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What to consider for carbon/titanium/other bike WITH Di2 and WITHOUT disc brakes?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

What to consider for carbon/titanium/other bike WITH Di2 and WITHOUT disc brakes?

Old 06-29-22, 11:46 AM
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supernova87a
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What to consider for carbon/titanium/other bike WITH Di2 and WITHOUT disc brakes?

Perhaps this is an odd or impossible request at this stage of road bike development, but it has been a long time since I bought one, and I'm not (yet) a fan of disc brakes. I just think they're unnecessary and actually distracting/heavy/troublesome for what they provide, and I never really bought into why they were important for road biking. Maybe I'm an old fogey at this point.

I'm wanting to treat myself to an upgraded bike after so long on the old beater. So I would like to enjoy something relatively light, but I'm not going to quibble about ounces. And, I am coming around to wanting Ultegra Di2 or the equivalent (which I am inexperienced as to what the equivalent is from SRAM etc, again, I'm new to buying for a long time). It adds $1000 to everything, but I suppose I should allow myself that indulgence at this point. (I already know Ultegra well, just not the electronic shifting aspect).

I did see that Ultegra Di2 has proprietary charging hardware which is less than ideal, but not a dealbreaker. Not caring too much about wired vs. wireless.

I just want to find a set of good value, light weight, road bikes / brands to consider buying, and am also indifferent to frame material (or at least, not a believer that the material is the main thing).

I looked at:
  • Litespeed because you can still buy a rim brake + Ultegra Di2 bike from them.
  • Ribble on someone's recommendation about how nice the ride felt, but being from the UK their prices are immediately inflated.
  • A Specialized Roubaix Expert Di2 that I've got my eye on, but it has the disc brakes.

Are there other brands/models that you might suggest I consider? Clearly I'm thinking about / comfortable with the $3500-4500 range. More than that seems crazy to me. Again, I'm getting my feet wet again after 15 years of not having bought a bike...

I am even open to buying a good condition used bike with the right hardware.

Thanks!

Last edited by supernova87a; 06-29-22 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 06-29-22, 11:56 AM
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In 2014, I had the opposite problem. In order to get hydraulic disc brakes, I was forced to get Di2 (as they were bundled when they first came out). I have zero regrets about either, in retrospect.

The main problem you are facing is that most of what is on the market bundles Di2 with disc brakes. (I think this is also true for SRAM and their equivlant.) If you would be willing to reconsider your stance, may more options would become available, and I can promise you won't regret it (at least if they are Shimano Disc brakes).
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Old 06-29-22, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
... If you would be willing to reconsider your stance, may more options would become available, and I can promise you won't regret it (at least if they are Shimano Disc brakes).
Yes, thanks for that suggestion! In that case, there are plenty of conventional choices for me like Trek Domane and Specialized Roubaix. I guess I just have to let my disc brake aversion / requirement go. This is solidly in the $4000+ range then.
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Old 06-29-22, 12:01 PM
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Not likely to get a new bike with Ultegra Di2 for $4,500. My research is that that build starts at about $5,500.

105 Di2 is coming soon, and those bikes will likely fall within your range.
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Old 06-29-22, 12:02 PM
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Good point. This one is $4,700.

https://www.canyon.com/en-us/road-bi...-di2/2863.html
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Old 06-29-22, 12:03 PM
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Maybe ask your local bike shop to build something for you - they can try and source the parts separately.

A friend of mine received his new Canyon Ultimate SL8 last week; it is rim and Ultegra, no Di2 though but at 7kg very good value for money, I thought.



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Old 06-29-22, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
Not likely to get a new bike with Ultegra Di2 for $4,500. My research is that that build starts at about $5,500.

105 Di2 is coming soon, and those bikes will likely fall within your range.
Thanks!

I am right now thinking strongly of a Litespeed Ultegra Di2 + rim brakes that is showing at ~$4200 with a July4 discount.
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Old 06-29-22, 12:05 PM
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I wouldn't ride carbon wheels with rim brakes. But that's just me. YMMV.

Last edited by stevel610; 06-29-22 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 06-29-22, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
If you want a 2XL.
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Old 06-29-22, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by supernova87a View Post
Thanks!

I am right now thinking strongly of a Litespeed Ultegra Di2 + rim brakes that is showing at ~$4200 with a July4 discount.
Jump on it!
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Old 06-29-22, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by stevel610 View Post
I wouldn't ride carbon wheels with rim brakes.
This is a really good point.
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Old 06-29-22, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by stevel610 View Post
I wouldn't ride carbon wheels with rim brakes.
Fortunately I doubt I am at that level of lightweight hardware requirements to make the difference in how I perform!
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Old 06-29-22, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
Jump on it!
Yeah, if that fits, and it has the brakes the OP wants, it would be crazy NOT to get that.
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Old 06-29-22, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
In 2014, I had the opposite problem. In order to get hydraulic disc brakes, I was forced to get Di2 (as they were bundled when they first came out). I have zero regrets about either, in retrospect.

