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Disc brakes or Di2?

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Disc brakes or Di2?

Old 04-02-18, 10:50 AM
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mohamilton
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Disc brakes or Di2?

I'm looking at the Fuji SL 2.1 ... there are two options similar in price, what would you all pick?

1-Ultegra R8000 Di2 Rim brakes

2-Ultegra R8000 Mechanical shifting with Hydro Disc brakes


I'm leaning towards Di2 because ive never tired it and ive used disc brakes before, also the hydro levers still look a little on the ugly side ...
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Old 04-02-18, 10:58 AM
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Depends what the conditions you ride through are like...?
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Old 04-02-18, 11:31 AM
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If it's an option, both. Both are very much worth having.
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Old 04-02-18, 11:37 AM
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Agree that both would be nice but if I had to choose between the two I'd go disc brakes. In my experience the performance difference is much greater between discs and rim brakes than di2 to mechanical shifting.
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Old 04-02-18, 11:47 AM
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Interesting choice to make, they are both the same attractive color! The disc version has the right stuff, 12mm thru axle, flat mount, you'll be future proofed in that respect and you can't add discs later. But maybe you don't live in the PNW or like to ride in rain or have 5 mile descents where you ride? I've never known anyone who went to Di2 who didn't really like it.
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Old 04-02-18, 11:52 AM
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I would go with Di2, instead of discs, but would rather have mechanical 9100(or 9000) over either of those options.
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Old 04-02-18, 11:58 AM
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I got Di2 because at the time it was the only way to get disc brakes. I am not sorry. If you can possibly get both, get both. The shimano hydraulic levers aren't nearly as ugly as SRAM.
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Old 04-02-18, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Interesting choice to make, they are both the same attractive color! The disc version has the right stuff, 12mm thru axle, flat mount, you'll be future proofed in that respect and you can't add discs later. But maybe you don't live in the PNW or like to ride in rain or have 5 mile descents where you ride? I've never known anyone who went to Di2 who didn't really like it.
I avoided even test riding a Di2 bike because I kept hearing things like this.

Then, a bike I was interested in could only be found in my size with Di2, and they offered it to me for the price of mechanical. Crap! Of course, I had no choice but to go try it. And to my great shock, I preferred the tactical feedback you get from mechanical shifting, it wasn't love at first ride. It took a few rides for me to come to prefer it. I've had the bike most of a year now and it still shifts perfectly, each and every time, with no maintenance.

Long story short: I completely agree.
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Old 04-02-18, 12:29 PM
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I did both. R8050 with mechanical disc. Just took it out for the first time Saturday. I need to work with the brakes a little but the Di2 was perfect.
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Old 04-02-18, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
it still shifts perfectly, each and every time, with no maintenance.
This is why I love it. Otherwise, friction shifting is my favorite.
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Old 04-02-18, 12:42 PM
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Riding with an old mechanical group still, I'd say go with disc. You could always sell off the R8000 groupset in a couple years and use the profit to buy new Di2.
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Old 04-02-18, 12:57 PM
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Personally I would not go disc unless I could go Di2 as well. Like you OP said, the R8000 hydro levers are ugly. Not an issue with the Di2 hydro levers.
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Old 04-02-18, 01:10 PM
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One advantage might be the clearance for larger tires, which makes a disc bike more versatile, gearing dependent.

I have the 8050 Di2 group and will not go back. Rode my 9 spd. mechanical first time yesterday since last fall, found that I REALLY like the feel of Di2, which I've been riding since January and the prefer the button push and precision of the shifting.

But I live on flat Long Island and would never need disc's on a road bike. But if the option was to use a bike with a 2nd set of wheels and a set of gravel tires and decent hill gearing, I'd take that over Di2.
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Old 04-02-18, 01:21 PM
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I wish I could do both!

Im not *planning* on riding in the rain or bad weather, but disc brakes still feel awesome. I like to do a bit of hill climbing and descending. I also want to get some nice plastic wheels so disc would be preferred and disc wheels look better too IMO.

Is later upgrading to Di2 strait forward?
I would just need- Levers, FD, RD, & electronic jargon?

Thats my fear with not going disc like you guys mentioned - I can always add di2 to a disc frame later on.
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Old 04-02-18, 01:33 PM
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Di2 in a heartbeat. I would love to upgrade my Spec. Allez to Di2. Seriously how cool is that tech. Hydro brakes are really great, but I actually prefer rim breaks. I have both and disc is great in lousy weather but I don't have any huge issues with rim brakes at all. I like the simplicity of the rim brakes and the hoods are much better.

Di2: if I ever test rode it I am sure I would sell some organ or other body part to then buy it. Someday...someday!
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Old 04-02-18, 02:05 PM
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Sounds like i'll have to test drive a few bikes - hopefully I can find a Di2 bike to test.
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Old 04-02-18, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mohamilton View Post
I wish I could do both!

Im not *planning* on riding in the rain or bad weather, but disc brakes still feel awesome. I like to do a bit of hill climbing and descending. I also want to get some nice plastic wheels so disc would be preferred and disc wheels look better too IMO.

Is later upgrading to Di2 strait forward?
I would just need- Levers, FD, RD, & electronic jargon?

Thats my fear with not going disc like you guys mentioned - I can always add di2 to a disc frame later on.
Assuming 11 spd., then it’s Levers, F & R derailers, Battery, junction boxes and assorted cables. This assumes you can re-use the crank, b-bracket and brakes. The cheapest group I found when I did just this in January was from Texas Cyclesport and ran about $900, including new brake cables and bar tape. If you want the WiFi unit, add another $100, unit and cable.

Note this was for the 8050 group, while a lot of bikes currently being sold have the older 6870 group. Some slight differences and improvements in lever design and button feel, different R derailer as well.

