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  1. #1
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    DI2 vs cable Any long term reports?

    I plan to buy
    RD-M8050 XT Di2 Rear Derailleur - 11 Speed
    or
    M9000 XTR Rear Derailleur - 11 Speed

    Every place I clicked was a short term report from a few years ago. Nobody said they logged thousand of miles on the Baja Divide and took a tour of Bolivia.

    $174.99 for the med cage xtr and $53.99 for a Microshift thum shifter.
    vs
    $189.99 for xt DI2 der
    $79.99 for digital display,
    $44.99 for XT Di2 Firebolt Single Shifter
    +battery, Dont see it listed, are they still available?
    What else do I have to buy to make this work?

    I dont know anything about DI2, never seen one in the flesh.

    Are they reliable?

    I am fixing up my touring bike, for rides in Baja and Guatemala, really would like to go to Bilwi Nicaragua. In other words, This bike is for traveling far from the parts store. Looks a lot like this one.
    Flo, Reynolds 631 air-hardened steel, Joe Murray design, patented Ritchey BAB technology
    https://dahon.com/bikes/flo-x20/

    Because it is a breakaway bike, I theorize that DI2 would be easier and faster to break down and put back together. Like I said, I have never seen DI2 in person, and none of my friends have it.

    Is DI2 reliable enough for harsh environments where the lbs is a 20 hour bus ride away?


    These days I ride a single speed around town, a v1 Fargo on tours, and am asking for advice on making my 26 inch touring bike reliable to ride through sand and mud.

  2. #2
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    Di2 or Red eTap both Rock. Each have there nice parts. Both have been rock solid with perfect shifts every single time. I have yet to adjust either system even when I change out the cassette. I run Di2 XT 28/38 11-42 with Syncro Shift (only one shifter needed). I most likely will never go back to cables? No more cables and housings to break or replace and almost no maintained in keeping the shifting perfect with no lagging shifts or noise from the chain. I am ready for the the eTap and Di2 12 speeds. And I will be giving my present systems away.

  3. #3
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    I have dura ace di2 and a mate has a full XTR set up and just got a full XT one for his winter mtb. Not one single fault across all of it, I've had the DA 4 years, hes had XTR 3. The only reason I don't have mtb di2 is I don't like the ergonomics/feel of the shifter, but that might be cause i'm a SRAM guy. Will def try eagle etap when it arrives, hopefully this year.

    Easily get 1500 miles out of a charge, so plan trips around that, or get multiple batteries.

    You'll need a charger wire and all the right length wiring for on the bike too.

    oh and make sure you keep hold of the tool to plug in/unplug the wires, if doing that a lot, its easy to break them without it.

  4. #4
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    Only issues I've seen with Di2 are connectors coming loose or cables getting snagged, cut or nicked. eTap has no such issues. I'm not a fan of electronic shifting in general, but would consider eTap. If I was doing long rides off the grid, I stick with mechanical as it's easier to fix or jury rig when in the boonies...and there's no requirement for charging.
    Do the math.

  5. #5
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    So, Di2 shifts with precision,
    While less precise of a shift friction shifters keep going and going.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  6. #6
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    Thanks gents.
    I see batteries on ebay, Looks like about $89 with a charger.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Howard View Post
    or get multiple batteries.

    You'll need a charger wire and all the right length wiring for on the bike too.

    oh and make sure you keep hold of the tool to plug in/unplug the wires, if doing that a lot, its easy to break them without it.
    its easy to break them without it
    This is a breakaway bike, the frame splits in half and fits in a hard case.
    Would this be a problem for the wires do you think?
    I would need to disconect the wire to the rear derailleur now and then.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    I stick with mechanical as it's easier to fix or jury rig when in the boonies...
    Friction shifters dont break. 11 speeds is stretching their limit

    This is a web image of a road I want to travel in northern Nicaragua. It goes on like this for days.
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    This is the bike I am fixing up,


    This is real, right smack in the middle of the road, and it goes on for days and days like this.

  7. #7
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    For the kind of bike you need for the sort of riding you're talking about, I'd stay FAR away from electronic shifty bits.

    The biggest issue you're going to have is the charging requirement. You can get around it somewhat with spare batteries, but with electronic setups there are simply too many possible points of failure that aren't remotely repairable in the field. With old fashioned cables, you can repair lots of problems in lots of places around the world.

    I wouldn't even use hydraulic brakes on the sort of bike you'll be needing for trips like this. I'd use good quality cable disc brakes and carry spare pads.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    For the kind of bike you need for the sort of riding you're talking about, I'd stay FAR away from electronic shifty bits.

    The biggest issue you're going to have is the charging requirement. You can get around it somewhat with spare batteries, but with electronic setups there are simply too many possible points of failure that aren't remotely repairable in the field. With old fashioned cables, you can repair lots of problems in lots of places around the world.

    I wouldn't even use hydraulic brakes on the sort of bike you'll be needing for trips like this. I'd use good quality cable disc brakes and carry spare pads.
    I have bb7 brakes.
    I want 1 x 11. With 12 on the way, now is a good time to buy 11 at a good discount.
    My old thumb shifters are stretched to the limit with an 11 speed cassette. If the cable is 1 mm off I get 10 instead of 11. 11 speeds are closer together, friction shifters are not precise. Micro shift makes an 11 speed thumb shifter, does it work well?

