How To: Update Shimano Di2 to Multishift, Customize Button Function & Change Shift Speed

Shimano Di2 firmware and software update procedure and tech tips

We’ve seen some pretty crazy mods to Di2 over the years, from single button up-or-down shifting that automatically selects the best gear combo to custom buttons integrated into non-stock placements. Those are cool, but for most of us, just being able to fine tune the Di2 we already have is all the hacking we’re comfortable doing.

Fortunately, Shimano makes it pretty easy for dealers to help you customize your system. Unfortunately, they’ve not done the best job spreading the word to riders that such options are available, largely leaving it up to the bike shops and resellers to convey the message at the time of purchase.

To do that, they need the software and SM-PCE1 adapter from Shimano, which connects their computer to the Di2 system. Those allow them to run diagnostics, updated the firmware and customize the way it works. Our local Trek Bicycles Greensboro just happens to have the device, so we brought in our 6770 Ultegra Di2 group for a long overdue update.

Shift past the break to see how it works and what your options are…

Shimano Di2 firmware and software update procedure and tech tips

The SM-PCE1 is the relay between a PC and the Di2 battery holder and shifter.

Shimano Di2 firmware and software update procedure and tech tips

To connect it, remove one of the auxiliary plugs from a shifter to free up a port, and connect the other cable to your battery holder. It’ll sense the parts by being hooked up to just the shifter, but we had issues getting it to consistently work (kept trying to update just the battery holder) until we connected both cords.

Shimano Di2 firmware and software update procedure and tech tips

The first step is a Connection Check. It shows all the parts in your system, then works its way through the system to ensure it can properly communicate with everything.

Shimano Di2 firmware and software update procedure and tech tips

They’ll become outlined in green to confirm it can talk to each part. From here, you can select some or all of the parts you want to update, but best to just get them all modernized together.

Shimano Di2 firmware and software update procedure and tech tips

If it then shows up yellow, it means the parts have an update available. Hit “Finish” and it’ll tell you what updates are available and allowed. Hit OK and Update and away it goes.

Shimano Di2 firmware and software update procedure and tech tips

Parts will turn green as they’re updated, and a progress bar lets you know how it’s going. From start to finish it only took about 10 minutes.

Shimano Di2 firmware and software update procedure and tech tips

After the firmware update completes, run another connection check to get this screen so you can customize it. On the image above, we had unselected the battery, which is why it is gray, and it wouldn’t let us customize anything. We were trying this because we kept having it tell us the battery holder needed to be updated, but plugging in the second cord directly to the battery holder solved the problem. So, your screen should show everything green if you want to be able to customize it.

Shimano Di2 firmware and software update procedure and tech tips

Hit “Customize” and you’ll get to this screen with three options: Switch Shift Functions, Rear Derailleur Adjustments and Multishift Mode Settings.

Shimano Di2 firmware and software update procedure and tech tips

Switch Shift Functions brings you here and lets you dictate which buttons do what. If you want the little button to perform upshifts for both front and rear, or switch rear shifting to the left hand, you can do it here. Climber buttons can also be tweaked if you have them.

Shimano Di2 firmware and software update procedure and tech tips

The Rear Derailleur Adjustments mimics what you can do on the bike with the controller box included in the Di2 system. The Adjustment Setting simply fine tunes the derailleur’s position on the cog. You can then click the buttons on the screen to shift to test out your adjustments.

Shimano Di2 firmware and software update procedure and tech tips

The next screen is the speed settings and on/off toggle for Multishift.

Shimano Di2 firmware and software update procedure and tech tips

Multishift gives you the option of holding down the rear shift button and having it run through multiple gears. Depending on which Di2 group you have, it may or may not be turned on out of the box. The first option lets you set the speed at which it’ll shift between gears in Multishift. It does not affect the speed of individual shifts when you’re just tapping the button once.

Shimano Di2 firmware and software update procedure and tech tips

The second lets you set how many gears it’ll run through – two, three or unlimited. Honestly, you can tap the buttons manually to shift two or three times faster than Multishift will do it, so No Limit makes more sense. No Limit will continue shifting for as long as you hold the button, from one end to the other.

Here’s a video comparison showing Multishift on the slowest and fastest option:

Shimano’s tech reps say “Fast” is probably best. Fastest runs the risk of having the chain float on top of the cogs if you’re really hammering. That’s also why they don’t make it shift any faster. We’ve shown you before that you can still shift through the entire cassette faster by pressing the button rapidly, but the convenience sure is nice.

