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I test rode Ultegra Di2 today and found out SRAM 11-speed is on the way.

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

I test rode Ultegra Di2 today and found out SRAM 11-speed is on the way.

Old 09-18-11, 06:40 PM
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ilovecycling
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I test rode Ultegra Di2 today and found out SRAM 11-speed is on the way.

So I went for a ride today and stopped at my favorite bike shop for a little break and to see what kind of goodies they had in stock. I asked about Ultegra Di2 and they said "Yeah, we have a bike with it right now." I was like wha wha what??? Turns out their Shimano rep is sponsoring a bbq in a few days and had an Ultegra Di2 group for them to display. They installed it on a 54cm SuperSix. One of the mechanics insisted that I try it out after I told him I've never tried Di2. He asked me what kind of cleats I had on, so I said, "Look." He says, "Ok, let me throw some pedals on there and adjust the seat for you."

5 minutes later I was riding a bike with Ultegra Di2 around the block. Let me tell you, it was nothing short of amazing. I could stand up and under heavy load shift from the little ring to the big ring up front. It shifted without a single hitch and without any grinding or hesitation. It provided flawless shifting under all circumstances. The hood ergos were great as well. Definitely much better than mechanical 6700 or 7900. To make a long story short, I'm sold. I will be buying it as soon as I can get it for a reasonable price.

After I got back in the shop I started talking with the same mechanic about how I am having bad luck with SRAM front shifting and that I love everything about SRAM except the darn front shifting. He rolled his eyes and says, "Tell me about it. That's just how it is. With Shimano you get great front shifting, but SRAM has them beat everywhere else...unless you go with Di2 that is!" Then he tells me that SRAM is revamping the Red group and it will be 11-speed. I guess it was supposed to be on display at this last Interbike show, but it wasn't ready yet. He says other than going to 11-speed, they are supposed to be making a huge improvement in front shifting performance because they know how bad it sucks right now.

Last but not least, I saw a cool Garmin Cervelo edition R5 frameset. It looked great in person.



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Old 09-18-11, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ilovecycling View Post
I will be buying it as soon as I can get it for a reasonable price.
So never getting it then?
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Old 09-18-11, 06:46 PM
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provided this is true i wonder if they will use campy's cassette spacing (and superior freehub spline)
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Old 09-18-11, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ilovecycling View Post
After I got back in the shop I started talking with the same mechanic about how I am having bad luck with SRAM front shifting and that I love everything about SRAM except the darn front shifting. He rolled his eyes and says, "Tell me about it. That's just how it is. With Shimano you get great front shifting, but SRAM has them beat everywhere else...unless you go with Di2 that is!"
All of rw's silly Sram shill static notwithstanding, this is about right. The only other observation I hear from Shimano users is they're not crazy about the clunky noises Sram drivetrains make while shifting (perceived as less precise and smooth than Shimano) but that strikes me as subjective. Front derailleurs that don't work and are a pain in the ass to adjust suck no matter how you slice it. Hopefully Sram is aware of this and they improve this one major flaw in their flagship group. I'm sure they'll get it right sooner or later. In the meantime Shimano's ace in the hole is Di2, particularly the cheaper Ultegra version, that will take back some of the marketshare they've ceded to Sram in the past few years on the high end.
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Old 09-18-11, 07:20 PM
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SRAM has GOT to do something about front shifting. Shimano and Campy racers in our area know the issue so well that they now attack at points where everyone is making the front shift -- especially on level high-speed stretches that suddenly go steeply uphill. It's amazing how much ground you can lose per second when everyone hits the little ring, but your front derailleur won't move your chain. (Di2 is worth more than all the aero you can buy in situations like this.)

11-speed? Nice idea. But SRAM, if you can't make it shift better than your stuff does now, don't bother.
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Old 09-18-11, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by KoNP View Post
So never getting it then?
I guess everyone has a different idea of what reasonable means, but to me around $1600 for Ultegra Di2 is reasonable. Once it starts showing up on eBay the price should settle around this mark. Considering Red or DA 7900 goes for roughly $1600 on eBay, an electronic group with superior performance for the same price is more than reasonable.
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Old 09-18-11, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
SRAM has GOT to do something about front shifting. Shimano and Campy racers in our area know the issue so well that they now attack at points where everyone is making the front shift -- especially on level high-speed stretches that suddenly go steeply uphill. It's amazing how much ground you can lose per second when everyone hits the little ring, but your front derailleur won't move your chain. (Di2 is worth more than all the aero you can buy in situations like this.)
While this wouldn't really surprise me, it would make more sense if people attacked when the hill is over and they are back on the flats. SRAM shifts down to the little ring just fine. It's shifting back up to the big ring that usually causes the problems.

