What's the future for high end mechanical gears?

I’ve read through most of the comments here. And although I can make some objective observations about what the market might or might not do, after each comment I feel a certain subjective lean toward a defense of mechanical shifting. In the end it’s what I want on my new bike. I can argue this way or that for why mechanical shifting should persist in the market. But it’s all based on my simple want of it. I love mechanical shifting. I don’t want to bother with free electrons doing the work for me.

What will determine whether mechanical shifting lives on is how many consumers express their desire for it in the marketplace. There’s a lot of desire being expressed for these new wireless and wired-less shifter/derailleur setups. If near equal enthusiasm remains for mechanical, manufacturers may listen. But they will make a bet on where R&D goes based on what consumers demand. Forums like these help shape the outcome. The very opinions expressed here impact where the market goes. Not so secretly, I’m encouraged to hear quite a few voices expressing interest in mechanical. But we’re up against a force to be reckoned with. You can see on the pages of the big bike sellers where the market is moving.

I have 2 bikes with electronic shifting and hydraulic discs, and my next purchase will definitely be the same. That said, my favorite bike in the stable is still an older Serotta Ti with mechanical shifting and rim brakes. I recently upgraded it to a Campy 12 speed group because I want to make sure I can keep riding it for many more years. I see high end mechanical groups being just a boutique item in the near future. Maybe they already are.


Sounds like a super build that could (should?) be on ‘Bikes of the bunch’. Umm what fabulous cables are you using? I think cables and brake pads get (largely) ignored, which is why I am asking.

SO still haven’t been able to get the FSA drivetrain to function 100% correctly…and almost got dropped on our group ride Tuesday AM because I was spun out and couldn’t get the chain down into my 12 or 11.

I put a deposit down on a Trek Emonda SL6 Pro Disc w/ Ultegra mechanical. Hoping to go look at it soon, but the damn virus found its way into our house, so we are isolating for now.

Besides having mechanical shifting, the other advantage for me is that it is not fully integrated in the front. The cables run into the headtube, but it uses a regular bar / stem. Any bike with an integrated system doesn’t work for me as I need a long and low bike. Any spec stem is too short for me and any bike that would have the correct reach out of the box would be too tall for me. If I swapped out the integrated HB / stem to a correct length, then the bars would be too wide for me.

I just don’t know if I can ride a Trek…after years of harboring professional distaste for them, it kinda sticks in my craw to ride one of their bikes. :man_shrugging: :man_shrugging:

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they’ve been on it for years AC, to the best of my recollection they are Yokozuna. Complete overkill, but it’s the little things that make a bike your own, non?

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Shimano turned up wth a couple of bikes adorned with the new 12S DA and Ultegra groups at the mini bike show associated with the Beechworth Granite Classic a couple of weeks back.

The tag line on the DA placard was “For Those Who Never Compromise” which would appear to reinforce your point.

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I totally agree. 2013 I stretched my budget to buy the top end SuperSix Evo, a bike with dura ace/ksyrium slr/carbon FSA bars and post…… and it was $8k retail (i paid a bit less as a package deal) and with my speedplays and cage the whole bike is under 15lbs.

Now a top end Evo is $13k, will be 3 lbs heavier and I’d have to hear those damn discs squeal :slight_smile: In less than a decade we suddenly are more than 50% more expensive. Sure there are carbon rims and di2 that crank up the price some but that’s kinda the point of them too….

Why has it gotten all so crazy? Bikes are getting into car territory.

It’s a shame….

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Not surprising to see Dura Ace bumping pricing, always thought they priced it way to low in comparison with Super Record etc. (I mean literally Dura Ace customers throw away $1000s in the garbage when they buy those useless OSPWs and Ceramic headsets) They’ve pushed Ultegra into the old DA slot pricing wise which leaves a big gap unless they ramp up pricing on 105 Di2 to old Ultegra prices. Hopefully 105 mechanical pricing stays the same or retracts a little bit. Not sure how the industry thinks it’s going to sell $4000 first real proper road bikes for much longer if a recession is around the corner.

If you guys are not happy with the prices of your bike, put your money where your mouth is and buy claris, apex, sora, tiagra, centaur or 105 equipped bike.

Well setup groupset with quality housing and cable these groupsets work very well. The spare cassettes, chainring and chains will be affordable too.

It is as simple as that.


This is outrageous. Are you trying to get banned?

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OK, update and (massive?) change of plans.

Excel had Ultegra 12 spd Di2 kits in stock….so I ordered a kit from them and a Giant TCR frameset from my buddy who owns the LBS. Will be roughly the same price as the Trem Emonda, but with current Gen components.

That said, I may still get the Trek. I could still use a backup bike, and while it would be total overkill for a 2nd bike, I can get 2 new bikes for roughly the price of a single Ultegra Di2 bike if I bought it complete.

I bought a barely-used Giant Contend last year, that came with a Tiagra groupset… I assumed I’d be replacing the Tiagra immediately, but there’s no point: it’s fantastic :slightly_smiling_face:

Similarly, my Sunday best bike is a latest-model TCR… with a 10-year-old groupset. I just don’t think I can justify consumption to myself (or the planet maaaaan) if it doesn’t bring any appreciable benefit.


Usually most of the additional weight on lower tier groupsets is in the crank and cassettes so if you’re worried about weight then just get a third party crank and Dura Ace cassette.

105/Tiagra mechanical shifters, brakes and mechs will be plenty good enough.

I’ve been using Cannondale and Rotor cranks for years now and they’re no worse than Shimano ones, plus there’s no issues with them falling apart like the Hollowtech ones!

The DA/Ultegra cranks aren’t a better design than 105. They’re just a bit lighter. Wouldn’t go near a DA cassette - spiders are unreliable.

Regarding lower gearing, I really wish Campagnolo brought the same 48/32 or even a 46/30 crank to their Centaur group. It makes so much more sense for both experienced riders who need lower gears and debutants who might need them as well. So many who want to stay mechanical or even gravel would be very attracted to a Centaur group (lower price point) and 46/30 cranks.

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Must say I have riden both but my regular ride is rim/mechanical Campagnolo. It just does the job so very well and is easy to fix. Also lighter. If I find a gap in performance I would reconsider.

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