Archer Components’ D1x Trail Shifting System: Checkpoint

Archer Components’ D1x Trail Shifting System: Checkpoint – by Guitar Ted

In the introduction to the Archer Components D1x we showed you the technical elements of the system and gave you my first impressions on it. In this post I will get on with how it has been working out in a day-to-day fashion. I will let you know how it works in various situations. Also, a neat in-the-field adjustment feature will be covered which I found very useful.

A bike laying on a gravel road
The Archer Components D1x as mounted to Guitar Ted’s On One Inbred

The set up I utilized at first was modified a bit as I swapped out handle bars. However, everything else remained the same and I found that in terms of ergonomics, the Archer Components D1x was really just like any other good trigger MTB style shifter I’ve ever used. In short- it was just fine. So, in terms of design and ergonomics, the Archer Components D1x is spot on.

One of the best features of any electronic shifting system is how easily the rider can initiate shifts. Pushing a lever or trigger after a while can actually get pretty taxing. I know it sounds ridiculous while you are sitting there reading this, but after five hours or more in the saddle at some 100+ mile event on gravel? Yeah, that happens. So, happily the Archer Components D1x is super easy to operate in terms of finger pressure. One of the cool things about the D1x is that if you continue to apply pressure to one of the two shift buttons, the shifter will continue to shift up to 5 gears. (Programmable in the app upon set up) So, that was a handy ting to have at certain times during the test rides.

Arrow pointing out the fine tuning button on top of the Archer Components D1x shifter.
The red arrow points out the Fine Tuning button on the remote.

Shifts were executed quickly and mostly without any noise at all. I think it is not as fast as Shimano’s electronic shifting, but it is maybe on par with a fresh mechanical set up, like my Shimano GRX, let’s say. I did experience a couple of slow, sluggish shifts in the lower gears. This especially if I was grinding up a climb and needed that next lower gear.

Now here is where the Archer Components D1x is really different. I could hit the fine tuning option by depressing the button on the top of the shifter for a second or so until the green LED flashes. Then you can adjust the shift, in an ‘up’ or ‘down’ way by increments controlled by the appropriate shift button. Each depression of the shift button takes the movement of the shifter .25mm further in the way you choose. Press the lower gear button to head the shifter pull .25mm more in that direction, hit the higher gear button for the same effect in that direction.

Red arrow pointing out the LED which flashes on the remote in Fine Tuning mode
This LED will flash when the remote is in fine tuning mode.

This allowed me to fine tune a couple of shifts in the field, which made a huge difference in performance. Consider the possibilities here- you could fine tune for a slightly bent derailleur hangar, for instance. All out on the ride in seconds. Pretty cool!

So Far… The Archer Components D1x has been easy to use after the somewhat confusing instructions were navigated upon set up. I loved that I had an easy to operate system which could be tweaked in the field. Shifting is great, maybe not as fast as some premier electronic systems, but as good as any fresh mechanical system and this with old, tired parts.

As I’ve said, this system is versatile in that it has adaptability to many types and speeds of geared drive trains. Next up I will be swapping out the Archer Components D1x to another bike with a completely different drive train to see if the promise of versatility and adaptability plays out. Stay tuned….

NOTE: Archer Components sent over the D1X shifting system to Riding Gravel for test and review at no charge. We are not being paid, nor bribed for this review and we always strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.


Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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