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Shimano 105 R7100 Di2 groupset breaks cover

Despite Shimano's repeated denials that 105 would go electric, newly released documents confirm electronic shifting is coming to the super-popular mid-range groupset

Newly published documents reveal that Shimano is releasing a Di2 (electronic shifting) version of its mid-range 105 groupset.

Rumours have been circulating about the possibility of Shimano 105 Di2 for ages, and we’ve now seen user manuals for both the dual control shifters and the rear derailleur.

How come? The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is, among many other things, responsible for licensing wireless communication – such as between different parts of a wireless or semi-wireless shifting system – in the US.

Last December, Shimano supplied the FCC with schematics, diagrams, photographs and user manuals relating to a rear derailleur and a dual control lever. The FCC approved these components.

Shimano asked for short-term confidentiality of 180 days from the date of authorisation (which was 16 December 2021) for its photos and user manuals, so we couldn’t be sure if they related to 105 or to a mountain bike or urban bike groupset.

Those 180 days are now up so the pictures and much of the information (other than some commercially sensitive content which is permanently confidential) are publicly available.

2022 Shimano 105 Di2 rear derailleur - 1

The user manuals confirm that Shimano is introducing new Di2 components for the road.

2022 Shimano 105 Di2  - 1 (1)

105 isn’t mentioned anywhere in the application but one photo shows the inside of the rear derailleur marked '105'. It has the product code RD-R7150 – RD for 'rear derailleur', of course, and R7150 denoting the series (thanks to BetterShifting_Terry in the comments, below, for noticing that detail).

2022 Shimano 105 Di2  - 1 (2)

A photo also shows the inside of the dual control lever marked (faintly) ST-R7170.

There is currently a big gap in technology and price between Shimano Ultegra R8100 – which is exclusively Di2 – and Shimano 105 R7000 – which is exclusively mechanical.

What will Shimano’s next groupset be? Here’s our best predictions for 2022 

Back in February, we said, “Perhaps the most obvious update for 105 would be for it to go electronic, and with that make the jump up to 12-speed – essentially bringing over the updates Shimano just made to the Dura-Ace and Ultegra groupsets, but a little bit heavier just as the mechanical 105 groupset has been for so long compared to the higher tiers.” 

We couldn’t tell you for certain whether the next-generation 105 will be 12-speed but it’s certainly electronic. Like Dura-Ace and Ultegra Di2, it’s 2.4 GHz digital wireless. Each shifter takes two CR1632 coin cells, unlike on the higher level groupsets where just one cell per shifter is used.

It looks like the 105 shifters miss out on the top button that’s found on Dura-Ace and Ultegra Di2. Aside from that, everything looks very similar.

We've not been able to unearth any patents relating specifically to Shimano 105 Di2 but that's not entirely surprising. If it relies on trickle-down technology, as looks likely, that will all be covered by Shimano's existing patents covering Dura-Ace and Ultegra.

Although Shimano has repeatedly said in the past that it has no plans to make 105 electronic, times change. The Japanese component giant has long boasted that 105 is the most popular groupset in the world, and with ever more people wanting to go down the electronic route it makes sense to offer that now.

Does all this mean 105 abandoning mechanical shifting altogether? We couldn’t tell you for sure but our feeling is that this would be a step too far at this stage and that, as in previous years with Dura-Ace and Ultegra, Shimano will offer 105 in both Di2 and mechanical shift options, otherwise there would inevitably be a big price hike on a helluva lot of mid-range bikes.

When will Shimano 105 Di2 be available and how much will it cost? As is often the case with unreleased products, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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. 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.

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49 comments

Avatar
Allez Cat | 1 year ago
0 likes

Great to see electronic shifting will soon be availiable for the everyman's groupset - 105 - but i'll stick to the tried and true mechnical/hydraulic R7020 system for the time being. This may also prove a boon for keeping R7000 components' prices affordable!

