Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

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Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby RRalphy » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:40 pm

Hi guys,

It is raining in Sydney and I have barely been able to get out on the bike in recent weeks (have been sick from riding in the rain :( )so naturally to fill the time I have been contemplating and progressed to looking into buying another bike...

Various influences (primarily the dreaded girlfriend) have made me think that if I am going to get another bike it needs to have better components than my existing bike otherwise its just an expensive move sideways. I currently have SRAM force and have used SRAM red in the past and dont see the added benefit for the cost (not really a weight weenie and found shifting with the titanium FD to be worse than force) which leaves me with an upgrade to electronic gears (thinking of picking up a Giant TCR Advanced 0 with Ultegra Di2).

So the question is: are electronic gears worth the upgrade at this point in time (they are 1st/2nd generation right? so still early days.. are they error prone, have all the bugs/glitches been worked out yet? etc.)

Please tell me your experiences with/opinions onelectronic gears (even if campy)

Cheers, enjoy the weekend rides
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by BNA » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:10 pm

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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby RonK » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:10 pm

There are already 20 pages of discussion (argument?) on this topic here.
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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby jacks1071 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:14 pm

There hasn't been any serious issues with any of the electronic offerings.

Do you need electronic gears? No.

Do you want electronic gears? Maybe.

I know a lot of people swear by it and I had one of the first Di2 bikes in the country. When I replace it, I'll be going Dura-Ace 9000 11sp MECHANICAL.

I dislike the lack of feel in the electronic gears, the switches are on or off and I find the mechanical more engaging but I'm probably in the minority.
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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby RonK » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:35 pm

jacks1071 wrote:I dislike the lack of feel in the electronic gears, the switches are on or off and I find the mechanical more engaging but I'm probably in the minority.

Then you should try EPS.
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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby RRalphy » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:36 pm

Thanks for the link RonK had failed to find that thread when searching
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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby TDC » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:26 pm

MultiDometechnology... 8) ... 68% of every dollar spent on campag funds the marketing department. :lol:
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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby The Walrus » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:37 pm

I've never tried electronic gears but something about the idea turns me off.

I like the simple concept of a bike and the idea that it is completely powered by you in every way. And although I do have lights and a computer, I prefer to keep the electronic devices to the home and car...
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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby petie » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:41 pm

I test rode a bike with ultegra di2. Did not like the lack of feedback/feel at all. Will be staying with mechanical.
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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby Marty Moose » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:49 pm

I have the same bike and it's a hell yes from me. Cables are dead imho di2 is that much better.

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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby RonK » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:51 pm

TDC wrote:MultiDometechnology... 8) ... 68% of every dollar spent on campag funds the marketing department. :lol:

BikeRadar reviewer James Huang must have been sucked in then... :roll:

Campagnolo's new EPS groups share some basic characteristics with Shimano's next-generation Di2 systems: dedicated switches in the levers sending signals to a centrally located 'brain' that then relays those messages to the motor-equipped front and rear derailleurs. Campagnolo, however, have done a better job of mimicking the feel of their much-loved – and virtually identically shaped – mechanical Ergopower brake/shift levers. The throws are very short, as was expected, but the high spring force is more akin to a cable-actuated system and there's a very tactile and audible click each time a button is depressed.


Of course if you have never tried Campagnolo you would have no idea how a good shift action feels. :lol:
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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby wombatK » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:42 pm

Marty Moose wrote:I have the same bike and it's a hell yes from me. Cables are dead imho di2 is that much better.

Sent from my MB526 using Tapatalk 2

And a hell yeah from me too. No cable stretch, click the button and it's done. No trimming adjustments needed,
and changes are timed just right so that last-second changes on hills etc.,. are trouble-free.

