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Shimano Di2 electronic shifting revolutionized the riding experience for professional and everyday riders alike when first introduced in 2008. It marked a significant milestone in the evolution of bike components, offering precise and reliable electronic shifting for the first time on a wide scale. Initially released with Shimano's top-of-the-line DURA-ACE R9070 series group, Di2 has since trickled down to ULTEGRA and Shimano 105 road groups. It is also available for offroad riders with Shimano's GRX gravel groups and XTR and XT mountain bike parts.

Each generation of Shimano Di2 components continues to push the boundaries of what was once thought impossible: even faster shifting, more reliable designs, and wireless communication between shifters and derailleurs. Shimano engineers continually look for ways to enhance the riding experience, and now they've focused on refining Shimano's Di2 satellite switches for improved shifting options across the system.

Satellite switches are not new for Di2. These small accessory shifters were introduced in 2013 and have often been called sprint shifters or climbing switches, depending on the type of switch and where riders placed them on their handlebar. They've gone through multiple updates with new features and designs and have helped countless riders shift easily while maintaining comfortable and secure hand positions while climbing, descending, or sprinting it out for the win.

So, what makes the newest iteration of the Shimano Di2 satellite shifter even better? And how do they work with 12-speed DURA-ACE and ULTEGRA groups? Let's dive into the details of the new trio of satellite switch options and how you can utilize these accessory shifters to race faster, ride smarter, or simply enjoy your ride while always keeping your hands comfortable and in control on the handlebar.

How Satellite Switches Work

The Shimano SW-RS801 series of satellite switches are system engineered to work seamlessly with 12-speed DURA-ACE and ULTEGRA electronic groups. There are three switches to choose from and each model features a specific clamp that attaches to its intended location of use: tops, drops, or aerobar extensions.

The switches come in pairs and have SD-300 wires of different lengths that plug directly into 12-speed DURA-ACE and ULTEGRA STI shifters. When you push the satellite switch button, the message is relayed through the STI shifter and then communicated to the derailleurs to shift.

Using the E-TUBE PROJECT app, you can assign a specific function for each satellite shifter (and program any Di2 button's function, for that matter). Want your satellite switches to shift the rear derailleur up and down the cassette? No problem. How about shifting the front derailleur? Yep. What if you want one satellite button to shift to the big chainring while the other button shifts down the cassette? You got it.

The combination of Di2 switch options is endless and doesn't stop at controlling your shifting. Satellite switches and any Di2 button can be programmed to control accessories like your bike computer or compatible lights. You can scroll through the pages of your Garmin or turn your rear blinky light on and off without moving your hands off the handlebar.

Di2 Satellite Switches for the Tops – aka Climbing Switches


Intended to be mounted to the tops of road handlebars, the SW-RS801-T switches deliver comfort and efficiency for those riders who live for the climbs. As you settle into a 30, 60, or 90+ minute climb, these switches allow you to sit more upright with your hands on the tops, so you can push the power as you pedal upward. When you round a steep switchback or hit a climb's notorious “wall” section, you can quickly shift to an easier gear without moving your hands or losing focus on the challenge ahead.

Each SW-RS801-T has a 260 mm wire that plugs directly into an STI lever port. It also has a 31.8 mm clamp, which allows you to securely clamp the switch to your handlebar between the end of your bar tape and the stem. Once installed, just wrap the bar tape over the satellite switch’s wire, and you’re ready to tackle the burliest of climbs with confidence and control.

Di2 Satellite Switches for the Drops – aka Sprint Switches


For riders who spend extended time riding in the drops or for those fast-twitch sprinters who thrive on fast and furious finish line sprints, the SW-RS801-S satellite switches deliver lightning-fast shifts when you need them most. Designed to be mounted on the drops of road handlebars, riders can keep their hands wrapped around the bar for total control while moving their thumb or one finger mere millimeters for that perfectly timed shift mid-sprint.

The SW-RS801-S has a short 100 mm wire that plugs directly into the STI lever port. It features a 23.8 mm clamp that attaches to the handlebar on the drops, where the bar curves around below the shifter. The switches can be mounted so you can quickly shift using your thumbs, or rotate the switch for easy access with a single finger while keeping your hands wrapped around the bars. Once in place, wrap your bar tape around the switch, leaving the button sticking out between layers. Or cut a little hole in your bar tape for a stealthy look and feel.

In either case, the result is maximum control and connectedness during high-octane moments. Whether speeding toward WorldTour finish lines or town signs, this is an essential addition to any sprinter's Di2 setup.

Di2 Satellite Switches for Aero Bar Extension


When aerodynamic advantages play a critical role in your success on the bike, maintaining a low and stable body position is key. The SW-RS801-E satellite switches allow triathletes, time trial specialists, and gravel racers to stay planted in their aerobars while providing full shifting options for the most calculated and efficient efforts out there.

Designed to be mounted at the ends of aero bar extensions, the SW-RS801-E switches feature a 22.2 mm clamp, and the shift button can be mounted to face any direction around the circumference of the extension. That means, no matter where you place your hands on the aero bar or which finger or thumb you want to shift with, you’ll find the perfect spot for quick and reliable shifting.

The SW-RS801-E switches also come with a long, 740 mm wire meant to reach from the ends of extensions to the ports on STI levers, allowing for maximum aerodynamic efficiency and long-haul comfort.

From Ironman triathlons to Grand Tour time trials to long-distance gravel races and record-setting FKTs, the SW-RS801-E switches allow riders to stay tucked away in an aerodynamic position while maintaining full access to shifting gears when needed.

For riders looking to edge out the competition or those simply aiming to enhance their riding comfort and control, Shimano’s new Di2 satellite switches provide an easy upgrade to DURA-ACE and ULTEGRA electronic groups. Integrating satellite shifters into your Di2 setup delivers a more ergonomic and efficient shifting experience and allows you to capitalize on the full potential of your Di2 group. Whether mounted to the tops, drops, or on your aero bar extensions, Di2 satellite switches will help you optimize your shifting performance and enhance your overall riding experience.

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