Dave M (Forum Supporter)
Dave M (Forum Supporter) Dork
9/10/20 5:44 a.m.

I'm considering upgrading my drivetrain on my 2009 road bike and I'm wondering if the electronic groupsets are worth the extra $1,000 over the mechanical. I'm a casual 5-hrs a week rider in a hilly area.
I'm curious if anyone owns a bike with electronic and if they think it's worth it?

 

 

 

 

 

ultraclyde (Forum Supporter)
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
9/10/20 5:56 a.m.

I don't own one but I lust after them. Actually, what I want is a good, reliable wireless version. Super clean, hang the components and go. 
 

anecdotally, everyone I ride with that has switched loves them. But part of that could be buyer's bias. 

Dave M (Forum Supporter)
Dave M (Forum Supporter) Dork
9/11/20 10:46 a.m.

In reply to ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) :

I think the SRAM is wireless....but yeah, I am not sure it's worth the money!

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
9/11/20 11:04 a.m.

I came close when I built up my dream bike, and the framebuilder was pretty stoked on his, but I just couldn't get my head past having a bicycle that could become basically unusable if I forget to charge it long enough. Not necessarily that I expected that to be a real problem; it was sort of 30% practical and 70% philosophical. To a lesser degree, the idea that the bits could degrade and the batteries become unchargeable... well, everything wears out, but the idea that I could pay more and have it happen faster didn't seem like an upside.

I do like the idea of having a system that just nails every shift, so you don't ever have that several rides where either housings settling or gummy cables are degrading the shifting but not quite enough to do anything about it. Where you're not quite sure whether you were imagining having to over-pull the lever, etc...

mfennell
mfennell Reader
9/11/20 12:51 p.m.

I keep my stuff for-ever.  My work bike (when I used to go to work...) has Shimano DuraAce 7800 from 2007.  I have at least 15k miles on the group and have never replaced anything but cables and chains.  The Kuota Kredo frame had to be replaced at about 10 years (dropouts oxidizing under the carbon) but the shifting has always been flawless.

The Ultegra components on my trainer bike from 2004 have at least 25k miles on them.  Same story.

I just don't see electronic groupsets having that longevity.

procainestart
procainestart Dork
9/11/20 4:25 p.m.

Admittedly, I haven't ridden a bike with an electronic groupset, but given the cost, and the fact that you describe your riding as ~5 hours a week, in my opinion, there are better things to drop a grand or more on. Also, does the electronic stuff have to have an 11-speed cluster? (I don't know.) If it does, a consideration would be whether you'd need to have the rear triangle bent out to accommodate one. And a new rear wheel (or at least, hub, so, rebuilt wheel) if yours can't accommodate 11 gears. All that said, perhaps you could program the system to work with fewer than 11 gears?? Again, I don't know -- I'm just typing here. But that electronic setup is a ton of money. IMO, if you're a fit rider but only get out 5 hours a week, your money is best spent on a Shimano 105 or equivalent SRAM setup. If you're more casual, Tiagra. Before Covid Times, I rode to work 5 days/wk, year 'round, about 3K mi/yr of commuting. I've been super-happy with 105 (with non-Shimano disk brakes).

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/11/20 4:43 p.m.

In reply to mfennell :

2007 Dura Ace.  That's cute...  wink

I'm still running 8 spd Campy Ergopower from 1992 on my main road bike. cheeky

On the other hand, my mtn bikes I tend to keep more current.  I'm in the process of converting/building two of my three mtn bikes to Shimano 12 spd. When I bought my current trail bike earlier this year, I came this >< close to splurging the extra few $$$ for AXS over XTR 12 spd, but while I understand AXS is really amazing, I know how bad I am about keeping batteries charged.  But I've been happy with 12 spd, although I did have to pull the cassette off to grease the hub body in an effort to chase down some creaking.

But man... those AXS equipped bikes have such a clean cockpit.  

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
9/11/20 5:57 p.m.

I don't get e-bikes.

If you want to ride a bike, do the work. It's not even hard work if you don't want it to be.

procainestart
procainestart Dork
9/11/20 7:41 p.m.
ShawnG said:

I don't get e-bikes.

If you want to ride a bike, do the work. It's not even hard work if you don't want it to be.

OP is asking about electronic shifters/derailleurs, not e-bikes. yes

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
9/11/20 8:57 p.m.

My neighbor is a super hard core cyclist and he has electronic shifters on his road bike.  He really likes it, but I don't know much of that is because of how it performs, and how much of it is because it's a cool gadget.  smiley  Either way I think you really need to want one to justify the expense.  I think his is Shimano but I don't recall exactly.

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
9/11/20 10:19 p.m.

In reply to procainestart :

Shows you how much of a retro-grouch I am. I didn't even know those things existed.

mfennell
mfennell Reader
9/12/20 11:13 a.m.
Ian F (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to mfennell :

2007 Dura Ace.  That's cute...  wink

I'm still running 8 spd Campy Ergopower from 1992 on my main road bike. cheeky

Hahah.  I have a DuraAce group on a 90ish Vitus.  Indexed downtube shifters!

On the other hand, my mtn bikes I tend to keep more current.  I'm in the process of converting/building two of my three mtn bikes to Shimano 12 spd. When I bought my current trail bike earlier this year, I came this >< close to splurging the extra few $$$ for AXS over XTR 12 spd, but while I understand AXS is really amazing, I know how bad I am about keeping batteries charged.  But I've been happy with 12 spd, although I did have to pull the cassette off to grease the hub body in an effort to chase down some creaking.

