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Ok, so before you read any more about the Archer D1x Trail, you need to know that this is not made for tri bikes, or even road bikes. In fact, it’s not a great thing for road bikes at all. But because triathletes have a history of being tinkerers—sometimes using things that weren’t made specifically for them—we’re going to take a look at this product. The D1x is a wireless electronic shifting system that works with your existing mechanical rear derailleur (not front derailleur compatible, so this is particularly perfect for anyone looking to run a 1X system). The mechanism itself is housed in a waterproof box with a rechargeable Li-Ion battery that lasts for approximately 80 hours and literally pulls and releases a shifting cable that runs from the box to your rear derailleur. The whole system is controlled wirelessly via small shifter buttons that need to be hacked/adapted for a tri/aero setup. You could use it on a road setup, but it would be very very clunky with the STI levers. It’s compatible with literally any rear derailleur and has infinite adjustment possibilities via Bluetooth.
Check out our video above for the full unboxing, or scroll down for some quick takeaways.
Archer D1x Trail: Starting at $350; archercomponents.com
What I Like About The Archer D1x Trail
- Triathletes don’t generally shift a ton, so even if you’re not running a 1X system, being able to shift wirelessly from the aero position is still super helpful.
- Triathletes like tech things, and this is pretty much peak tech. Aside from a great conversation starter, it’s a cool concept that solves an expensive issue of electronic/wireless shifting.
- The price is very very low for what you get. The alternative electronic shifting setup starts over double; for wireless even more.
What Makes Me Worried About The Archer D1x Trail
- The fact that it might be a total pain to install on aerobars. This is a total experiment that requires a good amount of jury-rigging and very little fear of tinkering. The shifter buttons aren’t exactly tiny or made for tri setups, but I think it can be adapted.
- The actual shifter itself isn’t tiny either—it has a pretty decent battery, so weight isn’t exactly minimal, and you still need to mount it on your chainstay. There are likely some tri frame shapes that this just won’t work on—fortunately Archer has a good return policy and seems to be pretty understanding.
- I can’t overstate this enough: This is NOT made for tri bikes, but it will work if you want to do some hacking. Triathletes have asked about the D1x as an application, so it’s worth checking out.
- As people might be trying to save money AND have more time on their hands, this could be a very fun project with not a crazy amount of work, just a little ingenuity.
- While I’m not saying the Archer D1x Trail is a slam dunk for every triathlete, there’s a certain tri-mind that will want to make this work. It’s a good way to get excellent wireless shifting without doing a total expensive rebuild. But it’s not for everyone.