Is buying mechanical grouppo in 2013 wise...?

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

Having decided on my next frame, I am now mulling groupsets. SRAM Red 2013 appeals but wonder if now is the time to go electronic. Have test ridden Ui2 which sits in my budget and liked it, but as of yet, did not love it. Usual caveats apply, big rear mech, battery etc but more so, it was so smooth I had to keep checking I was in the gear I was looking for.

What are others thoughts on the timeline for electronic ?

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by djconnel

Yes -- electronic systems are going to become obsolete quicker. Consider in 2 years if the Tiso wireless concept catches on. Mechanical are far more mature.

by Weenie

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by carbon2329

Good question.

I am about to buy a new frame as well, and have been "mulling" over the same question.
I get a little concerned that, like all electronics, things will be outdated very quickly.

How long did it take Di2 to be updated to something different...was it 2 or 3 years. (not to mention 10 to 11 speed)
I am heavily considering electric, but still on the fence, as well.

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by hornedfrog

I too had the same debate. Just got a new frame that is both internal electronic and mechanical compatible, so it didn't have any impact on which groups I was looking at. For me it mainly came down to what felt better. After multiple extended test periods on Di2 there was nothing that was that much better about it in my mind (shifting, button/lever feel...), and in the long run I thought the shifting action felt muted: I felt like there was something lost in the process of shifting between pushing the button and having the derailleur move. The aesthetics of electronic groups isn't that big of an issue in my mind but they do sometimes have an impact on my decision. Mechanical Dura Ace and Sram just felt right. I'm not trying to say that electronic groups suck, its just that they didn't feel right/did provide enough feedback. I'm sure there are people out there who love electronic groups and I have nothing against that because that's what works for them.

Bottom line is that I went with the new Dura Ace mechanical, simply because I like the feel of a mechanical group way more than electronic. So my advice to you is test ride each a couple times and choose the one that seems like a no brainer. Why change just for the sake of changing? If you don't see anything wrong with mechanical I say stick with it. Sram really does make a great road group. It seems like to me that you already know what you want :wink:

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by Geoff

I get that question a lot, but usually the real, underlying question is: 'does it make sense to by electric now, or wait'.

From a practical perspective, the same kinds of questions get asked about every new development in cycling (and a lot of other consumer goods), too. I guess if we all kept waiting for the 'ultimate' evolution to occur, we would all still be riding the same Colnago Super with Campagnolo Nuovo Record components and a Maillaird 6-speed freewheel.

Is it merely possible that the coming years will result in some fabulous new developent? No, that is a certainty. Given that, the choice to purchase or not comes down to whether or not you want to enjoy the product now or not. I have to say (as a guy who, in his heart-of-hearts thinks that the zenith of components was reached in 1973 with Campagnolo's Super Record), the electronic groups are really very good. When Di2 first came out, I was secretly hoping it wouldnt work and the whole thing would be a failure. It isn't. It was a quantum leap in shifting performance, nothing less. EPS is even better. I say, go for it and enjoy it now. Life is way too short (ask those guys still waiting for the 'perfect' powermeter).

As the years go by, you'll learn to appreciate that the technology becomes part of the history of the sport. Just as I am not about to toss my 1975 Molteni because it has 'outdated' Super Record, in the years to come my 2009 Columbia Highroad Scott Addict with Di2 will have its own place in my collection as the first succesful electronic group.

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by HammerTime2

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.

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by Geoff

Yeah, but Super Record is such a wonderful group, I can forget all its shortcomings. Even today, I love riding the old stuff. That is kind of my point: older stuff has to be enjoyed in the context of its time. One day, Di2 and EPS will be the same, but they will still be great rides...

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by HammerTime2

As long as you're waxing nostalgic for '70s Super Record, don't forget the snapping SR titanium pedal axles and BB spindles.

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by Calnago

Ok, can't resist... and I'm kind of a technology geek when it comes to computers and stuff. However, as far as my bikes go, if the prices were the same between electric and mechancial, I'd still choose mechanical. If mechanical cost more, I'd pay the premium. That's how much I still prefer the mechanical over the electric. I'm talking Campy Super Record vs. Campy EPS. I've ridden both and I wanted to think that the electric would at least perform as well, but quite frankly, to me it doesn't. It seems slower. It seems disengaged from the riding experience. And I hate that delayed "psfft" sound it makes when shifting. And as for looks, I think all aspects of the mechanical group just look better. Don't even get me started on the wart of a battery or the front harness that makes me think the antitheft tag wasn't removed when leaving the shop.

I'd wait, hopefully forever. And (flame retardent suit on now)... perhaps, just perhaps... the whole thing will just slowly fade away. Yup, I really think it just might... Psffft... and it's gone. At this point in time, I see no advantage at all to the electric stuff. I think it might appeal to newcomers to cycling who get caught up in the sales guys talk about the way of the future, etc. But until it shows some real advantage over the mechanical stuff... my desire to have it is... well, non-existent.

Oh, but if you do insist on going electric, I think that Di2 is more reliable than EPS at the moment. And I've been a campy guy forever.
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

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by Tinea Pedis

Test ride 9000. For a cable grouppo, it is incredible.

And I say this as a die-hard Campag fan.

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by ticou

Only two technologies interest me, and one of 'em is here; Carbotitanium.V.Light, and shatter proof, and currently the body of the Pagani Huayara (sic). The other is graphene. Bikes should be like an Olympic sailing boat/dingy/skiff. My HiFi is electric, and that's where it stays.

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by Tokyo Drifter

Buy the one that you want the most. Groupsets are pretty much obsolete after 3 years these days anyway.

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by Juanmoretime

I'm traveling backwards. I do and will continue to ride mechanical groups but my latest bike is a fixie and I like riding that even better!

The bike you buy now drilled for wires will not be needed as marketing drives wireless since they have to continue development so people purchasing components. Not real life improvements that effect performance just motivating sales. :smartass:

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by HillRPete

To OP: I think buying an Ui2 in 2013 might not be the most forward looking decision. Unless you get it at a good discount, of course.

by Weenie

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by Ghost234

Mechanical isn't going to be obselete any time soon. There are too many people who just don't like the electronic systems - me included.

Buy what excites you. Mechanical or electronic. You can't go wrong with what YOU like.

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