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Does anyone have any experience with 1 X 10 Ultegra Di2 set-ups for cyclo-cross?
Also, any experience with Ultegra Di2 and non-Shimano chainrings (particularly White Industries cranks/rings, Specialites TA rings, or WickWerks rings)?
seriously, they have big problems in nearly every race with their setup with mostly kmc chains, non shimano rings, rotor cranks and the k edge parts. who am i to tell them but i think part of the problem is the sharpness of teeth on the chainrings. the chain is probably not running as smooth in the chainring as a full setup with original parts and therefor needs less vibration to jump out of the teeth. as they don't run guide rings left and right i suppose the problem starts not where the k edge parts are(where the front derailleur normally is)but at the bottom, where the chain exits the teeth of the chainring. if you have lots of vibration and the chain is a little bit off it's position and you pedal backwards a little bit or there is a big impact from a root or something suddenly the chain is off the chainring for 1/2 - 2/3 of the normal distance. heavy acceleration at this moment and the chain will jump off the ring, chainguide or not. this is something that i experienced when rode for many years with single ring setups. the best results i had with spooky carbon guide rings and custom shims to get the rings as close as possible to the chainring. they are also the stiffest in carbon. NEVER use the fsa carbon rings, the chain will bend them and it's like riding without any guide rings. bart aernouts uses this setup and never had problems this year. 4za guide rings are very stiff and durable but also a lot heavier.
because in my theory the problem is rarely starting at the area where you have the front derailleur on standard setups, i wouldn't trust k edge or jump stop solutions too much(i mean you can, but klaas lost a worldcup podium, kevin lost a possible worldcup overall victory, 2nd place overall b post trofee and the world championships race was messed up because of the same issues, too). either use 2 good guide rings or wait until the sram xx1 system is adapted to bigger rings, this special chainring will keep the chain a lot better. the way i understand it you could use such a ring with a normal 10 speed chain and a shimano setup(florian vogel raced last season with a xx1 crank and the rest was a sram xx and x0 mix).
I completely forgot about the many problems the Sunweb-Napoleon Games riders struggled with.
I wonder if, as the technology improves, the auto-trimming that the Di2 system has, will be able to be felt with single-ring applications. I see your point though - the chainrings will have to be sharp enough to accept the speed of the throw under load, coated in mud, in bumpy terrain.
While the list of single-ring chainguard options continues to grow, I remain curious about whether or not a more reliable system - such as the Spooky guards Simon mentioned - or others (in the US, Paul Components has a popular chain keeper and closer to my home, BBG make some nice, less expensive light weight guards, and Ruckus Composites make a more expensive guard) coupled with a stronger ring (a Thorne or higher quality TA ring, for example) would work better than the options employed by Kevin Pauwels & Klaas Vantornout this past season.
I've no doubt that Di2 use will continue to grow in cyclo-cross; however, at this point, I remain merely interested in it. My next bike is on order, but the risks may currently outweigh the benefits of its use for my purposes.
Thanks for the response Simon & congrats on a fine season (Koppenberg, Swiss Nats, Cauberg recently, and, of course, Hoogerheide)
Best to stick with proven system and decent double rings up front,plus starts tend to be too bloody fast to cope with a single ring (loenhout et al)
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