Patent Patrol: Shimano Di2 Derailleur Floats Internals for Affect Safety

Shimano’s new system helps shield probably the most delicate bits of the rear derailleur in an digital shifting system. Springs shield the center from probably the most damaging facets of any affect within the ‘suspended’ construction.

Editor’s observe: This text was initially printed on Bikerumor.

Whether or not you kick up a rock on the path or drop your bike on the incorrect second, Shimano goals to cowl you with its new rear derailleur.

Printed simply final week, Shimano’s newest Di2 drivetrain patent particulars an all-new, considerably less complicated digital shifting mechanism that may float its shift motor in an remoted method to guard it from impacts higher.

As soon as mounted on the bike, you’d be hard-pressed to identify the purposeful variations tucked inside. However by using a second return spring and a few lever arms that tuck inside its parallelogram, this prototype Di2 derailleur can deal with direct exterior strikes and impacts with out damaging the delicate motor and gearbox inside.

Shimano’s Floating Derailleur Idea Patent

Let me begin by saying that the 42 pages of vaguely descriptive, conceptual legalese on this patent submitting are dense. And its 31 diagrammatic illustrations are undoubtedly useful however not at all clear in their very own proper. Should you might learn via it and are available away understanding all of it on a primary cross, you’d be significantly better than I.

However I popped a present Ultegra Di2 drivetrain beside my monitor and waded deep into the weeds to determine what’s completely different and why it issues.

So What’s New?

From the patent’s fundamental description, the important thing to this new Shimano Di2 derailleur idea is its skill to shift electronically identical to you’ve come to count on however to make use of two springs inside its linkage system that enable the derailleur to maneuver out of the way in which every time it’s hit from both aspect.

Shimano Di2 float shift derailleur

Doing so protects the most costly and exact bits of the Di2 system — its motorized actuator and inner gearbox — whereas permitting it to return to heart and shift precisely after affect.

The present Di2 design achieves considerably related affect safety and automated return from an outer affect by driving shift through an inboard hyperlink and uncovered spring that may slip previous a small cease. However in case you get one thing caught between the cassette/wheel and your derailleur, it requires a handbook reset.

Shimano Di2 Floating Derailleur Prototype

The brand new dynamic is extra automated and compact, enabling Shimano to tuck the mechanics contained in the shifting parallelogram.

Upshift, and a brand new lever pulls the derailleur linkage outboard to align with a smaller cog through the primary spring. Downshift, and that lever pushes the second “saver” lever to drag the other aspect of the derailleur linkage inboard through a second spring. Because the spring forces are a lot stronger than the pressure required to actuate the shift, all the pieces ought to transfer shortly and exactly.

However because the parallelogram linkage is floating between the 2 springs, any extra brutal pressure from both aspect will transfer the derailleur with out damaging the gearbox or motor.

Apparently, the identical resolution works for the entrance derailleur too.

Why Does It Matter?

Everyone knows that you just don’t need to exchange an costly digital derailleur, so it’s at all times been good that all of them disengage after they endure a big affect.

This appears to make that disengaging mechanism extra fluid whereas including automated recentering in each instructions. We scratched our heads questioning why you want affect safety from either side. However it’s definitely conceivable {that a} rock flying up off the rear wheel might strike the within of your derailleur, or one thing might get jammed between the cassette and derailleur physique when using on gravel or off street.

In any case, the inherent floating design permits for motion and affect safety in each instructions.

Now, the query stays: When will manufacturing start?

It’s solely been a 12 months and a half since DURA-ACE and ULTEGRA obtained their newest Di2 replace (and only a half-year since 105 Di2), so we don’t count on a brand new street Di2 group anytime quickly. It has been nearly 4 years since gravel’s GRX Di2 debut, although.

We’ve been ready anxiously for a brand new XTR Di2 group since XT obtained an e-bike-only Di2 final summer season. And it’s been nearly 9 years because the present XTR Di2 M9050 groupset was revealed.

If this new, impact-resistant Shimano Di2 derailleur patent design is coming quickly, it’ll seemingly be off street.

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