    Sounds like lights need charging more often than shifters

  9. #9
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    SRAM Red eTap which is wireless is your only way to go if you want electrics. Taking your bike apart will not work well at all with Di2.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    I have bb7 brakes.
    I want 1 x 11. With 12 on the way, now is a good time to buy 11 at a good discount.
    My old thumb shifters are stretched to the limit with an 11 speed cassette. If the cable is 1 mm off I get 10 instead of 11. 11 speeds are closer together, friction shifters are not precise. Micro shift makes an 11 speed thumb shifter, does it work well?
    Dunno about their 11spd thumbies, but my road/commute/gravel bike has Gevenalle GX 2x10spd shifters on it (they use microshift thumbies) with an SLX rd and they're pretty good.

    Not quite as precise as shimano triggers, though. There's just a hair bit of play within each indexed point that can allow for a touch of poor shifting if you let it. I have mine set up in such a way that the "right" spot for the lever is right up against one of the index points, so if the shifting is a touch off, then I just tap it back to that point and it settles down. I'd say they'd be a good option for a bike like this. The one thing they are is dead reliable, even if they're a touch less precise.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    The one thing they are is dead reliable, even if they're a touch less precise.
    I have used 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 speed cassettes with my suntour power thumb shifters. They lasted through 7 or 8 frames. 11 cogs are just too close together for friction shifters. Have to use ears to adjust the shift.

  12. #12
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    I don't know whether you'd like Di2, but I've ridden below freezing, and in pouring rain. Di2 had never failed to make a perfect shift.
    I don't have my mileage on Di2, but it's been over 2 years. Road Ultegra 6870, mountain XTR, and mountain XT.
    I have XT Di2 going on my CX bike too.
    My brother raced CX this year, and complained of poor shifting after a nasty sandy section. I told him to go Di2!

    If the battery goes dead on you, you were not paying attention. It takes ~ 30 minutes to charge up an estimated 40% battery life.
    I don't think I've had to charge the battery more than every 6 months. Of course, battery life will vary greatly depending on shifting amount, and whether you use the clutch or not. But, if you run a display, there is ZERO excuse to run the battery dead.

    Could it fail? Sure. Anything can fail. I trust it myself though. The only drawback I can find, is that if you DID trash a derailleur, you cant just grab any old Shimano derailleur to get you by. It needs to be a Di2 derailleur, which probably most areas aren't going to just stock them!



    What do you NEED to make Di2 work?
    •The XT or XTR shifter
    •XT or XTR derailleur
    •Either a BT-DN110 internal battery, OR SM-BTR1 external battery with mount (makes changing a battery as easy as swapping out a water bottle)
    •Either an SM-JC41 internal junction OR an SC-M9050 XTR display, OR SC-MT800 XT display. (Either external display would be HIGHLY recommended, as it allows easy charging as well as visual battery life)
    •(3) Di2 eTube wires of the appropriate length (one from derailleur to display, one from battery to display, one from shifter to display)
    •SM-BCR2 internal charger/computer interface. This is needed to program the system, update all firmware, and charge the INTERNAL battery. If you went external battery, you'd need a SM-BCR1 charger.

    The display module has 3 ports, so you can plug the wires directly into it. If you decide to NOT run the display, the SM-JC41 will be where you connect all the wires. If you run a 2x system, you'll need an extra wire, and you will NEED the SM-JC41.
    You do NOT need a front shifter, as you can set the system up to "Synchro Shift", where you can then program the shift points for the system to automatically shift the front up or down, depending on your call for an upshift or downshift.

  13. #13
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    i have di2 for 18 months and love it. i travel and being able to unplug is great! as for battery life - tricky. it is absolutely reliable ime but you'd want to have the charging adaptor with you and a ~2 A usb adaptor such as later ipad ones? in that scenario id have few qualms. even if battery dies it defaults to middle gear ish to still make it rideable...no worries if you are used to siglespeed, except at altitude i guess! i would think about carry a spare long etube, just in case! i dont see it as a big barrier as long as you are near a plug every now and again...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    For the kind of bike you need for the sort of riding you're talking about, I'd stay FAR away from electronic shifty bits.

    The biggest issue you're going to have is the charging requirement. You can get around it somewhat with spare batteries, but with electronic setups there are simply too many possible points of failure that aren't remotely repairable in the field. With old fashioned cables, you can repair lots of problems in lots of places around the world.

    I wouldn't even use hydraulic brakes on the sort of bike you'll be needing for trips like this. I'd use good quality cable disc brakes and carry spare pads.

    I believe the battery life and reliability of the system as such isn't a problem, if you use common sense and charge the battery full before this kind of long trips. Also, with electronic system you do not have any moving parts that would wear&tear(except the RD[&FD] itself, of course), thus you have actually less parts that are prone to damage. Only thing I'd be worried is the cable pulling off from the RD in a crash or so.

    I don't have Di2 system yet, but if I think what I've done for my regular XT drivetrain in last two years or so, its been only replacing broken or soon-to-break cables. I expect the Di version to work as reliably, only thing that instead of replacing cables, I need to charge the battery maybe couple of times per year...

    Anyway, for this kind of use, I'd probably still go with a mechanical cable actuated system on this kind of trips. Not because of the reliability of Di2(or eTap), but because it'll be more likely to get spare parts, or even use different type of RD whatever might be available, in case if you happen to damage the RD.

