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Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 or SRAM RED eTAP?

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Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway
View Poll Results: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 or SRAM RED eTAP?
Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
45
68.18%
SRAM RED eTAP
21
31.82%
Voters: 66. You may not vote on this poll

Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 or SRAM RED eTAP?

Old 01-26-21, 07:07 PM
  #1  
Kabuto
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Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 or SRAM RED eTAP?

Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 or SRAM RED eTAP? If you had the option to put either groupset on the same bike, which would you choose and why?
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Old 01-26-21, 07:19 PM
  #2  
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Iíve been on DI2 since 2013 (9000 and 9100 series). To be fair Iíve only played with etap on a few rides in excess of 10 miles. I liked it very much but found the shifting to not be as quick or as crisp as Shimano.

mostly though, I prefer the appearance of DI2 without the bulky batteries and I ride with too many people who forget to recharge every couple hundred miles vs. the Shimano which seems to last me at least 1000 miles and doesnít require removal of batteries to charge.

not a big deal I know. Both systems are awesome but thatís my preference.
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Old 01-26-21, 07:20 PM
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Red eTap... did that 5 years ago and glad I did. I like the wireless and fresh thinking on shifters.

But Shimano vs Sram is Ford vs Cheby, Dino vs synthetic oil, Tastes great Less Filling.

Pick your passion.

BTW.. I have ridden a Di2 bike for over 400 miles while on vacation... because they didn't have eTap.
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Old 01-26-21, 07:33 PM
  #4  
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Last year, I was spoiling to get new bike, or rather dreamt about it seriously and would have gone for SRAM eTap, the cheaper Force edition..

Since I didn't buy, and never had Di2 either, I didn't vote. But after longer perspective on SRAM through reading this and that, here on BF and YTube, I would seriously consider going with Di2 if I were in the market again for new, latest model year bike (I bought older used bike).

eTap being shorter time on the market than the more tried and true Di2, and probably SRAM solution might still be in a significant development phase in coming years, I would worry about my SRAM drive train being more obsolete as years went by than it would be the case with Di2. Also I traditionally beware of products that lock you in, like Macintosh, Sony products... Shimano is more industry standard, safer choice all around, something IBM PC in computers.

Otherwise yes, SRAM eTap has bulkier appearance but you also get cleaner cockpit with it even on bikes that are not top end (I know it can be quite clean with Di2 also but it will cost you arm and leg, at least I think so).

Last edited by vane171; 01-26-21 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 01-26-21, 07:49 PM
  #5  
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Shimano.

Because it's not Sram.

And because it simply works. And your batteries don't randomly fail. Or fall off.
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Old 01-26-21, 08:11 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Shimano.

Because it's not Sram.

And because it simply works. And your batteries don't randomly fail. Or fall off.
And is the gold standard.
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Old 01-26-21, 08:12 PM
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Da 7400.
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Old 01-26-21, 08:20 PM
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I’ve had both. In fact, I had an Ultegra Di2 bike and I replaced it with eTap becasuse:
  1. The two paddles vs one paddle for eTap are much harder to use with gloves in cold weather (I live in Minnesota).
  2. The installation is much cleaner with only cables for brakes.
  3. Disassembling the bike for travel is much cleaner - you just unbold the RD, no need to worry about or protect the cable.
  4. No wires in the frame. No wires period.
  5. Bluetooth connection is much easier and ANT+ Connection seems to work better.
At this point where there are rumors that Shimano is going wireless too, I think it would be kind of crazy to go for a wired bike.

J.
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Old 01-26-21, 09:41 PM
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DI2 because Sram sucks monkey nards.
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Old 01-26-21, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Iíve had both. In fact, I had an Ultegra Di2 bike and I replaced it with eTap becasuse:
  1. The two paddles vs one paddle for eTap are much harder to use with gloves in cold weather (I live in Minnesota).
  2. The installation is much cleaner with only cables for brakes.
  3. Disassembling the bike for travel is much cleaner - you just unbold the RD, no need to worry about or protect the cable.
  4. No wires in the frame. No wires period.
  5. Bluetooth connection is much easier and ANT+ Connection seems to work better.
At this point where there are rumors that Shimano is going wireless too, I think it would be kind of crazy to go for a wired bike.

J.
Based on the rumors, it sounds like Shimano will be going semi wireless. It sounds like the front and rear derailleur will be connected by wires. I am assuming that is to solve the recharging every few rides issue.
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Old 01-27-21, 09:25 AM
  #11  
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I'm torn. I live in the suburbs of SRAM-cago. I know a lot of the fine men and women who work for the company and have busted their butts to bring to market what they have.

