Rival eTap worth the $$ vs. 105

I got mine from Cobb. But those were standard rings. Now that I know they have aftermarket AXS rings, that changes things.

You need to charge 1 battery at most twice a month. Not really a big lift considering other maintenance on your bike. I have a spare battery that I just swap out every few weeks.


If that.
Plus, SRAM eTap batteries charge super quickly, maybe an hour or so and you are fully charged. And I always keep a CR2032 or two in my saddlebags ever since I got a power meter.


Availability, ugh, I hate how that throws a monkey wrench into everything. That also prevented me from getting a Red crank. First world problems, I know :wink:

But congrats on the bike. Post some pictures once you get it.

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@Buckethead, you got your order in just in time, it appears. Delivery estimates on the website for Empire Elite Rival AXS are now 50-55 weeks for the medium (my size, at least), still 1-2 weeks for all other sizes. Hope yours arrives soon!

@rkoswald Oofda… I wish I would have pulled the trigger a couple of weeks ago. But I was on the fence about even buying new still at that point.

Fezzari called me to confirm yesterday and sounds like they are putting me on a Large. I currently ride a 57 that fits well so it was what I was expecting. Was quoted 2-3 week timeline - hoping it is more like 2 and not 3 of course :crossed_fingers:


I’m definitely ready for a new bike … my wife isn’t there yet.

Interestingly, I test rode a Trek Emonda SL 6 yesterday (Ultegra mechanical). Great bike, and I’d get it in a heart beat, but I realized that it is too much for me for the $1000+ premium over a Fezzari. I also forgot how much difficulty I have shifting the front derailleur. My hands are on the small side and throwing the front left lever requires a lot of conscious effort to not swerve. In short, if I get a new bike, I will almost certainly splurge for electronic shifting. A while ago I very briefly test rode a bike with eTap and really like the SRAM shifting scheme. I’d like to stay with Shimano, but that’s another premium and none seem available. Anyway, thanks for listening, I’m excited for you for your new bike, and I think you made a great choice.

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Matter of opinion, but I don’t want it. The Garmin and PM’s are bad enough, but if they fail, I can still enjoy my ride.

A cable can fail as well. Same end result.

I get your point though. It’s one more thing to remember but it’s still pretty simple to stay on top of.

I have a little station in my garage set up to charge everything. Takes 10 seconds to plug everything in. I’m charging my Garmin at least twice a week anyway. It’s nothing to toss a battery on the charger at the same time.

Electronic isn’t for everyone…I wasn’t into it either, especially in the early days, but I’ve got my first AXS bike on the way right now.


Yes, mechanical can fail. Last summer I tackled Mt Weather in Virginia. My rear derailleur cable snapped and I was stuck in the small gear for the last third of my ride. At least I was up and over the mountain when it happened. I rode the last 75 minutes on basically a fixed gear bike, and maybe shifted the front rings once or twice. Check out the cadence before and after the cable failure below. The failure was totally my fault, though, as I hadn’t replaced any of the cables in a long while.

Anyway, this is not to start an electronic vs mechanical debate. Each have advantages and disadvantages and a big part of me definitely tends towards simplicity and minimal maintenance, especially since I’m not inclined to do it anyway, as is evident by this ride. :grimacing:


My Kickr Bike replicates electronic shifting and I wouldn’t trade a single gram of weight over my DuraAce mechanical to have it on my road bike. That said, we won’t have the option forever. Every year the component mfgs feel like they have to add another cog or eliminate rim brakes or some other way to make their product heavier and more expensive.

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I went back….definitely prefer mechanical (even though my road bike is now electronic).

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Really? I find that interesting. I have been debating on my next bike……and what I wanted… was thinking electronic would be preferable.

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This is exactly why I prefer electronic. It “just works”. Adjusting a derailleur literally takes seconds when changing wheels. Shifting is SO simple. Trim is super easy even though it’s pretty much not even needed. I have NEVER had a mis-shift with electronic. Never had a derailleur skip a cog. You can simultaneously shift front and rear with no risk of dropping the chain. I find electronic much simpler than mechanical. There is only one downside, having to plug in once every month or two.


It is definitely personal preference….for me, electronic has always been kinda “meh”. For all the talk of “it always shifts right, you never have to adjust it”, my experience has been the opposite.

But for me, I prefer the tactile feel of the shifters for mechanical…and why I prefer Campag over Shimano in that regard.


from my own personal perspective, I built up an 11 speed ultegra/dura ace groupset with mostly used parts pre 2020 and its amazing. Imagine going an entire season with not a single missed shift or issue. I charge the battery about 1-2 times per year. I would spend the money in a heartbeat, especially because it will increase the residual value of the bike.

Wow. That is word for word what I would have written. The gearing, easy weight savings if swapping the crank, 1x compatibility, pinky shifting, everything.

If SRAM had included an auxiliary button on top of the hoods that could be used to control lights, computer screens, etc. then there would be almost nothing from my two Di2 builds that I would prefer over my SRAM AXS build.

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Yeah, SRAM seems to be doing a bunch for improving stuff (wireless blips, tirewiz) but then doesn’t do stuff like add buttons to shifters for headunits, etc.

I wonder how many Di2 set ups don’t use those extra buttons because they don’t have the D-Fly unit, but SRAM connects to the head unit without that, but don’t have buttons.

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I am a little cheesed that the wired blips and their holders were $150 (especially being such simple things), then the wireless ones are introduced at a lower price.

Kudos to Shimano for just building the wireless communications (and the charging) into the rear derailleur. I hate taking apart the front end of my tri bike just to charge the battery. However, both those topics are outside of the scope of this thread as wired blips are not compatible with Rival level shifters and the di2 I’m mentioning has nothing to do with the mechanical 105 in discussion.

The lack of Bluetooth by default was a real pain point with the last Di2: the loaner I got didn’t come with one and the bike shop didn’t give me the cable either. So I couldn’t try all the different shifting modes or reprogram to top buttons, for example. The new 12-speed Di2 groupsets come with Bluetooth, finally.

SRAM doesn’t have support for changing pages on head units or switching on lights as far as I can tell. So even if I were to get blip shifters (wireless or cable), they couldn’t do what I wanted them to do. Why?

SRAM now offers wireless blips, too, which are to my knowledge fully compatible.

But you are right, the limitation to different numbers of blip ports from Red (2+2) to Force (1+1) to Rival (0+0) seems artificial. On the other hand, Shimano also has a long history of doing that, e. g. my brother’s SLX brakes lack the adjustment knob of my XT brakes. Shimano simply didn’t drill and tap the screw hole on the SLX brakes.

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