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Teach me about electronic shifting.

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Teach me about electronic shifting.

Old 01-27-17, 01:43 PM
  #1  
Don in Austin
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Teach me about electronic shifting.

I am getting interested in putting this on a bike. While I am pretty good at doing my own mechanic work, I don't know a thing about electronic shifting. So I have two real basic questions that could be deal-breakers:

Can I run a cassette with any numbers I choose?
I am partial to a very broad range as opposed to fine-tuning my gear choice. Currently I like my 11/36 9 speed cassette behind a 50/34. So could I use 11/36 11 speed w 50/34 front? Or does it have to be a whole pre-determined package?

I do not like road bike bars, but much prefer straight or butterfly bars. It seems that an SRAM set will allow me to run a couple of buttons to shift with as opposed to brakes and shifters combined?

Very basic questions, but I am starting at ground zero here.

Don in Austin
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Old 01-27-17, 02:32 PM
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Unless you can change the controller's programing to then change the der movement commands you will be stuck with the cog count that was OE. As to gear range, that's more a chain wrap and upper pulley/large cog underside thing. The same as with cable driven systems. I believe that Shimano also has remote (from the brake levers) controls. Andy.
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Old 01-27-17, 02:49 PM
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They don't work if the battery is discharged. Deal killer for me.
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Old 01-27-17, 03:18 PM
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Bikes don't work if you fail to pump up the tires also, which has to be done a lot more often than a battery charge.
Di2 lasts 600-1000 miles, but easy enough to just plug in the
charger/battery on the first of each month for those of us that go less than 600 miles/month.

11-36 cassettes are only feasible with the XT/XTR RD with Shimano. Actually you go to 11-40 cassettes in 11 spd.
The buttons on the brifters or bar shifters will work equally well with road or ATB deraillers, so an Ultegra FD for the
CW and XT/XTR for the RD will get you what you want, in Di2. Work arounds might be a longer RD hanger, if you
can find one, and there is a shop up east (?Wolf) that will install a longer RD swing arm on a road Di2 RD, useful
in the 10spd SS era when RD was limited to 28 cassette. A GS RD with a longer hanger might cover 11-36. That is
basically what the extended range ATB RDs do, they have an extended built in RD hanger (and a clutch).

SRAM is supposed to come out real soon now with an extended range electric RD, probably meant for 1x11 shifting,
dunnoh, haven't seen a write up. XT Di2 RD is also a real soon now component, should be about half of the XTR
pricing.

Last edited by sch; 01-27-17 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 01-27-17, 04:14 PM
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I have the same questions as the OP. I worked for years in bike shops but these new electronic components are a black box to me. I'll be watching this thread.

Gets me thinking on when the manufacturers will come out with electronic, wireless, servo-actuator disk brakes. Just think, no cables, no tubes and no wires at all. How clean and cool a bike would that be? ABS brakes on bikes? I think it's coming. Other than being cost-prohibitive.......

Looks like the technology is already being tested:
http://www.bikeradar.com/us/news/art...e-brake-32064/


-

Last edited by drlogik; 01-27-17 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 01-27-17, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by drlogik View Post
electronic, wireless, servo-actuator disk brakes. Just think, no cables, no tubes and no wires at all. How clean and cool a bike would that be? ABS brakes on bikes? I think it's coming. Other than being cost-prohibitive.......
One of the charms of bikes, for me, is the simplicity and robustness of their mechanical systems. You can see and feel what is going on. And I am no Luddite, I have over 40 years' experience in designing complex, multi-million dollar RF and microwave test systems, and as an Extra Class ham radio operator. One of the pleasures of cycling for me is getting away from all of that. YMMV.
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Old 01-27-17, 06:49 PM
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dsbrantjr,

I hear you and am in a similar situation in my professional life; however, I do love simplistic-looking bikes, hence my love of fixed gear bikes. If there was a way to make a completely wireless, hose-less, cable-less, shifter-less bike that is multi-speed, I'd love to see it. Kind of anachronism in the biking world. high-tech yet looks low tech.
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Old 01-27-17, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
One of the charms of bikes, for me, is the simplicity and robustness of their mechanical systems. You can see and feel what is going on. And I am no Luddite, I have over 40 years' experience in designing complex, multi-million dollar RF and microwave test systems, and as an Extra Class ham radio operator. One of the pleasures of cycling for me is getting away from all of that. YMMV.
I was away from biking from 1982 until 2005 when I purchased a Trek. I saw quite a significant shift in bike technology over those years. I recently purchased another new bike and there is a lot of refinement in the past 10 years. No telling what the future may bring. Personally, I am looking for a decent quality 10 speed from the 60s/70s to restore and put back on the road. Good and simple never goes out of style. By the way, KM4GA here.
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Old 01-27-17, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
One of the charms of bikes, for me, is the simplicity and robustness of their mechanical systems. You can see and feel what is going on. And I am no Luddite, I have over 40 years' experience in designing complex, multi-million dollar RF and microwave test systems, and as an Extra Class ham radio operator. One of the pleasures of cycling for me is getting away from all of that. YMMV.
The bicycle was, until recently, the last bastion of low tech. I guess it had to happen, but we don't have to like it.
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Old 01-27-17, 09:01 PM
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I would like to learn about electronic shifting as well and respectfully ask that the mechanical vs electronic debate and editorials about the charm of simple bikes be taken offline or to another thread.

I'm thinking about buying a bike that comes in Ultegra and Apex mechanical. The Apex cost $1000 less. I could buy the Apex bike, save $1000 up front cost and upgrade to Ultegra Di2 and the cost would not be much more than the Ultegra mechanical bike.

This will be a gravel race bike (mud) where electronic has a definite advantage. I don't know much about electronic however and would like to learn something. Hope that can happen here without this turning into a bunch of drama.


-Tim-

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Old 01-27-17, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
I would like to learn about electronic shifting as well and respectfully ask that the mechanical vs electronic debate and editorials about the charm of simple bikes be taken offline or to another thread.

I'm thinking about buying a bike that comes in Ultegra and Apex mechanical. The Apex cost $1000 less. I could buy the Apex bike, save $1000 up front cost and upgrade to Ultegra Di2 and the cost would not be much more than the Ultegra mechanical bike.

This will be a gravel race bike (mud) where electronic has a definite advantage. I don't know much about electronic however and would like to learn something. Hope that can happen here without this turning into a bunch of drama.


-Tim-
OK, I'll try not to rain on your parade. For the record, I have serviced bikes with electronic shifting systems, and of course, one must test ride after servicing. I will grudgingly admit they are pretty slick.
Just don't get me going on belt drives.
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Old 01-27-17, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
They don't work if the battery is discharged. Deal killer for me.
It isn't much of an issue. The charge lasts about six months, and, for kicks, I deliberately ran mine down. The FD goes first, and gives you plenty of warning. At least in the Shimano case.
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Old 01-27-17, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Don in Austin View Post
I am getting interested in putting this on a bike. While I am pretty good at doing my own mechanic work, I don't know a thing about electronic shifting. So I have two real basic questions that could be deal-breakers:

Can I run a cassette with any numbers I choose?
I am partial to a very broad range as opposed to fine-tuning my gear choice. Currently I like my 11/36 9 speed cassette behind a 50/34. So could I use 11/36 11 speed w 50/34 front? Or does it have to be a whole pre-determined package?

I do not like road bike bars, but much prefer straight or butterfly bars. It seems that an SRAM set will allow me to run a couple of buttons to shift with as opposed to brakes and shifters combined?

Very basic questions, but I am starting at ground zero here.

Don in Austin
I think the Shimano XT version for mountain bikes will do what you need.
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