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School me on electronic shifters

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School me on electronic shifters

Old 11-16-23, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
How do you feel about disc brakes, wider tubeless tyres and CF frames?
I don't.. and do not wish to go there. It's an endless debate, for or against that I do not want to be part of what already been discussed. So, leave at that.
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Old 11-16-23, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by eriku16
A manual vs a PDK box in a Porsche (or SMG, DSG or what ever branding of DCT transmissions in other vehicles) is nothing like electronic shifting verses mechanical on a bike. There is no automatic shifting, just simple electronic buttons, (stepper) motors doing the work actuating the derailleurs. Many seem to think that electronic shifting is faster, better than mechanical have never used Campy Ultrashift. Dump 5 cogs down, 3 up as fast as the gear train is turning. That said, Campy is like a having a sequential dog box.

No one comments much about the downsides of electronic shifting. When things break, which happens. The down time for simple things that would not happen on a mechanical system. Then there is high cost of systems (and spares, cables, etc), compatibility, proprietary parts and firmware, no component level repairability (no right to repair), battery shelf life, etc... $$$$ Which leads to what made this all possible, cyclists willful acceptance of the planned obsolescence model, and the consumerism mindset. Got to get a new bike as it will make me faster! The marketing man said so!

So now we have throw away electronics and bikes, frames with proprietary parts. One of my bikes have C-Record from 1993. Still shifts like day one. The best part is that till this day, I can tune it and get every part (NOS/used) to maintain or rebuild it. Get an electronic groupset today, out of warrantied parts are just binned. Go buy it again, rinse and repeat.
I think that's being too much of a downer. New things are always more expensive. If a component breaks, be it electronic or mechanical, it's already the case that the whole assembly gets tossed. I can't imagine trying to disassemble a derailleur, or a shifter body if it fails. As for planned obsolescence - that happens everywhere. Almost nothing on my 2019 Lynskey is directly compatible with anything on my 2004 Bianchi, and both of them are strictly mechanical shifting. Braking, headset, fork, even handlebar clamp diameter have all changed. If I'm ever looking to replace my stem, I'm pretty sure my choices for a 1" steerer, 25.4mm (or is it 26?) clamp stem are going to be very limited.

I have no doubt that under the right circumstances, electronic shifting can be faster and smoother, and require less maintenance. But under different circumstances (ie, when I forget to charge), mechanical shifting can provide peace of mind, too. I personally simply prefer to have that peace of mind, and others prefer synchro shift (or whatever its called).

I also don't mind spending an afternoon bringing each of my bikes into my stand and making sure they're working as well as can be, so maybe I'm different.
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Old 11-16-23, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by eriku16
I don't.. and do not wish to go there. It's an endless debate, for or against that I do not want to be part of what already been discussed. So, leave at that.
A bit like mechanical vs electronic shifting then?
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Old 11-16-23, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by eriku16
A manual vs a PDK box in a Porsche (or SMG, DSG or what ever branding of DCT transmissions in other vehicles) is nothing like electronic shifting verses mechanical on a bike. There is no automatic shifting, just simple electronic buttons, (stepper) motors doing the work actuating the derailleurs.
Manual transmission vs. PDK (when used in manual mode) actually isn't a bad analogy for mechanical vs. electronic shifting on a bicycle.

Originally Posted by eriku16
Many seem to think that electronic shifting is faster, better than mechanical have never used Campy Ultrashift. Dump 5 cogs down, 3 up as fast as the gear train is turning. That said, Campy is like a having a sequential dog box.
I have two bikes with Ultrashift and two bikes with EPS, and I'd say EPS shifts better and faster. (And, it's also capable of 3 up or 5 down gear dumps.)

Originally Posted by eriku16
No one comments much about the downsides of electronic shifting.
Actually, people comment on it all the time, as you're doing now.
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Old 11-16-23, 08:42 PM
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A couple of things:
1. The comments are all ignoring aliasfox's second objection to electronic shifting, the “ conceptual” objection. For me, that's the big one. My love for the bike is grounded in it being the “simple machine,” one that I can work on with no black boxes.

