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Just How Much Better Is Electronic Shifting? | GCN Tech Clinic

Just How Much Better Is Electronic Shifting? | GCN Tech Clinic

– Welcome to the Tech Clinic. Unfortunately, Jon couldn’t
make it today, because, – I’ve been snowed in. Can’t even get out of my gate. Although people are
walking through my field to go sledding, but don’t worry, normal service will resume shortly. – However, fear not. I have braved the treacherous
arctic conditions, and managed to get in to GCN Towers, so I can answer your tech questions. Now before we get stuck in, remember, you can submit your questions using the hashtag #ASKGCNTECH. First question this week
is from Mike Gapter, who says, I have a Tommasini Tecco, with Campagnolo Chorus 10 speed. Gearing is 52/39, with an 11/25 cassette. Well, my knees are as
young as they used to be, but I want to change the
cassette out for an 11/30. I’ve been told by my local bike shop that I cannot use the derailleur cage that’s currently on it, as it’s too short, and no longer cage is available
for it in Campy offerings. Can you offer any options that might work? Well, first thing, Mike,
good to hear from you, and a Tommasini, nice bike. I happen to know Jon
is a fan of those too. The easiest and simple thing you can do, is get a derailleur hanger extender, and this will drop the derailleur just a couple of centimeters lower, and they’re really easy to fit, and best of all, you can get them for just a couple of quid
on Ebay usually as well, so, yeah, sorted. Next question is from Luca Bizjak, who says, hi Jon, love the show. As always, great info. I’ve got a question: I’m thinking about an upgrade/downgrade, meaning going from old Ultegra 6500 to the newer, but lower, 105 7000. This would fit, right? I’m uncertain, especially for what concerns the bottom bracket. Would you go for this
upgrade, or downgrade? The main usage of my bike at the moment is on my indoor trainer, but sometimes I also take it outdoors. Thanks for the help. Cheers, Luca, bye. Cool, right, well, it would work fine. And also, in terms of the older Ultegra to the newer 105, I actually truly believe that this is actually an upgrade. The difference between those
two groupsets is pretty big, and the shifting performance
of the new 105 is brilliant, which you may have seen in
the blindfold test we did of 105 versus Dura-Ace. If you’ve not seen that
video, check it out. It’s a good one. But yeah, the 105’s really good. Regarding the bottom bracket
for your new groupset, it will fit, because
they’re both compatible, and you’ll have a Hollowtech
II bottom bracket as well, which, that system, as opposed to the octalink system you’ve got, so that system will actually
save a load of weight too, as an added bonus. So yeah, I’d say absolutely go for it. Question from David Konecny now, who says, any tips for winter cyclocross
bike storage options? Muddy conditions, plus
having to park my bike in my apartment, is not
really an elegant solution. I honestly can’t be
bothered to clean the bike after every short ride. Mostly it’s just the wheels and frame where the mud accumulates,
not the drivetrain. Well I think ideal for something like this would be a turbo training mat, as it’s the right size
and proportions of a bike, and it will sort of catch any dirt that falls off the bike in your apartment. You can sort of park it on there, and then you can also hose down
turbo training mats as well, and clean them later
outside if you need to. The other thing is, if you
drive to a cyclocross race, and you’re on your way home, and you live in an apartment, and it’s hard for you to clean your bike, then something that my brother does is stops, past a petrol station, where they’ve got a jet washer, and just quickly blasts
his bike for a few minutes, and it gets rid of most of the dirt, obviously avoiding the crucial areas, such as bottom bracket, bearings, but yeah, it does a really quick job of getting all the mud off in a very short space of time. Thijs Vanballenberghe asks,
hi John, love the show. Do I benefit a lot by buying a bike with electronic shifting,
instead of mechanical? I don’t compete in races, I just ride 10000K a year,
including some sportives, like Les Trois Ballons. The difference in price is 1300 euros, between the bikes that I’m considering, and one has 105 on it,
the other has Ultegra Di2. Thanks a lot. Just 10000K a year? I assume you mean 10K a
year, but joking aside, it’s quite a tough one, this. I love electronic gears, and I really like racing on them, because I never experienced
a mis-shift at all. If I wasn’t racing on it, then I’d be less bothered
about using electronic gears, but, ultimately the shifting
performance with Di2 is superb. Ultegra level as well, it’s better than any mechanical
shifting, in my opinion. It’s absolutely brilliant. And once you’ve experienced it, it’s very hard to go back
to mechanical shifting. And, I would say that,
if you can afford it, and will get enjoyment from it, then why not upgrade to it? And I’d also say that
you certainly don’t need to be racing, in order to justify Di2. We have a question from Doug Morley now, who says, last year I
bought a Ridley Fenix. An excellent machine. It is, good choice. I found it harder going
than my other bike, which was a Ribble HF 83. The problem seems to
be the bottom bracket, which is a press fit BB86, and it’s very stiff,
but apparently smooth. The Ribble has a 68 millimeter external screw fit bottom bracket, and spins very freely. Why should the BB86 on
the new bike be so stiff? Well, the BB86 could have better seals, or perhaps it’s not yet fully worn in, which is a thing that can happen. So it could take a little while, a bit of riding for it to free up. The other thing to consider, and this is probably
the worst case scenario, is that the BB shell is
not perfectly symmetrical, and this means that the bearing cups are not perfectly in line, and so the axle, as it goes through from the chainset, is not able to turn as freely as possible. Threaded bottom bracket shells are generally tapped out together, so they’re perfectly in
line with one another, and the BB’s spin really
smooth, which is great. But, if it is the fact that the cups are not perfectly symmetrical, then it’s worth probably