    Another thing is that I'm not sure how well the cable connectors cope frequent connecting/disconnecting, will those get loose and start causing connection problems at some point. I guess the connector is quite robust, but probably not designed for that kind of use, so difficult to say...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verttii View Post
    I believe the battery life and reliability of the system as such isn't a problem, if you use common sense and charge the battery full before this kind of long trips. Also, with electronic system you do not have any moving parts that would wear&tear(except the RD[&FD] itself, of course), thus you have actually less parts that are prone to damage. Only thing I'd be worried is the cable pulling off from the RD in a crash or so.

    I don't have Di2 system yet, but if I think what I've done for my regular XT drivetrain in last two years or so, its been only replacing broken or soon-to-break cables. I expect the Di version to work as reliably, only thing that instead of replacing cables, I need to charge the battery maybe couple of times per year...

    Anyway, for this kind of use, I'd probably still go with a mechanical cable actuated system on this kind of trips. Not because of the reliability of Di2(or eTap), but because it'll be more likely to get spare parts, or even use different type of RD whatever might be available, in case if you happen to damage the RD.

    Another thing is that I'm not sure how well the cable connectors cope frequent connecting/disconnecting, will those get loose and start causing connection problems at some point. I guess the connector is quite robust, but probably not designed for that kind of use, so difficult to say...
    Strongly disagree.

    If high performance is the primary concern, then the equation balances differently. But this kind of riding is about long term reliability and field repairability. Note that OP's current shifters are ancient friction shifters.

    There are more points of failure on an electronic system because every electrical connection is a potential point of failure. Sure, Di2 has proven reliable for a lot of people, but I still wouldn't touch it for long distance touring overseas. Sure, you may not have a problem, but if you do, it's a much bigger problem than if you were running a mechanical system. It's not like you'll have ready access to the sorts of diagnostic equipment you'd need to figure out WHAT the failure is, either. And it's not going to be easy to get your hands on a spare wire, junction box, shifter, battery, or whatever, even assuming you could identify what part failed.

  16. #16
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    I am going to quote you now, and try to educate myself this evening when I have more time.


    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post
    I don't know whether you'd like Di2, but I've ridden below freezing, and in pouring rain. Di2 had never failed to make a perfect shift.
    I don't have my mileage on Di2, but it's been over 2 years. Road Ultegra 6870, mountain XTR, and mountain XT.
    I have XT Di2 going on my CX bike too.
    My brother raced CX this year, and complained of poor shifting after a nasty sandy section. I told him to go Di2!

    If the battery goes dead on you, you were not paying attention. It takes ~ 30 minutes to charge up an estimated 40% battery life.
    I don't think I've had to charge the battery more than every 6 months. Of course, battery life will vary greatly depending on shifting amount, and whether you use the clutch or not. But, if you run a display, there is ZERO excuse to run the battery dead.

    Could it fail? Sure. Anything can fail. I trust it myself though. The only drawback I can find, is that if you DID trash a derailleur, you cant just grab any old Shimano derailleur to get you by. It needs to be a Di2 derailleur, which probably most areas aren't going to just stock them!



    What do you NEED to make Di2 work?
    •The XT or XTR shifter
    •XT or XTR derailleur
    •Either a BT-DN110 internal battery, OR SM-BTR1 external battery with mount (makes changing a battery as easy as swapping out a water bottle)
    •Either an SM-JC41 internal junction OR an SC-M9050 XTR display, OR SC-MT800 XT display. (Either external display would be HIGHLY recommended, as it allows easy charging as well as visual battery life)
    •(3) Di2 eTube wires of the appropriate length (one from derailleur to display, one from battery to display, one from shifter to display)
    •SM-BCR2 internal charger/computer interface. This is needed to program the system, update all firmware, and charge the INTERNAL battery. If you went external battery, you'd need a SM-BCR1 charger.

    The display module has 3 ports, so you can plug the wires directly into it. If you decide to NOT run the display, the SM-JC41 will be where you connect all the wires. If you run a 2x system, you'll need an extra wire, and you will NEED the SM-JC41.
    You do NOT need a front shifter, as you can set the system up to "Synchro Shift", where you can then program the shift points for the system to automatically shift the front up or down, depending on your call for an upshift or downshift.

  17. #17
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    Harold your advice is quite sound, and reflects what I have been doing all these years.

    Except:

    11 speed cogs are too close together, and friction shifters are not precise. They work great at 9, still work at 10. but at 11, well they are not precise.

    In Guatemala and other places, they sell a plastic 7 speed friction shifter, 7 speed cogs, and a deraileur that could get you by for 2 or 3 weeks before you fly home.
    You are down to 13 - 28, and get change from a 20 dollar bill.


    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Strongly disagree.

    If high performance is the primary concern, then the equation balances differently. But this kind of riding is about long term reliability and field repairability. Note that OP's current shifters are ancient friction shifters.

    There are more points of failure on an electronic system because every electrical connection is a potential point of failure. Sure, Di2 has proven reliable for a lot of people, but I still wouldn't touch it for long distance touring overseas. Sure, you may not have a problem, but if you do, it's a much bigger problem than if you were running a mechanical system. It's not like you'll have ready access to the sorts of diagnostic equipment you'd need to figure out WHAT the failure is, either. And it's not going to be easy to get your hands on a spare wire, junction box, shifter, battery, or whatever, even assuming you could identify what part failed.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    11 speed cogs are too close together, and friction shifters are not precise. They work great at 9, still work at 10. but at 11, well they are not precise.

