Electronic Shifting and wheels?

Im having my new bike built at this moment and was thinking towards going with sram red however the shop is telling me to go with dura ace di2, what would you go with and why?

Im also considering zip 404 wheels, as i stated that I will be training on this bike as well as racing on it, the shop is suggesting that these wheels are a little harsh for training and advise me to consider this, does anyone have experience of training on this wheel... what all round wheel would you choose.

The bike is based on a venge frame if that makes any difference..... got to tell them what to put on it on tuesday


  • I think with the cost of 404's, I'd be worried about damaging them if I used them all the time
  • SqueakzSqueakz ✭✭✭
    What would be your wheel of choice then Dave?.. im really not knowledgeable regarding wheels, I like the look of the zips and they seem to be well respected.. the guys in the shop though are trying to point me towards roval wheels and suggest that the zipps are not suitable for a all round/purpose wheel and should be kept only for racing.. are you aware of anyone who uses zip wheels on their bike and trains with them, do you know if they have any issues.
  • Di2 is a very expensive piece of kit for a training bike.  If I had the cash and the bike to match it I'd consider it on a TT bike if I could put shift buttons in both hand positions, but for a road bike I'd probably not bother.  Super Record looks better anyway. image

    Have they suggested the newer Ultegra electronic set, or are they just offering the most expensive stuff?

    As for the wheels, I'd consider Hed Jet 6's as an alternative to 404s, which are overpriced in any case.  In fact for the price difference you could get a second set of wheels for training on.

  • SqueakzSqueakz ✭✭✭
    Its the electronic set, they had a bike on rollers which had it, it felt really nice and slick to me, but i wanted to get the perspective of people who have more knowledge and experience than myself if it has any issues, problems or is simply not worth it.
    Thanks for the wheel reccomendation, I will look at them.

    So excited about getting the bike, I just want to get it right so I can enjoy it
  • I ride at all times on either Zipp 404 (road bike) or Zipp 808 (TT bike) I have never had any issues at all but then I ride on silky smooth roads with no potholes. I also have a set of Ksyruim elites which I occasionally use on the road bike, yes the Ksyruims are quicker up hill but slower on all other terrain and there is no vast difference in how they feel in terms of road buzz etc. I have had no problems in cross winds with the 404's either though the 808 can be frisky in a wind.

    In terms of reliability my 404's have done somewhere around 15,000K's now and have had one new set of bearings front and rear, the 808's are relatively new but have so far been trouble free. I don't believe there is anything better than Zipp's so if you can afford them then go for it.

    As for di2 I decided against it on my latest bike, having ridden a few bikes with di2 i concluded that yes it is good and the self trimming bit is great as are shifters on the bull bars but for the extra cost its not worth it, Ultrega di2 could be tempting but as yet they haven't brought out bull bar shifters for that set. The other plus of a manual set up is being able to jump half way across the cassette in one go when you have screwed up your gear changing and are now hopelessly in the wrong gear.

  • Yes very nice bike.
    I'd go for the ultegra version though. Dura ace came out first and I believe it's been refined further on ultegra and it's cheaper.

    That said mechanical still let's you change down faster than electronic and it's lighter.
  • Oh cross post with Dave.
  • SqueakzSqueakz ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the help guys, very much appeciated
  • I'm no technical expert but it seems an awful lot more cash to part with. My summer road bike has Dura Ace 9 speed on ( 2005 time ) and it is still perfect in my eye. I'm sure others will say it is outdated but it is still positive and tight and I'm more than confident in it that it will do the job required.
  • SRAM Red & Di2 are both excellent groupsets, personally given the choice id go for Di2,the benefit of no brake cables to stretch and positioning options for adding duel controls on hoods and tribars makes them a no brainer.

    404's are a very good set of wheels but unless youve got money to replace them in a couple of yeears id hesistate to suggest training on them through the winter/wet weather grime, especially if you go for the set with carbon rims.  Why not buy a set of training wheels and save the Zipps for the good weather and racing?  I dont know anyone who trains on Zipps or HEDs, these kind of wheels are not really build for day in/day out wear and tear in my opinion.  I dont see the real need to have to train on a £1400 set of wheels?

    With 404's no point scrimping on the tyres so youre looking at another £120 for good rubber like Continental Competition, If you go for carbon rims then a good set of brake pads like swissstop yellow are another £30.

    Unless youre going to be racing hilly courses then a set of 606's (404 front 808 back) are probably a better all round set-up for race day?

    HEDs are certainly cheaper, how good 404's are vs HEDs is debateable but if you want the bling kit then go for Zipp.  You dont see HED rolling up at Ironman races renting out 200/300 sets of wheels for the day like 'Race Day Wheels' do with Zipps!  Nor do you see many of the field on HEDs, to me this means either HED is the best kept secret in Tri or everyone riding Zipps are bling sheep. 

    If youre going to be racing triathlon on a venge frame, have you given any thought to the cockpit set-up, positioning for tribars, race position etc.  Just wondering as the aero advantage of a good set-up (or even a TT frame/set-up) will deliver more advantages than 404's or Di.
  • Bouncing Barlist wrote (see)
    Nor do you see many of the field on HEDs, to me this means either HED is the best kept secret in Tri or everyone riding Zipps are bling sheep. 