taking it to your bike shop where you got it, and getting them to have a look at it and assess it. A question from Igic Dacic now. Sorry if I’ve completely
mispronounced your name there. But he says hi Jon,
I’ve bought a BMC SLR01, with Ultegra R8000 on it. Sounds like a really nice bike that. And after a few months, I converted it to SRAM Red ETAP. After he’s done all this, he says I notice that the dropout didn’t match, and I have to buy a new one, the one that matches
for the SRAM groupset. Why is this the case? Why did Shimano do that? Thanks, which is spelled t-n-x. Well, there is an answer to this, and it’s that they, the dropout, is designed for the new
Shadow design rear mech, which enables the rear derailleur on the newer Shimano groupsets to sit closer into the cassette, and this means that you get
less flex in the system, and more precise gear shifting, as the derailleur is moved inwards. And it also means that the whole system has a slimmer profile as well. And at the moment, SRAM
is different from this, and that’s why you need a different hanger for SRAM and Shimano on that generation. Varga Pal asks, Hi Jon, I have a problem with
indexing my rear gears, which run Shimano 105 5800. I follow the instructions
from your related video, and it works fine on the stand, but in real action, when I try
and select the smallest cog, usually I fail. The chain stays on the
second smallest cog. Should I change the cable? Thanks. Hi Varga. I would say, by all
means, try another cable, and see if that resolves the issue, because that could be the problem. But something else that
could be causing it, is that when you’re riding
in the smaller sprockets on the block, you’re
generally putting more flex and strain through the system. You might even be out the saddle, and that can sometimes mean that the chain can’t get into that tiny sprocket at the back. So one other thing you can try, is to undo the H screw a tiny
little bit more at the back, and see if that resolves the issue. Jimmy Liao asks, are there any rules on the size of disc rotors
that you should run? 140 millimeter all around,
or 160 millimeter all around? Is there any reason why
anyone would run a 160 front, and a 140 millimeter rotor rear? Hi there Jimmy, there are no rules regarding the size of rotors that you run, but something worth
thinking about, I guess, is that most of the pro riders that we’re seeing at the moment are running 160 front, and 140 rear. Now the reason many would
have a 160 at the front, is because most of your braking forces, especially when you’re going downhill, are at the front. The front brake does more of the work. And by having a larger rotor, you can dissipate more heat, more quickly than a smaller 140 rotor. There’s a slight weight saving as well, by having a smaller rotor at the back. But, if you’re a lighter rider, then there’s no means really, I’d say, with why you can’t have a
140 at the front as well. So, yeah, there are no rules. Karl Pan has a question
on keeping his bike looking nice and clean. He says, do you recommend
waxing the frame, and fork, so you always have that shiny new look, and it protects it from grime? If yes, would car wax do? My bike is fully carbon. Karl, yes, I do recommend you do this. I’ve done it before, and
I know that Jon does it, as soon as he gets a new bike as well, and periodically does it a
few times throughout the year, to keep his bikes looking
absolutely tip top. If you’re gonna do it, car
wax is absolutely fine, but if you’ve got a matte
finish on your bike, then make sure you go for
a specific matte product, as on a microscopic level, the surface of matte finishes
are full of little gaps, and some waxes can get
clogged in those gaps, and reduce the matte
appearance of that finish. Another thing to think about, is ceramic coatings that are applied increasingly to fancy cars these days. These are really hydrophobic, so they’re excellent at stopping dirt from sticking to your frame. Makes it easy to wash it off as well, so, you might want to
look into that as well. David Rynda has a question now. I wonder if he’s related to Judge Rynda? Nah, spelled differently. Anyway, he asks, hi GCN, I recently acquired a Trek
5200 with Dura-Ace 7700, a nine speed groupset. I’m interested in upgrading the crank and bottom bracket, rather
than doing maintenance on the ocatlink spindle. Some sources say I could
use a 10 speed crank, but I’m worried that
will cause compromises in the shifting/general functioning. What current cranks would
work well with this setup? Thanks. Well, hi David. Those octalink adjustable
spindles are very fiddly, I agree, but you can get the
fully sealed ones still, and you could continue to
use your Dura-Ace chainset. Those old 7700 chainsets,
they look really nice, so that would be cool, but you would be okay
using a 10 speed crank, and even an 11 speed crank too. I’ve done it. It works totally fine. Last question this week
comes from Zac Snow, topical. Now, Zac asks, love this segment on GCN. Thanks Zac. And then he asks Jon, what is the most
efficient pedaling system? Shimano, Speedplay, Look, or Time? Right, Zac, dude, this is a can of worms. Every single brand of pedals makes their own claims about
them being the most efficient, and the truth is it’s very hard to scientifically properly test this, because it relies on people, and peoples’ biomechanics
are generally very different. That said, if you’ve got a worn out cleat, that can affect your efficiency, as it can cause your foot
to rock on the pedal. Something else is cleat position. Very important for maximizing efficiency. And if you’re not
convinced about your cleat being in the most efficient place, then a bike fit is really
useful at fixing that. The other thing to consider, is that Speedplay and Time pedals generally offer a bit more float in them, than Look and Shimano pedals. Now this isn’t something
that’s necessary for everyone, but some people really like it. Right, that’s it for this week. I hope you’ve found these
questions and answers useful, and if you have, then give
the video a thumbs up, and please subscribe to our channel. Let’s hope that Jon makes
it out the snow alive, in time for next week. And in the meantime, why not
check out his excellent video, where we went to visit Rob Hayles, to see some homemade,
custom carbon fiber tech. It’s a good one, down here. Right, bye.

