/ Electronic shifting

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Indy - on 07 Oct 2012
Was in Evans yesterday doing some more research on my new commuting bike and while waiting to be served I heard a salesperson 'raving' about an own brand bike that had electronic shifters (di2?) but was under 2k.

I've seen people on here talking about it but the costs are astronomical with just the groupset costing more than twice my budget for the whole bike.

SO, can I ask.... does electronic shifting add anything or is it just companies desperately trying to get one over each other or just the need to provide something new to spend money on?

I've never found changing gear that challenging to be honest. Also I have to wonder about maintenance and repairs while on the road.
Radioactiveman - on 07 Oct 2012
Indy - on 07 Oct 2012
In reply to Radioactiveman:
Thanks.... I'm not really after one myself (too worried about a dead battery) more the benefits of such a system.
Radioactiveman - on 07 Oct 2012
In reply to Indy:

No cable drag,having to adjust cable tensions,sticky cables. Cleaner looking frames,more options for frame builders due to smaller holes reqd for cable routing.

Batteries last for a long time.(1-2000 miles depending on gear shifts and can be charged 500 times) They are self adjusting also so no annoying trimming the front mech

Completely effortless shifting. (i would agree it is exactly hardwork on cable operated but it will be noticeably easier)

Disadvantages - cost,heavier than equivalent groupset,a wire could easily get damaged in a crash unlike a sturdy cable outer,

Not got them but they are the things I have read and thought of myself
Shearwater - on 07 Oct 2012
I can see several benefits when used with a hub gear, but I'm struggling to think of any benefits with derailleur gears above those you'd get with a nice manual mechanism.
Timmd on 07 Oct 2012
In reply to Indy:Manual systems are greener.
andy - on 07 Oct 2012
In reply to Indy: I've got it on my summer bike and for a mechanical incompetent it's great. I've always found adjusting rear derailleurs in particular a dark art, so the ease of adjustment (when it needs it) is, for me, brilliant. Front shifts are spot on every time, which until you have it you don't appreciate.

It's absolutely not necessary, but if you shop around you can get it for not a lot more than the equivalent cable groupset. Over time you'll save a few quid by not having to replace cables each year but in general it is more expensive and a bit heavier.

The battery won't go flat unless you're daft - you get a warning when it's getting below 25% (which is still good for a couple of long days), then the front stops shifting so you can ride with just the rear gears for another 100 miles or so.

Maintenance "on the road" is easier than with a mechanical groupset - you can adjust the rear mech in 0.5mm increments as you're riding if you want. The rear mech has crash protection built in so it won't get smashed if you drop your bike on the drive side, but unless you have friction shifting anything that could happen to Di2 to make it a rescue job could happen to a normal set up - in most cases you'll be able to get home.

I'm seriously thinking about it on my next winter bike, as the lack of maintenance actually makes it even more appropriate for a winter bike - but I suspect my Mrs might have something to say about that...
dissonance - on 07 Oct 2012
In reply to Indy:

> I've seen people on here talking about it but the costs are astronomical with just the groupset costing more than twice my budget for the whole bike.

the mechanical variants of the same groupset wouldnt be that much cheaper though.
It does seem increasingly viable as an option although still some way to go to being generally affordable.
Advantage seems to be, particularly for the front, faster and smoother shifting. Of course it would depend on the cyclist on how much that really matters, for a pro on the every little bit helps it might but for, say me, getting more miles in would be far better.
John Rushby - on 07 Oct 2012
In reply to Indy:

Having carefully adjusted my kit, I still spent a few frantic minutes fighting with my front shifter as it constantly mis-shifted.


Still, I got to meet Sean Kelly and Malcolm Elliot.

One of the girls I was pegalling with has Di2 on her Felt - she loves it.
Timmd on 07 Oct 2012
In reply to andy:

> I'm seriously thinking about it on my next winter bike, as the lack of maintenance actually makes it even more appropriate for a winter bike - but I suspect my Mrs might have something to say about that...

Friction is good for cummuting and winter bikes too, you just need to lube the cables when shifting becomes stiff enough to be annoying, at least that's how long I leave it. (:-))
Aly - on 07 Oct 2012
In reply to Indy: I'm sure they're a nicer shifting experience but I must admit I can't really see much benefit for the standard road bike. Where I think electronic shifting could make a big difference is allowing multiple shifting options for TT bikes and possibly also satellite shifters or sprinters buttons for racing.
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andy - on 07 Oct 2012
In reply to Aly:
> (In reply to Indy) I'm sure they're a nicer shifting experience but I must admit I can't really see much benefit for the standard road bike.

There isn't really any benefit other than a nicer shifting experience and no graunchy changes. definitely a "nice to have". I wouldn't have it had I not changed my bike earlier this year, but I'm glad I have.


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