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Electronic Shifting

Old 07-13-17, 06:04 AM
  #1  
crankythunder
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Electronic Shifting

Ok, don't need a new bicycle, but dang........those new electronic shifters look amazing!!!!!!

Especially that new specialized Roubaix with the electronic shifting and hydraulic disk brakes.

Wow!

and the suspension seat post and handlebar post!

So, tell me, are those $5,000.00 electronic shifting bikes worth it?

As for me, I am a 58 year old who still commutes 20 miles round trip to work every day.......well, three or four times a week. no problem affording it but hard to justify with two kids in college, a ford with 150,000 miles on it, although I do not have a mortgage. Also have a couple other very expensive hobbies as well.

Regards,
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Old 07-13-17, 06:34 AM
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TimothyH
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Only you can say whether it will be worth it.

It was worth it for me.

I have one at Georgia Institute of Technology studying physics and another likely going to art school in two years. The bike certainly wasn't cheap and I could afford it but I still took 30 straight weeks of on-call pay, getting calls at 2:00 AM, to raise extra money for the build.

The bike was a once in a lifetime build and I plan to cycle somewhere in Europe or Asia with it.

Niner RLT 9 RDO, carbon everything, 29'er wheels, Di2, hydraulic brakes, etc.

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Old 07-13-17, 06:36 AM
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That's something only you can answer. I'm in almost the same position as you, but mines a Toyota with 140,000 miles, no mortgage but no kids in college. 2 other, expensive hobbies. But it wouldn't be worth it for me. As sweet as electronic shifting is, it just isn't something I need.

I do "need" a Niner steel gravel bike, but not electronic shifting.
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Old 07-13-17, 06:42 AM
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I think a younger girlfriend on the side would end up being cheaper and require less "maintenance".
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Old 07-13-17, 08:33 AM
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Do the bikes shift great, ride great, etc... ?, of course. I've read very few posts from folks who don't like electronic shifting. Disc brakes, maybe the jury's still out about need on a road bike, but no question it works well.

That Roubaix @ $4600 is a steal, IMO.

For commuting ?. Nope.
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Old 07-13-17, 09:12 AM
  #6  
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@TimothyH is correc: only you can determine if something is worth it or not to you.

I still haven't been convinced indexed shifting is worth it for me and my riding, dropping a couple grand on an electronic shift system certainly isn't worth it. To a racer, it is undoubtedly worth it. To you? If you want it and can afford it, it can easily be worth it.
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Old 07-13-17, 09:15 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Do the bikes shift great, ride great, etc... ?, of course.
Yeah, but so does my 105 mechanical shifting. The real question is, which is more reliable? Which is easier to keep working?
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Old 07-13-17, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Only you can say whether it will be worth it.

It was worth it for me.

I have one at Georgia Institute of Technology studying physics and another likely going to art school in two years. The bike certainly wasn't cheap and I could afford it but I still took 30 straight weeks of on-call pay, getting calls at 2:00 AM, to raise extra money for the build.

The bike was a once in a lifetime build and I plan to cycle somewhere in Europe or Asia with it.

Niner RLT 9 RDO, carbon everything, 29'er wheels, Di2, hydraulic brakes, etc.

That's a nice bike! I'm really impressed with Niner.
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Old 07-13-17, 10:09 AM
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I keep seeing all those Tour riders having electronic shifting failures.
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Old 07-13-17, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
@TimothyH is correc: only you can determine if something is worth it or not to you.

I still haven't been convinced indexed shifting is worth it for me and my riding, dropping a couple grand on an electronic shift system certainly isn't worth it. To a racer, it is undoubtedly worth it. To you? If you want it and can afford it, it can easily be worth it.

Electronic shifting systems don't cost "a couple grand."

My Ultegra 6870 Di2 system cost $857.26 exclusive of levers.

The same Ultegra 6800 mechanical parts (FD, RD, cables) would have cost about $100 and so the actual cost to go electronic was ~$750.

I've never once used the wireless unit and could have saved an additional $80 had I known.






-Tim-
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Old 07-13-17, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I keep seeing all those Tour riders having electronic shifting failures.
Yes, because no bike racer ever had any failures ever when using mechanical.

Who are "all these"?


Last edited by brianmcg123; 07-13-17 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 07-13-17, 10:46 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I keep seeing all those Tour riders having electronic shifting failures.
"All these"?. Two ?. One being Froome, haven't read why. The other was a bent hanger in a crash. That's not a failure of the electronic system.
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Old 07-13-17, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
The same Ultegra 6800 mechanical parts (FD, RD, cables) would have cost about $100 and so the actual cost to go electronic was ~$750.
How much were the shifters, though? Electronic shifting is kinda useless without shifters I was just going off electronic groupset pricing that I have seen. There was no offense intended, most electronic systems I've seen advertised seem to still be over the $1k mark.
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Old 07-13-17, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by memebag View Post
Yeah, but so does my 105 mechanical shifting. The real question is, which is more reliable? Which is easier to keep working?
So does a 3 speed, but that's not the OP's question.
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Old 07-13-17, 11:04 AM
  #15  
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Look at that guy's legs!!!
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Old 07-13-17, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by memebag View Post
Yeah, but so does my 105 mechanical shifting. The real question is, which is more reliable? Which is easier to keep working?
I've had it for more than four years and haven't done one thing to keep it working. Over the same time I would make several cable adjustments and at least one cable replacement for a mechanical shift system.
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Old 07-13-17, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
How much were the shifters, though? Electronic shifting is kinda useless without shifters I was just going off electronic groupset pricing that I have seen. There was no offense intended, most electronic systems I've seen advertised seem to still be over the $1k mark.
No offense taken.

