FireFly Build: Shifting, Finish and Build

Bicycle related chatter & discussion

Electronic or Mechanical?

Electronic
4
29%
Mechanical
10
71%
 
Total votes: 14

User avatar
JoTheBuilder
Posts: 1500
Joined: 19 Feb 2011, 15:32

Postby JoTheBuilder » 29 Jul 2014, 09:53

Some of you know I have a new bike frame on its way. It's a custom made .

However, it has come to crunch time where I have to decide between mechanical (likely Dura Ace) or electronic gearing (Di2) as the frame will be made to suit. I know I've bored a lot of you on rides already asking for opinions, especially those who have electronic, but I thought I'd put it out there again to those I don't ride with very often or if you have recently tried something different. Or if you have recently bought a bike with one or the other and wished you'd gone the other way.

I am leaning towards mechanical as it's a lot more familiar to me and cheaper to replace parts if required. There are a heap of articles written on the issue and all say something different. Were it on my TT bike I would definitely go electronic as you can have shifting on both sets of handlebars. But on a road bike? What do you think?

Thought I'd also make this more fun by adding a poll.

User avatar
Stuart
Posts: 2568
Joined: 11 Mar 2008, 10:43
Location: Dulwich Hill

Postby Stuart » 29 Jul 2014, 10:23

If I was buying today, it'd be SRAM Red

User avatar
humanbeing
Posts: 709
Joined: 26 Feb 2013, 12:16

Postby humanbeing » 29 Jul 2014, 10:46

Campagnolo Super Record - as used by Vincenzo Nibali ;)

kiwiames
Posts: 210
Joined: 06 Jul 2008, 17:56
Location: Stanmore

Postby kiwiames » 29 Jul 2014, 10:55

Nothing wrong with Ultegra, they even have it in Electronic nowdays.

Depends on what you want to spend of course :-)

User avatar
Dougie
Posts: 755
Joined: 11 Jan 2008, 16:39
Location: Dulwich Hill

Postby Dougie » 29 Jul 2014, 13:35

Di2 Ultegra
Double plus super good

User avatar
James Rogers
Posts: 457
Joined: 13 Nov 2011, 09:58
Location: Newtown

Postby James Rogers » 29 Jul 2014, 14:19

SRAM Red has been accused of being unreliable, but it is light (I only know this because it was a hot topic this last weekend).

Not having used electronic shifting, I'd say mechanical and Campagnolo, of course!

Electronic is fascinating, though...

User avatar
Philip
Posts: 531
Joined: 12 Feb 2012, 17:48
Location: Earlwood
Contact:

Postby Philip » 29 Jul 2014, 16:08

I'm new to SRAM Red but I'm loving it. Have never used di so can't comment on it.

User avatar
Nozzle
Posts: 510
Joined: 16 Feb 2011, 19:03
Location: Summer Hill, NSW

Postby Nozzle » 29 Jul 2014, 18:06

Di2 works brilliantly..... Until it doesn't work.....

I did have some warranty issues with my Ultegra Di2 10spd initially but pretty much flawless since.

Upkeep and adjusting following wheel changes is a cinch. Battery rarely needs a charge. Downside is shift feel. Easy to accidentally shift esp. With gloved fingers in winter.

Would toss up between mechanical or electronic if in the market again.

User avatar
Eleri
Posts: 1753
Joined: 31 Dec 2009, 08:43
Location: Erskineville

Postby Eleri » 29 Jul 2014, 18:38

I have Shimano Ultegra on one bike and Ultegra Di2 on another.

I love Di2 - because I'm lazy and it never needs adjustment. Also, shifting onto the big ring with manual gears was sometimes hard. In a cross wind sometimes it pushed the bike a bit sideways.

If you get it, put the battery inside the seat tube. You can easy run TT bar shifters off the hub thingy as well as the normal shifters.

Plus it makes a pleasing whirry noise.

User avatar
James Rogers
Posts: 457
Joined: 13 Nov 2011, 09:58
Location: Newtown

Postby James Rogers » 29 Jul 2014, 18:56

I did read somewhere that you can setup Di2 to automatically shift the front derailleur. The result is you can just use one shifter to go through all your gears. I have no idea what use this is, but it sounds clever. Look Mum, one hand!

User avatar
mikesbytes
Posts: 6991
Joined: 13 Nov 2006, 13:48
Location: Tempe
Contact:

Postby mikesbytes » 29 Jul 2014, 20:08

Eugen Schiter went electronic and loves it.

I'm staying mechanical cos I don't care

andrewm
Posts: 362
Joined: 12 Nov 2011, 08:45

Postby andrewm » 29 Jul 2014, 23:18

It goes whir!

