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  1. #1
    Senior Member Stix Zadinia's Avatar
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    SRAM RED 10sp, 11sp, or Ultegra Di2?

    Hello everyone,

    After much browsing I've narrowed down to these two possibilities, a RED mechanical group, or a Di2 for my new build. I'm extremely indecisive on what to get (a local test ride event organized by Specialized is still months away, I'm afraid).

    The other day the dealer at the LBS basically started ranting against the Di2, telling me some parts can break rather easily in the event of crashing the bike against the ground or the like (because this happened to a guy with an S-Works I coincidentally saw leaving from the LBS about a month ago, with his newly installed Di2. I think the guy broke his RD).
    Don't know if the dealer is somewhat just set in his ways, but it looked instead like honest criticism to me (based to what happened to the guy with the S-Works frame).

    My frame has no holes for internal cabling, so I'd have to go for the external setup.

    I saw this video and the shifting speed at the end of it is impressive I think, I'm quite smitten with it atm:



    On the other hand, RED's looks are more sleek (just imo of course), and from what I read the (10 speed, that is) RED is about two full pounds lighter than the electronic Ultegra.

    The Di2 ends up being roughly $500 cheaper from what I've seen on ebay (around $1500, vs $2000 for the 10sp RED Black Edition) and it has the 'wow' effect from it being electronic, of course.. I'm aiming for a stealth build on a black frame, I think the Ultegra group would work a bit better (it's more all-black) for that purpose.

    I don't know if waiting around more for the 11-speed RED to become more readily available would be better than getting a 10sp.. it's more expensive, but not by much, I think.
    The obvious mechanical dependability/ease of service (or peace of mind/placebo effect if you prefer) of the RED groups also has me doubting in between the two.


    What are your opinions on these groups? (preferably if you have some actual riding experience on them, please )

    I'd really like to hear them, to try and make up my mind, I'm going in circles at this point
    (certainly not pocket change for me, so I'd like to make an informed decision as much as possible).


    Thanks much for your opinions

  2. #2
    Senior Member mihlbach's Avatar
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    Dont over think it. They both work very well, even at the highest level of competative riding. Personally id go with red just because i like the feel of the hoods and the double tap system. It really boils down to budget and personal preference.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Stix Zadinia's Avatar
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    I know both options are viable, both have their small cons depending on preference, I guess, I'd still like to hear opinions, as I'm really undecided

  4. #4
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    Not quite the same, but I have the new SRAM Red on one bike, a hybrid new SRAM Red on another, and the 9070 DA DI2 on yet another bike ....

    The new SRAM Red is awesome and shifting is very positive with the SRAM clunk-clunk shifting both front and back. If you were to go with old SRAM Red, at least get the new Red Yaw FD and older Red everything else (except perhaps the Exogram crank). There is an ergonomics difference between the new Red and older Red but the price difference is 50%. There is no difference between the new and older Red RD. Once everything is dialed in, and after the cable stretch period, shifting is immediate.

    With that being said, the DI2 shifting has to experienced to be appreciated. The front and rear shifting are even more silent and stealth than normal Shimano standards. The FD shifting is so awesome, quiet and quick, and auto-trims as the RD moves the chain up or down the cassette. The RD shifting is great. But, I have to admit that I am not quite used to the Shimano-slient shifting - I still look down sometimes to make sure that the shift has occurred. I kind of miss the clunk-clunk SRAM positive shifting but also have come to appreciate the automatic shifting nature of the Shimano DI2.

    I can not speak for long-term mechanical reliability since I only have about 7000 miles on the new SRAM Red but have changed the shift cables twice due to rust, with the requisite cable-stretch adjustment. The DI2 worked consistently from Day 1 but I only have about 1000 miles on it with no adjustment required - I am sure the DI2 should be reliable enough.

    So, the above are my experiences and opinion. Both old Red and Ultegra DI2 will be great.

    If I had to make a recommendation, since your bike is not pre-drilled for internal DI2 wiring, I would recommend the hybrid new SRAM Red - new Yaw Red FD, new Exogram crankset, old Red RD, old Red shifters, and current PG1070 cassette. There should be decent deals with the Sram 22 groupset coming out. Anyway, I waited for the new 9070 DA DI2 over the older DA DI2 because I wanted the internal wiring and internal battery set-up.

    Mark

  5. #5
    Senior Member Nachoman's Avatar
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    External routing is obviously not as clean as internal, but it's not that bad. It's pretty well hidden.
    .
    .

    Two wheels good. Four wheels bad.