Keep in mind that the groupset prices you are seeing include cranks, chain, brakes and bottom bracket and that you are going to need mechanical derailleurs, cables and housings anyway. I'm talking about the actual cost of going electronic above mechanical. It isn't that much.

An Ultegra 6870 Di2 groupset at is about $1000 right now at Ribble. Wires are extra. An Ultegra 6800 mechanical groupset is about $600 right now at Ribble. That's only a $400 difference (plus wires) to go electronic.

A frequent poster here just bought a high end Cervelo Di2 bike at $120 more than the cost of the same mechanical bike. So electronic really does not cost as much as people think.

I left shifters off because my build used hydraulic brakes. The ST-RS785 Di2 levers and ST-RS685 mechanical shift levers, both for hydraulic brakes, are typically bundled with calipers. They are available separate from calipers but are much more expensive that way. Both models are available at Chain Reaction without calipers just now. The STRS785 Di2 levers are $199 each while the ST-RS685 mechanical shift levers are $188 each - a difference of only $22/pair.
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Old 07-13-17, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
So does a 3 speed, but that's not the OP's question.
I think it is. The OP wants to know if the extra expense for electronic is worth it. Saying "they shift well" doesn't distinguish them from mechanical. If both electronic and mechanical shift well, what does electronic bring to the table?

Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
I've had it for more than four years and haven't done one thing to keep it working. Over the same time I would make several cable adjustments and at least one cable replacement for a mechanical shift system.
Sweet. I've only had these 105 5800s a little under a year and I've already had to replace the rear cable. It was a bit of a pain, too, since I didn't have the right tools to snake it through my frame.
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Old 07-13-17, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by memebag View Post
Yeah, but so does my 105 mechanical shifting. The real question is, which is more reliable? Which is easier to keep working?
I agree completely. There's absolutely no functional difference between Shimano 105 up all the way to the electric shifter. Oh, there is a difference, with d i when you are in the big chainring, and out of the saddle sprinting or climbing, then yes you can shift to the small chainring with no problem. But who in the world would want to do that.
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Old 07-13-17, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by crankythunder View Post

So, tell me, are those $5,000.00 electronic shifting bikes worth it?
Depends on what you plan on doing, and what you value on a bike.

I'm tempted to try Di2 on one of my bikes just to see if I can't get it to do anything weird via arduino or something.

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Old 07-13-17, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Look at that guy's legs!!!
Day-um!
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Old 07-13-17, 11:50 AM
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Things you get from electronic:
-Shifting interface can be light-action and practically zero-throw.
-Shifting interface is more customizable; you can have multiple shifter locations, and button function can be modified.
-In the case of wireless, bikes that come apart in some way (rinko, folding, etc) can be easier to use and have more design freedom.

Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
I agree completely. There's absolutely no functional difference between Shimano 105 up all the way to the electric shifter. Oh, there is a difference, with d i when you are in the big chainring, and out of the saddle sprinting or climbing, then yes you can shift to the small chainring with no problem. But who in the world would want to do that.
Front downshifts are usually easy with mechanical brifters anyway, since you're just letting cable out. It's the upshifts that are problematic, since pulling the cable requires some force, and often the levers need quite a bit of throw to get everything to engage right.
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Old 07-13-17, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Things you get from electronic:
-Shifting interface can be light-action and practically zero-throw.
-Shifting interface is more customizable; you can have multiple shifter locations, and button function can be modified.
-In the case of wireless, bikes that come apart in some way (rinko, folding, etc) can be easier to use and have more design freedom.


Front downshifts are usually easy with mechanical brifters anyway, since you're just letting cable out. It's the upshifts that are problematic, since pulling the cable requires some force, and often the levers need quite a bit of throw to get everything to engage right.
My point is that you would never try to upshift or downshift from the Big Chain ring to the small chain ring when you are standing either in a final Sprint or when climbing, either with di or with conventional shifters.

So other than being able to do something that no real racer or even Enthusiast would do, shifting from the Big Chain ring to the small train ring or a vice versa while going as hard as they can,Is there any other condition in which you believe that di shifting is better than STI.
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Old 07-13-17, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post

The bike was a once in a lifetime build and I plan to cycle somewhere in Europe or Asia with it.

Niner RLT 9 RDO, carbon everything, 29'er wheels, Di2, hydraulic brakes, etc.

Do you mean you will tour "in Europe or Asia with it"?

How are you going to mount panniers? Are you going to tour with a backpack?
Will you take it with you when you'll go to pee pee?
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Old 07-13-17, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by memebag View Post
I think it is. The OP wants to know if the extra expense for electronic is worth it. Saying "they shift well" doesn't distinguish them from mechanical. If both electronic and mechanical shift well, what does electronic bring to the table?

Sweet. I've only had these 105 5800s a little under a year and I've already had to replace the rear cable. It was a bit of a pain, too, since I didn't have the right tools to snake it through my frame.
I actually said "They shift great". Does Di2 shift better then 105 or Ultegra, well from all reports it's better than both and better than Dura-Ace. Faster and more precise as well as having additional features such as the ability to program what the buttons do, interface with GPS heads, automatically trim the front derailer, etc... Not to mention cheaper to maintain, PROVIDED something doesn't fail out warranty.

Worth it ?. Not to me a year ago. I think it was about $1200 for a 11 piece Ultegra Di2 system (2 shifters, brakes, b-bracket, crank, cassette, chain, F & R shifters, battery & charger, plus cables and junctions) vs. about $850 for Ultegra and $450 for 105. I went 105.

On a new bike such as the Roubaix ?, I can see the attraction at that price point.
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