Dirvetrain preference : Mechanical vs electronic

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

I have no problem using either mechanical or electronic. As with Disc brakes, people are blinded by everything that's shiny and new. It's all about enjoying the ride. So if everything works as it's supposed, I forget if I'm riding mechanical or electronic (or Disc brakes) within the first 5 minutes.

by Weenie

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by IrrelevantD

Chans1ee wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:08 pm
What do you prefer?
Now im using duraace mechanical. If i change drivesystem to electrinic(etap), can i feel any differance?
For me personally, I feel that it's the most significant drivetrain improvement since the switch from downtube to integrated brifters. Don't get me wrong, the jump from 8 speed to 11 speed cassettes has been great, and the 11 speed mechanical sets are great... but the speed and the crispness of the shifts with electrical is just amazing. I picked up a Ultegra 6870 upgrade kit (no brakes, chain, cassette, crank, etc) for around $700 about a year and a half ago and I don't want to go back to mechanical on my main bike ever again.

I was forced to go back to 6800 mechanical when I cracked my frame and had to ride my '05 Tarmac for about 6 weeks while I was waiting for my new frame to come in. My big annoyances going back to mechanical were the extremely long lever throws needed to shift into bigger rings/cogs, especially going up 2 or 3 gears on the cassette. Also the small adjustments that I needed to make to keep from getting chain noise due to cable stretch/contraction due to wide temperature shifts. It's just so much more precise it's like going between friction shifting and indexed shifting, multiplied by 10.
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by blamester

For what it's worth i ride downtube shifters in friction mode even tho they are indexed.
I don't race but may start soon but the courses i will be racing are easy a couple of shifts a lap.
I was on a gruop ride recently and one guy had electronic and showed me how good it was.
He shifted back and forth on the big ring at will which i could also do withut hesitation and practically with every pedal stroke but o.k i couldn't stand up and do it
No chain rub , it's a two position switch with huge reliability cheap and light.
The guys riding mechanical all seemed to favor the smaĺ ring , 36/12 on the flat. Wether this was
because of a lack of knowlege or poor shifting i don' t know. But when we came to hill they had 6 shifts to reach the 21 i could get there in one shift with one hand because i could always reliably shft the front ring.
I tried mechanical brifters but i didn't like the long throw on the lever or the constant chain rub.
I am certain if i need brifters i will go electronic
Bye the way levers on the downtube or on the handlebars are still levers.
The big improvement in shifting came from the modern sprockets chainrings and chains and has literally nothing to do with where the levers are placed. Cable lenght and straighter runs means down tubes are more accurate.
As i said if i upgrade it will be electronic.

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by shimmeD

How would I know if I never tried?
So if I wanted to try on the cheap, can someone help me?
Lets say use existing levers and just try electronic rear shifting only:-
climber's shifter
rear der
junction A
junction B
battery (seat tube internal)
battery charger
Would anyone be kind enough to provide the Ultegra part numbers, and anything else required?
Less is more.

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by Hapsmo911

I like them both. I own Etap on one bike and Campy Record on another. I like the feel of the Campy. I also like being able to shift with just a pinky touch on the Etap. I would be happy either way if I had to choose.

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by ingenieur

I was using Shimano 105 and changed to Ultegra Di2. I will never come back to mechanical.

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by stormur

Because you didn't had Dura Ace or Record or Red - that would change your perspective.

I had Di2. Came back to mechanical. What does it prove ? Nothing. Just personal preference.

Only advantage I find with electronic is aesthetics: Di2 Hydro levers are much less ugly than mechanical :mrgreen:
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I can be wrong, and have plenty of examples for that ;)

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by nickf

I'll be sticking with mechanical. Never tried electronic shifting but I I don't see the need. It's more of a alternative and not a upgrade. Seen to many dead batteries on rides, or guys coming into the shop looking for a charger while they are traveling. If i want to ride my bike all i have to do it pull it off the wall and not even think about charging a battery. Plus Red mechanical is lighter.

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by XCProMD

I like to have a bit of everything in my garage. At this moment there's a Red, an e-Tap, a 9150, a Record a Record EPS H11 and an SR EPS. There's some old stuff I use every now and then as well.

EPS V3 is the paramount of bicycle shifting for me as of today. It has never missed a shift, of course. It can be configured as I fancy (what button does what, etc.). It's crisp, tactile, dependable like nothing else I've ridden since I started back in 1989 as a 13 years old dreaming of climbing the Galibier minutes ahead of the best cyclists of a day to come (how far off the mark I fell )

To me mechanical is already that thing you ride to have a taste of how things used to be. Like when I pull off the quiver one of those good metal frames with semi-box rims (Mavic Open Pro/GEL; Campagnolo Omega on 28/32 spokes)

Of course mechanical works for leisure and TdF can b won on it if you're the strongest folk. But if what you're looking for is the absolute best, these days that's electronic shifting. And in my opinion EPS.

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by nickf

I don't see electronic being the"best". It's an alternative to mechanical. It has no real advantage over mechanical shifting. Doesn't miss shifts you say? My red mechanical never misses a shift. Sure you can say it's the "best" to justify the cost. Mechanical being for leisure and having to be the strongest folk to hit a mechanical paddle to win the tdf? Good stuff.

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by XCProMD

I mean the strongest will win on mechanical, electronic or whatever.

But having less throw on the levers and above all making the gear changes independent of the ability to displace the levers at all (which in a rush can’t be taken for granted) is an advantage I appreciate. I’ve heard the same from some people that is racing very seriously.

And unfortunately all stuff can miss-shift. But electronic gears have a wider range of tolerance to things being out of tune.

I couldn’t care less about justifying any cycling related expenses as I don’t have to pay retail prices. I don’t got my bikes cause I’m rich (unfortunately I’m not :) )

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by audiojan

Campy EPS on road bike and tri bike. I do have a Campy SR mechanical and although it's more than just ok, the EPS is just soooo much better. Shifts instantly, never needs tweaking. Plays nice with my non-round chainrings (the mechanical work ok, but not much more compared to the electronic). Overall, well worth the additional cost.
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by Vermu

Had aeroad with last gen di2 and now on mech Sram and I think its more or less about personal preference.

I really liked di2 coming from mech dura-ace. Effortless and sharp. Now mech DA is really good but after testing other stuff I really dislike the lever movement.
Then came the di2 and at first it was heavenly but loading batteries and the size of the shift bruttons started to annoy, specially during colder rides (gloves and di2 :( ).

Now on mech Sram I enjoy the lever movement and certain knowledge about being able to head home even if shifter cable would brake.
Never tried campa (would really like to) but on shimano I would prefer electrical over mechanical. On Sram it’s about 50-50.

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by reknop

TonyM wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:42 pm
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.
Well there are also some professionals who stick to the mechanical version in certain races. I think Cancellara and Nibali were a few who kept using the mechanical versions. :)
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by Weenie

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by dgasmd

I personally don't see them as better or worse, but rather as different like many have commented. I have been wanting to go on to Campy EPS since before V1 came out. Waited and waited for it thinking they would come out ahead of the current market availabilities (was one Di2 at the time) by releasing wireless. No such thing. I think eTap came out with the one advantage they still hold over both Campy and Di2. Truth is for all of us mortals not making a living from this (even the ones that do) either one will work more than fine. It is not the one thing that will keep us from a PR or beating someone on a climb either.

Again, still waiting for wireless Campy. I will swap all my nikes to it when it is released, IF EVER!!!

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