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Longevity of Di2 drivetrains?

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Longevity of Di2 drivetrains?

Old 03-26-18, 10:23 AM
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Plainsman
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Longevity of Di2 drivetrains?

For those who run Di2, how much life have you gotten out of your components? I'm considering the switch to electronic, but I'm curious about component lifespan. When I sold my last road bike, it was 12 year old with a first gen Ultegra 10 speed drivetrain. I maintained it well, and after 12 years the system was still in good shape. Is it realistic to expect 10 years out of the new electronic groupsets?
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Old 03-26-18, 10:28 AM
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I got mine (Ultegra Di2) in May 2014 and it is still going strong. I've worn out chains, cassettes, and even the chainrings, thanks to a combination of on and off-road riding with loads of hill climbing. All of the Di2 stuff is as solid as the day I bought the bike. Since Di2 hasn't been around for 10 years (as far as I am aware), I can only extrapolate, but it isn't showing any signs of problems. Batteries have a finite number of charge cycles, but so far I have no indication of any battery issue either.
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Old 03-26-18, 11:06 AM
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The only things really different about Di2 are the batteries and the electronic motors. Everything else is pretty much the same quality and design as for cable actuated components. I've been using Di2 (but not the same components) for 8 years. I've used it on the road and in gravel racing -- including the year Dirty Kanza was called Muddy Kanza and ripped derailleurs off a lot of bikes. I've had the components submerged many times in river crossings and clogged with mud (where they STILL shifted to perfection). And nothing Di2 related has ever broken. The extreme environments have ruined a number of bottom brackets (which aren't different for Di2), but never a Di2 component. I've probably put 60,000 miles on various Di2 systems over the years. If anything, reliability is better than with a cable actuated system.
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Old 03-26-18, 01:23 PM
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I’ve had mine since March 2014 and just swapped out cassette, chainrings and chain. All consumable parts. Everytning has worked perfect from day one however I will be upgrading to some new parts just for the technology upgrade. New battery and Bluetooth DFly for using the E-tube app. on my iPad. May even get 8050 shifters for the buttons in the hoods. Longevity is yet to be seen I would think.
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Old 03-26-18, 02:37 PM
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I just sold my 2013 Cannondale SuperSix EVO Ultegra Di2. It's got 22,858Km on the clock and the Di2 is still working perfectly.
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Old 03-26-18, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I got mine (Ultegra Di2) in May 2014 and it is still going strong. I've worn out chains, cassettes, and even the chainrings, thanks to a combination of on and off-road riding with loads of hill climbing. All of the Di2 stuff is as solid as the day I bought the bike. Since Di2 hasn't been around for 10 years (as far as I am aware), I can only extrapolate, but it isn't showing any signs of problems. Batteries have a finite number of charge cycles, but so far I have no indication of any battery issue either.
Originally Posted by FeltF2Tarmac View Post
I’ve had mine since March 2014 and just swapped out cassette, chainrings and chain. All consumable parts. Everytning has worked perfect from day one however I will be upgrading to some new parts just for the technology upgrade. New battery and Bluetooth DFly for using the E-tube app. on my iPad. May even get 8050 shifters for the buttons in the hoods. Longevity is yet to be seen I would think.
Pretty much my experience. I've had mine since 2013 and it's got many many thousands of miles on it. Zero issues with the Di2 part of the drivetrain but I have replaced cassettes, chains and chainrings. I also might add that I have had to do zero adjustment on the RD or FD since the initial install. The same could not be said for any of the mech drivetrains I've had.

That all said, I've recently upgraded a mech bike to eTap and I have to say I like that system very much. So I think the same translates to electrical drivetrains vs mechanical ones.

J.
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Old 03-26-18, 02:59 PM
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Ditto here, although I’ve recently sold my bike to a fellow club member 2013 and going strong!
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Old 03-26-18, 04:12 PM
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Even if you do somehow wear out a derailleur Ultegra Di2 mechs are not that expensive.
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Old 03-26-18, 04:33 PM
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4 Di2 systems "here" (cause 1 is at school with kid).

The motors generally don't wear out.
We had 1 1st generation~2010 (?) and the batteries are old now and had to be charged 1/month. The front brifter stopped shifting the FD. That was after a long hard life. The other eTube ones 9000 are doing just great.

I will add the shifting is a little rougher on the cassette than a cable shift. That would mean nothing except we used mostly the Recon alloy cassettes and broke a couple teeth in 2 different cassettes. You would never see this issue on a Shimano cassette.
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Old 03-26-18, 10:56 PM
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2013 Ultegra DI2. Rear Derailleur out after 22k miles ( plus >1.5 mil feet climb).

