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flight deck compatibility(5 posts)

flight deck compatibilityturtle
Sep 13, 2001 7:25 PM
I thinking about getting a flight deck computer for my ultegra shifters. I have heard that there are two different models: one for the shifters that have one button on each shifter and one that is controled by two buttons on the rear shifter. anyone know which one works with '99 ultegra(2 buttons on rear shifter). Any positive or negative coments on the flight deck computer? And what's up with the various mounts?

re: flight deck compatibilityzelig1
Sep 14, 2001 1:12 AM
Try their website. In the US bicycle section there's a compatability chart for Flightdeck. If you go into the European site, you can find detail for which model lever you have by going into the exploded although it sounds like you have the 6501 levers.

The 6500 series wiring harnesses have a wire going from the transmitter up to the head unit.

The 6501 series wiring harness I have is wireless from the transmitter to the head unit. I think you will need the 6501-M wireless harness to work with your levers.

There is no compatability chart for 6501 stuff on any of their sites, harnesses or head units, so it may be worth calling Shimano direct at 949 951-5003 and asking for customer service. They're fairly helpful.

Both the 6500 and 6501 harnesses have wires going from the heat unit mount to the actuator switches which screw onto the inside part of the STI lever. There's a covering plate already in place which you replace with the actuator switch.

The only big differences between the 6500 and 6501 head units is as follows:

The 6501 can be programmed for up to four separate bikes and/or chainring/cassette combinations. The 6500 can handle only one. You can also input the starting mileage under the cumulative mileage function in the 6501. In the 6500, if the battery goes dead, you're back to 0 on the cumulative mileage. Lastly and I don't know this for fact but have been told by others, the gear display on the 6501, not the visual dots representing the cogs and chainring, will show the actual teeth number for the cog and chain ring when making gear changes while the 6500 shows the inches that gear combination represents.

I'd recommend the 6501 head unit and the wireless harness. Also, I'd get a Cateye magnet to replace the one included in the harness kit. I've used Avocets for over 15 years but the integration of Flightdeck functions into the STI is pretty amazing. The virtual cadence feature is also a great feature. Mine installed in 45 minutes including retaping the bars and has function without any problems. There have been complaints from people with the two buttons on one lever in that they've accidentally reset the trip mileage or trip time. Be forewarned that the owner's manual is terrible. It's poorly written and organized. Also, the installation instructions consist of a few sketchy diagrams and little text. Fortunately, it's not difficult.

I like it for the virtual cadence and the optical gear display. When I used to race with a 5 spd block, it was pretty clear what cog you were but fast forward to the present and 9 cogs, even peaking doesn't tell me which cog I'm using. The other features can be found in most other computers. Build quality on the head unit is pretty good although parts of the display information could be larger. The wiring harness also seems well made although the mount on the fork is a bit chessy and they only give you one so go slow when installing and make sure you use the rubber strap inside the plastic strap as it makes the mount stay in place and probably absorbs some vibration. You'd think they'd give you an extra as it's just a plastic tie with a boss molded on. My guess is that the thing which breaks/malfunctions over time is the little actuator buttons but they're in a protected position and I would imagine they've been cycle-tested.

Say, does the turtle always beat the hare?
SM-6500 (no suffix)nee Spoke Wrench
Sep 14, 2001 5:14 AM
I think that Shimano made this whole topic of Flite Deck wire harnesses much more complicated than is necessary.

There are only 3 wire harnesses that matter:
SM-6500 fits all older "Flite Deck" road shifters with two buttons on the right hood.
SM-6500RS fits all newer "Flite Deck" road shifters with one button on each hood.
I don't have the Shimano part number for the wireless unit in front of me, but it too is a one button per shifter.

For what it's worth, The only part of the shifters that is different among the Flite Deck compatables is the hoods. You can use the SM-6500RS wire harness on any Flite Deck compatable lever as long as you also change to one button hoods.

I suspect that sales of all the other wire harnesses are very low, but they will be in all the catalogues for a long time because Shimano probably has a warehouse full of them.
SM-6500 (no suffix)turtle
Sep 14, 2001 2:00 PM
thanks for the info.....that's what i was looking for.
6501 =6500LI Biker
Sep 14, 2001 2:27 PM
My 6500 stopped working properly and Shimano promptly replaced it under warranty with the current model -6501. I have a 2000 Ultegra double button set up.