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Synchronized Di2 shifting is now available for road bikes

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Synchronized Di2 shifting is now available for road bikes

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Old 03-11-17, 01:00 PM
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mtseymour
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Synchronized Di2 shifting is now available for road bikes

The latest e-Tube software (ver 3.2.1) was released today. It's available for desktop (Win 7 or higher) or iPhone/iPad. This should allow Dura Ace 9070 and Ultegra 6870 riders to get full synchro (manually rear shift and let Di2 do front shifts) or semi-synchro (manual front shift with automatic rear trim) shfting. Since the wireless option required the new battery (BT-DN110), I connected my Giant single-bike via USB to test the new software.

Once I connected the Junction A to the computer, it recognized my Dura Ace Di2 9070 group, and updated the firmware for the Junction A, front derailleur, and rear derailleur. The process should be the same for Ultegra 6870 components.

Then I got a warning message. Basically, I can setup synchronized setting, but it only works with the new BT-DN110 battery. It might also need the new SC-MT800 display (simiar to XTR Di2 display). The new BT-DN110 & SC-MT800 ($100) has ANT and Bluetooth wireless capability. The ANT features allows Di2 to communicate with Garmin and other bike computer, while Bluetooth allows a smartphone or table to customize the shift settings.

Just out of curiosity, I continued just to see the synchronized settings.

After completing the setup, I closed e-Tube and disconnected Di2. The shifting worked fine but synchronized shifting didn't kick in. My next step is to order the BT-DN110 battery (about $130 retail). Apparently, it has longer battery life and is required for Bluetooth (and synchronized shifting?).

I'll probably get the SC-MT800 display too because it required for Bluetooth connectivity, and shows gear positioning, battery life and shift modes (full or semi). I have the original XTR Di2 M9050 display but won't work with the new BT-DN110 battery.
Attached Images
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1. e-Tube main screen.JPG (82.1 KB, 413 views)
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2. e-Tube firmware updates.JPG (81.9 KB, 411 views)
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3. e-Tube battery warning.JPG (19.4 KB, 406 views)
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4. e-Tube shift modes.JPG (76.5 KB, 407 views)
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5. e-Tube synchro setting.JPG (58.9 KB, 411 views)
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Old 03-12-17, 12:34 AM
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^^^ pre 2017 Dura Ace

Just to clarify for everyone, the above is the pre-2017 DA. The 2017 model is 91xx series.

Also, the 91xx stuff has a new junction box available (EW-WU111) that includes wireless.

Shimano Dura-Ace R9100, R9150 and R9170 ? the 6 coolest new things - BikeRadar USA
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Old 03-12-17, 02:26 PM
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The Synchro Shift options are confusing because Shimano has been slow with info, and even dealers are just learning about the new Di2 products. After updating to e-tube software ver 3.2.1, tandem teams with Ultegra Di2 6870 or Dura Ace Di2 9070 drivetrains have these options:

Option 1. Synchro Shift without Wireless Connectivity

Replace current SM-BTR2 internal battery with BT-DN110 battery. Shimano calls it the "master unit" because it controls the rest of the Di2 components. This is the cheapest option (around $125) but doesn't offer Bluetooth (for wireless Di2 updates) or ANT+ connection to compatible bike computer.

Option 2. Synchro Shift with Wireless Connectivity
Replace current SM-BTR2 internal battery with BT-DN110 battery and add the inline wireless unit (EW-WU111). The EW-WU111 replaces the D-Fly transmitter (EW-WU101), and adds Bluetooth to ANT+ connectivity. The EW-WU111 ($80) is usually externally mounted near the rear derailleur. This option allows a smartphone or tablet to update Di2 settings.

Option 3. Synchro Shift with Wireless Connectivity and Display

Replace current SM-BTR2 internal battery with BT-DN110 battery and add the new XT SC-MT800 display ($145). Like the older XTR Di2 display (SC-M9050), the SC-MT800 eliminates the Junction A because it has 3 ports. In addition to ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity, it displays battery level, gear position, shift mode (S1, S2, or manual) and has audible shift notification and charging port.

