the5krunner

Loving Shimano’s Di2

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I finally managed a decent ride with the new bike yesterday.

The main purpose was just to see how well, or not, it rode; as well as sneak in a few easy sprints. However, with a couple of mates in tow, it turned into an hour of ‘off-plan’ fun and we came back significantly more tired than had we kept with our original intentions.

I still have not got a bike fit organised yet and I need to do that as I think I have messed up on the stem length. I’m having to reach just a little too far for the shifters. Plus I’ve not had one for a couple of years and suspect that I’m generally a bit more flexible so it seems prudent to get all the measurements dialled in before starting training in earnest for the season ahead.

The frame (Cervelo S3) and wheels (Shimano Dura-Ace) seem a good combo and with slightly wider tyres than I’d normally go for the whole feel was generally one of comfort.

The first real foray into the Di2 shifters exposed my lack of experience in that respect and my brain seemed to be hard-wired into using the gear buttons/levers to go in precisely the opposite direction than road conditions dictate. The great thing is (might be) that I can re-program the shifters but I probably won’t do that. I probably WILL, however, have a play at the synchro-shifting allowing one button to control the whole up-down gear-changing process.

The best thing with the Shimano Di2 was the silence. Unlike with my oval chainrings on other bikes there are zero annoying noises from chains slightly rubbing the front derailleur. Apparently the gears are auto-trimmed to avoid such noises – let’s see how that pans out over time.

From a performance perspective the electronic shifting definitely meant that I shifted gear more often. It’s just a fraction less of a faff to shift gear. But that tiny fraction seemed to make a difference to my propensity to wnat to change gear. Theoretically, more frequent (correct) gear changes should be better for performance.

I’ve not yet put the D-Fly unit in (boring, long story) so I just have simple electronic shifting rather than the full-blown battery/gear status on the Wahoo, smartphone app integration and the ability to move the wahoo screen from the button on top of the shifters (the button is, kind of, shown in the picture above).

Then another half an hour faffing around with a carbon brake pad on another bike. How difficult can it be to change a brake pad? Answer: 30 minutes or more required to find numerous tiny allen keys/wrenches and then have to get the exact right adjustment to allow the wheel to fit without the need to file the pads down. Sorted. Eventually.

I have the aerodynamic blades on a borrowed wheelset. Cool. They definitely look more aero and go really well, visually, on the TT bike. Apparently people are now putting beads of silicone sealant between the rims and tyres for a similar effect as these aero blades which, I believe, are not UCI legal any more. The things people do.

 

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