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Electronic vs Mechanical shifting

Old 02-04-23, 08:40 PM
  #126  
Jeff Neese
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
Why do people think the only shifting options(friction or indexed)before brifters is/was DT shifters? Barcons for the win.
I have several bikes with each. I generally prefer bar-ends, but downtube has the edge when it comes to simplicity and reliability. Also more flexibility when it comes to handlebars and cockpit configuration since all you need to worry about are brake levers. And sometimes bar-ends can be a little bit in the way. I can shift gears with either equally as well though.

I really dislke "brifters". When we travel without our bikes and rent bikes somewhere, they usually have brifters and I don't like them at all. I'll never have them on a bike of mine, that's for sure.

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Old 02-04-23, 08:40 PM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
Yes, the problem started when Shimano went to under bar tape routing which was 5700/6700/7900. AFAIK, all the generations after this have the problem. I had the problem on 5700, 5800 and 6800.
I never had that issue on any off my setups with Shimano mechanical, not saying it can't or didn't, but I guess I just lucked out. I had 5700, 5800, 6700, 6800, 8000, and 9000. I will say, out of all of those, 9000 was the most finicky, not difficult, but very finicky.
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Old 02-04-23, 08:56 PM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by SpeedyBlueBiker View Post
I've never had a bike with electronic shifting so I don't have anything to compare it to. I can shift my mechanical gears with no issues so what am I missing?
My buddy has electronic shifting and raves about it.
My Di2 is 8.5 years old, and still shifts perfectly. I replaced the seatpost battery a few years ago when it started needing weekly recharging.

The biggest Di2 advantages, for me:
1. Easy front shifting. Riding from flatter roads, I'll shift the chainring even on a 25 foot high short, steep climb, instead of mashing a low gear in the big chainring. It's fast and reliable, and no finger leverage is needed for the front mechanical lever.

2. Instant rear shifts. Even with my ring finger while on the hoods. I'll shift for just a couple of pedal strokes, then shift again. I'll shift repeatedly, while standing, as the grade gets steeper.

3. I have the rear set to "shift 3 cogs with a long press" (which is about 1/2 second or longer, instead of the usual "mouse click"). So, at the base of a hill: hold down the bottom buttons on the front and on the rear. That's shift to the small chainring, and shift 3 cogs smaller in the back. Rolling over the top of the hill: hold down both top buttons -- big chainring and 3 cogs larger. Both shifts at the same time, no need to do the rear and then do the front.

4. Auto trim of the front. At front chainring shifts, it over shifts the front cage to help move the chain, then recenters it a couple of seconds later. And no front cage rubbing as I shift through the rear cogs, there's two front cage trim points across the rear shifting range.

All this easy shifting is fantastic on the rolling terrain around here. The grade is constantly changing, so I'm shifting a lot.
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Old 02-04-23, 09:20 PM
  #129  
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Electronic shifting sounds *****en.
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Old 02-04-23, 09:34 PM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
My Di2 is 8.5 years old, and still shifts perfectly. I replaced the seatpost battery a few years ago when it started needing weekly recharging.
I suppose itís a little cheaper to replace a cable than a battery. Although a cable lasts longer than a battery. Like Iíve said before, this isnít a cheap hobby. Even so, I personally donít like to spend money unnecessarily.
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Old 02-04-23, 09:55 PM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Nothing in my post suggests that.
My post was directed at the thread in general. Your post seemed to be the best one to quote.
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Old 02-04-23, 10:06 PM
  #132  
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One of the reasons the cables aren't lasting as long is because of the added shifting to get from one end of the cassette to the other. Indexed started at 6 speed, correct? Now it's 12/13? There's always a tradeoff.
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Old 02-05-23, 07:41 AM
  #133  
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
Really? Because “newbies” certainly weren’t the ones dropping the big bucks for top of the line professional racing components.
My first experience with indexed shifting had nothing to do with racing. I had a 1983 Trek 720 with friction-only bar-ends, and later went to buy my girlfriend a better bike than the one she had. I bought her a Trek 720 like mine (I had hoped we would tour together someday but that didn't happen). In 1985 the 720 had indexed bar ends, so that's what her bike had. I remember looking at it in the shop with the owner and we actually made the (admittedly misogynistic) joke that indexing was developed so that more women would ride derailleur-equipped bikes.

I have indexed Shimano trigger shifters on several of my mountain bikes and sure, it's convenient. Also it's nice on the indoor trainer. And both of my wife's bicycles have indexed shifting, of course. Otherwise she probably wouldn't use the gears, and that's what indexing solved for beginners. My three road bikes and one "Townie" are all friction. No fuss, no muss, no problems with anything rubbing or not shifting into the next gear, perfect. The ultimate "set it and forget it" setup. Plus you can shift as many gears as you want all in one shift, top-to-bottom and vice versa, without needing to click one gear at a time. There's a lot to like about friction shifting.

