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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking at groupsets, wondering what are the true benefits of electrical over mechanical really? Is electric the way to go?
Overhere there is no use trying to go to a dealer, they haven't got bikes with either Ultegra Di2, Dura ace or Red.

What is of interest is Sram Red ceramic, or Ultegra Di2.

Opinions and info of all sorts is appreciated:thumbsup:
 

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irony intended
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What a novel question! Never heard this one before....I wonder if any of them fancy cycling magazines ever reviewed this newfangled eLectronic stuff?
 

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Cathedral City, CA
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Resident Curmudgeon
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If I was buying a group today I'd buy the mechanical one. IMO the electric shifters are an answer to a question thet nobody asked.
 

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I'm waiting for either a generator hub powered or solar powered electric groupset. With the current(no pun intended) battery powered groups I'd be worried about the battery going dead mid ride.
 

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What do the electric groups do that the mechanical ones don't that you really need?

Electric is heavier and more expensive and looks ugly. The only advantage I see no need to teak cables after installation (only charge the battery once a month).

Don't bother with bike mag reviews etc-they want to sell advertising so are never going to bash a product. Besides what are they going to say? Di2 shifts great-because it does. Shimano 9000 is the best shifting mech group, because it is. It took them a while (and then very quietly) to admit that 7900 wasn't as smooth as 7800.

What somebody else's review is never going to tell you is what appeals to you.

Electric is great for Tri (although the aero saving of cable managment are probably lost to non aero FD/RD) and great for cross because the shifting would be more stable. For road- me personally I'd stick to mechanical groups. For mountain biking- I'd be too scared of crashing/ripping the RD off!!
 

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There is no cable stretch to worry about, The FD self trims itself, do not worry about the charges either you will ride quite a long time on one charge. There is a light that also indicates where your charge is at. If you enjoy progression & technology get it. Humans in general do not like one thing that is common among many and that is change.
 

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Matnlely Dregaend
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I'm going on a bike vacation tomorrow and the number of batteries I have to charge is mind-boggling... cell phone spares, GPS, bike computer, noise cancelling headphones, laptop, camera, it just doesn't end! I'd consider the wireless electric version for my Breakaway if it ever gets developed (Tiso?), it would make dis- and re-assembly a whole lot easier.
 

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I am riding Shimano Utegra DI-2, and it is simply amazing, will never go back to mechanical.

I rode Mechanical ultegra for 10 years on three bikes prior to my DI-2 and enjoyed it and it was trouble free.

I made the leap late last year to Utegra DI-2 (1500 miles so far) and it has been better than expected.

Make sure you get the ultegra version as it is second generation Di-2 and is rock solid. The Dura-ace Di-2 was first generation (came out 3 years ago) and had some bugs that it worked through.

The shifts are perfect every time, and there is so little effort needed. I recently did a firmware update and now can vary speed of shifts and can do multi-gear shifts just by holding the shift buttons. No cable stretching that require adjustments every 1000 miles. And because of the electronics and programming it actually over shifts slightly and then comes back and centers on the sprockets, which results in perfect shifts with no noise or trimming.

Battery life is really great, I have charged the battery once at about 800 miles and it still showed I had 50% battery left.

There really is no negatives that I can speak of. The biggest difference I notice is the the front sprocket shifts so easy that i find myself changing front sprockets much more often than when I rode mechanical. Keeps me in optimum cadence more often.

Electronic shifting is the wave of the future and shimano has now got it down to a great working system.
 

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Matnlely Dregaend
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Cathedral City, CA
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If I was buying a group today I'd buy the mechanical one. IMO the electric shifters are an answer to a question thet nobody asked.
People said the same thing about 8sp, 9sp, 10sp, 11sp...
 

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I switched to Ultegra Di2 from Ultegra mechanical in November and didn't look back. Like jackmen mentioned, it is very crisp, quick shifting that never misses. I particularly enjoy the automatic trimming of the front derailleur. BlingMyBike laments that this system is heavier and uglier, but only one of those things is empirically true. Yes, it's 70g heavier, or 2.47 oz. If you can't overcome 2.47oz, stop biking right now and jump from the highest bridge you can find. Whether or not you find it ugly is completely subjective and frankly irrelevant. The battery seems to last me ~1800 miles, so charging is quite infrequent. I suppose the only noticeable downside is the price difference from mechanical Ultegra. It's about $1100-1300 more retail for the same bike. However, you can get a much better deal if you shop around. When I was shopping for my new bike, one of the companies I contacted was Fezzari. They offered to upgrade the Ultegra mechanical to the Di2 version for $600, which was their cost.
 

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Cathedral City, CA
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I'm going on a bike vacation tomorrow and the number of batteries I have to charge is mind-boggling... cell phone spares, GPS, bike computer, noise cancelling headphones, laptop, camera, it just doesn't end! I'd consider the wireless electric version for my Breakaway if it ever gets developed (Tiso?), it would make dis- and re-assembly a whole lot easier.
I've been thinking about how this would go ever since I did an EPS test ride in December of 2011. I would not want wireless. With all wireless you would have several transmitters and receivers. I have a wireless bike computer with speed, cadence and heart rate. The control unit has a receiver to take the data from the heart rate monitor, the cadence sensor and the speed sensor. The control unit also had a transmitter to send the various pieces of information to the display unit. I'm not sure if any signals go back to the control unit form the display, but if there was, a transmitter would be needed for the display. It's not impossible, but the cost of adding multiple transmitters and receivers has to be noticeably more expensive than wiring. The e-shift systems are costly enough without adding to them.

As it sits now, this leaves 2 options. Cut the wire to the rear derailleur and install a waterproof connector. However, I would expect that this would void the warranty. The other possibility would be to disconnect the rear derailleur wire at the control unit (I'm speaking from an EPS perspective, not certain about Di2). This might be a bit tricky as the connectors are designed to close up well and keep water out and probably less so for frequent assembly/disassembly.
 

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People said the same thing about 8sp, 9sp, 10sp, 11sp...
Going from a wide ratio transmission to close ratio transmission offers a real performance gain. Electric shifting, not so much.

If somebody wants electric, by all means they should get it, but it's more about having the perceived best than a performance gain.
IMO anyway.
 
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