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Electronic change: Do you really need it?

Electronic change: Do you really need it?

Is electronic change for an amateur cyclist useful? Do you really need it? Electronic change groups have taken a leap in quality and variety in the last five years. In all cycling modalities, not only for the road. They are also more affordable. Thus, more and more amateur cyclists that consider the adoption of this technology, which have numerous advantages. You may also have thought about improving your bicycle with a electronic change. But it may not be suggested or that you do not take full advantage of it. It depends on your level, on the frequency with which you leave or training, on the modality you practice, etc. [Captation id = "Attachment_7426" Align = "Alignnone" Width = "900"]Change Shimano Ultegra. Image: Shimano.[/caption]

What do we call electronic change?

The electronic change, unlike the mechanical or traditional, works by acting the deviaries through a electronic mechanism installed next to dishes and pine nuts (in the case of monopathic groups, only in the rear transmission). It works in the following way:
  1. Electronic transmission button use buttons instead of levers.
  2. These buttons connect to deviators through a wire.
  3. In each deviation, a small engine It causes the displacement of crowns and/or dishes, depending on the march we select.
  4. To move those engines, a battery. Depending on the brand or the group, it is housed in the diversion itself (SRAM AX), or in the painting; Generally, hidden inside the armchair tube.
This concept has been the standard for a decade in competition cycling and, to a lesser extent, in amateur cycling. But the latest electronic change versions of the main manufacturers (Shimano and Sram) They dispense with the cable between the button and the diversion. They use a communication protocol for this Wireless, which eliminates the mechanical and aesthetic complexity of the cable and its case. [Captation Id = "Attachment_7432" Align = "Alignnone" Width = "900"]Electronic change SRAM. Image: SRAM.[/caption]

Electronic transmission: advantages and disadvantages

Electronic change has several advantages about mechanical change, among which are:
  1. Faster and more precise changes. Opt for an electronic circuit to move the chain and pass it from one crown to another, or from one plate to another, it entails multiple advantages: faster change, less hardness when clicking, more precision and less friction with the chain. All this benefits the cyclist's performance, which can make faster, sustained and effective rhythm changes.
  2. Less mismatches. With the passage of time, use, or climatological conditions, a mechanical change tends to disapprove more, requiring more repairs and maintenance. The cables and covers lose tension and rigidity, generating unwanted chain jumps, crowns or so feared sucked (When the chain slides from the teeth of the plate and fits between it and the box). Electronic changes have a specific and isolated configuration from outside, which offers Always the same performance And it automatically readjusts, to avoid chain or crowns.
  3. Personalization of change. The buttons and deviators already have connectivity With computers and mobiles, to customize its functioning to our liking and style. There is even the automatic plate change, which is performed autonomously depending on the crown of the cassette in which we are. The system tries to look for the best performance, ensuring that the chain crosses as little as possible. This can be dispensed with one of the buttons, eliminating cables from the picture and winning in aesthetics.
[Caption id = "Attachment_7430" Align = "Alignnone" Width = "900"]SRAM GX EAGLE AX Image: SRAM.[/caption] But not everything are advantages. Introducing electronics in the bike transmission has its counterparts. We highlight three:
  1. An electronic change is more expensive. Installing an electronic change is a substantial increase in the price with respect to a mechanical one. On average, per complete group, it costs about 1,000 euros more. However, there are manufacturers that offer conversion kits: batteries, cables and charger. For a smaller price, an electronic change can be accessed, without changing the components. This is the case of the SRAM Axs.
  2. More expensive repairs. Although less than a mechanical, an electronic transmission group is not exempt from breakdowns. The system can lose synchronization and change to marches that do not correspond. The calibration to solve it is a complex operation that will need to be carried out in a professional workshop. Also, spare parts and pieces have a higher price.
  3. Need to load the batteries. Before, the presence of batteries, switchboard and wiring ended up providing more weight than a mechanical group. But with the new versions of more compact batteries, and the Cable elimination, the difference in this regard has been shortened, or matched, in many cases.
What has not changed is the need to recharge the batteries or battery of the system. Although autonomy can reach 2,000 km (several months of bike exits), having an electronic group means being aware of its status and consulting its battery level. Otherwise, the change will stop working and you will have to finish the unique route.