User avatar
Adrian E
Posts: 1163
Joined: 07 Mar 2007, 13:15
Location: Newtown

Postby Adrian E » 30 Jul 2014, 02:03

My order of preference:
1. Dura-Ace 9000 (best groupset either mechanical or electronic). DA 7900 was a bit lackluster with the shifting but Shimano really nailed it the 9000 series.
2. Ultegra 6800 (best value for money, heavier than DA9000 but similar performance, cheaper to replace worn out parts)
3. Campagnolo chorus 11sp (best value Campy groupset, lighter than Ultegra but with many of the same features as Record. Looks beautiful... Its made in Italy (or Romania) so it must be cool.... especially if you have a beard and spend a lot of time in mirco-breweries)
4. SRAM Red (very light, shifts beautifully when set up correctly, tends to wear-out quicker, you either love or hate doubletap, will give you instant cred with all the weight weenies)

The reality is if you're considering electronic you're probably going to go DA or Ultegra Di2... I think even all the Campy fan-boys will agree :lol:

User avatar
Stuart
Posts: 2568
Joined: 11 Mar 2008, 10:43
Location: Dulwich Hill

Postby Stuart » 30 Jul 2014, 09:19

And of course when all your wheels are already Shimano/SRAM hubs then Campy, however lovely, is not really in the picture.

Interesting comments from Adrian.

User avatar
humanbeing
Posts: 709
Joined: 26 Feb 2013, 12:16

Postby humanbeing » 30 Jul 2014, 10:39


andrewm
Posts: 362
Joined: 12 Nov 2011, 08:45

Postby andrewm » 30 Jul 2014, 12:10

11 speed is completely cross compatible.

User avatar
humanbeing
Posts: 709
Joined: 26 Feb 2013, 12:16

Postby humanbeing » 30 Jul 2014, 12:17


User avatar
JoTheBuilder
Posts: 1500
Joined: 19 Feb 2011, 15:32

Postby JoTheBuilder » 30 Jul 2014, 12:28

Eleri makes a good point that shifting onto the big ring can be hard. My hands are little and I have been known to slip occasionally.

I like whirring.

Oh, but I don't have a beard or drink beer. :lol:

User avatar
humanbeing
Posts: 709
Joined: 26 Feb 2013, 12:16

Postby humanbeing » 30 Jul 2014, 13:09


PJCampbell
Posts: 74
Joined: 04 Nov 2011, 16:29

Postby PJCampbell » 30 Jul 2014, 13:35

Did anyone else see the beta version SRAM wireless electronic group tested at ToC? If all goes well it will be a game changer. I reckon Shimano and Campagnolo are probably madly developing the tech as we speak. Probably won't be out for a while though.

Is there any way you can try out using electronic? Better to try before you buy.

User avatar
Colin Campbell
Posts: 186
Joined: 10 Nov 2012, 08:37
Location: Newtown

Postby Colin Campbell » 30 Jul 2014, 13:58

I have Ultegra Di2 11 speed and would not go back to mechanical. Recently read a review that said no need to go to DA Di2 as Ultegra Di2 was perfect enough! Changing on the front is bliss, quick and effortless. Changing at the back can be tricky with winter gloves on but you soon learn to be careful! I like whirring.

User avatar
James Rogers
Posts: 457
Joined: 13 Nov 2011, 09:58
Location: Newtown

Postby James Rogers » 30 Jul 2014, 15:03


User avatar
JoTheBuilder
Posts: 1500
Joined: 19 Feb 2011, 15:32

Postby JoTheBuilder » 30 Jul 2014, 15:17


User avatar
James Rogers
Posts: 457
Joined: 13 Nov 2011, 09:58
Location: Newtown

Postby James Rogers » 30 Jul 2014, 15:58

Call me pedantic, but only triathletes ride 650c. I think you'll find Eleri rides 650b, or summin'.

PJCampbell
Posts: 74
Joined: 04 Nov 2011, 16:29

Postby PJCampbell » 30 Jul 2014, 16:00

Cool, you can tell me how great it is when it comes time for me to upgrade. My guess is it'd be like going back to VHS after watching DVD.
I'm curious as to the rest of the build now.

User avatar
JoTheBuilder
Posts: 1500
Joined: 19 Feb 2011, 15:32

Postby JoTheBuilder » 30 Jul 2014, 16:21

Learn something new every day James:
650B is 584mm diameter, 650C is 571mm, so 13mm, or about 1/2 inch.