2. A thought experiment concerning ease of shifting and lack of maintenance: Everyone seems to love electronic shifting because it works flawlessly and never requires any maintenance; it’s easy. What if an automatic transmission were available for bikes, one that shifted perfectly for the terrain the way auto transmissions do. And this transmission never required user maintenance, just a black box that required no user knowledge or skill or effort. Such an invention would take away the arduous tasks of pushing buttons and having to think about what gear to be in.

Assume that weight were not an issue. Would such an invention be a bridge too far for you, or would you be eager to adopt it? And what would be your reasoning?
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Old 11-16-23, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by bocobiking
... the arduous tasks of pushing buttons ...
Seriously?
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Old 11-16-23, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by eriku16
A manual vs a PDK box in a Porsche (or SMG, DSG or what ever branding of DCT transmissions in other vehicles) is nothing like electronic shifting verses mechanical on a bike. There is no automatic shifting, just simple electronic buttons, (stepper) motors doing the work actuating the derailleurs. Many seem to think that electronic shifting is faster, better than mechanical have never used Campy Ultrashift. Dump 5 cogs down, 3 up as fast as the gear train is turning. That said, Campy is like a having a sequential dog box.

No one comments much about the downsides of electronic shifting. When things break, which happens. The down time for simple things that would not happen on a mechanical system. Then there is high cost of systems (and spares, cables, etc), compatibility, proprietary parts and firmware, no component level repairability (no right to repair), battery shelf life, etc... $$$$ Which leads to what made this all possible, cyclists willful acceptance of the planned obsolescence model, and the consumerism mindset. Got to get a new bike as it will make me faster! The marketing man said so!

So now we have throw away electronics and bikes, frames with proprietary parts. One of my bikes have C-Record from 1993. Still shifts like day one. The best part is that till this day, I can tune it and get every part (NOS/used) to maintain or rebuild it. Get an electronic groupset today, out of warrantied parts are just binned. Go buy it again, rinse and repeat.
My only reason for not going with EPS on my Time Scylon was the very high cost. I have an older EPS on my Lynskey road bike and it is as repairable as you want it to be. Proprietary parts are a non-issue for me. I had a mechanical SRAM shifter on the tandem fail while touring in a very remote place. It was a nuisance, but we made it back. There are plenty of proprietary parts in mechanical shifting systems.

And a friction shifting system was not even on the table for me for any new bike. I ride my old road bike a few times a year just to remember how bad a top of the line bike was in 1980...

You can replace any part of a wired EPS system and it works fine. I have done it myself without resorting to external software. The real issue with automotive systems is that replacing a part of the system with a different control unit may cause the system to no longer meet environmental or safety regulations. It is probable that you will need to reconfigure the system after replacing a component. So what?!? The EPS can be configured from the on bike controls.

Your reference to "right to repair" falls flat with me. A lot of the people howling about this in the automotive world really want to be able to change engine tune parameters without consequences. "Here, let's turn up the turbo boost just a little..." No longer meets smog rules. Reduced engine reliability. But they tell you, "don't worry, we can switch it back if something goes wrong or to pass a smog check."

I have a lot of experience with electronic systems (including developing a security protocol for an Engine Control Unit for a well known company), and wireless has it's place. But it has drawbacks and limitations as well. Power consumption will be higher with a wireless system. Delay will be greater, but probably not enough to care about on a bicycle.

Wireless is great where the cost of installing a wired system is very high. My previous house was wired for networking when I built it. I had a central network closet to make new connections easier. My current house was not designed to have a wired network. Wireless, while slower, is better here.

Wireless is better where mechanical considerations make the cabling a wear item or the cost of cabling is high enough to have an impact on system cost. I have seen both situations on industrial automation systems.

