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Di2 Wireless Unit feedback

Old 05-25-20, 10:12 PM
  #1  
tsmith41094
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Di2 Wireless Unit feedback

Considering getting the Shimano Di2 Wireless Unit for my new bike. However, one of the guys at my LBS said he wouldn't recommend it due to its bugs and inconsistent performance. He also said that it had the tenancy to malfunction and shut down the entire Di2 system (shifting and all). I'd like to have the ability to control my head unit with the shifter buttons and perform updates with my phone, but not at the expense of total system failure.

Does anyone have recent experience with the product? Wondering if some of these issues were more prevalent in early versions, and if they have since worked out some of the kinks.

Thanks!
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Old 05-25-20, 10:50 PM
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wsteve464
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I have had one on my Di2 bike for about 1 1/2 years no problem. AFAIK Apple products don't work with it you need a windows computer to program it with the app.
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Old 05-25-20, 11:04 PM
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Had mine for 2 years now and works flawlessly.

also programmed it on iOS.

would recommend etap if you want electronic shifting that’s more user friendly though - UX on di2 app really is terrible.
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Old 05-25-20, 11:11 PM
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Only time I had an issue was when I first got it and didn't realize I had to disconnect it from the etube app before it would start shifting again, which is probably what your LBS guy was refering to.
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Old 05-26-20, 03:50 AM
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Had D-Fly unit for about 3 years never had a problem. I haven't tried the synchro shifting option so maybe that is what the LBS was thinking of. I use mine to link to Wahoo Bolt for gear change info etc and it's been flawless.
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Old 05-26-20, 07:56 AM
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Thanks for all the info guys, really appreciate it! Lines up with more of the stuff I'm reading online - seems like most don't have any issues. Just want to make sure I'm not taking some unnecessary risk to get a "nice-to-have" feature.
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Old 05-26-20, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
Only time I had an issue was when I first got it and didn't realize I had to disconnect it from the etube app before it would start shifting again, which is probably what your LBS guy was refering to.
Interesting. So when you ran into the shifting issues you were able to fix it yourself?

One of the things the guy had mentioned is if the system were to short out, I'd have to bring the bike into the shop and get the whole thing rebooted. Sounded a little extreme to me but I certainly didn't know enough to argue with a mechanic
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Old 05-26-20, 08:48 AM
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I do not have the wireless unit. That said, my buddy does and he has not had any issues with the unit. In face he likes the wireless interface so much that he's trying to convince me to pick one up. My challenge is that I have older Shimano brake hoods, so I don't have the ability to change screens on my Garmin unit from the bike. For me, I think the cost of the wireless unit outweighs the benefits.
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Old 05-26-20, 09:14 AM
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I had the shop install the D-Fly unit when they setup my new bike in Feb. No regrets at all. I use it quite often to change the cassette setting when switching wheel sets since it is much more handy than dragging my laptop out the garage and setting it up. Not really necessary but nice to have. The only thing I have read is you probably want to use a PC to do the firmware updates since it seems to be much more robust than the wireless unit.
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Old 05-26-20, 09:33 AM
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Not something I'd want if often dealing with wet muddy conditions. For fair weather use it could live a long life, but not outlive the actual bicycle or the tried & true mechanical setups imo.
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Old 05-26-20, 09:42 AM
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Have the inline unit for over a year and a half with no problems.
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Old 05-26-20, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by tsmith41094 View Post
Interesting. So when you ran into the shifting issues you were able to fix it yourself?

One of the things the guy had mentioned is if the system were to short out, I'd have to bring the bike into the shop and get the whole thing rebooted. Sounded a little extreme to me but I certainly didn't know enough to argue with a mechanic
It's not really an issue, it's just how Shimano programmed Di2 to lock out when the Dfly is connected to Etube. I've never had it "short out", or heard of that happening to anyone.
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Old 05-26-20, 11:56 AM
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I've had it on two bikes for well over two years. The problem you might face is when updating the Battery's software via Bluetooth instead of hooking it directly to a PC. The Battery is the brain of the Di2 system. if it looses connection during that update, you have to take the bike in to have them "fix" the battery's firmware. I do all firmware updates when the bike is connected via hard wire to my PC.
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Old 05-26-20, 12:22 PM
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TL;DNR

There are other things to worry about.