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Sam3 | 2 years ago
0 likes

How is Shimano going to reconcile its supposed environmental policy, with the practice of needlessly putting batteries and wireless transmitters in everything? It's clearly not sustainable. At all.

https://www.shimano.com/en/california/policy.html

https://www.shimano.com/en/company/policy.html#policy_03

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Drinfinity replied to Sam3 | 2 years ago
0 likes

Button cells are amongst the easiest to recycle, and on a global scale the volume of cells used in wireless shifting is negligible compared to the 3 billion dry cells consumed in the US alone. The environmental impact of you and me typing on this thread will be a similar order of magnitude. 

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henryb | 2 years ago
0 likes

Quote:

Shimano asked for short-term confidentiality of 180 days from the date of authorisation (which was 16 December 2022)

Typo? - should this be "16 December 2021"?

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John Stevenson replied to henryb | 2 years ago
1 like

Yep, now fixed. Thanks!

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froze | 2 years ago
5 likes

Whoope, now Shimano is going to force us into Di2 whether we like it or not!  I don't really care for Di2, I don't pay around $1,800 for the 105 Di2, not including extras; I don't want to spend about $225 for a rear derailleur, or about $298 for a brake lever should I damaged one or both in a crash; I also don't want to recharge batteries just so I can use my bike; I don't want to spend $85 every 5 or so years because the battery won't hold a charge anymore; I don't want to have to buy an all new system 15 or so years down the road because mine became obsolete; I don't want to have to take my bike to the shop should a technical issue occur.  I want to be able fix mine stuff at home and do so cheaply, and thats why l like mechancal and will always use mechanical, and if I can't find 105 quality or above in a mechanical system new, I'll just get what I need off of Ebay.

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mark1a replied to froze | 2 years ago
6 likes

froze wrote:

Whoope, now Shimano is going to force us into Di2 whether we like it or not!  I don't really care for Di2, I don't pay around $1,800 for the 105 Di2, not including extras; I don't want to spend about $225 for a rear derailleur, or about $298 for a brake lever should I damaged one or both in a crash; I also don't want to recharge batteries just so I can use my bike; I don't want to spend $85 every 5 or so years because the battery won't hold a charge anymore; I don't want to have to buy an all new system 15 or so years down the road because mine became obsolete; I don't want to have to take my bike to the shop should a technical issue occur.  I want to be able fix mine stuff at home and do so cheaply, and thats why l like mechancal and will always use mechanical, and if I can't find 105 quality or above in a mechanical system new, I'll just get what I need off of Ebay.

Shimano isn't going to force you to do anything you don't want to do, you'll be fine.

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Rendel Harris replied to froze | 2 years ago
3 likes

Nobody has (yet) said that 105 mechanical will be retired, and if you don't care about labels and can live without the extra cog Tiagra is pretty much as good as 105. Nobody's being "forced" into anything, you just have to make a choice about which product and level of product suits you best, as with anything else. If Shimano were to withdraw all mechanical groupsets that would be a different matter but that's not going to happen. 

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Sam3 replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
0 likes

Not true. Tiagra is heavier. 

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BBB | 2 years ago
1 like

Never mind Di2. Mechanical 105 with polymer cables still shifts better than any Etap/AXS, especially at the front.

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xernobyl replied to BBB | 2 years ago
0 likes

Can I have APEX AXS?

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Welsh boy replied to BBB | 2 years ago
0 likes

I changed back from Ultegra Di2 to Rival True 22 mechanical and never once missed this mythical fantastic electronic shifting. 

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Carior | 2 years ago
1 like

This seems hardly surprising - with SRAM making Rival electronic, Shimano must have been having their breakfast lunch and dinner absolutely annihilated on any "intro to electronic shifting" type customer.  When you look that Rival electronic can come in at a grand or so below Ultegra Di2, people who wanted to go electronic and weren't already "in" a Di2 ecosystem must have had a no brainer.  I would have thought that then ultimately has trickle down/up effects as it ultimately means if/when those people expand their electronic shifting fleet, they'd been sticking within an eTap rather than Di2 ecosystem for compatibility reasons - Shimano may not have wanted to undercut their Ultegra Di2 sales by bringing in 105 Di2 but once SRAM went there with Rival its surely a no brainer.

As a competition lawyer, actually nice to see competition working for consumers as this should hopefully bring the price point for electronic shifting down a bit, both in terms of new builds but also aftermarket as there will now need to be price competition between Rival and 105 so potentially some inter-brand competition at that price point as well!

