After deciding to hang-up the road bike after a nasty accident while riding involving an SUV, I've decided to get a cross bike and more or less limit my riding to mixed trails. Cross racing is also a possibility in the future. My road bike frameset was destroyed in the crash, but the Shimano Di2 (electronic) groupset came through mostly unscathed. My question is whether or not Di2 is overkill for cross (with future racing in mind). I'm not sure how well it would do with the dust and mud, but did read recently that some of the pros in Europe are starting to run Di2. I also realize that I'll have to change the crankset to something for cross-friendly. The other option is to try and sell the Di2 components, which probably will pay for a new groupset, wheels and then some!
Lets see, you are going to ride offroad and MAYBE try 'cross racing? Stick with your current setup and change things as you learn what works and what doesn't. Take advice but you need to judge what works (or doesn't) for you.
Well, it may be a moot point. It appears that the Ridley X-Fire frameset that I ordered lacks water bottle cage mounts/bolts, which the Di2 utilizes to mount the battery pack. I'll have to call and confirm with the dealer that this is the case, as I've read that some of the newer framesets do have bottle cage mounts, but I'm not holding my breath.
Hey, if you're willing to have fun and abuse your Di2, why not keep the theme going and drill a couple holes at a spot of your choosing in the frame and slap the battery on? Perhaps even cut a hole and slip the battery inside the downtube, now that would be cool! What could possibly go wrong? Just like the famous last words of a redneck, "Hey guys, watch this..."
Seriously, if you are dropping that kind of $$ for an X-Fire to "try" a new fringe sport, might as well pimp it out nicely with a mechanical grouppo (off topic, but SRAM Red baby!) you can easily modify/replace over time -AND- something that a neutral service pit will understand and be able to help with if/when you need a little love mid-race. I'd love to try the Di2, but I know hundreds of people can help adjust my cabled stuff at a race, and wouldn't know who to talk to about servos and re-setting adjustments on the fly with somewhat compromised post-tumble derailleurs.
All great points! I've heard both the "pros" and "cons" of using Di2. I just (happily) found-out that my X-Fire does indeed have water bottle mounts, so the issue with mounting the Di2 battery pack is, well, a non-issue. ;)
I'm leaning towards being a guinea pig, and using it, since I already have it. In reality, the soonest I'd even attempt to race cross would be next season. (Still recovering from injuries incurred in the accident). That gives me a year or so to iron out riding with the groupset offroad.
Overkill for a sport that celebrates racing in costumes for quite possibly no apparent reason? Bacon hand-ups and beer? Middle-aged privateer's on 14 lb. carbon World Cup mobiles? Di2 should fit in just fine, I'd think.