Shimano Di2 firmware and software update procedure and tech tips

Once you’ve got it set the way you want it, you’ll run the Complete Setup procedure to lock in the changes. It’ll then bring you back to this screen. If the red line through the graphic goes away, you know everything can be safely disconnected. Then just run your bike through the gears to make sure it all works as expected.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

The updates and customization shown here can be performed on any E-tube Di2 system. That means all but the original Dura-Ace 7970 Di2. The 6770 Ultegra Di2, which we have here, was released prior to the multishift option, so to get it you’ll have to update it. The newer DA 9070 comes with Multishift turned on and the speed set at Medium. When the new Ultegra 6870 ships later this year, it’ll also be programmed with it on. You can also update Alfine Di2.

For bikes that come with the new internal BCR2 seatpost Di2 battery, the charger doubles as a PC connector for owners to be able to upgrade the system at home.

Don’t have that? Check the Dealer Locator on Shimano’s website for a list of authorized service centers. Shops that have it are required to maintain updated training on it, and anytime the software launches, it alerts the shop if there’s an update necessary before it’ll run.

Huge thanks to the Trek Store Greensboro for running us through the process. They charge $25 for an update, or free if you bought the parts or bike from them. It takes about 20 to 40 minutes.

Semi-related: As we learned when we rode the new Shimano hydraulic road disc brakes, you can drop the new hydro Di2 levers into an existing E-tube system without having to change the rest of your drivetrain. The rear mech tells the system how many gears you have and the shifters adapt accordingly…but you do have to run a full update as shown here to make it all work.

And if you want to get crazy, contact Fair Wheel Bikes.

Comments

mateo - 10/23/13 - 10:04am

Just to be picky, 6070 isn’t a group. You’ve got 6770.

heatwave23 - 10/23/13 - 10:08am

lol… Only a matter of time before some crappy firmware update comes out and screws up things for a lot of people.

Having to go to a shop and possibly pay $25 for a firmware update is ridiculous! Changes to functionality I understand the rational in letting a trained service provider to it.

Like most devices Shimano should have allowed customers to update firmware on their own via usb able or something like ANT+ or they should cover the shops expense to do it since firmware updates a since they are typically released to resolve issues with the product. What other other devices charge for firmware updates?

heatwave23 - 10/23/13 - 10:14am

English and multitasking is not my strong suit

lol… Only a matter of time before some crappy firmware update comes out and screws up things for a lot of people.

Having to go to a shop and possibly pay $25 for a firmware update is ridiculous! Changes to functionality I understand the rational in letting a trained service provider to it.
Like most devices Shimano should have allowed customers to update firmware on their own via usb cable or something like ANT+ or they should cover the shops expense to do it since firmware updates are typically released to resolve issues with the product. What other devices charge for firmware updates?

Anthony Guglielmo - 10/23/13 - 10:53am

@heatwave23 Shimano doesn’t charge $25 for the firmware, the shop charges it for the time and the fact they bought the $200 tool. No one is preventing an owner from purchasing the tool or downloading the software directly from Shimano. Of course USB could have been built in if you wanted to create a serial to USB converter since the e-tube system isn’t necessarily based on USB. Its no different than cars and ODBII and CANBUS, your car doesn’t come with a USB hookup. Download here http://e-tubeproject.shimano.com/

mateo - 10/23/13 - 10:57am

@heatwave – The firmware updates in this case are primarily to add features, not fix issues.

The customer does have the option of doing it themselves if they want to purchase the tool. I believe the MSRP is $199.

Paul - 10/23/13 - 11:02am

@heatwave23

Actually you can update DI2 by yourself just fine. 9070 and 6870 can be updated with the free to download etube software and the included USB charger. 7970 requires a diagnostic tool and if you upgrade 6770 to a 9070 level junction box the diagnostic tool is no longer required for updates.

Bill - 10/23/13 - 11:03am

heatwave – I think the idea is you’d spend 25$ and have the shop do it vs buying the programming module and software. Just like you can have a headset installed for 25$, or buy yourself a headset press and extractor and do it yourself. You’re still using a mechanic’s time, and tools.

LULZ - 10/23/13 - 11:07am

Hey heatwave – support your local bike shop

WoofWoof - 10/23/13 - 11:11am

Heatwave needs to stay out of the sun. The ability to upgrade the Di2 systems is good stuff.

bin judgin - 10/23/13 - 11:40am

Seeing the people who own DI2 and their total inability to function as mechanics, this is best kept behind shop walls. “Did you touch the junction box?” “No, it just won’t shift right”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes”
“You touched it”
“Ok I did”

deboat - 10/23/13 - 12:11pm

Welcome to the future… I think it started from video games… DLC
Yes .. you have to pay!!
If it was a patch to fix something that could be considered warranty then it would be free but if it is for extra stuff then pay up…

heatwave23 - 10/23/13 - 12:32pm

Again I am all about supporting my bike shop for a service that requires functionality changes outside the default settings. I can understand how that may require training but for a firmware update? Get real… why should I have to pay someone to click next next or spend a additional 200 clams to do it my self?

perfect example is when I purchased the garmin vector pedals and they came with everything required for firmware updates.

