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Moulton Di2 Upgrade

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Moulton Di2 Upgrade

Old 07-16-23, 04:11 AM
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Moulton Di2 Upgrade

Needing a reason to get my hands dirty this weekend, I decided to give my Moulton a Di2 upgrade. I had accumulated a set of Dura Ace 9000 derailleurs, a 9100 11-28 cassette, a pair of XTR shifters, as well as an assortment of wires, a battery, and an 11 speed chain.

The upgrade was painless, except that I couldnít use my Capreo-type rear wheel, the freehub wasnít compatible. Fortunately, I still had the old Pashley wheels sitting out on my balcony, and the 11 speed cassette fit perfectly well on the old 8 speed freehub. To my surprise, I found the bike to be faster and more responsive with the original wheels. I had ďupgradedĒ my bike with a pair of deep vee wheels, aero spokes, and fatter Schwalbe tires. The original wheels were lighter, and, say what you like, I found the narrow tires noticeably faster.

I hid the battery in the seat post, and drilled a hole in the rear of the seat post to route the wire. Once powered up, it took only a few moments to get the derailleurs dialed in, and the bike was ready to ride. To my surprise, I found the Di2 front derailleur to work fine with the old Dura Ace 7700 crankset, it shifts perfectly with no adjustment and no rubbing.

And how does it all work? Amazingly well. Shifts are prompt, smooth, and the additional 2 gears make shifts less steep. I had a wonderful first ride with the new parts, and love how the bike rides.



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Old 07-16-23, 06:23 AM
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Õf I understand well, you mixed up Dura Ace 9000 Di2 derailleurs and XTR Di2 shifters ?

I didn't know that this could work

I knew that its possible to mix road and MTB SRAM Etap AXS components but not Shimano Di2 road and MTB components.

The drawback of the standard Shimano/SRAM freewheel body is that you are limited to 11t smallest cog what gives relatively short highest gear inches.

A solution instead of using the Moulton Campagnolo derived proprietary freewheel 11s body that I have ex factory on my Moulton Speed is to use a XDR SRAM freewheel body that also work with Shimano derailleur.
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Old 07-16-23, 12:57 PM
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You can mix Shimano Di2 road and MTB components just fine, except for the derailleurs ;-)
The general road/mtb di2 compatibility rules are:

All derailleurs in a Di2 system must be either road/grx or MTB.
All derailleurs in a Di2 system must be either 10-speed, 11-speed, or 12-speed.
12-speed Di2 is not compatible with any of the older stuff, except SW-R9150 and 1-button TT shfiters
7970 Di2 is only compatible with 7970 Di2

Nice build! Would love to own something similar some day!
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Old 07-16-23, 10:27 PM
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After installing the Dura Ace 7700 parts, I had issues with the Capreo cassette. Though I was using a new cassette, and a new chain, I had issues with the chain jumping on the 9t and 10t cogs. I was careful with the length of the chain (which is longer on a Moulton) and derailleur tension, and though I could minimize the skipping, I couldn’t get rid of it altogether Also, shifting wasn’t very precise, regardless of how I adjusted the derailleurs and cables, I often had to give the levers a little extra push to change gears.

Earlier in the year I had installed a Di2 system on my Birdy, and was happy with how it worked. The Birdy has a mix of XTR and Dura Ace 7800 parts, the only issue was not being able to find a proper derailleur adapter for the front, which I overcame by using an XTR cassette and rear derailleur, making a 1x11 system with a good range of gearing

With the Moulton, mounting a front derailleur wasn’t an issue, so I went with road parts. I had installed the bull moose bar on a whim a few months ago, planning to later install a drop bar with a wishbone neck. But the bull moose bar had the right reach and angle, and I found I could ride it all day without my hands suffering any numbness, so I decided to keep it, and use XTR levers.

Yesterday’s first ride with Di2 was amazing, shifting was perfect, up and down. No skipping, no noises, no delays, just instantaneous shifts.

My next upgrade will be a set of 451 wheels. Here in Japan we have a pretty good variety of 451-sized tires, and the Moulton APB frame and fork has lots of clearance for larger wheels and tires. The current wheels were sitting for years, and then left outside for a long time, so the aluminum has gotten pitted, and the hub bearings are sticky and gritty,
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Old 07-16-23, 11:41 PM
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I have the factory installed 11s 10-28 cassette and a full Campagnolo 11s Super Record transmission. It works perfectly, the Campagnolo Super Record rear derailleur manage perfectly the smaller 10t cog.

On my two Birdy, I have E-thirteen 9-32 and 9-34 11s cassettes with Shimano Ultegra 11s rear derailleur and those derailleur manage also perfectly the 9t cog (even on he Ti Birdy that has a compact 52-36 double chainring).
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Old 07-18-23, 02:38 AM
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Where did you put the Di2 battery? and cable routing? Sram seems friendlier for that matter.

I have run 9T cog without skipping issues but, I have a clutched derailleur and the B screw had to be adjusted to ensure gear 1-2 shifting and gear 11 (9T) wrapping. It was a e13 cassette which I took off last month and swapped for a sunrace 10-46. While there was not issues with the e13 cogs on day to day rides, I found that in racing condition, the shallow shifting ramp made the "quick aggressive" shifting harder. The Sunrace cassette has shifting ramps similar to the shimano hyperglide and it shifts without a miss even on 20% offroad muddy rocky climbs.
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Old 07-18-23, 03:17 AM
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I have two Birdy with E-thirtheen cassettes, one with a 3T 9-32 which is made by E0thirtheen and another with a 9-34.

