The Parts Have Arrived!

This past week, I recieved the rest of the Genuine Shimano parts from Starbike.com. I should first give you a quick Starbike.com review. They are PHENOMINAL! Their website is straightforward and easy to use. After you order there is a webpage which shows you which parts are Ready for shipment and which they may be waiting on. Once they do ship, the tracking number is uploaded in a timely fashion. Also, they are very responsive via email. In less than one business day, I was able to get an order update, or add an item to my order. Once caviat is they don’t stock every single part they have on their site.  Some items take 1-3 days for them to get. Just build it into your estimation when placing your order!

So my parts list from Starbike included the Alfine crank (45t), The tensioner, SRAM 971 chain, Alfine Di2 Motor unit, 20t cog, Di2 wires, Internal Junction, battery, Alfine screen, and wires.

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The Beginning of Internal Routing

The goal has always been to have as much internal routing of the cables as possible, but to hopefully not cause catastrophe by weakinging the aluminum. Besides the cleanliness of the look, this being a commuting bike means that the more internal connections there are, the less there is able to steal off the bike. The big thing is the battery, but external junctions are at risk too. I have two paths in mind for the routing. The first, is running the cable from the display THROUGH the handlebars, throught the stem and then down the fork meeting the internal junction in the downtube. This would be the cleanest way. Problems would arise with drilling holes in the aluminum bullhorn bars. There is definitely conflicting reports on both sides of the argument, but really why risk changing the structural properties of the handlebar and causing them to fail. I could just buy predrilled handlebars, but would still have to have a hole in the center of the bar opening them up to the stem. The second option, which may be a little safer, is to drill a hole in the down tube and route the cable there, bypassing any holes in the handlebars. SO far, I am leaning towards option ONE and made a few routing holes in the fork. If I stick with option one I will prbably get steel or predrilled bars for some piece of mind.

 

As you can see below, I used a 13/64ths bit to make the first hole which lets the di2 cable slide through perfectly. Then i opened up a 45 degree angle with a 7/32 to ease the angle the cable needs to pass through.

 

 

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The Wheel

Yesterday has brought another gift in the mail. I was able to find a new Alfine Di2 hub and wheel on our favorite auction site for a good price. It arrived perfectly in tact and was packed professionally. It looks pretty clean! The next step is to wait for the rest of the parts to arrive in the next big shipment. Once I have all the parts, I’ll connect up the Di2 system and confirm it all works. After that… there comes the fun in routing the Di2 cables. 

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Handlebars and Levers

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Step 3: Handlebars and Bar end Levers! Over the past 2 years, my commuting riding style with my drop bars has been 99% in a more upright position with my hands on the hoods of the shifters. Having a more head up position is just more comfortable and feels more safe as well. So for the new build, I decided to go for bullhorn handlebars since that gives me the position I’m always in.  After deciding on bullhorns, I wanted to find the shifting solution that was the cleanest. I chose to go with the Ultegra 6871 Di2 bar end lever integrated shifter. It usually comes as a pair and is used for TT style bars, but according to the Shimano literature, once lever should work with the Alfine system. I haven’t tested it yet and couldn’t find anyone else that had done it, so I’m blazing a new path! The rest of the parts are on their way so there will be some nail-biting before hooking it all up!

 

Parts list thus far:

1. Motobecane Cross Frame

2. Generic Carbon fork which came with the frame

3. Fyxation Rodeo bullhorn handlebars 42cm

4. Ultegra Di2 6871 TT bar end shifter / lever

5. Shimano BL-TT78 — The reason I chose this is because of price. The TT79 lever would more closely match the 6871, but is just too expensive.

Broke Ankle Daddio

 

So a friendly softball game turned into 6 weeks worth of rehab. AFTER the game was over, we decided to play extra innings since we still had the field for more time. Great idea? I’ll let you be the judge. 

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What this really affected was my ability to get to work. I have been a bike commuter for 2 years now. I initially started with a cheap bike from bikesdirect.com which was promptly destroyed after a head on collision with a car. The insurance was able to replace it with another bike from bikesdirect. A side note, bikes direct is great! Great bike frames with reasonable components at an unbeatable price. But after two years my tastes and needs in a commuter bike have developed. This injury has a hidden silver lining. Its allowing me to take the time to upgrade my bike!

 

What you see below is a Motobecane Fantom Cross on my self-made wall mount.

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The goal: Same frame, cleaned up. Alfine Di2 with Bar-end shifters on a bullhorn. Ready for the journey?