When I started planning this bike to display at NAHBS, I rather early settled on building it with S&S couplers so that I could easily pack the bike and travel with it without incurring huge airline fees. I had shipped my Di2 equipped DRB to California in late 2011, and it became instantly apparent how simple Di2 made packing a bike. Now I no longer had to deal with shift cables, all I had to do was break the chain with a quick link and then unplug and unbolt the derailleurs. Once I arrived, reverse the process and the bike is ready to ride with no adjustments at all.
In addition, since the bike features a dyno front hub, rack and light, I needed to have a way to quickly assemble and disassemble these parts to fit in the S&S case. Along the way, I made sure the brakes would also be easy to disconnect and reset up out of the case. When I arrived home from Sacramento, I figured I'd document the rebuild, so that folks could see the amount of time and thought that went into making this process as simple as possible. So, if you follow this link to my Picasa page, you can see not only some really nice finished photos of the bike, but about halfway through the album I start a sequential group of photos documenting the build and some cool features of the bike.
This bike was featured in a quick article on Bike Portland, and I managed to raise the ire of some traditionalists by suggesting that if Rene Herse or Alex Singer were around today, they'd be building bikes with Di2. Sure it's pretty speculative to guess what anyone who built 40-50 years ago would be doing today, but they were known as early adopters of technology like derailleurs and ultra lightweight tubing, so is it that hard to imagine them using the most advanced parts of the time? Another comment questioned whether my bike was truly "innovative", but I challenge that this (or Ultegra Di2) may be the most appropriate group for a travel bike, and I think my Di2 wiring must be somewhat innovative, it's certainly been copied enough since I first introduced it at NAHBS in 2009!
Judge for yourself.
p.s. Before I get inundated by folks reminding me that the Rene Herse and Alex Singer marques are still in business, I'm referring to the man, not what the current output of these brands are.