Happy to update you on the build... Debating whether to let Christian near it yet or whether I entrust it to more 'certified' bike mechanics. It's a pity Adrian no longer lives in Sydney... :-(

User avatar
Dougie
Posts: 755
Joined: 11 Jan 2008, 16:39
Location: Dulwich Hill

Postby Dougie » 30 Jul 2014, 17:19


User avatar
Eleri
Posts: 1753
Joined: 31 Dec 2009, 08:43
Location: Erskineville

Postby Eleri » 30 Jul 2014, 17:26


User avatar
Adrian E
Posts: 1163
Joined: 07 Mar 2007, 13:15
Location: Newtown

Postby Adrian E » 30 Jul 2014, 21:23


User avatar
humanbeing
Posts: 709
Joined: 26 Feb 2013, 12:16

Postby humanbeing » 30 Jul 2014, 22:27


User avatar
Adrian E
Posts: 1163
Joined: 07 Mar 2007, 13:15
Location: Newtown

Postby Adrian E » 31 Jul 2014, 00:50


User avatar
Eleri
Posts: 1753
Joined: 31 Dec 2009, 08:43
Location: Erskineville

Postby Eleri » 31 Jul 2014, 07:18

Actually it's not hand size so much as the amount of "force" that needs to be applied. and the subsequent action on the bike. "every action has an equal and opposite reaction" kind of thing.

Downtube shifters had some advantages from that point of view. Many disadvantages too.

User avatar
Philip
Posts: 531
Joined: 12 Feb 2012, 17:48
Location: Earlwood
Contact:

Postby Philip » 31 Jul 2014, 07:45

Front derailer action on the Red22 is a breeze. Smooth, easy and no trimming needed.

User avatar
JoTheBuilder
Posts: 1500
Joined: 19 Feb 2011, 15:32

Postby JoTheBuilder » 31 Jul 2014, 09:17

I find it is also hand size Eleri. Comes down to the 'lever' motion. The longer your fingers are, the lower down you can push the shifter ergo, it's easier to push. I can only push it mid way down the shifter and so requires a lot of force.

The poor girl who borrowed my bike for the Ironman had to take it to a mechanics before the race to get them to adjust as she couldn't push it at all. Might also be because my bike needs a service. :lol:

User avatar
mikesbytes
Posts: 6991
Joined: 13 Nov 2006, 13:48
Location: Tempe
Contact:

Postby mikesbytes » 31 Jul 2014, 09:38

Sounds like she needs a gym membership Jo

I believe there are also shims that you can get for Shimano leavers that bring the leavers closer to the handlebars and of course there are different handlebars

DA sprockets/cassettes have a history of shorter life so many purchase a DA group set with the intent of using an Ultegra cassette when the original hits its use by date.

+1 for the test drive, in addition to getting a feel of shifting, the shape of the hoods is different so you may find a preference on that. I'm using shimano leavers on my fixie cos I like the shape of them

User avatar
Adrian E
Posts: 1163
Joined: 07 Mar 2007, 13:15
Location: Newtown

Postby Adrian E » 31 Jul 2014, 10:21


User avatar
James Rogers
Posts: 457
Joined: 13 Nov 2011, 09:58
Location: Newtown

Postby James Rogers » 31 Jul 2014, 12:10

The obvious solution is to take a teaspoon of cement and just stay in the big ring. ;)

User avatar
Eleri
Posts: 1753
Joined: 31 Dec 2009, 08:43
Location: Erskineville

Postby Eleri » 31 Jul 2014, 13:27

Shims are a partial solution for braking only in my experience they force you to choose between optimum braking on the hoods or the drops.

User avatar
JoTheBuilder
Posts: 1500
Joined: 19 Feb 2011, 15:32

Postby JoTheBuilder » 01 Aug 2014, 10:22

I've changed the name of the topic so I can discuss other aspects of the build rather than just the shifting.

I will be in Boston to pick the frame up in September. However, they have since told me that in order to make that date, I can't have the frame painted. 'Firefly' decals will be on but I was hoping for a part paint finish on the rest of it, similar to Andrew Mattes' Seven for those who know it.

How important is the paint finish? Is it worth getting it done in Oz? Or should I just wait and have it freighted to me instead (at an additional cost of $400). :(

andrewm
Posts: 362
Joined: 12 Nov 2011, 08:45

Postby andrewm » 01 Aug 2014, 12:04

It's Titanium right?

The paint is purely cosmetic.

Only you can answer how important that is for you.

User avatar
James Rogers
Posts: 457
Joined: 13 Nov 2011, 09:58
Location: Newtown

Postby James Rogers » 01 Aug 2014, 13:22

But seeing as you asked for an opinion: raw is best, like my Merlin. Especially if you finish it with anodised Chris King components, unlike my Merlin.

