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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014

    Question Major bike upgrade to Di2

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    Has anyone upgraded to Di2 shifters ? I'd like to hear what you think.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Seattle, WA
    I put Ultegra Di2 (10 speed) on my carbon bike since I had to order the frame and was able to choose the components. I picked Di2 because the hoods were smaller than Ultegra mechanical, and I have XS-size hands. I was switching from another bike that was too big with an Ultegra mechanical drivetrain, and the Di2 shifting was so much smoother, especially for the front derailleur. With my smaller hands, the Di2 was much easier to shift and brake. However, the shifting can be harder with thick winter gloves since the shifts are like mouse-clicks rather than throwing the lever on mechanical shifters.

    If you're worried about battery life, there's a battery indicator light that's solid green (51-100% charge), flashing green (26-50%), and solid red (25% and lower). I could usually ride about 1000 miles on a charge, so you probably don't want to take a Di2 bike on a cross-country ride if you're not going to have access to a wall outlet. But in general the only way you'd have a dead battery is if your indicator light's been flashing green or solid red, and you've just been ignoring it for hundreds of miles. Since this was on my summer bike, I'd always charge it in the spring when I started riding the bike and maybe once again near the end of summer.

    Here's a thread on the Seattle Rando Google Group where Susan Otcenas discusses Di2: Anyone tried Ultegra Di2 electronic shifting yet?

    When I got my bike in 2012, I thought the upgrade from Ultegra mechanical was totally worth it. I recently test-rode a bike with an 11-speed Ultegra mechanical drivetrain, and it really felt close to my Di2. The rear shifting was indistinguishable, and although front shifting wasn't quite as smooth as Di2, it was much closer than Ultegra 10-speed mechanical. Unless 11-speed Di2 is a lot smoother than 10-speed Di2, I'm not sure if there's a big enough difference between 11-speed Ultegra mechanical and Di2 to justify the price difference unless you need the smaller hoods.

    I actually swapped out the Di2 for 11-speed Campy Chorus (mechanical) last Christmas. I got a cheap bike with Campy Mirage off craigslist last fall, and after the first few rides, I was sold on Campy. The ergo shifters are much more intuitive and the hoods are even smaller than the Di2, so they just fit my hands better. I liked the Campy so much I found myself riding the older steel Bianchi with Campy shifters more than my carbon bike with Di2 . It was pricey, but last Christmas I swapped out the Di2 for Campy Chorus. DH did multiple eye rolls because who "downgrades" from Di2 electronic shifting to Campy Chorus mechanical? But it was totally worth it. I love my carbon bike with Campy.

    Unfortunately, Campy drivetrains (even mechanical) are a lot more expensive that Shimano, so most high-end bikes come with Shimano Ultegra or Di2. Only a few manufacturers even offer bikes with Campy, so you may not even be able to test ride bikes with Campy. Finally, since Campy isn't as common as it once was, a lot of bike mechanics, especially younger ones, aren't as familiar with or adept at maintaining and repairing bikes with Campy. Our LBS has always been great about working on our bikes with Shimano, but when I brought in the bike with Campy, they messed up the shifting, so much so I ended up with ongoing pain with my finger flexors on my left hand. I had to take the bike to three other shops and mechanics, who all gave me crazy and expensive advice (e.g. replace the crankset with an Ultegra crankset, pay us $400-500 to convert 9-speed NOS Campy shifters to 10-speed to install, etc.) before I found one who knew what they were doing. We're lucky in Seattle since we have Branford Bike, who specialize in Campy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    West MI
    I really like it. I busted my right wrist mountain biking 2 years ago, so by the end of really long rides (like centuries and beyond) I tend to lose a lot of hand strength for shifting my rear cassette and braking. In addition to my Di2 I have hydro disc brakes, so even my wussy hand can still operate my bike well.
    run/bike log

    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Concord, MA
    I used the Di2 shifting on the Madone I rented for my trip to Provence. Frankly, I don't see what the big deal is. So, you tap the shifter a little lighter? I never have had any trouble with my mechanical Ultegra on my current or 2 bikes before this. I didn't find the Di2 shifters smaller, either. Of course, I have an in home mechanic who keeps my bike perfectly tuned, so maybe that helps. I am very petite, but I don't have teeny hands or fingers, though. For me, it's all about the reach.
    The experience with the rented bike made me happy I made the decision I made when I bought my Silque. DH got Di2 on his new Time he bought after his crash last summer. He loves it, but he loves anything new, technology, etc. I think it's kind of a waste of money, but if it's going to make a difference for you in an ergonomic way, than do it.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport



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