Adam - 10/23/13 - 12:56pm

This tool is not required to do the update. I do the same thing with the SM-EW90 Junction box that’s mounted under my stem and the charger SM-BCR2 that came with my Di2 9070. The only other thing I need is a micro-usb cable to go from the laptop to SM-BCR2.

heatwave23 - 10/23/13 - 12:59pm

Bill unless the manufacturer of that headset is releasing firmware updates I am not sure it is a fair comparison.

And looking at their site for the firmware updates things like “Energy saving” in version 2.0.1 seems more like a fix than added functionality

eric - 10/23/13 - 1:27pm

It seems to me that if you can afford a new Di2 bike…then I doubt getting charged $25 for an update or tweaks is a big deal. Or…like they mentioned…you could support the local shop from the start by buying the parts and/or bike there and possibly have them do the update for free.

Riley - 10/23/13 - 1:35pm

@ heatwave23- I feel like if I knew you, we wouldn’t be friends. I don’t think you “get it” and probably never will.

Stamps - 10/23/13 - 2:42pm

@heatwave…dude, do you wanna spend $200 for the tools to improve shifting functionality? or do you just go by your local bike shop, pay the shop $25 for their time to set up your bike?

Its not like you have to do updates everyday like an ipod. This likely would be the only time you’d likely have to do a firmware update your di2.

Support your local shop that spends the $ to have the tools on hand so you don’t have to order the part that you may use only once (ie the headset tool argument from above). Or spend a lot of your own time and potentially more $ (i’m sure both your time and money are valuable) to DIY.

heatwave23 - 10/23/13 - 3:08pm

@ Stamps they are already on the 3rd firmware update
http://e-tubeproject.shimano.com/history.html?type=road-bikes&series=&model=RD-9070

@ Riley yep

heatwave23 - 10/23/13 - 4:02pm

@ Adam… nice info thanks!

drider - 10/23/13 - 4:15pm

heatwave23, stop whining and spend the $200, cheapo. Who rides Di2 and cries about $200? People who have way too much time on their hands.

Reminds me of people who go and buy an AMG SLK something or the other on heavy payments but can’t afford to fix a broken tail light.

Champs - 10/23/13 - 4:29pm

I’m just waiting for someone to hack in DoubleTap…

fred - 10/23/13 - 5:40pm

Why does a bike need a flipping firmware update now? I am definitely sticking with mechanical shifting.

Greg - 10/23/13 - 6:15pm

I paid to have the firmware update in May of this year to my Ui2. Freaking awesome.
I chose fast speed, and 3 gear multishift.
I think my LBS charged me only $15. Well worth it.
Very few people that ride electronic shifting will ever switch back to mechanical.

Joey Brown - 10/23/13 - 7:30pm

@Greg – Your very last statement is spot on! I’m a recent convert and can’t imagine going back to mechanical. Don’t make the mistake of trying unless you can afford it. I never touched until I could afford it :)

bbb - 10/23/13 - 7:48pm

Now I really feel like I need to update my bar end shifters to change multiple gears at once.

Oh, wait…

Mr. Marbles - 10/23/13 - 10:10pm

Reading this article, I can’t help but be reminded of how fleeting electronics are. In four years, will this even be supported anymore?

slowpoke - 10/23/13 - 11:51pm

almost as fast as my mechanical campy drivetrain shifts across multiple gears!

Matt - 10/24/13 - 1:31am

It would seem that as electronic shifting gains in popularity and market share, the ability to easily customize the experience to the user and application will be the biggest advantage over mechanical shifting. Hard to believe that someday sooner rather than later, mechanical shifting will be “retro!”

Sean - 10/24/13 - 5:00am

How do the hydraulic levers ‘adapt’ when they are just dumb switches?

Sean R. - 10/24/13 - 8:46am

Complainers are gonna complain, pretty sure that if Shimano gave away hundred dollar bills to heatwave, he’d bitch that he has nowhere to put them and Shimano and his LBS (which I’m sure rolls their eyes when he rolls in) should provide a new wallet to him for his trouble.

When 9070 was released it came with multi-shift, then Shimano let you use it on the older 6770 group, was that worth a firmware update?

