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-   -   It seems Di2 is here to stay. (https://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/1254341-seems-di2-here-stay.html)

MattTheHat 06-30-22 11:27 AM

I've got just over 25,000 miles on three different electronic shifting systems: Dura-Ace Di2, Ultegra Di2, and Sram eTap. Benefits?

1. I feel connected to the bike. :lol:
2. Not a single missed shift. Not even one.
3. Faster shifts.
4. I can shift while out of the saddle. I'm sure some do it on mechanical shifters, but I rarely attempted it.
5. The cool "zrifft" sound when I shift.

You do have to charge the battery occasionally. I get about 700 miles out of Sram eTap while riding every day. Di2, almost 1,000 miles. Doesn't seem troublesome to me. I'm charging other ride devices a couple of times or more each, per week.

Before I tried electronic shifting I felt the same as many who've posted here saying they don't need it. They don't. Like lots of other bike-related things we don't need. But I won't buy another bike without electronic shifting.

MattTheHat 06-30-22 11:31 AM


Originally Posted by base2 (Post 22558773)
I felt disconnected from the bike.

Imagine how connected you'd feel riding a flip-flop! Ready to shift gears? Get off and flip that rear wheel around. :lol:

70sSanO 06-30-22 11:46 AM

What I don't understand is why some people need to have their shifters indexed. It is as if everyone has gone brain dead and can't shift from one gear to the next without that conspicuously loud click. Click, click, click, that's all I hear on the road these days. What happened to the serene sound of gears smoothly meshing through the cogs.

Oh wait, this isn't 1986? Never mind.

John

t2p 06-30-22 11:49 AM

still recall when Mavic was testing this technology - showed potential

and now great to see it in use

Bald Paul 06-30-22 11:58 AM

When I was building my new bike during the Great Covid Shutdown, I originally wanted to go with an Ultegra mechanical. There weren't any available as a full group set, so I started trying to find the various parts needed to build a complete group. The FD was as elusive as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I would find a website that showed them, then see they were 'out of stock - no date for availability'. Reluctantly, I ordered an Ultegra Di2 full group set.
I would never build or buy another bike without some type of electronic shifting. It's just that good.
If you really want to feel "disconnected" from the thing you are riding in / on, buy a "self driving" car.

smd4 06-30-22 12:05 PM


Originally Posted by 70sSanO (Post 22559306)
What I don't understand is why some people need to have their shifters indexed. It is as if everyone has gone brain dead and can't shift from one gear to the next without that conspicuously loud click. Click, click, click, that's all I hear on the road these days. What happened to the serene sound of gears smoothly meshing through the cogs.

Oh wait, this isn't 1986? Never mind.

I can always switch to friction if I want to (or need to).

Camilo 06-30-22 12:34 PM

Wasn't this issue decided ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO when it was first raised on these forums? Sheesh.

FWIW, and I already regret participating in the discussion, I put Etap AXS on our gravel bikes last year just because at our age, if not now, when would we ever try it? I like it quite a bit. Dead easy to install and maintain and we both like the shifting ergonomics of Sram Etap road levers. However, I would not grieve at all if technology hadn't advanced passed the 8 speed indexed shifting (downtube) I have on another bike and I feel the 10 speed Sram and Shimano stuff we have on other road bikes has not been improved on in mechanical systems.

Hey! Let's start a discussion on another unique, never-before topic: hydraulic disc brakes!

Polaris OBark 06-30-22 12:48 PM

I worry more about 12 vs. 11 speed (or lower) than I do about electronic vs. conventional shifting.

tomato coupe 06-30-22 01:17 PM


Originally Posted by MattTheHat (Post 22559287)
Imagine how connected you'd feel riding a flip-flop! Ready to shift gears? Get off and flip that rear wheel around. :lol:

The Dalai Lama rides a flip-flop, so there must be something to that.

