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School me on electronic shifters

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School me on electronic shifters

Old 11-17-23, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B.
I have hears the rumors that a driving influence for 1X systems was SRAMís 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 itís 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,
Yeah, everything made today shifts well. It's really just a matter of personal preference.
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Old 11-17-23, 11:46 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?
Well, for myself, coming from Etap it kinda was. The brand new bike I just spent over 5k on, in parts was 3lbs heavier than my other bikes. I carry my own weight penalty, And certainly didn't need anymore help in that area. That 3 lbs. Weighed on my mind (see what I did there?) To the point I didn't even want to ride it. Plus feeling like I had been down the bait and switch isle over every part of the build leaves a bitter aftertaste.
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Old 11-17-23, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by bocobiking
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.
It's hard to argue that electronic shifting isn't an objective advance over mechanical. Electronic will give you everything that a well-sorted mechanical setup will provide, plus a bunch of extras:
Coordination with head unit - may not matter to some, but personally I'm an inveterate "looker down at my cassette to see what gear I'm in"
Independence from cables - cables work fine, but they're still a weak link in the system - prone to friction, "stretching", open to the elements etc
Better shifting under load - shifting in both directions is active (motorized) rather than depending on a relatively weak derailleur spring on one direction
Are these important extras? Maybe not to everyone. Personally I'm happy with my mechanical setup and I enjoy the non-quantifiable "physical interaction" with mechanical, but I'll readily concede that electronic is objectively more efficient
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Old 11-17-23, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by 13ollocks
It's hard to argue that electronic shifting isn't an objective advance over mechanical. Electronic will give you everything that a well-sorted mechanical setup will provide, plus a bunch of extras:
Coordination with head unit - may not matter to some, but personally I'm an inveterate "looker down at my cassette to see what gear I'm in"
Independence from cables - cables work fine, but they're still a weak link in the system - prone to friction, "stretching", open to the elements etc
Better shifting under load - shifting in both directions is active (motorized) rather than depending on a relatively weak derailleur spring on one direction
Are these important extras? Maybe not to everyone. Personally I'm happy with my mechanical setup and I enjoy the non-quantifiable "physical interaction" with mechanical, but I'll readily concede that electronic is objectively more efficient
My biggest gripe is the feel of the sram electronic groups is so much like the mechanical there's no difference in the feel. It takes me a while to get used to what I'm riding, coming from one to the other. If the Electronic version had say rubber coated and textured shifters. That would tell my brain I'm riding Etap not Mechanical. That would help a lot.
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Old 11-18-23, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by bocobiking
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.
Well I do kind of like the precise ďclickyĒ feel and sound of mechanical mtb trigger shifters (I have X01 currently), but Iíve never really liked the feel of mechanical road brifters, especially for front up shifting. So not missing that and certainly not missing the cables, internal or external.

The auto ďthoughtĒ experiment is going nowhere, lol.

I forgot to add that electronic shift still feels ďmechanicalĒ in its operation. My Kickr Bike even simulates the little kick you get when shifting gears. The shift levers also still have a mechanical feel to them. Itís the same with say PDK on a Porsche gearbox.

Last edited by PeteHski; 11-18-23 at 05:24 AM.
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Old 11-18-23, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B.
I have heard the rumors that a driving influence for 1X systems was SRAMís 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 itís 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,
Aside from the fact that my SRAM front shifter and chain rings work fine, I do quite like the idea of a 1x drivetrain. Front shifting is always a compromise and thatís why it disappeared from modern mountain bikes and we are starting to see alternatives like The Classified Powershift hub.

I think the FD is on borrowed time, but we can review that in another decade. Iím surprised it made it this far!
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Old 11-18-23, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B.
I have heard the rumors that a driving influence for 1X systems was SRAMís 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 itís 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,
I have never liked mechanical 105. Flimsy level feel and significant force needed to shift the front chainring. In my mind, Di2 is a major improvement over mechanical 105.

1x was developed for mountain biking as it addressed the major issue with rear suspension.
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Old 11-18-23, 07:49 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 would also think that Specialties TA would make chain rings that work properly too, since they're so simple, but apparently they can't. The 44/28 rings that I tried had all of the problems that others assign to poor FD function with SRAM cranks. No amount of adjusting the FD stopped the chain drops to the outside. I switched back to my GRX rings and got my perfect shifting back immediately. It's not a FD problem. I've used two Campy cranks and seven GRX cranks and all worked perfectly with force and rival FDs. No special attention needed.