Wireless might be better on a full suspension bike, although I doubt that the motion is enough to cause wires to fail. I plan on putting SRAM wireless on my tandem, because the mechanical indexed systems don't seem to like the long mechanical cables, and since the tandem is a coupled frame wireless will be much easier to disassemble and reassemble. Also, I don't know how many connect / disconnect cycles Shimano has designed for their connectors in their wired systems, and I don't know what impact an extension cable of my own design will have on the system, so it will be wireless (probably SRAM).

Wireless is very problematic for safety critical systems. Wireless may stop working near a large radio noise source, and radio noise can be mobile. One place I often ride all, of my Bluetooth sensors drop out for a short time. Something there is giving off a lot of Radio Frequency noise in the 2.4GHz spectrum and if screws with the Bluetooth. Probably will not be able to shift an SRAM system there as well.
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Old 11-17-23, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by bocobiking
A couple of things:
1. The comments are all ignoring aliasfox's second objection to electronic shifting, the “ conceptual” objection. For me, that's the big one. My love for the bike is grounded in it being the “simple machine,” one that I can work on with no black boxes.

2. A thought experiment concerning ease of shifting and lack of maintenance: Everyone seems to love electronic shifting because it works flawlessly and never requires any maintenance; it’s easy. What if an automatic transmission were available for bikes, one that shifted perfectly for the terrain the way auto transmissions do. And this transmission never required user maintenance, just a black box that required no user knowledge or skill or effort. Such an invention would take away the arduous tasks of pushing buttons and having to think about what gear to be in.

Assume that weight were not an issue. Would such an invention be a bridge too far for you, or would you be eager to adopt it? And what would be your reasoning?
Concerning the idea of an automatic transmission, we as riders are not engines. Any sort of automatic systems is going to force a pedaling cadence on use. I'm sure most riders prefer to be able to vary their cadence. Sometimes it's just to work the muscles differently. Obviously, you could have an automatic system that then allowed you to press a button to raise or lower the cadence. So, it's not mutual exclusive, but not as simplistic as having no control over your cadence.

I could see casual riders being just fine with automatic shifting. I think many of these riders don't understand gear shifting and often just ride along in whatever gear they can get a bike into. Casual riders also seem to prefer very low cadences. So, again, I think you would need some way to change the cadence ranges when the shifting occurs. Though in this case, it could be fixed adjustment rather than something you can change on the fly while riding.

For more serious riders, I think it's a solution to a problem they/we don't have.

Now, develop a continuously variable transmission, and you might have something that a serious rider would love to have. Or at least one where they could control the cadence. It would be great to be able to pick your gearing such that you can set the cadence to whatever you want. Even with 12-speed, I often find myself between gears so I'm running either too high or two low a cadence. Often I just accept that I either have to slow down or speed up so I can pedal at my cadence of choice.
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Old 11-17-23, 02:55 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
Seriously?
No. He was using hyperbole to illuminate his question.
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Old 11-17-23, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by bocobiking
A couple of things:
1. The comments are all ignoring aliasfox's second objection to electronic shifting, the “ conceptual” objection. For me, that's the big one. My love for the bike is grounded in it being the “simple machine,” one that I can work on with no black boxes.

2. A thought experiment concerning ease of shifting and lack of maintenance: Everyone seems to love electronic shifting because it works flawlessly and never requires any maintenance; it’s easy. What if an automatic transmission were available for bikes, one that shifted perfectly for the terrain the way auto transmissions do. And this transmission never required user maintenance, just a black box that required no user knowledge or skill or effort. Such an invention would take away the arduous tasks of pushing buttons and having to think about what gear to be in.

Assume that weight were not an issue. Would such an invention be a bridge too far for you, or would you be eager to adopt it? And what would be your reasoning?
I think the “conceptual” objection is largely ignored because the vast majority of riders are pretty comfortable with electronic devices and in some ways electronic shifting actually simplifies your bike. Brifters are certainly less complicated without the intricate cable pull mechanicals. The “Big One” for me is zero cable routing or maintenance/tuning. It cleans up the bike nicely (especially when fully wireless).