bruce19 06-30-22 01:19 PM

Interestingly I tried electronic shifting today for the first time. My wife and I both bought new (to us) bikes this year. Mine is a 2016 GURU Photon with 11sp Dura Ace mechanical. Hers is a 2020 Canyon Ultimate SLX with Di-2. Last Saturday she had a crash in a hairpin turn and fractured her wrist. She complained of not having enough braking and asked me to check out the bike. This is a rim brake bike with CF wheels. So, I took it out for a short 11 mi run that included a serious downhill. The brakes are fine.....actually quite good. I won't go into the anatomy of the accident. But, this was my first time with electronic shifting. Oh, it is set up in the semi-synchro mode. I felt like the Di-2 shifted a bit quicker and a bit more efficiently. It was certainly not a game changer but it did seem more efficient for lack of a better term. When I shifted from one ring to the other the rear derailleur also shifted. Generally I did not like that. It tended to shift into a cog that wasn't where I wanted to be. If it was my bike it would be in mechanical mode. Now for a problem......The ergonomics of the "buttons" kind of sucked. I didn't feel like it was intuitive and there was a lack of distinction in the feel of the actuator "buttons." So, I liked it but didn't like it. As for the bike itself....I loved it. Stable and responsive.....quick and comfortable. If I didn't already love my GURU I'd be looking for a Canyon Ultimate SLX. FWIW, neither bike has disc brakes.

70sSanO 06-30-22 01:24 PM


Originally Posted by smd4 (Post 22559349)
I can always switch to friction if I want to (or need to).

It wasn’t really intended to be taken seriously. More of a reprisal of the 80’s arguments against index shifters.

In a “by-wire” age, little will be done mechanically; bikes being at the bottom of the totem pole.

John

base2 06-30-22 08:38 PM


Originally Posted by prj71 (Post 22559115)
Not sure what you mean by feeling disconnected from the bike. Push a button or shifter and it shifts. My shifting is smooth on all my bikes (shimano slightly smoother than SRAM) but changing it over to electronic would not change how it feels.



Maybe I'll change my mind in the future. IDK.

I think my feelings were that it was just a bridge too far.

Existentially, just because you can, does that mean you should?


Originally Posted by Rolla (Post 22559202)
Since you seem quite confident and comfortable with your reasons for rejecting it, why do you feel the need to "get" it?
It's not for you; maybe just leave it at that.

Because I am humble & fallible. I've been wrong before & usually it sucks enough that I then change my view to conform with the most correct conclusion based on new & independent, objective, fact based, information.


Originally Posted by tomato coupe (Post 22559274)
I don't think he was actually looking for an answer.

I was. Though it doesn't seem to be conclusive, the take away I am getting is that the tech is something that takes time to grow & appreciate. That's fair. There are fiddles & there are Stratavarius. My untrained ear wouldn't hear the difference.


Originally Posted by MattTheHat (Post 22559278)
I've got just over 25,000 miles on three different electronic shifting systems: Dura-Ace Di2, Ultegra Di2, and Sram eTap. Benefits?

1. I feel connected to the bike. :lol:
2. Not a single missed shift. Not even one.
3. Faster shifts.
4. I can shift while out of the saddle. I'm sure some do it on mechanical shifters, but I rarely attempted it.
5. The cool "zrifft" sound when I shift.

You do have to charge the battery occasionally. I get about 700 miles out of Sram eTap while riding every day. Di2, almost 1,000 miles. Doesn't seem troublesome to me. I'm charging other ride devices a couple of times or more each, per week.

Before I tried electronic shifting I felt the same as many who've posted here saying they don't need it. They don't. Like lots of other bike-related things we don't need. But I won't buy another bike without electronic shifting.

Understood. I think I'm starting to see the "why."


Originally Posted by MattTheHat (Post 22559287)
Imagine how connected you'd feel riding a flip-flop! Ready to shift gears? Get off and flip that rear wheel around. :lol:

As luck would have it, I just built my first disc single speed wheel set a few days ago. Just to see what it's all about. No flip-flop though that might be too connected! :eek:

----------------
Anyhow, Thanks all. If electronic shifting comes my way again, I'll try to give it more of a fair chance than initial impressions & a test ride or too.