I do agree that Di2 is worth more than all the aero benefits you can buy. There are so many people that dog on it for being "useless" or "not making you any faster," but this is not true. Being able to shift to the proper gear whenever you need it saves energy..and time when it happens quickly and reliably. It's a huge advantage, whether you like it or not.
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Old 09-18-11, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ilovecycling View Post
While this wouldn't really surprise me, it would make more sense if people attacked when the hill is over and they are back on the flats. SRAM shifts down to the little ring just fine.
Not when you're putting power through the pedals. If you're standing / sprinting, the chain has a tendency to freeze onto the big ring. No fun. As a guy moving over from 2 years using Di2, the first time it happened was a jolt to me. You've got to back off a shade to get it to shift either way.
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Old 09-18-11, 07:50 PM
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I really don't understand why you guys all have so much trouble with front shifting... I had a bike with 6600 Ultegra SL (RIP) and never had an issue. Current bike has 6700 Ultegra, again, ZERO front derailleur issues, big to small or small to big, load or no load. I'm sure the electronic stuff is great, but since I have NEVER had a dropped chain or trouble shifting, I don't see the need.
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Old 09-18-11, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by garciawork View Post
I really don't understand why you guys all have so much trouble with front shifting... I had a bike with 6600 Ultegra SL (RIP) and never had an issue. Current bike has 6700 Ultegra, again, ZERO front derailleur issues, big to small or small to big, load or no load. I'm sure the electronic stuff is great, but since I have NEVER had a dropped chain or trouble shifting, I don't see the need.
Shimano has great front shifting, whether mechanical or Di2. We are talking about SRAM's poor front shifting here. Shimano's rear shifting, while very quiet and "smooth," still sucks due to the way the shift lever operates. First, the brake lever pivots sideways, which nobody likes. Second, you can only shift down 2 gears now when it used to be 3. Third, the lever throw is soooooo freakin' long. Fourth, if you even barely graze the brake lever while trying to shift up, you will get a "ghost shift" where nothing happens at the end of the up-shift paddle's stroke. Fifth, the hood ergos totally blow compared to SRAM and Campy.

Di2 fixes every single one of those issues and makes the already front shifting that much more fail proof.
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Old 09-18-11, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by garciawork View Post
I really don't understand why you guys all have so much trouble with front shifting... I had a bike with 6600 Ultegra SL (RIP) and never had an issue. Current bike has 6700 Ultegra, again, ZERO front derailleur issues, big to small or small to big, load or no load. I'm sure the electronic stuff is great, but since I have NEVER had a dropped chain or trouble shifting, I don't see the need.
It's Sram front shifting that is awful. I have Red shifters & Force derailleurs. Rear shifting has bee great (once dialed in), front shifting from the 34 to the 50 is AWFUL. Three drops in 53 miles today. 100's in my ~2800 miles this year.The FD cage is flimsy and distorts easily. It has to be squeezed back into shape every now & then. My Force crank looks like a dog has chewed on it from all of the drops. Sram is replacing the FD, but I'm not too optimistic. I'm going to try an Ultegra 6600 FD before the Force replacement.
The hoods & short lever throws are awesome. But FD shifting is awful. Honestly, my 2004 Trek 1200 with a Tiagra FD & Bontrager triple cranks shifts a whole lot better than my 2011 Madone with Force (in the front).
The forums are full of posts about crappy Sram front shifting. Try to find one on Shimano.
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Old 09-18-11, 08:02 PM
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Old 09-18-11, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ilovecycling View Post
Shimano has great front shifting, whether mechanical or Di2. We are talking about SRAM's poor front shifting here. Shimano's rear shifting, while very quiet and "smooth," still sucks due to the way the shift lever operates. First, the brake lever pivots sideways, which nobody likes. Second, you can only shift down 2 gears now when it used to be 3. Third, the lever throw is soooooo freakin' long. Fourth, if you even barely graze the brake lever while trying to shift up, you will get a "ghost shift" where nothing happens at the end of the up-shift paddle's stroke. Fifth, the hood ergos totally blow compared to SRAM and Campy.
I'm a Di2 fan, but you're really reaching here. Only your second point has any credence. The others . . . not sure where you're coming from. (A long lever throw? Compared to SRAM? Ridiculous.)
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Old 09-18-11, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Peter2 View Post
It's Sram front shifting that is awful. I have Red shifters & Force derailleurs. Rear shifting has bee great (once dialed in), front shifting from the 34 to the 50 is AWFUL. Three drops in 53 miles today. 100's in my ~2800 miles this year.The FD cage is flimsy and distorts easily. It has to be squeezed back into shape every now & then. My Force crank looks like a dog has chewed on it from all of the drops.
Your chain shouldn't be coming off -- your front "high" stop is out of adjustment. It's an easy fix. Give me a screwdriver and five minutes and I'll have you good to go. You need a mechanic who can do the same.
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Old 09-18-11, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
I'm a Di2 fan, but you're really reaching here. Only your second point has any credence. The others . . . not sure where you're coming from. (A long lever throw? Compared to SRAM? Ridiculous.)
Reaching? Hardly. All my points on the negative attributes of Shimano's mechanical groups are valid. You must be downright in denial if you don't think Shimano's lever throw is significantly longer than SRAM's. It's not even close. This last post of yours, along with the fact that you "put power through the pedals" when downshifting to the little ring (which is stupid to do in any situation due to the sudden increase in cadence- it's natural to back off when shifting down in the front) makes me think you don't know what you're talking about. And why would you go to SRAM after riding Di2 for 2 years like you claim? Nobody in their right mind would do that.

