A non IT related topic for this hot and humid first day of August: electronic shifting system for road bikes.

Electronics in every aspect of our life, and in all sporting equipments: now Shimano plans to release its new Dura-Ace Di2, which uses wires instead of steel cables. This should:

…execute perfect shifts every time, thus "reducing mental overhead"

The system is made by touch buttons to shift gear, positioned in the same place of standard push buttons, two derailleurs whose springs have been replaced by servo-motors, a battery pack that should be placed near the bottle cage, and LCD display that shows remaining battery life and current gear.

Shimano_E-DA_lever_hump-300-90-300-70 Shimano_E-DA_RD_forged-480-90-480-70

Shimano_E-DA_battery-480-90-480-70 Shimano_E-DA_battery_indicator-850-99

The Di2 will be sold as upgrade for the top-level Dura-Ace 7900. The price has not been revealed yet, but someone says it could double the cost of the group (which costs US$ 2600).

The thing that worries me a bit is the battery pack: they claim it should last 1000 Km (621 miles). But what happens if you go out and you forget to recharge the battery? Other then that, and the cost (2000 dollars just for this seems a bit too much in my opinion. Anyway, let’s see how much they will cost when they ship in January ‘09.

For a more detailed review and for more pictures have a look at BikeRadar.com articles (where the pictures above where taken from).

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