Pro racing equipment is dictated by the manufacturers, and racers use the bikes their team supplies them with. If the sponsors are pushing some tech, that's what the racers have to use. I don't know if electronic shifting was forced onto racers like disk brakes were, but the idea isn't to sell the new stuff to pro racers anyway. It's to sell it to YOU. If there wasn't something new and cool and seemingly "advanced" or "high tech" then who would buy a new bike? The industry would collapse.

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Old 02-05-23, 07:41 AM
  #134  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
True. Itís always fun to hear the reasoning why some people refuse to accept pretty much any new tech. Always the same old bs with zero experience of the actual tech in question.

I thought your original question might put them off as they didnít qualify, but they just canít help themselves.
I tend to resist new tech myself, but I eventually warm to it. I let others work out the bugs before I jump in.
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Old 02-05-23, 07:49 AM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
I tend to resist new tech myself, but I eventually warm to it. I let others work out the bugs before I jump in.
Electronic shifting is now a mature tech. So nothing to worry about.
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Old 02-05-23, 07:53 AM
  #136  
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
I suppose itís a little cheaper to replace a cable than a battery. Although a cable lasts longer than a battery. Like Iíve said before, this isnít a cheap hobby. Even so, I personally donít like to spend money unnecessarily.
That is debateable. My rear Shimano shifter eats a cable in less than every 2000 miles.

To be clear, I would only consider Di2 on a new bike or if one of my current shifters broke. I would not make an investment like that just to "upgrade".
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Old 02-05-23, 08:12 AM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post

Pro racing equipment is dictated by the manufacturers, and racers use the bikes their team supplies them with. If the sponsors are pushing some tech, that's what the racers have to use. I don't know if electronic shifting was forced onto racers like disk brakes were, but the idea isn't to sell the new stuff to pro racers anyway. It's to sell it to YOU. If there wasn't something new and cool and seemingly "advanced" or "high tech" then who would buy a new bike? The industry would collapse.
In general new tech is better than the old tech it replaces. Manufacturers are in direct competition, so it is in their own interest to innovate and improve their products. Otherwise we would all still be riding around on Penny Farthings and driving Ford Model Ts.

Pro racers want the very best equipment and any marginal gains that technology may offer. I donít think any of them would choose to ride an older bike out of free choice. Likewise manufacturers are unlikely to supply inferior equipment to pro teams.

Do you think teams like Ineos would tolerate tech that was a disadvantage to their pro riders? Likewise do you think consumers would tolerate new tech that was inferior or less reliable? This was effectively what the OP was asking here and I donít see any riders complaining about their electronic shifting or wishing they could go back to cable shifters.

The only naysayers are those who have never even experienced electronic shifting and in some cases not even mechanical brifters! Their opinion is IMO worthless.

Last edited by PeteHski; 02-05-23 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 02-05-23, 08:23 AM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
The biggest Di2 advantages, for me:
3. I have the rear set to "shift 3 cogs with a long press" (which is about 1/2 second or longer, instead of the usual "mouse click"). So, at the base of a hill: hold down the bottom buttons on the front and on the rear. That's shift to the small chainring, and shift 3 cogs smaller in the back. Rolling over the top of the hill: hold down both top buttons -- big chainring and 3 cogs larger. Both shifts at the same time, no need to do the rear and then do the front.
.
FWIW, I do this all the time on Campy mechanical
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Old 02-05-23, 08:30 AM
  #139  
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post

I really dislke "brifters". When we travel without our bikes and rent bikes somewhere, they usually have brifters and I don't like them at all. I'll never have them on a bike of mine, that's for sure.
I never really liked mechanical brifters either, although I did prefer them to DT shifters. Electronic brifters on the other hand are great. At least the SRAM ones. They solved all the niggling issues I had with Shimano mechanical brifters.
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Old 02-05-23, 10:27 AM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
I suppose itís a little cheaper to replace a cable than a battery. Although a cable lasts longer than a battery. Like Iíve said before, this isnít a cheap hobby. Even so, I personally donít like to spend money unnecessarily.
Well, its a LOT cheaper to initially replace shift cables than a battery. I tend to buy the Shimano DA pre-packaged shift cable and housing set which runs about $31 or so. A Battery is $130. A road cable maybe every 2 or 3 years ?, a battery every 5 ?. Thats what my road Di2 has on it and its still holding a multi month charge. Battery might cost more long term, but on Di2 the shifting never slowly gets worse as can happen with mechanical.
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Old 02-05-23, 10:44 AM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
In general new tech is better than the old tech it replaces. Manufacturers are in direct competition, so it is in their own interest to innovate and improve their products. Otherwise we would all still be riding around on Penny Farthings and driving Ford Model Ts.