    In Guatemala and other places, they sell a plastic 7 speed friction shifter, 7 speed cogs, and a deraileur that could get you by for 2 or 3 weeks before you fly home.
    You are down to 13 - 28, and get change from a 20 dollar bill.
    nobody said you have to use a friction shifter for 11spd. I get that's what you want to avoid. And I told you that the microshift indexed thumbshifters are a good choice. there is a little play in the indexing so they're not going to be as precise as a Di2 drivetrain. But they'll be worlds better than your friction shifters, and you still get the exceptionally high reliability of thumbies (they have a friction mode if you need to use it, and I have).

    Yes, the low tech 7spd replacement is a last ditch option no matter which you choose. But you still have to reach the town with the shop before you can take advantage of it. I'm talking field repairs...your options when you're miles, or maybe even days from a town and you need to patch some things together to get where you need to go. Mechanical gives you MUCH better field repairability than electronic.

  19. #19
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    I don’t have any Di2 experience but I’d offer this. The ONLY way I’d take Di2 into the field like you is with spare junctions/wires/connectors/battery.

    On the flip side, I’d probably also carry a spare cable for a standard derailleur. And 2 tubes/sealant/extra tire/ and maybe a park tool trailer !

    So, instead of pulling electric cables out when you fold your bike, what if you just installed it with enough length to fit the folded version, and then have a frame strap mounted to take up the cable slack when the bike is in normal configuration. Maybe an option to eliminate repeatedly pulling connectors?

  20. #20
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    On paper, Microshift thumbies are a good choice,
    DI2 is also a good choice on paper.

    I am looking for long term reports of in the field experience.

    My experience is that Dura Ace bar ends are good up to 10 speeds, and excellent up to 9 speeds, same with my thumbies. Maybe Microshift made excellent 11 speed thumbies, maybe not. Anyone tried them?


    Embracing new technology is scary.

    Last time I went to Guatemala I took my old 95 Mongoose Alta. I figured it was best to have a bike with canties and other common parts. Damn those canties, they collect mud, so bad, that I have to carry the bike instead of the bike carry me.

    So now I want to have modern parts.

    In the last 4 years, I stripped 2 holes on the rear hub. The disc has to be removed so the bike fits in the hard case. I have an old Hope pro 2 hub I can use, the Arch rims are in good shape. Since wide is in style, I think I will get some i32 or so rims and some centerlock hubs, and build 2 new wheels. The old Arch rims are what i21 or i22? Nice to have extra wheels for street tires.

    Now, I may be going to some distant lands, but, I will use planes and boats and buses, as well as pedal for a month or two. I might pedal a thousand miles, but not ten thousand, at least not in one trip.

    I bought the frame about 4 years ago. I cobbled it together with wheels and parts I already had. January is when things are on sale at all bike shops. Hmm, as soon as my tired old brain considers some options, I will order some parts.

    I decided to fix up my 26er, yes 26er, and make it my main bike to explore places, mostly places to the south. I have friends in Guatemala City who will hold the case or me. I know people in Managua who will keep the hard case safe for me while I ride my bicycle.

    get off your bicycle and walk among the locals
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_284RNK8eCo

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    This is a web image of a road I want to travel in northern Nicaragua. It goes on like this for days.


    This is the bike I am fixing up,


    This is real, right smack in the middle of the road, and it goes on for days and days like this.
    If you were looking for a new bike I'd recommend something with a Pinion gearbox. A Rohloff hub would also be a good option.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by crank1979 View Post
    If you were looking for a new bike I'd recommend something with a Pinion gearbox. A Rohloff hub would also be a good option.
    If the OP does not understand about these drivetrains, they are heavy, less efficient than derailure but are extremely reliable.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    On paper, Microshift thumbies are a good choice,
    DI2 is also a good choice on paper.

    I am looking for long term reports of in the field experience.
    You're hopeless. Ask in the bikepacking forum if anyone there uses Di2 for an expedition bike. Let me foreshadow those responses for you - nobody does.

    Rohloff is a popular choice for global expedition bikes. Pinion maybe less so because they require a frame made for them and are newer to the scene than Rohloff, but the same concept applies. Reliability in spades. Some people in there have done bigger expedition rides than you're planning here.

    If you want to ignore my experience with my Gevenalle/Microshift 10spd gx setup, go ahead. It's your loss.

  24. #24
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    Electric shifters or not, derailures are fragile in a crash or striking an unmovable object. There are a few other ways to destroy one. That said I have only wrecked two in 60 years of riding. But if I was to go on a long, desolate journey, you only want the most reliable equipment you can afford. So I must admit the sealed gears in any form would be the way to go. But I would sell the tank when I was done with epic trips like you describe. Safe Travels!

  25. #25
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    road/commute/gravel bike has Gevenalle GX 2x10spd shifters on it (they use microshift thumbies) with an SLX rd and they're pretty good.

    [/QUOTE]
    Well I did miss the part about Gevenalle using Microshift thumbies.

    have to quote myself to answer,
    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    I have used 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 speed cassettes with my suntour power thumb shifters. They lasted through 7 or 8 frames. 11 cogs are just too close together for friction shifters. Have to use ears to adjust the shift.
    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    My old thumb shifters are stretched to the limit with an 11 speed cassette. If the cable is 1 mm off I get 10 instead of 11. 11 speeds are closer together, friction shifters are not precise. Micro shift makes an 11 speed thumb shifter, does it work well?
    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    Harold your advice is quite sound, and reflects what I have been doing all these years.

