Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Do-it-Yourself Ultegra R8050 DI2 Shifter conversion. How hard to do?

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Do-it-Yourself Ultegra R8050 DI2 Shifter conversion. How hard to do?

Old 10-14-18, 08:03 AM
  #1  
Barrettscv 
Have bike, will travel
Thread Starter
 
Barrettscv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Lake Geneva, WI
Posts: 12,268

Bikes: Ridley Helium SLX, Canyon Endurance SL, De Rosa Professional, Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, Schwinn Paramount (1 painted, 1 chrome), Peugeot PX10, Serotta Nova X, Simoncini Cyclocross Special, Raleigh Roker, Pedal Force CG2 and CX2

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 848 Post(s)
Liked 165 Times in 100 Posts
Do-it-Yourself Ultegra R8050 DI2 Shifter conversion. How hard to do?

I'm considering upgrading a 2017 Ridley Fenix SL from Shimano 105 shifters and derailleurs to Ultegra Di2 R8050 shifters and derailleurs. I would be purchasing the "Upgrade Kit" that includes the Di2 Battery, Charger, Cables & Junction Boxes along with the levers and derailleurs. The Ridley features internal routing and is electronic ready.

I've looked over a few on-line tutorials and I'm not completely convinced that this is a Do it yourself project. I can build up a frameset using mechanical components, but I'll admit that an electronic system might require a different skill set.

Has anyone completed a Shimano Ultegra R8050 conversion?
Barrettscv is offline  
Old 10-14-18, 01:22 PM
  #2  
cpach
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Mt Shasta, CA, USA
Posts: 1,859

Bikes: Too many. Cannondale SuperSix, Trek Remedy 8, Trek Crossrip+ get the most ride time.

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 414 Post(s)
Liked 202 Times in 160 Posts
It's generally not seriously harder than building up with mechanical. In some ways it's easier--you never need to track down a source of friction in a cable, for example. Note that there may be different frame fittings for your frame to run it with Di2--you might have to source through through Ridley or a Ridley dealer if you want it to look exactly right. Generally these will close off one of the derailleur entry ports and provide a rubber gromet for the other one that the wire can pass through. If you're comfortable, you can also fake it by passing the wires through the holes and finding some other way (hot glue, for example) to plug the holes. You will probably have to/want to do the installation with the BB removed so take that into account also. The Shimano dealer manual ( at Manuals & Technical Documents )is rather comprehensive and easy to follow directions on the setup and if followed methodically will work very well. The most difficult part of the setup is probably installing the seatpost battery and running all the cables and securing the B junction box forward of the BB in the downtube. You can actually complete the setup entirely without a computer, but for changing settings and updating firmware you can use the charge cable plugged into the A junction box with eTube software on a Windows computer, which Shimano makes available for free and accessible to consumers. If you have an iOS or Android device you can update firmware and stuff only if you purchase/install the dfly bluetooth transmitter.
cpach is offline  
Old 10-14-18, 01:32 PM
  #3  
Marcus_Ti 
FLIR Kitten to 0.05C
 
Marcus_Ti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Posts: 5,327

Bikes: Roadie: Seven Axiom Race Ti w/Chorus 11s. CX/Adventure: Carver Gravel Grinder w/ Di2

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2345 Post(s)
Liked 397 Times in 249 Posts
Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I'm considering upgrading a 2017 Ridley Fenix SL from Shimano 105 shifters and derailleurs to Ultegra Di2 R8050 shifters and derailleurs. I would be purchasing the "Upgrade Kit" that includes the Di2 Battery, Charger, Cables & Junction Boxes along with the levers and derailleurs. The Ridley features internal routing and is electronic ready.

I've looked over a few on-line tutorials and I'm not completely convinced that this is a Do it yourself project. I can build up a frameset using mechanical components, but I'll admit that an electronic system might require a different skill set.

Has anyone completed a Shimano Ultegra R8050 conversion?

It very much is. The only really tricky thing is correctly judging the length of cables to purchase. Once you have the correct collection of parts it plugs in. If the frame is Di2 ready, all you further need is the grommets for it--Shimano sells generic circular and ovular ones, but Ridley may or may not be vendor-specific...because Ridley has loved to be a PITA in the past.


