Is buying mechanical grouppo in 2013 wise...?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
in the industry
Posts: 3706
Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 7:25 pm
Location: Glermsford, Suffolk U.K

by bm0p700f

All this talk of obselesance make me wonder are you guys changing your groupset every three years. 7900 is being phased out but there are still new stocks of it at various distributors and there will be for some to come. I still buy M730 chainsets for goodness sake for my shop. These were "obsolete" 20 years ago but people still want them (and so do I).

If you are the kind of person who changes the groupset to very latest every 2 -3 years then obselance should worry you little.

Buy what you like. I still like 6400 tri colour and a complete groupset and I love 7402/3 and I have a complete mint group of that too. Campag C-record is still a very good groupset (apart from the brakes) and the ultimate groupset for me is Record 10 speed.

Are square taper high end chainsets obselete, no they are not there are still good quality square taper BB being produced.

Use what you want to not what you think is goin to be in fashion 2 years hense.

Posts: 328
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:17 pm

by Pharmstrong

If I were buying a group today it would be Red or Dura-Ace 9000. It's like steel and titanium as frame materials. They'll never disappear, because they offer a different experience.

Bikes are to be enjoyed, and the only wise decision is to buy what you enjoy.

I will echo the point someone else made, if you do decide you want Ui2, 8000/Gen 2/11 speed can't be far away.

by Weenie

User avatar
Posts: 1060
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:22 pm
Location: Brooklyn

by CBJ

If I was buying electronic I would only do so if I got a second generation product with Di2 9070 being the only current choice. Will be interesting to see what the second generation Ultegra will bring.

User avatar
Powerful Pete
Posts: 4005
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:22 am
Location: Lima, Peru and occasionally in the Washington DC area.

by Powerful Pete

Beyond the obvious "buy what turns you on" advice, I don't believe that mechanical will go away for some time. Road cycling is a very conservative sport by nature... look, for example, at the amount of Campagnolo 10v that is still on bikes (included my own).

The cost difference is still there between mechanical and electronic. Although the manufacturers are trying very hard to bring it down the introduction of Ultegra and lower-end EPS.
Road bike: Cervelo R3, Campagnolo Chorus/Record mix...
Supercommuter: Jamis
And you can call me Macktastik Honey Pete Kicks, thank you.

Posts: 839
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:26 pm

by konky

Obsolescence isn't the issue. You can still buy 8 speed road cassettes and high end titanium frames. But titanium frames almost seem a bit accentric. Will electronic dominate to the degree that owning a mechanical groupset becomes similar to owning a titanium frame. Of course there is nothing wrong with owning a titanium frame, it's just a little eccentric and firmly not mainstream.

I can confidently say electronic will become mainstream, and machanical not, but how long this takes is uncertain. I think within 3 years the majority of NEW bikes will be electronic and almost all NEW bikes will be electronic within 5 years.
Last edited by konky on Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Posts: 6804
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 10:29 am
Location: Athens, Greece

by kgt

Is buying a 1,7kg steel frame in 2013 wise...?
It all depends on what you like at the end.

User avatar
Posts: 852
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:13 am
Location: Utah

by carbon2329

This is a great question for the shop owners on the forum:

What percentage of bikes being sold (in your shop) have electric groups vs. mechanical?

A follow-up question.

If/when electric is the same $$, how would you stock your bikes (percentage/group)
(i.e. 50%/50% mechanical vs. electric........70/30...........80/20.........????)

Posts: 423
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:21 am

by Ghost234

I worked for a high end bike shop the last 2 years;

I would say we stock 15% electric bikes. A little less percentage of floor space is dedicated to electric. Most of our electronic sales were customer builds (about 10 of the 15%) and the rest were complete (5%).

Most of our sales were Sram Rival, Red, and Ultegra. There weren't many 105/Dura Ace sales this year, compared to 2011. Most of our manufacturers stopped selling 105 equipped bikes in lieu of rival. I think the Dura ace sales went to electronic if anything.

Posts: 3133
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:12 pm
Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

My resistance to an electrical group is the battery. Don't won't one, don't want to remember to charge one, don't want to have a spare one, don't want to incent the manufacture of batteries, don't want to decide where on my bike a battery should be, don't want to experience a failing battery, and finally I don't want to dispose of batteries.

There is something pure, simple, and beautiful about a bicycle. Having batteries, electronic wiring, and circuit boards as integral to the operation of the bicycle sullies this image for me.

I would pay a premium for mechanical. I suspect there will always be high end mechanical groups.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

Posts: 470
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:31 pm

by diegogarcia

Thanks all. Some valid points made on all fronts.

I have concluded over the weekend that SRAM Red 2013 is for me.