    Chrissie uses HEDs, of course.  And triathlon's chock full of bling sheep, given two equal pieces of kit many seem to opt for the more expensive because obviously it'll be faster.  Chrissie uses the HED jets rather than the more expensive Stinger tubulars, mind you she's had problems fixing flats in the past...

    I think it was Robbie McEwan who when asked what his favourite bike was said "the one I'm paid to ride".

  • It does partly depend on what you want the bike for - road racing, triathlon, sportives, leisure rides etc.

    With the groupset I think the question would be do you want electronic or normal shifting - if I was going for a money no object road bike I'd be tempted by Di2 just to see what it's like - it's got more bling factor but I suppose a little extra to go wrong.

    For the wheels - what depth rim do you want and are you happy with a carbon braking surface, clinchers or tubs, and then look at the brands that fit your requirements.
  • imo get cable shifting and use the money saved from Di2 to get some coaching or something, i kind of think that unless your trying for kona there were plenty guys that was winning last year that got by without electrics, is it any lighter? a few grammes maybe? maybe even heavier?
    and like people have said the only real benefit is shifting in 2 places - that may save you 20 seconds on your 112mile jolly. i can why shops want to push electrics - when someone walks into my shop i try to sell them a bit more than they originally wanted, triathlon is all about bling and shopowners know it - its an easy sell. just my onion image
  • SRAM red, heds, mavic askiums for training, and hire a coach for a year

    Ps are you IM ing or olying.......
  • I've no experience of SRAM doubletap, but if it shifts as positively as the SRAM TT shifters then I'd go for that over Shimano any day.

    I guess one advatage of DI2 is you could run standard drop bars and then also use clip on TT bars with the DI2 TT shifters.

  • Good point - that'd be a big advantage - well not that big but at the level of paying big money for small gains that's about as big a gain as you'd get.
  • There's bugger all advantage in the electric shifting really.
    It's heavier, slower and more expensive.
    It is very cool though !

    What is the bike for ? If it's for triathlon you'd be better off saving your money and buy two bikes. One tt and one road. A cheaper tt bike will be faster than the venge.
  • SqueakzSqueakz ✭✭✭
    The bike is intended to be used for a bit of everything to be honest, i selected the venge frame on looks as much as anything, if I had to say one event that I would like a competent bike for it would be the box hill dualathlon.

    Im not a great fan of the tt style bikes, they are a little bit extreme for my liking.

    Popsider mentioned carbon braking surfaces, does this make a massive difference to the feel or stopping power as its something I have not considered at this point.
  • The venge is their top of the range road bike - great for racing on - its a real super bike.
    Have you ridden it ? It could be so stiff that it's a bit of a bumpy ride ?
    And don't get the di2 - it's like twice the price for an older version of the ultegra electronic.
  • http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/components/wheel-sets/product/review-zipp-404-firecrest-carbon-clinchers-11-45315

     if i was you, i would research what i actually want and WHY, and not let salesmen sway you - then its your mistake, no good blaming the salesman because your brakes are grabby or not that effective after you just spent 2.5k on wheels.

    saying that though - if your spending about £7-8k(?) on a bike you can afford to sell the mistakes - ill give 1k for your wheels if you dont like them  image

  • Yes considering you're ordering on Tuesday - you seem a bit vague.
    I spend months working out exactly what I want - its the best bit !
    What do you ride now ?
  • I cant say how long Zipps last for in the grime and dirt of the UK road system, but my 404's which are so old they are pre dimples have survived the best part of 10,000 miles without going out of true or any other problems. Of course these are not firecrest and therefore do not have carbon braking surfaces but in my experience Zipps Will last just as long as any other wheel if ridden daily, they just cost more. I don't see the point of keeping Zipps for race day only, you have spent all that money on a set of wheels so you might as well use them, otherwise you will have probably retired before you ever get near to wearing them out.

    I certainly haven't paid 1400 pounds for either the set of 404's or 808's, admittedly I avoid VAT but you have to dive in when these things are on offer. The 808 front wheel which is a 2010 pre carbon rim / firecrest clincher was under 450 pounds in December 2011 from Wiggle.

    Its all subjective anyway, no different to buying a car when very few people buy the most economical or the most practical model but do buy the one that looks good in their eyes and if you can have a few extras like bling wheels, air con, sun roof, leather seats etc all well and good. You don't then buy a second cheap car to keep the good one for  the weekends do you? In other words squeakz  if you can afford it buy whatever you want.

  • I fitted DI2 to my tri bike and feel it really is superb. I only did so though because neither I nor my LBS could adequately solve a cable run problem on the bike which meant shifting was less accurate than I wanted. DI2 is always precise, doesn't degrade over time as cables get dirty and will get the chain on and off the big ring even if you have left it later than you should have to change. If I am ever splashing big cash on a bike again I will definitely go electronic, and by way of comparison I have Super Record on my road bike but prefer the DI2. There is no need for it though as a well set up mechanical Dura Ace also operates brilliantly on a road bike without complicated cable routing. I am not a fan of SRAM.

