Dirvetrain preference : Mechanical vs electronic

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by Chans1ee

What do you prefer?
Now im using duraace mechanical. If i change drivesystem to electrinic(etap), can i feel any differance?

by Weenie

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by Sammutd88

Ive never used electronic and I’m scared that if I ever do, it will force me to spend more money and never go back to mechanical....

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by seaneT1

Yes, and if you can, do it! I was on ultegra 11s for 4 years, changed to eTap at the end of summer, NEVER going back to mechanical. END OF STORY! :D

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by Lelandjt

I have bikes with 9000 and 9100. The only difference I feel is the shape of the shift buttons and how far I push them. Front shifts are a little faster on the mechanical bike but not enough to make a difference.

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by Lelandjt

seaneT1 wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:23 pm
Yes, and if you can, do it! I was on ultegra 11s for 4 years, changed to eTap at the end of summer, NEVER going back to mechanical. END OF STORY! :D
Why? What is better?
In theory a cable system needs occassional tuning so if you aren't good at adjusting derailleurs electronic has the benefit of set and forget. However, since break in my 9000 bike hasn't needed a single adjustment.
The only significant benefit I see to electronic is if you want hydro brakes. The hydro/di2 levers are much slimmer and lighter than the hydro/mech levers.

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by fromtrektocolnago

I've only used mechanical. I'm largely very satisfied with my Shimano mechanicals. My philosophy has always been not to look for new solutions to problems I don't have, and especially problems others want to convince me I have. There's also something about biking that I view as a mechanical experience. Electronic group sets are anathema to me. While I have no doubt there are people out there genuinely happy with their DI2 and/or E-TAP, I've also been in situations where connections where riders had issues, mostly minor like forgetting to charge or connectors that unconnected and nobody figured it out right away. So very happy with my current cycling configuration on my road bike and see no reason to change.

My sole annoyance with shimano is a rear deraliuer cable that's prone to failure every 2,000 + miles, but I"m also a believer in stick with the devil you know, versus the one you don't. And changing the cable every few months is not too different than recharging in terms of attention.
Colnago C-59 (Dura Ace)
Trek 5200(ultegra)

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by hannawald

switched to electronical, much better. you literally shift with a touch of a finger. no front derailleur rub, it is a symphony:)

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by clipsed

Mechanical was fine, but DI2 is just so much better.

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by liam7020

Having ridden and owned bikes with both mechanical and electronic, here's my personal take on it. For road racing where everything happens at pace and gear changing has to be fast and accurate I find electronic very useful indeed. For anything else I do on the bike I'm more than happy with mechanical.
Belgian Flag S-Works Tarmac viewtopic.php?f=10&t=144553

"Sometimes you don't need a plan. You just need big balls." Tom Boonen

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by prebsy

Can't speak to etap but I've ridden probably every modern mechanical groupset
(shimano: 5800,6800,9000,r8000,r9100, sram: red22,rival22,force22 campy: record11, chorus11, super record11, athena11, potenza11)... I think I've owned all those in the past 3 years some multiple times haha and di2 craps on them all. If you want to build a cheap bike or doing a true weight weenie build with some red go for it otherwise jump to electronic and don't look back.

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by spdntrxi

Not going back to mech..
electronic on a TT bike is cloud9..

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by pdlpsher1

Why not just go do a proper test ride on a bike with electronic shifting? You are not gonna get an answer here because everyone here will always defend the system they are using now.

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by Hexsense

the reason Electronic shift better is the motor force the chain with more power (and precision, but let just talk about power).

Think about mechanical, you shift one way it's your lever force vs chain's resistance+ derailleur spring which is fine you can force the shift as hard as you can.
you shift another way (think of going to smaller cog in the rear) it's then only derailleur's spring vs chain's resistance.
the derailleur spring vs chain's resistance struggle is the most noticeable when you did not let go of the pedaling force (either uphill, on trainer or just racing, whatever situation) when shifting thus chain tension is high and derailleur spring have hard time or just can't make it to shift where electronic shifting's motor still can force the shift to happen precisely.
Sram mechanical make derailleur's spring hard so you need more lever force to shift up. Shimano make derailleur's spring soft so it's soft lever touch but it struggle more on down shift when chain tension is high. With the way conventional mechanical derailleur work there is no win here. Let see if Rotor Uno hydraulic groupset will be any difference (the index is at the RD, not at the shifter for Rotor groupset!)

Not that we should shift without soft pedal though, it's just useful for racers/sprinters who don't really care of how long chain/sprocket will last.

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by TonyM

I suppose it depends also if mech vs. electronic for SRAM, Shimano and Campy.

For Campy I think many will prefer the elect. as the tuning of the mech. seems to be not that easy.

For Shimano, I aways read that the Dura Ace mech. is excellent so that the difference is not that big.

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by stockae92

Still too big of a price jump for me.

I am currently riding SRAM Force (for the weight saving and price). I don't race and I am paying for it so I am sticking whatever keep me riding. :)

Also, if the mech group's not working, I can probably fix it DIY. If an electric group breaks, I won't know how to debug it.

And I drive manual transmission for my car, maybe that's what I prefer mech group for now. :D

by Weenie

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