Electronic Gear Hacks For Triathletes | Things You Didn’t Know About Electronic Shifting


– If you are lucky enough
to have electronic gears on your bike, then you’ll
know just how consistent and slick they are. But, are you getting the most out of them? Well, today I’m going to
be sharing with you tips, a few hacks for those
tri-athletes out there to take your shifting to the next level. (upbeat music) So a couple of popular examples
of electronic gears here, I’ve got SRAM eTap in front
of me and Shimano Di2 behind, we’ve obviously also got
Campagnolo EPS and FSA K-Force WE. All of which have ANT+
or ant plus connectivity, which means not only can
it send and receive data within it’s own system,
it can also transmit data to some other external devices. In fact, Shimono Di2 can
also do this via Bluetooth with this additional
cable that can be plugged into the system somewhere. So what does this all mean? Well, it means that we
can actually link up our electronic gears or the
levers to some external devices, some bike computer head units, some phones and even some lights. And I’m not good with technology, it’s something I was totally
unaware of until recently, so I’ve been having a
little bit of a play around and found some nifty hacks. First couple, perhaps some of
you are already well aware of, is the fact that you can set
some bike computer head units to display the current gear
ratio you’re in, pretty useful. And also, you can display
the battery level status or the amount of charge you’ve got for that electronic gear system. But Shimano’s has a pretty
nifty trick up its sleeve, cause we can also customize the function of some of the buttons and shift and also how quickly
they’ll change through gear. So remember that Bluetooth cable
I was talking about before, I’ve actually connected
that into my system by the rear mac here, I can
then connect that and link it up to Shimano’s E-Tube app and then customize the function of the buttons. You can save that, then remove the cable and it will still function
as you last saved in the app. So for instance, I could
change my elbow levers to solely control my rear
mac, have it controlling a mix of both the rear mac and the front Mac, I could swap it around
so one was changing, it was changed and vice versa. The options are endless,
but it doesn’t stop there, I wonder how many of you knew this one, because remember how we could connect to some bike computer hedges. Well, we can actually change the function of some of the buttons so
that it will change through the screens of some by
computer head units. So I’ve actually changed my
bike, which has two buttons on either area by lever, which
were previously controlling both the rear mac and the front mac, I’ve now got one button on either side, controlling the rear mac and
one button on either side also controlling the screen, so I can scroll left and
right through the screens. That means I can stay
super arrow if my TT bars was flicking through my screens. I’m not sure how necessary
that is, but it’s pretty fun. (upbeat music) Now when it comes to traveling
with electronic gears, I’m always amazed how many people leave the system fully connected
up and batteries installed. It doesn’t take much for nicolai to be practically when we’re
checking bikes in and out of cars or getting onto flights and potentially end up
with a drained batch. And I obviously always recommend traveling with a battery charger
for your electronic gears, but there is nothing worse than
arriving for your first ride on perhaps a training camp abroad and finding that your battery’s flat. Now fortunately, there are
simple ways to get around this, with Shimano Di2 you
can remove the battery or with some of the newest
systems you can actually unplug the cables from the junction box or as I do will also disconnect the cable from the rear mac here. With SRAM or that is constantly
searching for a signal from both the front mac and the rear mac to the gear levers and that
is activated through motion in the bike with
accelerometers in the system and obviously through
transport and movement and bumping around that is inevitably going to get activated. And that’s going to slowly
drain the battery with time, and then also on top of that with perhaps some of the nicolai if being pressed, that’s going to drain it further. Fortunately, there with
SRAM you can just remove the individual batteries from
the front and the rear mac. (upbeat music) But if like me, you forget
to charge your batteries for your electronic use regularly, well, is actually possible to use
a power bank to charge them as many of us use for charging
our phones for instance. This is really useful if
you’re not near power source or maybe you’re chucking your
bike in the back of the car and on route to meeting
some friends for rides, you can just charge it
as you drive over there. But if you really want to
take it to the next level, apparently, and I’ve not
tried this, but it is possible to charge the newest monitor
to through the junction box using a power bank as you actually ride. Apparently this has been used
by some adventure cyclist and long distance cyclist, I
guess perhaps you could store the power bank in your bento
box on a triathlon bike. I’m not really sure how safe it is, I’m not really going to
condone this but hey, another fun thing to know. But ideally we want to stay
away from batteries being flat and electronic gear, so ideally, we just charged them regularly but you can also check
the battery level status. This is really easy on Shimano Di2, all you need to do is
press one of the shifters for around half a second or more, and then check the
junction box and the lights that’s how it’ll indicate how
much battery is left in them. 100% remaining it will
actually illuminate green for around two seconds, 50% remaining it will flash green five times, 25% remaining it will
illuminate red for two seconds, then 0% remaining it will
flash red five seconds. And if you really want to geek out, apparently Shimano
actually found a painting, back in 2011 for dynamo
built into the jockey wheels on the rear mac that would
power a Di2 drive train. Still yet to see anything
for it, but I just thought I’d leave that there for
the tech geeks out there. (upbeat music) Okay, now moving on, you may
be watching this thinking, but I don’t have a TT or
traveling but I only have a robot. That’s absolutely fine, and
if you do only have a robot, I’d highly suggest you get
yourself some clip on aero bars. They are significantly aerodynamic
and fast in a traveling, so they’re well worth their investment. Now as I currently have my
clip on aero bar setup here, on my road bike, to change gear
I’d actually have to get out of the aero bars onto the
hoods and use the levers here. That’s fine, but obviously
each time I do that I’m losing some of that
aerodynamic advantage. So way to upgrade is quite simply, is actually to route your Di2
trio or put some SRAM blips on the end tear or whatever
electronic gearing system you’re using, and you’ve
got a pretty slick setup without having to go
the full hog and upgrade to a TT or traveling but the
only thing you may have to do in some instances are
change the junction box or the blip box, but this
will more than double. (upbeat music) Now another bay hacking
benefits for electronic is you can actually micro adjust and fine tune your gears on the go. Now normally with mechanical gears, this requires to jump off mid ride, play around here front mac or rear mac and perhaps get your hands a little dirty. Now get, I’m not
suggesting you do this out on the open road but
you can perhaps do this on the indoor trainer, maybe
you’ve popped your bike onto a diatribe indoor
trainer and the gears are jumping around a
little well, in that case, providing you can access your junction box or blip box that you’ve got
here, you just hold down the function button for
a couple of seconds, and that’s going to put the
system into micro adjustment. Now when you press your
gear levers or shifters, it’s actually just going to find the move and incrementally move that rear mac and trim those gears in. Once it’s making very little noise and you know that is nicely trimmed in, then you just hold down
at function button again for a couple of seconds
and it’s going to come out of that micro adjustment mode. (upbeat music) And finally, something is
any relevant to try me tap with their blips, is that you can more or less position them
anywhere within reason. Now I first got this idea
from Sebastian Keenly with his bike when we filmed with it, and he actually had plugs
in the end of his aero bars, so didn’t have any shifters there, then have the blips
further down the aero bars. Now apparently he just preferred to hold the aero bars further down and
on hilly course is required to stay in aero bars as long as possible, and he pulled off on the
aero bars a bit further down the aero bars, so to prevent
him from having to reach for it and change gear, you just
have them positioned there, that’s a really clever idea. I’m not personally aware of
any way of making that possible with Shimano Di2, but
perhaps there is a way maybe with the spring buttons
that you get on road bikes. If anyone out there has some experience with that then love to hear from you, drop them in the comments section below or if you have any other
hacks that you know of. Now, I’m sure many of
you out there like me are totally converted to electronic gear, so I hope today’s video has been useful and you’ve learned something. If so, make sure you give us a like and don’t forget to follow
GTN on social media.

