The Sm-ew90 Will Work in a System With an External Battery, but a Firmware
Baronial 8, 2020
BetterShifting Terry, Last updated
September 11, 2021
There are plenty of reasons for wanting to upgrade your old Di2 bicycle to a more modern setup. People have contacted me for advice on upgrading their bikes for the following reasons:
- Upgrade 11-speed to 12-speed Di2
- Upgrade from Ultegra 6770 10-speed Di2 to 11-speed Di2
- Replace broken parts and upgrade at the aforementioned time
- Enable Synchro-Shift by upgrading derailleurs/battery
- Improved shifting and ergonomics
- Tidy upwards wire routing and improve your bicycle’southward aesthetics
I could proceed because the list is virtually endless. Whatever your reasons, this page should reply whatever upgrade-related questions.
No 7970 – sorry!
Unfortunately, the DURA-ACE 7970 series as released in 2009 cannot be combined with modern components. Y’all could of form supervene upon every component on your wheel, but that would exist plush – and not what this folio is nigh.
The 7970 series was Shimano’s first Di2 road wheel serial and when they released Ultegra 6770 in 2011 they made some changes that render the DURA-ACE 7970 hardware incompatible with any newer Di2 hardware. This is almost obvious when looking at the plug. The older 4-wire system isn’t uniform with any current (2-wire) East-Tube component – y’all simply cannot connect them to each other.
If you would still like to upgrade your 7970 bike however, have a await at the
Building a Cycle guide
that lists the components you need to build a modern Di2 bike.
Knowing virtually the basic Di2 components and terminology volition assistance you sympathise the concepts explained on this page. If you feel something is missing here
delight let me know.
- Junction A: The junction box at the front of the bicycle. Either below the stalk, handlebar drops or the downtube. Usually a display on mountain bikes. Has a push, LEDs and a charging port.
Junction B: A “dumb” junction box that connects the rear (FD, RD, bombardment) to the front of the bike. Basically a 4 way splitter.
is the internal version,
the external one.
D-Fly / Wireless unit: Enables BluetoothLE / ANT on road bikes. Electric current generation units are the
(mounted virtually front of the wheel) and the
(mounted near the rear derailleur). The mountain bicycle displays besides feature the aforementioned connectivity.
These are optional. Not standard.
Note: the older
is too chosen “D-Fly”. This doesn’t support BluetoothLE notwithstanding, but private ANT (so it will not connect to your phone).
Unlike reasons for upgrading your Di2
Depending on the reasons for upgrading your cycle you lot’ll need to replace different things. Instead of writing i generic bit of text that covers everything only and then-so, I’ve taken the time to write an in-depth guide for each of the scenarios. If you think one is missing delight only send me a message and I’ll update and tweak this page every bit needed.
The scenarios covered on this page are:
- Upgrade 10 speed Ultegra 6770 Di2 to 11 speed Di2
- Upgrade to enable Di2 Synchro-Shift
- Upgrade your bike’south looks and clean upwards wire routing
I’ll also talk near other upgrades you can do such equally installing a Wireless Unit of measurement and internal batteries vs external battery mounts.
If you want to skip ahead but click any of the links above to go to the corresponding department.
The most important tool – Di2 Compatibility Charts
When it comes to figuring out what components will actually piece of work with your other components the Shimano E-Tube Compatibility Chart is invaluable. This document lists all E-Tube Di2 components (so no 7970).
Using it is unproblematic – you lot find the correct folio depending on your battery or battery mountain and so try to connect the boxes. If you can connect all the boxes by post-obit the lines, your selected components will work together.
The latest E-Tube Di2 compatibility charts tin can ever be found on the
E-Tube Project Website
Be sure to read the notes at the bottom of each section, considering sometimes there are limitations depending on the selected components.
Quick note on upgrading to 12-speed
Since Shimano has simply released their 12-speed Di2 groupsets, I thought I’d update this page with a little bit of data on that. A lot of users are interested in upgrading their existing 11-speed Di2 groupsets to 12-speed Di2.