It should be obvious why you wouldn’t really want automatic shifting on a bike. Do I want to spin up this next climb or shall I get out of the saddle and mash over it on the big ring? Even on the flat I often adjust my cadence to suit my mood. So what I do want is the ability to manually choose gears as quickly and smoothly as possible. For me the best current solution is SRAM AXS with its very intuitive paddle shift. Objecting to it on a purely “conceptual” basis means you have to stick with clumsy mechanical shifters and cables. No thanks.
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Old 11-17-23, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by DangerousDanR
My only reason for not going with EPS on my Time Scylon was the very high cost. I have an older EPS on my Lynskey road bike and it is as repairable as you want it to be. Proprietary parts are a non-issue for me. I had a mechanical SRAM shifter on the tandem fail while touring in a very remote place. It was a nuisance, but we made it back. There are plenty of proprietary parts in mechanical shifting systems.

And a friction shifting system was not even on the table for me for any new bike. I ride my old road bike a few times a year just to remember how bad a top of the line bike was in 1980...

You can replace any part of a wired EPS system and it works fine. I have done it myself without resorting to external software. The real issue with automotive systems is that replacing a part of the system with a different control unit may cause the system to no longer meet environmental or safety regulations. It is probable that you will need to reconfigure the system after replacing a component. So what?!? The EPS can be configured from the on bike controls.

Your reference to "right to repair" falls flat with me. A lot of the people howling about this in the automotive world really want to be able to change engine tune parameters without consequences. "Here, let's turn up the turbo boost just a little..." No longer meets smog rules. Reduced engine reliability. But they tell you, "don't worry, we can switch it back if something goes wrong or to pass a smog check."

I have a lot of experience with electronic systems (including developing a security protocol for an Engine Control Unit for a well known company), and wireless has it's place. But it has drawbacks and limitations as well. Power consumption will be higher with a wireless system. Delay will be greater, but probably not enough to care about on a bicycle.

Wireless is great where the cost of installing a wired system is very high. My previous house was wired for networking when I built it. I had a central network closet to make new connections easier. My current house was not designed to have a wired network. Wireless, while slower, is better here.

Wireless is better where mechanical considerations make the cabling a wear item or the cost of cabling is high enough to have an impact on system cost. I have seen both situations on industrial automation systems.

Wireless might be better on a full suspension bike, although I doubt that the motion is enough to cause wires to fail. I plan on putting SRAM wireless on my tandem, because the mechanical indexed systems don't seem to like the long mechanical cables, and since the tandem is a coupled frame wireless will be much easier to disassemble and reassemble. Also, I don't know how many connect / disconnect cycles Shimano has designed for their connectors in their wired systems, and I don't know what impact an extension cable of my own design will have on the system, so it will be wireless (probably SRAM).

Wireless is very problematic for safety critical systems. Wireless may stop working near a large radio noise source, and radio noise can be mobile. One place I often ride all, of my Bluetooth sensors drop out for a short time. Something there is giving off a lot of Radio Frequency noise in the 2.4GHz spectrum and if screws with the Bluetooth. Probably will not be able to shift an SRAM system there as well.
Great post with insight thanks!

