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Fully programmable synchro shifting update now available for Ultegra 6800 and Dura-Ace 9000

Synchronized shifting, which allows automated front shifts and first debuted on Shimano’s mountain bike electronic groupset and more recently the latest Dura-Ace 9150 Di2, is now available on Ultegra 6800 and Dura-Ace 9000 Di2 groupsets. 

Syncro what?

Synchronized shifting is one of the potential benefits of an electronic groupset. Full synchronized shift allows you to concentrate on rear shifts only and the groupset will shift the front mech for you, automatically picking the right gear combination. 

It means you can focus on shifting up to an easier gear or down to a harder gear, and the system takes care of the rest ensuring you’re in the optimum gear. 

Synchronized Shifting map.jpg

Synchronized Shifting map.jpg

Shifting the rear derailleur from 28T towards 11T, the system recognises the preferred gear ratio step should be made between the 15T and 17T sprocket. 

The system follows a pre-determined gear selection chart but it’s fully programmable. You can choose exactly when changes will take place via the E-Tube Project app.

- Review: Shimano Ultegra Di2 6870 11-spd groupset

You still have full control over the front mech, synchronized shifting is  “designed to complement rather than replace manual shifting,” explains Shimano. The company also says it’s a useful option if using TT, climbing or sprint shifter buttons. 

Synchronized Shifting map 2.jpg

Synchronized Shifting map 2.jpg

Shifting the rear derailleur from 11T towards 28T, the system recognizes the preferred gear ratio step should be made between the 25T and 21T sprocket. 

Another mode is Semi-Synchronized shifting. Instead of automatically shifting the front mech for you, this mode automatically shifts the rear mech when the front mech is shifted. Again, you can fine-tune the specifics of the setup in the app. 

How do I get it?

To enjoy the benefits of synchronized shifting you’ll need the new battery (BT-DN110) which differs from the regular battery in that it has a memory chip required for the processing power needed to offer the multiple shifting patterns. 

You’ll also need a firmware update to make it work, which you can download either by Bluetooth or connecting the Di2 junction box to a computer. If you have the new battery and the firmware updated successfully, you can toggle between the two synchronized shifting modes by pressing the junction box button twice, with the lighting sequence below indicating which mode you're in: 

  • A solid red light indicates Manual Shift mode 
  •  A twice-blinking red light indicates mode 1 (eg full Synchronized Shift mode) 
  • A 3-times blinking red light indicates mode 2 (eg semi Synchronized Shift mode).

“Each mode is customisable in E-TUBE, meaning you can choose different combinations and customized shift patterns if you wish (for example, two semi-Synchronized Shift modes offering different ‘correction’ shifts, or two full Synchronized Shift modes that assign a front derailleur command on differing sprockets),” says Shimano. 

- Your complete guide to Shimano road bike groupsets

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

7 comments

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postmandick [26 posts] 1 week ago
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Hmmm interesting but I have a 6850 Di2 system ...... would this work with my Cannondale ? 

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http404 [4 posts] 1 week ago
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Been using this for a month or so. It is SLUGGISH. It requires almost a full rotation of the front cranks to then change the rear mech, which is useless when climbing. Works well when going faster, but when slowing up and climbing, both semi-sync and full-sync is just not worth it. Gutted.

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CXR94Di2 [1504 posts] 1 week ago
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postmandick wrote:

Hmmm interesting but I have a 6850 Di2 system ...... would this work with my Cannondale ? 

 

Yes, you need the new BT battery and update all firmware to latest release.

 

Like others have said its slightly gimmicky, works in certain scenarios well, but slow climbing might be an issue.  For hills you should of already selected the inner chainring before starting to climb.

 

 

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Andreeoouu [17 posts] 1 week ago
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I have got Di2 9070 on one bike and 9150 on another. I'm beyond full synchronisation being a gimmick. To use as an analogy but not direct comparison, it's a bit like the introduction of electronic gearing. Do you need it to shift a gear on your bike? No but Di2 does make it easier, more precise and more reliable. I peronsally can't see the usefulness of full synchronisation over using the left shifter to shift the front derailleur but it it is one less thing to think about and it works reliably. And you do get used to it.

As to whether I would upgrade my 9070? Not in a  hurry.  I don't have a problem with using the left hand shifter button as opposed to the right hand shifter button. Also the one big downer for 9150 is the fact that you can't use the 12 and 11 sprocket when in the smaller chainring. I believe this to because of the rear mechalignment with the new crank something which may not be an issue for 9070. I'm not wanting to raise a debate in relation to cross chaining but at the same time I don't want the manufacturer dictating whether I can or not. I would be wary that the programming for the upgrade would make it the same as 9150 in that regard. Surely not?

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Mayhem SWE [28 posts] 1 week ago
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Beware of Shimano’s poor excuse for software. When last attempting a firmware update two weeks ago my whole Dura-Ace 9070 system was bricked. Their updater application destroyed the firmware in four out of eight components, including two which were not supposed to be touched as there was no new firmware available. Thankfully a friend had the SM-PCE1 diagnostic tool with which I managed to get everything working again. Shimano really need to hire some better software and QA engineers…

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CXR94Di2 [1504 posts] 1 week ago
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I bought the SM PCE1 to do my firmware upgrades.  I have not had any of the issues you mention.  Its good to know with the right interface you can resolve firmware updates from disaster.

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Cyclespeed Tours [38 posts] 1 week ago
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CXR94Di2 - great that you have the PCE1, but it's expensive, and it shouldn't be necessary to 'unbrick' the system.

 

I too had multiple failures when I first used Bluetooth to update firmware, which simply should not be happening at this level. Most LBS's don't have a clue how to fix it.