Retromod - Di2 on a classic steel road bike - advice/links to those that have please?

TOMAS

Senior Retro Guru
A very kind customer of mine has gifted me his old written-off Trek that was involved in a high speed car crash - frame is trashed but i've salvaged the fully working Di2, rim brake groupset off of it :D.

I come from offroad - mtb and for the last 18 months mixed with gravel riding. I like the idea of trying to build the Di2 into a mid-range classic road bike. Has it/can it be done? I understand I'd probably need to neatly drill some holes to feed the wiring through - probably head tube/towards top of down tube and possibly enlarge pre-existing breather holes in the chainstay etc.

I'd be on the hunt for a rolling-chassis, ideally 56cm to suit me @ 5'10" with need for a longer audax type headtube & ideally 1.1/8 ahead steerer (so we are talking early 90s - a dynatech would be lovely).

Any thoughts/suggestions greatly appreciated - would I likely encounter any probs with running 6800 Ultegra calipers (the drop?), am I also right in thinking they ran 120mm rear dropout width back then - hoping I can squeeze a 11spd Shimano cassette on using a 35mm depth Shimano freehub body?

Tom
 

mattr

Old School Grand Master
Early 90's will mostly still be 1" threaded headsets (or converted to threadless) but 130 rear spacing, You'll probably need mid/late 90's to guarantee getting 1 1/8. You should be ok with normal drop calipers, unless it's designed for large tyres and/or mudguards.
Might need some bosses taking off and a respray, but drilling holes in a mid range frame *should* be ok as long as you don't go through the very thinnest sections, or too close to the weld/braze/solder.
Don't forget that the bottom bracket will be the tight spot for all the Di2 cables if you run them internally...
 

slackboy

Bontrager Fan
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I did it on a modern ti road bike - battery in the steerer tube, mtb di2 controller on the handlebar and then a single wire run under the down tube held in place with helitape to an external junction box which screws into the cable guide hole on the bottom bracket.
 

TOMAS

Senior Retro Guru
Early 90's will mostly still be 1" threaded headsets (or converted to threadless) but 130 rear spacing, You'll probably need mid/late 90's to guarantee getting 1 1/8. You should be ok with normal drop calipers, unless it's designed for large tyres and/or mudguards.
Might need some bosses taking off and a respray, but drilling holes in a mid range frame *should* be ok as long as you don't go through the very thinnest sections, or too close to the weld/braze/solder.
Don't forget that the bottom bracket will be the tight spot for all the Di2 cables if you run them internally...
Cheers fella! The 130mm wide back end gives me confidence that i'll get an 11spd cassette in there :)

I have several early 90s Dyna MTBs all running 1.1/8 steers, I assumed their road bikes would be the same.

Guessing im more favourable with early/mid 90s over late 70s/80s? I'll get hunting for a suitable bike/rolling chassis - i've been away from Retro since Covid came along and gave rise to every clown trying to sell their hammered old bikes out the shed for obscene sums - it put me right off buying/trading.
 

mattr

Old School Grand Master
You'll definitely get 11 speed in there, i have a 6800 groupset on my 97 team bike, the 130 back end was still "standard" until not very long ago. Now we have about 11 standards... :/ Only thing to watch out is if the top sprocket catches on the ends of the stays. I can only run 11 or 12 tooth, 13 catches on the end of the chainstay...

The 11/8 steerer was coming in about then on road bikes, so you'll have to have a look around. By 2001/2 it was pretty much standard.
The Dyna tech MTBs went 11/8th in the early 90's, i had one in 94.
 
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