Unfortunately, it’s not as like shooting fish in a barrel as just replacing the two derailleurs every bit y’all could before. This is mainly because the 12-speed components are not compatible with eleven-speed shifters at all.
At the time of writing, you’ll need to upgrade every Di2 component to 12-speed, otherwise it just won’t work. You
use your existing 11-speed crankset though, if y’all really want to.
I volition revisit this subject in a separate page, when the 12-speed dust has settled a chip.
Upgrade 10 speed Ultegra 6770 Di2 to 11 speed Di2
With the exception of the DURA-ACE 7970 series Di2 Shimano have actually been pretty good with regards to backwards compatibility. This means that information technology is relatively simple to upgrade an Ultegra 6770 x speed bike to 11 speed Di2.
The bare minimum you demand is two new derailleurs.
Yes, it actually is that simple. There are some caveats, of course – simply if you want to spend the to the lowest degree corporeality of money and however upgrade your Di2 bike to 11 speed so that’s all. Just buy ii 11 speed derailleurs and you’re done.
Now if I were to upgrade a x speed Di2 cycle to 11 speed Di2 I would likewise take the opportunity to upgrade some other parts, but we’ll get to that afterwards. Get-go let’due south have a look at upgrading the derailleurs.
New Rear Derailleur and Front Derailleur
As yous may have seen in the compatibility charts above, almost any combination of components will work. In this section I’m bold you lot take an Ultegra 6770 setup the way it was originally produced – with the
SM-BTR1 external battery
and either the
SM-BMR1 or the SM-BMR2 external battery mount.
This is the Di2 x speed setup we’re upgrading to 11 speed:
SM-BTR1 external battery
- Battery mount:
- Junction A:
- Junction B:
- Front derailleur:
- Rear derailleur:
Allow’south accept a look at the
compatibility charts. Scroll down to
“DI2 with SM-BMR1/SM-BMR2/SM-BTR2”. At the fourth dimension of writing this is page 3 of the PDF file.
Offset at the top and follow the lines connecting the ‘Master Unit’ (battery/mount),Junction A and Shift units, until y’all become to the derailleurs. You lot’ll see that the line splits into 10 speed on the left and eleven speed on the correct.
Note that once you’ve selected a 10 speed rear derailleur y’all cannot combine that with an 11 speed front end derailleur. Information technology is the aforementioned the other way around – you cannot combine a 10 speed front derailleur with an 11 speed rear derailleur.
Just in case y’all were thinking of only upgrading the rear derailleur and keeping your existing 10 speed front derailleur – information technology probably wouldn’t work. I say probably, because originally this worked simply fine. At some point Shimano adamant that using a ten speed front derailleur and 11 speed rear derailleur did non provide the user feel they wanted and they disabled this in a firmware update.
So yes… if you never ever
update the firmware
on any of your components and discover an 11 speed rear derailleur with actually old firmware then you can employ that with your existing 10 speed front end derailleur. Merely really, save yourself the hassle and but upgrade both derailleurs.
What derailleurs should you get though? The skilful news is that you can use whatsoever eleven speed Di2 road or grx derailleur. You cannot use a mountain bike derailleur with a route derailleur, but mixing road and grx works only fine. Once again though, Di2 components from the same series take been designed to work together and will work better than using a road front derailleur with a GRX rear derailleur for example.
Personally I’grand a big fan of
the R8050 derailleur
– the short muzzle version volition accept cassettes up to ten-30T which is pretty adept for virtually of us. They’re also a bit more flexible than the 6870 series derailleurs when it comes to synchronized shifting.
You tin go along your existing 6770 shift levers if you desire. You can even keep that
junction box and your old external battery and bombardment mount. They will all work with newer Di2 derailleurs.
If yous want to utilise synchronized shifting past the way, practise read the
section on Synchronized Shifting
– it explains the blank minimum synchronized shifting requirements.
Well-nigh those caveats..
However, if yous rush off to your favourite webshop exist aware that even though the compatibility charts country that these components will piece of work together, they may in reality non work at all when you install them.
You may be required to update the firmware on your old components.