My main mtn bike is a 2011 SWORKS hardtail.  It still feels modern to me but I guess it isn't really.  I bought it as a used frameset and upgraded as I went.  XX1, Hope brakes, Stans Valor rims.  It's pretty sweet but my 50yo body is expressing interest in something like the Trek Supercalibre.

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/12/20 2:18 p.m.

In reply to mfennell :

The new Supercalibre definitely looks sweet.  I've been happy with my Spot Ryve 115.  Just enough travel to handle any XC riding I want to do, but  just under 25 lbs and a suspension design that makes it feel like a mtn goat on climbs. I have a 160mm travel 29er for gravity/lift served riding and I'm in the middle of building a Santa Cruz Chameleon hardtail for general stupidity riding.   I'm "hoping" that these three will keep my quiver stable for awhile, but I've been saying that for years... 

The road bike stable is still up for revision.  I love my mid-90's Colnago but it's starting to get long in the tooth and parts are a bit of a PITA to get.  I built up a gravel bike, but I'm still not all that happy with the fit.  Part of me wants to just bite the bullet and get a custom ti frame made (I've known the owner of Engin Cycles since the mid-90's...), but that would be an eye-watering amount of money.  I suppose compared to other 50yo mid-life crisis purchases, it's on the lower priced end... but it would still end up as around an $8K bike since if I'm going with a custom ti frame, it'll get a Campy Record Carbon Disc build kit.  Even then, I'm still leaning more towards traditional cable shifting vs the EPS version.  Especially since it's about $900 less.

Slippery (Forum Supporter)
Slippery (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/12/20 2:45 p.m.
Ian F (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to mfennell :

2007 Dura Ace.  That's cute...  wink

I'm still running 8 spd Campy Ergopower from 1992  

1990s Shimano 600 here laugh

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/12/20 3:29 p.m.

Was talking to my brother recently. He has friction shifters in the down tube. Not even indexed. Gets a lot of giggles from group riders. 

TheGloriousW
TheGloriousW Reader
9/19/20 8:53 a.m.

I ride Di2. I have had it for 4 or so years. I'm not going back to mechanical. Simple things like not having to trim the FD makes it worth it. Charging is a non issue.

 

It is much better installed on a frame set up for electric shift, unless you get SRAM wireless. So new bike, yes. Retrofit, maybe. The new mechanical groups are also light years ahead of what they were ten years ago.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe PowerDork
9/19/20 10:19 a.m.

7K miles on my ultegra gearset with zero problems. I cannot see how a non competitive cyclist can see any increase in performance with them that would be worth the price. I would rather spend that cash on upgrading the wheelset but that is me.

 

Now if your powertap numbers are insane do it but lighter wheels would help way more in the climbs.

ultraclyde (Forum Supporter)
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
9/19/20 11:19 a.m.

Let's be honest though, for most recreational riders, even serious club riders, more than a mid level bike is overkill anyway. So are full coil over systems on a street car. Sometimes we buy neat tech stuff because we think it's cool and fun to use, not because we need it. 

dxman92
dxman92 Dork
9/19/20 2:46 p.m.

I've talked to people who have electronic shifting and they seem to rave about it. Personally I like my more analog 9 speed Microshift system.

TheGloriousW
TheGloriousW Reader
9/19/20 9:18 p.m.
wearymicrobe said:

7K miles on my ultegra gearset with zero problems. I cannot see how a non competitive cyclist can see any increase in performance with them that would be worth the price. I would rather spend that cash on upgrading the wheelset but that is me.

 

Now if your powertap numbers are insane do it but lighter wheels would help way more in the climbs.

FD trims, Auto-shift, syncro-shift, auto RD shift with FD change, integration into a head unit. There are plenty of things that mechanical groups can't do. It is convenience not performance. Convenience that riders of ALL abilities and power levels can benefit from using. Is the performance of the new mechanical stuff great? ABSOLUTELY. 105 is now better than Dura-Ace of five years ago. 

 

What would I recommend for the OP? 105 or maybe Ultegra mechanical (or SRAM equivalent) to retrofit an old frame. He would probably have to buy new wheels anyway.

 

Aero wheels trump light ones 6 days of the week. Unless you just pinned on a number, the most maintenance free version is the best.

SanchinMiata
SanchinMiata Reader
12/1/20 8:37 a.m.

FWIW, I've got a SRAM Eagle AXS one-by setup on my recumbent gravel grinder and it's been absolutely flawless for the last two seasons. Ridiculously easy to set up, superb performance, and great looking. It also integrates with my Garmin cycle computer, shows my selected gear on the display, and gives me gear change stats on each ride. I'm a semi-retired bike mechanic and I had access to industry pricing, so the value proposition was easier for me. That said, I really like it and would do it again. And I'm waiting for parts to finish my Reynolds carbon road wheel set... 

fatallightning
fatallightning Reader
12/2/20 4:45 p.m.

I like it, don't think it's necessary. If your is from 2009, the likelihood of having a freehub body 11 speed compatible is quite low, so you're going to need a new rear wheel. If you go mid cage rear derailleur, they make an 11-34 11 speed cassette that fits on the older shorter 10 speed freehub bodies. I don't know if you've actually looked, but parts availability right now is awful. Most 11 speed Shimano stuff across the board is way backordered , like April.

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