    Except:

    11 speed cogs are too close together, and friction shifters are not precise. They work great at 9, still work at 10. but at 11, well they are not precise.
    .
    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    On paper, Microshift thumbies are a good choice,
    DI2 is also a good choice on paper.

    I am looking for long term reports of in the field experience.

    My experience is that Dura Ace bar ends are good up to 10 speeds, and excellent up to 9 speeds, same with my thumbies. Maybe Microshift made excellent 11 speed thumbies, maybe not. Anyone tried them?


    Embracing new technology is scary.
    Harold
    10 speed and 11 speed are not the samething.
    Not a guess, I have both setups up and running right now, today.

    I forgot to mention ghost shifting. If I cannot hear the chain rubbing the next biggest cog, I sometimes get an unplanned shift to the next smallest cog. Ghost shifts can suck if you are standing on the pedals. This is the number one reason why I am buying a new, well, be it Di2 or Microshift or Pinion, a new something, before the end of Febraury, while things are still on sale.

  26. #26
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    B]This year I will replace the drive train[/B]

    Pinion, they have had time to get things in order now. I have not checked on them in a couple of years. Gears at the bottom bracket sound the best.

    I have a v1 Fargo with S&S couplers and a Ritchey breakaway 26er. A new Pinion frame is how much, and how much more if they can fit couplers.

    Rohloff From: $1,467.00
    is the Alfine 8 anygood?

    Some of the gents are talking about epic journeys. No. I am not riding all the way to Nicaragua, I am flying in and flying home. I have a ticket to spend Easter week in Guatemala. Google alfombras Guatemala, and hit the photo button. I use my bicycle to explore yes. I am not in a hurry. I would rather live in a mountain village, with the Indians for a month than ride a 100 miles every day.

    I am not wealthy. when I buy an expensive new frame, I go without something else. This is why I am replenishing the Ritchey breakaway 26er. I have a 985 and a 9020 crank. I need to order a single chain ring for either one of them. I also have a Fox float and a rigid fork with bottle mounts, I bought 3 downhill pro the pig headsets when they were on sale.

    So, This year I will replace the drive train, and only dream about the Pinion. I will ride in some harsh conditions. In the last 10 years, I have spent over 100 nights on Bajas back roads, and been soaked a lot of times in northern Washington.

    I recommend a xt drive train,
    they will outlast the energiser bunny.



    I just noticed that no one recommends triger shifters,

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    I just noticed that no one recommends triger shifters,
    You didn't ask about triggers. You asked about Di2 in your first post, and compared to friction shifters later. Those were the only two options you mentioned, and you never suggested that others would be acceptable.

    You also don't seem to grasp that microshift thumbies are INDEXED and therefore not equivalent to your ancient friction shifters.

    Trigger shifters work well. I have been using xtr m9000 shifters with an xt m8000 RD on another bike for years. And before that, I used SRAM 10spd...but since that is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT I won't talk about it.

    You have not been 100% clear about your trip and your needs. You showed pictures of gnarly remote conditions, yet now you talk about access to friends in the area to store your travel case. How are people supposed to make good recommendations when you keep moving the target with new info?

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

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    4 - 0

    DethWshBkr
    I want to thank you or the clear and helpful answer.

    Seems that my typing is not clear or easy to understand.
    I did attempt to give an honest explanation to what I plan to do with the bike.

    Near as I can tell,
    4 people have di2 and recommend it, no problems to report.
    0 people have Microshift 11 speed so no reports of good or bad, same with my web search, 9 and 10 speed got good references, no references for 11.

    And thanks to the other lads, for their thoughts. And thanks to the other lads, for their thoughts. some good advice in there.

    Weight is an issue at the airport. 17 pounds for the case, tools, etc., 50 pound limit.








    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ufcv...5CA837&index=5

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    0 people have Microshift 11 speed so no reports of good or bad, same with my web search, 9 and 10 speed got good references, no references for 11.
    bs-m11- I have a set on my drop bar adventure bike, wrapped under the bar tape, with full length housing, which have several thousand miles on them.

    Mine have been flawless. They index as well as any other thumbie i've had, hold their indexing indefinitely (once you locktite them), and don't require any additional attention to operate. I got them because they allowed me to mix 50/34 cranks with a 11-40 cassette. For your application their simplicity and kludge-ability is very appealing.

    I've used them with the indexing turned off, and they work fine, but it's definitely not something i'd choose to do.



    Personally, i would not be eager to drag electronic shifting out into the hinterlands. See signature.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Strongly disagree.

    If high performance is the primary concern, then the equation balances differently. But this kind of riding is about long term reliability and field repairability. Note that OP's current shifters are ancient friction shifters.

    There are more points of failure on an electronic system because every electrical connection is a potential point of failure. Sure, Di2 has proven reliable for a lot of people, but I still wouldn't touch it for long distance touring overseas. Sure, you may not have a problem, but if you do, it's a much bigger problem than if you were running a mechanical system. It's not like you'll have ready access to the sorts of diagnostic equipment you'd need to figure out WHAT the failure is, either. And it's not going to be easy to get your hands on a spare wire, junction box, shifter, battery, or whatever, even assuming you could identify what part failed.
    Wrong.

    If a Di2 system is installed correctly it will go years without anything other than plugging it in every once and a while.

    IF something snags a wire and unplugs it, plug it back in. That's what happens if you pull on the wire, or doesn't explode, it "fails" at the weak point, the retention force on the plug. IF something snags a derailleur cable, it can bend the hanger or even rip the derailleur off.

