Pointlessly shift your bike’s electronic gears like a manual car

Totally unnecessary but undeniably cool.

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Sometimes we see homemade tech that truly solves a problem. It often doesn’t take long for those ideas to become something that makes someone money. 

And then sometimes we come across tech that exists purely because it can, even when it makes no sense. This old Playstation remote and Di2 shifter mash-up is one such example. And you can add Japan-based maker Ryoichi Inoue to the list of tech-minded heroes making somewhat pointless things simply because their impressive skillset allows them to.

While Inoue’s creations aren’t anything that solve a problem or fulfil a wish, we still can’t help but be impressed by them.  

Inoue recently posted a few of his joyful creations on the CyclingTips Forum. From an electronic Campagnolo down tube shifter, to a homemade rear derailleur without the usual parallelogram, to the simply brilliant mini H-pattern electronic gear shifter, we thought these creations were well worth sharing further.

H-pattern shifter for eTap and Di2 

Ever wanted your derailleurs controlled by the experience of shifting through a manual gearbox? Yeah, me neither, but that didn’t stop Inoue from creating such a thing. 

Based on a similar component to that used for the analog joystick in a Sony Playstation controller, Inoue has successfully made this mini H-pattern shifter work with both Shimano Di2 and SRAM eTap derailleurs. 

The design allows you to make one shift at a time or slam the derailleur from one extreme to the other. Front shifting is programmed to work by shifting the same gear twice.

No clutch is required. Just don’t sweat on it – it’s not waterproof.  

Electronic down tube shifter 

Back in 2017 SRAM posted an April Fool’s joke about a wireless down tube shifter, and so of course Inoue created something real. 

The hacked Campagnolo shifter drives a 10-speed Campagnolo Centaur rear derailleur that Inoue has fitted with a servo motor. This is a wired setup and appears to work quite well – even if the whole idea is hilarious.

Inoue previously made a similar setup from a Shimano Di2 climbing shifter, something that was apparently far easier to make. 

 Homemade rear derailleur 

And for those who prefer their derailleurs to move based on cable tension, Inoue created one with a geared mechanism versus the common parallelogram design of today. 

Inoue claims to have arrived at the interesting design himself but subsequently found out that other derailleurs have used similar designs, including FSA’s K-Force WE electronic derailleur. Either way, it’s an impressive example of a homemade item! 

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