I think most companies dont see a future in creating/innovating mechanical groupsets…
I think in 5 years we will probably see a 11 speed mechanical group set from Shimano on Claris MAYBE… but i would be willing to bet that even Tiagra will move to electronic sooner rather than later.
I think most companies dont see a future in creating/innovating mechanical groupsets…
It seems to me that the challenge going forward with 12+ mechanical is going to be the ability to run through an integrated frame design while maintaining enough precision to work with ever-tightening tolerances on the cassette.
I don’t know that there is a workable solution there….I’m guessing Campag is well aware of the challenges many have had running there 12 spd systems through integrated bars / frames. It will only get worse industry continues to drive towards more cogs in the back.
In order for it to work, I think at least one of a few things needs to happen (maybe more):
- New hub design that moves past current standards and opens more space for a cassette.
- New cable design that in inherent,y more flexible, but still offers sufficient resistance to compression (opposing design forces)
- Acceptance that mechanical stops at 12 cogs
- The death of integrated systems (yes, please)
The loss of high-performance mechanical systems will be a loss for consumers, IMO. While the trend is overwhelmingly towards electronic, there is still market opportunity for mechanical and it would serve as a way to keep prices lower as bikes become more and more outrageously expensive.
There is a certain irony here, however, as most economic laws tell us that electronics become cheaper as they reach scale……but we haven’t seen that in cycling. Perhaps the scale simply isn’t such that it can achieve those price reductions, I don’t know.
More likely that there is collusion on pricing to prevent price reductions. There are only 2 large group set manufacturers. The rest are small
There isn’t any collusion….quite honestly, the industry isn’t smart enough for that. It is, however, paranoid as hell and companies loathe their competitors getting their information.
When I was the Director of Product for one of the largest suppliers, I walked around Interbike with a messenger back stuffed with our catalog. Walked into almost every other booth and said “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours….we all know we’ll all get each others catalogs eventually.” Maybe 2 companies exchanged catalogs with me.
That isn’t an industry culture that lets collusion occur….not to mention SRAM and Shimano hate each other. Now, could there be parallel thinking re: not wanting to lower pricing? Perhaps…but one of the truisms from my time in the industry is that everyone was always looking for ways to offer more for less.
For what it’s worth, I’ve been running Campagnolo 12 speed SR mechanical through my Ridley Noah Fast’s integrated bar/frame system for the past 3 years. I haven’t had a single issue.
There is explicit collision and the probably more dangerous one, silent collusion.
Yes I know that economic theory tell us that lower prices will sell more. But what if there are only two major competitors. A duolopy if you will… They don’t need to do anything. They can keep prices high knowing their position of power. They don’t need to like each other, they know no one can touch them. There is no incentive to lower prices.
Tacit collusion is clearly operating in the bike space. 2 companies, SRAM and Shimano control most of the components. Price leadership is often set by one of the 2 on a group set with various technologies. The others simply adjust around the price.
I’m sorry but you’re telling me wireless servos is such a new thing it costs 5k to put it in a bike? With electronic components as cheap as they are, I’m highly skeptical.
This is why the entry of Chinese groupsets is welcomed IMO. Sensah and others creating similar groupsets with technologies with cutthroat pricing. We’re seeing the entry of actual competition in this space after years of nothing.
In a perfectly competitive market, more consumers consume and welfare of society improves. Firms do not want competition as they want to maximize profits; they want to set the price where Marginal Revenue is equal to Marginal Cost. This is never the case in a perfectly competitive market hence why firms collude and do other actions to monopolize markets so they can increase marginal revenues and lower marginal costs.
It is best think of markets as a competition space between companies and consumers. They are supposed to be in direct conflict with each other in order to provide the best welfare for society.
A good’s value is not derived by its COGS.
It’s interesting that the cost of Campagnolo groups took a giant leap in price with the introduction of disc brakes. Who knew they cost so much to produce on road bikes. Why are they so cheap on mountain bikes?
It’s kind of funny to compare Shimano XT di2 12 speed parts to Record or Chorus mechanical disc parts. 12 speed di2 on a mountain bike is so much cheaper.
To level the discussion a little here - my front SRAM Red eTap (2x11) derailleur recently bit the dust and you can’t replace them or mix and match with other eTap and AXS systems.
I went to Force AXS 2x12 and that single generation upgrade requires replacing all your wheel (and trainer) hub bodies, your crankset, bottom bracket, chains, and cassettes.
