Archer improves the paddle for its D1x set-up. Aftermarket electronic shifting? Sort of.

After SRAM’s breakthrough AXS Eagle wireless system launched in 2019, electronic shifting has moved from fantasy to reality – for many riders.

The legacy drivetrain market remains dominated by SRAM and Shimano, but electronic shifting has triggered an opportunity for innovation. And as with many things in the electromechanical realm, a lot of that innovation is sourced from California.

Read more: the best drivetrain systems 

Closing the gap between mechanical and wireless

Archer components is based Scotts Valley, California, and since 2016, the company’s technical team has been working on electronic drivetrains. More specifically, creating a hybrid mechatronic aftermarket shifting for various drivetrains.

Whether you are running an 8-speed gravity bike derailleur or the latest 12-speed system, it does not matter. Archer’s electronic shifting modules convert most drivetrains from purely mechanical to something approaching a mechatronic system.

How does it work? A wireless shifter pod mounts on the driveside chainstay and acts on your derailleur cable, signalled by the D1x remote shifter.

D1x gets a slicker shift paddle

First-generation wireless shifting remotes were not the last word in ergonomic refinement. SRAM quickly reacted to customer input, creating a reshaped version of its AXS Eagle shifter. And now Archer has done much the same, with its D1x.

Archer’s second-generation shifter is smaller and easier to mount your handlebar. The thumbs surface features an improved ergonomic design and has been upgraded with a micro-adjust feature, allowing riders (or their mechanics) to create the ideal shifting crispness.

The D1x is Matchmaker compatible too, creating a broad spectrum of handlebar customisation and fit options – if you use SRAM brakes. Archer offers the new D1x shifter remote in green, graphite, gold, blue and red. This should help riders match any build colourway, they desire.

At only 35g, the D1x shifter is also notably lighter than SRAM’s AXS equivalent.