Etixx Di2 remix: Shimano shifters reinterpreted

Belgian powerhouse squad rewires and reconfigures satellite shifters

With Shimano Di2 electric shifting, you can shift wherever you can put a button. Stock, satellite options, however, have thus far been limited to so-called sprint shifters with a short wire length, and the climber switch, which Shimano designed to be operated with the thumb. At the Tour of Flanders, Etixx-Quick Step riders rolled out with four different satellite configurations — plus the standard lever shifters, of course — thanks to some ingenuity from team mechanics.   

Iljo Keiss and Stijn Vandenbergh both had sprint shifters on their handlebars almost touching their stems — a position similar to what Shimano proposed with the climber switch, but with much less bulk. To do so requiring splicing wires.  

Mechanic Kevin Desmedt told BikeRadar the team added a little wire on each to get the buttons where the riders wanted them.

Matteo Trentin had a stock climber switch — but positioned on the front of his handlebar, for use with the index finger instead of the thumb. He also had sprint shifters in the Shimano-prescribed position just below the hood clamp.

Zdenek Stybar had the Etixx-extended sprint shifters up high and tight on his handlebars, but his faced forwards, like Trentin's climber switch.

Zdenek stybar had the spliced sprinter shifters on the bar top, too — but on the opposite side as keisse: zdenek stybar had the spliced sprinter shifters on the bar top, too — but on the opposite side as keisse
Zdenek stybar had the spliced sprinter shifters on the bar top, too — but on the opposite side as keisse: zdenek stybar had the spliced sprinter shifters on the bar top, too — but on the opposite side as keisse

Stybar's front-mounted sprint shifters

Notably, all the riders but Trentin and Niki Terpstra used flat-top ergo handlebars. Keiss had the most dramatically shaped bars, the FSA K-Wing Compact.

Click through the gallery above for a closer look at the various Di2 configurations, plus other details on the bikes of Belgium's powerhouse squad.

Stijn vandenbergh has a more easily visible sprint shifter set-up. shimano desined the two-button climbing shifter for the thumb position, but many riders find it too cumbersome. this solution requires some ingenuity and wire splicing on the part of etixx mechanics: stijn vandenbergh has a more easily visible sprint shifter set-up. shimano desined the two-button climbing shifter for the thumb position, but many riders find it too cumbersome. this solution requires some ingenuity and wire splicing on the part of etixx mechanics
Stijn vandenbergh has a more easily visible sprint shifter set-up. shimano desined the two-button climbing shifter for the thumb position, but many riders find it too cumbersome. this solution requires some ingenuity and wire splicing on the part of etixx mechanics: stijn vandenbergh has a more easily visible sprint shifter set-up. shimano desined the two-button climbing shifter for the thumb position, but many riders find it too cumbersome. this solution requires some ingenuity and wire splicing on the part of etixx mechanics

Etixx mechanics spliced wires to extend the sprint shifters to this position

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team, Trek Boone 5, Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4, Marinoni fixed gear, Santa Cruz Roadster TT bike
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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