New US patent applications seem to confirm rumours that the much-anticipated Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9200 groupset is a semi-wireless 12-speed system, or at least make this a whole lot more likely.
‘Semi-wireless’ means that the dual-control shifters communicate wirelessly with derailleurs that are wired to one another.
This patent application published today for an ‘operating device for human-powered vehicle’ – these things are never written in plain English – shows that each shifter contains its own ‘replaceable and/or rechargeable battery' and wireless communicators that generate encrypted signals.
It shows a coin cell battery slotting into a mounting in the hood, so we can be pretty confident that the next generation of Dura-Ace Di2 will be similar to SRAM in this respect.
According to this and other patents, it looks like the method of shifting remains the same as previously, via two switches located behind the brake lever and a hidden button at the front of the hood.
Another Shimano patent application shows a rear derailleur that contains a wireless communicator in ‘the unit mounting portion’ (it's marked WC3 here), suggesting that this is how the shifters will communicate with the rear derailleur. It looks like the front derailleur is controlled via wire from the rear derailleur.
A single internal battery provides the power to move both derailleurs. Patent applications describe a battery in the bike’s seatpost although the location is not limited to this position.
Loads of Shimano patent applications relating to road components have been published since the start of March and they all show a 12-speed system, so an increase from 11 on the existing 9100 version is certain.
This US patent application describes an ‘operating system for a human-powered vehicle’. A picture paints a thousand words…
As you can see, the two derailleurs are connected to a battery (that looks very like the current internal Di2 battery) via a junction box.
We're expecting Shimano to launch 9200 Dura-Ace Di2 sometime this year, but we couldn't give you a date for it.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, 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. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.