    Di2 wires don't stretch, don't rust and don't get dirty. But hey, there's just countless people like me with years and thousands upon thousands of miles of experience (9,600+ for me) with Di2, I'm sure your motivated reasoning driven horror stories know better.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    Wrong.

    If a Di2 system is installed correctly it will go years without anything other than plugging it in every once and a while.

    IF something snags a wire and unplugs it, plug it back in. That's what happens if you pull on the wire, or doesn't explode, it "fails" at the weak point, the retention force on the plug. IF something snags a derailleur cable, it can bend the hanger or even rip the derailleur off.

    Di2 wires don't stretch, don't rust and don't get dirty. But hey, there's just countless people like me with years and thousands upon thousands of miles of experience (9,600+ for me) with Di2, I'm sure your motivated reasoning driven horror stories know better.
    What about the potential failure points of every single internal electrical connection? Every solder. Every resistor. The motor in the derailleur. The switches in the shifters. Electronic components fail, too. You can't field repair those things.

    Yes, there are also things on a mechanical system that you're not going to field repair. I'm just saying that there are fewer of them. For a race bike? Electronic is no doubt a game changer. But for a workhorse? I won't touch it.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    What about the potential failure points of every single internal electrical connection? Every solder. Every resistor. The motor in the derailleur. The switches in the shifters. Electronic components fail, too. You can't field repair those things.

    Yes, there are also things on a mechanical system that you're not going to field repair. I'm just saying that there are fewer of them. For a race bike? Electronic is no doubt a game changer. But for a workhorse? I won't touch it.
    The point is that you obviously lack experience with it and use motivated reasoning to speak about something you have no experience with.

    Don't have Di2? Try listening to people that do.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    For the kind of bike you need for the sort of riding you're talking about, I'd stay FAR away from electronic shifty bits.

    The biggest issue you're going to have is the charging requirement. You can get around it somewhat with spare batteries, but with electronic setups there are simply too many possible points of failure that aren't remotely repairable in the field. With old fashioned cables, you can repair lots of problems in lots of places around the world.

    I wouldn't even use hydraulic brakes on the sort of bike you'll be needing for trips like this. I'd use good quality cable disc brakes and carry spare pads.
    People regularly go years without touching their hydraulic brakes, but you suggest a system that demands constant attention.

    Do you worry about walking out of a building and a piano falling in your head?

    Just stop.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    What about the potential failure points of every single internal electrical connection? Every solder. Every resistor. The motor in the derailleur. The switches in the shifters. Electronic components fail, too. You can't field repair those things.

    Yes, there are also things on a mechanical system that you're not going to field repair. I'm just saying that there are fewer of them. For a race bike? Electronic is no doubt a game changer. But for a workhorse? I won't touch it.
    You do realize you or any of us can be dead in the next few minutes from brain anuresiums, heart attack or a crazed gunman or fill in the blank. Sure just about anything can happen but rarely does. If that is all we planned for, we would never leave our bed. Di2 and eTap have been flawless in every way. Yep, pieces have failed but they are rare. Th only failure I know of was from a uTube poster who had a bad battery right out of the gate. Worked every single time I called for a new gear, even the wireless eTap has been perfect shifting every freaking time. Game changer for me as I no longer have to think about gears changes, they just happen at the twitch of my thumb (I run Syncro Shift).

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    You're hopeless. Ask in the bikepacking forum if anyone there uses Di2 for an expedition bike. Let me foreshadow those responses for you - nobody does.
    Wrong.

    2016 interview with Mike Hall where he refers to using Di2 on the Tour Divide:http://bikepacker.com/mike-hall-tour-divide-champion/

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    bs-m11- I have a set on my drop bar adventure bike,
    .
    Have a set of which?

    How many speeds=?
    Which derailleur?
    <barends? or MicroShift Dual Control Shift/Brake Levers ?

    Microshift soes not mention that 11 speed thumbies come with shims to fit srop or flat.

    BS?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    Wrong.

    2016 interview with Mike Hall where he refers to using Di2 on the Tour Divide:Mike Hall: Tour Divide Champion - Bikepacker

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
    I do not follow the Tour Divide so I could be wrong but there should be some type of SAG to assist the riders. The original poster situation does not seem like there is a SAG.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    Have a set of which?

    How many speeds=?
    Which derailleur?
    <barends? or MicroShift Dual Control Shift/Brake Levers ?

    Microshift soes not mention that 11 speed thumbies come with shims to fit srop or flat.

    BS?
    microshift's m11 series is an 11 speed thumb shifter that is indexed for shimano mtb groups. The same shift mechanism is sold as a barcon shifter (BS-M11) or as a flat bar thumb shifter (SL-M11); they just have a different mounting pod. My BS-M11 is actuating a XT m8000 rear derailleur. Like all thumbies, the retention is adjusted by loosening or tightening the bolt that attaches the shifter to the mounting pod. These shifters have a switch that allows you to turn off the indexing and run them as friction shifters.
    barcon
    Name:  96009.jpg
Views: 153
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    thumbie
    Name:  415dAIXvb3L.jpg
Views: 153
Size:  21.5 KB


    They're not super fast, ergonomic, or glamorous. They're inexpensive, easy to repair/service in the field, and won't be absolutely awful if your indexing gets messed up for whatever reason.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalon2018 View Post
    I do not follow the Tour Divide so I could be wrong but there should be some type of SAG to assist the riders. The original poster situation does not seem like there is a SAG.
    Mike Hall
    13:22:51, 13 days, 22 hours, 51 minutes, 2,745-mile (4,418 km)
    Self supported.


