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$3000'ish Shimano Electronic Group Set

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$3000'ish Shimano Electronic Group Set

Old 09-30-08, 12:15 PM
  #1  
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$3000'ish Shimano Electronic Group Set

Shimano is bringing their electronic shifting/braking component set to market in Jan, '09. Rumored price is around $3000.

http://www.velonews.com/article/81107

http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,6...7691-1,00.html

Supposedly it monitors all shifts and ensure all are perfect, at the touch of a button.

So are 50+'ers impressed with the new technology, which could make cycling easier on us?

Or is it just one more step away from the near-perfect lugged steel bikes of the 60s & 70s?

Users are reporting battery life of up to 2000 miles of riding.
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Old 09-30-08, 12:35 PM
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Stuff I can't afford might as well be on Mars.


I'd like to own a Ferrari F40 Competizione also...
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Old 09-30-08, 12:43 PM
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I know I'm not the only one thinking about linking electronic shifter info to those electrode weight loss gizmos that make muscles twitch? Maybe integrate a good GPS for outdoors and my Tacx for indoor workouts?

Am I suffering anticipation of pre-winter motivation blues?
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Old 09-30-08, 12:48 PM
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The thing here is they keep making things easier, So they say, But I enjoy riding because of the things that they claim are difficult. I am still one that does not and has never owned an automatic transmission in a vehicle. The difficulty is they come up with all this new electronic stuff and take the fun out of driving or riding. So in my opinion no it is not worth it. But I just hope that it does not get like the auto makers where you can not even buy a pick up truck with a manual transmission in a 1/2 ton any more and the 3/4 ton are very limited. Will bikes soon be this way?
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Old 09-30-08, 12:49 PM
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I'm going to get them.......BUT, 3K seems a bit steep.
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Old 09-30-08, 12:52 PM
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My riding wish list has never included being stuck in some random gear because my shift battery needs a charge. Friction shifting still does it for me.
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Old 09-30-08, 01:18 PM
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The price is out of range but if it became affordable I would be interested. I donít care how a bike or a car gets into gear only that it does what I want it to do. If this new systems works and it is dependable I am all for it. I donít use a wind up watch anymore. With the exception of one family heirloom pocket watch.
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Old 09-30-08, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
... I donít use a wind up watch anymore. With the exception of one family heirloom pocket watch.
I am in precisely the same position regarding timepieces -- I have a cheap-but-accurate Casio digital for daily wear, plus my great-grandfather's gorgeous gold 1922 Vacheron & Constantin 8-day pocket watch, which is still good for about 5 or 6 days between windings.
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Old 09-30-08, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
My riding wish list has never included being stuck in some random gear because my shift battery needs a charge. Friction shifting still does it for me.
I feel the same way, since I actually greatly enjoy shifting a set of friction barcons, thumb levers, or downtube levers. I particularly appreciate being able to mix and match cogsets, derailleurs, and shift levers at will and being able to effect on-the-road repairs with simple lightweight hand tools and a couple of spare spokes and cables. This is also why I object so vehemently to reduced spoke count wheelsets; with a good old-school 36-spoke wheel, and sometimes even with a 32-spoker, I can limp home with a broken spoke.
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Old 09-30-08, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
My riding wish list has never included being stuck in some random gear because my shift battery needs a charge. Friction shifting still does it for me.
Yup. I never did understand why such a simple task as shifting a bicycle chain has become so complicated. But then, I don't understand marketing driven engineering either.

Long live friction shifting.

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Old 09-30-08, 03:52 PM
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I'm sure the price will be lower when it comes installed on a high-end bike. Just like right now one can sometimes buy an entire bike for what Shimano shows as a list price for the group set on the bike.

Obviously us recreational Freds will have no problems continuing onward using friction and indexed shifters and regular brakes. I still can't get water or ice from my refridgerator door, no automated ice maker either. I still have ice cube trays in my freezer.
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Old 09-30-08, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
I'm sure the price will be lower when it comes installed on a high-end bike. Just like right now one can sometimes buy an entire bike for what Shimano shows as a list price for the group set on the bike.

Obviously us recreational Freds will have no problems continuing onward using friction and indexed shifters and regular brakes. I still can't get water or ice from my refridgerator door, no automated ice maker either. I still have ice cube trays in my freezer.
You have a point but do you still turn a knob on your TV or do you have a wireless remote? Is your fridge a frost-free or do you still manually defrost it? Is your oven self-cleaning? I don't know how these units work and understand how they might be too complicated for most of us. It may never be affordable for us either but we know how easy it is for someone to build a bike from composite unobtainium and sell it to us because it is lighter and easier to form. If the system is dependable and affordable I am sure some riders will be willing to buy it simply because it is lighter. If it is out of our range then only a few will be showing up and I may never even see one in action.
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Old 09-30-08, 05:44 PM
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I am very impressed with the engineering. I am also very uninterested in owning it. But I have learned to never say never.
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Old 09-30-08, 06:01 PM
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i won't pay $3,000 for an entire bike, let alone for just the components of one.

