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eTap or GRX mechanical?

Old 04-24-23, 09:19 AM
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daanbr78
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eTap or GRX mechanical?

Hi, looking for a new gravel bike.
In my price range I can get an eTap or GRX mechanical groups set. Both 1x

it is the
SRAM Rival XPLR eTap AXS, or the
Shimano GRX 810 mechanical (200 euro cheaper)

I ride Ultegra Di2 on my road bike. Never ridden SRAM before (which is not a principal issue for me).

Should I get the electrical or the mechanical? And why?

many thanks for the input!
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Old 04-24-23, 11:41 AM
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Your question may open a can of worms. But, having ridden Shimano mechanical (for a long time) and Di2, I would choose electronic over mechanical ten times out of ten. It's more consistent, more reliable, more trouble-free.

And note that anyone with concerns about dead batteries obviously has zero experience with electronic drivetrains - since, with any of them, it would require negligence to the point of sheer idiocy to actually run out of power in normal use.
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Old 04-24-23, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
And note that anyone with concerns about dead batteries obviously has zero experience with electronic drivetrains - since, with any of them, it would require negligence to the point of sheer idiocy to actually run out of power in normal use.
Sheer idiocy like what's required to shift into a big-big combination? (Like I did this morning??)
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Old 04-24-23, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by daanbr78
Hi, looking for a new gravel bike.
In my price range I can get an eTap or GRX mechanical groups set. Both 1x

it is the
SRAM Rival XPLR eTap AXS, or the
Shimano GRX 810 mechanical (200 euro cheaper)

I ride Ultegra Di2 on my road bike. Never ridden SRAM before (which is not a principal issue for me).

Should I get the electrical or the mechanical? And why?

many thanks for the input!
Is GRX a 2x or 1x? That would be the deciding factor for me (I prefer 2x) If thatís not important to you, Iíd go with Rival. I have a mix of Rival and Force on my Aspero and itís absolutely perfect.
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Old 04-24-23, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
Sheer idiocy like what's required to shift into a big-big combination? (Like I did this morning??)
There's nothing wrong with shifting into big-big, as long as your chain isn't too short.
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Old 04-24-23, 03:13 PM
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The SRAM electronic drivetrain should be just as good. It is their brakes that make me worry.
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Old 04-24-23, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
And note that anyone with concerns about dead batteries obviously has zero experience with electronic drivetrains - since, with any of them, it would require negligence to the point of sheer idiocy to actually run out of power in normal use.
A good friend of mine has been riding Di2 drivetrains for many years. It's shocking how often he ends up with a dead battery in the middle of a ride. He's a good rider, and a gifted woodworker, but really sucks at taking care of his bikes.
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Old 04-24-23, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
A good friend of mine has been riding Di2 drivetrains for many years. It's shocking how often he ends up with a dead battery in the middle of a ride. He's a good rider, and a gifted woodworker, but really sucks at taking care of his bikes.
The battery not only lasts a long time, but the system practically grabs you by the collar and shouts at you long before the battery completely dies. It's impossible to miss.
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Old 04-24-23, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
The battery not only lasts a long time, but the system practically grabs you by the collar and shouts at you long before the battery completely dies. It's impossible to miss.
My friend is very talented at forgetting to do things that he told himself to do before. It's truly baffling.
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Old 04-25-23, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
The SRAM electronic drivetrain should be just as good. It is their brakes that make me worry.
Could you elaborate?
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Old 04-25-23, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by daanbr78
Could you elaborate?
thereís nothing wrong with their brakes
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Old 04-25-23, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by daanbr78
Could you elaborate?
Turkeys attempt mating behavior when you apply the brakes.

DOT fluid.

They bought the technology from Avid.
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Old 04-25-23, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
Turkeys attempt mating behavior when you apply the brakes.

DOT fluid.

