I’ve only put a few hundred miles on my new bike with Rival AXS, but I agree that the shifting feels “snappier” than Force AXS. It’s probably just new bike placebo, but the clutch design on the RD is also different and definitely has a different action when shifting to smaller cogs. Again, this is all splitting hairs and I’ve never had a bad experience with any electronic groupset from Shimano or SRAM.
I do all my own mechanical work as well and I don’t miss replacing cables and housings or having to adjust shifting. With internal routing (especially through proprietary bars/stems), re-cabling is not my favorite maintenance task. After replacing cables, you have to ride a bit and re-adjust for any cable stretch at some point. I haven’t adjusted the Ultegra di2 on my road bike since I bought the groupset and it’s got over 35k miles on it. The bike has been torn down many times over the years (including new cranks and cassette), but the shifting just stays perfect even after swapping parts.
There is a part of me that likes the pureness of a mechanical group, but that’s more about nostalgia and “bike art” and not relevant to the bikes I use as tools where I only care about performance and low maintenance. I’d never put electronic on a classic lugged steel frame, that would be vintage campy super record.
I think that’s exactly what will happen.
Covid supply chain issues forced an experiment upon many companies in many industries, and they all realized it’s way easier to sell fewer units at higher margins than more units at lower margins.
Of course many people have speculated this in the past but nobody dared to bet the business on this idea, until recently when they had no choice.
Only way to combat that is not buy and as consumers cyclist aren’t great at that.
This is a fair point!
In my experience with running one complete length cable I dont need to service the housing/cable for atleast 2 seasons. I replace all bearings including headsets every 2 seasons anyway during the winter so with a full integrated system requires all cables/housing/hose to be removed anyway.
I do have the park internal cable routing kit (here) and dealing with all the internal bars and frames is rather easy.
I oil the chain 1-2 times a week and the bike is parked in the bike stand when not in use. The simple 1-3 clicks either direction for the RD I guess I just never noticed it as I just adjust it after the weekly oil/quick clean.
I fully see what you are saying however and see how that is very appealing for some!
A while ago I tried to summarize my thoughts on eTap AXS vs. Di2, one of my more popular posts here. I think it was written before Rival eTap AXS was released, but I think it holds up. In short, if either groupset maker gives you the gearing you need, and price and availability are of no concern, I’d base my decision on ergonomics.
I don’t think Covid had anything to do with it, it was competition. Shimano did something similar when SRAM was eating their lunch in the mountain bike world. Back then Shimano’s cheaper groupsets were 11-speed, and 2x had been killed by bike manufacturers. So a lot of manufacturers put SRAM NX and SX groupsets on their cheaper mountain bikes. Shimano was forced to accelerate its timeline and released 12-speed XTR, XT, SLX and Deore in short succession. However, Shimano still hasn’t released 12-speed Di2 mountain bike drivetrains.
This is exactly what happened in the mountain bike world.
Potential of 105 12 spd mechanical?
Ohhhh, I may have to snatch one of those up this season.
I’m still hoping for an 11 speed Tiagra announcement! Slightly uncomfortable with having 3 11-speed bikes if Shimano aren’t going to manufacture any more 11 speed components.
I am also hoping for trickle down like that to Tiagra. But a potentially informed/questionable comment from a local tech thinks that Shimano may be leaning towards stepping away from lower tier groups and leaving that territory to the likes of Microshift. No idea if there is any reality hiding there, but it shocked me at first and now seems like at least a possibility vs fantasy.
I guess it makes sense to leave the lower tier stuff to others. But there’s an awful lot of people running high tier (105 and above) recent model 11 speed bikes who wouldn’t be planning to upgrade to 12 speed for years. If they’re not going to bump Tiagra up to 11 and not going to keep manufacturing any of the older model 105 mechanical/Ultegra Di2 11 speed parts that’s going to be a lot of customers who quite soon will be reliant on second hand parts if something breaks. Wearable stuff like chains and cassettes should be fine from other manufacturers, but Di2 parts and mechanical brifters are trickier.
I would question that strategy if they did…Microshift is already making headway in the market, due to low pricing and more-than-acceptable performance.
Willingly ceding them what is likely significant market space in the OE category would not only fuel their growth, but also their market awareness and acceptance.
Perilous strategy, IMO…
Like I said, I have limited confidence in the statement, and almost skipped sharing it. I only posted it in the chance that others may have heard similar rumors and are able to expand on it. I have no idea one way or the other.
If I’m Shimano, and the rumors of the 105 12 spd mechanical are true, I’d move Tiagra to 11 spd, Sora to 10 spd…I could maybe see kicking Claris to the curb, but that would need to be a purely financial decision based on the profitability of that product line. If it was severely upside down, kill it. But if it is even a break-even line, I’d be hard-pressed to give up that market share.
Shimano still makes Claris and Sora along with Tiagra (which is as I understand 11-spd compatible with 11-spd shifters). Even though the demographic of TR doesn’t see it, this is bread and butter mass market stuff for them and given how they ardently hang on to patents and technology (SPD-SL anyone) I doubt they they will give even the slightest market to a competitor like MicroShift or Sensah
I stocked up on spare 11-s Ultegra/105/GRX in December for this very reason. I have a few more bits to gather once stock is available, but will have a double-backup of each one
It’s hard for me to imagine Shimano won’t make an 11 speed group set going forward. The question is will the shifters and derailleurs be compatible with current mechanical 11 speed. Hopefully.
105 has always been the group to get close to the performance of DA/Ultegra with the major penalty being a couple hundred grams and a duller finish. So I guess in that respect it makes sense for it to follow those groups into electronic. The issue is that the price hit for electronic is still so steep. For the time being the performance bike at a reasonable price configuration is still going to be mech. So what is the group for that? I think there would be some resistance to having the Tiagra name printed on parts on a $4K bike.
Chorus - I think it now sits in a market niche that has spontaneously emerged around it.