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Di2 and disc brakes

  • 29-11-2022 1:15pm
    Registered Users Posts: 15 PaddyHound

    Hi Everyone

    I started cycling last year after buying a sweet Trek road bike from a friend who is big into cycling.

    I have done some single day events on the bike and I was looking for a multi-day event in 2023. I was reading up about the Ras and I was thinking this could be a good option.

    I'm just not sure how neutral service works in this event as I've heard this can be a big problem these days for older bikes. I was thinking I probably need to look at installing disc brakes and di2 on my trek.

    Does anyone have any experience doing this and is it easy to do? Any advice would be welcome.





  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 47,387 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    you're thinking of the ras? as in the competitive ras?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,480 ✭✭✭hesker

    You need to train harder. Practice really winding it up and you won’t need di2

  • Registered Users Posts: 15 PaddyHound

    My friend did it a couple of years ago and said it was competitive alright but not too bad. He didn't finish because of a mechanical half way through which is what I'm hoping to avoid

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,364 ✭✭✭iwillhtfu

    This is a wind up surely.

    I think you might need to do a bit more reading on the Rás. It certainly isn't easy and finishing is highly regarded but then difficulty is relative, you could be the next Eddie Dunbar.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,989 ✭✭✭✭ednwireland

    di2 can be fitted no problem. disc brakes can't you need mounts on the frame and the stresses are completely different.

    and yes this must be a wind up

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,064 ✭✭✭Quigs Snr

    This is surely a troll post. But I'll play ball.

    Unless your bike is built for discs then you can't install them on it. Di2 or not, doesn't matter. If you don't have discs on your bike and you need them, then you need to buy a new bike.

    That being said 4 out of 5 of the riders on our team last year rode rim brakes in the RAS (quicker wheel changes from the team car). So you should be fine. And you will need a team car, because individual entries are not permitted and team cars with two occupants are mandatory.

    Which brings me to your bigger problem. I suppose its technically possible that you could start cycling last year and get around a RAS next year, providing you have been operating at a high level in some other endurance sport up until now. Or if you have gone through the ranks already and are comfortably operating at the A1 level, finishing in the bunch in most races.

    If not, you probably don't need to worry about Neutral service unless you puncture in the first 5k of the stage because Neutral generally stays with the first group or two and the standard is such that it is going to be a real struggle to make it into those groups for all but the most outrageously talented relative newcomer (and even at that, having the power to hold in there is a long way, away from having the bunch skills and race craft to stay in there and upright).

    Kudos for the ambition though. Go big or go home as they say.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,254 ✭✭✭youtheman

    Do I take it that your current bikes doesn't have disc brakes but you are thinking of retro-fitting them ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 15 PaddyHound

    I found an article on the site roadbikerider talking about conversion from rim brake to disc brakes, and they think I need to get a new fork.

    Wondering would something like the below work.

    I would have thought I need to stick to a Trek fork but my current one says "Easton" on it so I guess I could look at other brands.


    Trek FX Rigid Fork | Disc | 700c | Black


    • Wheeles : 700
    • Streerer : 1"1/8
    • Compatible with Trek FX Disc Frame



    Steerer1''1/8Front axle9 x 100 mmLockNoWidthRigid ForkFork Caliper MountNoneOffset (mm)50

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 47,387 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    are you allowed enter the ras if you're not on a team?

    someone racing with a year's experience on a bike would be lethal in the ras.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,583 ✭✭✭✭Squidgy Black

    No it’s not open to individuals, but you can theoretically register your own team provided you have 5 riders with racing licences

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  • Registered Users Posts: 488 ✭✭Elvis Hammond

    OP, which single day events did you do?

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,655 ✭✭✭cletus

    ...but do you have any skills?

  • Registered Users Posts: 15 PaddyHound

    My choice of event seems to be derailing my main question. I'm not worried too much about the event itself but more getting the technical details right for the bike right so I can at least finish the thing, and without breaking the bank.

    Rest assured I have cycled for nearly 40 years in Dublin rush hour traffic so know how to handle myself and will most certainly NOT be lethal to any participants, myself included.

