Would Di2 fix this?
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  1. #1
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    Would Di2 fix this?

    On a ride this past weekend, I needed to shift from the little ring back to the big ring after a climb. I could look down and see the FD moving over, but it wasn't bringing the chain with it. I finally got it.

    I have heard a pro for Di2 is that you will never miss a shift again? Would the above issue I had be "fixed" (granted, it was a one-time issue) with Di2? I ask because it wasn't like the FD didn't move over.

  2. #2
    Rub it............
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    Sounds like the FD needs to be adjusted.
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  3. #3
    tlg
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    Front shifting on Di2 is really really awesome.
    But it's impossible to say whether it'd "fix" whatever your problem is, because it's not clear what/if the problem is.

    Your derailleur may be improperly adjusted, but a Di2 can be improperly adjusted too.
    You may have been shifting under load, bad technique. Di2 can help with that. It's not a cure all, but it does shift better under load than mechanical.
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  4. #4
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    Properly adjusted Di2 front shifting is amazing.

    Properly adjusted mechanical front shifting is pretty darned good (some variability depending on equipment and pull angle).

    Your current setup should work. It doesn't. It's obviously not adjusted properly.

  5. #5
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    Fair enough,. It was an isolated incident (that day), but FD shifting has never been the best. I have had my LBS look at it; it seems to shift really well when on the stand, but on the road, not nearly as well.

    Someone mentioned shifting under load. I have been riding for a while now, but perhaps my technique is really bad. So, what is the best way to shift? One of those things I never thought I woukl have to ask, but might be surprised at the answers...

  6. #6
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    The best way to shift is to apply power for a few seconds, let up on the power and shift, then back into the power. It's a timing thing.
    You can't fix stupid.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeDaddio

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  7. #7
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    In one word yes. I use to miss shifts many times on long rides with cable shifters. You get tired and don't flip the lever hard enough or the cable gets worn and shifting fails. With DI-2 you are pressing a button and making an electrical connection. You can't do it wrong. You will shift a lot more with it just because you can. 0 failed shifts.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by frdfandc View Post
    The best way to shift is to apply power for a few seconds, let up on the power and shift, then back into the power. It's a timing thing.
    ^ this.

    Keep the pedals moving - but under minimal load. That allows the chain to be derailed and moved to the other chainring. Than after one full pedal revolution, it should be all done and you are good to go.

    It's sort of analogous to using a clutch in a standard shift car. Take the power off, do the shift, then apply power again.

    With practice you can do it as a quick stutter-step without even thinking.

    If you dont do it, your shifting will be difficult and problematic.

    I've been on di2 for several years now and I still do it - and yes even di2 shifts better if you do it correctly.
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  9. #9
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    It's sort of analogous to using a clutch in a standard shift car. Take the power off, do the shift, then apply power again.
    That's a great explanation. Unless you've never drove a standard (becoming a lost skill).


    With practice you can do it as a quick stutter-step without even thinking.
    Yea, its second nature and literally takes a split second when you're use to it. So long as you're on a flat or downhill and have some momentum.
    If you're on an incline without much speed, you might need to surge a couple crank revolutions before the shift. Or of course... just stay in the small ring.
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  10. #10
    JSR
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    FWIW, i did a spring cleaning on my drivetrain the other day, including removing the chain rings. I discovered a bunch of gunk embedded in the little rams and pins, requiring some fairly diligent scraping and brushing. Front shifting is much snappier now.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSR View Post
    FWIW, i did a spring cleaning on my drivetrain the other day, including removing the chain rings. I discovered a bunch of gunk embedded in the little rams and pins, requiring some fairly diligent scraping and brushing. Front shifting is much snappier now.
    Your bike should never get that dirty.
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  12. #12
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    In terms of never needing adjustment, yes Di2 will fix your issue. It's a matter of whether you want to pay the premium for it.
    The one thing I dislike about modern Di2 is the Shimano Synchro feature, which if you leave it on essentially turns your drivetrain into an automatic. It's really annoying, so I stick to manual.
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  13. #13
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by SauronHimself View Post
    In terms of never needing adjustment, yes Di2 will fix your issue. It's a matter of whether you want to pay the premium for it.
    The one thing I dislike about modern Di2 is the Shimano Synchro feature, which if you leave it on essentially turns your drivetrain into an automatic. It's really annoying, so I stick to manual.
    No it's not an automatic drive train. Di2 has 3 modes. Manual, Semi Sync, and Sync. You're not locked into any mode. And all 3 require user input to shift to the next gear. It never shifts automatically.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SauronHimself View Post
    In terms of never needing adjustment, yes Di2 will fix your issue. It's a matter of whether you want to pay the premium for it.
    The one thing I dislike about modern Di2 is the Shimano Synchro feature, which if you leave it on essentially turns your drivetrain into an automatic. It's really annoying, so I stick to manual.
    There are three modes.

    1. Synchro Shift: Shifts the front derailleur for you as you roll up or down the cassette - I would never in a million years use this
    2. Semi-Synchro Shift: Shifts the rear derailleur up or down for you when you manually shift the front derailluer. I could see a use-case for this, but I it more annoying that useful most of the time.
    3. Manual: You shift yourself. PERFECT!