Pro racers want the very best equipment and any marginal gains that technology may offer. I don’t think any of them would choose to ride an older bike out of free choice. Likewise manufacturers are unlikely to supply inferior equipment to pro teams.

Do you think teams like Ineos would tolerate tech that was a disadvantage to their pro riders? Likewise do you think consumers would tolerate new tech that was inferior or less reliable? This was effectively what the OP was asking here and I don’t see any riders complaining about their electronic shifting or wishing they could go back to cable shifters.

The only naysayers are those who have never even experienced electronic shifting and in some cases not even mechanical brifters! Their opinion is IMO worthless.
Well said. Part of the issue is these traditional forums are skewed to an much older demographic which is not very progressive in their views and not representative of modern sport cycling. Like Japanese soldiers left on a South Pacific Island fighting a war long since lost, they are still debating, index shifting, 3X drivetrains, tubular tires, lugged steel frames, brifters, carbon fibre, disc brakes, etc. Show a picture of a restored semi mass produced Masi or Cinelli which litter eBay, Craigslist or FB Marketplace and you get tearful accolades after recalling a time when their part time job did not spin out enough cash to purchase said dream bike. This is the last place to come for advice around bike tech.

But entertainment that’s a different story.

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Old 02-05-23, 11:20 AM
  #142  
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I can tell you from personal experience caddying on one of the golf tours that players did not necessarily play the equipment that worked best for them. They'd play what they were paid to and adjust/adapt. Like most professionals, the mindset is "I can win with anything I use." On one particular instance, the player's equipment choice for that week was the direct reason he missed the cut in that tournament. He told me afterwards that the ball/driver/putter contract from company X is what gave him the seed money to pay for his starts each week. On the golf tours the Darrell Survey happens on Thursday or Friday so the players must have their sponsor's equipment in the bag that day. The rest of the week leading up he had played with a driver from company Y and hit it well. Darrell Survey day the sponsored driver is in the bag. He hits 2 OB off the tee with that driver. We miss the cut by a stroke.

Plenty of stories like that from golf. Whether it happens in cycling, I don't know.

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Old 02-05-23, 11:34 AM
  #143  
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged View Post
Well said. Part of the issue is these traditional forums are skewed to an much older demographic which is not very progressive in their views and not representative of modern sport cycling.
Yep. Iíd guess the average age on this forum is well north of 60. And, like music, a lot of ďseasonedĒ cyclist are mostly interested in bikes from the era they grew up in. Nothing wrong with that but, as you stated, itís not representative of the modern sport of cycling.
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Old 02-05-23, 11:38 AM
  #144  
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I remember a practice round with a different player. His contract was everything from one company. Anyway, one of the other players in the group was testing a new driver. They were taking turns hitting it and talking about how much better it was than what they were currently playing. Talking about how it was as good as a driver from yet another company. That driver didn't get much play on the tours simply because the company did not make big money endorsement deals.
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Old 02-05-23, 12:08 PM
  #145  
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged View Post
Well said. Part of the issue is these traditional forums are skewed to an much older demographic which is not very progressive in their views and not representative of modern sport cycling.

What you're basically doing is insulting all the cyclists and people who don't think like yourself and who ride for reasons other than sport...It would be nice to have a bicycle innovation sub-forum so people like you can go and post there instead of coming here and pissing on everybody who doesn't use the same tech as you.
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Old 02-05-23, 12:23 PM
  #146  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
What you're basically doing is insulting all the cyclists and people who don't think like yourself and who ride for reasons other than sport...It would be nice to have a bicycle innovation sub-forum so people like you can go and post there instead of coming here and pissing on everybody who doesn't use the same tech as you.
Not at all. If you review the comments in this and any other thread taking about technologies developed in cycling since 1980 the tirades begin about how this is nothing but a big bike conspiracy to sell new product. If someone enjoys vintage technology and wants to return to a time and place which has positive memories or in other cases purchase something that was unaffordable in their youth, great stuff and enjoy. But to go on about how some lugged, Columbus tubed, Record equipped, tubular tired straight block bike is performs or rides better than a new Aethos or other current top tier bike is ridiculous.

You mention innovation sub forum for people like me however in this thread we have people debating friction over indexed shifting. This has been around for 40 years!

