Things to know with Di2?

I'm pulling the trigger on a 105 Di2 equipped bike (Scott Addict 20, in case you wonder). It'll be quite a change going from a rim-braked Tiagra Alu bike!.

Anyway, are there any particular issues or peculiarities I should be aware of? I'm not all that hot on electronic shifting, and would just as happily go with mechanical ultegra, but thought the difference in price from the lower model was worth it (11-speed 105 and a Praxis Alba chainset, rather than full 12-speed 105 Di2). Plus, if the blue frame really is blue, it'll be nicer (for me).
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Comments

  • super_davo
    super_davo Posts: 1,182
    If you go to https://bettershifting.com/12-speed-di2-new-user-guide/ you can find a really well written summary. The site is excellent for hints and tips too.

    The latest Di2 is excellent, the one thing I would say about 105 is that it doesn't have the buttons on the top of the shifters. I love these, as I can use them to control my Garmin. You won't miss them if you've never had them but once you have...
  • Genuinely there's nothing to know. No tricks / tips or idiosyncracies.

    It's fit and forget. Just don't forget to charge.
  • drhaggis
    drhaggis Posts: 1,150

    If you go to https://bettershifting.com/12-speed-di2-new-user-guide/ you can find a really well written summary. The site is excellent for hints and tips too.

    The latest Di2 is excellent, the one thing I would say about 105 is that it doesn't have the buttons on the top of the shifters. I love these, as I can use them to control my Garmin. You won't miss them if you've never had them but once you have...

    You can do what with the Di2 shifters??!! Gosh, that looks super handy, especially on those wet/cold days where interacting with my Edge 530 is harder than it should be...
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,492



    It's fit and forget. Just don't forget to charge.

    That did make me chuckle
  • drhaggis said:

    If you go to https://bettershifting.com/12-speed-di2-new-user-guide/ you can find a really well written summary. The site is excellent for hints and tips too.

    The latest Di2 is excellent, the one thing I would say about 105 is that it doesn't have the buttons on the top of the shifters. I love these, as I can use them to control my Garmin. You won't miss them if you've never had them but once you have...

    You can do what with the Di2 shifters??!! Gosh, that looks super handy, especially on those wet/cold days where interacting with my Edge 530 is harder than it should be...
    With the Edge 530 and newer di2 shifters (R8000 on mine) they have a button underneath the hoods which you can function to do what you like with bluetooth enabled computers. Most people have it to switch through garmin screens. As well as a single tap screen scroll L and R, I also have double tap on the right to start/stop ride and double tap on the left to 'start new lap' if doing intervals etc.


  • It's fit and forget. Just don't forget to charge.

    That did make me chuckle
    I've had di2 for 6 or so years and had 2 flat batteries. I've broken more shifter cables in the same amount of time.
  • I hate the term "pulling the trigger" almost as much as "reaching-out".... :s
  • super_davo
    super_davo Posts: 1,182
    drhaggis said:

    If you go to https://bettershifting.com/12-speed-di2-new-user-guide/ you can find a really well written summary. The site is excellent for hints and tips too.

    The latest Di2 is excellent, the one thing I would say about 105 is that it doesn't have the buttons on the top of the shifters. I love these, as I can use them to control my Garmin. You won't miss them if you've never had them but once you have...

    You can do what with the Di2 shifters??!! Gosh, that looks super handy, especially on those wet/cold days where interacting with my Edge 530 is harder than it should be...
    You can do with the latest Ultegra and Dura Ace but not 105. All have built in E tube, but 105 doesn't have the buttons.

    And yes it is super handy. You can even do things you can't do on the actual unit itself like a long press of a single button to bring up maps, which I love when following a route.

    You can still do other cool stuff with 105 and the built in E tube like displaying the gear you're in on your head unit and setting up with your phone.
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,492



    It's fit and forget. Just don't forget to charge.

    That did make me chuckle
    I've had di2 for 6 or so years and had 2 flat batteries. I've broken more shifter cables in the same amount of time.
    I'm old, forgetful and tight as you probably noticed. Usually catch cables before they break because shifting gets a bit worse. I've bought a couple of replacement plastic guide bits for the cable that go in the shifter, should help them last longer. Like to fix things myself and I'm not sure I could with di2.
  • super_davo
    super_davo Posts: 1,182



    It's fit and forget. Just don't forget to charge.