be well,

jim
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Old 10-01-08, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
You have a point but do you still turn a knob on your TV or do you have a wireless remote? Is your fridge a frost-free or do you still manually defrost it? Is your oven self-cleaning? I don't know how these units work and understand how they might be too complicated for most of us. It may never be affordable for us either but we know how easy it is for someone to build a bike from composite unobtainium and sell it to us because it is lighter and easier to form. If the system is dependable and affordable I am sure some riders will be willing to buy it simply because it is lighter. If it is out of our range then only a few will be showing up and I may never even see one in action.
My fridge is frost free, But the old ones do wear out and I do not believe you can not buy one that is not frost free anymore, If they were avaliable I probably would have, Same situation with television I do not believe there are any with knobs. and no my oven is not self cleaning. Like I said before I have never owned an auto transmission vehicle. I do not see anything at all wrong with improvement and advancement but I believe that people should always have a choice as to what they want. I think the new components are great and I can see where they would be good for some purpose, But I would not get them and would have no need for them. I just do not want things to get like they have with everything else and your choice goes away.

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Old 10-01-08, 05:54 AM
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Consumer products like refridgerators and televisions have traditionally become less expensive or at the least have remained at the same price with additional features. That TV remote basically costs nothing.

I wish I could say the same about bikes. Prices seem to be moving up the price/performance spiral pretty fast.
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Old 10-01-08, 07:27 AM
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The only real advantage I can see for electronic shifting is on a time trial bike, where you can put shift buttons on both the tri-bars and at the ends of the cowhorns, giving you the ability to shift without changing position from the "down" position as well as from the brake levers. Probably worth a couple of seconds.

The disadvantages of electronic shifting:
- reliability: most things that go wrong with cars are electrical, not mechanical. Suppose the system conks out in the middle of a long ride? The mechanical override probably involves reaching down/getting off the bike and pushing the derailleur; very inconvenient. Question: would you trust electronic braking?
- expense: instead of replacing the cables every year or so, you are replacing batteries every couple of months.

Historically, reliability has been the main antidote to marketing in harsh riding environments, such as the Pacific Northwest. Many products designed for easy environments such as Southern California are completely hopeless in a typical Vancouver winter, with heavy rain, darkness, sand and salt on the roads being sprayed onto all parts of the bike, and the odd wet snowfall. Back in the 70's, I could destroy a set of California-made and California-designed Phil Wood hubs and bottom brackets in two months of winter commuting (which is why I never use Phil stuff). Until I started regularly washing off my cranks, I could always depend on cranks breaking due to impregnation with salt every year or two (I broke six of them before I cottoned on). I still have problems with bike lights failing because water gets into them, so I would be very leary of the Shimano derailleur battery, especially in its current position, which gets lots of water and grit blown up from the front wheel.

I think Shimano should give me one of these units to test thru a Vancouver winter. If anyone could break it, it would be me.

L.
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Old 10-01-08, 09:35 AM
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Once this technology is more mainstream, I would buy it. Generally, commercial version 1.0 introductions of new products have their challenges and prices are generally much higher. A $3,000 price point is too high to support significant sales.

To add a different take on the technology, I suspect we are seeing a similar phenomena that occurred in aircraft controls. Large commercial aircraft were controlled (air surfaces and engines) by mechanical means with redundancy. Today, most, if not all, new airliners are fly by wire with a quad-redundant system. Controls are digital computer enhanced, weight is reduced and reliability and safety increased.

Many years ago, I flew on a new 777 from Washington, DC to Heathrow. The captain came on and stated how happy they were with the new aircraft both from passenger comfort to flight controls (FBW).

Back to bike shifting and braking...do we need this and is Shimano taking a play out of the aircraft manufactures playbook? I do not know. I do know that smart digital controls that are reliable set the stage to do many things a lot better and in general cheaper than their mechanical counterparts. Will this be the case for electronic shifting and braking? Go figure. It may be another Newton or an Ipod.
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Old 10-01-08, 09:35 AM
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My LBS owner still hates 10 speed. Hardly wait to see what he has to say about this!
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Old 10-01-08, 09:58 AM
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I'm waiting till next year when Shimano comes out with the crank set that pedals itself.
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Old 10-01-08, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by MadeInItaly View Post
I'm waiting till next year when Shimano comes out with the crank set that pedals itself.
You need to drop into the Electric Bike forum.
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Old 10-01-08, 11:06 AM
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Electronics would be just something new to fail. I do like the shifters on the levers. They make shifitng surprisingly easier but the old down tube shifting lasted much better and was incredibly simple. I have worn out about 3 of the new shifters and neverb ever wore out a down tube shifter. I understand that people who ride fully loaded touring into remote or primitive areas tend to favor down tube shifters because if you have wire, you can fix them.

It seems to me that electronic shifting is meeting a need that does not exist. But I sort of felt the same about index shifting so what do I know?
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Old 10-01-08, 11:20 AM
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I welcome new technology, but Shimano has got to be kidding if they think for one minute I'm going to shell out $3000.00 for that component.
I can see it now, sorry I can't go riding yet my battery is still charging. LOL

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Old 10-01-08, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
I am very impressed with the engineering. I am also very uninterested in owning it. But I have learned to never say never.
+1 Impressive engineering or not, what's the point of it?
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Old 10-01-08, 01:44 PM
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When they come up with electronic bar end shifters let me know.
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