Shimano are introducing a new Dura-Ace Di2 satellite shifter for quick rear gear changes while riding on the drops.
It has been developed especially for sprinters, allowing them to keep a firm grip on the handlebar while shifting, and it runs alongside the existing electronic shifters to provide an extra option.
A right hand satellite shifter will handle downshifts and a left hand one will take care of shifting up. These diddy switches can be mounted anywhere on the handlebar and plug easily into the existing dual control levers. We can’t see much benefit for everyday riders – these are aimed at sprinters only. Still, the option is there.
Shimano already exploit the advantage their electronic system has over a cable operated setup in terms of multiple shift options. They produce a switch that can be mounted on top of the bars to give a second shift position for climbers, while time trialists and triathletes can shift from both the ends of the aerobar extensions and from the brake units mounted to the base bar.
The new SW-7972 satellite shifters will be available from February, although the price has yet to be announced.
Mat has worked for more bike magazines than anyone else in the known universe, dating back to a time when this was all just fields. He's been road.cc technical editor for four years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. When he's not cycling around Wiltshire, he's running around it, or possibly swimming (sadly, he's one of those 'triathletes'). Mat is a youthful 42-year-old Cambridge graduate, GSOH etc.