They bought the technology from Avid.
I was riding with a group of about 10, and we got caught in the rain about halfway through our ride. As things got wet, disc brakes began to howl. It sounded like a zoo pen of angry chimpanzees every time our group stopped for a traffic light. While not all of the bikes with SRAM disc brakes were howling, all of the ones that were howling were SRAM. Just an observation.
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Old 04-25-23, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
I was riding with a group of about 10, and we got caught in the rain about halfway through our ride. As things got wet, disc brakes began to howl. It sounded like a zoo pen of angry chimpanzees every time our group stopped for a traffic light. While not all of the bikes with SRAM disc brakes were howling, all of the ones that were howling were SRAM. Just an observation.
Thatís interesting. My GRX brakes always squealed when wet
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Old 04-25-23, 12:48 PM
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I'd prefer Shimano brakes over SRAM, but not sure this would be a deciding factor in the question being asked.

For the OP - I'd probably think about what kind of priorities you have for this build. There's more at play here than just "mechanical vs electronic". SRAM Rival AXS XPLR is 1x.GRX 810 is 2x. This is a much bigger difference than electronic vs mechanical.

I personally would go with the SRAM, but I like 1x setups and currently have a GRX 11sp mechanical 1x setup that works great for what I need. I know others disagree, so this is definitely the main consideration here.
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Old 04-26-23, 05:13 AM
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The same bike available with either group?
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Old 04-26-23, 05:31 AM
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It depends of what you do with the bike.

If you go for long unsupported rides bag packing in nature, I go GRX simply because of the simplicity - no need to think about charging.
If you want it as a sports bike, I'd go etap rival which give the opportunity to add less expensive powermeter and if you do big steep offroad, you can swap rear derailleur and cassette and fit a eagle wide range without having to compromise.
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Old 04-27-23, 07:50 PM
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GRX brakes are incredible. SRAM brakes will get the job done...
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Old 04-27-23, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
A good friend of mine has been riding Di2 drivetrains for many years. It's shocking how often he ends up with a dead battery in the middle of a ride. He's a good rider, and a gifted woodworker, but really sucks at taking care of his bikes.
He might have an old battery needing replacing. Or he's too stupid and lazy to pay attention to his battery level. Perhaps electronic shifting is something he should have avoided, but its really not that hard.
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Old 04-28-23, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B.
He might have an old battery needing replacing. Or he's too stupid and lazy to pay attention to his battery level. Perhaps electronic shifting is something he should have avoided, but its really not that hard.
I understand. He gets lazy and distracted. "I need to remember to..." rarely gets remembered. He has the same issues with his bike computer, light, and other assorted rechargeable devices. It's come to the point of being comedic.
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Old 04-28-23, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
I understand. He gets lazy and distracted. "I need to remember to..." rarely gets remembered. He has the same issues with his bike computer, light, and other assorted rechargeable devices. It's come to the point of being comedic.
More likely he's just forgetful, but it could be undiagnosed ADHD.
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Old 04-28-23, 01:50 PM
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I wish I'd saved a pic of the bike with a 12V on the rear rack.
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Old 04-28-23, 02:19 PM
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The concern over charging and battery life vastly overblown, IMO.

SRAM eTap shifter batteries last a year or longer, and the rechargeable derailleur shifter batteries are good for 60+ hours of use on a single charge. There are little lights on the derailleurs that tell you the status - these illuminate each time you shift. If they're green, you've got at least 25% battery charge (roughly 15hrs or more). If they're solid red, it's between 15%-25% (roughly 9-15hrs of ride time). If they're flashing red, you've got less than 15%/9hrs. Also if you're on 2x eTap and one of the batteries dies, you can always swap the front and rear so you'd still have gears to get home.

Di2 has similar warnings for battery life, you just have to press a button to see the lights. Both systems can be sync'd with head units to display battery life and warnings. Both systems have apps that will also tell you the battery life and provide warnings when it's low.

I would love to know what kind of crazy rides people are doing where they have to have mechanical shifting because they're so far off the grid for so long that recharging is some kind of barrier.
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