Electric Shifting - New bike or Upgrade? Help!

Hi Everyone,

I was hoping for some advice from the forum. I would like to move to electronic shifting. I'm not a particularly outstanding rider and am not looking for performance or weight improvements, I just like the idea of the convenience, reliability and relatively low maintenance. An I have some 50th birthday money burning a hole in my pocket!

I'm currently riding a Focus Cayo 3.0 which I've owned since summer 2012 and have covered around 11k miles on and have replaced the derailleurs/cassette a couple of times. Still on the original wheels/chainwheel.

As far as I can see I have three options.

The first option is to upgrade my Cayo, after all 11k miles is not that much so the frame should be fine for many more miles. It currently has 105 10 speed shifters with 105 derailleurs and cassette. It has an FSA crank, Concept CEX rim brakes and DT Swiss wheels.

I think I'm right in saying that I could buy Ultegra Di2 shifters/derailleurs/cables/junction boxes/battery/charger + an 11 speed cassette and fit that with my existing crank/brakes. I have a couple of problems with this though. One is that I'm not sure if an 11 speed cassette will fit on my hub - it currently has a 10 speed cassette + a 1mm spacer so maybe it could accommodate an 11 speed cassette? If it wouldn't fit then I'm not sure if I'd need new wheels with a bigger freehub or if I could change just the freehub?

I'm also fairly unsure about how to route the cables. My existing gear cables are externally routed so I suspect I'll be taping the electric wires to the frame which doesn't appeal aesthetically. I also have found that my seatpost is stuck fast in the frame so I'm not sure I could use an internal battery even if I could figure out the cable routing. An external battery feels a bit clunky?

Another option to upgrade could be to go with the wireless SRAM Force eTap AXS solution. Again, this could be achieved (I think) with the purchase of shifters/derailleurs. I would also need a 12 speed cassette and again I'm not sure if this would fit on my existing hub? I do like the idea of the cable-free installation, but wow it comes at a cost! I'm presuming this option would be compatible with my existing crank and brakes.

I think the above options could be done for around £800/900 for the Di2 option or a couple of hundred more for the SRAM option?

My second option would be to build a new bike, which I'd probably do by pairing a Di2 groupset with a Chinese carbon frame/fork/wheels plus all the other bits. This gets round the problem of cable routing and I could also go for disc brakes while I'm at it. However, it would involve the inherent risk of buying a frame off ebay/AliExpress which I'm not sure I can stomach! I think this could be achieved maybe for around £1,600 - £1,800?

The third option would be to buy a complete bike, something like the R872 from Ribble which I can equip with Di2 and Disc brakes for around £2,400.

I think the Chinese frame option is a bit risky and the new bike option seems like a lot of money so my head says to go for the upgrade if it can be done. My heart wants that Ribble though!

Any thoughts or advice gratefully received!



  • Don't buy Chinese.
  • d00d4h
    d00d4h Posts: 67

    Don't buy Chinese.

    You get a "like" for the user name :)
  • the_jackalcp
    the_jackalcp Posts: 276
    Axs is great but will cost you a lot more. You would need a new crank/chainrings and a chain too.

    I've got a China frame in the fleet and it's great for what it is. Its a little unrefined but it just wants to go fast ( the reason I got it). It was cheap, I think £1200 built, and completely problem free
    IG - bikeauthority.cc
  • d00d4h said:

    Don't buy Chinese.

    You get a "like" for the user name :)
    At last. Someone with taste 👍
  • super_davo
    super_davo Posts: 1,194
    Question I have is how much do you really want disc brakes, and how good are the parts you can reuse?

    You can pick up a full rim brake Di2 groupset for £1000. A gearkit retaining your crank & brakes is £200 less. I would go the whole hog because your brakes aren't great and your chainset isn't either and is 10 speed.

    Frames with proper routing you can get for £300 upwards, and you don't need to take the direct from China route, the likes of Planet X & Merlin will have you covered. I like the look of the Prorace frames they have at Merlin; for £500 you can get a lovely aero frame or lightweight.

    You should be able to reuse your wheels by removing the spacer.

    So for rim brake, probably looking at £1300 upwards, with £1500 being what I'd budget at.

    For disk, the groupset is £300 more & you'll definitely need new wheels so add £500 before you've factored in any tools e.g. bleed kit. So close to £2k.

    So by my take, probably can do a rim brake build at a price worth doing, for disk not worth the hassle, just get the new bike.

    But a final option would just be to buy a new R7000 105 groupset. That will be a significant improvement over the 5700 you have on the bike at the moment, give you 11 speed and generally freshen everything up. You'll get 80% of the improvement for 20% of the cost.