Since the wheel setup nosotros’re talking about here uses the
Junction you lot cannot simply
connect the bike to a Windows computer
update the firmware
– in that location is no mode to connect this bicycle to your computer. The firmware on an
bicycle can only be updated using the
These units are relatively expensive and virtually consumers will have no use for them. They merely do diagnostics and do not accuse the bike. It is therefore a good idea to ask your local bike shop whether or non they accept one of these units and what it’d price to update the firmware on your bicycle.
As well, when someone brought me a crashed or “bricked”
I could not restore it using my
SM-PCE02. I spoke to Shimano about this and they suggested using the older SM-PCE1 instead – and this indeed managed to restore the battery mountain firmware. I therefore recommend not updating the
if at all possible. If you do have to update the battery mount please become a friendly bike shop to do it for yous.
Note: upgrade the rear derailleur only – if you’re feeling audacious
So… information technology
actually possible to upgrade your wheel to 11 speed by simply upgrading the 6870 rear derailleur. Nevertheless, as you’ve read above, Shimano has blocked this in firmware. If y’all’re brave and feel similar
the 6870 rear derailleur to firmware version 2.5.ii then you
FD-6770. Proceed in listen though that y’all will never be able to upgrade your
firmware – if y’all practice, the bicycle will stop working until you lot upgrade the front derailleur.
Upgrade to Enable Synchro-Shift
Synchronized Shifting is available on
road bikes, mountain bikes and also on Shimano Di2 gravel bikes
– the GRX Di2 series.
While road and grx are the same ‘category’ to E-Tube Project, mountain bikes are a category all on their own. You may not care about the ‘category’ your bike falls into and rightly so, but this isn’t just about semantics – the synchronized shift requirements are different for road/grx and MTB.
In gild to use Synchronized Shifting on Road/GRX bikes you need whatsoever two of these derailleurs:
will Non synchro-shift)
You will likewise need a modern battery or battery mount. Those originally released with the 6770, 6870 and 9070 series won’t do.
If you’re using an internal battery this should be the
BT-DN110. The older
will Non work. Does your bike use an external battery? In that instance y’all will demand the external battery mount
Of class you lot could also upgrade your external battery mount to the internal battery, simply keep in heed that information technology is not a simple bombardment swap. In that case you besides need:
Do you have an SM-EW67A?
If you lot upgraded a 6770 Di2 cycle to 6870 or newer it is possible that you still have an
junction installed. This isn’t compatible with the
BM-DN100, so yous’ll have to upgrade that too.
This is not a bad thing – the modern junctions
not merely allow you to charge batteries (internal simply), but as well
update firmware using a Windows computer
Mountain Bikes and Synchronized Shift
Synchronized Shift has been available on mount bikes long before the
BT-DN110 internal battery
external battery mount were released. The Synchro Shift requirements for mount bikes are therefore a flake more complicated.
You don’t necessarily need a new battery or mount, simply a display is required.
Each of these combinations will enable Synchronized Shifting.
SM-BMR1 / SM-BMR2
as used in 3) and 4) does not feature wireless connectivity and therefore tin be used with any battery or bombardment mount.
It’southward not simply almost hardware – firmware updates
Depending on the components yous’ve installed and when you last updated them you may also have to
upgrade your firmware. In some cases the newer firmware enables features like synchronized shifting – on the 6870 and 9070 serial for example.
In other cases
updating your firmware
is required to brand the components “come across” each other – the bike only won’t work without updating firmware.
Do you use an external bombardment? So you probably do not have the
internal bombardment charger or ane of the SM-PCE units. This means that you cannot
update firmware yourself. In this instance information technology can be worth it getting the local bike shop to exercise your upgrade or buy an
or SM-PCE02 yourself.
Note on Synchronized Shifting using 6870 / 9070 series
If you’re thinking of upgrading your bike to the 6870 or 9070 series, consider getting a newer front end derailleur instead. The
limit the flexibility of synchronized shifting setup in a strange fashion. The point at which the bike shifts from the big to small band tin only be set to the final two sprockets or cogs on the cassette (the easiest gears).