I don't know if Shimano is releasing a "road" version of the SC-MT800, or if the XTR SC-M9051 offers any additional features. I have the new battery and the MT800 on order, and will find out shortly if option 1 & 3 work as promised.
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Old 03-12-17, 02:47 PM
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Great outline above, I'm going with option 1 for my road bike (I have option 3 on my 1x11 cross bike).

Wanted to mention I was informed that with a carbon frame the EW-WU111 inline wireless unit works fine from inside so I plan on letting it hang below the new battery in the seat stay. This will give a much cleaner install than my current D-fly by the rear derailleur.
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Old 03-12-17, 04:41 PM
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So does anyone have any instructions on how to activate syncho shift on a 6870 ultegra system after the firmware update? I think it has something to do with clicking on the junction box but I can't seem to get it to work.
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Old 03-12-17, 11:31 PM
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Synchro shifting activation through junction box

I have an "option 2" setup as outlined above. If you double click the junction box button, it will switch from manual to synchro. It works on my newly updated 6870 setup. Enjoy!
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Old 03-13-17, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Larry77 View Post
Wanted to mention I was informed that with a carbon frame the EW-WU111 inline wireless unit works fine from inside so I plan on letting it hang below the new battery in the seat stay. This will give a much cleaner install than my current D-fly by the rear derailleur.
It's a good idea to hang the EW-WU111 under the internal battery. I might try that on my single bike.
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Old 03-13-17, 07:18 AM
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Just to clarify for myself - I have a SM-BTR2 battery and the SCM9050 display. These will need to be upgraded to the BT-DN110 battery and the XT SC-MT800 display (correct?). I have Ultegra derailleurs. My goal is to be able to use synchro (or semi-synchro) shifting.

I don't know what wireless ANT communication would do for me. Are synchro shift and wireless capability linked in some manner? If so, why?
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Old 03-13-17, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by oldacura View Post
Just to clarify for myself - I have a SM-BTR2 battery and the SCM9050 display. These will need to be upgraded to the BT-DN110 battery and the XT SC-MT800 display (correct?). I have Ultegra derailleurs. My goal is to be able to use synchro (or semi-synchro) shifting.

I don't know what wireless ANT communication would do for me. Are synchro shift and wireless capability linked in some manner? If so, why?
It's mandatory to replace the SM-BTR2 battery with the BT-DN110, but the SC-MT800 display is optional. The BT-DN110 has longer battery life and additional circuitry to control the new Di2 components (eg. MT800 display, EW-WU111 transmitter).

Some riders want ANT+ capability because they prefer bigger bike computers like the Garmin Edge 1000. By adding Bluetooth, you can use a smartphone or tablet to update your Di2 settings. You don't need Bluetooth if your bike can be conveniently connected to a computer by USB cable.
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Old 03-13-17, 08:34 AM
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What's the advantage for syncro shifting on a tandem? I didn't see much advantage on a single road bike, but one of the other threads mentioned that triatheletes would really like it--I assume since it only needs two buttons, up and down, and that's easier on aerobars.

Doesn't a tandem need more control over when a front shift happens? See the screen shots in the post number 1, titled "Shift Mode Setting" -- an up shift from 34:15 doesn't go to 34:14, it shifts to the 50 chain ring and down two cogs to 50:19. Follow the green arrows path.

Semi syncronized shifts simply shifts the rear derailleur (usually 2 cogs) when the front is manually shifted. How is this different than shifting the front and at the same time doing a "long press" on the rear shifter to shift 3 (or can be set to 2) cogs?

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Old 03-13-17, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
What's the advantage for syncro shifting on a tandem? I didn't see much advantage on a single road bike, but one of the other threads mentioned that triatheletes would really like it--I assume since it only needs two buttons, up and down, and that's easier on aerobars.

Doesn't a tandem need more control over when a front shift happens? See the screen shots in the post number 1, titled "Shift Mode Setting" -- an up shift from 34:15 doesn't go to 34:14, it shifts to the 50 chain ring and down two cogs to 50:19. Follow the green arrows path.
Synchronized shifting has been very well-received on mtn bikes using XT/XTR 3x11 or 2x11 drivetrains. It should be equally useful on road bikes and tandems.