Recommended electronic change options for cycatourists

There are already numerous electronic change groups of reduced price. Although they are still expensive, the difference with respect to the traditional ones is shortened. These are the low cost options that we can find in the market, ordered of greater at a lower price:


SHIMANO ULTEGRA DI2 It gathers the efficacy of its components with the advantages of the electronic system of the highway high-end group for road (Dura-Ace Di2). Your latest version (R8100) It premieres wireless version. Although it is not complete. The integrated cylinder battery continues to feed the divers' engines. According to Shimano, the reason is to guarantee a constant and reliable energy delivery at all times. In any case, the cables between drums and buttons are removed. The autonomy of the battery is 1,000 km and introduces the 12 crowns cassette. The full group price is around € 2,800, including disc brakes. [Captation Id = "Attachment_7419" Align = "Alignnone" Width = "900"]SHIMANO ULTEGRA DI2 SHIMANO ULTEGRA DI2. Image: Shimano.[/caption] SRAM FORCE ETAP AXS Is he Second Electronic Group of SRAM For road, grave or cyclocross, behind the range of range: Red ETAP Ax. SRAM FORCE ETAP AXS It integrates all SRAM wireless technology, with its compact button and its small batteries integrated into the deviators. It offers double -dish and single -seater options, with 12 -speed cassette. The price per complete group, with double dish and disc brakes included, is € 2,548. [Caption id = "Attachment_7421" Align = "Alignnone" Width = "900"]SRAM FORCE ETAP AXS SRAM FORCE ETAP AX. Image: SRAM.[/caption] SRAM RIVAL ETAP AXS It is the last to get to the market and do it as The cheapest electronic change from the actuality. It incorporates all ax technology in a complete group, although with heavier components than the Force or the Network. Its prices start from € 761 for the most basic single -gene version. It has its own hydraulic disc brake game and an optional low -cost potentiometer for € 274. [Captation id = "Attachment_7422" Align = "Alignnone" Width = "900"]SRAM RIVAL ETAP AXS SRAM RIVAL ETAP AX. Image: SRAM.[/caption]

Mountain Bike

In MTB, electronic groups have been exclusive to high ranges and competition. However, the prices of this technology are more affordable for Bikers fans SRAM GX EAGLE AX When talking about wireless electronic groups in MTB, SRAM AX is The undisputed king. In addition to the range, it has more affordable options. All of them monopath and 12 -speed cassette. Within this mid -range, the group GX EAGLE AX It is the most contrasted. It can be acquired complete from € 1,101. You can also buy a conversion kit with batteries, rear diversion, button and charger, at a price of € 654. It is interesting to underline that this kit is Compatible with all SAM EAGLE broadcasts on the market. Therefore, you could turn a 12 -speed low/medium range change (such as SX or NX EAGLE) into an electronic change. [Captation id = "Attachment_7423" Align = "Alignnone" Width = "900"]SRAM GX EAGLE AX SRAM GX EAGLE AX. Image: SRAM.[/caption] SHIMANO DEORE XT DI2 A few seasons ago, the SRAM EAGLE AX Wireless groups for MTB eclipsed the most accessible Shimano electronic option: the Deore XT Di2. But you still have this group available. The system comes with cable, batteries and switchboard, including the monopath or double plate option, both with 11 speed cassette. It also offers its own button, diversion and Display or control screen for the handlebar.


The Grave is no stranger to the development and extension of electronic change for amateur cyclists. In fact, Graio itself is an eminently cyclotourist mode. As affordable electronic change options for these bicycles, we find the new SAMPLR AXS, with divers and cassettes own Force and rival. All of them compatible with developments. [Captation Id = "Attachment_7428" Align = "Alignnone" Width = "900"]SAMPLR AXS SAMPLR AXS. Image: SRAM.[/caption] Shimano also has its electronic change option with Grx di2, that takes advantage of the reliable DI2 technology with cables and lasting components with developments or double plate of 11 speeds.


Is it worth an electronic change for amateur cyclists? Roundly, Yeah, if you are very regular at the bike or even compete. We have already seen that electronic change has developed its technology a lot. In addition, it offers more and more advantages and there are many low cost options reliable in the market. Therefore, it is a very attractive choice for cyclists who want to improve the assembly and operation of their bicycle. If you don't want to spare in spending and want your change to work with precision At all times, we recommend installing electronic change. Possibly, for road it makes even more sense. But low cost options for MTB are also very attractive, in a modality where change mismatches are frequent.
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