I saw one being tested the other night. There were problems with the rear shifter (power not kicking in). I think some of the problems may have been in the learning curve...how to turn it on and off, how to know you've turned it on or off etc. Understanding how to turn it on or off. The gears change with just a slight finger tap on the levers. This could cause problems if you tap them by mistake and the gear suddenly changes. Especially going up a steep hill and you're gripping the handle bars with all your might and you accidentally tap it into the big chain. Seems to be too easy to change up and down. The battery will last about 2000km but what happens when you're miles away from home and the battery stops? You have to ride the rest of the way in one gear.
I don't think they will become standard. Too automatic. Changing gears isn't that difficult the old fashioned way.
The system set up though is very light. The battery is small but is an eyesore. When I'm 70 or 80 with arthritis in my fingers I would probably get it...
The owner of the shop I use has been riding it for a while now. He did Sado this year with it. If any of you guys were at Sado this year I think you'll agree the setup is water-proof!
It looks like it performs as advertised from what I have seen of it. That said, I'm sticking with my Campagnolo Super Record I picked up last year. I doubt I will be buying any new componentry for quite some time. Plus something about having to charge my bike just seems wrong to me on some level. But I think that's why I sold my carbon frame and went back to steel.
(I'm going to pick up an Edge GPS unit this week though so I'm not a total Luddite.)
Believe it or not, I dropped my hard earned tax refund on a partial (Shifters, F&R/D and all the necessary accessories, ie batterypack and wires) Di2 two weeks ago. Unfortunately, the weather has been pretty unaccomodating on the weekends and I had no choice but to put the groupset to the test on todays Hitachinaka 3hr endurance.....
I was a bit skeptic having to put the system on its maiden voyage in the rain but believe it or not...having received a hard pounding of rain, grit and mud and a good washing down afterwards, the system works like a charm. The batterypack and brain are nearly waterproof as I gave it a solid wipedown after a good srubbing and found no traces of water on the battery interface.
For those that have tested Di2, this shouldn't come as any surprise that when I say the F/D shifts almost instantaneously with no chain grind in the the process. Shifting the R/D requires individual pushes on the shifters so I think that Shimano may need to work on designing some type of "double-click" feature as it can get annoying sometimes. Another thing is unless you're gifted in knowing which gear you're on, Nintendo style button mashing can leave you a bit confused with the only remedy of having to stare back at your cassette to see if you have any gears left. I believe the new "still not released and dunno when it will be released" Flight Deck should add some value here as its rumored that the system will incorporate Di2's brain and will have a graphic display of available gears when in motion.
To sum things up in a nutshell, Di2 is just straight out fun. Lets put it this way....debating on whether to spend $4k on a frame or $4k on a new drive-train can seriously impede any immediate decision-making process. Having ridden Di2, it adds a certain level of "fun" value to your existing frame that can't be weighed unless you take the plunge to equip your bike with the system.
From one of the interviews I read with the Shimano folks involved with Di2 they explicitly stated that creating an automatic transmission was not one of their design goals. It might make sense for a more commuter oriented line however (like Nexus) and they did not rule out doing something like that in the future.
I'm trying to find the the quote, it was from one of their marketing folks I think. Di2 is their top end racing stuff though so automatic doesn't make sense in that application.
Im in my opinion to make Shimano E (electric) truely better than campy, you need have two places to shift by button.In the drops and on the bars. I have both campy and shimano bikes both are difficult to shift in the sprint condition, i.e. up off the saddle and in the drops. Shimano now has the ability to fix this easily with a shifter more accessible to the drops.
Racing is usually about the sprint at the end if you pick the wrong gear by mistake your stuffed. Im usually stuffed anyway,purely academic.