    Good luck with your choice, enjoy!

  • Dubai Dave wrote (see)
    I don't see the point of keeping Zipps for race day only, you have spent all that money on a set of wheels so you might as well use them, otherwise you will have probably retired before you ever get near to wearing them out.
    Yebbut you have nice smooth roads and decent weather, not the potholes we have here.  Use them more than just race day for sure, but all year round?  Nope. 
  • You can pick up decent wheels for £200 or less. I would use those for every day training and save the nice wheels for summer and races. The roads round here ate in a shocking state and we've not yet had winter.
  • t's difficult because it's your money and why not spend it on a flash bike if that's what you want - nothing against that at all.  But at the same time you want the right tool for the job - the most expensive doesn't necessarily mean best depending on what you want it for.

    For wheels the out and out fastest on a flat course and still conditions is usually going to be a disc and tri spoke or similar - but you obviously aren't going to do all your riding on them.   I would take the advice of some on here and compromise on getting two sets of wheels - one for race day, sportives etc and then one for training - that way you can get a set of full carbon rims such as your zipps, Dura Ace 50mm tubulars etc and then if you want you can still buy nice clincher wheels for training and you can then use them if you race a technical course in the wet - the Dura Ace shallow section always get good reviews - obviously you can get good wheels for less but they are top end of that kind of wheel.

    The Venge is really a road racing bike not designed for TTs or Triathlon but if you want that why not.   If you don't want a tri bike then the other alternatives would be the bikes designed to double up - the Cervelo S series (think they still have a flippable seat post?) and I think the Neil Pryde bikes (DD has one I think ?).    If you can get a good position with tri bars on the Venge though and that's what floats your boat then nothing wrong with it (though as Cougs says it's probably very stiff).   I know I'm not really flexible enough to get the best out of a full on TT bike even though I do have one - though having said that I am faster on it than a road bike with clip ons so it must make some difference.

     Whatever you get though at that kind of level it's going to be very nice - there is no perfect bike that does everything so whatever you get it's going to be some kind of compromise for most of the riding you do - the alternative is multiple bikes and multiple wheelsets.  

  • if you're looking at carbon Zipp 404's then a word of warning. on our recent bike trip to Colombia, one of the guys had a set on his Pinarello - the front wheel lasted 3 days before it fell apart. the roads in Colombia were not a lot worse than many of the UK's finest with potholes galore, although at times the road surface would disappear altogether!!

    in summary, they may not last the course if you use them for training - fine for racing on smooth roads, but not for everyday use imho.

    as an aside to that - his Pinarello frame also eventually failed - it was a top end carbon one and the chainstay broke. shall we say, he had an expensive trip......

    so - carbon is fine but make sure it can stand the rigours of everyday riding on crappy road surfaces

    also on the trip we had one bike with Di2 shifters (on a Cervelo P2) - that lasted the trip fine and I don't think the rider had any problems. BUT if something had gone wrong she would have been stuffed trying to get it fixed in Colombia as dealers and mechanics for it are as rare as rocking horse crap. so again - if you go electronic, look at where you ride it and what backup is available if something goes wrong.

    and as a further aside - both the Pinarello rider and the Di2 rider were medics. more money than sense maybe??? image

  • SqueakzSqueakz ✭✭✭
    cougie wrote (see)
    Yes considering you're ordering on Tuesday - you seem a bit vague. I spend months working out exactly what I want - its the best bit ! What do you ride now ?

    stock felt AR4 at the moment which is an ok bike imho, chosen on looks rather than anything else being honest. The venge I really like the look of so my other half has decided to treat me.
    The components I like such as the zipps, to be honest I do so for the appearance as much as anything, but the guys in the shop has questioned this based on durability as such I felt it was worth checking with people more experienced than myself.
    The electronic shifters consideration is simply because im a geek and thought it was really cool but wished to know the reality of living with them.

    Im neither fast or over competitive in my running or biking, I like the venge because it makes me smile, I think its a lovely looking bike, wish I could be more knowledgeable about these things but im not at this time... The biggest thing I wished to establish I think was if zipp wheels and electronic gearset was going to effect my enjoyment of the bike greatly which is the single biggest thing for me.

    Thanks for the help and advise everyone, ill get some pictures of the bike up soon as its in my hands image

  • You can mix and match the groupset too - use the Ultegra DI2 shifting system - levers and mechs as they've been refined over the first DA incarnation.
    Use the DA chainset as its lighter than the Ultegra version. And use whatever brakes you fancy really. Will save your other half a fair bit of money over DA.

    If you're not ultra competitive then I'd just go with normal tyres over tubs. Much easier to live with.
  • "the alternative is multiple bikes and multiple wheelsets"

    and I guess that's the solution for many of us who want specific bikes for specific tasks as no "one size fits all". I guess if I was to tot up the costs of all my bikes and spend it on one bike, then a Venge would be "cheap", but I prefer compromises on a value for money basis.

    and would I get any better performance for spending more on one bike?? perhaps, but I suspect it would be marginal, so I'll stick with the n+1 principle...

    and I'll wait to get my hands on the Campag EPS groupo...... image
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