Electronic shifting – good or bad?

09 Nov

Now that electronic shifting is getting so common what do you miss about the old friction shifting?

I won’t date my self by admitting to loving down tube mounted friction shifters way back when and making the move to brake lever friction shifters was amazing.  No one in the pack could see you shift for an attack or notice you shifting down as you tire on the hill, provoking a nasty attack from your friend on the other team.

The big advantage to electronic shifting is that it doesn’t miss, you can shift while braking, cornering, anytime and  the only telegraph of your shift to the peloton may be the echo of your carbon wheel as that sprint gear kicks in.

The only disadvantage I can find is there is no feel that I now realize I liked when shifting the front derailleur, I miss being able to sneak it up at the same time I ease up on the gas or god forbid the chain is thrown off as you shift through a bump, getting that chain back on the front chain ring is much more difficult with electronic shifting,  you can’t ease it back on with half a shift in the right direction. Its all or nothing with electronic.

Shifting up with the front derailleur (small ring to big ring)  gives you just a second to mount before it trims to the running position, so it requires some decent cadence  in order to consistently get a smooth shift.  The best practice is to shift down on the rear  a cog or 3 a moment before making the jump to the big ring,  you want that spin to give the revolutions that will get that chain to the big ring every single time.  Shifting dow is less problematic and I usually do the opposite, drop the front to the small ring while jumping the rear  a cog or 3 harder.

In any case I would never trade back to friction shifting.