21 comments on “Electronic Gear Hacks For Triathletes | Things You Didn’t Know About Electronic Shifting”

  1. Global Triathlon Network says:

    Do you have any tips for using electronic gearing? Leave them with us!

  2. Benjamin Briu says:

    My di2 is set up that, right goes up and left goes down

  3. michael cys says:

    I dont have electronic gears, why do I watched finish the entire video? BECAUSE I LOVE GTN!

  4. Savage Poet says:

    Campagnolo! Dear Mark, the 'g' in campagnolo is pronounced like an 'i'. Say: Cam-pie-nolo

  5. Brett Blankner says:

    I've charged my Di2 while riding the trainer by plugging the junction box into the wall. So yes, you should definitely be able to do the same thing with a mobile power bank on the move.

  6. Charles Dauphinais says:

    I was also looking to add the Bluetooth device to my DI2 on my Canyon Speedmax SLX. Just to confirm, the device does fit in the rear mech wire hole? It seems rather small on mine.

  7. Steve Williams says:

    Micro adjustment is a great tip!

  8. If Only says:

    Campanee-olo not Campag- nolo. A bit like gnocchi

  9. Guy Florack says:

    Full sync schifting setups are definitely worth checking out!

  10. Len Wittrock says:

    Great show!!

  11. Trepidati0n says:

    Ugh…totally ugh…in a good way. As an engineer…I love electronic shifting. As an engineer….I am too poor to afford it.

  12. Paul McNeil says:

    I so enjoy watching Mark geek-out on tech.

  13. Foye Troute says:

    Never unplug / plug Di2 wires without using the TL-EW02 plastic wire tool. It can damage the wires and potentially pull the wires out of the connectors.

  14. Evan MacDougall says:

    I was hoping for some hacks that show how to cheaply turn your manual gears into semi-electronic ones. 🤪😄

  15. D M says:

    Why are you referring to derailleurs as MECs? I’ve never heard this before.

  16. Jeff Yoder says:

    I’d like to know what head unit you can change screens on and how?

  17. trbeyond says:

    How do you micro adjust with Di2? Mark only showed using the SRAM.

  18. Sebastien Brochard says:

    Hi there,
    How much maintenance do they require?
    Is it reliable in the long run?

    I'm not converted (yet) … my fear is being on a ride and be left with breakdown in the middle of my ride.

  19. Andy says:

    Anyone know what the connection type is called on the end of the di2 lead?…I want to put a short permanent ext lead from my di2 blip box charge point (which is hidden nicely in the stem) to make it easier to charge.

  20. Jonathan Zappala says:

    di2 battery lasts so long, only an ultra endurance cyclist would need to charge mid ride.

  21. Cristian Nae says:

    old news… 😉 been using the BT adapter for my shimano for at least one season…

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