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jaymack | 2 years ago
1 like

As an electronic shifting refusenik I'm both confused and alarmed. The cost of a battery powered group set seems excessively high compared to the traditional system. Are small electrical motors really that expensive to produce? No doubt this year's main Shimano battery will soon be replaced with another slightly different shaped item that's not backwards compatible so the user could find themselves replacing the entire group set for want of a battery - and I'm not sure that another manufacturer would find it profitable to make an aftermarket copy. The environmental impact seems disproportionate to any user 'gain', are those coin batteries really going to get recycled? Still I won't be forced to buy it...yet

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IanEdward | 2 years ago
1 like

Let the stockpiling of mechanical groupset kit begin!

I have no real objections to electronic shifting except price (multiplied over three bikes 🙄) and a tendency to only remember to charge kit when it's too late (at least the phone will step in for Strava duties if I forget to charge a Garmin).

As a lifelong never-discer though, I presume forced adoption of electronic shifting also means forced adoption of discs? Somewhat exacerbates the issue of expense if you have to switch to electronic shifting AND discs across several bikes 😬

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Rendel Harris replied to IanEdward | 2 years ago
3 likes

IanEdward wrote:

I presume forced adoption of electronic shifting also means forced adoption of discs? Somewhat exacerbates the issue of expense if you have to switch to electronic shifting AND discs across several bikes 😬

All the big three manufacturers' electronic groupsets are still available with rim brakes, though for how long is anybody's guess.

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chrisonabike replied to IanEdward | 2 years ago
2 likes

Don't worry, though some standards are dropped like hot turds common parts tend to remain available for a long time.  Although yes - expense is a concern.

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Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
2 likes

Maybe just me but I'd far sooner have what I have at the moment, wired Ultegra Di2, than this wireless business. The convenience of having it all run off one rechargable battery instead of having to worry about individual (and not very eco-friendly) coin batteries in both shifters as well seems far preferable to me. Is there any point to wireless beyond a weight saving on wires that could be achieved by having a haircut (asumming for theoretical purposes I had any hair left to cut)?

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HaveLegsWillRide replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
0 likes

From what I understand, isn't the older DI2 less user-friendly? Eg. The whole bike needs to be moved for charging, need to buy extras for connectivity etc? SRAM's app seems decent for firmware updates etc, and just removing a small battery for regular charging is dead easy.
Fitting wireless to my MTB was a doddle, road bike brifters make that less of a plus if you're running hydraulic discs though. Obviously subjective, but I think wireless bikes look cleaner too (if a the brakes are internally routed already). Got a mate with the same DI2 setup as you, shifting wise he loves it. I want to treat myself to electronic shifting on my next bike, unsure which brand I'd choose currently. Swapping wheels between mechanical/electronic geared bikes without changing cassettes (ie. same speed) will be the clincher

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Rendel Harris replied to HaveLegsWillRide | 2 years ago
1 like

HaveLegsWillRide wrote:

From what I understand, isn't the older DI2 less user-friendly? Eg. The whole bike needs to be moved for charging

As far as I know quite the opposite, my (2014) Di2 has an external battery on the downtube that simply unclips to go in the charger, whereas the newer ones with hidden batteries mean the whole bike has to be taken to the charger? On my bike the Di2 wires are all internally routed (I must admit I've never had to repair them, I can see how threading them through the frame could be a significant challenge). I'm sure I'm just an old reactionary and wireless is great, but from a non-user's perspective it just looks like something extra to worry about and one more thing to go wrong without having any significant benefits.

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philsinclair replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
2 likes

I have been thinking the same about wireless versus wired. I Have a Campag EPS 12 speed and a Shimano Ultegra 11 speed DI2. It is no big deal to charge both of them through their port in the handlebar dropout. I think there is a wider issue in terms of connectivity. I also have to charge the Exakt powermeter in the pedal, my Garmin and my rechargeable knog (USB) front and rear lights. It would be great to have a completly connected system and charge the whole lot through a single port. Both bikes have wireless connectivity for software changes. However, I also find it easier to hard wire them to a computer. Having also bricked the Shimano with a failed bluetooth connection. Of course the e-bike guys have to plug in their bikes every day. and are mostly 'connected'.

