Part of the magic of an electronic drivetrain is that it opens the possibility for sequential shifting. As Brett explained in his article on extended range 1×10 gearing, there are so many overlapping gear options in a 30 speed 3×10 drivetrain that there are only 14 unique gear options actually available.
So, what if you had a 2x or 3x drivetrain that automatically took that into account? You’d have the functional equivalent of a 1×14 drivetrain. Every gear you could ever need is controlled by a single shifter without ever dealing with the hassle of timing front shifts and then making correction shifts at the rear derailleur.
Although others have developed hacked sequential shifting for Di2 road groups before, Shimano and many of the hackers never offered this as a commercial option. However, with Shimano’s new 3×11 and 2×11 XTR M9050 group, there is an option to go sequential right out of the box. To understand how this functions, Shimano put together the below video to demonstrates their gear selection sequence both up and down the gear range including a graph of the process.
If you are concerned about the sequential shifting pattern not working with your riding style, Shimano offers two sequential modes that can be toggled between on the fly. Check out the photo below of the two different shift maps. Any customer can do advanced tuning of the system including setting shift speed, multishift limits, shifter switch assignments, firmware updates, and diagnostics with the PCE1 Di2 PC linkage.
Shop Shimano XTR Di2 M9050 components by clicking on the highlighted link. I’ll leave you with a video showing this impressive new group in action out on the trail.