Posts: 784
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:48 am
Location: Mountains, Portugal

by aerozy

^ With di2 you charge the battery once every 6 months. With a mechanical group you change cables what... once every 3 months (riding in bad conditions)? Between the two groups electronic is by far the most hassle free group. Whats harder? Charging a battery or replacing a cable? And if you consider that most frames have internal cable routing and the cables routes under the bar tape the answer is obvious!

Visually di2 9070 is now on par with any mechanical group. Derraileurs are as small, battery is internal and no cables dangling in the air.

As for the point of electronic not giving any feedback. Shouldnt the feedback come from the legs? Low cadence, legs feeling heavy... shift up... otherwise shift down?
Sunny cycling holidays in Portugal @ Cherry Cottage Vintage B&B

Shop Owner
Posts: 842
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:58 am

by Butcher

I wonder if someone would have mentioned this when they started with multiple speeds way back when. I remember when they had 5, then 6, now up to 12. So many people saying it was a waste and not needed.

So many choices but I believe the future will bring more electric and wireless for certain. Those that do not want batteries now, probably did not want a rear derailleur in the past. I for certain do not want disc's but someday I am certain, that will be the most likely choice.

Step up and buy what is going to make you happy, not what is going to make us happy.

User avatar
Posts: 1488
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:35 pm
Location: Middle of nowhere, EU

by mrowkoob

Even if I just bought SR EPS I´still have bikes with more than 10 year old mechanical systems and I love riding them. Riding is what it is all about and I cannot see anything unwise with a "regular" mechanical group.
The unbearable wallet lightness of being a weightweenie

Posts: 400
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:09 am

by Franklin

HammerTime2 wrote:
Geoff wrote:the zenith of components was reached in 1973 with Campagnolo's Super Record
Hah. A 1973 vintage $9 SunTour V-Luxe RD could outshift a pre-1985 Campagnolo Super Record RD 7 ways till Sunday, even if it didn't look as good or last as long. Campagnolo and Shimano didn't catch up with SunTour in rear (narrow-range) shifting until the slant parallelogram went off patent. And then someone else (Shimano), came along and outdid SunTour at their own slant parallelogram game, so maybe there's a lesson in there about the evolution of technology, things changing, and what that all means to the OP's first world problem of trying to decide between expensive well-performing alternatives.


I Absolutely love Campagnolo, but until they went to the slant parallelogram system the shifting sucked. Yes, shifting Nuovo record sucked balls. C record shifting, even with Syncro was awful. C record was esthetically of the scales, but after Shimano went Slant with with New Dura Ace functionally C-Record was inferior.

It was an important factor why they lost the lower ranges. Triumph, Vctory, it was just horrible versus SIS equiped Shimano groups. Yeah they were better built, but in the shifting/braking department it was just outdated. It was then they and the french completely disappeared from the lower and mid ranges. And they never managed to recover, even though they managed to claw to the top again functionally.

And about electric? The groups are mature, so no bar not to buy it. Mechanical groups also get outdated and loose value. This is not stock or a Van Gogh. You will loose money, so buy what you can afford and like to ride.

by Weenie

Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:57 pm
Location: Denver

by mattydubs

It's (of course) largely anecdotal but I've had better luck with SRAM (Force on Road and X.7/X.9 on MTB) than with Shimano. This is after owning a couple generations of Ultegra, LX, XT, etc. Easier to adjust, crisper feel, and lighter.

But that's subjective. Shimano makes nice stuff (as does Campy).

Not that what the peloton matters, exactly, but winning is still being done on mechanical groupsets. It ultimately comes down to feel, and not so much mechanical vs electronic. What gruppo do you like? Which one feels better to you? Do you like the feel of Campy over Shimano? Do you like the UX of DI2? Do you prefer the one lever SRAM setup? You need to ride some bikes and just get what feels better.

Of course electronic will get better. Mechanical probably will too. For my money, I'm waiting on a few things:

  1. As I said, I like SRAM better, I'd love to see the Chicago boys make an electronic gruppo. SRAM hoods/levers fit my hands better than Shimano or Campy.
  2. Better button feel. Shimanos buttons are poor affordances and still feel rubbery (remember Flight Deck). I've not ridden Campy's offering though. A more mechanical feel would be better.
  3. Better software. e-Tube (the Shimano "PC hookup") software only works on Windows. Fail. I only use OS X and Linux.
  4. Wireless. Is this possible? Yes. Right now I have my Garmin which can talk wirelessly to a powermeter. Until everything can use ANT+ and I can have one display to show gear/gain ratios as well as power, cadence, HR, etc, I'm not in a desperate rush. I'd think things are better now than when Mavic launched Mektronic...

There's an elegance to a mechanical group. I doubt mechanical groups will ever truly vanish (brakes wont be electronic anytime soon). They can only get better. There may be some future hybrid solution that beats all any way.

Long story short: get what feels right. Your group isn't going to be used forever. In 5 years you can revisit (if you use it that long).

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Last post