Before long we’ll be seeing a lot more mountain bikes with buttons where the shifters used to be, but it’s taken awhile to catch up to the road bikes. The wait hasn’t stopped everyone though. Instead of patiently waiting for electronic mountain bike drivetrains, a number of riders have used the K-Edge Conversion kit. Then there are those like Joshua who have taken the Di2 hack to another level. Custom carbon pieces, wire routing, reprogrammed functionality – all in a days work for this custom Orbea Alma.
The hacks don’t end with the drivetrain either as Joshua is running a hand made carbon bar/stem combo and his own seat. Details next…
According to Joshua, the inspiration for the build came to him after planning a trip to ride in Tahoe, California with some friends. After ordering some Shimano Ultegra 6870 components, the process of adapting them to the Alma began.
“I knew that I was going to have to re-position the jockey pulleys, so I made a carbon fiber pulley plate assembly, and I machined a custom pulley plate axle. Worked like a charm. I routed the wire from the A-junction through a small hole that I drilled into the back of the aluminum steerer tube, then out of a hole that I drilled in the down-tube. I drilled another hole under the bb, then installed a riv-nut to mount the B-junction. The internal battery is held in place by a custom mount that I made. Then I re-programmed the functions of the shifter to increase shift speed, and program a “long hold” on the shifter to dump 4 gears. I didn’t take any pics, but I made a shifter out of carbon; basically it’s like two spring boards with balls that impact the circuits that are buried deep inside the stock shifter.”
As if the high degree of drivetrain customization wasn’t enough, Joshua has also built his own carbon components with a one piece bar/stem, and this carbon/Innegra saddle. Combined with a Ritchey seat post, Stan’s Arch EX wheels, Rocket Ron tires, Shimano brakes, the custom drivetrain and XT crank with a Race Face narrow wide ring, Joshua’s Alma comes in around 21 pounds.
Thanks to Joshua for sending this in!