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Old 02-19-09, 06:07 PM   #1
Stevie47
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I rode the electronic Dura-Ace!

I had heard all about the electric shifting and figured that it was clearly a solution in search of a problem. They had a setup at the Tour of Ca on a trainer which anyone could ride so I hopped on and.....holy moly was it neat! You just touch the shifter lightly and without a sound, it's in the next gear. Same thing for the front derailleur....a light touch is all it needs. Super smooth and super quiet on the shift. It's hard to convey how good it felt.

I told the sales guy that when I heard about the system, I thought "well, that's a dumb idea" but when I rode it I was knocked out. He said, "yeah, everyone says the same thing"

And the best part....it's cheap. Only $3900 for the system..... c'mon lottery!!
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Old 02-19-09, 06:25 PM   #2
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Yes, it sounds like something we can only hope for but hardly ever afford. But getting a chance to use some of the super high tech equipment most be a blast.
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Old 02-19-09, 06:28 PM   #3
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Only $3900 for the system..... c'mon lottery!!

Does that include batteries?
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Old 02-19-09, 06:37 PM   #4
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I think I already ranted about this somewhere, but just in case:
I still don't see the point of this. My goal in cycling (insofar as I have a goal these days) isn't to make the experience effortless, thoughtless or skill-free--if I wanted that, I'd buy a Vespa or just use my car, so all that annoying wind and sunlight didn't get on me.
The pedaling effort, the bike handling skills, the shifting, even the sweat and occasional pain are all part of the reasons I ride, not things I want to avoid. I'd love to ride this thing for a few minutes just to see what it's like, and I suppose it's possible I'd change my mind if I did, but I'd lay long odds against it.
I still have manual transmissions in my car and truck, too, for the same reason: They work and I enjoy using them. To me, an automatic wouldn't be an improvement or an upgrade--it would detract from my enjoyment.
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Old 02-19-09, 06:57 PM   #5
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I have enough trouble with accidental mouse clicks. With my clumsy fingers I'd be constantly having to shift BACK into the gear I wanted.
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Old 02-19-09, 06:59 PM   #6
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+1

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Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
I think I already ranted about this somewhere, but just in case:
I still don't see the point of this. My goal in cycling (insofar as I have a goal these days) isn't to make the experience effortless, thoughtless or skill-free--if I wanted that, I'd buy a Vespa or just use my car, so all that annoying wind and sunlight didn't get on me.
The pedaling effort, the bike handling skills, the shifting, even the sweat and occasional pain are all part of the reasons I ride, not things I want to avoid. I'd love to ride this thing for a few minutes just to see what it's like, and I suppose it's possible I'd change my mind if I did, but I'd lay long odds against it.
I still have manual transmissions in my car and truck, too, for the same reason: They work and I enjoy using them. To me, an automatic wouldn't be an improvement or an upgrade--it would detract from my enjoyment.
I agree wholeheartedly! There are a lot of things to enjoy about cycling and - for me - one of the most satisfying is the feeling of doing the technical things well.
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Old 02-19-09, 07:04 PM   #7
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I gotta hand it to Shimano, that's some good engineering and it's probably good for cycling as well. But I agree with Velo Dog, it's not my cup of tea either. I really enjoy operating a "manually operated bicycle"*
I love friction shifting.

*originally spoken by Grant Peterson at Rivendell
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Old 02-19-09, 07:05 PM   #8
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I have enough trouble with accidental mouse clicks. With my clumsy fingers I'd be constantly having to shift BACK into the gear I wanted.

I don't think it has much to do with the average rider. I think it has to do with the full blown racer that needs that micro edge. It is like F-1 race cars. Manuals used to be the measure of a good race driver but now they have computer assisted paddle shifters and manuals have become obsolete in F-1 racing. You could still get a car without one but you would lose every race. I don't believe this new elecrtonic dura ace will replace what we already have but for that very special 1 percent it must seem like the best thing since sliced bread. It might fall flat however.
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Old 02-19-09, 07:33 PM   #9
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I may the opposite of most but I enjoy new gadgets and would be intrigued to give it a try one day. I've had to learn to embrace and enjoy new technologies. However, I'd be looking to pick up a used version at a much reduced price.

And I'm the same guy with 496k miles on my bike mobile........
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Old 02-19-09, 07:41 PM   #10
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How well does the electronic front derailleur feather its position to keep the chain from rubbing the cage? Also, how does one finesse a front shift to keep from overshifting or dropping the chain? The price will come way down over the next few years, but I have to admit my reaction is "why bother with this, when good old manual friction works so easily, reliably, and cheaply?"