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Old 09-18-11, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
Your chain shouldn't be coming off
Ask Andy Schleck about this.
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Old 09-18-11, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
Your chain shouldn't be coming off -- your front "high" stop is out of adjustment. It's an easy fix. Give me a screwdriver and five minutes and I'll have you good to go. You need a mechanic who can do the same.
^^^ Correct. If the chain is falling off, something is out of adjustment. That's not to say it can't happen, but hundreds of times in 2800 miles is crazy. General shift quality is hit or miss though, regardless of adjustment. No mechanic in the world can get my Red or Force FD to shift half as well as mechanical 6700 on my 595.
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Old 09-18-11, 08:21 PM
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That has to be Di2's most amazing feature- a sensor on the front derailleur that senses chain rub and instantly engages the servo motor to tweak the front derailleur so that is stops rubbing immediately. It works seamlessly in the background. That Di2 system is amazing. Works flawlessly, reliably, doesn't break, etc. Shimano got that system right. They sure tested it enough in the pros. Credit where it's due.

Sure it's overpriced. So is my Lexus. What's your point?
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Old 09-18-11, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
Your chain shouldn't be coming off -- your front "high" stop is out of adjustment. It's an easy fix. Give me a screwdriver and five minutes and I'll have you good to go. You need a mechanic who can do the same.
The bike has been checked by several mechanics, and shifting still sucks. It's so bad, that Sram has acknowledged the poor shifting and is replacing the derailleur. The cage is flimsy. Right after it's adjusted, it's fine. Then the carge widens over time from normal shifting, which leads to the drops.

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Old 09-18-11, 08:37 PM
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So anyways...

When I started the thread I didn't mean to turn it into another Di2 thread. I just wanted to share that I got to ride it and it rocks.

The more interesting topic is that SRAM will be improving their FD performance and going to 11 speed like Campy. I also hope they get rid of the stupid "open glide" cassette design. I appreciate the Red cassette for its 1-piece construction, but the missing teeth do nothing except bring the weight down a few more grams to impress the weight weenies. This stupid design is why people say SRAM's shifting has a crunching noise. It's amplified by the hollow construction of the cassette too. The missing teeth do not make shifting any more reliable under load, despite what SRAM's marketing says. They need to keep the same lightweight 1-piece construction, but PLEASE include all the teeth for crying out loud!
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Old 09-18-11, 08:59 PM
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nice to know youll have an 11 speed that sucks when you buy SRAM....
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Old 09-18-11, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ilovecycling View Post
Shimano has great front shifting, whether mechanical or Di2. We are talking about SRAM's poor front shifting here. Shimano's rear shifting, while very quiet and "smooth," still sucks due to the way the shift lever operates. First, the brake lever pivots sideways, which nobody likes. Second, you can only shift down 2 gears now when it used to be 3. Third, the lever throw is soooooo freakin' long. Fourth, if you even barely graze the brake lever while trying to shift up, you will get a "ghost shift" where nothing happens at the end of the up-shift paddle's stroke. Fifth, the hood ergos totally blow compared to SRAM and Campy.

Di2 fixes every single one of those issues and makes the already front shifting that much more fail proof.
gonna tell you I think your idea on the Shimano shifting is off...I've found that the double tap system is confusing to many and less efficient IMO. I'd rather with either 1 lever or both and know that I got the shift right rather than miss shift because I didn't push hard enough...it makes plenty sense and has never once failed me on my 7800 DA. the only time i get ghost shifts are when I need things tuned...ive never shifted in the wrong directions...ever. although my friend who recently switched to RED from his 105 is having tons of problems getting used to shifting efficiently....oh and he said the hoods of his reds SUCK...they hurt and arent nearly as comfortable as his 105's....but thats just an opinion i guess...
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Old 09-18-11, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ilovecycling View Post
Shimano has great front shifting, whether mechanical or Di2. We are talking about SRAM's poor front shifting here. Shimano's rear shifting, while very quiet and "smooth," still sucks due to the way the shift lever operates. First, the brake lever pivots sideways, which nobody likes. Second, you can only shift down 2 gears now when it used to be 3. Third, the lever throw is soooooo freakin' long. Fourth, if you even barely graze the brake lever while trying to shift up, you will get a "ghost shift" where nothing happens at the end of the up-shift paddle's stroke. Fifth, the hood ergos totally blow compared to SRAM and Campy.

Di2 fixes every single one of those issues and makes the already front shifting that much more fail proof.
Ah, I read what was said as negative towards all non electronic front shifting, my bad. I've never had issues with ghost shifting though, and don't mind the STI platform at all. I also LOVE my 6600 hood shape. Haven't ridden on 6700 hoods, but I will say I wasn't a huge fan of the way they felt in the shop, but that isn't saying much without a real ride.
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Old 09-18-11, 09:21 PM
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To whom it may concern:

Front derailleurs are cheap. If your SRAM fd sucks, why not just stick a Shimano or Campy on there ?
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Old 09-18-11, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
To whom it may concern:

Front derailleurs are cheap. If your SRAM fd sucks, why not just stick a Shimano or Campy on there ?
srsly
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