The main problem you are facing is that most of what is on the market bundles Di2 with disc brakes. (I think this is also true for SRAM and their equivlant.) If you would be willing to reconsider your stance, may more options would become available, and I can promise you won't regret it (at least if they are Shimano Disc brakes).
I agree with all of this, and will add that some nicer bikes (such as Ultegra Di2) come with carbon fiber rims, and those will all have disc brakes. If you DO find a Di2 bike with rim brakes, you'll be limiting your wheel choices going forward. (I offer this advice as someone who has a twenty-year old bike that is on its...Hmm, let's see... fourth or fifth wheelset.)
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Old 06-29-22, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
I agree with all of this, and will add that some nicer bikes (such as Ultegra Di2) come with carbon fiber rims, and those will all have disc brakes. If you DO find a Di2 bike with rim brakes, you'll be limiting your wheel choices going forward. (I offer this advice as someone who has a twenty-year old bike that is on its...Hmm, let's see... fourth or fifth wheelset.)
Thanks -- that is a good point, whether I lock myself into (or out of) certain upgrades in the future. But my guess is that I will not really reach a level of performance where that is a concern. As long as they keep on producing reasonably medium performance rim brake wheels I will probably be satisfied.
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Old 06-29-22, 02:38 PM
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The main point is rim brakes + carbon rims can be a challenge, especially in wet conditions.

If you have aluminum rims, I wouldn't worry about rim brakes unless you deal with very steep hills and/or a lot of wet weather.

Get the bike that gives you the most comfortable and enjoyable ride. The Litespeed sounds ideal.
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Old 06-29-22, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
The main point is rim brakes + carbon rims can be a challenge, especially in wet conditions.

If you have aluminum rims, I wouldn't worry about rim brakes unless you deal with very steep hills and/or a lot of wet weather.

Get the bike that gives you the most comfortable and enjoyable ride. The Litespeed sounds ideal.
Thanks!

Yes, I doubt I need to worry about extremely steep hills, and I'm not generally going out to ride on purpose in rain.

I always had a puzzle over why disc brakes were said to be desirable for hills and such -- physics-wise I always thought that way more braking torque could be applied farther out at the rim, but I guess that the increased hydraulic leverage of disc brakes makes that advantageous. Certainly videos like this (
) gave me pause about believing what everyone was saying as undisputed advantages of disc brakes (at least when the mass market writes up articles about it).
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Old 06-29-22, 03:02 PM
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I had hydraulic rim brakes on a bike. You would think they would give you the best of both worlds. It might have just been me, but I thought those brakes really sucked.

I didn't watch the video, but I go through an assload of pads. I probably replace rotors about every year or two.
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Old 06-29-22, 03:08 PM
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Only a small subset of what I have blown through in the last 8 years.
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Old 06-29-22, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post


Only a small subset of what I have blown through in the last 8 years.
What thickness do you replace them at?
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Old 06-29-22, 04:08 PM
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I've been a little bit too conservative. Shimano says to replace them at 0.5mm, but you can go safely until you see the dog-bone pattern, so I was sorting out the thickest ones to re-use to get a bit more life out of them.

The parts shortage (and price increase) is actually a pretty good argument for rim brakes.
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Old 06-29-22, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by supernova87a View Post
Perhaps this is an odd or impossible request at this stage of road bike development, but it has been a long time since I bought one, and I'm not (yet) a fan of disc brakes. I just think they're unnecessary and actually distracting …
Distracting? Are you a cat?
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Old 06-29-22, 08:30 PM
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I'm seeing many excellent used bikes with Di2 on eBay with rim brakes.

No way I'd go disc. Doesn't solve any problem. I'd buy one of these or similar used bikes and be happy forever:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/32522531894...wAAOSwtCZijmuw

https://www.ebay.com/itm/12539164088...UAAOSwiRhiu3NV
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Old 06-30-22, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by supernova87a View Post
Perhaps this is an odd or impossible request at this stage of road bike development, but it has been a long time since I bought one, and I'm not (yet) a fan of disc brakes. I just think they're unnecessary and actually distracting/heavy/troublesome for what they provide, and I never really bought into why they were important for road biking. Maybe I'm an old fogey at this point.

I'm wanting to treat myself to an upgraded bike after so long on the old beater. So I would like to enjoy something relatively light, but I'm not going to quibble about ounces. And, I am coming around to wanting Ultegra Di2 or the equivalent (which I am inexperienced as to what the equivalent is from SRAM etc, again, I'm new to buying for a long time). It adds $1000 to everything, but I suppose I should allow myself that indulgence at this point. (I already know Ultegra well, just not the electronic shifting aspect).

I did see that Ultegra Di2 has proprietary charging hardware which is less than ideal, but not a dealbreaker. Not caring too much about wired vs. wireless.

I just want to find a set of good value, light weight, road bikes / brands to consider buying, and am also indifferent to frame material (or at least, not a believer that the material is the main thing).

I looked at:
  • Litespeed because you can still buy a rim brake + Ultegra Di2 bike from them.
  • Ribble on someone's recommendation about how nice the ride felt, but being from the UK their prices are immediately inflated.
  • A Specialized Roubaix Expert Di2 that I've got my eye on, but it has the disc brakes.

Are there other brands/models that you might suggest I consider? Clearly I'm thinking about / comfortable with the $3500-4500 range. More than that seems crazy to me. Again, I'm getting my feet wet again after 15 years of not having bought a bike...

I am even open to buying a good condition used bike with the right hardware.

Thanks!
disks are the future - rim brakes and wheels aren’t going to disappear any time soon, but I imagine the selection of parts will start to contract, so when you go to replace/upgrade parts, you’ll have to make do with what you can get, rather than exactly what you want.
As for “distracting”, when you’re descending you’re looking at the road ahead, not down at what brakes you have. You squeeze the lever, the bike slows - does it matter which type of brake did the slowing?
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Old 06-30-22, 07:41 AM
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The Pro's Closet has a number of used bikes in various sizes that have the gear you're looking for.

https://www.theproscloset.com/collec...rice-ascending

BTW, I have a 2018 Fuji SL2.1 equipped exactly how you want and I love it. Not for sale though.
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