    Just leave yours in normal mode and you have nothing at all to dislike.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    ^ this.

    Keep the pedals moving - but under minimal load. That allows the chain to be derailed and moved to the other chainring. Than after one full pedal revolution, it should be all done and you are good to go.

    It's sort of analogous to using a clutch in a standard shift car. Take the power off, do the shift, then apply power again.

    With practice you can do it as a quick stutter-step without even thinking.

    If you dont do it, your shifting will be difficult and problematic.

    I've been on di2 for several years now and I still do it - and yes even di2 shifts better if you do it correctly.
    Thats a great explanation! I didn’t even notice that I do this until I read your post, it’s just what you do, automatic or reflex? Like shifting a manual transmission once you’ve done it a while...
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  16. #16
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    I recently installed a new ultegra FD-R8000 front derailleur on my cross bike. Shimano has dramatically changed the engineering of how their FD works, and very much to the better than the 'long arm' FD-6800. The old 6800 one never worked correctly due to the odd cable routing on this Kona frame, but the new one is designed to be a lot more forgiving of bad frame design, and it works great with a lot less finger effort. (still use a 6800 on my regular road bike though)

    old one



    much better one

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  17. #17
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    The cam design on the new Shimano FD's is light years better than the old long arm swing design.

    If for no other reason that it eliminates the variables introduced by cable pull angle on different frames.

    It's not "Di2" better, but for a cable activated system, it's really good.

    Edit to add: for anyone who struggles with FD adjustment, the new FD is the best cheap upgrade you can make to a 5800/7000/9000 series FD bike. You will need to spend a few minutes with the Shimano manual understanding how to route and tension the cable, but once done, it's a lot easier to set up and maintain.

  18. #18
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finx View Post
    There are three modes.

    1. Synchro Shift: Shifts the front derailleur for you as you roll up or down the cassette - I would never in a million years use this
    Syncro works really nice... 90% of the time. The problem is that other 10% of the time. A front ring shift on a hill can really F' you up.
    For a casual rider in a not too hilly area, it's probably perfect 99% of the time.

    2. Semi-Synchro Shift: Shifts the rear derailleur up or down for you when you manually shift the front derailluer. I could see a use-case for this, but I it more annoying that useful most of the time.
    I use semi sync and I find it perfect 100% of the time. When manual shifting, I always shift the front and rear at the same time. So semi sync shifts exactly as I would shift in manual mode.

    3. Manual: You shift yourself. PERFECT!
    Always an option.
    I find it annoying having to shift both derailleurs.
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  19. #19
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    I think the only practical use for either Synchro mode would be in TT/Triathlon situations where you aren't likely to be hitting steep climbs, and the more linear shifting is more beneficial. i.e. more pros, less cons...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    I find it annoying having to shift both derailleurs.
    I did a 100 mile charity ride with about 7500 feet of climbing on Monday. My Wahoo told me I shifted 2251 times during that ride. I don't remember being annoyed by any of them (strictly in manual mode).

  21. #21
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    My local bike shop person taught me this about shifting from the small to big ring on a mechanical system: stop pedaling for a moment, shift and hold the lever to the big ring, then pick up your pedaling and the chain will come right up to the big ring, then release the lever back to its resting position. This works very well for me. Seems a bit counter-intuitive. And I agree, the shift up the big ring is best done under a light load on the system. I also understand this might not work in all situations when you need the big ring in a hurry.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSR View Post
    FWIW, i did a spring cleaning on my drivetrain the other day, including removing the chain rings. I discovered a bunch of gunk embedded in the little rams and pins, requiring some fairly diligent scraping and brushing. Front shifting is much snappier now.
    I use Rock N Roll Absolutely Dry lube due do to the year round ideal weather and road conditions where I ride. I wipe down my chain after each ride. My bike shifts well. Every week or two I clean everything and lube. The shifting is noticeably better on the first ride after doing that.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    That's a great explanation. Unless you've never drove a standard (becoming a lost skill).
    Ha. Modern performance cars with automatics outperform their manual counterparts in every way. No need for automatics anymore, at least in terms of performance.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finx View Post
    I did a 100 mile charity ride with about 7500 feet of climbing on Monday. My Wahoo told me I shifted 2251 times during that ride. I don't remember being annoyed by any of them (strictly in manual mode).
    Isn't it amazing how many times you shift and don't even realize it. I like that bit of info from Wahoo - that and which gear I favored the most.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finx View Post
    The cam design on the new Shimano FD's is light years better than the old long arm swing design.

    If for no other reason that it eliminates the variables introduced by cable pull angle on different frames.

    It's not "Di2" better, but for a cable activated system, it's really good.

    Edit to add: for anyone who struggles with FD adjustment, the new FD is the best cheap upgrade you can make to a 5800/7000/9000 series FD bike. You will need to spend a few minutes with the Shimano manual understanding how to route and tension the cable, but once done, it's a lot easier to set up and maintain.
    +1-I'm even using an R8000 with Campagnolo 10 speed shifters and it works great; truly a honey badger component and also allows you to remove inline cable tension adjusters as you now have one on the FD itself.

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