Last edited by DaveSSS; 11-18-23 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 11-18-23, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by vespasianus

1x was developed for mountain biking as it addressed the major issue with rear suspension.
I don't think that was the main reason. I had 3x FS bikes without "major" suspension issues, but front shifting was often an issue on demanding technical trails, especially when muddy. 1x was a massive revelation for mtb across the board.
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Old 11-18-23, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I think the FD is on borrowed time, but we can review that in another decade. Iím surprised it made it this far!
It is kind of remarkable that such a crude device has been so long-lived.
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Old 11-18-23, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
It is kind of remarkable that such a crude device has been so long-lived.
Even in my teenage years back in the mid 80s (budding engineer) I thought they were a crap solution. They still are really, but we just accept them as normal, at least on road bikes.
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Old 11-18-23, 06:25 PM
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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 ď conceptualĒ objection. For me, that's the big one. My love for the bike is grounded in it being the ďsimple machine,Ē one that I can work on with no black boxes.
SInce I have electronic shifting and like it, if a choice had to be made, I prefer my fully mechanical bikes, largely for this reason. But I enjoy the AXS bike a lot.

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; itís 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 for a lot of casual cyclists this would be a feature they'd like. Same for the "sequential" automatic shifting on an AXS bike as well as the broad range 1X systems. It's probably not news to you but many, many casual cyclists don't even have a good idea of how a 2X or 3X system works, when to shift the front, how to compensate when shifting the front, etc. The wide range1X system should be standard on cheap bikes.
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Old 11-18-23, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS
...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....
That's what I don't get about folks who are looking for a >48t big ring for a 10t cassette. Although the forums are usually populated by folks who have a decent understanding on the relationship between the chain rings and the cassette, I sometimes wonder if some don't really understand that the difference between a 10t small sprocket and an 11t is pretty significan. I really doubt they'd be looking for a 53t or 54t big ring for a conventional 11t cassette because they were unhappy with the 52, at least I don't think I've ever seen that in the forums. I've seen a lot of folks dissatisfied with 50X11 and going back to 52t cranks but rarely, if ever, asking about larger than 52.

FWIW, I kind of like the 13t difference. It's not quite as "abrupt" and generally a bit less rear shifting when going from big to small ring compared to my "compact" 50-34 cranks.
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Old 11-18-23, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ls01
My biggest gripe is the feel of the sram electronic groups is so much like the mechanical there's no difference in the feel. It takes me a while to get used to what I'm riding, coming from one to the other. If the Electronic version had say rubber coated and textured shifters. That would tell my brain I'm riding Etap not Mechanical. That would help a lot.
I guess I don't get how you're saying they're alike? To me they're nothing alike. Not only in lever "feel" - 1 push button feel vs fine difference between the single or double clicks which are fairly easy to mess up - but even more so, in the shifting method - cassette up vs. down vs. crank shift - of the L and R shifters. Yes I have both (two 10 speed mechanical groups and 1 AXS). Too much alike? I definitely don't get that.

Maybe you're talking about the actual physical feel of the levers/hoods rather than the feel of how the shift levers work? If so, how much different would they have to be to make the transition from one to the other easier? I personally have never had a major issue going between Shimano mechanical, Sram mechanical, bar end, down tube. They might take about 1 minute or two to transition, a shift or two, and it really has nothing to do with how the hoods/levers/bars feel under my hands. It's just a matter of maybe missing a shift, or reaching for the bar end of DT shifter that isn't there, but often it is just get on and ride.

Last edited by Camilo; 11-18-23 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 11-18-23, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I don't think that was the main reason. I had 3x FS bikes without "major" suspension issues, but front shifting was often an issue on demanding technical trails, especially when muddy. 1x was a massive revelation for mtb across the board.
Suspension designs such as the DW link and VPP were designed to give similar performance in all front chainring as compared to other systems. The HL could be tuned great in a single ring, but would have greatly reduced anti-squat in others.

The greatest development in suspension design was the move to 1x systems.
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Old 11-19-23, 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by vespasianus
Suspension designs such as the DW link and VPP were designed to give similar performance in all front chainring as compared to other systems. The HL could be tuned great in a single ring, but would have greatly reduced anti-squat in others.

The greatest development in suspension design was the move to 1x systems.
I agree, but regardless of suspension or hardtail I much prefer 1x mtb drivetrains. Front shifting was always a pita when hammering up/down technical single track. For road riding, front shifting is not really an issue, but it certainly was for mtb. Before 1x mtb I always ran a double and rear suspension was pretty effective on bikes I owned (typically high-end 4-6 inch travel trail bikes).
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Old 11-19-23, 09:05 AM
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Just Demoíd a bike with electronic shifters. Amazing. Iím sold. Next purchase is a Canyon Endurace with 105 Di2
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Old 11-19-23, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by cweb99
Just Demoíd a bike with electronic shifters. Amazing. Iím sold. Next purchase is a Canyon Endurace with 105 Di2
so, after four pages of opining and pontificating, the proof of the pudding really is in the tasteÖ.🤔
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