It really is more scary reading/looking than it is.


The one "trick" worth mentioning, allow some excess cable swag at the shifter controls in case the controller gets knocked off--so you don't unseat cables in the process.
Marcus_Ti is offline  
Old 10-14-18, 01:55 PM
  #4  
sch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Mountain Brook. AL
Posts: 3,887
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 272 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 87 Times in 68 Posts
As to the grommets, sort of depends on whether the frame uses the entrance/exit points as cable housing stops or not. If the housing runs full length through the frame then the
Di2 wire plug will fit ok as it is just under 5mm in size, but the cable is a bit less than 3mm so an existing housing grommet will be loose. If it is a housing stop then you can either
look for the right grommet set or possibly drill out the stop to allow the plug to thread through. My frame had a piece of plastic about 15x22mm in size with a built in housing stop,
the whole assembly held in by a screw. I ended up cutting a piece of 1/8" thick aluminum to size and filing it to fit after drilling a right sized hole for the retention screw and wire.

Cable length is "easy" if you have access to a friendly shop that has a full stock and will let you swap. Another thing, liberal use of the
cable clips that look like cable ties but with a 'c' clip on the end is helpful to reduce rattle and slap in the down tube. I would add 5 or 6 4-6" long cable ties at 60-90 angles on each
side of the down tube B junction to keep it centered in the down tube and reduce noise from the junction bouncing off the down tube wall. Shimano gives you 4 of these cable spacers,
which I did not know the function of and left them off initally, but later fished out the down tube wire and added them to the wire. Need to go back and use some 4-6" cable ties fully
snugged up on the wire to reduce B junction slap. I have done two standard bikes, one external and one internal and my LWB recumbent. A bit of ingenuity is all that is needed.

Look up the tech docs for Di2 on shimano.com and print out the 2-3 pages that are most appropriate to your install, but particularly the ones pertaining to adjusting the FD and RD.
The full manuals are 60 or so pages but the really necessary parts are much shorter.
sch is offline  
Old 10-14-18, 08:47 PM
  #5  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 4,919

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1891 Post(s)
Liked 573 Times in 379 Posts
It might help to take off the crank and b-bracket to get a look at the routing of the cables in that area. Typically a B junction can sit just above the b-bracket in the down tube. The cable from the A junction connects and you route the F & R derailer cables, as well as battery cables above the b-bracket.

In my frame I seemed easier to install the B junction in the seat tube so my A to B cable length reflected that. My B junction cable then went to the WIFi unit I installed below the battery, then to the battery on a 15mm cable. It all worked well and there are a few sites that can help you determine cable lengthts

One good piece of advice is to do a loop of the cable coming out of the shifters, tape the loop to the h-bar under the bar tape so as to allow some cable play in the event of a crash, where you dont want the cable pulling out of a shifter that has gotten knocked, so some spare there is helpful.

Other things I learned is the Ritchey seat post battery holder is a good buy and holds the battery securely. Another is that the 8050 shifters I ordered came with the Shimano cable install tool, so no need to buy separately.
Steve B. is offline  
Old 10-14-18, 09:06 PM
  #6  
Le Mechanic
Senior Member
 
Le Mechanic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Denver Colorado
Posts: 323

Bikes: 2020 Pivot Vault, 1983 Rossin Record, Garneau R1, Mesamods home built gravel/rain commuter bike, 1995 Barracuda A2V modified with Surley single speed dropouts, 1969 Bottecchia junkyard special fixed gear, Cervelo P4, Mesamods 650b klunker

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 90 Post(s)
Liked 57 Times in 44 Posts
I've done quite a lot of Di2 conversions/complete bike builds. In general, it's easier than an internally routed mechanical set up. Shimano's website has lots of useful tech info and you should upload their e-tube project software for firmware updates and diagnostics. I've made a few tutorial Di2 videos. Here's a couple you might find helpful:


Le Mechanic is offline  
Old 10-15-18, 06:08 AM
  #7  
TimothyH
- Soli Deo Gloria -
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Northwest Georgia
Posts: 14,783

Bikes: 2018 Rodriguez Custom Fixed Gear, 2017 Niner RLT 9 RDO, 2015 Bianchi Pista, 2002 Fuji Robaix

Mentioned: 235 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6836 Post(s)
Liked 699 Times in 444 Posts
Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I've looked over a few on-line tutorials and I'm not completely convinced that this is a Do it yourself project. I can build up a frameset using mechanical components, but I'll admit that an electronic system might require a different skill set.
If you can build a bike up with mechanical then you can surely build it with Di2.

