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Etixx Di2 remix: Shimano shifters reinterpretted at Tour of Flanders

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Etixx-Quick Step mechanics got crafty with Di2 wiring at the Tour of Flanders

Etixx-Quick Step mechanics got crafty with Di2 wiring at the Tour of Flanders (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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 Trentin ran the Di2 climbing switch — but on the opposite side of the bar, for use with the index finger instead of the thumb as Shimano intended. Also note the sprint shifter in the standard position

Trentin ran the Di2 climbing switch — but on the opposite side of the bar, for use with the index finger instead of the thumb as Shimano intended. Also note the sprint shifter in the standard position (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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 Matteo Trentin was Etixx's one man on the Roubaix at the cobbled race before Paris-Roubaix

Matteo Trentin was Etixx's one man on the Roubaix at the cobbled race before Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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 FMB casings connect Specialized treads to Specialized rims

FMB casings connect Specialized treads to Specialized rims (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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 Specialized has pushed Etixx-Quick Step to use Roval wheels for multiple seasons. This year it finally happened

Specialized has pushed Etixx-Quick Step to use Roval wheels for multiple seasons. This year it finally happened (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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 Standing 1.99m/6'6", Vandenbergh is a tall man who needs a long seatpost. It appears FSA doesn't make one long enough

Standing 1.99m/6'6", Vandenbergh is a tall man who needs a long seatpost. It appears FSA doesn't make one long enough (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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 Stijn Vandenbergh has a more easily visible sprint shifter set-up. Shimano designed the two-button climbing shifter for the thumb position, but many riders find it too cumbersome. This solution requires some ingenuity and wire splicing on the part of Etixx mechanics

Stijn Vandenbergh has a more easily visible sprint shifter set-up. Shimano designed the two-button climbing shifter for the thumb position, but many riders find it too cumbersome. This solution requires some ingenuity and wire splicing on the part of Etixx mechanics (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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 Keisse is on Specialized's brand new Power saddle, which incorporates elements of the California company's Sitero TT saddle with a more traditional road design

Keisse is on Specialized's brand new Power saddle, which incorporates elements of the California company's Sitero TT saddle with a more traditional road design (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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 A memorial to a fallen friend: Belgian pro Wouter Weylandt died at the 2011 Giro d'Italia in a high-speed crash

A memorial to a fallen friend: Belgian pro Wouter Weylandt died at the 2011 Giro d'Italia in a high-speed crash (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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 Iljo Keisse's Venge featured the highly sculpted shape of FSA K-Wing Compact bars wrapped nearly to the stem with tape. The real twist, however, is how Etixx mechanics splicing wiring for sprint shifters, allowing them to reach nearly to the stem, far beyond Shimano's stock set-up

Iljo Keisse's Venge featured the highly sculpted shape of FSA K-Wing Compact bars wrapped nearly to the stem with tape. The real twist, however, is how Etixx mechanics splicing wiring for sprint shifters, allowing them to reach nearly to the stem, far beyond Shimano's stock set-up (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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 Etixx-Quick Step riders used three different Specialized bikes: four Tarmacs, three Venges and one Roubaix

Etixx-Quick Step riders used three different Specialized bikes: four Tarmacs, three Venges and one Roubaix (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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 Zdenek Stybar had the spliced sprinter shifters on the bar top, too — but on the opposite side as Keisse

Zdenek Stybar had the spliced sprinter shifters on the bar top, too — but on the opposite side as Keisse (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

With Shimano Di2 electric shifting, you can shift wherever you can put a button. Stock, satellite options, however, have thus far been limited to so-called sprint shifters with a short wire length, and the climber switch, which Shimano designed to be operated with the thumb. At the Tour of Flanders, Etixx-Quick Step riders rolled out with four different satellite configurations — plus the standard lever shifters, of course — thanks to some ingenuity from team mechanics.

Iljo Keiss and Stijn Vandenbergh both had sprint shifters on their handlebars almost touching their stems — a position similar to what Shimano proposed with the climber switch, but with much less bulk. To do so requiring splicing wires.

Mechanic Kevin Desmedt told BikeRadar the team added a little wire on each to get the buttons where the riders wanted them.

Matteo Trentin had a stock climber switch — but positioned on the front of his handlebar, for use with the index finger instead of the thumb. He also had sprint shifters in the Shimano-prescribed position just below the hood clamp.

Zdenek Stybar had the Etixx-extended sprint shifters up high and tight on his handlebars, but his faced forwards, like Trentin's climber switch.

Notably, all the riders but Trentin and Niki Terpstra used flat-top ergo handlebars. Keiss had the most dramatically shaped bars, the FSA K-Wing Compact.

Click through the gallery above for a closer look at the various Di2 configurations, plus other details on the bikes of Belgium's powerhouse squad.