I upgraded to Dura Ace Di2 last year.
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Old 03-27-18, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
The only things really different about Di2 are the batteries and the electronic motors. Everything else is pretty much the same quality and design as for cable actuated components. I've been using Di2 (but not the same components) for 8 years. I've used it on the road and in gravel racing -- including the year Dirty Kanza was called Muddy Kanza and ripped derailleurs off a lot of bikes. I've had the components submerged many times in river crossings and clogged with mud (where they STILL shifted to perfection). And nothing Di2 related has ever broken. The extreme environments have ruined a number of bottom brackets (which aren't different for Di2), but never a Di2 component. I've probably put 60,000 miles on various Di2 systems over the years. If anything, reliability is better than with a cable actuated system.
I agree. I've been on Di2 since about 2010, which was the original iteration of Di2.
But after about 5 years of use, I started having some battery issues (it went from getting about 1,500 miles per charge, down to about 500 miles per charge). I just lived with it. Then about 2 years later, it got really annoying because I had to keep charging it about once a week. I finally took it to every upper-end bike shop in town and personally scoured the internet, but the battery was no longer available and not serviceable.

I ended up upgrading to 11 speed, buying new wheels and a new Di2 groupset.

Anyway, I know battery technology has vastly improved, but to the OP's question, I'm not sure that a current version of a Di2 battery would last 10 or 12 years. And if it didn't, would it be replaceable and available in the year 2028?
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Old 03-27-18, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Nachoman View Post
I'm not sure that a current version of a Di2 battery would last 10 or 12 years. And if it didn't, would it be replaceable and available in the year 2028?
I think Shimano chose to break backwards compatibility with the change to E-tube wiring because it just uses the two conductors; I can't see them improving it any further unless they go to a wireless system like SRAM. So if they don't, batteries should continue to be backwards compatible.
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Old 03-22-19, 06:39 AM
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After 15,800 miles since Fall of 2016 (mostly road, some gravel, 3 winters, some wet riding, and tons of shifting), my LBS had to replace the Ultegra Di2 rear derailleur, which had some internal mech failure with the motor. It went from working perfectly while JRA, to having the catastrophic problem. No gradual degradation. The symptom was when trying to shift to the big cogs, it would instead immediately shift to the smallest cog, and then you would just hear the motor retry unsuccessfully over and over, twice per second for 10 seconds, then quit trying. It would no longer shift to a bigger cog at all.

Other than completely failing at the end, the UDi2 drivetrain was flawless otherwise. And it's getting replaced with the latest R8050-GS derailleur, which hopefully has some refinements and improved reliability.
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Old 03-23-19, 08:56 AM
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Good to hear these experiences. Amazed that the motors have survived so much abuse, especially the submerged in water stuff.
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Old 09-13-19, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
After 15,800 miles since Fall of 2016 (mostly road, some gravel, 3 winters, some wet riding, and tons of shifting), my LBS had to replace the Ultegra Di2 rear derailleur, which had some internal mech failure with the motor. It went from working perfectly while JRA, to having the catastrophic problem. No gradual degradation. The symptom was when trying to shift to the big cogs, it would instead immediately shift to the smallest cog, and then you would just hear the motor retry unsuccessfully over and over, twice per second for 10 seconds, then quit trying. It would no longer shift to a bigger cog at all.

Other than completely failing at the end, the UDi2 drivetrain was flawless otherwise. And it's getting replaced with the latest R8050-GS derailleur, which hopefully has some refinements and improved reliability.

Been looking everywhere on the internet to find out what is up with my di2 and finally found someone one describe exactly what’s going on. I guess it must be pretty rare for the motors to fail. Curious- did you get yours replaced under warranty?
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Old 09-16-19, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by therealpinkjib View Post
Been looking everywhere on the internet to find out what is up with my di2 and finally found someone one describe exactly what’s going on. I guess it must be pretty rare for the motors to fail. Curious- did you get yours replaced under warranty?
I also had a hard time finding someone to describe the failure I was experiencing, which is why I decided to share my details. I'm glad it helped you out.

I'm not sure what the warranty on parts is (even on a brand new bike), but I can't imagine the warranty covers the amount of miles I put on this RD over the course of 3 years, and in some pretty wet and gritty conditions, so I didn't even attempt to bring warranty replacement up to my LBS mechanic. BTW: The new RD is working flawlessly, now if I can just get my knees to do the same.
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Old 09-16-19, 09:08 AM
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I'm surprised to see this thread resurrected from the dead. Updating from my March, 2018 post above . . .