Di2 is easier.


-Tim-
TimothyH is offline  
Old 10-15-18, 07:33 AM
  #8  
Marcus_Ti 
FLIR Kitten to 0.05C
 
Marcus_Ti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Posts: 5,327

Bikes: Roadie: Seven Axiom Race Ti w/Chorus 11s. CX/Adventure: Carver Gravel Grinder w/ Di2

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2345 Post(s)
Liked 397 Times in 249 Posts
Originally Posted by sch View Post
As to the grommets, sort of depends on whether the frame uses the entrance/exit points as cable housing stops or not. If the housing runs full length through the frame then the
Di2 wire plug will fit ok as it is just under 5mm in size, but the cable is a bit less than 3mm so an existing housing grommet will be loose. If it is a housing stop then you can either
look for the right grommet set or possibly drill out the stop to allow the plug to thread through. My frame had a piece of plastic about 15x22mm in size with a built in housing stop,
the whole assembly held in by a screw. I ended up cutting a piece of 1/8" thick aluminum to size and filing it to fit after drilling a right sized hole for the retention screw and wire.

Cable length is "easy" if you have access to a friendly shop that has a full stock and will let you swap. Another thing, liberal use of the
cable clips that look like cable ties but with a 'c' clip on the end is helpful to reduce rattle and slap in the down tube. I would add 5 or 6 4-6" long cable ties at 60-90 angles on each
side of the down tube B junction to keep it centered in the down tube and reduce noise from the junction bouncing off the down tube wall. Shimano gives you 4 of these cable spacers,
which I did not know the function of and left them off initally, but later fished out the down tube wire and added them to the wire. Need to go back and use some 4-6" cable ties fully
snugged up on the wire to reduce B junction slap. I have done two standard bikes, one external and one internal and my LWB recumbent. A bit of ingenuity is all that is needed.

Look up the tech docs for Di2 on shimano.com and print out the 2-3 pages that are most appropriate to your install, but particularly the ones pertaining to adjusting the FD and RD.
The full manuals are 60 or so pages but the really necessary parts are much shorter.
Huge, "if" depending on where you are and your local market. For example, I'd have to drive 4+ hours to find a single bike shop that stocks any Di2 retail product (I'm guessing someone in Kansas City stocks it). Because once they have it--it never sells up here. Finding even complete Di2 bikes is a needle. Sure all LBS can get it--but their policy is "you order it special, it is yours".

There's only a handful of electronic shifting rigs around here. I know of maybe 6 in the area: 5x Di2 and 1x eTap.
Marcus_Ti is offline  
Old 10-15-18, 08:32 AM
  #9  
TimothyH
- Soli Deo Gloria -
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Northwest Georgia
Posts: 14,783

Bikes: 2018 Rodriguez Custom Fixed Gear, 2017 Niner RLT 9 RDO, 2015 Bianchi Pista, 2002 Fuji Robaix

Mentioned: 235 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6836 Post(s)
Liked 699 Times in 444 Posts
A bike shop isn't needed to determine proper wire length.

Use a piece of string to approximate the length, measure the string and order the next size up or maybe two sizes up. The wires weigh next to nothing. Just shove the slack up into the tubes and don't worry about it.

Again, this is easy. It only becomes complicated when we make it so.


