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Electronic group set maintenance costs

Old 10-03-22, 10:23 AM
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Electronic group set maintenance costs

Due to some unpleasant events, I need to replace my road bike. I started to contemplate the new and expensive world of electronic shifting and I wonder about maintenance costs.
I am used with the very low maintenance costs of a Sram Force 22 mechanical group set - I only replaced chains, cables and brake pads over many years of riding.

So: what would be maintenance costs for an electronic group set in a long run (5-10 years)?
Thanks
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Old 10-03-22, 10:52 AM
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Probably battery(ies), charger (if damaged); brake pads, chain as usual. If new bike is in order, it will probably come with disc brakes so, brake fluid changes.
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Old 10-03-22, 11:04 AM
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Thanks.
Those would not be big issues.
But I know the derailleurs use some sort of "stepper motors". Much more complicated than my system with cheap cables. Do they wear over - let's say 8-10 years of moderate use? That would probably mean replacing the whole system.
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Old 10-03-22, 12:09 PM
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My 6 year old, 4,xxx mile, Gunnar Sport with Ultegra Di2 has cost nothing, attributable to the Di2, to maintain so far. Even the internal battery is original. I very much like the electronic shifting and I had to adjust the derailers only once.

Last edited by flanso; 10-04-22 at 02:27 PM. Reason: auto spell correction does not like Ultegra
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Old 10-03-22, 12:26 PM
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I haven't had to do any maintenance to my Di2 since the bike was new over 2 years ago. For a cable pulled system I had previously I will have had to adjust it once maybe even twice a year. Maybe even be looking at replacing a cable by now.

Though my electronic shifting has saved me some expense or in my case just my time since I DIY, I'm still probably on the hook for the what so far is the unlikely event that a component goes bad. But I'm okay with that. I don't buy things that I can't afford to easily replace. And that includes the bike itself.

So if you are taking out a loan and pledging your firstborn as collateral for a bike, then maybe you should consider something not so expensive. In a half dozen years or so, electronic shifting will be into lower tier bikes. It's already made it to 105.
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Old 10-03-22, 01:24 PM
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I got my Shimano Di2 in 2014, and there haven't been any maintenance costs due to the electronic components per se. I've replaced cassettes, chains, chainrings and cranksets, due to normal mechanical wear (and trying new gear ratios), but I haven't had a single expense related to electronic shifting, subsequent to purchase (apart from a few $0.01 added to my electricity bill).

I really beat on mine nearly every day, FWIW.
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Old 10-03-22, 01:28 PM
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Thanks.

It looks that the system might require fairly low expenses for maintenance. I'll still keep it on my radar. No matter what, I don't take a loan for buying a bike. But nowadays the mix of carbon frame and electronic shifting looks still expensive for me. On the other hand, the old combination of light carbon bike with Sram Force is difficult to find. Maybe electronic shifting is really the future.

Last edited by Redbullet; 10-03-22 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 10-03-22, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
Maybe electronic shifting is really the future.
Not for me..

I had a Di2 flatbar bike back in 2013 and while it was nice, I find that I like good old mechanical shifting better. I had that bike for 4 years and put 10's of thousands of miles on it and I never had any issues or expenses associated with it.. It was basically maintenance free other than I needed to go to bike shop for firmware updates and remember to charge the battery every 4 months or so.. I believe the system that was on my bike was actually called Ui2 from Shimano...
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Old 10-03-22, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
Due to some unpleasant events, I need to replace my road bike. I started to contemplate the new and expensive world of electronic shifting and I wonder about maintenance costs.
I am used with the very low maintenance costs of a Sram Force 22 mechanical group set - I only replaced chains, cables and brake pads over many years of riding.

So: what would be maintenance costs for an electronic group set in a long run (5-10 years)?
Thanks
My Di2 from 2016 (6-8K miles/yr) has required roughly zero dollars in maintenance. Ask me again in 2026 and I'll let you know how it's doing at 10 years.

FWIW, MY Di2 also requires fewer adjustments and is more reliable than my manual (all Ultegra). No cables to stretch or corrode. You can make minor tweaks while riding, if necessary (maybe once every 5-10K miles, or after a crash or dropped bike). There's a reason electronic shifting has effectively taken over.

