Today’s QoW is another from our own Coach David Ertl. Just like last week’s asking readers about your possible move to disc brakes, this one also touches on what your next bike might (or might not) include. NOTE: you may find this Question under Past Questions of the Week on the QoW page.
(We really need to replenish our stock of Questions! Please submit you own QoW ideas using the Question of the Week Ideas link.)
What are your plans for switching to electronic shifting on your road bike?
Answer: Undecided….(Sort of, but not really.)
Electronic shifting systems provide certain, almost compelling features. For example, automatic front derailleur-trim is a great benefit. Also, integrated hydraulic disk brakes have only been available with electronic systems. However, electronic shifting systems also have weaknesses. Many critical components in these systems are proprietary. Furthermore, electronic shifting systems are battery dependent – when the battery deteriorates, as all batteries do, the system fails. Long-term availability of uniquely designed and constructed batteries is questionable. Electronic circuitry can, and does fail, at times without warning, and is also unique, and typical designs would likely preclude user repair. Replacement of failed power components and electronics has typically proven to be expensive; availability is often limited and may require significant time. Reliability, and replacement requirements vary, mine trend toward the upper end. Personally, these factors, among others, have kept current electronic shifting systems from being a practical option. Now that a mechanical system with integrated hydraulic brakes is available, (the most likely selection for my next bicycle), electronic systems seem less compelling. These and other issues will likely be addressed in future electronic systems, and I look forward to a time when electronic shifting systems could be the most compelling option.
I’m delighted to be faced with this sort of dilemma. These are good times to be purchasing and riding a bicycle.
Kerry Irons says
And yet when I click the link, the poll question that comes up is: Do you use a computer and/or power meter? This is the case (tried it twice and see others are voting) as of 7:00 PM EDT, 6-1-17