So in my attempt to raise some cash to get some bills paid off, but to keep my mistress in the process, I am decided that I am going to build my own Di2 shift levers out of a set of Campy brake levers. The huge complaint I have had about Di2 (and SRAM Red) was that the reach of the hoods was about 1 cm longer than the Campy Record 10 speed levers that I used for years. With Campy I was perfectly stretched out on the hoods and in the drops. With Di2 & Red if I am perfect in the drops then I am 1 cm too long on the hoods. It's been driving me crazy these last couple years. I found a 2-button switch (after way too many hours of scouring the Internet) that looked like it might work, so I ordered a set of 'em.
Here is how the buttons look next to the Record brake lever.
In order to place it where I want it, I have to get rid of this section of carbon on the backside of the lever.
Thank you Mr. Dremel...
Trial and error to find out where to put each wire from the switch. I just plugged the wires directly into the harness. I don't want to cut the harness up just yet....
All mounted up.
Bar tape put back on for my 1st test ride tomorrow (other than riding around in front of my house today)
I really like the buttons a lot. They look like shit, but I think that I can disguise them much better if I decide this is how it's going to end up. The size of the buttons and the feel of the "click" is good. I really like it. I can dremel out the side of the brake lever to get the buttons to sit in better and I will glue them into place instead of just wrapping them in electrical tape. This should be good for testing the prototype though.
The big downside: the Campy brake levers are NOT spring loaded. My Hooker brakes aren't really spring loaded either, so it just doesn't work that well. Yes, it brakes fine, but the lever doesn't fully retract. After running a new front brake cable to the Hooker I realized this problem. I put on a rear Campy brake and since it has a strong spring it works perfectly. I will put the front Campy brake on the bike tomorrow. To use the Hookers I will either need to find a way to install a spring inside the Record levers or I will have to go to a different lever. I have an old set of Shimano 105 levers (from 1995) that are spring loaded, I am hoping to canibalize some parts to make it happen. Racing season won't start until February, so the Hookers can sit on the workbench until then.
For now though I have a usable prototype.
Also, I shaved about 20 grams per lever from the Di2 setup.
Cost of Di2 road levers: $930
Cost of these (used brake levers, new switches): under $150
I will get 2 pairs of the switches for my TT setup so I have buttons at the extensions and also at the brake levers. They will work awesome in that application and I think will be more functional than the Shimano ones. Especially since you can use the awesome Vision levers. The Di2 TT brake levers aren't all that aero.
All in good time though....
Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?