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Di2?

KevinAKevinA Posts: 492
edited April 2019 in Road buying advice
Hi Guys

So I am reading up on Di2 after hearing various club members saying that it is far superior to mechanical shifting, now I am in no way thinking this will improve my ability but I am curious about the groupset.

Is my understanding of Di2 correct.

It is electrical so there are wires that run to the rear mech, front mech but they aren't for tension. They are for the connection between the gear shifters and the actual mech's - Is that correct?

Due to the above the gears won't need indexed once they are set?

You have multiple settings with the Di2 junction box that will either give you automatic shifting, semi shifting or automatic. This will change gears automatically if you are clearly in the wrong gearing, it will assist you in helping you choose the correct gear or it won't do anything (automatic mode) - Is that correct?

Last - Is it worth the £1100?
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Posts

  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 5,263
    Press an electronic switch, change gear.

    Front and rear needs setting up on day one and that's it. The cable is just to provide power to the motor in the mech which changes gear.

    The gears CAN be set to change the front when you go through a certain ratio at the back if you want.

    If you run a double or semi compact chsinset it won't let you fully cross chain.

    Is it worth 1,100? Not to me, but it came free on a 3k bike ;)
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 5,263
    P.s it isnt 'that' superior to mechanical. It's just easier to use and requires virtually no maintenance.

    I imagine the Shimano R series is pretty effing good. I have 5800 and it's amazing when perfect.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    KevinA wrote:
    Is my understanding of Di2 correct.

    It is electrical so there are wires that run to the rear mech, front mech but they aren't for tension. They are for the connection between the gear shifters and the actual mech's - Is that correct?

    Due to the above the gears won't need indexed once they are set?

    You have multiple settings with the Di2 junction box that will either give you automatic shifting, semi shifting or automatic. This will change gears automatically if you are clearly in the wrong gearing, it will assist you in helping you choose the correct gear or it won't do anything (automatic mode) - Is that correct?

    Last - Is it worth the £1100?

    Not quite.

    The cables merely send the signal to and from the shifters to the derailleurs via the junction box.

    Once set up, you very rarely have to bother with the indexing again and when you do its a simple operation.

    You can set it up for semi-synchronised or synchronised shifting, but it isn't automatic. You can either have it as normal shifting, so all gear changes are done by you. You can set it so the front changes from big to small to big depending on when you reach each end of the cassette, or you can have it where when you change from big to small to big on the front, the rear derailleur will move to a similar ration on the cassette to the gear you were in before changing on the front. You can also program the shifters to operate as you wish, so left top button to change down on the cassette, right top button to change up.

    Worth the money? Depends on the end user and the value to them. With my medical condition, its invaluable for me for changing gear on the front. To Someone else, probably not.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Cables haven't failed me yet on conventional gears.
    Now you've added batteries and wiring. More to go wrong.
    If you go SRAM etap then it's wireless so you only have batteries to go wrong.

    But nothing wrong with normal gears.
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,162
    Are you considering it as an upgrade ...or buying a new bike with it on ?

    As an upgrade its a bit pricey - but I have it on my best bike and it would be on any future best bikes I try. I dont beleive reliability is an issue - di2 is pretty much bombproof these days

    ETAP looks better still - but comes at a price I couldnt afford.
  • amrushtonamrushton Posts: 1,075
    It needs installing correctly. I read a piece where the cable needed a loop nr. the junction box. But it works v.well. Is it superior - no just different but you are actuating a switch not moving a lever/spring/ratchet manually - the electronics are doing that for you. No cable stretch/movement but you will need a good connection and enough battery power and the time to mess with the variations the program can run. Ultegra Di2 is cheaper.
  • zeeezeee Posts: 103
    If they were the same price you would choose di2 over mechanical. Is it worth the extra at rrp? Probably not. I have both and the main difference I notice is the ability for the di2 to shift under load (ie climbing).
  • Once you have electronic gearing you won't go back I reckon. Much easier, no maintenance except charging battery every few months, never needs adjusting. What's not to like.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 4,259
    Zeee wrote:
    If they were the same price you would choose di2 over mechanical. Is it worth the extra at rrp? Probably not. I have both and the main difference I notice is the ability for the di2 to shift under load (ie climbing).
    I pretty sure the last time I tried this with mechanical it also shifted under load. Mind it was a couple of days ago when I did it.
  • zeeezeee Posts: 103
    Webboo wrote:
    Zeee wrote:
    If they were the same price you would choose di2 over mechanical. Is it worth the extra at rrp? Probably not. I have both and the main difference I notice is the ability for the di2 to shift under load (ie climbing).
    I pretty sure the last time I tried this with mechanical it also shifted under load. Mind it was a couple of days ago when I did it.
    I never said mechanical doesn't shift under load. Di2 shifts easier. When I've been putting 1000+ though it my ultegra mechanical crunches where as my di2 just shifts seemlesly.
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 2,120
    For me di2 is better than mechanical, and I have both.

