Electronic shifting. Why?

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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby RonK » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:59 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:disabled cyclists, particularly those with hand/arm disability or amputation. Changing front and rear gears when you only have one hand/arm is not so easy. Fitting easy to reach buttons where the remaining hand is rally makes it easier for such riders

You raise a good point, one which may also relevant to people who have arthritic hands.

And many women riders I'm sure would be delighted to have a derailleur that never needs adjusting, and those with smaller hands would welcome a button operated shift.
Last edited by RonK on Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby hartleymartin » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:07 pm

Can't see why I'd ever bother with electronic shifting, personally. Now, I'm off to ride on my bicycle which has 6 sprockets on the rear and barcon friction shifters.
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby rkelsen » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:29 pm

RonK wrote:Yeah, you want want to take the risk that you might actually like it... :lol: :lol: :lol:

It doesn't matter if I like it or not. We have a mortgage to pay and a family to raise. Priorities, responsibilities, etc... There's no way I can spend $4k on a groupset at this point.
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby alex » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:42 pm

if the groupset was $100 would you be interested?
if i get killed while out on my bike i dont want a 'memorial ride' by random punters i have never met.
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby rkelsen » Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:10 pm

alex wrote:if the groupset was $100 would you be interested?

Do you know where I can buy it for $100?
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby humanbeing » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:16 pm

My 11 speed Campagnolo shifts flawlessly front and back every time with minimal maintenance on my part. Even the 105 on the other bike is great.
I agree that it is one step too far removing the rider from the bike - mechanical gears work beautifully. A lot of rubbish gets in the way of just enjoying riding your bike, got to say I enjoy looking after my bike.
I can't see the point of electronic shifting for me but I've never tried it and I am a confirmed luddite :P I was using downtube shifters until a few months back.
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby gururug » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:22 pm

I'm waiting for power steering....... :D

In it's current state, as a high level product I don't have a problem with electronic shifting. I wouldn't own/use it due to cost/benefit/non-purist reasons, but I don't have a problem with others using it.

I would be disappointed, if, in a few years time;

a) low end bikes come with crappy electronic groupsets that are not repairable/durable/maintainable
b) less development is done into the future on mechanical groupsets ( case and point improvements to SRAM front deraillieur )

[futurist]Interestingly, i see a merge with the powermeter and the electronic grouppo, with future pro teams analysing gear selection vs power/speed output to minor gain

Might even have a "shiftmeter" on the bars flashing telling you to change :wink:
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby PawPaw » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:53 pm

After breaking 3 ribs last Sat, I'm waiting for airbags.

Presume someone has already said the next step is an auto gearbox, where you dial in a specific min/max cadence and power, and the gears auto change to keep you there.
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby DaveOZ » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:57 pm

PawPaw wrote:After breaking 3 ribs last Sat, I'm waiting for airbags.


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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby Oxford » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:49 pm

PawPaw wrote:After breaking 3 ribs last Sat, I'm waiting for airbags.

Presume someone has already said the next step is an auto gearbox, where you dial in a specific min/max cadence and power, and the gears auto change to keep you there.

http://www.bikerumor.com/2010/10/21/vid ... seriously/
I could agree with you, but then we would both be wrong.
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby PawPaw » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:01 pm

Oxford wrote:Presume someone has already said the next step is an auto gearbox, where you dial in a specific min/max cadence and power, and the gears auto change to keep you there.


Permanently disabling injuries are easy words to roll of the tongue. But the repercussions are probably never fully appreciated until it happens to you.
Those that have had it happen would not think a head bag is silly at all.

Even with my ribs, I have had a very drastic change in lifestyle. I used to get out every day except wet ones. I haven't touched a bike tool or kit or shoes or helmet for a week now. And it sucks. When you take up racing, you think if I crash, and get sort of hurt, no worries I just won't be able to race for a bit. But NOOOOO. It is like NOT ride at all, or do cross training, and a lot of other stuff. You want to join your mates for the regular rides and training, but you can't. So you sit there on the side of the track watching....and watching.... It sucks.

I took up cycling for the sense of freedom it gave, and the health benefits. WHen you cannot ride or move freely, you get the exact opposite of that.
It seriously seriously sucks.

