Updating an old bicycle

It’s entirely doable technically, but the aesthetics aren’t great.

As well, Shimano’s new Di2 drivetrains are based around cigar-style internal batteries, which won’t fit on all frames.

(Yes, you can get by for a time with 10-speed chainrings, but the tolerances from a 10-speed ring to an 11-speed chain are so tight that it’s not recommended.) Go back to 9-speed on Shimano and you’ll also want new brake calipers, as the lever throw changed to a different cable pull ratio. Neither company officially says you can mix parts but we’ll say it here: Unless you’re super finicky, a Shimano chain on a SRAM cassette or vice versa works fine. Related: Why We've Been Excited for SRAM's Wireless Group Electronic doesn’t always play well with older frames.

“You install the derailleurs and shifters, pair them, and you’re good to go,” says SRAM road product manager Brad Menna.

These bikes feature a radical “Y” frame design and even the crank is curved.

This bike was restored from a complete original but the paint scheme is not entirely correct although the colors are…

Now that SRAM has introduced Red e Tap, all three major component companies make electronic drivetrains.

A fourth, FSA, is not far behind with its as-yet unnamed prototype group.

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All of that begs the question: Should you make the shift?

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