Electronic shifting. Why?

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Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby toolonglegs » Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:26 pm

I have never snapped a derailleur cable that I can recall ... Yes I change the inners and outers often... Not for regular servicing but because I have never been particularly happy with my shifting.
If I could afford di2 I would.
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by BNA » Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:36 pm

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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:36 pm

drubie wrote:
number21 wrote:Better than cable adjustment, no cable at all! No more snapped shifting cables.


I'd be interested to hear from anybody who ever snapped a shifter cable. Even a rusted one.

I've had several campag derailleur cables fail.

They fray to begin with, usually inside the ergo lever. Sometimes the frayed wire can poke through the hood covers and prick your thumb. normally shifting performance declines and so you pick it up before it breaks, but it's amazing how well it works right up to that point.


Apart from enjoying nice technology, there are two applications that come to mind:

- time trial set up would benefit - improved aero bar end hand position

- 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
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby open roader » Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:17 pm

drubie wrote:
number21 wrote:Better than cable adjustment, no cable at all! No more snapped shifting cables.


I'd be interested to hear from anybody who ever snapped a shifter cable. Even a rusted one.


I snapped a 3 month old Ultegra 6700 r/d cable....... :oops:

Snapped clean off under the r/d tension clamp bolt. My LBS bloke thought it was hysterical, never seen that one before.......

Goes to prove there's always one clown in every mob and I'm both of them........... :oops:
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby tallywhacker » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:20 pm

I snapped a fd cable a couple of months ago, internally routed and it was rubbing in the bottom bracket. Have just taken the big step of upgrading my shifters - went from downtube friction shifters to a set of syncro shifters, not too sure about this new fangled indexing thing but at least I can switch back to friction shifting
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby InTheWoods » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:47 pm

drubie wrote:
number21 wrote:Better than cable adjustment, no cable at all! No more snapped shifting cables.


I'd be interested to hear from anybody who ever snapped a shifter cable. Even a rusted one.


Edit: actually I think it was my front fd cable now that I think of it.

Yep I snapped my rear cable. Riding along, changed down a gear and bang, snapped.
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby Toyopet » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:04 pm

drubie wrote:
number21 wrote:Better than cable adjustment, no cable at all! No more snapped shifting cables.


I'd be interested to hear from anybody who ever snapped a shifter cable. Even a rusted one.


I snapped an RD cable 2/3 of the way Around The Bay a couple of years ago. That incident, plus SWMBO granting permission for N+1 after getting all excited watching TdF, led me down the di2 path. No regrets since getting my new di2 commuter late last year. Less than $3k. Shifts beautifully every time.
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby RonK » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:36 pm

Toyopet wrote:No regrets since getting my new di2 commuter late last year. Less than $3k. Shifts beautifully every time.

Di2 commuter? That'll ruffle a few tail feathers. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby drubie » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:45 pm

Well then, all you guys who are snapping cables clearly need di2 :lol:

Although I wonder when it filters down to 105 just how much crud/abuse will the derailleurs take before the servo motor snaps the derailleur rather than shifting. Having accidently had my finger near an auto-trimming front derailleur when di2 was demonstrated down at the shop here it clearly has enough force to bend metal and even cut your finger if you're stupid like I am.

So instead of snapped cables on badly maintained bikes we''ll get derailleurs going into wheels? Better keep those dork disks on your di2 bikes :P
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby WyvernRH » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:55 am

I came in late to this discussion and have just read thru the posts. I don't have a problem with the electronic stuff working slightly better/worse but where I do have a problem is with the ethics of using non-human power and intelligence (the CPU) in a 'sport' which is meant to be about human endeavor. By using electronics you are removing the last vestige of any skill required to change gear, the CPU does all the thinking and the actuation for you. You are disconnected from the gearchange totally except for the decision when to use it.
As an possible comparison, I used to throw javelin competitively and I acted as test bunny for a friend doing a Uni project who came up with a small gyro driven control system that fitted into the body of a javelin which assisted and controlled the spin that you impart on throwing and the attitude in flight using servos and weights. I was quite amazed at how much this assisted the throw and distance gained even at the cost of added weight. Totally illegal in competition of course (quite rightly) and you know, it wasn't my skill propelling the javelin anymore so the extra distance didn't really mean much....
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby Oxford » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:30 am

