Shimano and Garmin seemed poised for a partnership where Dura-Ace 9070 Di2 levers could control Garmin Edge computers.
At Eurobike last week, Shimano engineers and product managers gathered around a Dura-Ace Di2 9070-equipped bike at the Garmin booth, talking about the ‘happy accident’ that the 9070 group has a button on top of each shifter lever’s hood that could control external computers like, say, a Garmin Edge GPS computer.
Currently, newer Garmin Edge computers like the 810 and 1000 can be wirelessly controlled via a Garmin remote. This round remote seems primarily aimed at the triathlon market, as it can allow a rider to navigate through the various Edge pages while riding in the aero extensions. For road riders, however, the remote can be placed near the hands when riding on the tops, but it doesn’t offer anything like the convenience of being able to control the computer from the shifters themselves.
Years ago, Shimano had its own Flight Deck computer with wired, integrated control buttons that sat on the inside of the shifter hoods. Currently, Shimano does not have a wireless computer-control option — but the levers do have a button.
“It’s just a happy accident [there are buttons on the hoods],” Shimano’s road product manager Dave Lawrence jokingly told Garmin staffers at Eurobike. “We were just waiting for you.” Soon after, both parties ducked into the back room of Garmin’s booth.
When BikeRadar asked Shimano directly about the partnership discussions, some staffers said they couldn’t commit, while another said he thought a Garmin partnership unlikely, as Shimano has a relationship with Magellan (Mio) in the US and it might be a conflict. Shimano PR spokesman Nick Legan, however, told BikeRadar that “more information would be coming next week at Interbike,” but could not comment beyond that.
Garmin did not immediately respond to requests for information.
BikeRadar will be bringing you the latest gear news from Interbike, including whatever developments are brought to light with this Shimano-Garmin partnership.
Only the newest Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 levers have the hood-top buttons; mechanical Dura-Ace and newer Ultegra Di2 levers do not.