Breaking news out of Shimano world HQ today that Dura-Ace Di2 levers will now be able to control more than just shifting and braking. Thanks to a new software update and a pair of buttons built into the tops of the hoods, riders will be able to operate on-bike computers and potentially other devices such as trainers and video cameras without taking their hands off the bars.
These remote control buttons have actually been there all along, having been built into the system right from its launch in 2012. But it’s not until this latest software update, which interfaces with the D-Fly wireless unit Shimano introduced earlier this year and works on the ANT+ wireless network, that these buttons will actually be able to operate external devices.
This development fits within what Shimano call its “stress-free riding concept”, a fancy way of saying it’s better to keep your hands on your handlebars when riding. Looking ahead, it will be up to the developers of the external devices to design the exact features that the buttons control.
We’ll keep an eye on these developments moving forward and let you know how well it all actually works. In the meantime, here’s a graphical representation of the concept courtesy of Shimano.