    Racing gear and exploring gear are so very different.

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    4 - 1

    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    My BS-M11 is actuating a XT m8000 rear derailleur. .
    4 - 1

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    4 - 1
    = 3.

    What do i win?
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

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    4 - 1 = 4 to 1 and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    = 3.

    What do i win?
    A wool sweater, but shipping is expensive


    4 people vote for DI2
    1 person says they have Microshift 11 speed and like it.
    all posts get read, You must have the gear for a good while for your vote to count.

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    the parts most likely to fail or get damaged are the derailleur and the RD hanger. DI2 doesn't help with that.

    Other failures are the cable (this is more a wear or dirt problem over time) and the shifter (wear and dirt). DI2 helps with that, but trades in possible software malfunction, battery drain, broken cable etc. This may or may not be a wash statistically when comparing cable to cable.

    In the end failures and damage will happen and what can be repaired and sourced on the tour will be the better choice.
    2018 Motobecane Sturgis NX
    2016 Giant Toughroad SLR1

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    Mike Hall
    13:22:51, 13 days, 22 hours, 51 minutes, 2,745-mile (4,418 km)
    Self supported.


    Racing gear and exploring gear are so very different.
    Thanks for the info. Amazing accomplishment in my view.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    A wool sweater, but shipping is expensive


    4 people vote for DI2
    1 person says they have Microshift 11 speed and like it.
    all posts get read, You must have the gear for a good while for your vote to count.
    Ah. It didn't occur to me to add the responses up that way. Di2 and thumbies are both ultimately simple, reliable solutions, but they go about it in exactly the opposite way. Your faith in each systems' reliability/repairability is much more important than a poll.

    Quote Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
    In the end failures and damage will happen and what can be repaired and sourced on the tour will be the better choice.
    Yeah.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
    the parts most likely to fail or get damaged are the derailleur and the RD hanger. DI2 doesn't help with that.

    Other failures are the cable (this is more a wear or dirt problem over time) and the shifter (wear and dirt). DI2 helps with that, but trades in possible software malfunction, battery drain, broken cable etc. This may or may not be a wash statistically when comparing cable to cable.

    In the end failures and damage will happen and what can be repaired and sourced on the tour will be the better choice.
    Realistically, it just depends on your budget. A big trip isn't cheap, so don't go cheap.

    Start with high quality equipment, XT or better, electronic or mechanical, with fresh but tested cables/drivetrain, hydro brakes with fresh sintered pads, carry a couple derailleur hangers and you're set. That basic setup will get you through AT LEAST 2K miles easily, all you have to do is lube the chain. One maybe two recharges of the Di2 battery should get you through that as well, I don't know how long it lasts because I plug mine in every month. If you do break something, Shimano is probably the better bet just because it's more common and for the moment it's basically all 11-speed and interchangeable. But sometimes you're just boned and you're going to have to get comfy and wait a few days for whatever you screwed up to get there regardless. Accept it and deal with it.

    Modern equipment is good, really good. People use and abuse their bikes on a regular basis and basically ignore them unless they make noise or stop working because something got bent or somehow broken after being ignored for way too long.

    The ONLY advantage of having a friction backup is because there is something else wrong, like the cables or especially the housing. Housing used to suck, indexed shifting forced it to improve, and it did.

    Geez, I'm coming up on 5K miles on my Stache (X1 11sp), still on the original cassette, third chain, changed cable/housing once, a whole bunch of tires, bleed my brakes once a year, change rotors/pads when worn. Bikes these days just work, people need to stop freaking out about it.

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP3QAXTX07E

    2,000 miles out of a chain? Not me, I have a chain checcker in my tool bag, and change the chain at around 0.5, some say 0.7 is good enough. The solid, part of the bike frame, derailleur hanger does worry me. They do bend, and 11 speed, or so they say requires a straight hanger.

    Quote Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
    In the end failures and damage will happen and what can be repaired and sourced on the tour will be the better choice.
    No more cantis for me. There is enough mud in Selva to stop the wheel from turning, the canti mounts collect mud. They only sell 6 bolt rotors in Central America. Centerlocks do not get stripped the way 6 bolt rotors do. A new rotor is a bus ride to pa capatal, cantis are sold in hardware stores all over.

    I am going centerlock on the new wheels.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP3QAXTX07E