I now have over 70,000 miles on Di2 groupsets and I still have yet to have any Di2 related problems.

BUT . . . the guy I sold one of my old bikes to had a front derailleur break. It had nothing to do with the motor. On a previous generation Ultegra Di2 there was a cast metal link that attached the actuator to the cage. That tiny casting broke. He still rode out the century without any problem -- he was just limited to one chainring. Rather than try to obtain the part, he decided to upgrade to the current Ultegra Di2 front derailleur. The current version has a flat metal "angle iron" style design for that linkage. How long did the cast link last before failure? 3 years and about 20,000 miles.
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Old 01-31-20, 12:47 PM
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A slightly different question.
I am moving over to a gravel bike in part to Ride Route 20 from Oregon to Mass for charity ( see RideRoute20.com ) and I have a deal on a Specialized Diverge 2019 with Di2. I am concerned about it breaking down on the ride in the middle of no where. On the other hand, I would live to have Di2 long term. Any thoughts from the panel?
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Old 01-31-20, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Route20 View Post
A slightly different question.
I am moving over to a gravel bike in part to Ride Route 20 from Oregon to Mass for charity ( see RideRoute20.com ) and I have a deal on a Specialized Diverge 2019 with Di2. I am concerned about it breaking down on the ride in the middle of no where. On the other hand, I would live to have Di2 long term. Any thoughts from the panel?
Almost the entire pro peloton is on electronic shifting bikes. Reliability is at least as good as Mech.

I have four bikes in the family with electronic shifting. During the last 5 years I’ve had virtually no problems with the drivetrain which wouldn’t be true of my Mech systems.
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Old 01-31-20, 03:21 PM
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Thanks.
Any dissenters?
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Old 01-31-20, 04:05 PM
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No dissent here. See, my replies above. The worse the conditions, the more important I feel it is to have Di2.
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Old 01-31-20, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Nachoman View Post
Anyway, I know battery technology has vastly improved, but to the OP's question, I'm not sure that a current version of a Di2 battery would last 10 or 12 years. And if it didn't, would it be replaceable and available in the year 2028?
They have made a LOT more Di2 since that first iteration. I would expect the spare batteries to be readily available in retail channels for some time after production ceases, and if at that point you still have a Di2 system you intend on using for years to come, just grab a spare or two then.

If you want a system that will last 20 years... maybe stick to mechanical, though much of that will be getting replaced as well and may not be the same parts in 20 years.
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Old 01-31-20, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
They have made a LOT more Di2 since that first iteration. I would expect the spare batteries to be readily available in retail channels for some time after production ceases, and if at that point you still have a Di2 system you intend on using for years to come, just grab a spare or two then.

If you want a system that will last 20 years... maybe stick to mechanical, though much of that will be getting replaced as well and may not be the same parts in 20 years.
Li-ion batteries - as a function of their chemistry - start losing capacity after about 3 years or 500-1000 charge cycles (depending on purity and quality of the battery). Di2 batteries are much much larger than you really need so even if they lose capacity they still last a very long time before they need to be replaced. I got about 1200 miles per charge on Di2 and o get about 600 miles on the rear and about 1000 miles on the front battery for eTap. Either way, battery life really isn’t an issue either in the short or long term.
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Old 01-31-20, 09:00 PM
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How many miles, how much power, how much shifting and and how clean all matter.

I change the DA chain yearly just because for <$50 I don't care.
The cassettes are very good. I'd go DA. The Ultegra is just a lot heavier.
The front ring has about 15 parts on it. There is not a lot of metal there. They can come apart with a lot of power, although rare.

The electronics can be mean on chains and other than their cassettes and front rings. It is common to break alloy teeth on the cassette, and even wack the chain. I am a weight weenie - but go stock DA cassette, chain and front rings - because they are so good.
I don't think it is near the most durable, but it is the best shifting. ~20K miles on a front big ring is realistic. ~5K on the chain. ~10K on the cassette. All that being you keep them clean and lube.

If you want more longevity go 1X and do a narrow-wide front - wolf tooth brand, or other.
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Old 01-31-20, 09:05 PM
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I'd go DA cables over Ultegra Di2. I'd go DA Di2 over all - normally. I just build my wife's bike up (money no object) and I went cable 1X - Dura-Ace.
In traveling on planes etc, fancy wiring and properly plugging things in, not severing cables may matter.
I use DA Di2 on the tandem, a TT bike, a climbing bike and road bike - last 3 for racer kid. For me and wife tooling around, we use cables.
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