This despite the fact that all I needed was a front derailleur that did exactly what Force AXS does mechanically - it just needed to be able to talk to the previous generation eTap rear derailleur.
Campy is not the only groupset maker which does really stupid things.
Campy should just stick to what they know.
Electronics is clearly outside of their wheelhouse. Stick to making bike jewelry, downsize the company as needed, and stay alive for the next 100 years.
Desperation moves like these never end well. I wonder how much money they blew on the R&D for this? I’d be surprised if this group were even as good as the latest SRAM Rival.
Sure…no doubt lots of people have successfully done the same. I wasn’t trying to make a blanket statement.
But there are also a lot of people who have struggled to get their’s setup properly or to stay in tune or just never got it to work.
A lot will depend on the design of the integrated system (as well as the size of the bike).
Their electronic groupset won the Tour de France in 2020/2021, so I think their ability to design an electronic groupset on par to their competition was beyond doubt (as they had just that), but clearly their jump to wireless was off the mark. Hopefully these early, less than stellar reviews gives them the push they need to revamp this thing into something worthy of their name (or, minimum, the price tag).
Shimano turns to SRAM: “We are really putting the thumb screws to our cash cow customers, don’t we? Who thought we could get away with raising prices of 105 (Di2) to where you could almost get a Red mechanical groupset.”
Campag to both: “Hold my glass of chianti.”
Why do we need electronic groupsets?
Yesterday on a longer ride (6h30) one of my batteries went from “full” (I check before every longer ride) to “empty any minute”. Why is it possible for my bike to stop shifting while I’m stuck in the mountains? This doesn’t go into my head. This scenario happens around three times a year, once a year a battery goes dead.
Yes, it’s nice etc., I bought into all of it when I got the bike, but my next bike is probably going to be mechanical.
I charge all my batteries regularly. But those batteries are hard to charge in correct timing (once a month may be enough or not, depending on bike usage).
I’m a beginner so excuse my my lack of experience.
Precise shifting every time. Mechanical cables wear out and that affects shifting performance. When there were smaller cassettes, 5-10 cogs, there is more leeway in shifting tolerances. However, with 11-13 speed cassettes, the tolerances are extremely tight and being off by a bit means shifting performance can degrade.
Mechanical is good but with more modern, high count cassette group sets electronic makes a lot of sense
They have a lot of advantages:
- Shifts require no skill. Especially shifting up on the front requires skill and sometimes force.
- Shifts can be executed with your little finger and they are 100 % accurate. That’s particularly important for dropbar bikes in my experience where now I can reliably shift with my ring fingers.
- You can micro adjust while riding. That’s a huge advantage that I didn’t think about when I first got my new bike with electronic groupset.
- Charging your batteries is easier and faster than changing cables.
Electronic shifters are nice-to-haves, that’s for sure. But they are really nice to have.
Do you have a SRAM or a Shimano groupset? If you have a SRAM groupset, the solution is quite simple: get a spare battery.
This isn’t a problem of electronic Groupset. It’s a wireless (potential) downside.
I don’t see any meaningful benefit to wireless. I have 9100 Di2 with one big battery in my seatpost that lasts ~6 months (I don’t know for sure, I’ve never run out in ~6 years). That one battery runs the shifters and derailleurs. Installation was incredibly easy and there are no visible wires (ok, there’s 1.5cm visible running into the RD). My Wahoo warns me when I’ve got ~1,000km of charge left.
Doesn’t wireless just mean (a lot) more charging?
Nobody needs electronic groupsets.
Any reasonably well set up and maintained mechanical groupset will do pretty much everything pretty much any rider needs. Races have been won at the very highest level even in recent years on cabled groupsets.
That said, I think they provide a meaningful advantage in time trialling, where you can shift from the base bars (where the brakes are located), and anyone who has ridden a full season of cx will tell you at great length how much maintenance time they save you. Blips provide a real comfort advantage on very long rides too.
Moreover, the substantial majority of users really like electronic groupsets, for the reasons outlined in previous posts, and most don’t really want to go back.
Of course, there is always the possibility of a flat (or faulty) battery, and for some users and applications (bikepacking springs to mind) the perceived risk may not justify the reward.
For most road riders, I think range anxiety is massively overblown. Even if you only got 500km between charges, even very high mileage riders are only charging the system weekly, and it takes a few hours at most, probably less. Check the battery level on a Sunday night, if needs be stick it on charge when you go to bed, by Monday morning you’re all set. In real terms, most riders are doing this fortnightly at most. How often do you charge your phone?