  6. #6
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    I would say go with Di2 if you are not weight-weenie.

  7. #7
    I'm doing it wrong. RJM's Avatar
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    If it were my bike, I would go with the Di2.
    "Rivendells do not rock; they jamboree."
    "I love the bike. Itís my meditation. I think I am Ďbike-sexual." - Robin Williams
    "East coast intellectuals have degrees in everything. Sort of a blanket coverage kind of thing."

  8. #8
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    Sram Red. Test rode Ultegra Di2 and was not impressed as most people. Di2 works like the claims say, I just like the mechanical feel of Sram Red. I feel the Red looks much better as well. I personally am tired of most all road bike components being black, black and more black.

    People with Di2, have you had any range anxiety with the batteries?
    Current Rides, Look 566 & d' Arienzo-Basso Daily Rides. Cannondale 800 Optimo, utility bike.

  9. #9
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    Use whatever you want, I doubt the majority of people would ever feel the difference weight wise, and if they're both set-up and adjusted properly, they should shift just as perfectly as any other groupset.
    Personally, I'd go with Shimano, but that's just because their ergonomics fit me better (although most people say they prefer SRAM on this front).
    Plus, I'm a complete computer geek, I'd love Di2 and just can't afford it haha.

    Final perspective... Look at the pro peloton, you'll see five groupsets in use - if one gave an advantage over the other, don't you think they'd all ride that group?
    The five groups being mechanical Shimano/Campy/SRAM and the other two being EPS Campy and Di2 Shimano.
    Epic/Tarmac/Langster Pro

  10. #10
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    No range anxiety. I get about 800 miles out of a full charge, and it takes only a couple of seconds to check the charge level.

    The biggest advantage of Red over Ui2 is weight. There's a good deal of variability in reported weights (besides, you rarely see pure Red or pure Ui2 - for example, my Ui2 bike came with a FSA carbon crank, which weighed something like 200 g less than the standard Ultegra crank.) But the most commonly reported figures are that you save 110 g in the RD, 110 g in the FD, and somewhere between 50 and 100 g on cables and the battery.

  11. #11
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    I replaced my Rival group on my CR1 with Ultegra Di2 and I much prefer the latter because:

    No derailleur adjusting
    Shifting under power
    no mis shifting
    auto correction
    \

  12. #12
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Di2 works extremely well, arguably better than Red. For me though, it's not a practical consideration, but rather boils down to a matter of esthetics or principal. I want my bike to remain completely human powered, not having needed to be have been plugged in and charged at some point in order to ride.

  13. #13
    token triathlete Bah Humbug's Avatar
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    If your frame with take Di2 internally, I'd go that route.
    #giantsfansforgarrett

  14. #14
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    Personally I enjoy my Sram red... But I see the benefit of Ultegra Di2 as a future upgrade for my girlfriends bike for the sole reason of the auto trim on the FD.. she can't figure out how to trim as it stands...

    http://www.merlincycles.com/bike-sho...pset-2013.html

    http://www.merlincycles.com/bike-sho...-groupset.html

    and the price differences between the two are nil...

    If you do go red, make sure you go YAW FD with the new 2013 Exogram crank as you will find the shift far superior than 2012/2011 with the Ti front cage.

    Also the XG-1090 cassette is amazing quite compared the the old PG-1090's.

    I started my RED upgrade as a 2011/2012 complete and as I came across good deals on new 2013 stuff I made the switch and it was a night and day difference. only 2011/2012 stuff I have left is the RD and shifters.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Stix Zadinia's Avatar
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    Going the SRAM route, is it worth it -on any level- to go for 11sp (say, for future upgrades), or is it totally negligible/useless? (I've read different opinions on this).

    I'm not very fond of the 11 or 10 speed Exogram cranks, as they're not black, and since this bike will be used frequently for commuting, I'd like the looks to remain as discrete as possible. I want to put together a stealth build, but it's -at least partly- for practical reasons. The black edition crank is more like what I'm looking for, but alas it's not available for 11-speed.

    Could it be replaced with an 11-speed black crank from another brand, without much issues?

  16. #16
    Senior Member Breathegood's Avatar
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    I recently upgraded to a full SRAM Red mechanical group. I had the same dilemma you are having. Ultimately, I decided to wait on Di2 setup until I have a frame that is built to use it. The Red group is a dramatic upgrade from the Ultegra 6500 I was using. Night and day. I have no complaints. I find the hoods more comfortable, shifting is clean and fast, and the YAW FD on a compact crank allows full use of the 10sp cassette on either chainring with minimal to no rubbing. To top it off, my bike is now a sub 16lb bike. I would not be able to say that had I chosen the Ultegra Di2 setup.
    1991 Trek 8700 - SS conversion - 'round towner
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  17. #17
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    Ride them and pick the one you want. If not for the fact that I couldn't find a SRAM setup at my price range, I would definitely give it a try because I did like the shifters better.

