Professional Cycling: Mechanical or Electronic?

mountain bike holidaysWith the constant innovation in cycling, electronic drive-trains are increasingly becoming popular. SRAM’s eTap, Campagnolo’s EPS and Shimano’s Di2 are starting to dominate the cycling world – and we’re seeing professionals use then in huge cycling events, such as 2018’s Etape Du Tour Sportive.

Should you go from mechanical to electronic? If you’re considering the move, here’s what you need to know.

Mechanical vs Electronic

In the case of mechanical shifting, cables that run from the bike’s shifters all the way to the front and rear derailleur actuate the shifting. Each derailleur has springs to counter the cable’s tension. Mechanical shifting has become reliable, making faster shifts possible and reducing overall weight.

In electronic shifting, derailleurs have battery-powered motors that trigger and move it to the desired position. The motors receive the commands from a signal coming from wireless fingertip shifters. You can locate the batteries in different locations such as in the bicycle’s frame or on the derailleurs.One major advantage of electronic drive-trains is that their performance doesn’t deteriorate over time, as mechanical drive-trains can. However, an electronic drive-train requires a battery, so you need a bike with ports or an electronic group set.

Going Electric?

The benefits of having a mechanical-free, electronic drive-train include more accurate gear changes, quicker shifting and reduced chain wear.

As with most racing level items on a bike, such as carbon wheels and frames, electronic drive-trains pose little chance of jumping gears and fewer trips to your local bike shops for irrelevant adjustments.

When it comes to cycling, it does not matter how much you are willing to spend but more on what kind of cyclist you are. Consider how much time, money, and effort you need to maintain your bicycles and then choose whether you need to go mechanical or electronic.