I wonder if this potential BT noise issue is why SRAM chose to develop their own proprietary, secure, low power, low latency network for the shifting? I’ve ridden in several places where my BT HRM and Garmin Varia has dropped out (often at the beginning of mass start events for some reason) but my SRAM AXS has never missed a gear in many thousands of miles. It seems very robust in this respect.
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Old 11-17-23, 05:25 AM
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I have Sram . Mechanical, E tap and axs. Love the mechanical. Love E tap still run it on my primary bike. I also have a Force axs groupset I'm not very fond of. Sram did some things with the new groupset that I concider economic entrapment. Plus it is heavy. My '16 Tarmac weighed 18 lbs with that group. I moved my ETap back to this bike and use mechanical Spyre calipers and it's a whole new bike @ just over 15 lbs. ( actually I need to weigh it again, it might be lighter) Dub sucks. .9mm change just to force users to buy a completely new crankset? The new flat top chain with its oversized rollers so you need new chainrings that aren't available for the older crank designs. The chain ring size restrictions on Force . 48 is the largest ring you can get. If you want a 50 you have to move to Red. At that time was an $800.00 crankset. The best part for me is the crap firmware that kills components. A $250.00 front derailluer because of memory corruption. I think it had .5 seasons on it.
I guess I'm still bitter.
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Old 11-17-23, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero
Sram wireless is simply the best out there. Shimano sticks with wired front and rear derailleur and I really don't understand why when a full wireless system is so much better and I might say superior. The only flaw with Sram wireless is the brakes. I don't like having to use Dot fluid plus their brake system is a PIA to bleed. The Shimano brakes are superior in every respect and for that reason my choice is Shimano Di2.

However if it were possible to mix the two the best electronic drive train would be Sram shifting and Shimano disc brakes. If Sram were rim brake compatible, well that would simply be at the top of the electronic heap!
I have found SRAM to shift a bit slower than Shimano. But nothing to really care about but I have found that Shimano's system works well.
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Old 11-17-23, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by ls01
I have Sram . Mechanical, E tap and axs. Love the mechanical. Love E tap still run it on my primary bike. I also have a Force axs groupset I'm not very fond of. Sram did some things with the new groupset that I concider economic entrapment. Plus it is heavy. My '16 Tarmac weighed 18 lbs with that group. I moved my ETap back to this bike and use mechanical Spyre calipers and it's a whole new bike @ just over 15 lbs. ( actually I need to weigh it again, it might be lighter) Dub sucks. .9mm change just to force users to buy a completely new crankset? The new flat top chain with its oversized rollers so you need new chainrings that aren't available for the older crank designs. The chain ring size restrictions on Force . 48 is the largest ring you can get. If you want a 50 you have to move to Red. At that time was an $800.00 crankset. The best part for me is the crap firmware that kills components. A $250.00 front derailluer because of memory corruption. I think it had .5 seasons on it.
I guess I'm still bitter.
You make it sound like Force AXS is a complete disaster in every respect! But for me, 2 years in, it has been totally faultless.

Would they not replace your bricked FD under warranty after half a season?
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Old 11-17-23, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero
Sram wireless is simply the best out there. Shimano sticks with wired front and rear derailleur and I really don't understand why when a full wireless system is so much better and I might say superior. The only flaw with Sram wireless is the brakes. I don't like having to use Dot fluid plus their brake system is a PIA to bleed. The Shimano brakes are superior in every respect and for that reason my choice is Shimano Di2.

However if it were possible to mix the two the best electronic drive train would be Sram shifting and Shimano disc brakes. If Sram were rim brake compatible, well that would simply be at the top of the electronic heap!
What about the infamous front derailleur drops? And slow shifting? I went with SRAM this season and absolutely hated it. I had chain drops on every ride. 2 LBS tried to adjust it and I did it myself twice too. Everything was set to SRAM's specs. Nothing to do about it. Slow shifting is annoying AF too. I sold my brand new bike so I could go back to my beloved R8100. Now I feel like I'm in heaven again.
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Old 11-17-23, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
What about the infamous front derailleur drops? And slow shifting? I went with SRAM this season and absolutely hated it. I had chain drops on every ride. 2 LBS tried to adjust it and I did it myself twice too. Everything was set to SRAM's specs. Nothing to do about it. Slow shifting is annoying AF too. I sold my brand new bike so I could go back to my beloved R8100. Now I feel like I'm in heaven again.
I actually started a thread about SRAM AXS fd drops when I bought mine 2 years ago. I was wondering if it was an inherent problem because I’d read a few reports of it. But mine just worked fine out of the box. So it’s always been an SEP for me.

Slow shifting? Certainly not experienced that. It shifts as fast as I can blink.