41 comments on “Just How Much Better Is Electronic Shifting? | GCN Tech Clinic

  1. #askGCNTech

    I recently purchased a smart trainer which came with a Shimano 105 11sp cassette and when I attached my bike the gearing was way off and the chain was making all sorts of vulgar noises. My chain has covered almost 5,000km and I regularly check with a wear indicator but it is still fine and the gears are running very smooth when I use the cassette on my wheel. I’m currently swapping the cassette between my trainer and my wheel for riding indoor/outdoors, this only takes me 2 minutes but it’s still slightly annoying. Buying a new chain seems pointless when my current one is fine so what can I do to save me swapping the cassette each time? Tah!

  2. 9:00 – it's not likely the cable, and if he can shift into the lowest cog on the stand, it's definitely not the limit screw. It's far more likely that he doesn't quite have the RD indexed correctly, despite following instructions. Indexing an RD with precision isn't the easiest thing. To me, it sounds like the RD is actually indexed a mm or so too far inboard. When pedaling by hand on the stand, there's no real force there, but under actual load, that small difference will prevent correct shifting. The small cog is where you base your indexing, and when the RD is shifted fully outboard, the jockey wheels should be EXACTLY in line with the plane of the small cog. Use the barrel adjuster to get it there. If you can't get it with the barrel adjuster, reset the barrel to at least 2 full turns away from fully in, then add tension to the cable (loosen the crimp bolt, tighten the cable, retighten the crimp bolt). Then your barrel adjuster should get you where you need to be. Once you get it perfect, tighten the limit screw just until you see the RD start to move, then back it off a 1/2 turn or so.

    Of course, there's one more option – he may be having trouble because he's trying to shift to the small cog while on the small chain. Even properly indexed, that combo can be tough, especially on frames with shorter chain stays.

  3. Damn right about the 7700 chainset Olie, it`s still gorgeous

    In my opinion Shimano didn`t do a good looking chainset again until the 9001 model.

