Whilst out with a broken ankle I decided to take the plunge and upgrade my 2011 Trek Madone 5.2 to an Ultegra 6800 11 speed Di2 setup. Although the bike is 5 years old the frame is still in very good nick and has quite a few more years in it yet. I did consider N+1 obviously, but I like my Trek, it’s light and climbs well.
So I purchased an Ultegra 6800 11-speed Di2 groupset to bring all the components right up to date. The bike was originally fitted with a 10 speed Ultegra groupset. Whilst I was at it I also purchased and fitted a Stages power meter.
The first step after taking off the old groupset and knocking out the BB90 bottom bracket (with one of bearings inevitable seized) was to fit all the new components with the exception of the new bottom bracket and cranks. I did this so that I could connect up all the Di2 bits on the outside of the frame to test it out before putting the cabling into the frame. Needless to say once it was plugged together and charged it all seemed to work fine.
Connecting it Up
If you want to fit sprint or climbing shifters these plug into the primary shifters. You will see there are 2 extra sockets on both brake levers where these connect into.
Note: Don’t forget to use the supplied tool to push the cables into the sockets and remove them so you don’t damage either the cable or socket. All unused sockets should have blank plugs fitted.
Stuff They Don’t Tell You
This exercise highlighted a few things that needed addressing to make a neat job:
(1) The standard 300mm cables that go from the brake levers to junction box A weren’t long enough for my aero bars with internal cable routing. So had to purchase 350mm ones instead.
(2) The 1000mm cable that goes from the battery in the seat post to the 4 way junction box that will sit inside the down tube at the bottom bracket was just way too long, so again ordered a shorter 750mm one.
(3) I realised the existing frame grommets weren’t any good for the Di2 cables and in fact the left hand one is completely redundant as there is only one cable that goes from junction box A down to the 4 way junction box to handle both gear changes. After a little bit of searching I found a Trek conversion kit that has the necessary grommets for Di2, including a blank for the now redundant left hand cable guide. The kit I found works for both the Madone 5 & 6 range so the were a few bits I didn’t need.
Trek Di2 Conversion Kit(4) You don’t get any sort of mount kit for seat post battery. I didn’t fancy wrapping a mile of insulation tape around the battery to try and hold it in place, so again using the power of the t’interweb quickly sourced a Trek kit specifically for this job. The proper kit will stop the battery sliding down the seat tube and it has an o-ring for the bottom of the battery to stop it rattling inside the seat tube.
(5) Connectivity (BT/WiFi/ANT+) doesn’t come as standard! Whilst the BT capability is in the battery, along with some of the brains of the Di2 it doesn’t work unless you purchase the separate EW-WU101 module. You also need this module if you want to alter the configuration of your setup or upgrade various components firmware using Shimano e-tube, i.e. multi-shifting for example. This module can sit just in front of the rear gear mech as an after-fit, but seeing as I would be fitting it from scratch I decided to install it below the battery in the seat tube so that it would be easier to get to in the future if required. Less likely to get knocked and damaged there as well. Access, if required, will then be by simply removing the seat post and battery.
Note(1): There is an inline version of the module (EW-WU111) that does the same job and would have been better for fitting inside the frame, but I got the WU101 for £10 cheaper so went for that.
Note(2): You can actually connect to the Di2 via the charging cable and use the Windows application to upgrade firmware and alter settings. But this means you’ll have to take your laptop with you if you want to tweak settings whilst away from home. Being able to do it via your phone seemed infinitely more practical to me. I’ve always got my phone in my pocket.
(6) I needed a new freehub body as the existing one wouldn’t take 11 speed. This could be a problem on older hubs as there may not be an 11-speed freehub body for your hubs. Worth checking before you convert to 11-speed otherwise the costs will significantly increase if you need to purchase a new set of wheels! Fortunately for my Bontrager RXL 2010 hubs, the 2013 11-speed freehub body fitted them.
Upgrading the Firmware
Once I’d got everything plugged in and working it was time to upgrade the firmware on each of the components. To do this you will need Shimano e-tube (or the Windows application) and the EW-WU101/111 module. Shimano e-tube is an application for Apple and Android smartphones and tablets. After connecting to the EW-WU101 by bluetooth it’ll probably prompt you to a) reset the BT pin and b) upgrade the firmware on the WU101 before you can do anything else. Once this has completed you’ll have to get your tablet to forget the WU101 and then re pair so as to reset the pin for the WU101 stored on the tablet, otherwise it won’t re-connect.
If all has gone well you can now set about upgrading the firmware of the other components on the bike and entering the correct parameters for the drive chain, i.e. chain wheel sizes, cassette sizes, shift synch mode, and multi-shift mode. If you change the cassette for a flat day, or a hilly day you can update the settings there and then using your phone to keep the gear shifting running smoothly.
Note: To put the bike into pairing mode press the button on junction box A for approx 0.5 secs, the red & green lights should flash alternately. You should be able to pair with it now using your tablet or phone.
Once I’d got everything fitted and the firmware upgraded there was just the indexing left to calibrate. On a cable system this is just about adjusting the cable tension whilst in the middle of the block and the high/low gear stops. On an electric shift there is no cable tension to adjust, but the principle is much the same:
- Put the gear into the 5th sprocket.
- Place the Di2 into micro-shift mode by pressing the button on junction box A for approx 5 seconds. The red light will go solid.
- Whilst in micro-sift mode you can now use the gear switches to micro adjust the position of the rear dérailleur to get it to run smoothly.
- Once done press the button again to quit micro shift mode.
- Check the indexing through the entire range and adjust the end stops.
- JOB DONE!
The adjustment of the front dérailleur is just the same as the cable versions. Adjust the end stops when at the extremities of the shifting for both rings. Di2 will take care of the intermediate positions automatically positioning the dérailleur as you shift at the rear. Neat.
All that’s left to do know is a road test.