This means that you will come across some cross chaining before the bike automatically shifts from the big to the minor ring.
When I commencement ran into this limitation I tried every possible combination of E-Tube settings and even swapped out my
– it made no difference. Information technology wasn’t until I got my hands on R8050 series derailleurs that I realised that the limiting cistron was the
The image below describes this better than I can:
What you’re looking for are the white boxes underneath the ‘50T / Top’. These are the gears you can move the light blue coloured box to – this is the gear at which the bike will shift from the big to small ring.
Whether or non the cross chaining is enough to put you lot off
(full) Synchronized Shifting
is upward to yous. It is at the very least something to exist aware of.
Upgrade your wheel’due south looks and improve wire routing
With the focus on aerodynamics and clean looking bikes lately people have been trying to greatly reduce the amount of visible cables on their bikes. Shimano’southward Di2 flexibility lets y’all hands upgrade your older components to make your bike’due south cockpit area a little cleaner.
At that place are several ways to do this, and so let’s discuss each on its own. It’s upwardly to y’all do make up one’s mind whether or non each of these is worth implementing on your wheel.
Swap that external battery for an internal BT-DN110
While this isn’t possible on every bike, moving from an external to an internal battery is definitely at the superlative of my list when tidying up a cycle. External batteries are usually located either underneath the bottom bracket or mounted to 1 of the canteen cages.
Swapping it out for the internal battery isn’t equally elementary as just buying the bombardment – there’s quite a bit more to think of and it’due south relatively expensive. Still, this manner you not merely improve the way the cycle looks, yous’re as well adding a PC interface to the cycle.
Keep in mind though that this volition just work if at that place is a way for the Electric Wire connecting the bombardment to enter the frame. Di2 wires are merely 2mm in bore, but the plug itself is 5mm.
If you lot are unsure whether or not this will work on your frame consider ownership just one
to try this out with the real affair.
First of all, moving the battery to a new location will require at least one new and longer
EW-SD50 Electric Wire. If your bike allows you to hide the
junction B in the frame and so y’all might likewise do that besides. The
is just a four way splitter and it is relatively cheap. Keep in mind that you may need longer Electrical Wires here too though.
Charging your brand new internal bombardment can only be washed through the Junction A. Any Junction A will do, except
– this doesn’t take a accuse port. Installing the SM-EW90 /
will also let you to
connect your bike to a Windows estimator
using the charger – the
SM-BCR2. Aye, you lot’ll need to buy a new charger too.
Finally, securing the battery in the seatpost tin be done using bubble wrap or a piece of cloth – my preferred way is to use a
Di2 seatpost bombardment holder.
Supercede your SM-EW67A
While it is completely possible and valid to apply the
junction with an R9150 setup, this junction has seen better days. Nowadays you should actually be using at to the lowest degree the SM-EW90 or
on route bikes and a display on mountain bikes.
Not but do these newer junctions allow you to charge internal batteries, they also let you apply synchronized shifting and connect your wheel to a computer.
was originally designed every bit an OEM office, allowing bike shops to quickly build a Di2 bike using standard components. To make things simpler it came with three electric wires built into the junction.
If you are replacing yours with a newer junction keep in mind that you will also need 2 or three new
E-Tube electric wires
– to both shifters and junction B.
Eliminate the EW-JC130 Y-splitter
Most modern road bikes come with the handlebar/frame junction
installed – and unremarkably the
Y-splitter cablevision as well. This makes sense, because this is how Shimano describes the cockpit setup in their
dealer manuals. Also, it’ll requite you the greatest amount of spare E-Tube ports – in instance you ever want to install two extra shift buttons for case.
is connected to the left shifter and the
junction and then runs all the way to the internal Junction B using the inline junction
and a long
EW-SD50 wire. Again, this setup makes sense for nearly people. That
await a flake bulky however.. and if yous practice not need more than one spare port there is a way around them.
It is of import to recollect that the Di2 system itself does not care how it is continued. Every bit long as components are connected to the rest of the arrangement, they will work. This alternate setup uses that flexibility to tidy things up a fleck.
