Maintaining your Shimano Di2 electronic shifters, PowerTap P1 Pedals and Garmin GPS

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Well, it used to be that maintaining a bike was a relatively simple matter of making sure the chain was well lubed and clean and making sure that the derailleurs were tweaked, but now in the 21st century it has gotten more complicated, so here’s a pretty complicated guide to all the things you need to do each day when you have all these gizmos:

  1. Check the charge level of your Di2 battery. This is supposed to last 1,500 miles, but I found that if you don’t ride for a year, there is definitely discharge. So how do it, well, first you hit any of the shifters and hold if for more than 0.5 seconds. And then the junction box (normally this is just under the stem on “add-on systems”) will light solid green meaning full charge, five times flashing green means 75%, solid red means 50% and flashing red is 25%.
  2. Make sure your Di2 has the latest synchro shift. There are actually a bunch of modes for this, from the mountain bike world, there is now a fully synchronous shifting, that is, when you select up and down on the right lever, it will automatically gives you different front rings. Pretty cool. You have to either play with the mode button on your junction box, but clicking moves it from full manual, to semi-synchronous, to full synchronous. There are a few requirements here. You need the latest Di2 battery (this is what actually has the processor and the memory).
  3. Check the Di2 firmware. Or download the latest mobile application and on phones with Bluetooth LE, you can do this.  But you need the Bluetooth transmitter that fits in between the shifter and the junction box. Then download the Shimano application called the E-Tube project.
  4. Check the battery charge and firmware of your PowerTap P1. It is supposed to last about two months or 60 hours, but I’ve found mine do not report the correct power in the application. So I have to carry a spare battery. But if you want to upload new firmware, You do the is by downloading the PowerTap application and then you need a login, it is pretty confusing because it asks you for a Virtual Training login and even with a PowerTap and a CycleOps login, this wasn’t the right one. I ended up using the MapMyRide (aka MapMyFitness) to do this. The application requires a Bluetooth LE phone (like an iPhone X) and then you create a profile and then wait for sensors to appear. It is not clear how you say these are the right ones. I just had to wait until the sense period ended. Then you can see both the firmware and then the charge state is pretty hidden, it is in the Settings/Activity Profile. My icons read full, but I”m not sure, so make sure to bring a AAA lithium battery with you (or two) as they don’t weight that much.
  5. Replace the battery in your PowerTap P1. Ok, this is pretty easy, make sure you have a 6mm hex bolt. These appear to be pretty soft, so you might want to get an extra set of covers for the battery.
  6. Battery level of your Garmin 510 is also something to watch, this battery is huge, it seems to last 10 hours or so at least, on a three hour ride, it still had 80% charge.

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