I was a Shimano guy my whole life then in around 2009 when SRAM really went to war with Shimano and did it by building road groups that were light, inexpensive and durable enough... and local... it became a no brainer. During that time cross was also king and Shimano just didn't do cross very well at all.

Shimano caught back up and didn't slow down. Mechanically Shimano equipment is just so much better in design and manufacture. To me SRAM will always have the feeling of a non-deburred CNC billet piece while Shimano will have the smooth feel of purpose built forgings but enough romanticism.

SRAM wireless is a great feature but honestly one of the only features that keeps them in the discussion. Battery life sucks in comparison. The single paddle bit is a bit of a moot point as now all the Shimano buttons are configurable and you can come up with a similar shift pattern (big buttons on both sides are rear and small buttons front).

During the AXS rollout we were told that one of the founders of SRAM went to Europe on a trip and rented a bike and all it had was Ultegra. He rode it and knew why they were getting their butts handed to them. All that quality in a more affordable price was unbeatable. So they started cramming on AXS design and did the whole Force thing. Did it work? meh.

Then the brakes.....the brakes....oh dear lord the brakes. I hate jumping on the bandwagon and resorting to cheap sots but the SRAM brakes suck. I did a video a few years back on my youtube channel detailing how to unstick your pistons and solve sticky master cylinders that plague the road lineups. It's one of my most popular videos. That should say something. The people who watch and comment on it are mechanics as well. The brake issues are universal.

By contrast the Shimano brakes just seem to work, work well, last forever and hardly ever need maintenance. The only real videos needed on those are the "how do you bleed this one again? I have a new bike build and can't remember"

Running wires is in fact a PITA and can add a substantial amount of money on to a build. I have no fears that will be solved eventually but I also have to say I am a bit of a wire guy. There's a reason Wahoo just "launched" an ethernet wired adapter for it's trainers - it's required by the UCI because the ant+ and BLE signals aren't reliable enough.

If I had to choose today and it was going on my personal bike and I was using someone else's money....I don't know. I might just go AXS because I don't currently have it. If I was on my own and building the only bike I was going to ride for a long time and was using a chunk of my own change that I knew I wasn't going to have available in the foreseeable future to replace items or buy new again then I would absolutely pick Shimano.

Footnote: if I had lottery kind of money and liked to watch it burn I'd go Campy and buy everything including an employee who spent all day trying to import replacement parts.
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Old 01-27-21, 09:51 AM
  #12  
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Shimano Di2 DA... all the way

Etap Red is 11speed and many parts are discontinued so that is a big no from me. Having just upgraded to AXS Red from etap red very recently on my Moots. I basically sold my etap red for nearly what it cost me to move to AXS red.

DA front der performance is miles better and easier to setup up perfect and the rear der shifts faster.
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Old 01-27-21, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
Based on the rumors, it sounds like Shimano will be going semi wireless. It sounds like the front and rear derailleur will be connected by wires. I am assuming that is to solve the recharging every few rides issue.
You don't need to charge eTap "every few rides" unless your rides are 200 miles long. It's about 600 miles between charges on a fresh battery. Di2 for me was about 1000 miles and you can't have a spare battery with a seat tube battery. The eTap battery is tiny as far as carrying a spare.

While Shimano has done a decent job on the cabling, it's still a fact that interconnections on electronic systems are one of the prime sources of reliability problems.

J.
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Old 01-27-21, 03:49 PM
  #14  
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SRAM isn't very popular in Poland or Slovenia for some reason

https://translate.google.com/?sl=pl&tl=en&text=sram&op=translate

https://translate.google.com/?sl=sl&tl=en&text=sram&op=translate
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Old 01-27-21, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
You don't need to charge eTap "every few rides" unless your rides are 200 miles long. It's about 600 miles between charges on a fresh battery. Di2 for me was about 1000 miles and you can't have a spare battery with a seat tube battery. The eTap battery is tiny as far as carrying a spare.

While Shimano has done a decent job on the cabling, it's still a fact that interconnections on electronic systems are one of the prime sources of reliability problems.

J.
Every few rides does sound a bit ridiculous.
According to SRAM, their battery lasts 60 hours of riding (Probably about 6-900 miles) Shimano says their battery lasts 1242 miles.

I am not sure the need for a spare battery, unless you have a older/cheaper head unit that doesnít communicate with an electronic system. I have a Low Battery notice that pops up on my Wahoo when the battery is getting low. The wire connection would be internal, which makes it very doubtful that there would be any kind of issue.
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Old 01-27-21, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
I am not sure the need for a spare battery, unless you have a older/cheaper head unit that doesnít communicate with an electronic system. I have a Low Battery notice that pops up on my Wahoo when the battery is getting low. The wire connection would be internal, which makes it very doubtful that there would be any kind of issue.
Not the connections with the derailleurs or the external junction box.