    I prefer the effortless shifting of a ‘mouse click’ over a lever push. I like the precision of the shift, especially the front derailleur which is simply so powerful and instantaneous compared to throwing the lever (from small to big ring). I can also multi shift across the whole cassette in either direction by holding the appropriate button if I so choose.

    It is simplicity itself to fit. No harder than cable operated systems. All you have to do is buy the right components, correct (or slightly too long wires) and push fit the plugs to the various components. It operates on a canbus principle, so you can plug into whichever junction box terminal is easiest as the system knows what is what and sorts itself out.

    I enjoy the tech/ nerdy bit regarding E-TUBE software and programming the shifting. Again, it’s not rocket science and is simple enough to either Bluetooth connect to the app or plug in to a pc via a cable, open the software and look at each component. Here you can customise the shifting, allocating buttons to shift up/ down etc. You can keep it like mechanical, up and down for each derailleur on each shifter, or you can customise it to mimic SRAM ETap if you want.

    You can update the firmware to the latest, change the speed of shifting and fault/ error check as way of diagnostics if you have a problem. I love this functionality and the customisation possibilities. In reality I have set it to mimic normal mechanical shifting as my preferred mode, but can switch to semi-synchro on the fly.

    You set your end stops as with mechanical and can then fine tune whilst riding should your chain ‘tinker’. Once done this really never needs further adjustment, unlike mechanical which suffers from cable stretch, outers settling in, dirt and crud ingress, corrosion, cable wear/ fraying etc etc causing mis-shifting/ indexing. In my experience cable operated derailleurs need fairly regular tweaking to keep shifting optimal and cable replacement periodically to ensure smooth operation. I’ve not changed any components on two di2 equipped bikes in the three years I’ve had them.

    With internal cable routing the setup is very clean with di2, and very simple to install, which often can’t be said for internal mechanical cable setups.

    I like the fact that there are very few moving parts in di2 shifters, which wear on mechanical setups. There are no spools which wind the shifter cable tightly around them, eventually leading to fraying/ snapped cables at the shifter end, usually in the middle of nowhere. Even if you don’t have a ‘grooved’ bar you don’t get the bump under the tape of a mechanical cable outer (I know you still have a brake cable, so the bump is smaller).

    I also love the two hidden buttons on the tops of di2 shifters which can again be programmed to do whatever you want, including paging left and right through your Garmin head unit - I really like being able to just scroll back to my map page to see if any tight bends are coming up on fast descents, all without having to move a hand off the bar.

    And finally, with the newer di2 battery and Bluetooth sender you can display loads on a page on your Garmin if you want. I have the rear gear display on the top of my preferred page (don’t need it, but it’s nice to have) and di2 battery charge level on my ‘systems’ style page, which means I don’t need to press the junction A button and try to remember what the various coloured lights mean regarding charge levels, it’s there as a percentage of full charge figure. In my experience I get a few thousand miles out of one charge, so to the nay sayers I am not going to suffer from a flat battery, ever. Charging is no harder than my rear light, or my Garmin, which are charged every ride. I have never suffered from ANY fault whatsoever on either of my di2 equipped bikes, it has been totally reliable, and that includes travelling with one in a bike box with it all disconnected and then reconnected at destination.

    So, that’s what I prefer about di2, it’s not just the faultless shifting.