Bill - 10/24/13 - 3:30pm

@heatwave – I see you’re getting beat up a bit here, but think of it this way. You said if headset makers make an update etc, it not being a fair comparison..

This is one of the cool things about electronics + software, IMO. With mechanical parts, replacement is really the only upgrade (other than maybe a titanium bit here and there depending on the part). as sofwate improves, and ideas surface with electronics however, you can keep the same parts and get improved functionality with a software update. Being able to do that yourself is great, and possible with many other pieces of electronic hardware (garmins, G3 powertaps, etc) but this also lets you do reconfiguring as well as updating “bug fix” type issues, so to me, that’s an upgrade, and one if I were running electronic groups, I’d have little problem paying for.

So Chris King after ten? years decided “ok, actually we recognize ceramic bearings are an upgrade and we’ll stop saying they aren’t.” you want that upgrade? Buy a new hub at 2-300$, and pay to get it replaced/retrofit your old bearings, or have your own replacement tools and DIY. With electronics and software, you get similar benefits (like, “hey, after some use, we decided faster shifting is better, you don’t have to replace your Di2 group”) for much lower cost. Much like mechanical improvements though, you’re paying for labor and expertise over buying the tools and figuring it out yourself. Can you or I update firmware ourselves? Yes, probably, but does it make sense to put the hardware inside the Di2 units to allow every owner to do it? I don’t know, in this weight conscious world, maybe not. Even adding a simple Micro or Mini-USB interface adds cost and weight to an already expensive system, and what’s the point of having to seal one more port, and having to ship thousands of units with something few people will feel the need or have the know-how to do themselves?

Out for a Ride - 10/24/13 - 8:05pm

I think Heatwave’s original point makes sense. Pressing in a headset and tuning a derailleur take skill and experience and tools that a local shop can provide. Downloading software updates isn’t in the same category. I’d hate to have to take my computer in to my local computer store get the latest version of Adobe reader because it uses a proprietary connector… it’s tedious enough to do it at home through the internet. If you’re really worried about your lbs, then install the software and bike over and give them $20 to compliment you on a successful update.

heatwave23 - 10/25/13 - 10:02am

Honestly I am surprised I got this caught up in this post because I don’t really have a dog in this fight. I don’t own Di2, I personally think it is a bad idea and it will be a sad day if mechanical shifting goes away. I am not against advancement I would like to see more development in hydraulic shifting. I see a lot you guys have drank the Di2 Kool Aid and are convinced you like the taste, good for you or bike shop people that think charging people to click next, next, next is a smart way to increase profits. I am not here to convince either of you otherwise.

My only point was I do not know of many other consumer devices that do not come with everything needed for the owner to perform firmware updates and I think it would have been nice if Shimano followed that trend.

Sean R. - 10/25/13 - 1:32pm

You’re killing me. 1.you don’t need to tell us that you don’t own DI2….it’s obvious. 2. the new generation with the internal battery comes with a charging cable that you can use to update your system. 3. hydraulic shifting huh,….are you going to blow a gasket when your LBS charges you to install/service/bleed that stuff?

Trust me, mechanical shifting isn’t going anywhere. And the newest Shimano systems are better and less expensive because of things they learned from DI2.

Darryl - 10/26/13 - 7:14am

Heatwave, try updating your TV or blueray player.
You need to take it to an authorised dealer to run firmware updates and get charged heaps more than the local LBS will.

If you bring your Di2 ino our shop with something like a fast draining battery and the problem turns out to be firmware, then it is warranty.
If on the other hand it turns out to be a defective rear derailleur because you damaged a seal and drowned it and we found the problem in 2 minutes because of this tool, what is there to criticise?

Being able update the firmware means that these systems will continue to be current until a mechanical restriction stops them from being compatible.

Bring me your 10 speed Ultegra and I’ll make it eleven with only a couple of mechanical changes instead of a complete upgrade.

For disabled riders, being able to customise button shifts is just so good it cannot be rated how high the goodness factor is.

The development of electronic geartrains has bought advances in mechanical shifting with huge reductions in lever force and accuracy because of the research required to create a battery system.

Ask a tri guy how good it is to have shifters on the aero as well as the basebar positions.

Electronic is the future and it will drag mechanical benefits along with it for a long time to come.

Dane - 10/27/13 - 2:36am

Im proud to see so many posts supporting their local bike shops. More so than ever we can sit behind a screen and scoff, ridicule, and judge with little repercussions. Its refreshing to see so many with the forethought to build their relationship with their local lbs. Maybe you get a lot more for your 25 bucks than just a firmware update. Maybe you get that bent derailed hanger noticed, a huge cut in your front tire looked at, or simply have a conversation with another human face to face. Maybe you find out about a local brewery, or coffee shop where they put the cool little designs on top. Maybe you make a friend, who helps you.