The left shift lever has two E-Tube ports. Use the top port to run a 450-600mm long E-Tube wire to the meridian port of the correct shift lever. Now connect the correct shift lever to the
using a 150-250mm long E-Tube wire. Using the other port on the
EW-RS910, run a single
EW-SD50 Electric Wire
to your internal junction B. This wire will exist about 900-1200mm long.
Non sure well-nigh wire length? Read this page on
selecting the correct Di2 wire length for your bicycle.
Y’all take now connected both shifters to each other and continued those to the handlebar junction. That junction then connects the shifters to the residuum of the bike. This effectively removes both the
from the setup.
Downside of this method? You lot only have 1 spare Eastward-Tube port – the i on the left shifter. If you desire to connect the
SW-R9150 satellite shifters
y’all’ll need two ports. Also, in my opinion this method works best if you can run the electric wire from left to right shifter through the handlebars. Otherwise you’ll still have an exposed wire running along the handlebars.
Hide your EW-WU111 Wireless Unit
Shimano’s dealer manuals state that the
EW-WU111 Wireless Unit
should be installed exterior the frame – ordinarily between the
and the Junction B. Because it is essentially the same size and shape as the
inline junction that’s already installed on nearly modern bikes this makes sense, it is a unproblematic bandy.
If your bike doesn’t employ the
though, where would you lot put the
EW-WU111? You could install information technology between the SM-EW90 junction and a shifter using a 150mm electric wire, or between Junction A and Junction B.
Neither of these methods is ideal – they both add together an extra unit to the front of the bike and I personally don’t like the way this looks.
Instead add the
to your handlebar drops. You do non have to connect both ends of the
EW-WU111. It is perfectly fine to connect just one end of information technology and leave the other side disconnected. It will work only fine.
If yous do not have the
installed in your handlebars you can install the D-wing to either the left or the right side (drop). Do y’all have the
EW-RS910? Then either install the Wireless Unit of measurement on the other side or install it inline between the
and the shifter.
And yeah.. the Shimano dealer manuals country that the
must be installed outside the frame – doing otherwise could cause bike estimator signal loss issues. The drops are and then shut to your bicycle computer however that this volition piece of work without problem – I have never heard of bug when the D-fly is installed here.
Some people put the
in the seatpost. While this may piece of work in most cases, keep in mind that it was intended to be installed outside the frame and that the distance between seatpost and bike caput unit is much greater than that between driblet and head unit of measurement.
Which Junction? SM-EW90-A vs SM-EW90-B
Have you decided to install an
SM-EW90 Junction A? If you’ve already checked your favourite web store for prices you lot may have seen that in that location are two versions of the SM-EW90 below-the-stem junction: the SM-EW90-A and SM-EW90-B.
The departure is in the number of E-Tube ports on the junction. The
has 3 ports while the -B version has five ports.
And then which one practise y’all need?
More often than not speaking the iii port
will do just fine. Information technology depends on the amount of shifters you lot want to install and the corporeality of ports yous need. Keeping in heed that each shift lever has 2 E-Tube ports (except
ST-R785, they have just one) and some have a dedicated sprint shifter port, a three port
should be plenty for almost road bikes.
Time Trial bikes tend to not utilise traditional STI levers and each TT shifter has but ane E-Tube port. For this reason information technology makes sense to install the
on Time Trial bikes – you simply need the actress ports to connect four shifters.
This doesn’t hateful y’all cannot employ the
on TT bikes of course – people use that as well. They tend to add together one or two
junctions to the base bar or stalk to add more E-Tube ports to the arrangement. The
is only a “impaired” four-way splitter and you can have as many of those as yous like.
If you become this route your biggest claiming would be to observe a way to secure the extra
junctions somewhere out of sight.
Questions? Shopping links!
I hope this guide helped you upgrade your older Di2 bike to a more current setup. Of course feel free to
send me any questions
– that’s what I’g here for!
If yous feel similar shopping at
yous can use the links beneath to back up the site. Whatsoever purchase y’all make will earn the site a small committee, at no extra cost to you.