At the end of the month, I have my new steel frame arriving. It will see lots of solo rides at varied pace, a reasonable number of fast group rides, and the odd semi-competitive timed sportive.
I am really torn on groupset choices, and really can’t make up my mind, so I thought I’d mine the hive mind here.
Option 1: UDi2 (12sp) . The groupset is functionally flawless (I’ve used it), and I really like being able to set the hood buttons for SRAM style shifting. Against: it’s maybe a little soulless, and a little heavy.
Option 2: Record (mechanical 12sp). I love the ergonomics and the feel. Against: it’s mechanical, so less reliable/more maintenance heavy than Di2.
Option 3 (aka the leftfield option): Classified powerhub and mechanical Ultegra. Seems to combine all the advantages of 1x and 2x. Against: if Classified go pop in the next few years, you’ve got real problems, as the cassette/freehub interface is proprietary.
So which would the TR crowd put on their steel frame?
It shifts utterly perfectly, but there is something about the feedback/sound/ergonomics that doesn’t appeal/quite do it for me- it’s hard to put my finger on exactly. But then many subjective assessments are.
If I had to guess, it’s that mechanical squeak the derailleurs make during shifting. I previously used mechanical Ultegra for years then when I did a new build, installed Dura Ace di2 and noticed that sound immediately. I’m unbothered by the noise, but could see how it sounds kind of robotic.
That jives with my experience. While at least SRAM’s rear derailleurs are near silent (I can’t hear anything), Shimano Di2 derailleurs do make sounds, and they sound kinda cheap and chintzy to my ears. Not that this impacts functionality, but I found it a bit weird.