Learn how to use the Shimano documentation

Published May 4, 2020 by BetterShifting Terry, Last updated February 19, 2021

Shimano Di2 manuals, documentation and compatibility information can be a bit hard to find. While I’ve written about compatibility before, I haven’t actually explained where you can find this – and other – information.

Shimano documentation does exist and there is in fact quite a lot out there. On this page we’ll show you where you can find the documents and how you can use the different sites they have put online.

Skip ahead

There is a lot of information on this page so I have included these links, allowing you to skip to the section that you’re interested in.

Manuals and Technical Documents – si.shimano.com

The main resource for Shimano documentation is si.shimano.com. This is where you’ll find manuals and documents, and it also serves as a portal leading to other sites containing technical information.

Documents that you will find on si.shimano.com are:

  • User Manuals (UM)
  • Dealer Manuals (DM)
  • Service Instructions (SI)
  • Exploded View / parts breakdown (EV)

I’ll discuss each type of document below, but first let’s have a look at how you can use the site to find the information you need.

Search si.shimano.com by keyword

There are four ways to search the si.shimano.com database – you can search by keyword, hardware series, component or by manual number.

Searching by keyword is the default method and it is the first thing you see when you browse to si.shimano.com.

Shimano documentation - search by keyword

Using the keyword search is simple – just enter whatever it is you’re looking for and the site will list all documents containing that keyword. For example, if you want information on external batteries and external battery mounts you would enter “external battery”.

Shimano documentation - search external battery

You can use the checkboxes at the top of the page to filter the search results, but you can also use the search keyword field. If you want to see only the Dealer Manuals (DM) simply add ‘dm‘ to the end of your search query.

If you want to see only the Service Instructions just add ‘si‘ to the search query. You can also combine these filter keyword. To search all Dealer Manuals and Exploded Views you would add ‘dm ev‘ to the search query.

Shimano documentation - filter search results

One last thing that’s pretty nice about the search results is that you can change the way they are sorted. If you click the ‘Select sort key‘ box you can choose to sort by model, series or component. You can also group the search results by Document instead of by Model by using the buttons at the top right.

That’s also where you’ll find the ‘Download‘ button. If you check the boxes in the ‘DL‘ column and click the ‘Download‘ button the site will create a zip archive and trigger a download.

Shimano documentation - sort

Finally, when you hover over a document name a window appears containing the first page of the document and all the components that are mentioned in that specific document.

Shimano documentation - dealer manual hover

Search by Series

Another way to search the documents is by hardware series. While I personally prefer keyword search (it just works), the series search is actually pretty good. The way it works is you choose the category you want to search:

  • All
  • MTB
  • Road
  • Gravel
  • E-Bike
  • and more..

You then get to select your series – “Ultegra Di2” for example and finally choose the specific series/generation number. In case of “Ultegra Di2” you would be able to choose between R8050, 6870 and 6770. Once you’ve made your selection you will be presented with a list of all documents applicable to this specific hardware series.

Shimano documentation - search by series

Search by Component

This third option is very much like the “Search by Series” option, except now you choose the component instead of hardware series. If you were looking for an MTB Di2 rear derailleur you would first choose “MTB Di2″ and then “Rear Derailleur”. The site will then list all documentation applicable to MTB Di2 rear derailleurs.

Search by Manual Number

To be honest I am not sure when anyone would want to search by manual number, but the option is there if you need it. It is basically the keyword search function, but restricted to just the manual number.

User Manual, Dealer Manual, Service instructions.. what file contains what information?

A Dealer Manual generally contains an overview of the tool you need, installation instructions, information on adjusting settings and maintenance guides. These files explain how to install an entire groupset, set it up and do final tweaks. The dealer manuals are the most extensive and most useful of the files by far.

The User Manual contains consumer safety information and an overview of the parts and part names involved. A hard copy of the User Manuals comes with all components. A user manual is only one or two pages big and will hardly ever contain detailed information.

An Exploded View or “EV” contains a detailed overview of the parts that make up a component, their part numbers and a short description. This is useful when you are trying to fix a component or need to replace a broken part.

If a part does not have a part number on the exploded view it is not officially available for ordering.

Service Instructions tend to be available for older components only. They are a mix of a User Manual and technical information. You won’t see a lot of these.

Update information

Shimano update their documentation continuously, not a month goes by without them uploading new or updated files. Looking at the updates can give some insight into what they are working on.

You can see the full list of Shimano documentation changes by clicking the “Update Information” button on the left.

Shimano documentation - update information

Portal to other sites

Remember when I wrote that si.shimano.com also serves as a portal to other documentation sites? If you scroll down you’ll see three green buttons:

  • Line-up Chart
  • Specification Handbook
  • Compatibility

These buttons all link to productinfo.shimano.com and you could therefore also use the “Technical Documents” button in the menu.

Shimano documentation - home

Shimano Technical Product Information

On the productinfo.shimano.com pages you will find Line-up charts, specifications and compatibility charts for all current components. You can look up the same information for older generation hardware using the archive link at the top of the page.

The archive goes all the way back to 2004, but the first (road) Di2 entry can be found in the 2009-2010 line up chart: Dura-Ace 7970 Di2.

Line-up charts

The line-up charts and the compatibility charts are very similar, but there is a subtle difference. The line-up charts indicate the recommended products for each category. This means that if a combination of hardware is not in the line-up charts that does not necessarily mean it will not work.

You use the line-up charts by first choosing the type (“Road”, “MTB”, Gravel”) and then the series. For example, selecting Road > SHIMANO ULTEGRA R8050 will show you the following line-up chart.

Shimano documentation - line up chart

When you click a component model number, like ST-R8050, you’ll see a window with its specifications. From there you can also click to go to the compatibility pages related to the component.

Specification Handbook

The Specification Handbook works just like the Line-up chart. You select the type of riding and then the component type: derailleur, shifting/brake lever, front chainwheel, hub, etc.

The site will then list all specifications for all components that match your selection.

Shimano documentation - specifications

Once again, if you click a component model number you’ll see a window with all its specifications, an image and links to the relevant compatibility and line-up pages.

Compatibility Information

All Shimano information on compatibility is located on these pages. Not only do they contain the e-Tube compatibility charts, they also allow you to look up compatibility by system.

For example, if you want to know more about disc brake compatibility just click one of the links under “Disc Brake”. Want to learn what crank set will work with your GRX front derailleur? Then click “Front drivetrain compatibility”. As you can see in the image below, if you use an FD-RX810 or FD-RX815 you should use either the FC-RX810-2 or the FC-RX600-11. However, on 1X system you would use the FX-RX810-1 or the FC-RX600-1.

Shimano documentation - compatibility

Clicking a components model number will display a window with its specifications – in the case of FC-RX810-11 complete with chainline information – and a link to the line-up chart.

E-Tube project The Shimano E-Tube Project website contains a lot of information useful to Di2 users. Some of the most important pages are:

Unfortunately there is not that much information on the mobile app itself, so if you’re lost using the mobile app just send me a message and we’ll help you the best I can.

Need more documentation?

That’s it – now have access to all of Shimano’s public information. Need more information or help? Is there something you think this page is lacking? Just send me a message and I’ll get right on it!

BetterShifting Terry

About the Author - BetterShifting Terry

I enjoy playing with bike tech - both bike building and wheel building, bike maintenance and of course, Di2. Besides writing content and working on the technical side of BetterShifting, I also work as a Software Developer in The Netherlands. Read more on the About this site page.

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