Like my wife asks: "is it bad, or just new?"
I should probably ask that more often, too.



base2

Rolla 06-30-22 09:05 PM


Originally Posted by base2 (Post 22559911)
Because I am humble & fallible. I've been wrong before & usually it sucks enough that I then change my view to conform with the most correct conclusion based on new & independent, objective, fact based, information.

I don't think our preferences need to be validated by data (or anything else, really). For example, even though I know that multi-gear drivetrains have lots of advantages, I still prefer to ride a singlespeed. I'm sure that's not "the most correct conclusion" based on "objective, fact based information," but whether or not I'm "wrong" about it never even crosses my mind. My preferences are my own, and I don't need to measure, compare, or justify them.

tomato coupe 06-30-22 09:07 PM


Originally Posted by base2 (Post 22559911)
Though it doesn't seem to be conclusive, the take away I am getting is that the tech is something that takes time to grow & appreciate.

That may be your takeaway, but I think that sentiment was expressed by only one person.

Camilo 06-30-22 09:52 PM


Originally Posted by bruce19 (Post 22559458)
Interestingly I tried electronic shifting today for the first time. My wife and I both bought new (to us) bikes this year. Mine is a 2016 GURU Photon with 11sp Dura Ace mechanical. Hers is a 2020 Canyon Ultimate SLX with Di-2. Last Saturday she had a crash in a hairpin turn and fractured her wrist. She complained of not having enough braking and asked me to check out the bike. This is a rim brake bike with CF wheels. So, I took it out for a short 11 mi run that included a serious downhill. The brakes are fine.....actually quite good. I won't go into the anatomy of the accident. But, this was my first time with electronic shifting. Oh, it is set up in the semi-synchro mode. I felt like the Di-2 shifted a bit quicker and a bit more efficiently. It was certainly not a game changer but it did seem more efficient for lack of a better term. When I shifted from one ring to the other the rear derailleur also shifted. Generally I did not like that. It tended to shift into a cog that wasn't where I wanted to be. If it was my bike it would be in mechanical mode. Now for a problem......The ergonomics of the "buttons" kind of sucked. I didn't feel like it was intuitive and there was a lack of distinction in the feel of the actuator "buttons." So, I liked it but didn't like it. As for the bike itself....I loved it. Stable and responsive.....quick and comfortable. If I didn't already love my GURU I'd be looking for a Canyon Ultimate SLX. FWIW, neither bike has disc brakes.

Our Etap AXS Force also has that mode. I have toyed with it and don't really like it, so I just keep it on "regular". The Etap shifting ergonomics is just excellent. One shift lever on each side, both control the RD: right to shift into a harder gear, left to shift into an easier gear, both to shift the front. It's really a brilliant design, imho. No chance of mixing upshift and downshift levers.

My wife, who is a senior citizen and small of stature has told me she really likes the hydraulic disc brakes on our gravel bikes. I know that I have to tune/adjust the rim brakes on her road bike to perfection for her otherwise she complains they don't work well. Good quality calipers and pads, rims and pads kept clean, good cables, etc. While hydraulic discs are pretty much a "meh" for me, I think they're very welcome for her.

Although we do like our electronic shifting and hydraulic discs, for the bikes we travel with in our travel trailer for months at a time all around the more rural/remote parts of the US and Canada, I do prefer mechanical shifting and rim brakes. Easy to fix, and/or get parts anywhere.

Ogsarg 07-01-22 02:15 AM

Why does there have to be an absolute "better"? If electronic shifting makes you feel disconnected, or you are concerned about it's reliability, don't get it. I don't see manual shifting going away anytime soon, though electronic at some point will likely become cheaper to produce and therefore more prevalent. By now, everyone has heard the plusses and minuses of both and can make up their own mind.

People making up reasons why their opinion is the right one, or saying that people that buy whatever technology are being seduced by evil marketing people is quite tiresome.

bruce19 07-01-22 03:20 AM


Originally Posted by Ogsarg (Post 22560054)
Why does there have to be an absolute "better"? If electronic shifting makes you feel disconnected, or you are concerned about it's reliability, don't get it. I don't see manual shifting going away anytime soon, though electronic at some point will likely become cheaper to produce and therefore more prevalent. By now, everyone has heard the plusses and minuses of both and can make up their own mind.