When we're tired or focused on traffic, my stoker has to occasionally remind me to get out of a bad gear combo. Synchro shifting eliminates this situation.

The 2nd benefit is that synchro shifting smooths out the 16T gear jump on compact cranks (eg, 50-34 or 52-36). Even a triple crankset (eg. 50-40-30) has a big enough gap that most riders make a rear shift to "trim" the gear. In the example that you mentioned, an front upshift from 34x15 to 50x15 will lead to a gear change of 60.7 to 89.2 gear inches. Synchro shift gives you the option to simultaneously change from 35x15 to 50x19, which is a better gear change of 60.7 to 70.4 gear inches. This is a smoother transition and doesn't require riders to ease up during the front and rear shifts. The e-Tube software allows you to customize the rear trim from 1 to 2 gears.

Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Semi syncronized shifts simply shifts the rear derailleur (usually 2 cogs) when the front is manually shifted. How is this different than shifting the front and at the same time doing a "long press" on the rear shifter to shift 3 (or can be set to 2) cogs?
The difference is the semi-synchro mode simultaneously shifts the front and rear derailleur. I've tested this and it's much faster and smoother than shifting the front, and easing up while trimming the rear. A team can maintain full power, which is handy on rolling terrain or in a fast paceline.
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Old 03-13-17, 12:14 PM
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mtseymour - please explain again the difference between semi & full synchro. I thought that it was just which derailleur was the independent -vs- dependent but it sounds like more. Also, it sounds like you are one of the earliest adopters on synchro shift on a tandem. How do you like it? Do you find a preference for semi - or full synchro? Why?
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Old 03-13-17, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mtseymour View Post

Option 3. Synchro Shift with Wireless Connectivity and Display

Replace current SM-BTR2 internal battery with BT-DN110 battery and add the new XT SC-MT800 display ($145). Like the older XTR Di2 display (SC-M9050), the SC-MT800 eliminates the Junction A because it has 3 ports. In addition to ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity, it displays battery level, gear position, shift mode (S1, S2, or manual) and has audible shift notification and charging port.
IMO, Option 3 is the way to go, not only because of the added benefit of the visual cues (gear, batt level, etc) but also being able to toggle the Syncro mode between off, S1, S2 without the need for a computer (or wireless device) hookup.
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Old 03-13-17, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
What's the advantage for syncro shifting on a tandem? I didn't see much advantage on a single road bike, but one of the other threads mentioned that triatheletes would really like it--I assume since it only needs two buttons, up and down, and that's easier on aerobars.

Doesn't a tandem need more control over when a front shift happens? See the screen shots in the post number 1, titled "Shift Mode Setting" -- an up shift from 34:15 doesn't go to 34:14, it shifts to the 50 chain ring and down two cogs to 50:19. Follow the green arrows path.

Semi syncronized shifts simply shifts the rear derailleur (usually 2 cogs) when the front is manually shifted. How is this different than shifting the front and at the same time doing a "long press" on the rear shifter to shift 3 (or can be set to 2) cogs?
You do realize that it is up to you to program where you want the synchro shift points, right? It's not some preprogrammed/fixed transition.

Yes, the multi-shift function still works for when you press and hold a shifter. Tune it to 1-3 cogs per your preference.

So what is the big benefit over doing all shifting manually?

I've posted this before in other threads (using road shifters with XTR triple di2 derailleurs)... letting the synchro do the coordinated FD/RD shifting will ensure you always get the best next gear up or down. It is especially useful with a triple chainring because there are so many combinations to try remembering. You can always override the front chainring selection in order to better anticipate big terrain changes (ie: hill transitions) without needing to navigate through all the rear cogs first, then keep riding and let synchro resume for subsequent shifts. Multiply that memory complexity by the number of different cassettes you may wish to swap.