WyvernRH wrote:I came in late to this discussion and have just read thru the posts. I don't have a problem with the electronic stuff working slightly better/worse but where I do have a problem is with the ethics of using non-human power and intelligence (the CPU) in a 'sport' which is meant to be about human endeavor. By using electronics you are removing the last vestige of any skill required to change gear, the CPU does all the thinking and the actuation for you. You are disconnected from the gearchange totally except for the decision when to use it.
As an possible comparison, I used to throw javelin competitively and I acted as test bunny for a friend doing a Uni project who came up with a small gyro driven control system that fitted into the body of a javelin which assisted and controlled the spin that you impart on throwing and the attitude in flight using servos and weights. I was quite amazed at how much this assisted the throw and distance gained even at the cost of added weight. Totally illegal in competition of course (quite rightly) and you know, it wasn't my skill propelling the javelin anymore so the extra distance didn't really mean much....
Cheers
Richard

that's an interesting thought, why not take it further, electronic stuff is just a type of technology. another type of technology is gears themselves, should we be annoyed at the use of gears and accept that single geared bikes are a truer representation of human endeavour? in the words of Henri Desgrange:
Henri Desgrange said not wrote:“I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn’t it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft… As for me, give me a fixed gear!”
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby alex » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:38 am

as i have said about a billion times, it is just an actuation method, it doesnt do any thinking for you. it doesnt win races, it doesnt make you faster.

how about technology that does make you faster? skinsuits? aero helmets? disc wheels? wind tunnel tested frames? time trial bikes?

makes me think of the hour record 'rules' - the rules are based on the 'merckx bike', but eddy's hour record bike itself would not have passed those rules... aaah cycling.
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 sogood » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:55 am

WyvernRH wrote:I came in late to this discussion and have just read thru the posts. I don't have a problem with the electronic stuff working slightly better/worse but where I do have a problem is with the ethics of using non-human power and intelligence (the CPU) in a 'sport' which is meant to be about human endeavor...

Oh dear! Better strip off all that high tech jersey and bib, along with all the fancy sports drinks and gels. We need to go back to nature. Naked is good. ;)
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby clackers » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:06 am

Yes, I've seen Terminator 3, and this is how Skynet and the Rise of the Machines first started.

One moment, derailleurs are refusing to trim, the next, robot hovercraft are levelling buildings with lasers! :D
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby rkelsen » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:30 am

RonK wrote:No, I comparing the likely attitude of cyclists when the Cambio Corsa was invented to those of some of the current generation of cyclists.

Pure conjecture. You weren't there when Cambio Corsa was released to market, and nor was I.
alex wrote:as i have said about a billion times, it is just an actuation method, it doesnt do any thinking for you.

So what are the benefits then? Please put your answer into a relevant context for someone who isn't racing at a professional level.
WyvernRH wrote:You are disconnected from the gearchange totally except for the decision when to use it.

I'm not so concerned with the actual gear change itself, because indexed shifters have long since removed the need for any skill to change gears. I'm more concerned with maintenance and the ability to fix things if they break. Even if Shimano RDs are made to be replaced rather than repaired, you can usually 'Macguyver' them into working sufficiently well enough.

Adding electronics removes this ability for me in exchange for benefits that I can't see. 10ths of a second make no difference to me.

Of course, this might all change once I've ridden it, but that won't be for a long time.
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby WyvernRH » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:58 am

Yes, I thought we'd get the 'Oh Gosh, if that's bad, why not banish all tech advancement - that is just stupid!' type posts.
I can't totally disagree with the argument, given the accuracy of the modern mechanical means and the minimal (or no) skill required to use them, 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. Also you have a separate control (the CPU) taking care of the alignment, trimming etc (yes I know parallels can be drawn to cams, stops etc in mechanisms)

Philosophical point perhaps but it can be a slippery slope.

Cheers
Richard

PS Talking of tech advancement, why aren't they racing recumbents in the TDF? :wink:
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby MichaelB » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:39 am

alex wrote:as always, it is the people who have not used a product who seem to have the strongest opinion about it
......


Reminds like much of the anti road disc brake crowd. Reckon it's poo but have never tried it :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby alex » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:03 am

rkelsen wrote:
alex wrote:as i have said about a billion times, it is just an actuation method, it doesnt do any thinking for you.

So what are the benefits then? Please put your answer into a relevant context for someone who isn't racing at a professional level.


this is not a mandatory item, but it is nice. it works and it is efficient. improvements to technology bring things like indexed gearing. or shift ramps. or power steering. or a DSG gearbox. most of these things at one point would have been snubbed by the 'you dont need that its a waste of money and pointless' crowd until they actually used them and found them to be quite worthwhile.

electronic shifting is not going away, get used to seeing it. but nobody is going to force you to use it.
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 sogood » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:15 am

WyvernRH wrote:I can't totally disagree with the argument, given the accuracy of the modern mechanical means and the minimal (or no) skill required to use them, 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. Also you have a separate control (the CPU) taking care of the alignment, trimming etc (yes I know parallels can be drawn to cams, stops etc in mechanisms)...

