Cut the Cable
This Might Be the Cheapest Way to Upgrade Your Bike in a Big Way
Back to the Future overshot its mark. The year 2015 has come and gone, and we’re not cruising around on hoverboards (but we do have auto-lacing Nikes). One might argue that our transportation advancements are better though, and more creative. Bikes are a great example: there are motorized e-bikes everywhere, and even the old-fashioned pedal models are kitted with tech that makes riding easier, more comfortable, and more fun. Electronic shifters are a chief example, and a company called Archer Components is making it easier to upgrade any bike with one.
Archer’s electronic shifting system, the D1x, debuted in 2018, but it recently revealed the updated D1x Trail earlier this year. The new model is faster and has a longer battery life than its predecessor but offers the same inarguable advantage: it’s cheap. Shimano Di2 and SRAM eTap are the most common electronic shifting systems, and both price in the thousands as aftermarket sets and are typically only included in high-end bike builds that are expensive to begin with. Alternatively, the D1x Trail costs $389.
The system consists of a bar-mounted remote and a frame-mounted shifting unit. Archer claims that the kit takes less than an hour to install (the company has a nice collection of how-to videos on its YouTube channel to help in this). There’s also a mobile app that riders can use to adjust how the system functions.