Polar opposite experiences.
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Old 11-17-23, 07:46 AM
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Yeah, I think it's a hit or miss kind of situation (for the FD chain drop) and there isn't much you can do about it if you're stuck with it.

The front derailleur shifts slowly and can't be adjusted for some reason. Try a bike that's equipped with an Ultegra or DA Di2 FD, you'll see what I am talking about. SRAM's RD shift just fine though.
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Old 11-17-23, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I think the “conceptual” objection is largely ignored because the vast majority of riders are pretty comfortable with electronic devices and in some ways electronic shifting actually simplifies your bike. Brifters are certainly less complicated without the intricate cable pull mechanicals. The “Big One” for me is zero cable routing or maintenance/tuning. It cleans up the bike nicely (especially when fully wireless).

It should be obvious why you wouldn’t really want automatic shifting on a bike. Do I want to spin up this next climb or shall I get out of the saddle and mash over it on the big ring? Even on the flat I often adjust my cadence to suit my mood. So what I do want is the ability to manually choose gears as quickly and smoothly as possible. For me the best current solution is SRAM AXS with its very intuitive paddle shift. Objecting to it on a purely “conceptual” basis means you have to stick with clumsy mechanical shifters and cables. No thanks.
Personally, I find the maintenance issue overblown. My bikes go into the stand every month or two for chain lube and brake check anyway, it doesn’t add a whole lot of effort to run through the gears as well. I may be lucky, but once dialed in, I’ve rarely had to do anything aside from a turning a barrel adjuster slightly to accommodate cable stretch. Once, I had to play with a limit screw that got knocked around in shipping - that was exciting!

As for cable changes, I’ve honestly done that once in 8k miles of recorded riding since 2018, and many more miles before that. My Bianchi’s literally in her 2004 factory shifter cables. At this point, given how much everyone seems to complain about cable changes, I’m wondering if I have some magical build - to the point where I’m happy if something wears out…

And yeah, that conceptual bit is comforting to me. I can put on a pair of shoes and go for a walk, no batteries needed. I can go for a run, no batteries needed. Going for a bike ride is the next extension of that, I just get to go further, faster, for longer, and the only thing holding me back is my own endurance. And daylight, I guess.
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Old 11-17-23, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by vespasianus
I have found SRAM to shift a bit slower than Shimano. But nothing to really care about but I have found that Shimano's system works well.
the difference in shifting speed between Shimano and SRAM is down to Shimano using larger and more powerful motors. The larger battery enables this while maintaining reasonable battery life. The smaller SRAM batteries limit the size of the derailleur motors - Shimano-sized motors would kill those little batteries. The difference in signal transmission speed between a wired vs wireless system over a few feet is essentially non-existent.
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Old 11-17-23, 09:02 AM
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Chain drops are off topic, but I blame the chain rings. I've used Force AXS for over 3 years and never had a chain drop, but I've only used Campy 48/32 and Shimano grx 48/31 and 46/30 cranks. I've owned 7 grx cranks and 2 Campy 12 cranks. All were easy to set up. The flat top chain worked great with both Campy 12 and grx 11 speed cranks. I recently bought a matched pair of 44/28 chain rings for grx cranks from Specialties TA. They shifted poorly. The best I could do with the shift to the big was get it to work when the chain was on one of the 4 largest sprockets when the shift was made. Otherwise, the chain dropped to the outside every time. I took them off, put the grx rings back on immediately got my perfect shifting back.

Also off topic are complaints about chain ring sizes. Apparently some users don't understand that a 48/10 is like a 53/11 and a 46/10 is like a 50/11. What I don't like is the limited range of the cranks. I want a 16T difference, not 13T.

