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What are the advantages of electronic gears?

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:53 pm
by wilwil
I feel I should try them but can't think of a reason other than keeping up with the times. Are there any good reasons to make my bike battery dependent? My LBS said they great for when you get tired. mmm.

What are the advantages of electronic gears?

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:53 pm
by Weenie

Re: What are the advantages of electronic gears?

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:56 pm
by fromtrektocolnago
It's cool and all the cool kids have it.

The only advantage I can seriously see is if you have arthritis or are operating the bike under extreme cold conditions it makes it easier to shift. The downside is remembering to keep charged one extra thing, added cost of the thing and a bit more complexity over manual. And of course electronic shifting will not make you any faster.

Local bike shop will of course be inclined to recommend it. Their job is to help you spend money.

Re: What are the advantages of electronic gears?

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:59 pm
by morganb
You can shift from the tops/far back in the drops if you have satellite shifters. Di2 is noticeably quicker than mechanical, eTap marginally so (haven't ridden EPS only mech Campy). With Di2 you can shift the front under substantially more load than a mech setup. There is also the customizability, I run my Di2 bike with the large buttons shifting the rear derailleur and the small buttons shifting the front derailleur, I prefer this ergonomically but also it makes it easier to switch between Di2 and eTap this way. If these things don't matter to you then stick with mechanical and save yourself the money.

Re: What are the advantages of electronic gears?

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:16 pm
by ms6073
fromtrektocolnago wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:56 pm
The only advantage I can seriously see is if you have arthritis or are operating the bike under extreme cold conditions it makes it easier to shift.
If you are someone who prefers building your own bikes rather, installation and setup of electronic shifting is far easier than dealing with mechanical cable runs for frames with all internal cables. With Shimano Di2, assuming one has a junction A or bar end junction, trimming derailleurs can be done while riding.

Re: What are the advantages of electronic gears?

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:24 pm
by morganb
That reminds me of one other advantage, which is not needing adjustment unless you change wheels once its initially setup.

Re: What are the advantages of electronic gears?

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:30 pm
by themidge
fromtrektocolnago wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:56 pm
It's cool and all the cool kids have it.
Except to be super cool you have to be a purist and don't believe in electronic shifting

but then you can be eeeven cooler by not caring about purists and using electronic

but then mechanical is lighter

but electronic is tidier

I don't know which is better, you could make equal cases for both of them. However, the pros all use electronic and the front derailleur makes a cool noise, so electronic seems to be superior based on what people (who can afford it) use.

Re: What are the advantages of electronic gears?

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:34 pm
by fromtrektocolnago
i"m a luddite. If i did get electronic shifting I'd have to smash it

Re: What are the advantages of electronic gears?

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:42 pm
by Philbar72
its different, and compared to my old mechanical setup, you can dump gears faster and also shift down the block faster. you can also jump from big to little, and the other way round whilst under load, which isn't always easy with mechanical.

the only gripe I have is its performance deteriorates in very cold weather and when a bit of dirt gets lodged behind your front mechs motor...

Re: What are the advantages of electronic gears?

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:02 pm
by hogehoge
- Lower maintenance
- Cables don't snap
- D-fly integration with head unit

Re: What are the advantages of electronic gears?

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:15 pm
by fromtrektocolnago
i change my rear derailleur cable ever 2500 miles after having several snap on me. i look at this as the equivalent of charging a batter

Re: What are the advantages of electronic gears?

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:28 pm
by audiojan
Shifting is always clean and crisp. No maintenance (although you do need to plug in the bike once in a while, but that's really nothing and the battery does last for a long time). Super easy to install (a whole lot easier than mechanical and I've built bikes for well over 20 years!). Super clean install (less cables in the wind than mechanical). By far the best upgrade to a TT/Tri bike (ability to shift from brakes and from extensions).

I have friends that love to ride, but are not too in tune with the bike so they cross chain like crazy... mechanical and you will have noise, electronic shifting will tweak itself to create clearance. I honestly think electronic shifting is the best when it comes to either inexperienced rides or the ones that just don't care about shifting smoothly...

Only downside is that it's more costly than the mechanical.

Re: What are the advantages of electronic gears?

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:29 pm
by coriordan
It's not a must have, but when you have it, it's a really really really nice to have. I do get the love for mechanical though.

I have Ultegra 6870 which came on a bike. If I had the option of Dura Ace mech or Ultegra di2 I would really struggle to choose which I prefer.

Dura Ace always looks so amazing, especially 9000 and 9100 but Di2 operates so flawlessly for me.

Re: What are the advantages of electronic gears?

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:38 pm
by bremerradkurier
Auto trim of the front derailleur with Di2 seems like a nice feature.

Re: What are the advantages of electronic gears?

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:01 pm
by dgasmd
fromtrektocolnago wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:15 pm
i change my rear derailleur cable ever 2500 miles after having several snap on me. i look at this as the equivalent of charging a batter
Seriously? That seems excessively frequent. I have a 10 sp Campy Record bike with the same cable set from 2007 and over 70K miles on it. Shifts crisp and nicely as always. My other bike, have the original campy cable as well with now over 40K miles and no issues.

I suspect there is something else causing your cables to snap and would concentrate my time on finding that instead. :noidea:

Re: What are the advantages of electronic gears?

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:21 pm
by fromtrektocolnago
dgasmd wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:01 pm
fromtrektocolnago wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:15 pm
i change my rear derailleur cable ever 2500 miles after having several snap on me. i look at this as the equivalent of charging a batter
Seriously? That seems excessively frequent. I have a 10 sp Campy Record bike with the same cable set from 2007 and over 70K miles on it. Shifts crisp and nicely as always. My other bike, have the original campy cable as well with now over 40K miles and no issues.

I suspect there is something else causing your cables to snap and would concentrate my time on finding that instead. :noidea:
seriously. never did that on my older 6500. it's a known issue with anything newer than 6800/9000. i live in a moderately hilly area. i ride often and shift often. i've had a few failures after 2500 so don't take chances. it costs so little to do , i just do it. the the cause is known. its how the wires connect to the shifters. there's a bend that makes them susceptible. the 6050 had wires that weren't hidden under the bar tape. much better design in my opinion. for a while i looked for a good pair of dura ace 7800's . but no luck

Re: What are the advantages of electronic gears?

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:21 pm
by Weenie