    PP
  • KevinAKevinA Posts: 492
    kingrollo wrote:
    Are you considering it as an upgrade ...or buying a new bike with it on ?

    As an upgrade its a bit pricey - but I have it on my best bike and it would be on any future best bikes I try. I dont beleive reliability is an issue - di2 is pretty much bombproof these days

    ETAP looks better still - but comes at a price I couldnt afford.


    Upgrade, I have a cervelo s2 and done w couple of upgrades as it was stock before and my plan was always to upgrade

    Wheels - zipp 302
    Groupset - di2
    Ceramic components

    It will be best of weather bike as I have w bianchi oltre xr1 that I can use when it’s not the best of
    weather (still a top bike)
  • stueysstueys Posts: 1,332
    Search tool is probably your friend on this one. In summary, DI2 doesn't really do anything more than mechanical but all of the operations it does are that little bit better and cleaner.
    - Maintenance is reduced and easier
    - Shifting is cleaner, the auto trim on the front is one less thing to think about
    - Dumping down the gears when you approach a junction is just a case of holding down a shifter for 2 seconds
    - The auto shift modes are a slight gimmick, if you're just starting cycling I can see how it would be useful but I found I had too much muscle memory ingrained in me to get any real benefit from it.

    Most people won't move away from electronic once they've ridden it a while. Is it worth 1k, only you can really answer that as it depends on your appetite to spend money.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    its no better or worse than well set up mechanical but some people want it some can't be bothered.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    if you can justify the expense then go for it. not sure how ultegra di2 compares to red/record/dura ace mechanical but its your money.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    just make sure your frame will take it all as well otherwise it looks messy.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    also be aware that it won't turn you from a bloke who works in admin and rides with swindon velo into Boonen - thats up to you. all it does is change gear.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,162
    KevinA wrote:
    kingrollo wrote:
    Are you considering it as an upgrade ...or buying a new bike with it on ?

    As an upgrade its a bit pricey - but I have it on my best bike and it would be on any future best bikes I try. I dont beleive reliability is an issue - di2 is pretty much bombproof these days

    ETAP looks better still - but comes at a price I couldnt afford.


    Upgrade, I have a cervelo s2 and done w couple of upgrades as it was stock before and my plan was always to upgrade

    Wheels - zipp 302
    Groupset - di2
    Ceramic components

    It will be best of weather bike as I have w bianchi oltre xr1 that I can use when it’s not the best of
    weather (still a top bike)

    If thats your second bike - you definitely afford it !!!!!
  • amrushtonamrushton Posts: 1,075
    Pilot Pete wrote:
    For me di2 is better than mechanical, and I have both.

    I prefer the effortless shifting of a ‘mouse click’ over a lever push. I like the precision of the shift, especially the front derailleur which is simply so powerful and instantaneous compared to throwing the lever (from small to big ring). I can also multi shift across the whole cassette in either direction by holding the appropriate button if I so choose.

    It is simplicity itself to fit. No harder than cable operated systems. All you have to do is buy the right components, correct (or slightly too long wires) and push fit the plugs to the various components. It operates on a canbus principle, so you can plug into whichever junction box terminal is easiest as the system knows what is what and sorts itself out.

    I enjoy the tech/ nerdy bit regarding E-TUBE software and programming the shifting. Again, it’s not rocket science and is simple enough to either Bluetooth connect to the app or plug in to a pc via a cable, open the software and look at each component. Here you can customise the shifting, allocating buttons to shift up/ down etc. You can keep it like mechanical, up and down for each derailleur on each shifter, or you can customise it to mimic SRAM ETap if you want.

    You can update the firmware to the latest, change the speed of shifting and fault/ error check as way of diagnostics if you have a problem. I love this functionality and the customisation possibilities. In reality I have set it to mimic normal mechanical shifting as my preferred mode, but can switch to semi-synchro on the fly.

    You set your end stops as with mechanical and can then fine tune whilst riding should your chain ‘tinker’. Once done this really never needs further adjustment, unlike mechanical which suffers from cable stretch, outers settling in, dirt and crud ingress, corrosion, cable wear/ fraying etc etc causing mis-shifting/ indexing. In my experience cable operated derailleurs need fairly regular tweaking to keep shifting optimal and cable replacement periodically to ensure smooth operation. I’ve not changed any components on two di2 equipped bikes in the three years I’ve had them.