    That did make me chuckle
    I've had di2 for 6 or so years and had 2 flat batteries. I've broken more shifter cables in the same amount of time.
    I'm old, forgetful and tight as you probably noticed. Usually catch cables before they break because shifting gets a bit worse. I've bought a couple of replacement plastic guide bits for the cable that go in the shifter, should help them last longer. Like to fix things myself and I'm not sure I could with di2.
    One of the main advantages of Di2 is that you don't need to fix it yourself. Set it up once and it stays that way; as long as you keep it charged and you don't crash and break things it stays that way; ask any long term user.

    There is nothing wrong with mechanical and providing you are prepared to put the maintenance in it can work very well; but avoiding Di2 because you wouldn't be able to do that rather misses the point of it.


  • It's fit and forget. Just don't forget to charge.

    That did make me chuckle
    I've had di2 for 6 or so years and had 2 flat batteries. I've broken more shifter cables in the same amount of time.
    I'm old, forgetful and tight as you probably noticed. Usually catch cables before they break because shifting gets a bit worse. I've bought a couple of replacement plastic guide bits for the cable that go in the shifter, should help them last longer. Like to fix things myself and I'm not sure I could with di2.
    No part of my Di2 has ever broken. You don't need to fix it.
  • akh
    akh Posts: 206
    As others have said, unless something actually breaks (hasn't happened to me) Di2 needs no special maintenance, just ride it. In about 10k kilometres all I've had to do it charge the main battery every so often. I'm still on the original shifter batteries.

    If you've got a Garmin then pair it up so you can see the battery life and get warnings if the battery is low. I've never actually tested how long from first low battery warning on my Garmin to a dead battery, but it's more than 30-40km based on my experience.
  • phil485
    phil485 Posts: 364
    I have "old" 11 spd di2 on my bikes and its been brilliant. Spent this last week on an ultegra 12spd DI2 hire bike in calpe. works just as well. on the battery front I did about 70km on Thursday after the low battery warning on my Garmin. dropped from 20% to 15% by the time I finished my ride and got it back to the shop for charging. Lotsof warning..
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,492



    It's fit and forget. Just don't forget to charge.

    That did make me chuckle
    I've had di2 for 6 or so years and had 2 flat batteries. I've broken more shifter cables in the same amount of time.
    I'm old, forgetful and tight as you probably noticed. Usually catch cables before they break because shifting gets a bit worse. I've bought a couple of replacement plastic guide bits for the cable that go in the shifter, should help them last longer. Like to fix things myself and I'm not sure I could with di2.
    No part of my Di2 has ever broken. You don't need to fix it.
    Last 2 bikes I've built up from frames, I'd not trust myself to do that so would have to buy a complete bike, sounds like I shouldn't rule it out though. Certainly won't be going on my current build, but that's an incompatibility issue.
  • webboo
    webboo Posts: 6,087
    One of the guys I ride with keeps having problems with his Di2. The front mech stops working mid ride, he puts it down to battery running out of charge but I would have thought that would effect both mechs.
  • joeyhalloran
    joeyhalloran Posts: 1,080
    The front mech does stop working before the rear I believe.

    Also I wouldn't worry about a self build DI2, it's still pretty simple and I'd argue it's easier once you realise which parts you need. There are lots of different names for the junction boxes but there is lots of help online. I've done two self build DI2 bikes and never had a fault with either over the past 8 or 9 years.
  • katani
    katani Posts: 134
    webboo said:

    One of the guys I ride with keeps having problems with his Di2. The front mech stops working mid ride, he puts it down to battery running out of charge but I would have thought that would effect both mechs.

    Why does he "keep having" those problems?
    If the battery charge level indicator light displays green just before a ride, but then a discharge still occurs mid-ride, then there is a problem with the system that needs diagnosing and fixing. How old is his Di2? My oldest battery is 5 yo and am still getting 2k miles between the top-ups riding a mix of town/country each ride and typically some 200 miles on that bike pretty much every week.
  • webboo
    webboo Posts: 6,087
    I’ve know idea other than his bike is about 12 months old. I think he took back to the shop when happened the first time, I guess after last week it will be going back again.
  • carbonclem
    carbonclem Posts: 1,673
    akh said:


    If you've got a Garmin then pair it up so you can see the battery life and get warnings if the battery is low. I've never actually tested how long from first low battery warning on my Garmin to a dead battery, but it's more than 30-40km based on my experience.

