Shimano’s new XTR 9000 series is the best MTB group yet and the XTR 9050 Di2 is insanely awesome. The big draw is that every rear shift is perfect and the front shifting is rock solid and idiot proof.
However, when you have a frame that isn’t from 2016 a few issues arise. Mainly it’s the Di2 routing that can be a little tricky. Sure you can zip-tie, electrical tape and wrap the wires on/around anything that makes sense, but who wants that hot mess? Nobody wants to spend the money on XTR Di2 just to have a bunch of wires wrapped around hoses and tubes à la those wired cadence computers from 15 years ago.
We have performed several custom Di2 installs so far, and they all were custom one-off solutions. Mapping our the wiring and battery placement in an efficient manner is crucial to the systems integration and performance. This is where things get real interesting.
After some standing around with arms crossed, making squinty faces and some friendly debate, the best routing option was decided.
The battery would live inside the steer tube and the derailleur wires would run internally through the downtube. We ran the front and rear derailleur wires through the frame’s ISCG mount, so that was solved. Running the upper controls into the frame was a little tricky. The left/front shifter runs into the frame and down to the lower junction box which was installed through the bottom bracket shell opening.
After all was said and done, the install was as clean as possible and very low profile. Definitely an intense install, but the result speaks for itself!
Along with the Di2 upgrade, the brakes and cockpit got a nice makeover. The new M9020 XTR Trail stoppers are sexy as ever, as is Enve’s new MTN stem. Too bad there wasn’t a wider handlebar available… Nice bike, Roger!