It’s Electric

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I’m sure that most of you have heard the news by now. The grandaddy of all high performance mountain bike components, Shimano XTR, has gone electric. I don’t really know how I should feel about this. The inner bike geek in me says “whoa, that’s pretty cool”. But what I really am is a cheap dirtbag that is super hard on equipment who says out loud “Oh come the fuck on! Really?” What’s next? Are we going to start putting batteries in our shocks again? Oh, never mind.

Other than the battery kinda looking like a vibrator, it all appears to be pretty well designed. It would seem that they may have worked out a few of the kinks already via the road electric group. But I have said it before, and I will say it again: There isn’t enough beer in the world that can smooth out your mechanic having to use a soldering iron to fix your shifting.

I have been chatting all morning with bike industry friends about this new group and the opinions have been mixed. Some think it is the best shit ever or that it will be great for pro racers who don’t have to pay for it. Others say it is the perfect “must have” item for pathletes and weekend warriors everywhere. My bike shop friends all seem to be dreading the potential headaches, irate customers, and warranty claims that they will be inundated with in the near future. Our old friend dan fired off an awesome email that I thought was worth sharing, and I will leave it at that:

well, that’s it.

it’s all over.

this is proof there is nothing left to innovate, expand, or grow in the market. the engineers have done all they can do. for the last few years, marketing strategy has been the innovator, not the true artists of metal, physics, and engineering. failure rates are planned and factored into the price. they know you tards are going to smash it, and they are ready and waiting to cash your checks. then they will bask in the glory of the free social media advertizing by all you idiots while watching SRAM rush to production with yet another attempt at not falling to the way side of the latest fishing reel.

adding more gears and simpler shifter can no longer make a difference in the typical rider. now it is up to you.

stop leaning on the crutch of useless technology. instead of dropping buckets of money on plastic shit so your ego can inflate your little penis, go out and get a rigid single speed made of steel, one that weighs more than your carbon F1-spaceshuttle-enduro-bro-machine-status symbol, take it to your favorite trails, and learn how to ride a fucking bike.


the danimal.

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About dirty biker

I am a fan of singletrack, singlespeeds, single women and single malt. Currently in Carbondale, CO Follow on Instagram @dirty_biker

17 Replies to “It’s Electric”

  1. On the rare occasion when I ride a bike with shifty bits (or even a freewheel) it’s seven speed and Sun Race friction thumbshifters. Or shimano barcons with drop bars.

    “The more you overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the sink.”

    Montgomery Scott, “Star Trek III, The Search for Spock”

  2. Pingback: It’s Electric | PEDAL CANTON

  3. Weak. Especially juxtaposed against some ’86 TDF footage of Hinault bitch slapping some Pyrenees climb and actually having to reach to his downtube as he crested the climb and prepared to drop like rock down the other side sans helmet at 60mph. You gotta love shit like the SRAM 1X11 (and now Shimano too I guess) that actually tries to simplify things and hate garbage like this.

  4. Why shimano… why’d you have to turn me into a retrogrouch?

    I hate riding steel because it rusts apart in no time.
    I hate riding singlespeeds, because all my trails are too steep for my puny legs.
    But I’d do either before I ever strapped #$%^ computerized derailleurs & suspension onto my bike.

    It’s as if Shimano wanted to quell any speculation that they were utterly clueless about the beauty of riding a bike, out of ideas, and behind the times, and so made this, the dead opposite of everything everyones favorite component gruppos ever were. Hilarious.

    Way to an-hero yourself to irrelevancy, Shimpanzo.

  5. Unquestionably over the top, but it’s not like a surprise. Let the _______s ride it. Who cares what they do? They’re animals anyway so let them lose their souls.

  6. Mack, I’ve got well-used steel frames that are as good now as they were almost forty years ago when they were new.

    And a singlespeed or two in the quiver makes a nice change. Of course I live within spitting distance of the C&O. 186 miles of flat two-track.

    There are also many hills in these parts. Some are-how you say in Frogonian?-“hors de catagorie”. I prefer to take those with a handful of gears, thankyouverymuch.

  7. Hrmph. I just replaced a broken year old Shimano trigger shifter with my 24 year old thumbies…………………on a 5″ travel funbike. Some things just do not need to be improved upon.

