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DIY electronic shifting

DIY electronic shifterIf you want Di2 on your bike, but you don’t have an extra few thousand dollars burning a hole in your pocket, Computer Engineer Nabil Tewolde has a perfect solution for you. His DIY electronic shifting system is, for the most part, made from parts found at his local hardware store, electronics shop, and hobby shop.  Sure it could use a bit of refinement from an aesthetic standpoint, but Nabil points out that this electronic derailleur was part of a larger project to build the ultimate bicycle computer, which you can read about on his blog.

DIY electronic rear derailleurNabil posted an Instructable showing how converted his Shimano Tiagra derailleur to an electronic system. “This has nothing to do with my bike computer and is meant for people who enjoy building stuff themselves,” he points out. The bike computer project is still ongoing though, and Nabil is currently working on a “more complete and finished product.” I am looking forward to seeing it.

Nabil is not the only cyclist experimenting with electronic shifting at home. In the comments on his Instructable page, I found Preston Fall’s Open source electronic bicycle shifting website. He has great technical information and resources on the site, so check it out if you are interested in trying something like this at home. After seeing Nabil’s Project and Preston’s website, I am certainly interested in playing around with an electronic shifting conversion. My boys are very interested in electronics, so something like this could be a fun project for the three of us. I have no shortage of old bikes and parts, so why not?


Posted in Concept, Road.

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5 Responses

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  1. Bubba Nicholson says

    I just hope that electronic shifting is smart, that shifts are sequential rather than based upon the rider selecting which cog goes where like current manual systems do. Automatic electronic shifting should also be easily turned on and off until the computer learns the riders habits and routtes. “Up Up2 Up Down Up2″ why not optimize shifting to terrain via GPS? Auto brake for street lights, signs and signals, blind spot watching, auto turn signals, auto brake lights, etc. Electronics do not require much power and there is much good that they can do bicycle riders.

  2. Kimmo says

    DIY Di2!

    It’s got pure win written all over it!

    Well, maybe on one part, where it doesn’t have heartache, endless teething and fail written on it.

    You’ll need to put your thinking cap on, particularly for the front derailleur.

    As for automatic shifting, I’m pretty sure GPS alone won’t cut it; that’s optional. IMO you need something to sense incline, wind speed, and, expensively, power output.

  3. darklite says

    Servo specs now located at: http://www.hitecrcd.com/products/servos/analog/micro-mini/hs-225mg.html

    Don’t know if this is the optimum choice in torque or power control (analog versus digital). Will be researching this further…

Continuing the Discussion

  1. DIY Electronic Bike Shifter | TechCrunch linked to this post on June 12, 2012

    [...] via BicycleDesign Tags: diy, hacks Sponsored Ads [...]

  2. DIY Electronic Shifting aka OMFGWANT | Aerochick's Cycling Blog linked to this post on June 12, 2012

    [...] came across some links to creating your own electronic shifting derrailleur over on Bicycle Design and my jaw hit the floor. I love the idea of electronic shifting, and I’ve seen it in action [...]



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