Electronic Shifting (or Hydraulic) – Why?

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  • Electronic Shifting (or Hydraulic) – Why?
  • clubber
    Member

    It’s amazingly light touch, very quick shifting, extremely reliable and self-adjusts.

    If you think that’s worth the extra then it worth it.

    I did think it was slightly lighter though – could be wrong though.

    It also opens up the possibilies of multiple shifters – say on bar ends?

    EDIT – apparently the electronic DA is 50g heavier.

    wrecker
    Member

    Apparently the Di2 stuff does some clever shit like auto trimming etc.
    I thought the same as you but when the advantages were explained to me it really appealed.
    Should be cable less though (bluetooth etc) That would be cool.

    jimc101
    Member

    Cos it’s new! for the road, it’s a great idea, espcially in long rides (24hr+) when your hands do get tired. also you have 100% correct shifting all the time as the electronics trim the shift.

    For MTB, not so needed, as cables work great, but would jump at hydraulic shifting if it was at the correct price point.

    clubber
    Member

    Yes, it self adjusts the front mech so it never rubs

    Wires will be staying until someone comes up with smaller batteries that can be located with the mechs.

    I’d argue that because of the reliability of shifting irrespective of conditions, it’d actually be more advantageous on mtbs.

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    Its about finding new stuff to sell to people.

    crotchrocket
    Member

    loss of gears because this muppet forgot to do the recharging?
    I don’t need that type of aggravation on top of the more usual type of mechanicals that can be fixed trailside.

    clubber
    Member

    TandemJeremy – Member
    Its about finding new stuff to sell to people.

    Of course it is Mr Grumpy, same as most progress, really.

    It’s also about improvement in the long term. Electronic shifting opens up more areas of development than cables. People buying now are paying a big premium (not worth it at the moment IMO) to have that cutting edge technology. And paying for it again when for example DA changes to the smaller Ultegra electronic type cables…

    clubber
    Member

    crotchrocket – Member
    loss of gear because muppet forgot the recharging?

    Indeed. Except the batteries last ages (several months IIRC) and you’d have to ignore the low battery warning for ages for that to happen.

    You probably also complain if you have to pump your tyres up occassionally 🙂

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    K.I.S.S.

    simplify and add lightness.

    _tom_
    Member

    Sounds alright but I like my bikes to be simple.. would rather not have to worry about changing batteries all the time. Although to be honest I do hate adjusting mechs so self trimming would be quite nice.

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    It offers some clear advantages, at a price. Once it trickles down to the mass market, I suspect we’ll all be using it within a few years. The naysayers probably grumbled about disc brakes and suspension forks.

    No cables to bung up with gunk = win. 50g heavier than mechanical DA? How much do full length MTB outers weigh?

    I reckon it’d go well with the Saint groupset, you could have a shifting chain device where the lower roller moved accross too?

    Electronic doodahhs are the future on the road.

    Dereilieurs off road on the other hand, not so. Gearboxes will be here soon, Nicolai have bought in a 3rd party one that costs not much more than an XTR groupset IIRC, and lasts indefinately?

    clubber
    Member

    TandemJeremy – Member
    K.I.S.S.

    simplify and add lightness.

    Great. Except we should the leave bikes behind and walk instead. Same for computers and so on. Complexity isn’t a bad thing in itself unless you’re just blinkered.

    simplify and add lightness.

    Suspension forks on your bike, Mr Grumpy? They weigh way more and are less simple…..Discs? They weigh more and are less simple, etc, etc, etc.

    Di2 is stunning to ride. The auto-trim on the front mech is a joy, and the crispness and speed of shifting, even under full power is astonishing. Would like to see how a hydro shift (Acros (spl?)) works in comparison.

    I personally think that Di2 applied off road could be better than on road, given the increase in mud/grime and the wider gear ratios used.

    large418
    Member

    I just think that in 5-10 years time, the batteries are obsolete as the industry has moved to the new LiPiFi battery that weighs 10g for 100A/hr, the shifters obsolete, the derailleurs obsolete (solenoids are so last year), so the system becomes archaic.

    Old wiring connections, submerged in mud and puddles, become unreliable, wires get snagged, etc.

    Bluetooth would be fun – imagine the carnage in the peloton if you could hack into other teams shifters!

    I guess for top racers who get new bikes every year, it could make sense, but for those of us who make things last, is it worth it?

    Premier Icon JAG
    Subscriber

    Yeah, more precise shifting and auto-trim would be nice. No more chain-rubbing noises at either end of the cassette etc…

    BUT how would an electronic rear or front mech’ deal with the mud and crap that a good mtb ride can produce? especially during an English Winter? or snow and ice accumulating on them for that matter?

    Derraileurs have lot’s of sliding and pivoting areas that can clag up with mud – even the current stuff can’t always shift when it’s full of mud. I can imagine the batteries getting hot and the motors/solenoids burning out in that scenario.

    packer
    Member

    Di2 battery only needs charging every 600 to 1500 miles, depending on how much you change gear. The charging itself takes an hour.

    As someone else said, you’d have to ignore the low battery warning for quite a while before getting caught out with a flat battery became a possibility.