The 29mm crank spindle shouldn't be a problem. Sram BBs use standard 30mm bearings, but with a thin plastic bushing that at least attempts to avoid the spindle ruining wear that often occurs with an aluminum axle and hard steel bearing. I like my 24mm Shimano spindles with wheels manufacturing thread together BBs that have angular contact bearings. Setting the bearing preload is much easier.
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Old 11-17-23, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by aliasfox
Personally, I find the maintenance issue overblown. My bikes go into the stand every month or two for chain lube and brake check anyway, it doesn’t add a whole lot of effort to run through the gears as well. I may be lucky, but once dialed in, I’ve rarely had to do anything aside from a turning a barrel adjuster slightly to accommodate cable stretch. Once, I had to play with a limit screw that got knocked around in shipping - that was exciting!

As for cable changes, I’ve honestly done that once in 8k miles of recorded riding since 2018, and many more miles before that. My Bianchi’s literally in her 2004 factory shifter cables. At this point, given how much everyone seems to complain about cable changes, I’m wondering if I have some magical build - to the point where I’m happy if something wears out…

And yeah, that conceptual bit is comforting to me. I can put on a pair of shoes and go for a walk, no batteries needed. I can go for a run, no batteries needed. Going for a bike ride is the next extension of that, I just get to go further, faster, for longer, and the only thing holding me back is my own endurance. And daylight, I guess.
I wasn't trying to say maintenance was a big deal. I still have 5 bikes with cable actuated gears and they work fine with very little work. But my road bike with AXS is easily the cleanest installation. Just the 2 brake hoses and nothing else.
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Old 11-17-23, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I think the “conceptual” objection is largely ignored because the vast majority of riders are pretty comfortable with electronic devices and in some ways electronic shifting actually simplifies your bike. Brifters are certainly less complicated without the intricate cable pull mechanicals. The “Big One” for me is zero cable routing or maintenance/tuning. It cleans up the bike nicely (especially when fully wireless).

It should be obvious why you wouldn’t really want automatic shifting on a bike. Do I want to spin up this next climb or shall I get out of the saddle and mash over it on the big ring? Even on the flat I often adjust my cadence to suit my mood. So what I do want is the ability to manually choose gears as quickly and smoothly as possible. For me the best current solution is SRAM AXS with its very intuitive paddle shift. Objecting to it on a purely “conceptual” basis means you have to stick with clumsy mechanical shifters and cables. No thanks.
Mechanical is "clumsy"? Pushing a lever for a well-adjusted derailleur is "clumsy"? Turning a knob half a turn is "clumsy"? What I gain from these operations is a sense of contact between myself and machine, similar to the one lovingly described in "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," instead of forfeiting control of one more machine in my life to some black box. I cherish the Zen of maintaining my bike. And every shift I make is instantaneous and precise.

But hey, let's take the thought experiment one step further: What if the automatic transmission were wired to read your "mood" and then shift accordingly? Would you adopt it then? In other words, are you looking for the absolute easiest physical motion when shifting gears, or a way to avoid working on your bike. Other than those two reasons, I don't see the advantage of electronic shifting.
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Old 11-17-23, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS
Chain drops are off topic, but I blame the chain rings.
SRAM would have to be really incompetent if they are unable to make chain rings that work correctly, given that it's the simplest part of the drive train.
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Old 11-17-23, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
You make it sound like Force AXS is a complete disaster in every respect! But for me, 2 years in, it has been totally faultless.

Would they not replace your bricked FD under warranty after half a season?
I purchased it on ebay so they refused.
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Old 11-17-23, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
SRAM would have to be really incompetent if they are unable to make chain rings that work correctly, given that it's the simplest part of the drive train.
I have heard the rumors that a driving influence for 1X systems was SRAM’s inability to design and manufacture a functional front shifter and crank system, thus we got 1X. No idea how true, but up until this post I hade never been aware that there are complaints about the AXS or whatever it’s called road 2X SRAM systems. Shimano pretty much has it down with its Di2 2x systems. Even the mechanical 105 road systems are damn near perfect in terms of how they perform. I do know my SRAM AXS 1X mt. bike system is near on perfect as well,

Last edited by Steve B.; 11-17-23 at 12:49 PM.
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