Shimano DI2 STI levers - DA 9070 vs Ult 6870

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by BdaGhisallo

Has anyone had their hands on both of the Shimano 11sp STI levers? How do they compare in ergonomics? They look pretty identical apart from slight differences in hood color and, perhaps, material. Any other differences that are not apparent in the pics?

Do the 6870 levers have the enhanced tactile feedback in the shift buttons that the 9070 have when compared to the previous generation?

I need a set of shifters for a second bike and, if the ergonomics are the same, the 6870 are a lot cheaper than a second set of 9070 levers.


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Location: Evansville, IN, USA

by Gearhead65

I've been riding with 6870 for a few months now, but only have SRAM Red to compare to. I can tell that I have many miles with heavy winter gloves and have had absolutely no issues with 'feeling' the shifter buttons. The buttons do seem to have a good 'click' to them. Very happy with the product.
2015 Specialized Crux Pro
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by Weenie

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Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 1:38 pm

by BdaGhisallo

I thought I'd answer my own question after receiving a PM from an interested member.

In short, across my bikes, I have three pairs of 6870 shifters and the pair of 9870 shifters I bought first. The 9870 shifters are lighter but I don't like the hoods. They are thinner than those on the 6870 and get mushed around the shifter hood body as I grab them hard and release them. They always are a little bit out of place at the bottom, where the hood cover material is thinnest and I have to massage them back into place. The 6870 hood covers are made of thicker rubber and I find that they don't get mushed around much at all, if ever.

Another thing is that the lever reach adjustment screw on the 6870 uses a 2mm hex bolt while the 9870 uses a slotted screwdriver head bolt. The 2mm hex is far superior. I guess it's something they thought of after 9870 was done and prior to 6870 coming onto the market.

They both shift the same and the shape is the same but for the better hood covers (and the $200 plus saving) I'd go with 6870 levers.

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by Zigmeister

Appreciate this thread, need to replace my broken/destroyed 9070 Di2 levers after a crash. Finding them is very difficult. Sometimes show up on eBay..but new, pricey compared to 6870.

I was getting tired of waiting for my overseas order online for the 9070 new levers I purchased. No shipping ETA, and trying to save a few bucks instead of getting them someplace in stock.

My idea was to try the 6870 instead. Besides no computer button on the 6870, they look nearly identical now with the redesign. Just the weight/some materials difference.

Also, I think it looks like the actual clamp on the 9070 is titanium? Have to take a closer look, but it is def/titanium color and not steel compare to the 6870. Could take my old clamps off my 9070, put them on the 6870, maybe save some weight, 10gms or so. Besides the weight difference, maybe that hood material which is mentioned, adds to the 6870 total weight as well?

The $200 savings is attractive as well for the 6870. And they work fine with DuraAce yeah. What to do?

Tired of waiting to ride again, so 6870s can be had within a few days online, compared to Di2 9070. Might just buy the 6870, do some weight comparisons on my scale of the hoods, clamps etc...for fun.

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by Junior7

My opinion:

6870 and 9070: I not see the difference

105 and 6870: changes dramatically, 6870 it is better

by Weenie

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Location: PNW

by eaglejackson

One feature the DA levers have that the Ultegra ones don't is the hidden button that is used to control a Garmin 520 (and other Garmins) if you have a D-Fly. If you have one of the right Garmins, then the D-Fly and DA hidden button is a very nice feature. I have two Di2 bikes, one with DA and the other Ultegra, and the Ultegra one I put DA levers on just for the hidden button. It's an expensive upgrade but worth it.

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