    Basically it’s the future and in 10 years time most of use will have it on our bikes, whether we “need” it or not.

    mcboo
    Member

    Jury is out I reckon. Might turn out to be fantastic and we’ll all be on it but is an element of a solution looking for a problem.

    sobriety
    Member

    Di2 battery only needs charging every 600 to 1500 miles, depending on how much you change gear. The charging itself takes an hour.

    Why have a battery that requires charging away from the bike, there are enough moving parts on a bicycle to have some form of continuous induction charging, making that battery last more or less forever, with a very small weight gain.

    crotchrocket
    Member

    a dynamo?
    Hmmm, drag in exchange for power.

    How about a solar panel on the riders back?

    Klunk
    Member

    K.I.S.S.

    simplify and add lightness.

    in one respect that’s what they do. with the shifters.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    To my mind, when there’s a single shifter that just has ‘up’ and ‘down’ and the system sorts out which is the next lowest/highest ratio irrespective of chainring/cassette position, that will be just about spot on…
    🙂

    sobriety
    Member

    a dynamo?

    I was thinking more along the lines of magnetic induction, like how a speedo works, only using is to keep the battery charged, probably a few years away in terms of tech though.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    The Acros system is incredibly light – lighter than XTR/XX, whilst Di2 is very slightly heavier than mechanical as said.

    Di2 is just lovely to use, I’d have it without doubt! If you’re happy with cables then no one’s forcing you to change, but as the costs come down I reckon it’s worth it!

    PeterPoddy – Member
    To my mind, when there’s a single shifter that just has ‘up’ and ‘down’ and the system sorts out which is the next lowest/highest ratio irrespective of chainring/cassette position, that will be just about spot on…

    I have that, it’s called “1×10”

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    K.I.S.S.
    simplify and add lightness.

    It is simpler. Nothing to adjust ever. No cables to get gunked up or require changing. That’s simple. Lightness – it’s within a few grams of the current mechanical stuff.

    Like it or not, electronic shifting is the way forward on the more “enthusiast” bikes (ie those people using bikes for sport rather than as a cheap hack for getting from A to B).

    The “what if you run out of charge” argument is total rubbish – the batteries last months and you’d have to ignore a blinking red light for 300km to run out of charge. Even then you’ve got a singlespeed – pop it into an easy gear and you can still get home.

    Premier Icon mugsys_m8
    Subscriber

    Is the electronic shifting going to be brought out for the shimano singlespeed groupset?

    mugsys_m8 – Member
    Is the electronic shifting going to be brought out for the shimano singlespeed groupset?

    You use the same groupset, but the batteries are flip-flop. Pop them in the wrong way around and it’s singlespeed.

    large418
    Member

    Shimano have got their electronic gear shifting wizardry on the market (for a price), and have hinted at XTR going that way also. There’s a hydraulic system on the market (for a real price – could get a bike for that!).

    Question is – what does it do that a conventional shifting system doesn’t? I can only see downsides (heavier, more expensive, reliability, limited lifespan, needs charging), so why is it “better”?

    Or is it just new and exciting?

    I can’t see what possibilities it opens up either (predictive shifting when connected to a GPS? Why would I want that then?).

    Any clues?

    Luddite

    Premier Icon mugsys_m8
    Subscriber

    Ah. Thanks for clearing that up. How about for the subversive fixie groupset?

    STATO
    Member

    To my mind, when there’s a single shifter that just has ‘up’ and ‘down’ and the system sorts out which is the next lowest/highest ratio irrespective of chainring/cassette position, that will be just about spot on…

    Been done LINK

    uponthedowns
    Member

    BUT how would an electronic rear or front mech’ deal with the mud and crap that a good mtb ride can produce?

    Just fine if it can deal with this.

    Yes that is Di2 under there working fine.

    Having said that, gearbox transmission is the obvious way to go for MTBs

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    Electronic Shifting (or Hydraulic) – Why?

    BUT how would an electronic rear or front mech’ deal with the mud and crap that a good mtb ride can produce? especially during an English Winter? or snow and ice accumulating on them for that matter?

    gear cables are rubbish, prone to excessive friction at the first sign of neglect, resulting in awfull shifting, any system that does without them is worth looking at.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    It will happen, I’m surprised at some people’s reticence – everyone accepts that cables in brakes (on an MTB at least) are horrible, but somehow changing to another system for your shifting (which is far simpler really, not the same modulation required) is somehow daft…

    Fairwheels sequential shifting looks really neat, and it’s not a pre-programmed shift order, it will choose based on the gear you’re currently in, so you won’t fit it suddenly dumping the chain on the front and shifting half the block.

    M6TTF
    Member

    thought controlled gearing is the way forward

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    That’s already happened too.

    uponthedowns
    Member

    Like William Gibson said

    “The future is here now- its just unevenly distributed”

    andrewh
    Member

    I can only see downsides (heavier, more expensive, reliability, limited lifespan, needs charging), so why is it “better”?

    I would love a hydraulic set-up. Pretty much all of the disadvantages you mentioned (other than more expensive) no longer apply to hydraulic brakes compared to cables.
    I’m not sure about electronic though. I’m generally useless with electronic anything and value reliability, I like being able to fix emchanical/hydaulic things rather than simply chuck them away as with computers.

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