Since enabling synchro on our tandem last Sept and riding a couple thousand miles, I have not had one instance where I wanted to turn it off and go full manual.
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Old 03-13-17, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
IMO, Option 3 is the way to go, not only because of the added benefit of the visual cues (gear, batt level, etc) but also being able to toggle the Syncro mode between off, S1, S2 without the need for a computer (or wireless device) hookup.
I also prefer option 3 and will try it once the battery and display arrive. Is it possible to toggle between S1 & S1 while riding?
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Old 03-13-17, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by oldacura View Post
mtseymour - please explain again the difference between semi & full synchro. I thought that it was just which derailleur was the independent -vs- dependent but it sounds like more. Also, it sounds like you are one of the earliest adopters on synchro shift on a tandem. How do you like it? Do you find a preference for semi - or full synchro? Why?
The different shift modes are highly adjustable but may be confusing. Just remember that S1 and S2 can each be set to "Full" or Semi" synchro.

Let's assume that you set S1 to "Full" synchro, and S2 to "Semi". If you look at the attached example (on left), S1 may be programmed to stay in the 34T ring until you upshift to cog 4. Then Di2 will automatically shift to the 50T. You should use setting if you like to stay longer in the big ring. If you ride in hilly terrain, the 2nd example (on the right) is more suitable because you'll stay longer in the small ring. With this setting, the left shifter in inactive.

For S2, you need the left shifter to control the front derailleur. When you shift from 34T to 50T, the rear derailleur will automatically downshift by 1 or 2 gears. When you shift from 50T to 34T, the rear derailleur will automatically upshift by 1 or 2 gears. My assumption is that semi-synchro won't prevent a cross-chain.

Personally, I would program S1 and S2 in full synchro, with S1 for flat terrain, and S2 for hilly terrain. After a short learning curve, I suspect that most riders will prefer full over semi-synchro because it's simpler. But it's easy to try both modes for yourself.
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Old 03-13-17, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mtseymour View Post
I also prefer option 3 and will try it once the battery and display arrive. Is it possible to toggle between S1 & S1 while riding?
Yes, at least for the components I have (road shifters + XTR). Manual, S1, or S2.

While I have not needed multiple mappings available for the same cassette, I do like having the mappings in there for two different cassettes. I wish the E-tube software allowed to setup many more synchro maps and then just pick from two of them for upload. As it stands, if you want to program more than two mappings in the software, you need to save out a profile with its unique config, then reload it when needed. Whatever you have programmed into your components will load up automatically whenever you first connect and start E-Tube.

Over all, I've spent a lot less time using E-tube than you might think. Probably more time playing with the HTML5 gear calculator to figure out our optimal gears, and then the crossover points to use.

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Old 03-14-17, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
Yes, at least for the components I have (road shifters + XTR). Manual, S1, or S2.

While I have not needed multiple mappings available for the same cassette, I do like having the mappings in there for two different cassettes. I wish the E-tube software allowed to setup many more synchro maps and then just pick from two of them for upload. As it stands, if you want to program more than two mappings in the software, you need to save out a profile with its unique config, then reload it when needed. Whatever you have programmed into your components will load up automatically whenever you first connect and start E-Tube.
It's nice to have the option to toggle between S1 and S2 while riding. I expect Shimano to improve e-Tube and ride features based on feedback from riders.

It's interesting that Di2 is an "open" system while Sram eTap is closed to the user. Although eTap has certain advantages (ie. wireless installation, simplicity), it can't do synchronized/sequential shifting or offer a software platform to adjust shift speed, gear sweeps, or re-configure shifters.
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Old 03-15-17, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mtseymour View Post
It's nice to have the option to toggle between S1 and S2 while riding.
In my experience it has not been necessary to change between mappings at all while riding. My scheme is to map the widest feasible shift points that still provide a good ratio progression. Analysis done off the bike with the HTML5 calculator, then go ride... perfect. For us, it's proven very convenient to have mappings available for different cassettes than multiple mappings for just one.
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Old 03-16-17, 03:01 AM
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With the ability to set full syncro shifting where the next best gear is set in advance and is automatically selected having either of the XT SC-MT800 display or older XTR SC-M9050 display unit is a moot point.