    With internal cable routing the setup is very clean with di2, and very simple to install, which often can’t be said for internal mechanical cable setups.

    I like the fact that there are very few moving parts in di2 shifters, which wear on mechanical setups. There are no spools which wind the shifter cable tightly around them, eventually leading to fraying/ snapped cables at the shifter end, usually in the middle of nowhere. Even if you don’t have a ‘grooved’ bar you don’t get the bump under the tape of a mechanical cable outer (I know you still have a brake cable, so the bump is smaller).

    I also love the two hidden buttons on the tops of di2 shifters which can again be programmed to do whatever you want, including paging left and right through your Garmin head unit - I really like being able to just scroll back to my map page to see if any tight bends are coming up on fast descents, all without having to move a hand off the bar.

    And finally, with the newer di2 battery and Bluetooth sender you can display loads on a page on your Garmin if you want. I have the rear gear display on the top of my preferred page (don’t need it, but it’s nice to have) and di2 battery charge level on my ‘systems’ style page, which means I don’t need to press the junction A button and try to remember what the various coloured lights mean regarding charge levels, it’s there as a percentage of full charge figure. In my experience I get a few thousand miles out of one charge, so to the nay sayers I am not going to suffer from a flat battery, ever. Charging is no harder than my rear light, or my Garmin, which are charged every ride. I have never suffered from ANY fault whatsoever on either of my di2 equipped bikes, it has been totally reliable, and that includes travelling with one in a bike box with it all disconnected and then reconnected at destination.

    So, that’s what I prefer about di2, it’s not just the faultless shifting.

    PP

    That's a good summary - I almost want to buy Di2/EPS/Etap/ myself after reading that.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    KevinA wrote:
    kingrollo wrote:
    Are you considering it as an upgrade ...or buying a new bike with it on ?

    As an upgrade its a bit pricey - but I have it on my best bike and it would be on any future best bikes I try. I dont beleive reliability is an issue - di2 is pretty much bombproof these days

    ETAP looks better still - but comes at a price I couldnt afford.


    Upgrade, I have a cervelo s2 and done w couple of upgrades as it was stock before and my plan was always to upgrade

    Wheels - zipp 302
    Groupset - di2
    Ceramic components

    It will be best of weather bike as I have w bianchi oltre xr1 that I can use when it’s not the best of
    weather (still a top bike)

    I wouldn't bother with Dura Ace Di2 when Ultegra Di2 does the job exactly the same. The only difference between the two sets is price and weight by the materials used in construction. Operation, functionality, reliability and feel are identical.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • greenamex2greenamex2 Posts: 272
    Upgraded from Ultegra (old style, hydraulic disc) to Ultegra Di2 (R8070). The frame wasn't designed for Di2 but only had to drill one additional hole to get all the cables internally routed.

    Once fitted, almost maintenance free. Just charge the battery every few months. No more reindexing gears every month or two. In addition the better shifting seems to be resulting in longer cassette and chainwheel life.
    Gear shifts are fantastic.
    I have my setup "semi sequential", right lever to go up, left lever to go down, the electronics just sorts everything out. No cross chain etc.

    Also resolves an issue I had with trying to shift the front derailleur, my wonky left hand/wrist just couldn't cope with the mechanical setup.
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    I also find I shift more with di2 so I spend more time in the right gear rather than putting up with being in a slightly wrong one. This is because the changes are so easy and smooth.

    Having had 6870 on my Cervelo for only around 800km I'm sufficiently convinced to upgrade my TT bike to di2.

    The CX and the commuter wont get it, cables are good enough for them.
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • ryan_w-2ryan_w-2 Posts: 1,162
    philthy3 wrote:
    I wouldn't bother with Dura Ace Di2 when Ultegra Di2 does the job exactly the same. Operation, functionality, reliability and feel are identical.

    Not true, Di2 is notably sharper / more precise than Ui2. I've tried many bikes back to back and Di2 is definitely silkier through the gears.