-Tim-
TimothyH is offline  
Old 10-15-18, 06:09 PM
  #10  
wsteve464
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 557
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 159 Post(s)
Liked 70 Times in 61 Posts
I am in the middle of setting up a di2 system. I found I understood it better by wiring the whole system together before installing in the bike. Like everyone has indicated you should have no problem installing the system.
wsteve464 is offline  
Old 10-16-18, 12:47 PM
  #11  
Metaluna
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,221

Bikes: Niner RLT 9 RDO, Gunnar Sport, Soma Saga, Workswell WCBR-146

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 114 Post(s)
Liked 19 Times in 19 Posts
Originally Posted by sch View Post
Cable length is "easy" if you have access to a friendly shop that has a full stock and will let you swap. Another thing, liberal use of the
cable clips that look like cable ties but with a 'c' clip on the end is helpful to reduce rattle and slap in the down tube. I would add 5 or 6 4-6" long cable ties at 60-90 angles on each
side of the down tube B junction to keep it centered in the down tube and reduce noise from the junction bouncing off the down tube wall. Shimano gives you 4 of these cable spacers,
which I did not know the function of and left them off initally, but later fished out the down tube wire and added them to the wire. Need to go back and use some 4-6" cable ties fully
snugged up on the wire to reduce B junction slap. I have done two standard bikes, one external and one internal and my LWB recumbent. A bit of ingenuity is all that is needed.

Look up the tech docs for Di2 on shimano.com and print out the 2-3 pages that are most appropriate to your install, but particularly the ones pertaining to adjusting the FD and RD.
The full manuals are 60 or so pages but the really necessary parts are much shorter.
Ahh, so that's how you use those things. The c-clip goes around the wire, and then the "tails" bend and flex to press on the walls of the tube, a little like a star-fangled nut (but non-destructive). For one of my Di2 installations, I wrapped my B junction in a layer of Sorbothane, which is a super-squishy, almost gel-like rubber used for shock and vibration dampening (shoe insoles, computer hard drives, etc.) I still have a small supply from years ago when I was obsessed with silencing my PC fans and drives.

Regarding grommets and sealing issues, has anyone tried Sugru for general DIY grommeting? For those who don't know, Sugru is a sort of semi-permanent silicone putty that can be molded into any shape to serve as a gap-filler, and has some level of adhesion to surfaces, but I'm not sure how well it sticks or stands up to things like weather, salt, and UV. I have a pack of it, but haven't gotten around to testing it. I've even read of people using it to stick their A-junction underneath the stem without using a zip tie but I'm not sure I trust it that much.

Last edited by Metaluna; 10-16-18 at 12:52 PM.
Metaluna is offline  
Old 10-16-18, 01:30 PM
  #12  
Metaluna
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,221

Bikes: Niner RLT 9 RDO, Gunnar Sport, Soma Saga, Workswell WCBR-146

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 114 Post(s)
Liked 19 Times in 19 Posts
Originally Posted by cpach View Post
The most difficult part of the setup is probably installing the seatpost battery and running all the cables and securing the B junction box forward of the BB in the downtube. You can actually complete the setup entirely without a computer, but for changing settings and updating firmware you can use the charge cable plugged into the A junction box with eTube software on a Windows computer, which Shimano makes available for free and accessible to consumers. If you have an iOS or Android device you can update firmware and stuff only if you purchase/install the dfly bluetooth transmitter.
Just a caution: you can update everything BUT the Bluetooth firmware wirelessly (i.e. the Bluetooth module can't update itself). To update the Bluetooth firmware, you must use a USB connection, or risk bricking the D-Fly module. Even worse, from what I've read eTube won't try to stop, or even warn you. For builds using the seat tube battery, you already needed to buy the USB charger anyway, so you get USB firmware update capability "for free" as long as you have access to a Windows machine. If your frame needs the external battery though, you must buy a different, dumb, charger that plugs directly into an AC outlet. So in that case you have no USB update capability unless you buy the SM-PCE1 diagnostic cable (for around $100-150 IIRC), or take it to a shop.
Metaluna is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
FatBottomedGirl
Bicycle Mechanics
10
05-18-16 10:39 PM
oldacura
Tandem Cycling
23
02-24-16 09:47 AM
fimpson
Bicycle Mechanics
6
10-19-15 08:46 AM
Soundtallica
Bicycle Mechanics
4
10-07-15 01:37 PM
LucF
Bicycle Mechanics
15
07-27-13 11:55 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.