Shimano have revealed that thanks to a software update and their D-Fly wireless unit, hidden buttons on top of their ST-9070 levers can be used to operate external devices like cycle computers.
Shimano’s ST-9070 levers were introduced in 2012 and those buttons have always been there on top of the bracket, under the hoods.
Then Shimano launched the D-Fly (SW-EWW01) earlier in the year /content/news/110064-shimano-adds-wireless-capability-di2-groupset, a 5g wireless unit that uses a proprietary private ANT wireless protocol to communicate data to the new Pro Scio ANT+ cycling computer. The D-Fly sends data to the computer so that it can show you what gear you’re in and the amount of power left in the Di2 battery.
What’s new is that you can now pair external devices through the D-Fly wireless unit and use the button on top of the shifters as a remote control switch to operate third party external devices like computers. Granted, in the case of a computer you’re not saving much hand movement, but the point is that you don’t have to take your hands away from the shifters which might be important, especially in a race.
So, what can you use these buttons for? Well, at the moment, nothing. Shimano say that it’s up to the developers of the external devices, such as cycle computers, to design the exact features that the buttons control.
And in the future? Who knows? The most likely first operation is to allow you to scroll through the screens of a bike computer to get the information you’re after, but whether or not any manufacturers will take up Shimano’s offer, we couldn’t say for sure. We imagine they will before too long and we will be asking them, though, so watch this space.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.