Friday, August 01, 2008

Shimano Shuns Cables for Full Electronic Shifting

This isn't MTB specific but since most of Shimano's road advances eventually trickle down to their MTB kit ...
"Japanese parts manufacturer Shimano is launching an electronic shifting system for high-end road bikes that it claims will vastly improve performance and reduce maintenance. By replacing the conventional levers that pull wound-steel cables through protective housings with solid-state switches and rubber-coated wires, there's no chance for road gunk to clog things up and interfere with shifting, or, for that matter, your post-ride beer.

Thursday's announcement that the system, called Di2, will hit shops in January 2009 settles a question first raised in 2005 when prototypes began cropping up on the bikes of select Shimano-sponsored racers in the pro peloton ... Shimano plans to offer the electronic setup as an upgrade option within the 7900 group -- which is preselling for $2,600 -- so parts such as the two-tone cranks and brakes will be the same. (No word yet on the additional cost for electric; it could be double.) Di2 consists of two brake-and-shift levers, two derailleurs whose springs have been replaced by servo-motors, a 7.4-volt lithium-ion battery pack, and the wiring harness that connects everything."
Via WIRED: Shimano Shuns Cables for Full Electronic Shifting.

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