Caught somewhere between counter-culture tinkerer and mainstream techno-hipster, Archer Components does things a bit differently. The only product you’ll find on the Archer website (besides an Archer trucker hat and an Archer “herb grinder” that retails for $4.20) is a wireless electronic shifting system dubbed the D1x Trail. The D1x Trail is the updated version of the original D1x, which I tested in late 2018. The D1x Trail addresses a few of that first system’s shortcomings, but we’ll get to that later. First, I’ll go over the concept behind D1x again for those of you just joining us.
All mechanical shifting systems suffer from the same affliction—they’re mechanical. When the housing gets old or full of gunk, shifting suffers. The D1x uses a very short piece of housing connected to a standard derailleur to minimize friction. The precision of the D1x drive unit connected to that housing is the same as that of fancy, expensive servo-controlled, derailleur systems like Shimano Di2 or SRAM AXS. D1x doesn’t require that fancy, expensive servo-controlled derailleur. Any old mech will do with the D1x, so if you smash one on a rock, replacement cost is the same as a mechanical system. Plus, you have far more leeway to choose what derailleur you want to run.