Sure it feels different - much better.
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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby TDC » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:53 pm

RonK wrote:
TDC wrote:MultiDometechnology... 8) ... 68% of every dollar spent on campag funds the marketing department. :lol:

BikeRadar reviewer James Huang must have been sucked in then... :roll:

Campagnolo's new EPS groups share some basic characteristics with Shimano's next-generation Di2 systems: dedicated switches in the levers sending signals to a centrally located 'brain' that then relays those messages to the motor-equipped front and rear derailleurs. Campagnolo, however, have done a better job of mimicking the feel of their much-loved – and virtually identically shaped – mechanical Ergopower brake/shift levers. The throws are very short, as was expected, but the high spring force is more akin to a cable-actuated system and there's a very tactile and audible click each time a button is depressed.


Of course if you have never tried Campagnolo you would have no idea how a good shift action feels. :lol:


ha, no I was commenting on cool sounding names like MultiDometechnology, not the product itself. I am sure it's great to use.
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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby RonK » Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:39 am

TDC wrote:
RonK wrote:
TDC wrote:MultiDometechnology... 8) ... 68% of every dollar spent on campag funds the marketing department. :lol:

BikeRadar reviewer James Huang must have been sucked in then... :roll:

Campagnolo's new EPS groups share some basic characteristics with Shimano's next-generation Di2 systems: dedicated switches in the levers sending signals to a centrally located 'brain' that then relays those messages to the motor-equipped front and rear derailleurs. Campagnolo, however, have done a better job of mimicking the feel of their much-loved – and virtually identically shaped – mechanical Ergopower brake/shift levers. The throws are very short, as was expected, but the high spring force is more akin to a cable-actuated system and there's a very tactile and audible click each time a button is depressed.


Of course if you have never tried Campagnolo you would have no idea how a good shift action feels. :lol:


ha, no I was commenting on cool sounding names like MultiDometechnology, not the product itself. I am sure it's great to use.

Hehe - yes, have to wonder what their copywriters are on when you read some of the spin. :)
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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby Sydguy » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:36 am

For the first 30 minutes you probably won't like Di2 - no one likes change. After that you stop speaking to peasants with their crap mechanical inferior offerings. You either ride Di2 or a BSO.

Auto trim alone makes it essential, less wear and less work if you end up cross chaining or gears are not 100% adjusted. Gear shifts are faster and perfect on Di2, especially racing you appreciate that, but commuting screaming into lights that change and you slow to stop you can change gears faster.

I've flogged my TCR Adv 0 and it has not skipped a beat, there is a thread where a guy recently crashed dropping his chain... you often hear Di2 users ask "What does dropping your chain mean?" does not happen.

Plus the best thing about them is the noise the FD makes on shifting, then auto trim! Make sure you shift, even if you don't need to, when you pass peasants on their mechanical rigs just so they can hear the noise a real bike makes. I'm not going to try and type it out... ohh wait I'll try... "Pffttmechanicalsuckszzzzoooooooomcyalater"

Di2 is where things are going, get 11 speed if you are upgrading, and TCRs are a bit yesterday get a Giant Propel. If the handbrake complains about the 8,000 whatever price tag just wax lyrical about the components, and get her to listen to the gears shift - women find it irresistable.

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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby RonK » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:42 am

Sydguy wrote:For the first 30 minutes you probably won't like Di2 - no one likes change. After that you stop speaking to peasants with their crap mechanical inferior offerings. You either ride Di2 or a BSO.

hahaha - looks like you have come up with a new category of cycling pretentiousness for someone to moan about... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby humanbeing » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:43 am

Sydguy wrote:Auto trim alone makes it essential, less wear and less work if you end up cross chaining or gears are not 100% adjusted. Gear shifts are faster and perfect on Di2, especially racing you appreciate that, but commuting screaming into lights that change and you slow to stop you can change gears faster.

I've flogged my TCR Adv 0 and it has not skipped a beat, there is a thread where a guy recently crashed dropping his chain... you often hear Di2 users ask "What does dropping your chain mean?" does not happen.