People making up reasons why their opinion is the right one, or saying that people that buy whatever technology are being seduced by evil marketing people is quite tiresome.

I think it's about self validation. I guess some don't feel validated from life in general.

smd4 07-01-22 06:51 AM

Wrenching on bikes for eight hours a day in 1987, we used to imagine what the future would hold for bikes. Every year, with Shimano's new releases, we didn't think it was possible for them to improve shifting. Yet somehow, the next year, year after year, they did. The owner of the shop, Bob, often wondered why the ancient chain hadn't yet given way to some kind of belt drive, with individual gears giving way to infinitely-variable drives. We did imagine electronic shifting--and I'm glad people enjoy it today--the dream of us kids back in the day.

base2 07-01-22 09:30 AM


Originally Posted by Rolla (Post 22559938)
I don't think our preferences need to be validated by data (or anything else, really). For example, even though I know that multi-gear drivetrains have lots of advantages, I still prefer to ride a singlespeed. I'm sure that's not "the most correct conclusion" based on "objective, fact based information," but whether or not I'm "wrong" about it never even crosses my mind. My preferences are my own, and I don't need to measure, compare, or justify them.

Because the scientific method is thus far the most effective way to eliminate opinion bias in the search for truth. I was responding to you on a general level. I have been wrong before :eek:, shocking, I know ;) Think of this as an attempt at a sort of meta-analysis. An information seeking exercise. What critical observation or piece of information did I, a fallible, opinionated human with limited senses & life experience miss in my observation of the electronic shifting system experiment?

For that matter, what do I have to learn from The Single-Speed Experiment? Only time will tell. I have the wheelset. I just gotta buy my old bike back from a guy...(There is more to this story IRL)


Originally Posted by tomato coupe (Post 22559939)
That may be your takeaway, but I think that sentiment was expressed by only one person.

And yet it is consistent with the other electronic shift responders. I quoted that particular response because it was succinct & offered insight that clarified perspective. It made the most sense to me.


Originally Posted by Ogsarg (Post 22560054)
Why does there have to be an absolute "better"? If electronic shifting makes you feel disconnected, or you are concerned about it's reliability, don't get it. I don't see manual shifting going away anytime soon, though electronic at some point will likely become cheaper to produce and therefore more prevalent. By now, everyone has heard the plusses and minuses of both and can make up their own mind.

People making up reasons why their opinion is the right one, or saying that people that buy whatever technology are being seduced by evil marketing people is quite tiresome.

I never once cited "evil marketing" or other such hogwash. Objectively better means superior within given design constraints & objectives. Often times it means the simplest, least complicated mechanism that uses the least energy to accomplish it's designed task...That may indeed be electronic shifting provided Shimano's, SRAM's design objectives whatever those may be.

Off the top of my head spit-balling: For all I know, a tiny wafer of circuit board & a chunk of plastic housing may be cheaper to make than a cable. So from a manufacturing perspective it's a definitive no-brainer. E-shifting could very possibly weigh less than some types of cable systems. So, cool for weight-weenies. E-shifting may provide bigger profit margins. So, good for business/shareholders. Maybe E-shifting is good for keeping/capturing early adopters. So, good for having innovation as part of brand image/value ...Maybe "Touch, resistance change." Is Shimano's/SRAM's idea of supreme luxury...I don't know. What I do know is that in my experience I felt that there was no "there," there & I took to the internet to fill in the hole of my ignorance.


Originally Posted by bruce19 (Post 22560072)
I think it's about self validation. I guess some don't feel validated from life in general.

While that may be true, for some. I prefer not to jump to conclusions based on conjecture & incomplete information.

tomato coupe 07-01-22 10:16 AM


Originally Posted by base2 (Post 22559911)
... the take away I am getting is that the tech is something that takes time to grow & appreciate.


Originally Posted by tomato coupe (Post 22559939)
That may be your takeaway, but I think that sentiment was expressed by only one person.