So back to electronic shifting. How resilient are the mechs and batteries to crashes?
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby Wayfarer » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:15 pm

alex wrote:some people like modern comforts and technology, some people don't... do these people who are anti-di2 ask their freinds and colleagues (and themselves) why they insist on driving cars with power steering and air con?!
'but you can just turn the wheel a bit more' 'but you can just put the windows down'

Actually, yes. :lol: Having to charge up my bike, can't repair it myself, and fork out a whole lot of money, just for the miniscule benefits Di2 provides is illogical. Kinda like buying a ride on lawn mower for your front yard which doesn't even have enough room to play soccer on. Plus, the extra $1k is more than I'd ever spend on complete bike maintenance if i took it into the shop every 6 months including chain degrease, tuning, and bearing repacking. Power steering makes you weak. Air con is for women. (yes, I've ridden Di2 and the ultegra version, and driven in a car with power and air!) What I'd really like to see is a manufacturer use innovation rather than just being lazy and putting electrical systems on a machine which is simplified to its own smallest denominator for the simple reason that; it works.
alex wrote:how about technology that does make you faster? skinsuits? aero helmets? disc wheels? wind tunnel tested frames? time trial bikes?

Ahh yeah, for sure, but skinsuits, aerohats, and disks are just as repairable as their less-expensive counterparts, and can be thrown in the corner of your garage for 6 months while you're on holiday in Amsterdam, and still do the same thing when you get back. You don't own any of them, and you already know how to fix them. If it was an electronically assisted disk wheel, I'd sell my bicycle and buy a kawasaki ninja. Last week I went for a ride as a 'prospector', looking people's rubbish to see who was throwing out bikes. Found two perfectly good MTB's, and fixed them up to spec. Went down cash converters and made 80 bucks, for the cost of just one tube, a pack of steel wool (to re-magnetise the rust), and a chain. Did it all myself. Derailleurs, friction shifters, STi levers, everyone can fix these with a few screwdrivers and a hammer. Some people don't even know what CPU stands for.
alex wrote:if the groupset was $100 would you be interested?

Naah, if they cost the same, I'd rather the natural one. Less problems, less maintenance, and a natural feel.
What are these salesmen peddling?
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby sogood » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:44 pm

WyvernRH wrote:I think I must just agree to differ and put my 'not required' sign just below this advance in the technological J-Curve.

I think that's perfectly acceptable rather than a logic that does not follow through. I'll agree with your stated logic for rejection of electronic gruppo when they introduce brainwave controllers where no muscle is used. :wink:
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby RonK » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:46 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
alex wrote:if the groupset was $100 would you be interested?

Naah, if they cost the same, I'd rather the natural one. Less problems, less maintenance, and a natural feel.

Yeah, I know what you mean - a bloke here won $31m in Powerball the other week, but says he's still going to keep working... :roll: :wink: :lol:
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby WyvernRH » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:56 pm

sogood wrote:
WyvernRH wrote:I think I must just agree to differ and put my 'not required' sign just below this advance in the technological J-Curve.

I think that's perfectly acceptable rather than a logic that does not follow through. I'll agree with your stated logic for rejection of electronic gruppo when they introduce brainwave controllers where no muscle is used. :wink:



S'cuse me, IMHO my argument is logical and the premise follows thru to a valid conclusion given my assumption that there should be no power source except the human who is riding the bike.
You and I do not agree on the conclusions I draw because of that assumption but the argument is still logically correct. :)
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby sogood » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:44 pm

WyvernRH wrote:You and I do not agree on the conclusions I draw because of that assumption but the argument is still logically correct. :)

As suggested earlier, as long as the rider uses muscle power to activate those triggers then there's little difference. Bear in mind current generation of electronic gruppos still have the same or similar flipper/button actions as mechanical systems, using identical hand muscle actions. As for so called mechanical system, it's already full of springs and levers to minimise the efforts required by the fingers to actuate actions, one can hardly call it a workout. If actuating brifter paddles and buttons under normal or even race conditions can induced 70% HRmax, then you have a solid argument. As it stands, your line of logic is poorly supported.

If everyone agreed with another, then there won't be discussions and exchange of views on forums. :wink:
Last edited by sogood on Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby hartleymartin » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:45 pm

We did have automatically-shifting hubs at one stage. Fitchel & Sachs "Automatic" 2 speed hub automatically shifter into high gear once you reached a certain speed and likewise shifted into low gear when your speed dropped. Shimano had a go at a 4-speed automatic hub, but it was unsuccessful and withdrawn fro the market. Very few survive because of its brief availability and high failure rate.

Until electronic shifting can be made for less than the current price of mechanical groupsets with a comparible performance I see it remaining a high-end thing for the domain of road and racing bicycles. MAYBE touring cyclists will adopt it later if it also has a proven robustness and reliability.
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby RonK » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:58 pm

PawPaw wrote:After breaking 3 ribs last Sat, I'm waiting for airbags.

Presume someone has already said the next step is an auto gearbox, where you dial in a specific min/max cadence and power, and the gears auto change to keep you there.

Yes, I have already mentioned the Nuvinci continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Commiserations about the ribs - did you do that at Nundah? I noted there was a race in progress when I passed on Saturday.