Last edited by Steve B.; 04-02-18 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 04-02-18, 05:44 PM
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I like Di2 a lot and would probably spec that before disc brakes. I love disc brakes but I gotta say with my eeBrakes (with Jagwire Link housing and Swissstop pads) I have super excellent braking performance. I have never felt a brake like that, that wasn't a top end hydraulic disc brake. Plus they are super light so you can build a lighter bike.
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Old 04-02-18, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Assuming 11 spd., then it’s Levers, F & R derailers, Battery, junction boxes and assorted cables. This assumes you can re-use the crank, b-bracket and brakes. The cheapest group I found when I did just this in January was from Texas Cyclesport and ran about $900, including new brake cables and bar tape. If you want the WiFi unit, add another $100, unit and cable.

Note this was for the 8050 group, while a lot of bikes currently being sold have the older 6870 group. Some slight differences and improvements in lever design and button feel, different R derailer as well.
Thats not too bad - like others mentioned I could then sell the mechanical shifting parts or keep em' as back up.
Sounds pretty forward setting up too. The Fuji should come with the R8000 even though the photos are the previous iteration.

Hmm I think i'm leaning towards getting the disc and upgrading to Di2, id be happy with either bike though. I'll try both the Ultegra rim and disc brake bikes and see which on takes my heart.

I assume there are no differences between the frames that come with di2 and non di2? Only difference would be between disc brake frames vs non?

Last edited by mohamilton; 04-02-18 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 04-02-18, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Interesting choice to make, they are both the same attractive color! The disc version has the right stuff, 12mm thru axle, flat mount, you'll be future proofed in that respect and you can't add discs later. But maybe you don't live in the PNW or like to ride in rain or have 5 mile descents where you ride? I've never known anyone who went to Di2 who didn't really like it.
Im riding in Ohio, but in Cincinnati so we have a lot of short steep climbs. We get a lot of rain/humidity too.
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Old 04-02-18, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mohamilton View Post

I assume there are no differences between the frames that come with di2 and non di2? Only difference would be between disc brake frames vs non?


I wouldn't assume that, but it depends on the brand and model. Some framesets (like my BMC) are both disk-specific and Di2-specific. A Di2-specific frame doesn't have cable stops and it can include some seriously slick internal routing. Even the stem is specific to the Di2 bike. The Di2 junction box is incorporated into the design. A cable-specific frame will have cable stops and may not include internal routing that makes a Di2 installation so nice. You may even have to change handlebars to switch to Di2 later (to accommodate the junction box.)


By the way . . . although the disk version you're citing is somewhat heavier than that manufacturer's rim version, that's not the case with all manufacturers. For some manufacturers, the frames weigh almost exactly the same and, for a few, the disk version is actually lighter.
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Old 04-02-18, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
I wouldn't assume that, but it depends on the brand and model. Some framesets (like my BMC) are both disk-specific and Di2-specific. A Di2-specific frame doesn't have cable stops and it can include some seriously slick internal routing. Even the stem is specific to the Di2 bike. The Di2 junction box is incorporated into the design. A cable-specific frame will have cable stops and may not include internal routing that makes a Di2 installation so nice. You may even have to change handlebars to switch to Di2 later (to accommodate the junction box.)


By the way . . . although the disk version you're citing is somewhat heavier than that manufacturer's rim version, that's not the case with all manufacturers. For some manufacturers, the frames weigh almost exactly the same and, for a few, the disk version is actually lighter.

Okay cool good to know. I know some frames call out they are Di2 compatible, i'm not finding anything so far on the Fuji Sl.
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Old 04-02-18, 08:24 PM
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I was consumed with the same decision recently. On paper, it makes sense to get disc and upgrade to Di2 later, because upgrading to disc later is not easily doable. After test riding both, I went with Di2. I don't ride in the wet, nor have I ever had issue with rim brakes in the dry, so spending the money on a feature I notice with each shift made more sense to me. Plus I can't stand downshifting with mechanical levers.
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Old 04-02-18, 08:35 PM
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Do both. Sure you can do one now and another later...but you'll spend more money as opposed to doing both now, as opposed to "upgrading" later.


Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
I avoided even test riding a Di2 bike because I kept hearing things like this.

Then, a bike I was interested in could only be found in my size with Di2, and they offered it to me for the price of mechanical. Crap! Of course, I had no choice but to go try it. And to my great shock, I preferred the tactical feedback you get from mechanical shifting, it wasn't love at first ride. It took a few rides for me to come to prefer it. I've had the bike most of a year now and it still shifts perfectly, each and every time, with no maintenance.

Long story short: I completely agree.

Funny thing...I dislike the Shimano mech shifter action compared to Campag and prefer the buttons of Di2. The shift-on-release action of Shimano mech was something I never really liked, nor the arbitrary limits on it (shifting and braking last I knew wasn't a thing on Shimano mech, and multi-shifting for a long while wasn't a thing).
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Old 04-02-18, 09:54 PM
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A Di2 ready frame is going to have internal routing for mechanical.

Things to look for,

1) Are the entry and exit points for cable sized for the E-Tube connectors. The housing stops for mechanical need to be adaptable and/or different to allow the E-Tube cable to pass into/out of the frame. This is for the front access point on the downtube (if that’s the access point) as well as the exit for cable on the chain stay for the rear derailer.

2) The front derailer mechanical cable will feed from the bottom of the b-bracket area while the E-Tube hole might be up near the derailer mount.

3) Some bikes might come with h-bars designed for Di2 cabling. Not a big deal if it doesn’t, but if not, you use the A Junction box that sits under the stem, vs. the newer model that replaces the plug on the bar end and has cabling interior on the bar. You can always aftermarket purchase a Di2 bar.

Last edited by Steve B.; 04-02-18 at 09:58 PM.
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