Shimano Dispatch, February 24, 2015
Palm Springs became a favorite winter resort for Hollywood’s beautiful rich for good reason. Temperatures here rarely dip below 70 degrees and there is always a patch of blue sky peeking through when the rest of California is blanketed by angry clouds and pelted by rain. But, we didn’t come here to be seen at fancy restaurants or sip umbrella cocktails at swim-up bars. Palm Springs sits at the foot of Mount San Jacinto, one of Southern California’s tallest peaks. Mountains flank the city like a formidible wall of stone, and hidden within their folds is an extensive and little known trail network. We were here to put Shimano’s electric Di2 XTR drivetrain to task in a very unforgiving desert environment.
Pinkbike, along with a hand-picked cadre of editors from North American media outlets, were invited by Shimano to take possession of the bikes of our choice, outfitted with electric shifting Di2 M9050 XTR drivetrain components. The plan was to familiarize ourselves with Di2’s variety of options and tuning features, then ride and repeat until each of us found a configuration that matched our riding styles. While they were at it, Shimano pimped out the bikes with its Pro cockpit accessories and its huge-for-Shimano, 24-millimeter inner-width, XTR Trail wheelset. Without question, many in attendance were riding bikes that were more valuable than their daily drivers.
Di2 for XTR was launched last year, but Shimano took their time releasing it, presumably to be sure that its product and support were in place before the media started talking about it in earnest. We will post an extended review after we get sufficient time on Di2 on our home trails, but in the meantime, if you want the short version of how Shimano’s Di2 XTR gets to it on the dirt, it put in a very convincing performance. I chose a Pivot Mach 4 Carbon to test Di2, because I am familiar with the bike, and also because Pivot was on board with Shimano since the inception of Di2 and as such, was the first brand to integrate it into a frame design with internal wiring and a hidden battery. Pivot designed molded plastic ports where the wires enter or exit the frame – one kit for Di2, and another for cables and hoses. The installation looks very tidy.