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Rendel Harris replied to philsinclair | 2 years ago
4 likes

I like your thinking, a fully rechargeable integrated system from a single port would be a dream – in winter when I can have six lights, GoPro and Garmin to charge before I even think about the Di2 (not to mention the batteries for the heated gloves...) sticking in one plug and getting it all done in situ would be priceless.

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bawjaws replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
0 likes

HaveLegsWillRide wrote:

From what I understand, isn't the older DI2 less user-friendly? Eg. The whole bike needs to be moved for charging

Rendel Harris wrote:

the newer ones with hidden batteries mean the whole bike has to be taken to the charger? On my bike the Di2 wires are all internally routed (I must admit I've never had to repair them, I can see how threading them through the frame could be a significant challenge).

Fortunately you can just take your Di2 charger, plug it into Junction A and then plug a USB power bank into the charger, and Bob is your uncle.

So no need to transport your entire bank to the nearest plug socket.

 

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terry@bettershi... replied to HaveLegsWillRide | 2 years ago
1 like

My bikes are all stored near wall sockets, so charging is relatively easy. Just plug the charger in the socket, and plug the other end into the handlebar junction (or RD) and let it charge.

I rarely have to charge the bike though... once every three-four months.

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Sriracha replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
1 like

Are the wireless signals immune to simple jamming? I don't see how they can be. How long before some protest group decides to bring the TdF final sprint to a grinding halt by momentarily flooding the bandwidth?

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Rendel Harris replied to Sriracha | 2 years ago
1 like

Sriracha wrote:

Are the wireless signals immune to simple jamming? I don't see how they can be. How long before some protest group decides to bring the TdF final sprint to a grinding halt by momentarily flooding the bandwidth?

To be honest I don't know but the same thought has occurred to me, also when will some smart aleck bike hater figure out a way of messing with the signal with a 'phone app? More reasons to steer clear as far as I can see, and ones why I definitely would never go near any of these wireless electronic braking systems manufacturers are so keen on patenting if they ever came to market.

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Nick in Bilbao replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
2 likes

I know the SRAM signal is encoded, I think someone could block the shifting by swamping the area with a radio frequency transmitter but you could not instigate a shift. I very much doubt that a phone would have the power to jam the signal.

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henryb replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
0 likes

Any 'jamming' would only prevent shifting, so wouldn't bring anyone to a "grinding halt" but just temporarily prevent a gear shift happening. Once the bike is out of range of the signal it would be fine. The ony way to really mess things up would be for someone to send individual signals to each bike to shiift into its highest gear but I think this signal would have to be different for each bike.

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RobD replied to Sriracha | 2 years ago
0 likes

I'd assume there's some protection built in as a part of the prevention of everybody's shifters not setting off someone else's mech, but a full blockage of the transmitter signals might be possible, then again, I don't know how many gear changes actually occur in a sprint. More amusingly would be at the bottom of a climb with a fast run in, leaving everyone in far too big a gear to go uphill on.

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John Stevenson replied to Sriracha | 2 years ago
2 likes

We covered the jamming & disruption vulnerabilities of wireless shifting when the first SRAM Red was announced.

https://road.cc/content/news/119275-srams-wireless-shifting%E2%80%94-sab...

The TL;DR is, yes, you could jam it by flooding the frequency band it uses. That'd just stop everyone changing gear, though, it wouldn't "bring the TdF final sprint to a grinding halt" because it wouldn't stop anyone from actually pedalling.

Also, we're talking about the 2.4GHz band that loads of devices and protocols use, so you'd take out everyone's ANT+, Bluetooth and who knows what else devices too, including your own.

Then there's the issue of whether you could get close enough to the final few hundred metres, with a sufficiently powerful transmitter. Security around the Champs Elysées for the Tour finish is pretty tight, for obvious reasons.

None of this is to say it can't be done, I just suspect it's not trivial. SRAM's wireless shifting has been in use for eight years now; if it could be easily disrupted I think it would have been.

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