If you are completely paranoid, put one of these is your saddle bag. In the (extremely unlikely) case that the wireless hoses you, swap it with this.

EW-JC200

For the weight weenies, it weighs less than than the di tool, and it is smaller but more expensive.

(BTW, worst case, in the incredibly rare case that your wireless fails AND it freezes the DI2 and you DON’T have a pass through, you ride one speed. It’s about twice as bad as a broken rear derailleur cable.)

-mr. bill
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Old 05-27-20, 07:43 AM
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I installed the wireless unit on my bike and I would say the unit works fine, but the UX for the app isn’t great. That being said, the app is only used to set things up and you’ll rarely ever see the app again unless you want to change some settings. I primarily use the wireless capability to have a visual of my gears and to be able to change screens on my Garmin from the hood buttons.

When I set mine up I did have the bike bricking issue. But I just had to disconnect the app from the bike and it worked fine.
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Old 05-27-20, 08:29 AM
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A lot of great feedback here. Really appreciate all the responses. I think I am going to order the part through the shop and just have them set it all up when they build the new bike. Seems like it has been pretty smooth sailing for most once you get past installation.
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Old 05-27-20, 11:34 AM
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I used the d-fly unit paired with a Garmin Edge 520 for a couple years. It worked - pretty much. No lockups or interruptions to shifting, but sometimes the 520 and the d-fly would drop connection. In addition to losing the functionality, it would go through reconnecting which was really annoying. I have since upgraded to an Edge 530 and everything has been rock solid.

To me, the big advantages are control of screens with the top buttons, seeing the actual battery level of the Di2, and seeing the gears that I'm in. I wish Shimano would have built in the connectivity, but at $75 plus the cost of a cable, it's worth it to me.
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Old 05-27-20, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by tsmith41094 View Post
A lot of great feedback here. Really appreciate all the responses. I think I am going to order the part through the shop and just have them set it all up when they build the new bike. Seems like it has been pretty smooth sailing for most once you get past installation.
That's what I did. Worked out great.
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Old 05-27-20, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by tsmith41094 View Post
A lot of great feedback here. Really appreciate all the responses. I think I am going to order the part through the shop and just have them set it all up when they build the new bike. Seems like it has been pretty smooth sailing for most once you get past installation.
What model di2 do you have? You can get the in-line EW-WU111 wireless unit. It installs simply, Just unplug a cable and insert it in-between, though IIRC it is incompatible with older DI2 battery models.
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Old 05-27-20, 05:37 PM
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If you sold/stolen your bike today, would you pay extra for it on your next bike?
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Old 05-27-20, 05:57 PM
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Another option to the EW-WU111 unit is to use the XT display unit SC-MT800. It also replaces the A Junction as it has 3 E-Tube ports, BT unit and the charging port. The display unit is $90, vs. a 111 unit at $90+ and the A Junction at $85. Saves you $85.
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Old 05-27-20, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
Not something I'd want if often dealing with wet muddy conditions. For fair weather use it could live a long life, but not outlive the actual bicycle or the tried & true mechanical setups imo.
Di2 is fine in wet and muddy conditions. In fact, it probably works better (more reliable) than mechanical in those settings.

in my estimation, the D-fly Bluetooth unit is a “must-have“ for Di2. It costs so little and gives you so much additional functionality.

Last edited by Koyote; 05-27-20 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 05-27-20, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
If you sold/stolen your bike today, would you pay extra for it on your next bike?
Absolutely. Much more convenient to grab my iPhone than drag the laptop out to the garage, dig the cables out, hook everything up and then put everything away. If saving money is important it is something that can always be added later though.
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Old 05-27-20, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by tsmith41094 View Post
perform updates with my phone
Do not do that. At present the anecdotal stories are all of the horror kind if you update firmware over BT. Use your wired charger and a PC.
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Old 05-27-20, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Di2 is fine in wet and muddy conditions. In fact, it probably works better (more reliable) than mechanical in those settings.

in my estimation, the D-fly Bluetooth unit is a “must-have“ for Di2. It costs so little and gives you so much additional functionality.
didn't work well in the water/mud zones, but ymmv.
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