Trek Domane Team Issue Race Shop754

Earlier this year, Shimano’s D-Fly wireless transmitter plugged into the Di2 system to wirelessly send information to an ANT+ cycling computer and relay gear selection, gear ratio, etc. Now, our friends at Road.cc told us there’s a button hidden under the top of the hoods on Dura-Ace Di2 9070 shifter levers that until now has been unused.  That button sends a distinct wireless signal to those same computers to do, well, something.

Garmin, Magellan, Pioneer and Shimano PRO are those already integrating the gear info, so it’s no stretch to imagine they’ll be among the first to use the button to cycle through functions and screens.

But what if this were ported over to mountain bikes?

Shimano Dura ace di2 hood button computer control e tube (1)

We had a Trek Domane review bike in with 9070 and took a quick peek under the rubber. Sure enough, there’s a button on each side just under the top of the hood, where the rubber is soft enough and shaped to depress this little guy:

Shimano Dura ace di2 hood button computer control e tube (3)

The button looks small, but our own finger pressing suggests it works perfectly. We reached out to Shimano and Pioneer but haven’t heard back (updates if we do). But we did speak with Sam at Magellan and Amy at Garmin:

Magellan: “I can’t really talk about it too much because it’s under development, but suffice to say we’re working with Shimano to integrate levels of functionality to control the head unit.”

Garmin: “We’re working on integrating this capability into our devices for an upcoming software release.”

Given the announcement only came this week, their brief responses and the others’ lack of isn’t surprising – no one’s had time to update their firmware to take advantage of it. For now, the functionality is only for road bikes since (as far as we know) there’s no such hidden button on the new XTR Di2 group. And, according to Shimano’s information, D-Fly is only for the road-going Di2 groups. But, D-Fly is an e-Tube plug-in accessory, and XTR Di2 uses e-Tube…so, we’re thinking an accessory button or 3rd party hack isn’t too far off.

And the applications there are even more practical. Both Magura and Fox already using electronic lockout systems for their fork and shock. Fox’s iCTD/iCD system is already integrated into the new XTR controls, letting you assign one of the shifters to work the remote instead of the drivetrain, but it’s all wired. Imagine that going wireless!

Magura’s system already is wireless, and the latest generation uses ANT+, and ANT+ recently announced an open suspension protocol. We spoke with their US tech rep and he said he wasn’t aware of any development on that front, but the idea was certainly intriguing. That said, the premise of their system is that it locks out automatically when needed, so manual control isn’t the highest priority there.

Either way, road or mountain, this certainly opens the door to some pretty killer possibilities for controlling any ANT+ device. What would you have it do?

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tim A
tim A
7 years ago

Seeing as you can trigger their Virb camera using the Edge Remote, it would be great (on the dirt) to see Garmin take advantage of a shifter button to start/stop a helmet cam.

James G Gilbert
7 years ago

No one is mentioning that this button does not exist if u have disc brakes.
I was really pumped but no button for me

Steve
Steve
7 years ago

The DA 7900 Di2 levers also have those buttons in.

(Was supposed to control the Flightdeck computer I think). So the button itself has been around since the dawn of electric gears.

Nick
Nick
7 years ago

And, no one is mentioning integration with Bioshift Automatic shifting…. That seems the most useful application.

Raymond Pitzka
Raymond Pitzka
7 years ago

I never noticed this on my bike until I read this post. I just upgraded to the garmin 810. I really hope Garmin/Other developers put some thought into this and what would be useful. Switching screens isn’t really needed, specially with my 810 as it has everything on one screen.

jm
jm
7 years ago

I cannot wait until it pairs with the Shimano camera. Throw them cameras in the peloton and start and stop filming from the hoods. Some of the best road racing footage is captured from the riders perspective, especially criterium racing.

But, until it has a beer ready and waiting for me at the end of my ride, I’m just another keyboard expert commentator.

Henry
Henry
7 years ago

I love Di2

JBikes
JBikes
7 years ago

Release a 007-like fog of smoke to thwart your competition.

Pete
Pete
7 years ago

+1 for JBikes idea. Caltrops or an oil slick would be sweet.

Milessio
Milessio
7 years ago

Control of front/rear lights) is an obvious application.

JohnK
JohnK
7 years ago

Garage door opener, please!

yeahs
yeahs
7 years ago

Any news if this also in 6870. I have edge 1000 and d-fly.

AdventuresAnonymous
AdventuresAnonymous
7 years ago

That button could control a super-secret EMP weapon which fries everyone’s electronic whiz-bang gizmo bikes – also a self-destruct button, in that case, of course. Make sure you like your single-speed ratio before taking out the whole peloton! Heh-heh-heh…

reverend dick
reverend dick
7 years ago

And JBikes takes the thread in the direction it should be going. Front shift button controls laser light show. DaZzle them fools.

John
John
7 years ago

Newsflash for Shimano: Zipties are fugly.

Now that there is an actual implementation for it, the wireless functionality of the EWW01 needs to built in to the front junction boxes (EW90-A/B).

PBJoe
PBJoe
7 years ago

So, was this what Cancellara was pressing at Roubaix?

~Tin Foil Hat wearing cycling fan…

Nick
Nick
7 years ago

PBJoe, any video of that? would like to see this in action…

NickandBruce
7 years ago

Pedal-assist!

David
David
7 years ago

@PBJoe

Cancellara uses mechanical Dura-Ace, not Di-2.

Frank
Frank
7 years ago

SOo, just for completeness, you still need the D-FLY wireless transmitter for this to actually work?

Darren
Darren
7 years ago

First generation 7970 di2 has these buttons too. Are they going to upgrade the old stuff too?

John
John
7 years ago

@Frank: Yes, you’ll need the D-Fly wireless transmitter (aka: SM-EWW01) to communicate with your Garmin, etc.:

http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/01/news/spotted-shimano-di2-wireless-transmitter_313589

Erni
Erni
7 years ago

I’d have it change the track on my Spotify session … hahahaha …

Will
Will
6 years ago

@Darren – nope, my guess is that first gen 7970 will not work – main reason is the change in the wiring. If I’m remembering things correctly, the original Di2 used a larger connector and there are more wires inside of each cable (or may vary by cable, etc); the new gen (Ui2 gen 2 11 speed for sure and the new Di2 gen 2, 11 speed) all use a two wires in the cable, smaller connector that ties into a single “bus”… so now things chat with each-other via various pulse rates, or frequencies within the “bus”. Unless they create some sort of converter (and who knows, maybe it is out there) I don’t think the new D-Fly wireless transmitter will connect/communicate with the old 7970 Di2…