Homemade Di2 sprint/climbing shifters

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
CallumRD1
Posts: 129
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:54 pm

by CallumRD1

I upgraded to the Ultegra 8070 Di2 hydraulic disc brake groupset recently and wanted to add both sprint and climbing shifters to it. I knew going into it that Shimano and decided to remove the dedicated sprint shifter port on the hydraulic version of the latest Ultegra and Dura Ace STIs. Shimano does offer sprint shifters that plug directly into normal Di2 ports, but they're quite large and expensive. So I decided to work around the problem.

I began by purchasing a normal climbing shifter, model R600, and disassembling it. I was quite shocked to see how small the electronics in it are. Shimano made the housing for it very chunky quite needlessly. (Look at Chris Froome's customized climbing shifters to see how the bare climbing shifter can be implemented without any destructive modifications.)

I soldered wires onto the contact patches on the circuit board and connected them to a pair of momentary switches in parallel. This way pressing either button would complete the circuit and execute a shift. I had 2 switches per channel so that I could have both sprint and climbing shifters. Upon completion of the soldering I potted the circuit board and the switch terminals in hot glue to waterproof them. The switches were installed with a dab of hot glue and the circuit board and wiring were hidden under the bar tape. It all appears to be working perfectly, the only (non) issue being that I had neglected to remember which switch was up and which was down before soldering, so I had the left and right hand switches backwards (i.e. left hand switches move the rear derailleur to a harder gear and vice versa). This was easily rectified in the etube app by switching the roles of the buttons. All told this implementation took about an hour at a desk and 15 minutes to install.
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Edit: fixed typo

jorisee01
Posts: 268
Joined: Mon May 04, 2015 8:22 pm

by jorisee01

Nice

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PaulH
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:50 pm

by PaulH

How did you waterproof the solder on the switch?


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CallumRD1
Posts: 129
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:54 pm

by CallumRD1

I just used heat shrink around the joint and then put a blob of hot glue around the end of the heat shrink where it attaches to the switch. I haven't gotten the bike wet yet, but when I submerged the switch underwater for 10 minutes while periodically pressing the button it functioned as expected. (I was using a multimeter to check that the switch properly opened and closed.)

2old4this
Posts: 353
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:26 am

by 2old4this

Excellent work but I think you can even optimize it a little more :D
I've taken the board out from the lower plastic casing, and filled it with epoxy and put the board back. When the epoxy cured, I've used a dremel to get rid of the "extra thickness" from the bottom (that takes out ~3 mm off of the height) and the plastic "loops" on the sides. At this point, you can place the upper plastic part where the buttons are and waterproof the whole thing.
The entire thing is about 4 mms now :beerchug:

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IrrelevantD
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Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 5:47 pm
Location: Near DFW Airport

by IrrelevantD

Nice work. Was trying to figured out whey you had two sets of buttons comming out of the climb shifter for a minute there. I did similar with mine cutting an e-tube cable in half, splicing buttons to each side and plugging them into the ports on the brifters.
* There is a 70% chance that what you have just read has a peppering of cynicism or sarcasm and generally should not be taken seriously.
I'll leave it up to you to figure out the other 30%. If you are in any way offended, that's on you.

CallumRD1
Posts: 129
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:54 pm

by CallumRD1

2old4this wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:51 pm
Excellent work but I think you can even optimize it a little more :D
I've taken the board out from the lower plastic casing, and filled it with epoxy and put the board back. When the epoxy cured, I've used a dremel to get rid of the "extra thickness" from the bottom (that takes out ~3 mm off of the height) and the plastic "loops" on the sides. At this point, you can place the upper plastic part where the buttons are and waterproof the whole thing.
The entire thing is about 4 mms now :beerchug:
Not a bad idea. I didn't bother for my approach because I have aero shaped tops and I taped the shifting box to the bottom under the bar tape. I ride on the tops by just placing the heel of my hand on the tops so I never have to wrap my fingers around the box.

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rainerhq
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Location: Estonia

by rainerhq

2old4this wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:51 pm
Excellent work but I think you can even optimize it a little more :D
I've taken the board out from the lower plastic casing, and filled it with epoxy and put the board back. When the epoxy cured, I've used a dremel to get rid of the "extra thickness" from the bottom (that takes out ~3 mm off of the height) and the plastic "loops" on the sides. At this point, you can place the upper plastic part where the buttons are and waterproof the whole thing.
The entire thing is about 4 mms now :beerchug:
Did you take pictures of your job?
Domane
"Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride"

2old4this
Posts: 353
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:26 am

by 2old4this

I am afraid not, but I can post pictures of the "finished product" tonight...

