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Shimagnolo Di2

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Shimagnolo Di2

Postby pritchet74 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:48 am

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.
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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.
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Thank you Mr. Dremel...
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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....
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All mounted up.
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Bar tape put back on for my 1st test ride tomorrow (other than riding around in front of my house today)
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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. :xBanana5:

Also, I shaved about 20 grams per lever from the Di2 setup. :xBanana5:

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....
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Re: Shimagnolo Di2

Postby BMANX » Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:05 am

Could you have put the shifters in the side of the levers or is there not enough room in there. This is a pretty cool project and I think if you mold the shifters into the levers, it will look pretty clean when completed.
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Re: Shimagnolo Di2

Postby j0m » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:41 am

Cool stuff Jeff! Looking forward to seeing how it will end up. Nice pink fixie too. :D
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Re: Shimagnolo Di2

Postby Fuchs » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:30 am

funny and cool :)
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Re: Shimagnolo Di2

Postby Juanmoretime » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:42 am

:magnifier: Might need to get your meds checked or a second hobby. :bangHead:
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Re: Shimagnolo Di2

Postby Mike K. » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:09 pm

Looks like you solved your problem. Gluing will surely clean the look up.
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Re: Shimagnolo Di2

Postby FAQinc » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:23 pm

Pretty cool project pritch, have you thought about placing the buttons on the inside of the levers where the typical campy thumb shifter would be? That would be pretty slick and would save you some gluing.
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Re: Shimagnolo Di2

Postby pritchet74 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:45 pm

FAQinc wrote:Pretty cool project pritch, have you thought about placing the buttons on the inside of the levers where the typical campy thumb shifter would be? That would be pretty slick and would save you some gluing.


I did actually. Originally I was going to use 2 separate switches with one on the lever and one where the thumb shifter was. Also, I was going to use a set of Ergo levers and keep the shift paddle and have it hit the switch. That's still a possibility, but finding the right switch is key. There is the possibility to make my own switches from scratch, but I don't want to go there yet.

For right now this is a start. The double buttons on the levers works really well when on the hoods and in the drops. I am leaning towards keeping what I have, but just cleaning it up. I have to find out how to get a spring in the brake lever so they work with my Hookers.
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Re: Shimagnolo Di2

Postby BMANX » Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:08 pm

If you can not get the spring to work with the Hookers then you should be sending them north of the border to go on a bike that could make full use of them and where the levers have springs. :xBanana5:
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Re: Shimagnolo Di2

Postby dunlinii » Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:42 pm

Thats pretty cool, Shimano should offer you a job :P

It would also be cool if you could drill holes in the front of the levers and have the buttons there. Although maybe somewhere were your hand doesn't always rest.
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Re: Shimagnolo Di2

Postby BMANX » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:17 pm

This will never work. Send me the brakes.
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Re: Shimagnolo Di2

Postby pritchet74 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:42 pm

Ya, you wish!!!

So back from riding 70 minutes of small rolling hills. I wanted a route that was "shift intensive" and I was clicking like crazy the whole time.

Thoughts:
1. A spring loaded lever isn't as "required" as I suspected. After braking I just flicked the lever back out. It just needed help retracting the last couple millimeters. Sorry bman.
2. I don't like the rubber compound of the Campy hoods. It just doesn't feel as good on my bare hands as the Shimano hoods. That isn't a huge problem as I am getting some white hoods from FWB later this week. I had some of those on my Sram levers and those were good on bare hands, so it should be good.
3. I need some other material on the buttons. After playing with the buttons nearly the entire ride, my fingertip was a bit raw. Hard to explain exactly, but rubing my finger on this rubber compound is a bit abrasive. I will have to see how to address that. Or not play with the buttons just because they are there.
4. Button placement is perfect. And I mean perfect. Shifting from the hoods and drops is completely natural and I think easier / more natural than the original Di2 levers.

Now I need to get my Di2 levers up for sale. I am fully committed to this project. Next weekend I will take the Dremel to the levers to better integrate them into the lever blades.

I also need to order 4 more switch sets for my TT setup. Possibly another one for the tops of the road setup as well.
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Re: Shimagnolo Di2

Postby Fuchs » Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:24 pm

it has to be the hed wheels that keep us doing strange things :D
cool that your shimagnolo is working!
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Re: Shimagnolo Di2

Postby Jeffr » Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:51 am

So, what I would recommend, is skipping the buttons entirely. Just take a pair of campy shift levers and have the existing levers make electrical contacts. There is no need to have a real 'button'. It's just two contacts and a spring anyhow. You could have completely normal looking campy levers that work in the manor expected. You'd simply have to provide some kind of stop internally so they don't shift beyond one position and don't really turn the ratchet.

Just put a metal contact on the inner side of the lever such that it pivots down and bridges the gap between two wires housed in a fixed position within the lever body. It will look completely normal.
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Re: Shimagnolo Di2

Postby pritchet74 » Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:05 am

Well, that just makes sense......

I have a right Record shift lever at home (a left brake lever though) so I can start playing with it and see if I can figure it out.

And thanks for pointing out what should have been obvious.

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Last edited by pritchet74 on Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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