Electronic Shifting: Reliability, Pros & Cons, Market Domination?
Electronic shifting is quite controversial when it comes to reliability and whether it will overtake mechanical shifting in popularity during the coming years. In this video, Neil unpacks the world of electronic shifting, the available systems, what’s to like, what’s not to like, and how it fits into the world of bikepacking…
Many fears and emotions begin to swirl in some people at the mention of electronic shifting, and there’s a good reason for that. With their announcement of Rival AXS, SRAM casually mentioned that it will stop making 2x Rival mechanical systems. That’s not that drastic, but it might strike fear into those who believe it’s the beginning of the end for mechanical shifting, with a ripple effect on future group announcements. Obviously, there are other brands, and mechanical shifting isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but there are other causes for pause. One other major hurdle with most people—particularly bikepackers and long-distance tourers—is the reliability of electronic and wireless shifting. No one wants to get stuck in the middle of nowhere with a malfunctioning derailleur and no parts to be found.
In our latest video, Neil dives in to all this, dissecting the pros and cons of wireless and electronic shifting, and discussing the reliability and future of such systems. Watch it below and then scroll down to find links to in-depth reviews on several electronic shifting systems here on the site.
There are currently more than a dozen electronic drivetrains on the market, the most popular being Shimano Di2 and SRAM’s wireless AXS. Based on value, GX AXS is likely the most popular wireless system in the SRAM AXS ecosystem. Find our review of that one (among others) in the Related Content grid below; and note that to further test the bounds of electronic shifting reliability, we’ve since put about 1,500 more kilometers on it during our trip on the Baja Divide and further afield in Mexico. We typically get about 1,050 to 1,290 kilometers (650-800 miles) per battery charge, for the record.
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