Have you learned to sleep sitting up yet? I've never broken a rib but have had cartilage damage from a crash know how it feels when you can't lie down, can't get up, can't roll over, can't cough, laugh or sneeze. Hope you mend fast...

PS, motorcycle racers are already using air bags built into their leathers, and there has been some talk of making them compulsory on motorbikes...don't say it couldn't happen with bicycles.
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby Addictr3 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:17 pm

hartleymartin wrote:We did have automatically-shifting hubs at one stage. Fitchel & Sachs "Automatic" 2 speed hub automatically shifter into high gear once you reached a certain speed and likewise shifted into low gear when your speed dropped. Shimano had a go at a 4-speed automatic hub, but it was unsuccessful and withdrawn fro the market. Very few survive because of its brief availability and high failure rate.

Until electronic shifting can be made for less than the current price of mechanical groupsets with a comparible performance I see it remaining a high-end thing for the domain of road and racing bicycles. MAYBE touring cyclists will adopt it later if it also has a proven robustness and reliability.


Wouldnt want your speedo mucking up when your climbing 10% + grades..
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby PawPaw » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:28 pm

RonK wrote:Commiserations about the ribs - did you do that at Nundah? I noted there was a race in progress when I passed on Saturday.

Have you learned to sleep sitting up yet? I've never broken a rib but have had cartilage damage from a crash know how it feels when you can't lie down, can't get up, can't roll over, can't cough, laugh or sneeze. Hope you mend fast...


yup, a mate and I were brought down by a converging pack in the last lap about 740am. He got out of hospital this afternoon - collapsed lung.
I put a binder bandage on at night and arrange the pillows so I don't roll into 9/10 pain, handful of panadeine forte and voltaren rapid.
Felt a sneeze coming on a few days ago and .....

I remember when Shimano STI levers came out. My first bike had down tube shifters. I can't remember anyone thinking they were a bad idea, apart from the additional cabling and complexity. Anyway, they quickly became a standard. I still know guys who race, commute, tour with down tube shifters.
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby Wayfarer » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:51 pm

sogood wrote:As suggested earlier, as long as the rider uses muscle power to activate those triggers then there's little difference. Bear in mind current generation of electronic gruppos still have the same or similar flipper/button actions as mechanical systems, using identical hand muscle actions. As for so called mechanical system, it's already full of springs and levers to minimise the efforts required by the fingers to actuate actions, one can hardly call it a workout. If actuating brifter paddles and buttons under normal or even race conditions can induced 70% HRmax, then you have a solid argument. As it stands, your line of logic is poorly supported..

He's saying none of it requires electronic assistance. How hard is that to figure out? He doesn't wanna be carrying around a battery and all sorts of gizmo's which supposedly improve his shifting performance, he'd rather do what he's gotta do without it. He's not stuck to one gear 1050km from Alice Springs because his battery ran dry, or cpu burnt out.
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby il padrone » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:56 pm

Wayfarer wrote:He doesn't wanna be carrying around a battery and all sorts of gizmo's which supposedly improve his shifting performance, he'd rather do what he's gotta do without it. He's not stuck to one gear 1050km from Alice Springs because his battery ran dry, or cpu burnt out.

Hmm.......

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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby cf73 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:08 pm

I test rode the Giant TCR 0 with Ultegra Di2 last weekend.....what an expeience...it shifted brilliantly and I can say it was a buzz..however.....

At a price tag of $4k I was thinking of other options...and I am looking at putting a deposit on a Willier GT tomorrow with Ultegra (mechanical) and Fulcrum 1's for $4300.00.

In my opinion the extra $300 is worth it in the wheels as I believe there is better overall performance to be had from them, and I get a bike that I prefer.

Di2 is brilliant, makes you want it, but the money can be better spent elsewhere for the average rider in my opinion..
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Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby sogood » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:26 pm

Wayfarer wrote:He's saying none of it requires electronic assistance. How hard is that to figure out? He doesn't wanna be carrying around a battery and all sorts of gizmo's...

WyvernRH also said,
... but somewhere you have to draw a line. My line is that you are no longer using human muscle power to do the actuation, ie it goes beyond a mechanical extension to the human body.

So my point is that the rider still has to use muscles to actuate current generation of electronic gruppos in a very similar fashion as for mechanical gruppos. AFAIK, those electronic actuators are weighed to provide some "feel".
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby DavidS » Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:08 am

While the electronic shifters do sound very nice one of the reasons I like bicycles is their very simplicity. Bikes can be pulled apart and put back together by just about anyone with some mechanical aptitude. I really don't like adding complexity to a machine. That said, I can't see that mechanical shifters will disappear in my lifetime so we can choose what we want.

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