Actually, modern mechanical derailleurs still require some skills. Just look at those people who drop their chain. As for the argument of using "no longer using human muscle power to do the actuation". Actually, you still need to power your hand/fingers to actuate the shift, in effect a much higher mechanical advantage ratio to the mechanical advantage offered by mechanical systems currently on offer. So I'd say the electronic system still satisfies your criteria.
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby Le Velo » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:48 am

Electronic shifting .... why ???? Because when I will be old and crippled and will still want to ride it will be easy for me to change gears due to arthritis !!!
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby rkelsen » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:15 pm

MichaelB wrote:Reminds like much of the anti road disc brake crowd. Reckon it's poo but have never tried it :lol: :lol: :lol:

I don't reckon disc brakes are "poo". Nor do I think electronic shifting is.

It's just that my current equipment works well enough (in all conditions) for me to not bother chasing alternatives for the foreseeable future.
Last edited by rkelsen on Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby Jean » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:18 pm

WyvernRH wrote:PS Talking of tech advancement, why aren't they racing recumbents in the TDF? :wink:


Beards and Euro pro coolness are incompatible, that's why :). Only stubble is allowed.
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby WyvernRH » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:33 pm

sogood wrote:
WyvernRH wrote:I can't totally disagree with the argument, given the accuracy of the modern mechanical means and the minimal (or no) skill required to use them, 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. Also you have a separate control (the CPU) taking care of the alignment, trimming etc (yes I know parallels can be drawn to cams, stops etc in mechanisms)...

Actually, modern mechanical derailleurs still require some skills. Just look at those people who drop their chain. As for the argument of using "no longer using human muscle power to do the actuation". Actually, you still need to power your hand/fingers to actuate the shift, in effect a much higher mechanical advantage ratio to the mechanical advantage offered by mechanical systems currently on offer. So I'd say the electronic system still satisfies your criteria.


Hmm, I like the 'higher mechanical advantage' argument but it is (no offense intended) a bit of a half truth. My point is that the electronic system is not using your personal energy to activate the gear change mechanism, you merely initiate the action.
Bit like the difference between a shooting an arrow from a Longbow as opposed to a bolt from a gas-winch loaded crossbow.
We could get into arguments here about stored energy machines (springs in the derailleurs etc) here but I think that is getting a bit abstruse.
I think I must just agree to differ and put my 'not required' sign just below this advance in the technological J-Curve.
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby colaiacw » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:40 pm

Not sure how or what setup people are using for their mechanical shifting system, but the Dura Ace 7900 mech on my bike operates quickly, accurately, quietly, smoothly and requires little effort, even on the front derailleur, after 2,500 km it has been bliss. No adjustments have been required either. It only takes me a minute to check both the front and rear derailleur’s alignments/operation, which I do once a month.

I have never broken a shift cable, or brake cable, on the Ultegra or Dura Ace setups on my bikes? Must be some heavy handed shifters out there.

Di2 would be nice but I can’t think of how it can be better in operation, apart from shift speed and self adjustment, I guess the fact that you can say, hey I’ve got electronic shifting, what crap do you use!. :wink:
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby igstar » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:49 pm

WyvernRH wrote:
sogood wrote:
WyvernRH wrote:I can't totally disagree with the argument, given the accuracy of the modern mechanical means and the minimal (or no) skill required to use them, 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. Also you have a separate control (the CPU) taking care of the alignment, trimming etc (yes I know parallels can be drawn to cams, stops etc in mechanisms)...

Actually, modern mechanical derailleurs still require some skills. Just look at those people who drop their chain. As for the argument of using "no longer using human muscle power to do the actuation". Actually, you still need to power your hand/fingers to actuate the shift, in effect a much higher mechanical advantage ratio to the mechanical advantage offered by mechanical systems currently on offer. So I'd say the electronic system still satisfies your criteria.


Hmm, I like the 'higher mechanical advantage' argument but it is (no offense intended) a bit of a half truth. My point is that the electronic system is not using your personal energy to activate the gear change mechanism, you merely initiate the action.
Bit like the difference between a shooting an arrow from a Longbow as opposed to a bolt from a gas-winch loaded crossbow.
We could get into arguments here about stored energy machines (springs in the derailleurs etc) here but I think that is getting a bit abstruse.
I think I must just agree to differ and put my 'not required' sign just below this advance in the technological J-Curve.
Cheers
Richard


I suppose what WyvernRH is aluding to is that the next step could very easily be connecting the gearing system to the power computer and letting it decide the most efficient gearing. On top of that include the heart rate monitor, the GPS and terrain and the cyclists will just need to peddle less or more depending on what the computer says.
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Re: Electronic shifting. Why?

Postby RonK » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:48 pm

rkelsen wrote:Of course, this might all change once I've ridden it, but that won't be for a long time.

Yeah, you wouldn't want to take the risk that you might actually like it... :lol: :lol: :lol:
Last edited by RonK on Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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