The first is combined with an Ultegra RD-R6800-GS rear derailleur, the second with an Ultegra RD-R8000-GS, no shifting issue at all, those Ultegra derailleurs are very reliable.
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Old 07-18-23, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Jipe
I have two Birdy with E-thirtheen cassettes, one with a 3T 9-32 which is made by E0thirtheen and another with a 9-34.
The first is combined with an Ultegra RD-R6800-GS rear derailleur, the second with an Ultegra RD-R8000-GS, no shifting issue at all, those Ultegra derailleurs are very reliable.
As I said, in day to day riding they are fine, I did 5kmiles with my TRS but, when racing on rough terrain shifting through several gears at the time, if it not as good simply because they have shallow step ramp (0.45mm deep) where Shimano, SRAM and Sunrace have deeper step ramps (0.65mm deep). The later is 50%deeper allowing the chain to engage better and faster up to the next bigger cog.
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Old 07-20-23, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Fentuz
Where did you put the Di2 battery? and cable routing? Sram seems friendlier for that matter.

I have run 9T cog without skipping issues but, I have a clutched derailleur and the B screw had to be adjusted to ensure gear 1-2 shifting and gear 11 (9T) wrapping. It was a e13 cassette which I took off last month and swapped for a sunrace 10-46. While there was not issues with the e13 cogs on day to day rides, I found that in racing condition, the shallow shifting ramp made the "quick aggressive" shifting harder. The Sunrace cassette has shifting ramps similar to the shimano hyperglide and it shifts without a miss even on 20% offroad muddy rocky climbs.
Cable routing is easy as cake, it follows the braze-ons for the shifter cable. The wiring is simple, just one wire from the display on the bar to the junction box which I have attached behind the bottom bracket. The battery is in the seat post, I drilled a hole in the rear of the post for the wire, and have a connector so I can remove the post when necessary. I have another connector where the shifter cable connector used to be so I can separate the frame.

So far I donít miss the 9 speed cog, I canít ride that fast in Central Tokyo traffic.
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Old 07-22-23, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling

So far I donít miss the 9 speed cog, I canít ride that fast in Central Tokyo traffic.
true 😀
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Old 07-22-23, 03:01 AM
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Moulton doesn't use a 9t cog anymore and its the case since a long time.

Bikes with ETRTO 28x406 wheels have either a 10-28 or 10-32 11s or 10-30 12s proprietary cassettes with either a standard 53-39 double crankset or a proprietary set of 58-44 chainrings.

I have the 10-28t 11s cassette and standard Campagnolo Super Record 53-39 crankset and its OK.

The 58-44 would be nice to have longer gear inch but with the 10-28t cassette, 53-28 is often too long and require to often switch from 53 to 39 and back to 53.

If I had the 10-32t cassette, I would move to 58-44 but 32t is too big for the Super Record 11s rear derailleur.
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Old 07-23-23, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Jipe
Moulton doesn't use a 9t cog anymore and its the case since a long time.

Bikes with ETRTO 28x406 wheels have either a 10-28 or 10-32 11s or 10-30 12s proprietary cassettes with either a standard 53-39 double crankset or a proprietary set of 58-44 chainrings.

I have the 10-28t 11s cassette and standard Campagnolo Super Record 53-39 crankset and its OK.

The 58-44 would be nice to have longer gear inch but with the 10-28t cassette, 53-28 is often too long and require to often switch from 53 to 39 and back to 53.

If I had the 10-32t cassette, I would move to 58-44 but 32t is too big for the Super Record 11s rear derailleur.

I had been using a custom set of wheels, with deep section rims, DT blades spokes, and a rear hub compatible with the Capreo rear cassette. Iíll keep these wheels for another project. I reused the old Pashley wheels as they are the only set I have which can work with an 11 speed cassette. I am putting together a new set of 451 wheels, and the larger tire diameter should work well with the 11t cassette.
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Old 07-23-23, 10:56 PM
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If there is enough space to put bigger diameter wheels, that could be a solution.

But on my two Moulton, a stainless steel Speed and a Jubilee (the are build by Moulton, not by Pashley) its definitely not possible to mount 28x451 wheels.

On the Speed I have an Andoza wheelset with a Moulton cassette compatible rear hub. I choose these wheels to be able to mount Schwalbe Pro-one 28x406 tubeless tires but these tires appeared to be a bad choice, very fragile and the tubeless mounting requires to adjust the tire pressure very often while not providing a real benefit in case of puncture. I now moved to Continental Contact Urban 32x406 that just fit into my eebrake calipers. They are almost as fast and strong.

Last edited by Jipe; 07-23-23 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 07-25-23, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Jipe
If there is enough space to put bigger diameter wheels, that could be a solution.
The APB is an interesting bike because it has a lot of wheel clearance. I had been using 40-406 tires, and there was plenty more room in both directions for larger tires or a larger wheel. My Birdy is also running 40-406 tires, but has only about 3mm of clearance between the tread of the tire and the fork.
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Old 07-25-23, 06:13 AM
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I also tried ETRTO406 wheels on my Titanium Birdy with 32x406 Continental Contact Urban tires on 25mm wide MD25 Alexrims resulting in 35mm wide tires.

I could keep thin carbon mudguards.

But for me, there is no benefit in using bigger wheels, the bike become less reactive and I prefer wider tires on smaller rims, i.e. 50x355 with Big Apple tires.
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