Also see Stefan Rohner's .

User avatar
humanbeing
Posts: 709
Joined: 26 Feb 2013, 12:16

Postby humanbeing » 01 Aug 2014, 13:51

Well if you bring it home raw and decide to have it painted in Australia, you'll still be out $200/300.
Just saying.
Peter

PJCampbell
Posts: 74
Joined: 04 Nov 2011, 16:29

Postby PJCampbell » 01 Aug 2014, 14:10

IMO, Raw, all the way.
Think: Blank canvas. You can always add colour 'flare' later if you feel it needs it.

User avatar
jonboy
Posts: 353
Joined: 01 Sep 2011, 20:26
Location: Marrickville

Postby jonboy » 01 Aug 2014, 18:47

Give me a spray can, I'll paint it for you. Cost you a slab. Sound fair?

User avatar
JoTheBuilder
Posts: 1500
Joined: 19 Feb 2011, 15:32

Postby JoTheBuilder » 19 Aug 2014, 16:41

So the next two items on the shopping list are groupset at wheels.

For the groupset I have decided on Shimano Ultegra Di2 52/36 with 165mm. Slight problem. Shimano do not have one in stock (surprise, surprise) and no one I have contacted (BikeBug, Pushy's, Body Mechanic) can get their hands on one, not even in 50/34. 170mm cranks no problem. Body Mechanic, who I have already contacted to do the fit, have suggested 165mm and I am reluctant to go 170mm. Though ultimately I may not have a choice.

Wheels I am leaning towards HED Ardennes with Chris King hubs. I have contacted a couple of wheel builders, one of whom (Wheel Works in NZ) have also suggested the Pacenti SL23's. I don't know much about them (in fact, I don't know too much about wheels - learning all this as I go), but has anyone tried them? They have a nice red swoosh that will go with the frame.

andrewm
Posts: 362
Joined: 12 Nov 2011, 08:45

Postby andrewm » 19 Aug 2014, 17:25

I've got some pacentis from wheelworks. Love em.

User avatar
mikesbytes
Posts: 6991
Joined: 13 Nov 2006, 13:48
Location: Tempe
Contact:

Postby mikesbytes » 19 Aug 2014, 19:40

52/36 with 165mm is approximately 53/37 with 170mm to achieve the same foot velocity

shrubb face
Posts: 1010
Joined: 09 Sep 2008, 01:43
Location: Marrickville

Postby shrubb face » 19 Aug 2014, 20:04


User avatar
mikesbytes
Posts: 6991
Joined: 13 Nov 2006, 13:48
Location: Tempe
Contact:

Postby mikesbytes » 20 Aug 2014, 22:18

Agree if the cranks are too long then they are not suitable. But if you are choosing between crank lengths then its good to consider gearing

User avatar
JoTheBuilder
Posts: 1500
Joined: 19 Feb 2011, 15:32

Postby JoTheBuilder » 27 Aug 2014, 09:46

Groupset purchased. Ultegra 11sp Di2 but with 50/34 172.5mm cranks. I could not find a single website in the world with Ultegra 165mm 52/36 cranks. So I had to purchase a separate set of Dura Ace cranks that were on sale on Wiggle and have already found a buyer for the compact cranks on the groupset.

For those that don't know, Bike Bug have a 'price match' facility whereby they will price match any online price from Ribble, Wiggle, ProBikeKit etc. They will ad 10% GST but it does mean supporting the local economy. They price matched the groupset with a special Merlin cycles were having and I got $180 off the advertised price.

Wheels are next. I have got a quote from WheelWorks NZ for the aforementioned Pacenti's. Their price is $200 more than Pro Wheel Builder in the US but they can have them to me in 2 weeks. The best bit is I can get whatever decals I want on them. 'Lees Wheels' anyone? :lol:

User avatar
JoTheBuilder
Posts: 1500
Joined: 19 Feb 2011, 15:32

Postby JoTheBuilder » 02 Oct 2014, 20:54

Looking for a pair of new shoes and am keen to try the Sidi's. Does anyone have a pair of 38's I can try on to see if that is my size please?

User avatar
Robert
Posts: 50
Joined: 02 Aug 2013, 22:38

Postby Robert » 03 Oct 2014, 22:33

Got a woman specific shimano 39 shoe in good nick. Came with one of our bikes - you can try / have if you like

User avatar
JoTheBuilder
Posts: 1500
Joined: 19 Feb 2011, 15:32

Postby JoTheBuilder » 05 Oct 2014, 09:25

Thanks Robert! I have a pair of Shimano's so am good with sizing there. Wondered whether it differed greatly to the Sidi fit...


Return to “Conversation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests