Calfee Di2 Retrofit - worth it?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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canbakay
Posts: 455
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:54 pm
Location: London

by canbakay

Hey all,

After testing sr11 ti and di2 and much thought, I've decided to go with di2 on my dogma. I have the DA chainset, chain and cassette already - not that it was a driving incentive, but helps with the price (brings it to about a 40£ difference)

Despite the fact that I'm confident it will be set up as symmetric and neat as possible, there still is the issue of a 'messy' external look. Moreover, the redundant cable stops on either side.

I've spent about 6 months on this frame and absolutely love it, which is a topic on its own, however I feel in about a year I will go for a di2 specific frame (given that all works out well with di2). Parlee z1 or z5sl, look 695, c59 are on a short list.

The part where I need help is, is it a wise decision to retro fit the frame to internally route the di2 (with the battery hidden in seatpost). I know Calfee in California is an option but being located in the UK, I can also send it over to the Calfee in Germany. Retrofitting is slightly more expensive but the shipping is considerably lower. With shipping and retrofitting, I would be looking at £700. Of course this will void the warranty and limit the second hand sale to di2/campy eps users.

I'd really appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.

John
Last edited by canbakay on Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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pritchet74
Posts: 1317
Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 10:38 pm
Location: NorCal

by pritchet74

Why don't you just do it yourself? Making a custom battery is very easy - almost too easy. If going internal is what you are most interested in then you will just need to talk to other people who have a frame similar to yours. On my Cervelo I just called Cervelo customer service and they told me where to drill the frame (I only needed to drill one hole). Of course I hacked my external wiring harness and made it internal, but I should have just used an internal harness.

If you aren't comfortable doing it yourself and are willing to pay top dollar, then have Calfee do it. They do great work.
Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?

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canbakay
Posts: 455
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:54 pm
Location: London

by canbakay

While I would love(!) to do it, id be scared to do it on my primary bike. The battery does look simple as I saw in other ww projects. Indeed it is a lot of money...

serbelo
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 6:31 am

by serbelo

There is a topic somewhere where madcow used Icarus Di2 batteries on his Crumpton.The batteries are installed in the seatpost. You just need some soldering skills to do this job.
Cervelo R2.5
Cervelo P2c
Cervelo R3
Parlee Z3
Parlee TT

JensW
Posts: 763
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 9:41 pm
Location: Uppsala, Sweden

by JensW

but calfee reinforce the frame where they drill the holes, right?

not al manifactures tell there customers where it´s safe to drill :D
Last edited by JensW on Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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STARNUT
Posts: 3424
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2005 6:43 am
Location: Hilly, Hot, and Windy

by STARNUT

I've done 5 bikes for customers this season with the retrofit. I'll tell you, it's damn near one of the cleanest setups I've seen. They cut off the cable stops, reinforce the holes, repaint the thing where the stops were, modify the wiring harness, and send a new battery and charger. Hell of a deal considering you can turn any frame in to Di2 and not have to wait 6 months (Pinarello). If you follow them on Facebook, they just posted pics of the Ultegra D12 conversion and statedthey are working on the Campy one. Painless process and good people that do a great job.

Starnut
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canbakay
Posts: 455
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:54 pm
Location: London

by canbakay

Thanks for the replies - but despite being mechanically competent, I will not be drilling holes etc myself (not on this frame at least).

For the time being, I will use it externally and towards the spring will re-asses. Perhaps until then I can find a location that offers the service in the UK (not that shipping to germany is a hassle nor it is expensive).

A drawback of buying now and retrofitting later is the external cable set & battery & charger becomes useless thus £200 in the bin.

Even writing this makes me swing back and forth...wellll, maybe ill send it now and have it nicely for Christmas :)

williamsf1
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:53 am

by williamsf1

seriously it is dead easy....

search my posts

Zigmeister
Posts: 921
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:09 pm

by Zigmeister

There is a buy on eBay who sells an inside seatpost battery and internal wiring kit.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Shimano-Dura-Ac ... 45feb751bd

Maybe that will work for you?

di2diy
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:02 am

by di2diy

I’m the guy selling the battery in the seat post on eBay. What seems easy to one is not so easy to all. That’s why I started selling the wiring kit(s) on eBay. For some people just being able to buy a package that is plug-and-play is the easiest way to go. I started looking on the same forums, for the same information I see here, and after a year, and doing > 20 frames, both Di2 specific, and non Di2, I would say now it’s easy, but not in the beginning. I first looked at the Calfee retrofit, but after some research I decided to do it myself. Calfee does a great job, and if you want a bike that has had holes > ½ inch drilled, and cutouts the size of a fist drilled in the downtube, and a harness installed in the frame that cant be removed... and if you have an extra $700 plus shipping, than send that bike frame to them. They will get it back to you in 4-6 weeks. Yes they do a wonderful job of patching the big holes they make, and make it almost unnoticeable, if you don’t look too close. If you have a Di2 specific frame it’s realy easy to get rid of the ugly battery, and put it in the seat post, all you need is an internal harness and a battery that will fit in the post. I also just noticed that Glorycycles is selling a Calfee Enve Seatpost 27.2 with Di2 Battery, only $399!!. If anyone is interested in doing a frame that is a non Di2 frame or a Di2 frame, message me and I would be glad to help you drill that puppy and put the battery in the seat post. If you live in So Cal you could bring it to me and have it done in a < a week.

goodboyr
Posts: 1390
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:56 pm
Location: Canada

by goodboyr

di2diy wrote:I’m the guy selling the battery in the seat post on eBay. What seems easy to one is not so easy to all. That’s why I started selling the wiring kit(s) on eBay. For some people just being able to buy a package that is plug-and-play is the easiest way to go. I started looking on the same forums, for the same information I see here, and after a year, and doing > 20 frames, both Di2 specific, and non Di2, I would say now it’s easy, but not in the beginning. I first looked at the Calfee retrofit, but after some research I decided to do it myself. Calfee does a great job, and if you want a bike that has had holes > ½ inch drilled, and cutouts the size of a fist drilled in the downtube, and a harness installed in the frame that cant be removed... and if you have an extra $700 plus shipping, than send that bike frame to them. They will get it back to you in 4-6 weeks. Yes they do a wonderful job of patching the big holes they make, and make it almost unnoticeable, if you don’t look too close. If you have a Di2 specific frame it’s realy easy to get rid of the ugly battery, and put it in the seat post, all you need is an internal harness and a battery that will fit in the post. I also just noticed that Glorycycles is selling a Calfee Enve Seatpost 27.2 with Di2 Battery, only $399!!. If anyone is interested in doing a frame that is a non Di2 frame or a Di2 frame, message me and I would be glad to help you drill that puppy and put the battery in the seat post. If you live in So Cal you could bring it to me and have it done in a < a week.


Just ordered this, and will report back when I get them installed. Ordered two medium size from "di2diy" for my Cervelo R3 and my friends Look 595. Both bikes have been internalized (http://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=86592#p752149), and the last step was moving the batteries inside.

goodboyr
Posts: 1390
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:56 pm
Location: Canada

by goodboyr

goodboyr wrote:
di2diy wrote:I’m the guy selling the battery in the seat post on eBay. What seems easy to one is not so easy to all. That’s why I started selling the wiring kit(s) on eBay. For some people just being able to buy a package that is plug-and-play is the easiest way to go. I started looking on the same forums, for the same information I see here, and after a year, and doing > 20 frames, both Di2 specific, and non Di2, I would say now it’s easy, but not in the beginning. I first looked at the Calfee retrofit, but after some research I decided to do it myself. Calfee does a great job, and if you want a bike that has had holes > ½ inch drilled, and cutouts the size of a fist drilled in the downtube, and a harness installed in the frame that cant be removed... and if you have an extra $700 plus shipping, than send that bike frame to them. They will get it back to you in 4-6 weeks. Yes they do a wonderful job of patching the big holes they make, and make it almost unnoticeable, if you don’t look too close. If you have a Di2 specific frame it’s realy easy to get rid of the ugly battery, and put it in the seat post, all you need is an internal harness and a battery that will fit in the post. I also just noticed that Glorycycles is selling a Calfee Enve Seatpost 27.2 with Di2 Battery, only $399!!. If anyone is interested in doing a frame that is a non Di2 frame or a Di2 frame, message me and I would be glad to help you drill that puppy and put the battery in the seat post. If you live in So Cal you could bring it to me and have it done in a < a week.


Just ordered this, and will report back when I get them installed. Ordered two medium size from "di2diy" for my Cervelo R3 and my friends Look 595. Both bikes have been internalized (http://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=86592#p752149), and the last step was moving the batteries inside.


Ok. After a slight delay due to the wonders of the postal system in two countries, they arrived. I've done the install on my R3 (the Look is next week). Batteries and cable harness are very nicely finished with proper terminations, heat shrink, etc. Battery has a long zip tie securely attached so that you can pull the battery out of the frame easily when its time to recharge. Nice length on the harness, made it easy to fish back through the frame and connect. He even gives you the right heat shrink (glue filled) to make the connection to the internal harness waterproof. Batteries came fully charged, and the charger is a proper cell balancing charger (very important for two cell Lipo's). So, in summary, a very nice and much cheaper solution than the Calfee. I highly recommend this.

goodboyr
Posts: 1390
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:56 pm
Location: Canada

by goodboyr

Update: Diydi2 now ships a retrofit pcb and charger for the internal battery (or he will sell you the battery with the pcb as well). With this add on, you no longer need to remove the battery from the seat tube to recharge. Similar to the Calfee design, you plug the charger (which comes with a nicely finished di2 connector) into the harness at either the front or rear derailleur. It took me 30 seconds to install the pcb, and everything charged as advertised. The pcb provides overcurrent protection, charge balancing, etc. This is a fantastic system at a great price. Highly recommended!

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Wingnut
Posts: 1860
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:41 am

by Wingnut

I'm pretty sure Calfee are now starting to do Di2 battery setups in handlebars now...
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di2diy
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:02 am

by di2diy

Wingnut wrote:I'm pretty sure Calfee are now starting to do Di2 battery setups in handlebars now...

Ok, I'll bite... why? How does it connect to the harness?

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