I upgraded my wife’s road bike for a 2011 carbon Devinci CX4 equipped with an Ultegra 6700 groupset. She’s missing the optical gear indicators she used to have on the shifters. I already looked at the following solutions:

  1. Tried to find a compatible of the old Shimano Flight Deck harness and computer that shows which gear is on. Theses parts are rare and the computer seems unreliable according to the comments.
  2. Tried to find an other set of shifters with optical gear display but I run into compatibility issues.

Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks for your help,

  • 2
    Even if a product were available I honestly don’t think it’s worth the added complexity and weight. If you want to avoid cross-chaining: It’s usually audible. If you really need to know which gear you are in you can look down and behind.
    – Michael
    Jul 24, 2022 at 14:42
  • I cannot I imagine how to look behind on a running bicycle and see the gear.
    – nightrider
    Jul 24, 2022 at 17:26
  • 4
    @nightrider look down between your legs.
    – Adam Rice
    Jul 24, 2022 at 18:18
  • Front gear, yes. There is only one anyway on my bicycle. But rear?
    – nightrider
    Jul 24, 2022 at 18:45
  • 3
    I checked this morning on the way to work if I can see the cassette through my legs and was surprised I actually can. The only problem, while checking the gear I obviously do not look forward.
    – nightrider
    Jul 25, 2022 at 6:42

1 Answer 1


I ended up using speed indicator together with cadence sensor. You can remember which cadence it should be at some speed or which speed it should be under your usual cadence. This is gear specific.

This allows to differentiate quite easily between the three fastest sprockets I mostly use.

Counting clicks also works in general but I tend to lose the count, unless "two up" - this short but steep uphill - "two down".

When the smallest sprocket is selected, the "faster gear" lever can move larger distance before touching something inside the mechanism. This allows to differentiate between smallest sprocket and others.

While I was initially convinced that the rear gear cannot be visually seen by riding cyclist, @Adam Rice is right: yes, it is visible when looking down and backwards between the legs. Just do not look there for too long as while doing so you do not see forwards.

On an ordinary bicycle you actually do not need the gear indicator much. You pedal with cadence you prefer. If it is too difficult / unnecessarily easy, shift the gear up or down. But on electric bicycle wrong gear often does not feel very wrong immediately if you crank full assist. It comes later as an early component wear.

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