I have ranted against the added complexity and unreliability of electronic parking brakes in a couple of automotive forums, but that seems to be a solution-in-search-of-a-problem heading rapidly toward ubiquity.
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Old 02-19-09, 07:48 PM   #11
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In cars, almost everything is electronic. If the electrical goes out, the entire car can't work. Will this be the same for that DA Electric?
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Old 02-19-09, 08:26 PM   #12
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I have enough trouble with accidental mouse clicks. With my clumsy fingers I'd be constantly having to shift BACK into the gear I wanted.
Good point. Maybe they could incorporate an UNDO button.
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Old 02-19-09, 09:35 PM   #13
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You know, I had one of the original Mavic electronic groups on my road bike years ago, and yeah, it was really neat...as long as you carried a spare battery. But the question I always had is "why?" Perhaps it made a little more sense as Shimano was starting to saturate the market in STI and left Campy kinda scrambling at first to catch up. So, the Mavic system kinda had a possible place in the market. But now.....it's cool, it's neat, it's "fresh" and it took a hellova lot of engineering, but the question still remains..."why?" I just don't think it's that much better than a cable system.
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Old 02-19-09, 09:43 PM   #14
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All electronic shifting is improvements. The shifts are faster, smoother and error free. Sure it comes with a high price initially but the price will drop. Embrace technology. I'm lost when people say they don't want something that's better, faster, or more effective.
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Old 02-19-09, 10:07 PM   #15
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How well does the electronic front derailleur feather its position to keep the chain from rubbing the cage? Also, how does one finesse a front shift to keep from overshifting or dropping the chain? The price will come way down over the next few years, but I have to admit my reaction is "why bother with this, when good old manual friction works so easily, reliably, and cheaply?"

I have ranted against the added complexity and unreliability of electronic parking brakes in a couple of automotive forums, but that seems to be a solution-in-search-of-a-problem heading rapidly toward ubiquity.
Good point. But haven't they replaced most friction shifters with index shifting? Most Bifters shift the front derailleur without much problem and if it starts to rub the micro adjust is just as simple. On mountain bikes it seems as if twist shifters and trigger shifters have replaced friction shifters as well. Of my 4 bikes none of them have classic friction shifters. The oldest bike is a 2000 Trek 800 however.
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Old 02-19-09, 10:08 PM   #16
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All electronic shifting is improvements. The shifts are faster, smoother and error free. Sure it comes with a high price initially but the price will drop. Embrace technology. I'm lost when people say they don't want something that's better, faster, or more effective.
Stan, I do actually completely agree with you, and I am definitely someone who loves the newest and neatest stuff....I just don't think that this is going to be a significant improvement is all. I'm all for new technology in lot's of places (and of course we're all just throwing opinions out) but just not here. And just to play devil's advocate, I'm sure there are lot's of people who are just as lost as to how others move away from things that work just fine.
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Old 02-19-09, 10:24 PM   #17
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Let the pros test it for another couple of years. Then let the early adaptors bring the price down. Then I will be interested.
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Old 02-19-09, 10:46 PM   #18
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All electronic shifting is improvements. The shifts are faster, smoother and error free. Sure it comes with a high price initially but the price will drop. Embrace technology. I'm lost when people say they don't want something that's better, faster, or more effective.
Faster? - probably, but with a well tuned friction system I can often shift as fast as pressing a button. Many riders, myself included, don't care much about speed shifting.

More effective? - I suppose in competitive situations it would be.

Better? - now there's a can of worms if I ever saw one. As Bill Clinton would say, "define better".
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Old 02-19-09, 11:08 PM   #19
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Electronic shifting? Mavic beat Shim to it over a decade ago.
Lots noise, lotsa hype, lotsa a buck$ . . . minimal sales.
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Old 02-20-09, 12:56 AM   #20
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Bring it on...
cables aren;t gonna disappear at any time real soon.
only thing that will happen if it sells is all the mech stuff will be cheeper...
curious enough to wanna see and 'ride', even though riding a trainer is really nothing of any value.
They'll need to give me a Calfee Bamboo with eel-eek-tron-hick stuff soz I can test it up on the upper minefield called 'Gibraltar'. The real test is realizing you're on a 15% grade, totally toasted and locked into a gear 3 cogs too tall, and goin 3 mph and dropping rapidly.
If it will then shift at all, I'll think twice about it...
...I'll make a point of looking for it at Solvang TT...
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Old 02-20-09, 07:07 AM   #21
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I remember when we used to crank the Model T to get it started. Man, that was fun, it almost always worked. I can't imagine why we went to those electric starters!
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Old 02-20-09, 07:20 AM   #22
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Haven't I heard this argument before...........something about Carbon Fiber frames. It's just an advancement in technology, it's not the end of the world. It's not even necessary for most folks to go out and buy one. After all, how many of you have carbon fiber brake rotors on your automobiles? Did you go all shakey when those were invented? Why not, because you recognize that they are in the provence of race car technology and will probably stay there. A few hyper enthusiasts might experiment with them, but that's hardly going to affect the average car owner.

And who knows, in a decade or so you may look back (like we do today with CF bike frames and constantly variable cam timing in automobiles) and wonder "why were we so slow to get those advancements into production".

How old were you when the very first commercially viable home computer was placed into retail establishments for use? (hint, probably considered to be the Tandy product sold at Radio Shack circa 1978). How many of you thought you'd ever need one?
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Old 02-20-09, 07:21 AM   #23
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how well does the front d handle chain rub ?

perfectly. it senses rub and changes position accordingly
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Old 02-20-09, 08:45 AM   #24
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Incremental improvements over time is how evolution works too. Not every change is an improvement though and only time will tell. It's a good thing to see IMHO.
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Old 02-20-09, 08:49 AM   #25
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Haven't I heard this argument before...........
I remember the same said about index shifting, brifters, the need for 8/9/10 speeds, CF forks, wheels with fewer than 36/32 spokes, etc.
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