Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Postby metrocomps » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:23 pm

Hi All,

Excuse me if this topic has already been covered before.

I have only been into riding for about 6 or 7 months now. However, I have really gotten into it, mostly on the weekends between 50 and 100km/week. I have a full carbon 2006 Trek 5200 ( Ultegra 6600 2 x 10 speed), which when I purchased was well looked after. I have put about 500km on this bike and have since put a new chain, rear cassette, set of gatorskins and new bar tape. Really love this bike and find it super smooth on the road, worlds apart from the other all alloy trek I first purchased (rough ride).

I have been getting slightly annoyed with some shifting issues on the front and rear derailleurs which recently resulted in a snapped chain (was only 2 weeks old). Taking this into consideration I was thinking about upgrading the bike to di2 to hopefully get smooth and precise shifting. I have done a fair bit of shopping around and the 6770 upgrade kit is circa $1k but wanted to get some feedback as to weather it is worth it. A new Di2 bike will cost me at least $3K which I really don't want to spend right now.

Should I just wait and save up for a new bike in a year or so or upgrade now and hopefully save on maintenance/further component issues.

Your thoughts, experience input on the above would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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by BNA » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:38 pm

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Re: Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Postby im_no_pro » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:38 pm

A mate has just done similar and a couple of months later is still waxing lyrical about it. If you are a) happy enough with your current frameset etc that you dont see a need to upgrade it anytime soon and can b) afford the upgrade, then I dont see why not. Alternatively, buy something like this, build one bike out of the bits you like best, build a second bike with whats left and flog it off and you may end up with either/or of 1) a better bike than just a straight di2 upgrade and 2) lower cost of upgrade. Or just buy the new bike, sell the old one and have a full new bike for probably not a lot more than you were expecting to spend on the upgrade :mrgreen:

e: I have NFI on di2 compatability with older frames, you may or may not need to consider this.
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Re: Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Postby reefer » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:59 pm

I can only suggest you get your bike serviced.
I run Shimano 105 and have NO problems at all shifting. (its done 11000km). I get my bike serviced once a year and tune the gears as required.
Tuning the gears is super easy, plenty of you tubes to teach you.

Really, if you have just got into cycling and are happy with your bike, why spend more money to fix what is really a simple fix.
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Re: Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Postby twizzle » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:36 pm

Di2 has a place... On TT bikes or race bikes where you want multiple shift button locations. Otherwise... its just unnecessary complexity. I'd go mech Ultegra before going electronic.

That being said - parts wear out and break, even when maintained and serviced. If you need to replace what is on there, pick what makes you happy.

And I'm surprised you broke a chain. I've mangled/broken FD's a few times, but usually a broken chain is due to a side plate or pin failure.

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Postby Causidicus » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:59 pm

There's always curmudgeons that think mechanical is sufficient and electronic a step too far. Just like those that said 11s was a step too far, and those that said 10s was a step too far, and 9s a step too far, and 8s...

Electronic shifting eats mechanical for breakfast. Anyone that says otherwise is living in a self induced fantasy.
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Re:

Postby reefer » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:14 pm

Causidicus wrote:There's always curmudgeons that think mechanical is sufficient and electronic a step too far. Just like those that said 11s was a step too far, and those that said 10s was a step too far, and 9s a step too far, and 8s...

Electronic shifting eats mechanical for breakfast. Anyone that says otherwise is living in a self induced fantasy.


Whilst that may be the case, it is not, in my opinion, worth the extra money for me, a cyclist who rides for fitness. :P

105 does the job just fine.
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Re: Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Postby jillybean » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:29 pm

I recently fitted di2 on my 1990's trek carbon frame (after purchasing a di2 equipped colnago clx 3.0 and realising just how good it is). Couldn't be happier with my revitalised 'wet weather bike'. The end result for me is very tidy even though I used all external cables. Black frame with black cable covers and you would hardly know it was there. I purchased this kit from Merlin - but I notice it is out of stock at present.