Originally Posted by base2 (Post 22560368)
And yet it is consistent with the other electronic shift responders.

There is no indication that the other responders either agree or disagree with that sentiment. Your conclusion is unfounded.

DMC707 07-01-22 10:24 AM

Now that its moving into the 105 level -- i'd say its here to stay

bruce19 07-01-22 10:28 AM


Originally Posted by base2 (Post 22560368)
While that may be true, for some. I prefer not to jump to conclusions based on conjecture & incomplete information.

That's a valid point. I should have been more precise.

base2 07-01-22 11:14 AM


Originally Posted by tomato coupe (Post 22560430)
There is no indication that the other responders either agree or disagree with that sentiment. Your conclusion is unfounded.

Post 2: Avoided cable cost, adjustability in cold.

Post 4: Speed of shift. Touch of button. Grown on poster over time.

Post 8: Arthritis. To get hydro brake. (Bundled tech)

Post 10: To allow automatic systems.

Post 12: Has both, plans to go e-shift, again.

Post 13: Maintenance avoidance.

Post16: Maintenance, adjustment. Plans to keep.

Post 23: Trimming.

Post 30: Never anything else again.

Post 32: Easy install.

Post 35: Different modes. Sequential shifting.

Post 40: Shifting modes. Lever designation.

...& of course Good ol' post 26: Never missed a shift, reliable, & uniquely suited to competitive endeavors. No plans to go back indicated.

Did you read the thread?




---------
Thanks, all.
I do feel enlightened. Not much of the benefits listed here are readily apparent from a few short-ish test rides. I do feel my question has been satisfactorily answered.

In particular, the possibility for automated drivetrains (Nuvinci, Alfine, e-bike) & accessibility/configurability for disabled mobility to the masses are both things that had not occurred to me that present genuine innovation that would be more difficult with mechanical approaches.

msu2001la 07-01-22 11:22 AM


Originally Posted by smd4 (Post 22560183)
Wrenching on bikes for eight hours a day in 1987, we used to imagine what the future would hold for bikes. Every year, with Shimano's new releases, we didn't think it was possible for them to improve shifting. Yet somehow, the next year, year after year, they did. The owner of the shop, Bob, often wondered why the ancient chain hadn't yet given way to some kind of belt drive, with individual gears giving way to infinitely-variable drives. We did imagine electronic shifting--and I'm glad people enjoy it today--the dream of us kids back in the day.

That's happening too. Belt drives and CVT style gearing are popular on commuter style bikes.
​​​​​​https://www.prioritybicycles.com/products/continuumonyx

jackb 07-01-22 11:58 AM

Whatever the so-called advantages of electronic shifting, the reason for it is two-fold. Americans love newness accompanied by convenience. I'm sure that electronic shifting is sure and efficient, but there are some whose goal is not to do something in the easiest and most efficient way. My bikes shift well enough. When they get out to tune I sometimes miss a shift. No bid deal. What if Shimano came out with voice activated shifting? Some cyclists would hail this as a major breakthrough. Now you don't even need to press a button. Just give a voice command like one does to that idiotic Alexa system. But the main reason we have all these technological developments is that companies want to make more and more money. One way to do this is make cyclists believe that they are on outdated equipment. Once you are convinced that you are not on the cutting edge of high tech and efficiency you'll be ready to spend thousands on a new bike. The industry is quite pleased.

As a human being, I like doing things manually. I like turning the lights on and off in my house. I like walking places. I like using my body in many ways. Of course I use modern conveniences like most other people, but I use them selectively. Some relieve me from hard, tedious work, but even then I like hard tedious work every now and then. If one likes electronic shifting, there you go. But for many it is not necessary at all and, in the long run, just costs more money. I'd like to see some rogue company produce and promote simple, basic bicycles at a reasonable cost. Four and five thousand dollars is simply too much to pay for a bike. Pedaling for fun is what most of us like about cycling, not pedaling for speed or to win something or to do something in the most efficient manner. But again, to each his own. Some people yearn to own a driverless car. Many of us do not.


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