Shimano. Love it. I know there are horses for courses but I unashamedly hold my hand up and wave the Japanese flag here. I sit in the Shimano camp – always have, and I suspect I always will.
Later this month I drop my Bandit off with the kind people at Cycleworks in Haslemere for some pre-spring care and attention. I’ve accepted that my go-kit is sadly not going to make it until February – again – dammit!
So this morning I found myself browsing the interweb checking out offers on an XT M8000 1×11 replacement but I also found myself reading the Shimano XTR site about their electronic shifting DI2 system.
Now I love a bit of technology. I really do. If it’s gadget related, I’m 100% in – every time. But I have to say I am less than convinced about electronic gearing. I’m not completely sure why, but somewhere buried deep is the impression that this could be… “cheating”?
I guess it’s the same feeling I get from e-bikes or specifically e-mtbs. I love the idea but would I buy one? That would be a no (caveat: for the very foreseeable future…)
I watched a brilliant documentary over Christmas “The Untold Story of British Mountain Biking” – a cornucopia of the history of riding in this country – trust me, you should watch it.
Seeing the evolution of the tech on bikes was just fascinating – suspension forks, full suspension, disc brakes, droppers, etc, etc but all of these changes still rely on the simple, elegant and mechanical joy of getting a bike up hill.
The Di2 components are very sexy looking though, I applaud the engineers and designers for their creativity. However I think my biggest reticence with it is the thought your bike kit being so complicated that you are unable to make a trailside repair and a malfunction just ends your ride.
Maybe Shimano have factored this in? Maybe the tech is so clever in this instance it’s a revolutionary as the front suspension fork? Maybe I have to accept I’m turning into a luddite?
Maybe, but in excess of £1200 for a groupset (*cough*) I think I’ll be sticking with good old mechanical “crapness” for a while yet.