2old4this
Posts: 353
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:26 am

by 2old4this

And here are a couple of pictures

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AmELerXy0Rtoh-9RC6M80TlSNoSrvw

TheDoctor
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:56 pm

by TheDoctor

Wanted to share my (very similar) homework as well... Followed the same basic approach to make small climbing shifters for a Dura Ace Di2 Disc 9170 setup, with the shifters only having ports for "smart" switches with the full circuitry, not for the "dumb" sprint shifters.

I purchased a (second hand) SW-R600 climbing shifter and took it apart; I was amazed to see how big the shifter is relative to the circuitry inside. In addition I got some small microswitches; these are available with different button lengths, I went with the shortest (~3mm) as these just protrude out of the bar tape - very low profile.

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A switch just sticking through bar tape

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Circuitry and microswitches

Soldering the wires onto the circuitry was precision work (left this to my dad the soldering expert :D ). The microswitches were soldered onto the other end. Filled up the little housing with sugru for waterproofing and for extra protection also covered it in heat shrink tubing. I also sealed the outside of the microswitches and soldered connection with sugru, giving the switches a smooth outside profile.

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All soldered up...

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...and sugru'd up too

Then came the installation onto the bike, my new Scott Addict Premium Disc. A gorgeous bike but the Di2 wiring on it, with an added EW-WU111 WiFi unit, was left very untidy by my lbs, so took the opportunity to improve that at the same time. The circuitry of the climbing shifter and the EW-WU111 were both plugged into the 2 ports of the left shifter, and both went into the left side of the handlebar, with a long Di2 wire running from the EW-WU111 through the inside of the handlebar to the bar end junction on the right side (took some fiddling to get the wire through, as well as a bit of modification work on the handlebar).

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The wiring

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EW-WU111 covered in some foam to avoid rattling

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The EW-R600 circuitry in heat shrink tubing

The wires to the two microswitches were taped up smoothly onto the handlebar with the switches positioned just left of the stem, near the tape end. This way I can easily shift with my left thumb when riding on top of the bars. Top button shifts to a lighter gear, bottom button to a larger gear.

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WiFi unit and shifter circuitry inside the left end of the bar, wires taped up

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Spot the switches

End result: very clean wiring, hardly visible climbing shifters, and a hidden WiFi unit as a bonus :thumbup:
Scott Addict Premium Disc
Specialized Tarmac SL4 Pro
Canyon Exceed CF SLX 8.0
Specialized Epic Comp

thefuzzycow
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:52 am

by thefuzzycow

Alright alright alright. So I'm going full Ultegra di2 2x on my 3T Eploro. 8070 brifters. I'm aware that the old r610 sprinters will NOT work, but, the new r9150 climbing shifters will.

I'm looking at two options now.

Option A: Hack a r600 climber like TheDoctor did above.
Questions regarding that option: I would want one to shift the rear up and the other to shift the rear down; nothing with the front. That works, right? Also, what would be the best way to waterproof those tiny buttons? :shock: haha

**OR**

Option B: Just get a set of the r9150 climbers, dremel out the back side of the shifter to sit flush with the handlebars and call it a day.

Thoughts?!?
"moo"
3T Exploro
Specialized CruX
Pivot Trail 429

thefuzzycow
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:52 am

by thefuzzycow

IrrelevantD wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:16 pm
Nice work. Was trying to figured out whey you had two sets of buttons comming out of the climb shifter for a minute there. I did similar with mine cutting an e-tube cable in half, splicing buttons to each side and plugging them into the ports on the brifters.
I'm a little confused. What buttons did you splice into the etube wire? Any more details on your "hack"?
"moo"
3T Exploro
Specialized CruX
Pivot Trail 429

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IrrelevantD
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Location: Near DFW Airport

by IrrelevantD

thefuzzycow wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:14 am
I'm a little confused. What buttons did you splice into the etube wire? Any more details on your "hack"?
Same buttons as here spliced onto an etube wire cut in half and then plugged directly into the shifters. They work exactly like the SW-R610 sprint shifters, just a bit smaller. They don't have the additional functionality of the climbing shifters, but if I'm climbing on the tops, I'm already out of gears anyway.
* There is a 70% chance that what you have just read has a peppering of cynicism or sarcasm and generally should not be taken seriously.
I'll leave it up to you to figure out the other 30%. If you are in any way offended, that's on you.

thefuzzycow
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:52 am

by thefuzzycow

Hmm, interesting. I’m still somewhat lost. First ever Di2 experience so I’m just trying to understand it all.
Last edited by thefuzzycow on Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"moo"
3T Exploro
Specialized CruX
Pivot Trail 429

by Weenie


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