Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Robot Noises For (Almost) Any Bike

The D1x shifter unit.
Recently was sent a little black box. No......nothing top secret. This little black box came with some other stuff and is actually a shifter unit. An electronically controlled shifter unit. Yep. And right about now you are saying, "So what. That's nothing new for bikes." And that much is true. But- Can your Di2 be programmed to run 9 speed? Can your AXS electronic shifter shift through a 10 speed cassette? No? 

Well, the Archer Components D1x can. That's what I got to check out. While this is for a flat bar now, word is that they are working on a drop bar solution. In the meantime, I figured I'd give this gizmo a shot. It is all electronically controlled with the exception of about 4-5 inches of Bowden cable and housing back to your rear derailleur. (No front controller exists now, but y'all have been going nuts for 1X so most folks probably don't care)

Anyway, it works. It is a bit different than other electronic devices made for shifting because you have to turn it on when you first start out. Auto-shut off is adjustable from 'never' down to five minutes with a couple other choices in between of 30 or 15 minutes. That is all adjustable, along with other things, from the Archer Components app on a smart phone, either Android or iOS. 

The cool thing is that it uses what you have, is easily installed, and costs less than $400.00. Plus you can move it from bike to bike, adjust it to run 9,10.11, or 12 speed systems, and you can tune in each gear. Yep! Upon set up, you can fine tune each cog, if necessary. I didn't find that necessary, but hey! You could compensate for two or three worn cogs and still use the entire cassette. Neato! 

Anyway, I've got it, (and something top secret yet) mounted to a bike I have and I will be getting that all dirty here soon. Stay tuned to for more, and I'll mention it here too. 

NOTE: Archer Components sent over the D1X shifting system to Riding Gravel for test and review at no charge. I am not being paid, nor bribed, to post this here.


Skidmark said...

The difficulties of bringing to market such an idea/product as the D1x shifter would be an interesting story to know the details.

S.Fuller said...

Super stoked you got one of these. Interested in seeing how well it works, as well as if you think it's a useful bit of kit, or a solution in search of a problem.