I had struggled with changes from small to large chainring since fracturing my left elbow in a fall 2 years ago - don't even think about it now. I certainly wouldn't go back to mechanical.
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Re: Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Postby metrocomps » Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:08 pm

Thanks for your feedback guys. The first bike I had was equipped with Shimano 2300, so obviously the ultegra 6600 gear I currently have is light years ahead. I might try take a Di2 bike for a spin before I make up my mind.

I have had my eye on this bike if only they dropped the price just a little bit more.....

https://www.cyclingexpress.com/?lang=en ... -Road-Bike
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Re: Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Postby metrocomps » Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:10 pm

jillybean wrote:I recently fitted di2 on my 1990's trek carbon frame (after purchasing a di2 equipped colnago clx 3.0 and realising just how good it is). Couldn't be happier with my revitalised 'wet weather bike'. The end result for me is very tidy even though I used all external cables. Black frame with black cable covers and you would hardly know it was there. I purchased this kit from Merlin - but I notice it is out of stock at present.

I had struggled with changes from small to large chainring since fracturing my left elbow in a fall 2 years ago - don't even think about it now. I certainly wouldn't go back to mechanical.


Thanks for the Merlin link. Now hopefully when back in stock I can try get wiggle to beat it by 10%!
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Re: Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Postby DoubleSpeeded » Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:59 pm

twizzle wrote:Di2 has a place... On TT bikes or race bikes where you want multiple shift button locations. Otherwise... its just unnecessary complexity. I'd go mech Ultegra before going electronic.

That being said - parts wear out and break, even when maintained and serviced. If you need to replace what is on there, pick what makes you happy.

And I'm surprised you broke a chain. I've mangled/broken FD's a few times, but usually a broken chain is due to a side plate or pin failure.

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Plenty of road bikes with Di2....and its appears to be a thing of the future... so its not ONLY in a TT place!
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Re: Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Postby Dimis » Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:19 pm

Buy it only if you're an iPhone, electronic techno geek who get his rocks off playing with the latest gimmicks and gadgets.

Else in my mind, and as stated above in another post - it's a complex solution to a problem that never existed.

...and I get the feeling while some say they may be the way of the future, I worry about the compatibly and longevity of these items over time.

Call me a dinosaur if you like, but mechanicals are simple, easy, cheap, light, clean, traditional and they work, and will work in 5, or 10 or 20 years. Where's this DI2 stuff will probably be in landfill somewhere made redundant, because we no longer stock that charger or adapter or... Etc, etc...

I like that my bike doesn't have a green foot print.

Mechanical all the way for me thx.
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Re: Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Postby Tim » Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:39 pm

Mechanical 11 Speed Ultegra or Dura Ace is the Ducks Guts!!! (Good stuff, in other words)
Very definitely worth a try out. So smooth and easy on the shift.
I'm not usually one to get caught up in the latest fad but DA9000 is just superb.
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Re: Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Postby Duck! » Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:41 pm

metrocomps wrote:Hi All,

Excuse me if this topic has already been covered before.

I have only been into riding for about 6 or 7 months now. However, I have really gotten into it, mostly on the weekends between 50 and 100km/week. I have a full carbon 2006 Trek 5200 ( Ultegra 6600 2 x 10 speed), which when I purchased was well looked after. I have put about 500km on this bike and have since put a new chain, rear cassette, set of gatorskins and new bar tape. Really love this bike and find it super smooth on the road, worlds apart from the other all alloy trek I first purchased (rough ride).

I have been getting slightly annoyed with some shifting issues on the front and rear derailleurs which recently resulted in a snapped chain (was only 2 weeks old). Taking this into consideration I was thinking about upgrading the bike to di2 to hopefully get smooth and precise shifting. I have done a fair bit of shopping around and the 6770 upgrade kit is circa $1k but wanted to get some feedback as to weather it is worth it. A new Di2 bike will cost me at least $3K which I really don't want to spend right now.

Should I just wait and save up for a new bike in a year or so or upgrade now and hopefully save on maintenance/further component issues.