FWIW, I've worked on hundreds of bikes with Di2, and the only times a connector had failed was due to crash damage..
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Old 01-27-21, 06:43 PM
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This topic is hilarious.
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Old 01-27-21, 07:12 PM
  #18  
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Di2 all the way. The only advantage to wireless is during the initial build and so that only helps a very small group of riders which are those people who buy bare frames and build bike up themselves. I normally buy my bikes built so no advantage fo me.

Four separate batteries compared to one is an advantage in my eyes.

Another advantage in Shimanoís camp is the shadow derailleur design which prevents damage to the system if you drop your bike.

SRAM disc brakes are a pain to keep centered and Shimano is leagues ahead in this area.

Last edited by Atlas Shrugged; 01-27-21 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 01-28-21, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
Every few rides does sound a bit ridiculous.
According to SRAM, their battery lasts 60 hours of riding (Probably about 6-900 miles) Shimano says their battery lasts 1242 miles.

I am not sure the need for a spare battery, unless you have a older/cheaper head unit that doesnít communicate with an electronic system. I have a Low Battery notice that pops up on my Wahoo when the battery is getting low. The wire connection would be internal, which makes it very doubtful that there would be any kind of issue.
You really donít need an extra battery but if you do want to carry one, itís no big deal because theyíre pretty tiny. That does allow you to run the battery to empty since itís the RD that goes dry first. Then you can put the new battery in for the RD and generally finish your ride with some to spare. That option is not available with the Di2 systems especially if the battery is internal to the frame. When itís dead, itís dead. On both systems, Iíd generally just charge them every two weeks whether the battery was low or not and then not worry about it.

When I talked about connections being a reliability issue in electronic systems, thatís a general statement (Iím an electrical engineer) and ďconnectionsĒ in context is connectors where it isnít a soldered connection. And thatís true here as well - if you donít get the connector on right, if it gets damaged, water intrusion etc... there are a number of failure modes that impact connections and Shimanoís cables/connectors while good, are not immune to any of these problems. Especially so if, like me, you travel with your bike and need to dissemble parts of it. I was always worried if I damaged a cable Iíd be sunk unless I carried all of the 3 or 4 lengths of cables as spares. Itís nice to not have to worry about that.

Wireless is the way to go and will be where they all are eventually. There is an elegance to it and itís much less cluttered/aesthetically pleasing on the bike with less cables. All that said, for me, the electronic shifting of both companies has been much more reliable than mech and has needed pretty much no adjustment after it was initially set up. So Iíd see either as a step up, but if I had to pick one, it would be eTap over Di2.

For me, riding when temps are often around freezing in spring and fall, there is no question that the eTap shifters are much easier to operate with bulky full finger gloves than are the Di2 shifters.
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Old 01-28-21, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
You really donít need an extra battery but if you do want to carry one, itís no big deal because theyíre pretty tiny. That does allow you to run the battery to empty since itís the RD that goes dry first. Then you can put the new battery in for the RD and generally finish your ride with some to spare. That option is not available with the Di2 systems especially if the battery is internal to the frame. When itís dead, itís dead. On both systems, Iíd generally just charge them every two weeks whether the battery was low or not and then not worry about it.

When I talked about connections being a reliability issue in electronic systems, thatís a general statement (Iím an electrical engineer) and ďconnectionsĒ in context is connectors where it isnít a soldered connection. And thatís true here as well - if you donít get the connector on right, if it gets damaged, water intrusion etc... there are a number of failure modes that impact connections and Shimanoís cables/connectors while good, are not immune to any of these problems. Especially so if, like me, you travel with your bike and need to dissemble parts of it. I was always worried if I damaged a cable Iíd be sunk unless I carried all of the 3 or 4 lengths of cables as spares. Itís nice to not have to worry about that.

Wireless is the way to go and will be where they all are eventually. There is an elegance to it and itís much less cluttered/aesthetically pleasing on the bike with less cables. All that said, for me, the electronic shifting of both companies has been much more reliable than mech and has needed pretty much no adjustment after it was initially set up. So Iíd see either as a step up, but if I had to pick one, it would be eTap over Di2.

For me, riding when temps are often around freezing in spring and fall, there is no question that the eTap shifters are much easier to operate with bulky full finger gloves than are the Di2 shifters.
The idea that one could run the battery empty vs. recharging before that occurs is an advantage is odd to me. Especially when there is tech that will notify you when it the battery is getting low. It is like carting an extra gallon of gas in the trunk of your car so can drive to E instead of stopping at a gas station when the near empty light comes on.
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Old 01-28-21, 01:42 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged View Post
Another advantage in Shimano’s camp is the shadow derailleur design which prevents damage to the system if you drop your bike.
Don't drop your bike.

Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
You really don’t need an extra battery ....
Don't waste your time trying to convince someone that has a closed mind. People buy Shimano just like they vote across the party line even when they don't know they are actually voting for.


When it comes to batteries, I get about 800 miles on my eTap before the RD goes from green to red. At that points I still have 25% so I bet I could go 1000 miles. Maybe because I live on the south shore of Long Island where it's mostly flat so I don't shift a lot. So charging the batteries every 2 months is no big deal when I have to charge my Garmin every week and my cell phone every other day. You can easily remove the batteries and charge them in your house. You don't need to have a AC outlet in your garage.

Th shifter batteries lasted me over 4 years, but since they are about $1 each i'll change them every 2 years to be safe.

Cell phone
Ipad
Bose headphones
Bose ear buds
Garmin 530
Bontrager Flare R
Bontrager Ion 100
Headlight for night riding
cordless drill

And i'm sure there are other things I need to charge.

Wait till you get an electric car and need to charge it on a 500 mile trip.

If you like Di2... good, i'm glad you're happy with your decision. We each make our own decisions.
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Old 01-28-21, 02:45 PM
  #22  
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I really didn't like Force etap, is Red any better? It was a test ride first time electronic and yea sure pressing the levers felt a lot nicer than mechanical, but the fact that it took forever to then actually carry out the shift made me think mechanical is better (exaggerated but it's the same on the PC, if you go from a fast one and everything opens instantly to a slow on and there is just a noticeable delay, to me that is super annoying).
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Old 01-28-21, 03:09 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
I really didn't like Force etap, is Red any better?
No it sucks.
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Old 01-28-21, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
Don't drop your bike.


Don't waste your time trying to convince someone that has a closed mind. People buy Shimano just like they vote across the party line even when they don't know they are actually voting for.


When it comes to batteries, I get about 800 miles on my eTap before the RD goes from green to red. At that points I still have 25% so I bet I could go 1000 miles. Maybe because I live on the south shore of Long Island where it's mostly flat so I don't shift a lot. So charging the batteries every 2 months is no big deal when I have to charge my Garmin every week and my cell phone every other day. You can easily remove the batteries and charge them in your house. You don't need to have a AC outlet in your garage.

Th shifter batteries lasted me over 4 years, but since they are about $1 each i'll change them every 2 years to be safe.

Cell phone
Ipad
Bose headphones
Bose ear buds
Garmin 530
Bontrager Flare R
Bontrager Ion 100
Headlight for night riding
cordless drill

And i'm sure there are other things I need to charge.

Wait till you get an electric car and need to charge it on a 500 mile trip.

If you like Di2... good, i'm glad you're happy with your decision. We each make our own decisions.
Your experience with the batteries is what I would consider atypical.

My business partner would have to charge about every 2 weeks. After talking to a bunch of our friends at SRAM they told her to start removing her batteries in between rides. She always had her bikes in her car and when the car started moving it would bump the accelerometers in the system and wake it up. Thus eating battery life during every drive. Once she started removing them she gets about 6 weeks in between charges riding about 5-6 days a week. She's not getting 1000 miles in that time period. More like 500-600 or so and we live in the flatlands of Chicago....but she's a racer and odds are shifting a ton more than you.

Outside of that though I detect you're offended by people having "range anxiety" about their batteries. I would agree with you that it isn't warranted. There's plenty of warning well in advance of needing to charge with both SRAM and Shimano.

In comparison though I typically charge Shimano between 2-4 times a year tops. I would be charging a SRAM system 8-10 or so. .....
....but yeah, who cares.
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Old 01-28-21, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Your experience with the batteries is what I would consider atypical.

My business partner would have to charge about every 2 weeks. After talking to a bunch of our friends at SRAM they told her to start removing her batteries in between rides. She always had her bikes in her car and when the car started moving it would bump the accelerometers in the system and wake it up. Thus eating battery life during every drive. ...
...

In comparison though I typically charge Shimano between 2-4 times a year tops. I would be charging a SRAM system 8-10 or so. .....
....but yeah, who cares.
Its common knowledge that you need to remove the batteries when transporting the bike.

I think people overly concerned about battery life should stick with mechanical.

And I've read hat some people are concerned about having to bleed hydrolic disc brakes so they are staying with rim brakes.

about 60 riding hours
The front (if applicable) and rear derailleurs each have one rechargeable lithium-ion battery. These batteries last about 60 riding hours on a full charge. A full battery charge takes about 1 hour and is done using the eTap USB charging cradle.
So if you ride 15mph, and we all know we all ride faster than that.... 60(hours) x 15(mph) = 900 miles. It's just simple math.
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