When Shimano rolled out electronic shifting in the form of XTR Di2 a couple years ago, it struck me as a bit...pointless. True, it shifts brilliantly, but cables already work pretty damn well and, really, who has three grand sitting around to blow on a drivetrain? Recently, however, a host of new battery-powered components (including a much-more-affordable Shimano XT Di2 drivetrain) have hit the market, and that has me wondering....Why are companies cranking this stuff out? What are the benefits and the drawbacks? And do people want this stuff?
We took the opportunity at Interbike to ask those questions. We spoke to Shimano, SRAM, FSA, KS and Magura. We also talked to everyday riders. The end result was three hours of moving pictures. Yeah, damn. We cleaved 90 percent of the footage away, but this is still no quick-and-dirty "shredit". Conventional wisdom holds that no one will watch a video that runs longer than 3 or 4 minutes. Let's see if we can defy the norm.
My goal with this video isn't to say that electric shifting and suspension are "the future" or, conversely, "just a flash in the pan". The entire genre is still very much in its infancy; to proclaim anything would be premature. I'm hoping, instead, to spark a conversation about how we riders want to interact with our bikes.
Do you want to stick with cables and knobs or do you want to ditch them for batteries and apps?
Film by ThreeSixteen Films