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Old 02-05-23, 12:43 PM
  #147  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
What you're basically doing is insulting all the cyclists and people who don't think like yourself and who ride for reasons other than sport...It would be nice to have a bicycle innovation sub-forum so people like you can go and post there instead of coming here and pissing on everybody who doesn't use the same tech as you.
I don't know if you even noticed but this thread is about people's experiences with electronic shifting and whether or not they would go back to mechanical. Yet here are all the usual C&V guys, who think modern tech is some kind of conspiracy, talking complete irrelevant bs about the gear I was riding 40+ years ago. They deserve what they get.

It would be bad form to go into the C&V sub-forum and insult the old guard, but they seem to think it's fine to slobber all over tech-based threads like this with their irrelevant stories.

If there was a bicycle innovation sub-forum, you would be slobbering all over that too. Guaranteed!
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Old 02-05-23, 12:49 PM
  #148  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
In general new tech is better than the old tech it replaces. Manufacturers are in direct competition, so it is in their own interest to innovate and improve their products. Otherwise we would all still be riding around on Penny Farthings and driving Ford Model Ts.

Pro racers want the very best equipment and any marginal gains that technology may offer. I don’t think any of them would choose to ride an older bike out of free choice. Likewise manufacturers are unlikely to supply inferior equipment to pro teams.

Do you think teams like Ineos would tolerate tech that was a disadvantage to their pro riders? Likewise do you think consumers would tolerate new tech that was inferior or less reliable? This was effectively what the OP was asking here and I don’t see any riders complaining about their electronic shifting or wishing they could go back to cable shifters.

The only naysayers are those who have never even experienced electronic shifting and in some cases not even mechanical brifters! Their opinion is IMO worthless.
I have experienced the mavic ZMS and mavic mektronic back then and I wasn't enamored nor wowed by results. I am pretty sure that you know the saying"old tech that works is good tech". I haven't seen much people riding their road bikes with DI2 or ETAP where I am living. Remember what Mollema said about his SRAM equipment in one of the stages of theTDF???
. Is an electronic derailleur that fails a sign of reliability? No, not at all. Interesting article about Shimano Dura Ace 7970 DI2 in the professional peloton and another fact from theTDF2022 is that 17 teams were using Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset (that’s 136 bikes out of 176 bikes), three teams are with Campagnolo Super Record 12 speed groupset and two teams are on SRAM Red 12 speed, also 13 teams were using the Shimano Dura-Ace SPD-SL pedals, 8 teams are with Look Keo pedals, and one team with Speedplay. That says a lot about the dominance of Dura Ace in the professional peloton. Another interesting article about Victories of Dura Ace DI2 in theTDF

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Old 02-05-23, 12:50 PM
  #149  
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
I can tell you from personal experience caddying on one of the golf tours that players did not necessarily play the equipment that worked best for them. They'd play what they were paid to and adjust/adapt. Like most professionals, the mindset is "I can win with anything I use." On one particular instance, the player's equipment choice for that week was the direct reason he missed the cut in that tournament. He told me afterwards that the ball/driver/putter contract from company X is what gave him the seed money to pay for his starts each week. On the golf tours the Darrell Survey happens on Thursday or Friday so the players must have their sponsor's equipment in the bag that day. The rest of the week leading up he had played with a driver from company Y and hit it well. Darrell Survey day the sponsored driver is in the bag. He hits 2 OB off the tee withthat driver. We miss the cut by a stroke.

Plenty of stories like that from golf. Whether it happens in cycling, I don't know.
I'm sure golfers have their favourite gear brands that happen to suit their style of play and I can see how being forced to use another brand might be a compromise. Likewise, I'm sure some teams have marginally better bikes than others, but I very much doubt there is a big difference. Phil Gaimon (ex pro) said in one of his books that all the top-tier pro bikes were much of a muchness when he tested them - i.e. all great to ride. None of them would choose a vintage bike to race. Now he's retired he still rides modern pro race bikes out of choice. He's not suddenly riding a steel frame with DT shifters and sew-ups.
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Old 02-05-23, 12:58 PM
  #150  
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Originally Posted by georges1 View Post
I have experienced the mavic ZMS and mavic mektronic back then and I wasn't enamored nor wowed by results. I am pretty sure that you know the saying"old tech that works is good tech". I haven't seen much people riding their road bikes with DI2 or ETAP where I am living. Remember what Mollema said about his SRAM equipment in one of the stages of theTDF???
A bad implementation of a technology doesn't tell you anything about the overall reliability of that technology. If it did, we would all conclude that automobiles are unreliable, based on the Yugo.
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