Specific question on mechanical vs di2

Hi guys,

I wait (for quite some time now) for new Canyon Aeroad, which is believed to come sooner rather than later now. One decision ahead of me, except of the paint scheme, is if I go for mechanical vs di2, which raises the price significantly.

I live in the place which is flat as a pancake and will occasionally travel to hilly areas, but have been using mechanical in high mountains already and there was nothing to complain about for me. One thing though - I plan to adapt the bike to triathlons with clip-on tri extension and i have been thinking with di2 I could perhaps mount additional di2 shifters on the clip-on, so I don’t have to change my position every time i want to switch the gear.

Please challenge (or support) my thinking, as the price difference is making di2 build a little stretch for me so I’m really looking for the value here (not only for 2% of smoother gear changes or easier gear alignment).


Depends on the kind of triathlons you plan to do. If predominantly flat and a constant gear ratio throughout, the time lost changing gear over a few hours will be very, very minimal as you won’t be changing much.

If hilly, then it could be significant, as you’ll be changing gear ratio a lot (though depending on how aero you can remain whilst changing gear, this could be unimportant).

I think the $$ spent on di2 could be better spent on a top quality skinsuit/helmet/aero testing…?

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I am an ex triathlete who now competes in Time Trials. My TT bike has dual Di2 and it is such an improvement over either single a) changing on the hoods or b) changers of the TT bars. (I am old school and had 8 speed double grip shift changers when I did ironman distance around 20 years ago)

I am not super powerful so ride double chain on the front. Even on a sporting course (Slightly lumpy) it helps to be able to change when climbing to control the power. It helps massively when cracking along to change and hold your TT position - even the position of your hands can alter your speed noticably.

On the other hand, as you say, mechanical is a lot simpler, and many many triathletes run TT bars on their drops with mechanical change.

Plan B - get a dedicated TT bike for Triathlons with Dual Di2. (I bought mine second hand for a bargain). Of course that is also probably outside your budget. :). Even buy a second hand road bike, and split funds between bikes.

You pays your money and takes your choice…

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This should work… But there’s some tweaking to be done for sure.

Chances are the bike has the integrated a junction. So somewhere you will need to add the 5 port junction; and possibly replace the a junction completely with an external a junction.

I think this would be way easier with SRAM but I’m less sure of the comparability chart there.

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I have the Canyon Endurace with the H36 cockpit (same as the Aeroroad), which I run with clipons.

As with most aero carbon bars (as against traditional round bars), you need to use Canyon’s specific clip-ons for that cockpit. Using any other clip-ons risks stressing the carbon in the wrong place, potentially with catastrophic results. Unfortunately, Canyon’s clip-ons are not easy to obtain (i have seen them come in about 3 times in the past 12 months, and sell out in a matters of a few weeks).

I opted for di2 for the ability to shift from the aerobars as well as the brifters. A big part of aero is holding position - breaking position just to change gears loses some of the advantage of aerobars in the first place. It was a pretty simple job to replace the 3 port A junction with the 5 port junction - it clips in nicely in the recess under the stem, and makes installing/removing the aerobars pretty simple. It is possible to plug the aerobar shifters into the brifters themselves without needing a new A junction, but this makes taking the clipons on and off much more complex.

I hear you on the price difference between mech and di2 though - although part of going with the di2 model with the Aeroad is that you get DTSwiss wheels, rather than Reynolds. If it wasn’t for aerobar shifting, I would definitely have stayed mechanical.

You can get different shifters for what you are describing. Personally I went di2 this year with a SL6 Tarmac and love it compared to my old Trek emonda mechanical.

For me it is mostly about full
Synchro shift and also added a satellite climbing shifter when I am on the tops. Also no indexing is nice even though I know how to do that well. Don’t think I will buy a mechanical again.

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I think this is spot on.
The main question is, how interested in Triathlon you are.
If it’s just a one shot or draft legal, the Aeroad with or without Clip ons is fine.
Otherwise I recommend two bikes, one roadbike and one triathlon bike.
The speedmax offers so much more than di2 vs mechanical.

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