MTB electronic gears – would you fit them on your bike?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum MTB electronic gears – would you fit them on your bike?

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Aaron Chamberlain 2 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #209755

    Hi all

    I love electronic gadgets and though I like the tech advance of bike electronic gears I would not use put them on my present MTB bikes, the main reason being the worry of running out of battery power given the long and sometimes multi day rides.

    So what electronic gears good for?

    See may be some marginal benefits for high level XC races but that’s about it.

  • #209761

    Are you referring to Di2?  I’ve got a 1x setup on my Pivot and all I can say is it is effin’ great!!…no seriously, it rocks!  As for battery life, unless you’re going on some remote antarctic expedition you’ll have plenty of power to last you many days and many miles. I charged my system in Aug, rode all through November and much of Dec and it’s still at 40% charge.

    Shifting is faster, smoother and even easier under load than a manual setup. Shimano put some serious engineering skills into their Di2 systems (road and MTB).

    Don’t get me wrong, Di2 is definitely only solving a “first world problem”, but now that I have it it’s really tough to ride  my other (gasp!) “old fashioned” bikes.

  • #209772

    Are you referring to Di2?  I’ve got a 1x setup

    Interesting. I thought one of the big advantages of Di2 was that it helped prevent cross-chain and also automatically cycled through the gear ratios sequentially for multi-ring drivetrains.

  • #209785

    Ohhhh, I’m quite certain it does all of that (just ask my road cycling chums, they will talk your ear off on Di2 advantages)….but my setup, and the only Di2 setup that I can comment on directly, is a brain dead simple 1x with a Di2 rear derailleur on one of my MTB. I love it!!  I hope to have the funds to purchase more Di2 mechs (Front and rear)  in the future and/or future bike purchases will be Di2.

  • #209790

    Robert: that is very interesting and favourable to relieving the battery life concerns.

    How easy it for readjustment or fine tuning when out on the trails? Or need to limit to a few gears because others becoming unavailable i.e. after a chain snap and fix?

  • #209838

    Irudkin

    I must confess that I have only had the bike since Aug 2016 so i have not had to perform any fine tuning. I will say that I generally re-index my road and MTB derailleurs every 4-6 weeks whether they need it or not, just seems to keep things running smoothly. That said, I have not had to touch my Di2; it seems to be taking care of itself.

    I also have to confess that I have never broken a chain or been on a ride where someone has broken a chain. -Seen lots of flat tires, a few snapped derailleur hangers; saw a guy snap his pedal spindle on a road club ride once (that was interesting) but have never broken a chain, so I don’t know how the Di2, or any of my other mechs, would react (i am -furiously- knocking on wood right now).

    … check back with me in August of this year for an annual update. ; – )

  • #209841

    I’m really interested in the XT Di2, but it’s still the price that gets me. The rear derailleur alone is $300. I’m generally not that hard on drivetrains, but shit happens. I’ve destroyed a handful of rear derailleurs from both Shimano and SRAM. Sometimes it was because of a crash and others were from trail debris. I’d probably cry a little if I smashed up a $300 derailleur.

    Do you happen to know how rebuildable they are? Like, can you get a replacement cage?

  • #209842

    Yea in a second if the prices were not so crazy. I’ve smashed and ripped off many derailers so yea I’d be a little worried about a $300 derailer. Don’t see myself moving to electronic anytime soon.

  • #209847

    Aaron

    Sorry, no, I do not know how easy they are to rebuild and yeahhhh they are pricey. Like I said, Di2 is definitely a solution to a first world problem; anyone who tells you different is lying (errr, I mean presenting “alternative facts”).

  • #209848

    Thanks for the reply Robert. This past weekend I rode with some guys from Pivot, and their enduro team is running the XT Di2 in 2017. I could hear how instantaneous the shifts were. Just a little “zzzt” noise and nothing else. It’s an impressive system fo sho!

    Just out of curiosity, what made you choose electric over say, SRAM Eagle X01 which could be had for around the same price, but is a good bit lighter?

  • #209851

    Ha! that “zzzzt” noise -is- pretty damn cool, i still giggle nearly every time I shift….and the shifts are freakin’ fast and rock solid crisp.

    The Di2 shipped with the bike, I don’t remember the X01 being available (but that pie plate sized 50 tooth cassette is damn impressive).  And I have to confess I’ve been a “default” Shimano man, not so much due to brand loyalty; more from a lack of opportunity to try SRAM gear.

  • #209869

    I would totally buy a new bike with Di2 on it…my next road bike almost certainly will as it makes sense for 2x setups (nice for 1x too but less of a need, not that it’s a need at all.)  But I don’t think I want to hassle with retrofitting a bike/frame with it and being responsible for every junction, etc.

  • #209918

    @MarkLarson I agree. While I would totally take a Di2 group for my mountain bike if they were giving them away, if I was shelling out my own cash, I’d put it on my road bike first.

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