    A clubmate had a battery warning as we set off on a long ride this year. He carried on and we did another 100 miles (over the Tumble so plenty of gear changes) and he got home no problem.
    2020/2021/2022 Metric Century Challenge Winner
  • This may only be an Ultegra+ feature, but you can reconfigure the function carried out by each paddle on the shifters. I've changed mine so that the left hand side goes down a gear at the back or a whole cog at the front, with the right hand side going up. With cold fingers, I struggle to hit the specific paddle either side to change down (as is the default configuration) and often ended up over-gearing myself.
  • I found something out about my Di2 system on my 4 year old Boardman.

    The battery is bloody expensive!!
  • drhaggis
    drhaggis Posts: 1,150
    So... I went to pick up my shiny new bike today. Asked for a quick Di2 intro... which failed. After a while, we found out the cables connecting the battery had somehow been severed. Brilliant. I wonder how long it'll take the mechanic to re-do the internal cabling.
  • joeyhalloran
    joeyhalloran Posts: 1,080
    Don't the latest DI2 just have a battery for the mechs? The shifters have their own battery. If so I'd expect a trained mechanic to be able to swap the cables in half an hour or less. That's what it would probably take me on my bike at least.
  • drhaggis
    drhaggis Posts: 1,150

    Don't the latest DI2 just have a battery for the mechs? The shifters have their own battery. If so I'd expect a trained mechanic to be able to swap the cables in half an hour or less. That's what it would probably take me on my bike at least.

    I have no idea. All I saw (105 Di2) was that the cable leaving the seatpost battery was severed.


  • It's fit and forget. Just don't forget to charge.

    That did make me chuckle
    I've had di2 for 6 or so years and had 2 flat batteries. I've broken more shifter cables in the same amount of time.
    I've never broken a shifter cable. Mind you all my bikes are Campagnolo. Good marketing by Shimano, get the user to pay £££ to solve a problem caused by bad engineering.
  • super_davo
    super_davo Posts: 1,182



    It's fit and forget. Just don't forget to charge.

    That did make me chuckle
    I've had di2 for 6 or so years and had 2 flat batteries. I've broken more shifter cables in the same amount of time.
    I've never broken a shifter cable. Mind you all my bikes are Campagnolo. Good marketing by Shimano, get the user to pay £££ to solve a problem caused by bad engineering.
    I've broken cables in my both my Campag and Shimano bikes, it's not bad Shimano or Campag magic engineering. They are consumables and they wear out. It's good practice to change regularly so your shifting stays crisp (annually works for me), and if you're on the button, you are unlikely to break cables.
    None of this is needed with electronic gears of course, whether Di2 or EPS!
  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,783
    Only ever broken shifter cables in Shimano and always in the shifter - they only really wear out if the routing creates significant friction. I now change the shifter cable in my ultegra every year regardless to avoid it happening.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • amrushton
    amrushton Posts: 1,257

    I hate the term "pulling the trigger" almost as much as "reaching-out".... :s

    Are you pushing back?
  • drhaggis said:

    Don't the latest DI2 just have a battery for the mechs? The shifters have their own battery. If so I'd expect a trained mechanic to be able to swap the cables in half an hour or less. That's what it would probably take me on my bike at least.

    I have no idea. All I saw (105 Di2) was that the cable leaving the seatpost battery was severed.
    Yes, that is the cable that goes from the battery to the derailleur(s). I still don't understand why Shimano insists with this battery hidden inside the frame. Surely, if they have developed the bluetooth link from the shifters, then it would be sensible to get rid of this bodge, in the same way SRAM Etap have. Either I am missing a trick (hidden battery can be bigger and last longer? Better insulation from the elements?) or Shimano are...
    left the forum March 2023
  • i.bhamra
    i.bhamra Posts: 304



    Yes, that is the cable that goes from the battery to the derailleur(s). I still don't understand why Shimano insists with this battery hidden inside the frame. Surely, if they have developed the bluetooth link from the shifters, then it would be sensible to get rid of this bodge, in the same way SRAM Etap have. Either I am missing a trick (hidden battery can be bigger and last longer? Better insulation from the elements?) or Shimano are...

    For me, bolting batteries onto the derailleurs makes them even uglier than the Di2 ones....I'm still running mechanical though, maybe I'd change my mind from a practicality point of view if/when I switch to electronic.