Shimano adds wireless capability to Di2 groupset

D-Fly adds wireless data transmission to new PRO cycling computer

by David Arthur   February 3, 2014  

Shimano has launched D-Fly for its Di2 electronic groupsets, enabling you to track gear selection and battery life through a handlebar-mounted cycling computer.

The D-Fly Data Management system, to give it its full name, is compatible with Dura-Ace 9070, Ultegra 6870 Di2 and Ultegra 6770 E-tube groupsets. It simply plugs into the E-tube wiring and is powered by the main Di2 battery. The wireless unit weighs just 5g and is small, measuring just 38mm long, 25mm wide and 12.5mm high.

It uses a proprietary private ANT wireless protocol to communicate data to the new PRO Scio ANT+ cycling computer, a new addition to the Pro 2014 catalogue. Shimano says the computer lets you monitor gear position and battery life from the Di2 groupset, as well as the other typical functions most cycling computers provide. It adds that future compatibility with Mio and other computers is planned for the spring.

The SM-EWW01 Wireless unit, that its official name, costs £69.99. The PRO Scio computer costs £99.99, is available in white or black, and should be in shops now.

There’s no sense of the full capability this wireless system might be able to provide, could it for example suggest gear changes based on cadence?  Could it be used to tailor the function of the shift buttons, as you can by plugging the groupset into a computer.

There’s also no indication from Shimano if there’ll be compatibility with other ANT+ cycling computers, such as the popular Garmin Edge series. We also imagine Shimano will package this wireless transmitter more cleanly in a future update of its Di2 groupset, perhaps concealing it inside the shifter body.

It’s an interesting move from Shimano, but we suspect there might be more scope for this technology in the future.

17 user comments

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So 170 in total then?

Where do you plug it in on the rear derailleur?

posted by Tom Amos [232 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 11:12

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Tom Amos wrote:
Where do you plug it in on the rear derailleur?

Looks to me like it's just splitting the existing wire, i.e. cut the wire and the two ends plug in to the unit.

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posted by netclectic [116 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 11:21

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Why not just call it Flight Deck #2

posted by jason.timothy.jones [286 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 11:34

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Just out of interest, who uses Flight Deck at present?

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [535 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 13:10

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This paves the way for some really exciting stuff in the indoor trainer market. Imagine a Wahoo Kickr that could change the gear on the bike to deliver the correct resistance/cadence for a given training program. Shame its using private ANT and therefore potentially locking out Garmins etc.

Also weird how this has evolved into a massive external addon - the original system demoed in September used an addon that was hidden inside the shifter:
http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2013/09/shimano-shifting-computer.html

posted by giobox [220 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 13:28

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Its weird that its all the way down by the mech, given most people have the shift box/thingy zip-tied under the stem you have to wonder why they bothered making it wireless at all. A short wire from that direct into the computer would weigh even less.

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posted by STATO [409 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 13:39

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arrieredupeleton wrote:
Just out of interest, who uses Flight Deck at present?

Erm, hand up. Me!

Have three but only two bikes, 9spd with 105 on winter bike, older style 10spd waiting to go on once 105 packs up. Finally a newer 10spd wireless jobby paired with Dura Ace on current good bike.

Like the virtual cadance and the altitude readouts are a good motivator. Never really got on with heart monitor.

posted by Yorkshie Whippet [271 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 13:43

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Does this mean that there's now an opportunity (or the equivalent of a 'backdoor' in computer hacking) to control a bike's gearing remotely?

www.mombee.com - Muddy bikes, Road bikes and Family rides in Malmesbury and the South West

posted by Mombee [40 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 14:24

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lets you monitor gear position...

You dont need a screen to tell you what gear you're in, your legs do that!

Gadget for gadgets sake.

posted by gareth2510 [132 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 14:50

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I think this is actually a smart move, even though it really does not serve a purpose.

Im sure they have done this as a patent move, even if it does not wifi the gear change, im sure thats what they are working on, so they make a wifi unit, get the patents sorted and keep on testing before someone else gets in there first.

Its not a new tactic, but the first I have seen in cycling

posted by jason.timothy.jones [286 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 16:00

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STATO wrote:
Its weird that its all the way down by the mech, given most people have the shift box/thingy zip-tied under the stem you have to wonder why they bothered making it wireless at all. A short wire from that direct into the computer would weigh even less.

You don't have to fit it there, you could fit it up near the handlebars at the junction box, that's just an example

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posted by David Arthur [1379 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 16:35

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Really exciting or maybe I will stick to my boring bike rides on the road and save a few thousand pounds in the process.

posted by DeanF316 [83 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 16:51

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giobox wrote:
This paves the way for some really exciting stuff in the indoor trainer market. Imagine a Wahoo Kickr that could change the gear on the bike to deliver the correct resistance/cadence for a given training program. Shame its using private ANT and therefore potentially locking out Garmins etc.

Also weird how this has evolved into a massive external addon - the original system demoed in September used an addon that was hidden inside the shifter:
http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2013/09/shimano-shifting-computer.html

The only problem is that Shimano is using a proprietary ANT and not an open source ANT+ that would allow other devices to receive the signal other than Shimano's

posted by jarredscycling [436 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 17:05

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For use with the Shimano camera (check VeloNews). Goodbye GoPro, it was nice knowing you!

posted by pwake [264 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 18:37

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pwake wrote:
For use with the Shimano camera (check VeloNews). Goodbye GoPro, it was nice knowing you!

This you mean? http://road.cc/content/news/110090-shimano-launch-cm-1000-hd-video-camera

It'll be interesting to see how the new camera partners with D-Fly

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posted by David Arthur [1379 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 19:14

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Tom Amos wrote:
So 170 in total then?

Where do you plug it in on the rear derailleur?

Just look at the photo, the original RD cable plugs into the Dfly unit, then a short cable starts at the Dfly and goes to the RD.

Shut up legs, you don't get a vote.

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posted by ridein [47 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 21:13

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Note, no wire in the box, so be prepared to source another 150mm wire, and shell out another £20 for it

posted by hennahairgel [17 posts]
29th March 2014 - 19:23

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