    Thanks quigs snr and others for the advice so far. Getting a new bike isn't really an option for me though as I already spent €3000 on my current one and I still haven't sold my hybrid that this replaced so my family would kill me. I would also really like to avail of the neutral car service if something happens.

    The more I read about disc brakes the more I want them anyway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15 PaddyHound

    Next question:

    What would be the best way to fit the battery that's needed for di2? My seatpost is stuck so I can't think of a way to get it hidden inside the frame.

    I was thinking anyway it would be tricky to drill and run the cable internally, so probably easier to keep it all external. I have a pre-existing mount on my frame that might support this, although I'm having a hard time finding out the exact diameter of the battery itself.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,655 ✭✭✭cletus


  • Registered Users Posts: 15 PaddyHound

    Pre-existing battery mount is probably in a good spot for it. Thoughts?

  • Registered Users Posts: 488 ✭✭Elvis Hammond

    That's for a pump. Are you not going to tell us what single day races you did?

  • Registered Users Posts: 30,961 ✭✭✭✭Lumen

    I suppose it's possible that you're confusing the presumably-named-by-an-idiot "Race the Rás" non-race event with the actually-a-race Rás.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15 PaddyHound

    Good to know but still looks like it would be perfect, or am I missing something.

    I did a good few single dayers and thanks for your interest but like I said the event itself isn’t a big concern

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  • Registered Users Posts: 15 PaddyHound

    Thanks. I'm not a big fan of travelling and I imagine trying to get to France with a bike is a nitemare so would really rather stick closer to home. Besides I'm looking for a big challenge and cycling is easy when the weather is nice! :-)

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,407 ✭✭✭joey100

    You might want to have a word with your friend, you said you have spent 3000 euro on this one. It's an alu trek with external cable routing, be worth at most 800 euro I'd guess.

    On the off chance you are serious, you won't be able to put di2 disc brakes on it. It won't have routing for the rear hydraulic line. Also the new di2 disc stuff is made for internal routing, and yours has external. It would also cost around 500 euro for shifters, 2 x 60 euro for calipers. 300 euro rear derailleur, 200 euro front. Then about 6 cables at 25 euro each. Juntion box A and b at around 140 euro. Battery at around 150 euro. New wheels (approx 300 euro) to take the disc brake calipers (45 euro per caliper), another decent cost. Probably a new crank as well to take the 11 speed chain, around 250 euro.

  • Registered Users Posts: 488 ✭✭Elvis Hammond

    Oh, I suspect you're missing something alright. Why so evasive re. the 'single dayers'?

  • Registered Users Posts: 15 PaddyHound

    thanks… although I doubt 800 is realistic! It’s a newer 5th generation lightweight aluminium so is super light.

    A guy I know is a welder so I must have a chat with him about it but it seems like it would be easy enough to weld some small brackets for the hydraulic line. And then a plate at the bottom on the back to put the calliper. I’ll try upload a diagram in a bit to explain better.

    the parts are expensive for sure but a better option than a whole new bike from my perspective. I’ll try and shop around for some deals anyway as I have some time

  • Registered Users Posts: 15 PaddyHound

    Also I’m running 22-speed at the moment. Do I need a single front ring to make it compatible with di2 gear shifters?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,677 ✭✭✭Mefistofelino

    So you are, at the least, in your mid / late 40s, no real evidence of ever having actually raced but within the next 6-7 months you are going to reach at least the A3 licence standard to even be allowed enter, and find a team prepared to take you on board. And that's all in addition to taking a 15-20 year old (but functional) bike and converting it into something from Scrapheap Challenge.

    Have you considered asking GCN or Netflix if they'd be prepared to make a documentary about this?

  • Registered Users Posts: 15 PaddyHound

    Initial idea...

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,981 ✭✭✭Diarmuid

    Yeah that should be fine. I don't know if you even need to weld it. I think a few zip ties and maybe some epoxy will keep the calipers in place. While you're at it, stick a few speed holes in the frame for some added aerodynamic advantage.

    Why 22 speed? Isn't it worth going to 24 speed at a minimum? Maybe a triple up frony for 36 speed?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 372 ✭✭GandhiwasfromBallyfermot

    Looks great, please please please post pictures when you are finished.