of the guys trying to do a fully internal TT set up was stymied by needing access to the A-Junction. Both for both charging and the button to move into adjustment mode. He was also concerned about full synchro trying to perform a front ring shift and throwing the chain. That can be worked around so now it's access to the charging port and we'll get him sorted.

    SRAM eTap would have owned the TT/TRI bike world if it wasn't for that humongous blip box.

    Shimano's new TT switches and levers are very nice. I'm still running gen 1.0 Di2. A nice mod there is to use smaller (more aero) brake levers and hide small switches under the bar tape on the cow horns. The original brake/shift levers from Shimano work great as both shift controls and actual brake levers. But are bulky. With Gen 1.0 the switches were just switches. Now there are control circuits built into almost every component. Limits the DIY potential for non-standard use cases.
     

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