  18. #18
    Senior Member KantoBoy's Avatar
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    I was in the same predicament a month ago and I went Di2.

    I have it externally installed. Looking at the drive side if it wasn't for the zip tie on the top of the downtube it's so clean. non drive side it's the wire on the bottom bracket but since I have black paint in that area you don't even see it.

    Do I love it? Hells Fn yeah.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Stix Zadinia's Avatar
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    Seems like hydraulic road discs and 11-Speed Ultegra Di2 will be available from Shimano by years' end, as well. More choices -and confusion- for me

    Reason being, to save costs, I need to import the groupset (outside US), and I'd hate to do so on something that's not kind of up to date. Since I cannot replace things very easily, that is.
    Locally, the prices are ridiculous -more than double as much- for higher end stuff.

    Features aside, ideally I'd like to end up with a 'discrete' looking bike, something like this (but without red calipers or parts):



    ^ That's actually the same frame I have (an E5).

    Btw anyone knows what crank is that?

  20. #20
    Senior Member topflightpro's Avatar
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    My only suggestion is that whatever you do, buy 11-speed. That is the way the market is going. I see little sense in buying 10-speed if you are looking at Force/Red or Ultegra/DA.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoboCheme View Post
    I replaced my Rival group on my CR1 with Ultegra Di2 and I much prefer the latter because:

    No derailleur adjusting
    Shifting under power
    no mis shifting
    auto correction
    \
    HI RoboCheme, do you have any pictures, I'm thinking of putting DI2 on my Cr1 as well. Any advice? Thanks!
    ...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    HI RoboCheme, do you have any pictures, I'm thinking of putting DI2 on my Cr1 as well. Any advice? Thanks!
    I just put the Ultegra Di2 group on a Cannondale EVO non-Di2 frame. My advice to you is: don't worry, it's very easy to install. You may be confused by all the wiring options and length of the wires and whatnot, but at the end of the day, it's really not that difficult at all; if you have installed mechanical groups before, you won't have any issues at all.

    I'm sure you will be running an EXTERNAL wiring because you are retrofitting a CR1, a few things to remember:
    - The wire covers are a must, they make the install much cleaner
    - Measure twice, "buy" once. This is especially true of the wire running from the B-junction box (the one attached at the bottom, in place of the cable guide) to front harness and rear derailleur
    - You probably need a LONG version of the battery mount where the battery mount is attached to the frame on the downtube underneath the bottle cage

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
    My only suggestion is that whatever you do, buy 11-speed. That is the way the market is going. I see little sense in buying 10-speed if you are looking at Force/Red or Ultegra/DA.
    I agree with this. maybe save a few bucks and get Force22 instead of Red20. still lighter than UltDi2. ultimately though it depends on what you are more comfortable with. I would definitely be intrigued by Di2 though. I like both SRAM and Shim hoods, but prefer double tap shifting, still wanna try Di2 though. it might be exactly what I want/need.
    "You should never point a loaded *** at anyone. This is not a hard and fast rule, however. A hard and fast rule is that you should never, ever, point an unloaded *** at anyone." --P.J. O'Rourke

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    HI RoboCheme, do you have any pictures, I'm thinking of putting DI2 on my Cr1 as well. Any advice? Thanks!
    I'll try and post pics tomorrow. I had a shop do the install. For some reason they couldn't move my Ultegra crankset from my other bike so I still use your Rival crankset. They were both 50-34.

    I also had to replace the Rival brakes with Ultegra to match the shifters.

    I did put a SRAM 11-32 cassette on so that I can make it up the hills around here. It's not approved, but it works fine. There's a little bit chain-derailleur rubbing when I go small-small or big-big, but the noise isn't bad and it tells me that I'm cross-chaining.

    I love the Di2. I probably shift more often just because it's so easy. I highly recommend the switch.

  25. #25
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
    My only suggestion is that whatever you do, buy 11-speed. That is the way the market is going. I see little sense in buying 10-speed if you are looking at Force/Red or Ultegra/DA.

    only draw back is that not all the wheel cassettes bodies will fit or can be retro fitted for 11spd. The standard spacing for 8,9,10spd has been around for almost 2 decades....

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