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High Voltage--The Inside Line on Electric Shifting and Suspension

Why are companies cranking out electronic drivetrains and suspension? What are the benefits? And do people want this stuff? We took the opportunity at Interbike to ask those questions.


  • + 4
 what a display of not knowing how to answer a question or give any useful insight on the product from those shimano guys that was so poor thankfully they talked to some non shimano representatives who gave more insight. That was pathetic to see from a big brand like them.
  • + 3
 I'm thinking it's so often very wet in the UK I'd be worried about it getting screwed up. Maybe I fear change and that's possibly because change is coming so fast now that it's hard to keep up. I bought two bikes in 2015 neither has boost and now I feel bad.
  • + 2
 If electric shifting isn't wireless, I don't see it as a great enough improvement over cables. On the other hand, I would totally use electronic actuated dampers. The accelerometer algorithm would be the most important piece, it would be cool if you could actually look at your ride telemetry and then tailor fit damping rates for more efficient bump absorption or pure efficiency.
  • + 2
 Really well put together piece. Haven't tried the electronic option yet but have heard good things about it. Personally I think the difference would have to be substantial for me to change. The idea and hassle of "plugging my bike in" will be tough to overcome.
  • + 2
 As with the dropper, It's eventually going to happen with mtb and a majority of riders will want it on their bike. Although, I have yet to demo the electronics I know it works. The past weekend myself and a couple race buddies did a fairly big 2hr climb with alot of traversing and short sections of decending to get to the summit of the trail. I led the climb and the bike equipped with the electronics Followed me. I listened to his shifting process as I was going thru my shifts. Effortless, smooth, quiet, quick and very responsive shifting. Never did he miss a shift while I may have been scrambling to drop gears on a sudden, blind trail transition. My opinion, the system works well and will become the norm in the mtb world as the pricing comes down.
  • + 1
 1st... Great article. This is what I (and maybe a lot more) would expect as a coverage. It really makes me think about the topic you're addressing.

2nd... I think electronics in our bikes are not off the chart. Sure these are the early stages but, why not use an improvement on your shifting if possible? The only issue stopping more people to try is money. Until this e-stuff starts to offer options for the masses, it will be reserved for a selected few (like everything else in life). I mean, not everybody has the possibility to attend Inter or eurobike to test this new stuff so, we rely on reviews of the ones who dedicate their life to inform. Thanks for that @vernonfelton

3rd... I believe (or want to) that the future of shifting is in internal transmissions (electronic or not but one shifter for all just like your car or motorcycle). In suspension matters, I expect to see more electronics inside. Leave less to adjust to the normal user (the ones like me that cares more about the fun and less about the adjustments). Electronic braking... I don't know about that. Actual braking tech works marvellous.

  • + 1
 Companies like Shimano might be wise to target certain LBS and outfit demo bikes with DI2. The cost is a big barrier (mental/financial) even for those who can aford. They need to get it in the hands of riders to try, and to be blown away (or not).
  • + 1
 If Chris Cocalis says its the real deal then I'm sold.. I won't be purchasing it anytime soon, but once its affordable and I actually need a new drive train, I'd consider outfitting the Ibis Ripley with one.
  • + 1
 Maybe this is just my opinion, but I don't see electronics becoming the norm. These are not automobiles; "more complex" is not something I am looking for. It may be cool, but it's not for me.
  • + 1
 we have options??? Thats why a 26 dhf 3c is more expensive then 650b tubless ready 3c? Or at least it was at my shop..
  • + 1
 Smile Had to change the shot in the beginning.
  • + 1
 It’s inevitable and awesome. Bring it on.
  • + 0
 "Jump on my bike and go". I forgot to charge my electronic bike. Guess I won't be biking today.
  • + 1
 This was my first concern,but i've been night riding for the last couple winters (2 to 3 times a week)and i have two batteries that need to be charged each time i ride.i have only one charger ,i make it work and the batteries are always charged when i go for a ride.If you love to ride it's a non issue.
  • + 1
 Whatever gets people out there ridinn!!!
  • + 1
 I remember when VODs were just videos that got you psyched to ride...
  • + 0
 id use it. and I think electric brake pad dampers would be the best

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