  4. Im 70kgs and have 140mm rotor front and rear. Zero issues even when deciding Mount Hotham Australia with and ave speed of 48kph. At 1 point i had the back wheel bouncing off the ground front front braking performance. 2 peice sram red hydro

  5. Hi.  I've recently bought a Specialized diverge e5 sport with 9 speed Sora group set although has a Praxis alba 2d crankset (48/32).  I want to upgrade to 105 7000 mainly because of the hydraulic brakes.  I don't want to buy a whole groupset as I'm happy with the praxis.  Will I be able to just buy individual 105 parts (shifters / callipers / cassette /  derailleurs) and still use the praxis crankset?  Will I need new wheels or will the 11sp cassette fit on current ones (axis sport discs).  Thanks

  6. #askGCNTech luv the channel, I've got a question regarding drivetrain noise. Sram Red Etap Wifli with Force 22 Crank 50/34 fitted with Dura-Ace cassette 12-30 (customised, swapped 11 to 16). Drivetrain gets rather loud when the chain is on the big ring and cross chained to 3 big cogs. I don't have any FD rubbing but just seem to get a lot louder, seems like the noise is coming from the chainring, as if inside of the chain is too tight on the ring teeth. Is this normal when cross chained with the big ring? Or is there anything that can be done to improve? (Changing chain or Sram cassette instead of duraace? Current chain is sram force grade pc-1170) All drivetrain is relatively new with less than 500km on them

    All other gears are spot on. It's not the biggest issue, it is usuable, and as I can also use equivalent ratio on the small ring but I just want to make everything perfect as I prefer to stay on the big ring except for the climbs. Cheers.

  7. To Mike! You can use a long cage Carbon Record. Or, there is a long cage Campy Euro/your. I use an 11-30 53/36/30 10 speed. Try eBay you'll have to get an older perhaps used. Cheers brother across the Big Pond. Campagnolo!!!

  8. Again GCN contradict themselves in the video Oli says he brother pressure washers his bike at petrol station and goes on to say stay away from BB and bearings, i do remember Si doing a video with a pressure washer and BB and not any water got into the BB … Cmon GCN you cant have presenters contradicting each other !!!

  9. Hi Jon.One of my friend advised me not to clean my bike with water instead of cleaning with wet towel properly.He said it sounds painful and will take time but it will be long lasting for my bike.He said he cleaned his bike regularly with water and that's why water went into the hub and damaged it so he had to change it.I saw a lot of cleaning videos on gcn and I am still confused what to do.Please help me out.Cheers!!! #askgcntech

  10. #askGCNTech
    hey Jon and Team, love the show! Quick question: my Shimano 105 rear derailleur started making squeaking sound when shifting, at the moment of cable pull. I suspect it’s coming from the RD pivots or something like that. Will I need to do some disassembly work on the RD, or can it be lubed without taking [a lot of] things apart? Cheers

  11. I’ve bought an old steel frame without knowing the old bottom bracket (Campagnolo brev. 35×1) is a french thread. There are solutions from Velo Orange, but those are 4 taper bb. I really want to go for the Shimano r7000 crankset which uses hollow tech 2, but the bb are only available in BSA and ITA thread.
    I have already bought all other parts from the new 105 series and so far it looks amazing on the bike. I really want to complete my bike with the 105 crankset.
    So are there any solutions or am I literally stuck?

  12. #askgcntech

    Hi Jon and Ollie, great channel and show, thanks for all your support to the cycling community! I am planning to buy a new bike this spring with Ultegra Di2. It comes stock with a 52/36 in the front, a 11-30 cassette and a short cage derailler. As I am living in the most southern part of Germany my cycling trips often contain rolling hills and a mountain here and there. I am now wondering if I can fit the new bike with a 52/34 in the front and a 11-32 cassette to give me speed but also the gearing to go up some passes as well? Will this work with the short cage derailler and does Di2 make a difference here? Thanks and kind regards, Christian.

  13. #askGCNTech Hello GCN Tech, ever since I bought a road-going bike I've been watching every episode to learn more. I have a 2018 Canyon Roadlite 7.0 with the latest Shimano 105 FD/RD-7000 derailleurs, FC-R7000 crank and CS-HG700 cassette; but the hydraulic brakes are the trigger-type BR-MT201 (due to the bike having a flat bar) with BR-U5000 calipers. I am considering converting my bike to a drop bar by swapping the trigger shifter and brake levers for the Shimano 105 ST-R7025 brake/shifter set; in the January 30th episode Jon said that you can mix and match any Shimano brake levers and brake calipers but my LBS said the opposite, and that I'd also need to get the 105 BR-R7070 calipers to use with the ST-R7025 set. Not sure who's right?