    Ui2 is still awesome, but it isn't Di2.
    Specialized Allez Sprint Disc --- Specialized S-Works SL7

    IG: RhinosWorkshop
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    Ryan_W wrote:
    philthy3 wrote:
    I wouldn't bother with Dura Ace Di2 when Ultegra Di2 does the job exactly the same. Operation, functionality, reliability and feel are identical.

    Not true, Di2 is notably sharper / more precise than Ui2. I've tried many bikes back to back and Di2 is definitely silkier through the gears.

    Ui2 is still awesome, but it isn't Di2.

    Well forgive me, but I'll go with the reviews that are out there and the opinion of the Shimano engineers. From 4:30 on.

    https://youtu.be/o9NdWA-Q-pU
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • ryan_w-2ryan_w-2 Posts: 1,162
    philthy3 wrote:
    Ryan_W wrote:
    philthy3 wrote:
    I wouldn't bother with Dura Ace Di2 when Ultegra Di2 does the job exactly the same. Operation, functionality, reliability and feel are identical.

    Not true, Di2 is notably sharper / more precise than Ui2. I've tried many bikes back to back and Di2 is definitely silkier through the gears.

    Ui2 is still awesome, but it isn't Di2.

    Well forgive me, but I'll go with the reviews that are out there and the opinion of the Shimano engineers. From 4:30 on.

    https://youtu.be/o9NdWA-Q-pU

    Fine by me. Please believe all you read / watch.

    I will trust my actual rides / experiences with both groupsets.
    Specialized Allez Sprint Disc --- Specialized S-Works SL7

    IG: RhinosWorkshop
  • I picked up a Boardman Air 9.8 on Wed and it has the said gears.
    I rather like them!!
  • bigmitch41bigmitch41 Posts: 684
    My Specialized Tarmac came with Di2 and I love it! Its the older 11 speed Ultegra 6870 version, which I have just ordered the updated battery and e-tube data transmitter to enable synchro shifting, being a one armed paracyclist its a god send with all gear changes operated by the r/h shifter.
    Paracyclist
    @Bigmitch_racing
    2010 Specialized Tricross (commuter)
    2014 Whyte T129-S
    2016 Specialized Tarmac Ultegra Di2
    Big Mitch - YouTube
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    Ryan_W wrote:
    philthy3 wrote:
    Ryan_W wrote:
    philthy3 wrote:
    I wouldn't bother with Dura Ace Di2 when Ultegra Di2 does the job exactly the same. Operation, functionality, reliability and feel are identical.

    Not true, Di2 is notably sharper / more precise than Ui2. I've tried many bikes back to back and Di2 is definitely silkier through the gears.

    Ui2 is still awesome, but it isn't Di2.

    Well forgive me, but I'll go with the reviews that are out there and the opinion of the Shimano engineers. From 4:30 on.

    https://youtu.be/o9NdWA-Q-pU

    Fine by me. Please believe all you read / watch.

    I will trust my actual rides / experiences with both groupsets.

    Seriously, seasoned testers cannot find any discernible difference in the functionality and operation of the latest incarnations of Di2. If you can, then maybe you should be writing to Shimano for a job. Weight and materials used is the only difference.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • Demo Rode di2 twice and bought regular ultegra both times.
    Didn't mind it but for me it offered nothing. I like to feel a bit of force when I change gear and the feedback is identical for up and down. Found i had to think about it more but that probably gets better with regular use. Also thousands of miles with cable ultegra and I don't think it has ever missed a shift.
    The latest iteration with synchronisation of front and rear mech plus the ability to scroll through the screen on a garmin might have changed my mind though, but I didn't get to try that.
  • thegreatdividethegreatdivide Posts: 5,425
    Ryan_W wrote:
    philthy3 wrote:
    I wouldn't bother with Dura Ace Di2 when Ultegra Di2 does the job exactly the same. Operation, functionality, reliability and feel are identical.

    Not true, Di2 is notably sharper / more precise than Ui2. I've tried many bikes back to back and Di2 is definitely silkier through the gears.

    Ui2 is still awesome, but it isn't Di2.

    Do Dura Ace Di2 owners call the Ultegra edition Ui2 now? I presume that’s to give them some kind of smug superiority?
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