Previously, I was using a 42cm wide FSA drop bar, as I believe that the added width (over the usual 40cm) will improve the handling, especially on wet roads. However, I found that there was no big difference, and I would prefer the setup to be as close as possible to my Canyon Endurace road bike. So, I got a new 40cm wide drop bar for this new Fabike C3.
Instead of the usual FSA aluminium drop bar which is affordable and reliable, I decided to try a PRO aluminium handlebar, which is supposedly more lightweight. I did consider a carbon drop bar, but I could not find any good ones at a good price. If you remember, I had the carbon FSA K-Force compact drop bar, which was really lightweight at only 204 grams! In fact, it only cost me $120 each, and I actually bought two of it as it was such a good deal.
Unfortunately, I did not keep any of it, as one of it was sold away with the Merida Scultura 5000, while the other one was also sold after dismantling the Java Freccia mini velo.
PRO PLT aluminium drop bar, which comes in a compact shape for more comfort when riding in the drops.
Close up look at the handlebar. Sandblasted finish with some glossy areas.
Made of light and strong 2014-T6 aluminium. 40cm wide, with centre clamp diameter of 31.8mm.
What I really, really like about this PRO handlebar compared to the FSA handlebar is that alignment markings are printed at the area where you mount the shifters. This makes it really easy to set up the left and right shifters at exactly the same angle.
As claimed, it is quite lightweight, at 266 grams for this aluminium handlebar. For comparison, a FSA aluminium handlebar weighs around 308 grams, while the carbon FSA handlebar weighs 204 grams.
At the same time, I wanted to upgrade some of the handlebar components. If you recall, the Avanti Inc 3 used the first generation of road hydraulic Di2 shifters, the non series ST-R785. That was a good shifter, but the new generation has Di2 buttons with a better click feeling, like the Dura-Ace ST-R9170 Di2 shifters that I am using on the Canyon Endurace.
Also, the new road hydraulic Di2 shifters are lighter in weight, as the bracket has been changed from aluminium to resin which reduces the weight by a lot. Generally speaking, the new shifters are lighter, look better, with better click feeling. This is a strong reason to change to the new shifters.
Other than the new Di2 shifters, I will also use a new internal Di2 battery, as this Fabike C3 frame can accommodate internal wire routing. In order to charge this internal Di2 battery, I will need a new Junction A with a charging port, such as the new Deore XT Di2 display. In other words, the only parts that remain from the old setup are the Alfine Di2 motor unit, the Junction B and some Di2 wires.
New Di2 wiring layout! Internal Di2 battery will be fitted to the seat post, and charged through the new Junction A. More details below.
New road hydraulic Di2 shifters, ST-R8070! I got the Ultegra version as the Dura-Ace version is just too expensive, at no big advantage other than being a little bit lighter.
Ultegra Di2 shifters for road hydraulic disc brakes. Functions 100% like the Dura-Ace version.
Weighs 365 grams for the pair, which is a bit heavier than the Dura-Ace version that weighs 320 grams for a pair.
When the Ultegra Di2 shifters are this good, it is difficult to justify getting the Dura-Ace version, unless your reason is to have a complete groupset where your other components are Dura-Ace. Last time, only Dura-Ace Di2 shifters had the hidden button on top of the hood, which can be used to control other things such as your Garmin. Now, even Ultegra Di2 has it, which means that it functions 100% like the Dura-Ace version. Same for the Ultegra Di2 with mechanical brake, ST-R8050, used on the Dahon MuSP.
The Di2 display will also be new, as it now has to perform multiple functions. Other than showing the gear position, it also has to act as an entry point for charging the internal Di2 battery. The bonus is having Bluetooth connectivity, so that you can configure the Di2 system using your tablet or smartphone.
Deore XT grade of Di2 Display, the SC-MT800. It is also a Junction A for the Di2 system.
Includes a dummy plug for covering unused Di2 ports, and an extra clamp band for handlebars with 35mm clamp diameter, which is currently only found on some MTB handlebars. The stock clamp band is for 31.8mm diameter handlebars.
Mode button at the bottom, to enter adjustment mode, or to change shift mode (if synchronous shifting is enabled for front double Di2 drivetrains).
3 Di2 ports at the back, for connecting to the left and right shifters, and to Junction B. The charging port can be seen at the side, which is necessary to charge the internal Di2 battery.
This Di2 display weighs 31 grams.
With many new Di2 components, it is important to connect them up and test them out before installing onto the bicycle. In the next post, I will elaborate more on the internal Di2 battery and how it fits into the seat post.