  8. Like the french, I too prefer to categorize my hors. Otherwise how could I ever keep of them all? So many hors…

    But yeh, my favorite bike ever was an old rigid Fat Chance Yo Eddy. Awesome little machine. RIP Eddy. Rusted Into Pieces. …like all my other steel bikes. After about 3 dozen other modern sophisticated whizbang candyapple carbon BS bikes since, nostalgia for a simpler and more effective machine got me, and I picked up an unassuming little gray bike… the Titanium version of that Yo Eddy, from 1994. I can’t stop riding that thing. It’s a grin machine. Handles like a rocket, fits perfectly, flawlessly fabricated, tough as hell, and won’t corrode in our wet/swampy/icy/salty environment here. And, Fat Chance is a fond memory.

    I’ll probably pop XX1 on it when its original ancient campy gruppo eventually gives up the ghost. …if it ever does. All the wearing parts are hard-chromed forged steel, like Campy was building a drivetrain to last for a thousand years. Jesus.

  9. ****Preface I ride a BMX as a commuter in NYC****

    I’m gonna be the Devils advocate Dirty and Danimal. I fully understand your point and no one really needs Electric Shifters on a mountain bike or disc brakes on a fucking road bike. But there are some things that I do like about electric drive trains.

    1) It pretty much sets its self up for you. You mount, quick connect some cables run it through a quick centering and limits adjustment done and fucking done.
    2) you don’t need a soldering iron for it. The cord gets cut you simply rip it off the bike and replace it. On the trail you just carry and extra cord and some zip ties. You do, however, need a soldering iron if you build classic wheels like Ambrosia hoops laced to record hubs that are washered, tied and soldered. (best wheel set ever)
    3) No more cable and housing replacements and trying to explain to your customers “yes you fucking dim wit housing wears out as well as cables. Yes you should replace them once a year, Yes it does cost money to do that. No we don’t give labor away no matter how menial you think it is. No I’m not a dick; you’re a fucking idiot.”
    4) Without progress in technology and sticking to a idea of never need to change this would of been a monthly zine printed in Big Johnny’s basement on a dot matrix printer or had to be printed by a manual press.

    With all that being said I would never own it unless it was given to me. I like to tinker on my rides and I love that point between stupidity and brilliance when you get your 10spd Chorus to shift silently and fucking god like.

    Oh and Dirty just found the pump track at High Bridge Park. Gonna go make myself throw up again.

  10. What this accomplishes:
    1. Calibrates itself in case you’re really so incompetent that you can’t figure out how to turn a screwdriver to line up a jockey pulley with a cog and turn a barrel adjuster. …yet, think you should be riding XTR, a “racing” gruppo.

    2. Shifts sequentially for you, in case you’re still riding a double or triple ring up front, and ride your bike so seldomly you don’t have a feel for your gearing. …yet, think you should be riding XTR, a “racing” gruppo.

    3. Adds: more parts, complexity, cost, toxic materials, dependency on electricity and batteries, weight, brand exclusivity through proprietary incompatibility, and whatever planned obsolescence they have in mind. …in a “racing” gruppo.

    Sram makes XX1 to simplify drivetrains and make them behave more predictably with suspension frames. In response, Shimano does this to XTR? It looks like they did some market research and found out their XTR customers are californian yuppies buying fredbikes, and built this specifically for them.

  11. Really!? No wonder SRAMs MTB drive train has been kicking your ass. XX1 is the single most innovative multi geared drive train in years. 2/3×11 Shimano?! Seriously!?

  12. KLUNK!! No shit, my offroad bike is a old huffy beach cruiser with a flat bar and a 3 spd hub. Twist shift. The whole coaster-brake-only thing gets pretty fun on switchbacks. Why? Because KLUNK.

  13. I will be that ahole that says… sign me up! (when the cheaper XT version comes out). Have been using the Ultegra Di2 on my CX bike for a year now and it always fing shifts when caked in mud and puke.
    The batterylasts at least 4 months of 5 day a week use, we wore one out to see. Just charge it for 5 min. at the beginning of every month, it is a lot easier than changing derailleur cables out 2-3 times a year or more.
    Mostly am looking to be able to shift without dislocating my thumb every time due to my freakishly small hands and penis. Ever look at an opossums foot, that is about the size of my hand.

  14. “stop leaning on the crutch of useless technology. instead of dropping buckets of money on plastic shit so your ego can inflate your little penis, go out and get a rigid single speed made of steel, one that weighs more than your carbon F1-spaceshuttle-enduro-bro-machine-status symbol, take it to your favorite trails, and learn how to ride a fucking bike.”


  15. Am I one of the few people in the world that think that developing a gear box transmission that is as efficient as ye olde derailuer is a much better pursuit than putting whip cream on dog shit?