Plus the best thing about them is the noise the FD makes on shifting, then auto trim! Make sure you shift, even if you don't need to, when you pass peasants on their mechanical rigs just so they can hear the noise a real bike makes. I'm not going to try and type it out... ohh wait I'll try... "Pffttmechanicalsuckszzzzoooooooomcyalater"
JM


Mmmm, again problems that don't occur with Campagnolo. Trimming? A properly set up front derailleur shouldn't require this.
Dropping a chain? I guess Shimano needs electronic shifting to fix all the inadequacies in the gear.
And 11 speed, been using that for a while now.
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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby danny the boy » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:05 pm

What is the extra expense? I paid under 3 grand for the Giant mentioned in the OP, a lot of bike brands are selling mechanical ultegra for more than that. I would never go back to mechanical, like Sydguy said I did not like the feel of it at the start but for anyone who rides in the drops a lot it is so much better. Adjustment of the RD is far more precise and is a piece of cake and can be done easily whilst riding, the extra cost if any will be saved in time and $$ on maintenance and servicing.

The thread that was linked to earlier is full of trolls who have never ridden di2, hence the reason it was locked.
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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby Sydguy » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:37 pm

@humanbeing - the autotrim trims the FD when you shift on RD so that the chain alignment is the best it can be - which you probably know, but in hidnsight some other readers might not have been sure.

That feature saves utter bicycle muppets like me from chain rub - which I did ALL the time racing. Once I was tired and struggling I would pretty much forget to not cross chain, and you struggle along then realise the grinding is coming from your chain/cogs! :( Auto trim is better than Allah, and apparently he is all powerful.

Mechanical is probably best suited to those who are handly and like to tinker. However the only argument that I understand for mechanical > Di2 is the battery. I get that a bicycle should be able to go and go and go without needing a recharge. However if you use lights, thats everyone, then you are stuck charging batteries anyway.

The weight argument is not really valid, 100 grams or something? The efficiency gains would negate the 100 odd grams. I've cycled mine through salt water, tons of dirt/crap, hosed it down all the things they tell you not to do with your road bike and it is still going strong.

I would in all seriousness tell anyone buying a road bike today to get 11 speed electronic gearing. The so called secret neo-pro who tweets also said that 11 speed Di2 is the preferred gearing system in the pro peletons.

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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby Nobody » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:50 pm

danny the boy wrote:The thread that was linked to earlier is full of trolls who have never ridden di2, hence the reason it was locked.
Happy to never ride Di2 if I avoid becoming pretentious because of it.

Not specifically referring to your post, but you can easily see it in this thread.
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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby jasonc » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:21 pm

Sydguy wrote: Auto trim is better than Allah, and apparently he is all powerful.


awesome comment. di-2-ism. the new religion

EDIT: no sarcasm intended. I want Di-2 11 speed
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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby sogood » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:58 pm

Electronic would be lovely to ride and have, but for my leisure rides, I can't justify the extra complexity and costs associated with it. Mechanicals still serve me well, all avoiding the extra environmental polluting and life limited electronics.
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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby MarkG » Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:04 pm

Would love to upgrade to Di2 but I also would like to stay married..
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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby dale79 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:15 pm

sogood wrote:Electronic would be lovely to ride and have, but for my leisure rides, I can't justify the extra complexity and costs associated with it. Mechanicals still serve me well, all avoiding the extra environmental polluting and life limited electronics.


please enlighten us DI2 owners what the so called extra complexity and life limits are of the electronics..
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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby Nobody » Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:40 pm

dale79 wrote:please enlighten us DI2 owners what the so called extra complexity and life limits are of the electronics..
Motors have seals and bearings which wear out and can have brushes too depending on motor type. Batteries age and hold less capacity in time. Battery needs to be charged and therefore needs a charger. Contact switches (buttons) wear out. Electronic components (although usually fairly long lived) don't last forever either and can suffer from heat and vibration. Water ingress can cause significant problems with corrosion of electronics.

Likely none of this matters to the average Di2 carbon bike owner as they probably will move on long before 5 years have passed.
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Re: Electronic Gears - worth the expense?

Postby ratter » Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:42 pm

and mechanical systems don't have any wear, cable stretch, dirt or road grime entering moving parts and restricting their operation?

all systems can require some maintenance, it's just the tools and knowledge to do it may vary
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