I would say seeing what gear your are in becomes a luxury, not a necessity.
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Old 03-16-17, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by racefacelefty View Post
I would say seeing what gear your are in becomes a luxury, not a necessity.


Only until you run out of gears.

AKA as "#$*&@, we're already in granny?"
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Old 03-16-17, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by diabloridr View Post
Only until you run out of gears.

AKA as "#$*&@, we're already in granny?"
It happens.

I tried to catch an 11th gear on my 10 speed cassette late one afternoon while touring in Ireland. With a bit of frame flex (probable cause) the derailleur and chain also tried to find the 11th gear. The chain went behind the cog. Real quick like.

My touring wheels have 48 spokes. Three were bent, but I didn't know it till I got home. If I had been riding the Spinergy wheels I don't think those spokes would have made it.
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Old 03-16-17, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by racefacelefty View Post
With the ability to set full syncro shifting where the next best gear is set in advance and is automatically selected having either of the XT SC-MT800 display or older XTR SC-M9050 display unit is a moot point.

I would say seeing what gear your are in becomes a luxury, not a necessity.
True, seeing the current gear (fd/rd position) is not 100% necessary, but regardless it is valuable information for immediate access especially if you are using a triple chainring setup and very busy mentally with other external factors. It does make life a lot easier in these situations.

System-wise, there are some Di2 component combinations that require the presence of the display component in order to enable the synchro functionality. For example the 2017 Dura Ace does not require the display, whereas the current XTR does.
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Old 03-17-17, 03:00 PM
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So I ordered the new battery & display. I have played with the online gear calculator but I'm not sure where to pick my shift points: upshifting from the small ring & downshifting from the the big. We have 52t x 34t chainrings and a 11t - 36t (11 speed) cassette. Could you early adopters suggest a place to start? Thanks.
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Old 03-18-17, 03:47 PM
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mtseymour
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I received the new DN110 battery and MT800 display and installed them today. It's mostly good news but there are some minor glitches.

First, there are only 2 options to get synchro shift.

Option 1. Synchro Shift without Wireless Connectivity
This requires both the new BT-DN110 battery and SC-MT800 display. I installed the new battery without the display and e-Tube couldn't make the Bluetooth connection. Although disappointing, this makes sense because the default shift mode is "Manual". The display allows the user to choose Manual, S1 (syncro) and S2 (synchro).

Option 2. Synchro Shift with Wireless Connectivity
This requires Option1 plus the new inline wireless unit (EW-WU111). The EW-WU111 replaces the D-Fly transmitter (EW-WU101), and adds Bluetooth to ANT+ connectivity. The EW-WU111 ($80) is usually externally mounted near the rear derailleur. This option allows a smartphone or tablet to update Di2 settings.

Even if you go for Option 2, it's better to do the 1st installation with a wired connection to your computer. It's easier to do the firmware updates and change the Bluetooth password. The BN110 needs to be updated to ver 4.3.4 and the MT800 requires ver 4.2.3.

As for the mapping, I suggest mapping S1 and S2 as full-synchro (eg. flat vs hilly terrain). The semi-synchro mode doesn't prevent cross-chains, and it's too easy to go big-big when doing a sweep of 2 or 3 gears. The other reason is that you can still manually change the front derailleur in full-synchro mode.

This brings up a quirk in the gear mapping (see attached). It's easy to change the cross over point in the small ring (eg. 34). I can get it to upshift to the big ring in gear 5 to 11 (smallest cog). However, I can only get a synchro shift from 50T to 34T when the cassette is in the 10th gear (2nd from largest cog). I can't seem to get the front derailleur to cross-over at a lower point (eg. 50 x 23). To get around this, I'll just manually shift to the 34T when approaching a steep climb or rolling terrain.

I only had time to go a short ride but the synchro feature is awesome! I'll do more testing to fine-tune the cross-over point.

A nice feature is that S1 or S2 will double-beep when the next gear change will shift the front derailleur.
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