Your thoughts, experience input on the above would be appreciated.

Thanks.

You probably really only need new cables. 6600 is still one of the best-shifting mechanical groups in existence (my roadie also has this group), vastly superior to the second-generation 10-sp. groups from Shimano. Whack a set of Teflon-coated cables in (specced in 7900/6700/5700 groups, others are plain stainless steel) and the shifting will get even better for comparitively low cost.

You can fit Di2 to any frame, but retro-fitting to frames not designed for it can look a bit untidy if not done with a fair bit of attention.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Postby Ross » Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:34 am

I agree with Duck. Just put new gear cables on your bike. IMO 6600 Ult shifts better than 6700 (mech) anyway, so it would be a backward step to buy this groupset.
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Re: Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Postby Strawburger » Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:47 am

Having just returned a hire bike with di2 I can now say that I prefer my mech ultegra. The shifting on the di2 was slow and not as crisp as the mech version.

Unless I got a dud, I'd say the extra money for the di2 "upgrade" can be spent elsewhere.
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Re: Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Postby wombatK » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:29 am

Can't see how the di2 kit will fix a chain snapping problem. First suspect I'd consider would
be someone re-using the link pin (on a shimano chain). Then look for excessive wear on
the rear or front sprockets. Derailleur hanger misalignment is something else to check.
dimis wrote:Buy it only if you're an iPhone, electronic techno geek who get his rocks off playing with the latest gimmicks and gadgets.

Not an Apple fan-boy (quite the opposite), but the rest of it fits. I've got a di2 bike and will
declare I'm a fan-boy. Once you've got di2, the ability to shift reliably when struggling on
a steep hill (and you've picked the wrong gear) will win you over real quick. That plus not
having to fiddle with the tension adjusters as the cable's stretch with age. It's an even bigger
plus on many of the newer shimano equipped bikes that don't have adjusters at the shifters.

Having said that, you'll be spending nearly $900 without considering how much wear is left in
the cassette's, chainset, bottom bracket bearings, headset, hub bearings etc.,. By the
time you fix some of those, you'll be more than half-way to options like Cells XDS-RX800 for $2200.

My Di2 bike is the previous model of this - and I'm quite happy with it after 16 months and nearly 6000 km.
While the bike is great value, don't rely on Cell's advice about bike fit - I didn't have a problem,
but others have. Use the Competitive Cyclist Fit Calculator to find your correct fit parameters.

If it really is too much for your budget, I'd second Ross's advice - new gear cables. But measure the wear on
your chain (google sheldon brown's web site) first and replace the chain and rear cassette too if the chain is
past the limit.
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Re: Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Postby rjk » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:48 am

i want 11 speed ultegra di2, but i will wait till i purchase my next n+1. :)

I would suggest you take the bike to a LBS that someone here will recommend, a great service should fix up all of your issues, i have a 105 triple that shifts cleanly and lightly, much better than my sram force group.

A properly setup mech group specially of the 105 ultegra dura-ace level should be smooth and light, unless as suggested here the cables are shot or something is mis-aligned or plain worn out.

What area are you in, we need to know so we can suggest somewhere, i kow a few good shops here and there is someone here who does great work on bikes at an LBS (DONT THEY dUCKY)
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Re: Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Postby slau73 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:47 am

I recently moved from my old bike with 105 to my new bike with Ultegra Di2. And until recently, I also had a TT bike with mech Ultegra. My take on its ... Di2 is great and I do like my Di2 ... but I wouldn't recommend someone spending that extra money and upgrading to Di2 if you're already on at least a 105 level. If you're buying a new bike and it has an option of mech or Di2 and you're willing to spend that little extra, fine.

For an existing bike, I would say a well-tuned and maintained 105 or Ultegra will shift as smooth as Di2 on most terrains. Where Di2 is miles ahead is shifting the front chainrings on a climb and to honest, that's about it!