  14. MAJOR thing he forgot to mention about the 2nd question about upgrading to r7000- his old rear wheel will not likely accommodate an 11 speed cassette. The rear wheel or at the very least freehub body will need to be switched out.

  15. I recently got a new bike with a Shimano RD-R9100 rear derailleur. I find it incredibly difficult to remove and replace the rear wheel on this bike (I am putting the chain in the smallest cog when attempting to do so). I have resorted to partially deflating the tire to get a tiny bit of extra clearance but would really love to find a better way. Any ideas? #askgcntech

  16. Hi guys,I have Di2 groupset on my bike and when I rode Paris-Roubaix challenge last year my chain was keep dropping from big to small ring on cobble sectors.What would be the solution? do I need to buy a new RX8050 rear mech for this years P-R challenge?Thank you.#askGCNTech

  17. #askGCNTech How can i repair my ripped lycra shorts, and jersey. I was wearing aeron bibs for first time and i crashed :(. So is there any way to save them?

  18. Another thing to think about if you are choosing between mechanical or DI2 is the cost of replacement parts after a crash, especially relevant if you do race, and then even more relevant for aggressive crit races!

  19. hi john. I have ultegra r8000 mechanical on my bike and I often experience a shifting problem. The problem is that i can't shift to my big chainring, the shifter won't go all the way, it is as if it is blocking. I've had this issue a couple of times and by touching the cable inside the shifter and moving the shifter lever at the same time it is usually solved, but now that is not working any longer. I already tried to get some WD-40 in the shifter but that isn't working either. Thank you and love the show!

  20. Response to Varga – Derailleur hanger may be slightly bent and this could be stopping precise shifts to smallest cog…

  21. I am looking for a set of race wheels. Are tubes still a thing or do I go for clincher wheels? thanks! #askGCNTech

  22. Some frames, especially with IS2000, have minimums for rotor size. That is, a smaller won't be aligned with the calipers.

  23. The answer to the BMC is actually that bikes shipped with Shimano groupsets come with the direct mount dropouts while the ETAP groupset has a traditional hanger.

  24. What is Jon doing using a selfie stick? He is so not that type, that snow must have seriously affected his judgement.

  25. A world of difference. I've had zero front derailleur chain drop and zero misshift on the rear. I can shift from 11t to 28t while climbing out of saddle up hill in one push.

  26. my concern with electronic shifting is its battery life i love long rides but i dont want a sudden not able to shift

  27. Hi, I have an invention to offer…It is a gearing system that instantly shift to extreme speed and extreme it the

    For the latest design of the UNIQUE BIKE GEAR SYSTEM (very confidential design) all parts are available on bike stores. It is do it yourself (DIY) installation wherein all the parts can be installed to common bike frame within 1 hour or less. There's no need to modify the bike frame.

    We can make a business : " Installation Of The Invention To Common Bike "
    The total cost of parts to be installed per bike = 12 usd
    The total labor cost for installation = 30 usd .
    The total amount for material and installation = 12+30= 42 usd. We can share 50 / 50 from profit = 30/2 = 15 usd.
    Who wants to invest ?

    I did not show yet my final design/prototype…very confidential.
    The final design is 40 % reduced in manufacturing/assembly of these parts because i was able to reduce more the parts and improved the location. All parts are already available on market, DIY assembly in just 1 hour .

    I hope you are interested…

    Engr. Genaro Francis Tabag
    email: [email protected]

  28. #askgcntech I have bought a new carbon Fibre deep section wheelset and fitted Vittoria Corsa Speed TLR tires. Wheels, rim tape, valve and tires are tubeless ready. Tires seems to be seated properly. However after inflating I have some sealant gradually creeping out between tire and rim and a pressure loss of 1 bar over 24h. Is that normal/acceptable with tubeless set ups?

  29. Speaking as a casual cyclist with a sub £200 bike, an electric shifter would completely ruin the mechanical appeal of cycling for me. I feel it's not in the same category as digital speedos or LED lights — just an unnecessary gadget adding expense and complication to a sport that — to me at least — is all about how far and how fast humans can travel under our own steam, using power generated only by our muscles. On an e-bike I would understand any amount of electric gadgetry to make riding more comfortable.

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