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Mavic Mektronic riders - what's up?(17 posts)

Mavic Mektronic riders - what's up?julio
Aug 5, 2002 4:53 PM
What do you think of Mektronic vs. traditional cable operated systems? Is it easy to adjust? How long do batteries last? What do and don't you like about it?

I'm not really in the market I just think the Mektronic system is interesting and wanted some opinions from people who ride them. Thanks!
re: Mavic Mektronic riders - what's up?trx0x
Aug 5, 2002 8:36 PM
i've got about 500 or so miles on my mektronic system...i'm pretty happy with it. i have another bike with ultegra, and the mektronic definitely shifts better/faster than that, in my opinion. don't really need much adjustment...once you set up the rear derailleur, it pretty much stays set up, unlike cable systems, where cables stretch and need adjustment. so far, i've replaced the computer battery once, and the derailleur battery twice (haven't replaced the front wheel sensor yet). i've found that the rear derailleur gets hesitant to shift (or there's some lag in shifting) when the voltage of the battery goes below 3.0 V, like to around 2.85-2.9 V (all the components use the same 3V battery type).

the one thing i don't like about it (and i'm getting kinda picky here) is that you have to set up the computer again if you change the battery i.e. setup gears, time, km/mi, wheel circumferance, etc. but it's really no even lets you put your mileage back in.

i was riding on sunday, and a guy rode up to me, and was really interested in the system. he said he's seen them in catalogs, but never in real life. that's probably most people's experience with it. i really like the system, and kinda wish it was more popular. but i don't think mavic is selling it anymore, it's not listed on their site. hopefully, in the future, they'll come out with a newer version, so some of us won't have to settle for the big 2 ;)
Must be recentEager Beagle
Aug 6, 2002 8:42 AM
if they have stopped - I saw one on a Dale C7 framed bike in a store this weekend.

Are they heavy? This one looked rather bulky, but I have never used one.
not on mavic.comtrx0x
Aug 7, 2002 3:17 PM
yeah, i don't think it's in production anymore. check out, no mention of it, or of their SSC group. before, they used to have links to the SSC group, and tips on how to set up mektronic, then they just showed the SSC brake calipers and Mektronic system, now, they have a small blurb about the brake calipers, but don't even give specs of them or anything. i guess the SSC group is discontinued, at least for now.

the rear derailleur is huge (it sticks out quite a bit), compared to DA or Record, but i think that the weight of the mektronic group (rear derailleur, levers, computer, sensor) is about the same as DA rear and levers.

Works great!alansutton
Aug 6, 2002 8:00 AM
I have a Campy 10 bike and a Mektronic bike. I like the feel and extra buttons/positions of the Mektronic setup much better. The hoods are the most comfortable Ive ever used. I've heard Mektronic and rain don't mix, the I avoid getting it wet. Also, I found my Campy 10 cassette works fine with the Mektronic 9 speed, you just can't shift into the last cog.
Works great (in rain too)!trx0x
Aug 7, 2002 3:09 PM
yeah, i forgot to mention the ergonomics of the levers/hoods are excellent. as of using it in the rain, when i first got it, that's all i did, ride in the rain! i guess you could say i wanted to test in bad conditions, to see if it would crap out on me. worked fine, the electronics are pretty much sealed. i think i read that this was a big concern with Mavic, so they made sure water didn't affect the system.

I'm surprised..julio
Aug 6, 2002 11:13 AM
they didn't design a rechargeble system, it seems like like most of the complaints surround the lack of battery life. They could make a system that just plugs into the wall (like a cell phone or PDA) every 500 1000 miles or so with an LED warning light to tell you they're getting low.....
The thing with it is...TJeanloz
Aug 7, 2002 4:30 AM
The design of it is such that it should use very little power. It's powered by CR2032 batteries- the same as most cyclocomputers- and it shouldn't draw much more power than a standard wireless computer. The brilliance of the system, if it worked well, is that the electronics merely actuate a mechanical system- the motor doesn't move the derailluer, it just tells the mechanical system which way to move. Very clever if it works, unfortunately, what we have is the product of French electrical engineering, which doesn't work as well in practice as it does in theory.
Eh?Eager Beagle
Aug 7, 2002 5:32 AM
That sounds like a perpetual motion near miss!

How can the motor not move the derail - it must move it at least one way - you can't have mechanical force moving it both ways - or I am missing some other power source that shifts the derail?
You're missing the power source...TJeanloz
Aug 7, 2002 6:18 AM
The power is provided by the top jockey wheel- when you ask for a shift, the actual power to move the derailluer is provided by the chain turning the jockey wheel. It's really quite a smart system.
Aaaah, you're right.Eager Beagle
Aug 7, 2002 7:13 AM
I didn't know that was how it worked.

Also right. That is smart, and ought to be capable of being made to work very well indeed in this day and age, one whould have thought.

Might just be a case of waiting for the patent to expire, and then for someone else to come in and sort it out, as often happens.

Thanks for the explaination.
Solution looking for a problem.grzy
Aug 7, 2002 5:32 PM
What exactly does it do for you other than offer new and interesting failure modes?
One very limited solution...TJeanloz
Aug 8, 2002 4:38 AM
Back in my racing days, I was very excited when Mektronic came out for one purpose only: a time trial bike. And I still feel that it is superior to either Record or Dura-Ace for this purpose. The ability to shift from the cowhorns AND the end of aerobars provides a distinct advantage in this situation.

It is a limited application, but very useful nonetheless. And, for what it's worth, Chris Boardman used the original ZAP system for time trials (for this advantage) long after it had been deemed a failure.
Aug 8, 2002 3:24 PM
Doesn't sound like the plan for marketing success that Mavic may have had in mind at the time when they designed it......
You'll all get a kick out of this.aeon
Aug 7, 2002 9:02 PM
Well it seems we're heading into the twilight in the development of cable based systems. Campagnolo will most likely introduce an electronic shifting system for 2005.
that's coolDougSloan
Aug 8, 2002 6:14 AM
If they are going electronic, one feature that would really make it superior is to have a laser or some gizmo detect exactly where the cogs are and align the pulleys with the cogs. No more adjusting, noise, or bad shifts. Why not?

Weight, that's why not! N/Mcurlybike
Aug 8, 2002 8:01 AM