Things to keep in mind if you are to upgrade:
- does your frame support Di2 i.e. the internal cable routing
- where's your battery going to go? Most upgrade Di2 (and I stand to be corrected) that I've seen, is still using the downtube/bottle cage mount method. Besides being aesthetically on the eye, if you have a small frame, it may get in the way of the seat tube bottle cage
- if you're a weight-weenie and is obsessed in keeping the weight of you bike down to the lowest gram ... Di2 is heavier :)

Of course, the great thing about Di2 besides smooth and easy shifting, its easier to maintain as technically speaking, as there is no cable stretch it should be a precise change everytime over time.

Oh and one last thing, if you're in IT and hate firmware upgrades ... being electronic ... Di2 has firmware! Although I haven't done it yet, I recall on the day I picked up my new bike, I had to wait for about 10 minutes as the LBS was upgrading the firmware on my new bike!
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Re: Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Postby george-bob » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:45 am

I upgraded the mechanical 105 parts on my bike to dura ace Di2 (replaced shifters, FD and RD). It is incredible, precise, fast, reliable, comfortable. The absolute best part is the climbing shifter, shifting from the bar tops makes climbing much more comfortable.

Basically it is worth the hype.
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Postby Causidicus » Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:02 pm

metrocomps wrote:Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=61971

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=49384

http://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum ... 15#p967784

There is nothing like electronic shifting for racing. When your hands are so cold and wet that you can't even feel them anymore and your derailleur is crusted with ice and grit, the electronic groupsets ... make short work of that. When you are way deep in the red and the split comes just in front of you (into a 25-knot block headwind, no doubt from a bumpy off-camber turn at the base of a descent or cresting 11%) and desperately claw for another gear, that is when the electronic group[s prove their] worth.
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Re: Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Postby Ross » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:04 pm

Di2 is great to use (I have 2 x Di2 bikes) but I don't see the value in it for the OP to spend $1000 or more on a 7 year old bike that only gets ridden 50 or so kms a week.
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Re: Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Postby scirocco » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:24 pm

Ross wrote:I agree with Duck. Just put new gear cables on your bike. IMO 6600 Ult shifts better than 6700 (mech) anyway, so it would be a backward step to buy this groupset.


True, and I hear that mechanical Ultegra 6800 is so good that it will rob sales from the electronic groupsets. So, for the OP, if you are determined to upgrade, a mechanical system may be just as good and Ultegra is a bit more value than DA, performs the same with just a couple less exotic materials here and there.
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Re: Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Postby Duck! » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:34 pm

scirocco wrote:
Ross wrote:I agree with Duck. Just put new gear cables on your bike. IMO 6600 Ult shifts better than 6700 (mech) anyway, so it would be a backward step to buy this groupset.


True, and I hear that mechanical Ultegra 6800 is so good that it will rob sales from the electronic groupsets. So, for the OP, if you are determined to upgrade, a mechanical system may be just as good and Ultegra is a bit more value than DA, performs the same with just a couple less exotic materials here and there.

Worth remembering here that should to OP go down the 6800 mech route, more than likely new 11-sp. compatible wheels will need to be factored into the equation. Mavic wheelsets (Aksium/Cosmic/Cosmos/ Ksyrium families) have longer than normal cassette bodies, and are the only wheels of that vintage that are 11-sp. compatible, not that Mavic knew it at the time.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Postby rebilda » Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:13 pm

I have Di2 and Luuuurve it!

But would I upgrade an older bike with it? ......No

Service your bike, properly. Or pay a shop to do it for you. Don't use the cheapest chain money can buy (they break....) Enjoy your bike!

Then....in a few months.......buy that Di2 De Rosa :D
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Re: Di2 Upgrade - worth it?

Postby singlespeedscott » Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:50 pm

Mmm. 10 min for a firmware update. 30 sec for a cable strech/derailleur adjustment. I know which one I prefer to do.

If the OP wants electronic I think they should wait 12 months to make sure cycling really is their thing. Once they know, "yes this cycling thing is for me" take their hard earned cash and buy a new bike with integrated electronic shifting AND hydraulic disc brakes.
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