    2,000 miles out of a chain? Not me, I have a chain checcker in my tool bag, and change the chain at around 0.5, some say 0.7 is good enough.
    The chain will survive that long, and even longer. It may ruin the cassette, but it'll all function. You'll also need tires, but I wasn't trying to make a shopping list, just saying that a modern drivetrain is very durable and reliable and that the (fictional) gains made by increasing difficulty in usage is false economy.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    the (fictional) gains made by increasing difficulty in usage is false economy.
    I feel like we need an infomercial with someone fumbling and unable to shift at all with anything mechanical, but miraculously becomes a world champion mtb racer just from installing Di2 the way you're talking about it.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I feel like we need an infomercial with someone fumbling and unable to shift at all with anything mechanical, but miraculously becomes a world champion mtb racer just from installing Di2 the way you're talking about it.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
    Ahh yes, the "Autobike" commercials...
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I feel like we need an infomercial with someone fumbling and unable to shift at all with anything mechanical, but miraculously becomes a world champion mtb racer just from installing Di2 the way you're talking about it.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
    Except I didn't say not to go with mechanical, just that you were horribly wrong about Di2...as I addressed in the replies to your posts that you then ignored. Go back and address what I said please.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    Except I didn't say not to go with mechanical, just that you were horribly wrong about Di2...as I addressed in the replies to your posts that you then ignored. Go back and address what I said please.
    Di2 is not magic but solves several issues mechanical pull systems have. Eliminates cable and housing replacements which can get costly, no more sluggish response in shifting requests from weather or dirt in housings, almost no maintenance in keeping the shifting perfect, repeat perfect, allows controlling front and rear derailuers with just one shifter and removes any thoughts about gear shifts as you just hit the lever and you are in the next gear. To get these benefits you have to do two things. Part with more cash than you want and charge the battery several times a year. Not really much to disagree with. My conflict comes from Red eTap or Di2. I run both systems, each having their advantages. Best part of eTap is the wireless part. Really cleans up the bike as there are no wires going to the derailuers, none. Great look.

  52. #52
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    wire less has been around a long time.


    Local bike shop

    Alois, fixes bikes all day and all night, sometimes. He can build a hub from a soup can and a piece of rebar. He does not sell derailleurs and cables.

    His village has better festivals,

    They celebrate the 20th of January for 5 days

    You need to get permission from Jhandy to attend

    She does not speak english, or Spanish.
    DI2 vs cable Any long term reports?-dsc046261_zpsnvnc1heu.jpg

    no photosbucket just sucks

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalon2018 View Post
    Di2 is not magic but solves several issues mechanical pull systems have. Eliminates cable and housing replacements which can get costly, no more sluggish response in shifting requests from weather or dirt in housings, almost no maintenance in keeping the shifting perfect, repeat perfect, allows controlling front and rear derailuers with just one shifter and removes any thoughts about gear shifts as you just hit the lever and you are in the next gear. To get these benefits you have to do two things. Part with more cash than you want and charge the battery several times a year. Not really much to disagree with. My conflict comes from Red eTap or Di2. I run both systems, each having their advantages. Best part of eTap is the wireless part. Really cleans up the bike as there are no wires going to the derailuers, none. Great look.
    Yeah, the main problem is cost. There's also the diminishing return if you run a 1x system. But if you have a front derailleur, it really is a game changer along the lines of integrated shifters. Everyone thinks about how it will work on the rear derailleur, it's significantly better but it's not going to change your life, but pushing a button to get up on the big ring? HUGE DIFFERENCE. Especially to a casual rider who spends a lot of time in the speed range between using the big and little rings, which is a bit counterintuitive.

    Everything else (charging) can be figured out by working it into your routine. I charge my road bike once a month, which is tied to my wash/lube schedule. If the interval was longer, I'd simply forget...just like I did the first time I ended up with a non-functioning front derailleur. If I forget now, no big deal, because the battery does last a really long time.

  54. #54
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    trouble free transmission

    Intuitive or not, I want a single chainring, and 11 - 46 at the rear axle. To simplify the transmission. If I have to push up a hill, or cannot go fast enough down a hill, oh well. Touring, or exploring a new region is so different than the Tour Divide.


    In South America they sell 559 and 635 tires.

    The lady that sells eggs, also teaches Quechua, her native language.
    On the Tour Divide, they sell Orange Seal and speak English.


    What you lose in performance, you gain in culture.

    The bicycle is surely the best way to explore a new place. Unless you are strong enough to ride a single speed over a mountain, you need a trouble free transmission.

    So, let us not confuse racing a bicycle with having a good look around.
    Get off your bicycle and make some new friends,
    or
    ride 2745 miles as fast as you can.





    Anybody know how to post photos without suffering through the terrible horrible photbucket?

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    Intuitive or not, I want a single chainring, and 11 - 46 at the rear axle. To simplify the transmission. If I have to push up a hill, or cannot go fast enough down a hill, oh well. Touring, or exploring a new region is so different than the Tour Divide.
    Whether your 1 mile, 10 miles, or 100 miles from civilization, it doesn't matter, something stops working and you're walking.


    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    ride 2745 miles as fast as you can.
    What you're not understanding is that you ride 2745 miles as fast as you can by doing it in the most efficient way possible.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    What you're not understanding is that you ride 2745 miles as fast as you can by doing it in the most efficient way possible.
    What I am trying to explain; is that riding 2745 miles as efficiently as possible, and, exploring a foreign country or new environment, are two completely different things, with two different bicycles and two different sets of gear.

    Imitating the guy that won the Tour Divide could cost you, and I don't mean your money. They sacrifice safety and protection from the elements for light weight.

    Well, a trouble free transmission could be a good place to start, if you want to explore the hills of South America.

  57. #57
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    Great points made here. But in the end, while I try and ride everyday at least 20 miles, I cannot imagine going on a thousand mile ride or more. Even retired, I have much more to do than ride my bike most waking moments. I did ride from Germany to Switzerland in the 70’s to a jazz festival and it was not easy. I did it on a road machine I bought in Paris. Stripped down except for a sleeping bag and tools. Nights were miserable but the days through the mountains were amazing. Hats off to those than can ride day after day on a huge trip. Safe Travels!

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    I always ride as fast as I can. The problem is my "can" isn't really fast.
    2018 Motobecane Sturgis NX
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