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Shimano synchronised shifting now available on Ultegra

Specialized Roubaix SL4 Comp Di2
Josh Cunningham
18 Apr 2017

A new Di2 battery opens up the potential for synchronised shifting for riders with Ultegra 6800 and Dura Ace 9000

Shimano has announced news of a new Di2 battery that will enable riders with Ultegra 6800 and Dura Ace 9000 to feel the benefits of synchronised shifting. 

This is a function that automatically picks the next easiest (or next hardest) gear with just a single up/down button push on the right hand lever. Consider it like the paddling shifting on a semi-automatic car gear box.

The idea is the Di2 Synchro Shift automatically shifts through all the gears you have in sequential order, such that you can maintain smooth cadence and power output. Shimano is betting that most riders fail to realise - or do anything about - the fact that gear ratios overlap across big and small chainrings.

For example, if you're in 52x28 and you want an easier gear, the natural response is to drop to the small chainring, hitting 36x28. The problem is you have just jumped a gear combination in between, so what Synchro Shift does is automatically select the gear en route to 36x28. Eg, the next shift would be 36x25 (Synchro Shift simultaneously shifts to small chainring and 10th sprocket), then 36x28.

Shimano say that the technology is designed to complement, rather than replace, manual shifting, and it can be turned on or off at any point during a ride by pressing a button on the underside of the handlebar-mounted junction box. 

But if all of that seems like too much interference, Shimano also offer semi-synchronised shifting, which automatically shifts the rear derailleur only when the front derailleur is manually shifted. 

The technology was launched as part of the firmware for Dura-Ace 9100, but a new battery that Shimano has made - called the BT-DN110 - contains a memory chip that can handle the processing power required for multiple shifting patterns.

As such, those with Ultegra 6800 and Dura Ace 9000 simply need to get the new battery and download the latest firmware (which you can do here) in order to enjoy the benefits of synchronised shifting.

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