Pro tip- always carry a charging cable in your travel kit, and check your battery charge periodically. a charge lasts several months, but if your bike gets stored with something pressing the shift lever, you can run a charge pretty low without knowing that. In 6 years of riding Di2, I've only run a battery completely out once. Every other time I let it get low, even when was flashing warning lights, it still worked.

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Old 10-03-22, 04:08 PM
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A battery only lasts so many years. So between cable and housing and battery replacement it probably is a wash long term.

The real question is if in 10 years you still can get a compatible battery. I once replaced a battery on my 3 year old phone and learned Samsung didn't even make batteries anymore and I had to buy a 3rd party battery. It worked OK, but would worry about something that I potentially keep for 10+ years

And in case of physical damage or some malfunction the electronic definitely is more expensive.

If you have to ask about cost, you probably shouldn't afford it....
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Old 10-03-22, 04:44 PM
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My other 2 here... 10 years is a long time for a bike. Certainly we'll see many more new advancements in tech. At least I hope so. And I hope in ten years to be ready to get rid of whatever the next bike is that I buy 2 or 3 years from now.

Bikes of vintage days were great. Bikes of today are great, Bikes of tomorrow will also be great. I wish to ride them all and not be stuck in the past.
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Old 10-03-22, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
My other 2 here... 10 years is a long time for a bike. Certainly we'll see many more new advancements in tech. At least I hope so. And I hope in ten years to be ready to get rid of whatever the next bike is that I buy 2 or 3 years from now.

Bikes of vintage days were great. Bikes of today are great, Bikes of tomorrow will also be great. I wish to ride them all and not be stuck in the past.
Also worth considering is that there are a LOT of bikes out there with electronic shifting. There may be come incentive for third party battery and parts replacements a few years down the line.
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Old 10-03-22, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
So: what would be maintenance costs for an electronic group set in a long run (5-10 years)?
I've ridden on 10, 11, and now 12-speed Di2 groupsets over tens of thousands of miles. The maintenance costs have been exactly $0 more than mechanical (okay there is the occasional charging, which adds a few cents to my electricity bill).

Hardly ever had to make any derailleur adjustments, never replaced a battery or a cable. In fact I've just pulled the 10-speed Ultegra Di2 off my older bike and it's operating as good as the day I bought it!
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Old 10-03-22, 06:41 PM
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In 6 years I have done nothing but replace normal wear items minus shift cables and housing. I haven't really had to do extra maintenance it has saved me some money on that front.
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Old 10-03-22, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
Thanks.

It looks that the system might require fairly low expenses for maintenance. I'll still keep it on my radar. No matter what, I don't take a loan for buying a bike. But nowadays the mix of carbon frame and electronic shifting looks still expensive for me. On the other hand, the old combination of light carbon bike with Sram Force is difficult to find. Maybe electronic shifting is really the future.
you might need to look a campy or see what you can find now for a future build

Shimano is not doing mechanical 105,ultegra and Dura Ace and rim brakes are going or gone also
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Old 10-03-22, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
My other 2 here... 10 years is a long time for a bike. Certainly we'll see many more new advancements in tech. At least I hope so. And I hope in ten years to be ready to get rid of whatever the next bike is that I buy 2 or 3 years from now.

Bikes of vintage days were great. Bikes of today are great, Bikes of tomorrow will also be great. I wish to ride them all and not be stuck in the past.
10 years should not be long for a bike....my issues it my choice for mechanical shifting and rim brakes in higher end groups is going away, I don't want to be forced into technology I don't want. to me this is different thang going from 9 to 10 to 11 to 12 speeds
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Old 10-04-22, 10:21 AM
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...for a few years, I was a person doing automotive electrical and electronical trouble shooting and (in theory) repairs. I have absolutely zero experience or knowledge of bicycle electromagical shifting systems. None at all, so take this with a shaker full of salt. They do seem pretty simple in design.

