a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: July 26, 2001
Strengths: Mektronic is easy to set up provided you read the instructions carefully. It works superbly. Brake levers very comfortable and offer new position when used with ITM Marathon bars.
Weaknesses: Loss of power or breakdown will leave you unable to change gear. Fixing of speedo pickup on fork prone to movement - need to recheck if bike has been transported. Positioning is very sensitive. No battery problems so far, but not looking forward to being caught out. Occasional lack of response from buttons - overcome by resetting on computer. Spares support service not yet tested
Puts a smile on your face. Life and durability - to be determined Similar price to Record kit (in Europe)
Similar Products Used: Nothing else like it available
Bike Setup: Airborne Zeppelin, Time forks, Ksyrium wheels and Mavic cassette, TA chainset, Record brakes, Mavic front changer
a Road Racer
from haverhill, ma, usa
Date Reviewed: May 10, 2001
Strengths: The strongest point is the zoot factor. The stuff is beautiful, both in aesthetic design and finish. The performance is adequate, but I would never race it or take it on a long trip where I would be far away from civilization. I have a 'workhorse' bike that I do all of my serious training and racing on, so I just ride my mektronic/merlin on recovery rides or commuting every once in a while. The shifting takes a little getting used to. The literature and reviewers have raved about quick shifts, but I don't see that it's really any faster than the chorus stuff on my workhorse. It's nice to have the computer tell you which gear you're in so you don't have to look back at rear wheel. The brakes are beautiful and solid. I keep hoping they will release the crankset and bottom bracket soon.
Weaknesses: 1)setup - this was without a doubt the worst excercise I have had in my long experience in bike mechanics. The directions are translated from french so not everything comes through exactly as it should, but the explanation of the operating principle is pretty good. This setup is not for someone with limited mechanical/bike experience or abilities. The mechanic at my shop didn't even wnat to try it, saying that I would do as well as him at it. He offered to watch. The thumbwheel adjuster on the derailler is pretty ridiculous (hard to explain, you'd have to try it). I managed to get the shifting to work indoors, only after I turned the flourescent lights in my shop off, but the speed sensor refused to register until I took the bike outside, even though the battery monitor said the sensor battery was good and I could hear the sensor chirp as the wheel spun. The directions say that there should be no electronics running in the local vicinity. I can't wait until I have to shift next to some power lines. Oops, is that a cell tower over there? 2)Quality - I'm not all that thrilled with the quality. The first computer was DOA, it turns out that the + battery contact had broken. It fell out when I tried changing the battery. Then it took two weeks for Mavic to send a replacement. The plastic on the battery covers is very soft and the fit is quite tight. This means that the slot in the cover gouges very easily if you don't use EXACTLY the right sized tool. I pity someone trying to change a battery on the road.
Do not buy this if you are on a budget. Do not buy this if you have only one bike. Do not buy this if you cannot fix your own bike. Do not buy this if you tend to get easily frustrated. Do not race a bike with this equipment. Do not ride this equipment in inclement weather. It isn't a great value, but this product isn't aimed at bargain shoppers, so value is kind of hard to determine. When you figure that you can get an Ultegra or Chorus 9sp drive train for less money than the Mektronic, and be assured of reliablilty. It's not a bargain. But hey, a digitally encoded wireless shifting system? How often do you see that? Overall, if the setup were easier, and the instructions clearer, I would have rated it higher.
Similar Products Used: There really is nothing else like it on the market. Suntour superb pro, shimano 105, 600, campy record (old and new), nouvo record, athena, chorus, Modolo.
Bike Setup: Merlin Road, HED trispokes, Mektronic shifting system with brakes and front derailleur, Profile design carbon crankset w/TA rings. The reason for the $900 dollar price tag is that I got the Mavic brakes and front derailler also.
a Recreational Rider
from Yuba City
Date Reviewed: March 30, 2001
Strengths: Super fast shifting
Weaknesses: Requires proper alignment of all drive train to shift properly. Poor instructions. If unit goes haywire, get new batteries in all three units (rear derailleur,computer, and sensor)
Not worth the money if bought at retail. At 300.00, it was a fun project
Bike Setup: Litespeed Vortex,Look carbon fork, King HS, Mavic Mektronic, Ultegra brake, cranks, fr. derailleur, Litespeed stem, TTT bar, Ritchey wheels
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: May 4, 2000
Strengths: The best ergonomics, super comfy hoods, at proper cadence shifts faster and better than anything. I like the friction shifting for the front derailleur, easy to "trim". neat-o looks.
Weaknesses: a bit expensive, won't fit on a trainer (rder too big) a lot of plastic, fragile and i don't know about depending on batteries for anything more important than a computer! if you pedal at a low cadence like an idiot the stuff shifts worse than shimano tourney.
I'm impressed. If I had to do it again, not currently working in a shop I probably would have gone Chorus-but this mektronic stuff is pretty neat. shifts super fast, and i really like all the positions i can shift from as well as the aero position the stuff offers. (no uci races for me!) the ergonomics of the levers are simply the best out there. good feel, close to the bar and even my meaty fists don't overwhelm them. i also particularly enjoy the friction front shifter as i've never had good luck with indexing in the front, particulary with campy. all in all near perfect. but you gotta decide if you'll sacrafice durability and deal with the increased hassle of batteries and plastic in exchange for these benefits.If you are a racer who can enjoy the benefits of faster shifting, and pedal with a higher cadence, go for it! if you are not, i'd make sure to explore the other options, but bear in mind it's pretty light and has held up a hell of a lot better than the ultegra junk on my cross bike.
Similar Products Used: Campy Chorus & Record groups, D/A and Ultegra groups
Bike Setup: 60cm Merckx MX leader frame, Mavic Mektronik levers brake/shift, chorus cranks and brakes, record hset and bb, helium wheels-flite saddle, record post, cinelli 66 bar and stem, hutchinson oro tubulars and other stuff i forget.