Shimano are introducing a new Dura-Ace Di2 satellite shifter for quick rear gear changes while riding on the drops.
It has been developed especially for sprinters, allowing them to keep a firm grip on the handlebar while shifting, and it runs alongside the existing electronic shifters to provide an extra option.
A right hand satellite shifter will handle downshifts and a left hand one will take care of shifting up. These diddy switches can be mounted anywhere on the handlebar and plug easily into the existing dual control levers. We can’t see much benefit for everyday riders – these are aimed at sprinters only. Still, the option is there.
Shimano already exploit the advantage their electronic system has over a cable operated setup in terms of multiple shift options. They produce a switch that can be mounted on top of the bars to give a second shift position for climbers, while time trialists and triathletes can shift from both the ends of the aerobar extensions and from the brake units mounted to the base bar.
The new SW-7972 satellite shifters will be available from February, although the price has yet to be announced.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.