Stamps - 10/27/13 - 7:54am

Heatwave…why are you all up in the Di2 Kool Aid when you definitely don’t know the flavor?

JoshW - 11/11/13 - 10:05pm

I’m thinking of running di2 as a 1×10 or 1×11 set up on my ‘cross bike. With the programmable set up, can I make it so BOTH buttons on the right lever shift ONE way, and BOTH buttons on the left lever shift the other way? I find it difficult to distinguish between the two buttons on a shifter with thick gloves and numb fingers. I was hoping I could just jab away at either side to shift in either direction. thanks

Adam - 11/27/13 - 4:51pm

I have just ordered a dura ace 9070 group set and am running an external battery. I went for the front junction that clips to the brake cables which has the cables built in that go to the levers. Could I have gone for the under stem junction and if so could I charge my external battery from this point rat here that removing the battery a putting in the charger. Also my local bike shops don’t have the 11 speed interface so can I connect direct to my PC if I use the under stem junction, thanks

enrico - 12/09/13 - 12:52pm

did i understand it right! this update is not working on the dura ace 7970 version correct?

thanks for your help folks….

Peter - 01/09/14 - 8:36pm

Quick note on this as I just completed updating my Volagi. I suspect most people will initially plug the USB interface into the shifter on the handlebars, that’s fine, but when you check connectivity and prepare to update, if you need to update the battery mount firmware, you MUST do that first and with nothing else connected, so move the USB interface to plug into the battery mount, then update it’s firmware, plug it back into the rest of the system and move the USB interface plug back into the shifter and update the rest of the components.

Multishift is awesome. The ability to fine tune the derailleur positioning is also great.

Peter+

rocky rocket - 01/28/14 - 3:52pm

Here’s my Di2 issue and it would be nice to have feedback. My LBS did not have the PCE-1 device to update my shifting and firmware and I found it online for $145 on sale. I love the Di2 except, you better know the manual well. If you hit a large pothole, bump, large force the impact kicks in and it will not shift, but it fools you as that’s the same response as a dead battery. It clears by holding down the j-box lower botton for 5 sec, but I’ve seen one other rider that had no clue what was going on when this hapenned and rode a fixie back home. My Di2 internal bushing that the mounting bolt goes through to the drop out is worn out and the derailuer is now loose, but still shifts ok. Only 2,500 miles of use. I love the Di2 shifting, it’s worth it if comes with a new bike, but lookout for issues like mine

Matt - 04/01/14 - 3:06am

I have had Ultegra Di2 for a year now. I’m not a racer just love to ride so weight wasn’t a huge concern. I was going to build a bike with Dura Ace mechanical and decided to go with Ultegra Di2 for the same price, makes more since for me to loose 5lbs that spend the money on my bike to save 5lbs. Now after a year I wouldn’t even think of going back to mechanical and only wish I could get Di2 on my Mt Bike. I wouldn’t be worried about blowing out a the derailleur I have had the same $10 plastic derailleur guard I got back in the early 90′s which has saved my XTR from damage countless times. Why no one makes them any more is beyond me.

Ronin - 05/13/14 - 6:09am

Di2 seems like such a good idea, but sometimes you have to wonder about Shimano. I ordered a complete Ultegra 6870 groupset. Long story short, striped down my bike add the Di2…It didn’t work. Missed a whole bunch of days I could have been riding, and I hate anything that stops me from riding (oh the irony).

The place I ordered it seemed to be on a go slow (ProBikeKit). I got my multimeter out and tested all the wires, they seemed to be OK. Battery was charged and had power. Power could be detected from all the junctions etc. Still waiting on PBK so I ordered a new handlebar junction. Still nothing, not a LED, not a shift, nothing.

My bike deserves Dura Ace 9000 Mechanical after this. I think I’m just gonna send this junk back and let PBK send it back to shimano. Although searching around it seems even the battery mount has a firmware, and it could be that, that is stopping the rest of the system. What a bummer. The shifters feel great.

Why I blame shimano:

1) Get proper programmers to put software together so there is backwards compatibility
2) You should be able to update stuff without getting extra gear, especially as software is only as good as the last *good* update.

Note to self: It’s enough you work in software, keep it away from your bike in future.

bzbzb - 09/22/14 - 6:49pm

Can someone tell me, is it possible to set the RD to automatically shift up or down (one or more cogs) when the FD is shifted…. so that, for example, if I shift to the big-ring, the rd automatically also sifts down a couple to give me the next tallest gear?

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