I'm assuming you're talking about 7970, because with Ultegra di2 you'd have go gut a pair of STIs.
Correct! I'd like to use some home brewed switches
There was this rumor that part of the brain is in the FD, but AFAIK it turned out that only had to do with the trim and it works fine without it.
Maybe if someome could unplug his FD and check, that'd be all you need to know, right?
So, yeah, di2 should work and would be a mighty fine solution.
I can't help but wonder if it's worth it, though. The RD works super nicely, but the front shifting is where it really shines. You'd have the battery and junction box anyways, so that's a bit heavy. Also, the RD is not exactly cheap.
This is sort of my money pit, out of my 3 bikes this brings me the most joy so another $1-1,300 is OK for the project
Maybe XTR would be 99% as nice while cheaper and lighter? Also gives more cassette options.
I have nothing gains using XTR, I have this on my Ti MTB but this bike is a bit funky and I want to keep with the unique theme of this bike.
Have you considered Acros at all?
I never heard of this manufacturer, but WOW!!! looks like nice stuff, I'll check them out.
The purity of the design is what I'm drawn to