"Easier" to maintain, mechanical or electronic groupos?
Just trying to get some feedback on whether mechanical or electronic groupos are "easier" to maintain on a go-forward basis. From what I gathered, Di2 would be better if I want to "set it and forget it", but thought I'd ask the more knowledgeable members of this forum for good measure.
Which is easier to maintain, the carb on your lawnmower or the fuel injector system on your car?
Originally Posted by boogermin
OK, so not a fair comparison. The essence of it is that one will need occasional, simple adjustments. The other will require nothing until it goes very, very wrong, and then it will be an expensive, time-consuming trip to the dealer.
Now, I'd suspect that to be very rare, so if you're just a casual rider, or if you have a team mechanic, probably no big deal. But if you are heading out on a cross-country tour, you might take a different view. On the other hand, most tourists aren't interested in the sort of gearing available to electronics at the moment, so likely a moot point there, too.
You'll essentially have to tweak a barrel adjuster roughly as often as you'll need to charge a battery, give-or-take. It's just not something to worry about either way, IMO, unless you are both completely mechanically incompetent, and completely unwilling to invest the 15 minutes it takes to figure it out.
A good habit is as hard to break as a bad one..
On a mechanical system you will occasionally need to replace shifter cables and less rarely cable housings. On electronic you might not have to do anything with the control cables, as long as they don't get broken or short out for some reason. Mechanical levers can wear out after about 10-15 years of hard use. If I had an electronic system failure I would take it to my trusty LBS.
"It's supposed to be automatic, but actually you have to push this button. "
— John Brunner (Stand on Zanzibar)
if you're replacing cables as part of routine maintenance it makes no sense to not do the housing at the same time. the housing is wherr all of the wear that causes shifting problems take place. cables fatigue near the head, and can fray and then break...but they don't really get 'worn' like the liner in housing does. if you're doing your annual or bi-annual cable replacement you should ALWAYS do housing as well.
Originally Posted by Chainstay
I work for some bike racers
I've got some bikes, some guns,
and a bunch of skateboards
Cathedral City, CA
As far as I've seen, there isn't anything on EPS or Di2 that is repairable, electronically speaking. To get access to the control units, for example, I think you have to crack open a sealed case and that probably voids your warranty. However, once you cracked open the case, where would you go from there? I don't think either company is publishing schematics and component listings for the electronic hardware.
For EPS, all of the diagnostics are on-board. For Di2, there is a separate diagnostic unit that sells for around $300. A dealer might have one, but it's not something that private citizens are likely to have.
2016 Ritchey BreakAway (carbon)
Full Campagnolo drivetrain - Chorus 11sp (50, 34 & 12-29)
Lezyne Super GPS w/Cateye speed/cadence & HR sensors
Ritchey fork, stem, headset, bars and seatpost
Fizik Arione VSX saddle
Cinelli bar tape
You really need to think "whole bike". Maintenance common to both, maintenance for mechanical only, maintenance for electric only.
When you think this way there is very little difference. You'll have chains, cassettes, brake cables/housings, tape, cleaning/lubing, etc. common to both.
Mechanical will need a bit more adjusting as well as shift cables/housing.
Electric will need battery charging.
At the end of a year it's about the same.
As for the riding experience...Di2 is pretty sweet.
That's true for both electronic and mechanical failures really - in the modern age of non-replaceable bits, any little failure is complete system replacement for the most part.
Originally Posted by danl1