Those car systems (much more complex than bicycle Di2 systems) required little or nothing in the way of maintenance. That's the beauty of electronics. OTOH, when something went wrong (and when you are in the repair end of it, that's all you see), the repair costs were often quite high, and it was not unusual to replace stuff that was expensive. So I will probably not be buying something like that any time soon. But that's just me, and I am pretty old.
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Old 10-04-22, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
10 years should not be long for a bike....my issues it my choice for mechanical shifting and rim brakes in higher end groups is going away, I don't want to be forced into technology I don't want. to me this is different thang going from 9 to 10 to 11 to 12 speeds
Fully agree.
Not to mention that I saw 60-80% increase in prices during the last 6-7 years, for good and light carbon bikes. Although they use the same group set, similar frames, similar wheels (maybe 20-40 g lighter) and so on. The income of most people do not increase at that rate...
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Old 10-04-22, 02:02 PM
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60 - 80% would actually be a decrease!

A 2022 S-works Tarmac is about $14,250 USD a 2009 S-works Tarmac was about a $10,500 USD bike. Adjusting for inflation on this site would also show that current S-works price to be a decrease.

https://www.inflationtool.com/us-dol...equency=yearly

$10,500 in 2009 =$14,583.98 in 2022
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Old 10-04-22, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
60 - 80% would actually be a decrease!

A 2022 S-works Tarmac is about $14,250 USD a 2009 S-works Tarmac was about a $10,500 USD bike. Adjusting for inflation on this site would also show that current S-works price to be a decrease.

https://www.inflationtool.com/us-dol...equency=yearly
That's a different level, I am not there. What I bought in 2016 for 2400 EUR costs now 4300 EUR - that is 80% increase. 800 g heavier, but "new" brand, 2022.

With regards to the price of 10000 - 14000 USD, that is not an usual level for recreational cycling. It already goes close to "professional" level. I think that the average citizen even in USA should spend 3-4 months salary for such an investment.
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Old 10-04-22, 03:04 PM
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PS: your link shows 40% increase in 11 years. For lower bike price of around 2500 EUR, the increase is 80% within 6-7 years. Big difference. Most enthusiast recreational users used to buy in the range of 2000 - 3000 EUR. Exactly where they put the biggest increase of 80% in 6 years.

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Old 10-04-22, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
That's a different level, I am not there. What I bought in 2016 for 2400 EUR costs now 4300 EUR - that is 80% increase. 800 g heavier, but "new" brand, 2022.
So perhaps your 2022 bike is not the same tier model as the bike you bought in 2016. Bike manufactures that I'm accustomed with usually make quite a few different offerings of the same frame with different components on the bike that put it at many different price tiers.
With regards to the price of 10000 - 14000 USD, that is not an usual level for recreational cycling. It already goes close to "professional" level. I think that the average citizen even in USA should spend 3-4 months salary for such an investment.
The average citizen in the USA probably doesn't even own a bike. Cycling can be considered a hobby for most of us. And we are willing to pay a good amount of money to enjoy our hobbies. Personally, between owning a sailboat and sailing, golfing, camping/hiking, cycling and even fishing, cycling is one of the least expensive hobbies I've ever had.
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Old 10-04-22, 04:09 PM
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My Sept 2014 6800 Di2 is still perfect, after 8 years and 30,000+ miles. Yes, the buttons still click instantly, precisely. There's no wear in the derailleur pivots -- I can't wiggle the derailleur by grabbing with my fingers. The hoods are fine, the rim brakes are fine. I shift gears "all the time", often for just a few pedal revolutions, and a rough estimate is that I've done way more than 500,000 shifts. I can even shift with my ring finger while on the hoods--nice!


I swapped the seatpost battery at about 4 1/2 years old -- it still worked, but the time between charging was turning into "days" instead of "weeks".

It's quite surprising to me. I thought recently "maybe I should buy spares while they are still around, just in case" But it appears I can actually substitute a Di2 8050 derailleur in with my existing components -- good.

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Old 10-04-22, 06:24 PM
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When the foreign governments pull out all the stops and shut down the e-grid and your batteries need a charge, its a no go situation. Meanwhile the luddites that run mechanical, such as myself, will be out on the road. My suggestion is to keep a mechanical machine in the stable at all times, for just such an emergency.
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Old 10-04-22, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post

It looks that the system might require fairly low expenses for maintenance. Maybe electronic shifting is really the future.
Ya think?
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