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Old 06-30-22, 05:12 AM
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I used to think the same; that electronic doesn't add much. I have SRAM Red eTap and Ultegra mech. I've done over 13600 miles on the electronic bike and over 17400 miles on the mech bike in the last 2.5 years. So I've had time to compare.

Firstly, I like both.

I like the simplicity and convenience of mech. I like the one-touch and speed of the electronic. In the beginning, I didn't see the electronic as being worth the extra cost. However, over time, it has grown on me and now I prefer it overall and would absolutely choose electronic in the future. But I ride competitively so it's not the same as someone who just wants to ride - which is the vast majority of cyclists.

In recreational and leisurely mode, the difference is 'meh' really. Sure, nice to just touch the lever rather than force a change but no big diffs. When pushing on, aiming for race speeds etc, electronic is hugely superior - it can mean the difference between winning a sprint and losing it, it can make breakaways faster to initiate - we're talking very fine margins here but anyone who races will know what I mean.

Like a lot in cycling, electronic was borne from the need for speed. It excels in that category. Outside of that, not sure I'd pay the difference, personally, but totally get someone wanting it even just for general cycling, it is smoother, it is nice.

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