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Campy's got all electric all carbon shifters...(32 posts)

Campy's got all electric all carbon shifters...QUiTSPiNiNArOuND
Dec 18, 2002 2:33 PM

The wawr has just begun...
Dec 18, 2002 2:43 PM
Seems like just a lot more to go wrong. In what sort of racing is shifting better than the existing state of the art necessary? It's not like we are Formula I cars lapping at 150 mph with 100 or so shifts per lap.

If this works, it's only a short programming addition to make it fully automatic, isn't it? You could pre-program your output and cadence preference, then the shifters could take over and keep you in that range. Now, it might be tough for it to predict when you are getting ready to sprint, approach a turn, or change a grade... maybe some radar or GPS/mapping technology would help. Don't laugh.

automatic shiftingdotkaye
Dec 19, 2002 10:52 AM
electronic shifting I could maybe use, because of the "shifters everywhere" possibilities - it would be nice to be able to shift from the aerobars and from the drops and from the hoods..

I can't think of any use for automatic shifting in racing, though, at least until they build in some kind of anticipatory technology like your radar or GPS. Absolutely loathe driving an automatic shift car for this very reason, it's always in the wrong gear because it can't see the hill/traffic/turn that's coming. Bah. Minivans don't come with a manual option so I guess I just have to get over it..
what is neccesary?ColnagoFE
Dec 19, 2002 1:06 PM
If that were the judge of bike equipment then we'd all use 105 or Mirage components. They get the job done. If Campy can deliver a reliable and super-precise shifting system I'm guessing people will buy it.
old news....Iwannapodiumgirl
Dec 18, 2002 3:15 PM
Electonic Campagnolo shifters was reported first in 2000, and again in September this year.
re: Campy's got all electric all carbon shifters...wasabekid
Dec 18, 2002 3:32 PM
What happened to the purity of the sport?

All along I thought that the sport of cycling is about the test of human endurance and speed with the aid of a mechanical bicycle, physically propelled and "MANUALLY" manipulated.

What's next? electric assisted cog/hub system? Oxygen aspirated rider?

What to do, what to do...?...?
UCI approval?DougSloan
Dec 18, 2002 3:37 PM
What was the UCI position on the Mektronic system? There is the catch-all prohibition of "new technology" or something like that.

Campy probably would get what it wants, though.

UCI approval?wasabekid
Dec 18, 2002 4:01 PM
I don't know.... 'haven't heard anything.

It's been awhile since dabling with UCI rules. But from what I can remember, there's a clear delineation between manual propulsion/operation vs. external assist of any form.

Campy can protest/pout/withdraw suppport (to any UCI sanction races) if they must, .... but would only be to the delight of Shimano. Ain't competition great!?!
UCI approval?seyboro
Dec 18, 2002 7:09 PM
If I remember correctly, the UCI outlawed Mektronic, because the shifters would provide an additional hand position on the bars. More aerodynamic, I suppose.
The Mektronic ban,TJeanloz
Dec 19, 2002 6:05 AM
The UCI banned the original Mavic Mektronic design because it had "horns" extending from the shifters which allowed for a position similar to that provided by the banned Cinelli Spinaci handlebar extension. The beef with this position is that it makes it relatively awkward to get to the brakes in a hurry, and the UCI believed it was causing more crashes.

Mavic later introduced a UCI legal version of Mektronic, which effectively looked like the "horns" had been crudely sawed off.

My point is only that there was nothing about the electronics that made Mektronic illegal. The UCI didn't get upset when people started using electronic computers, I don't see why shifters should be all that different.
UCI "reasoning"DougSloan
Dec 19, 2002 7:09 AM
I suppose the UCI standards are to ban things that might give an unfair advantage, or are unsafe. It's funny that they would permit electronic shifting, yet demand double triangle frames and straight (per their definition) tubing to maintain a bike recognizeable as a traditional bike.

Push button shifting from the aero extensions and from the cowhorns on timetrial bikes would be really handy. Once you have electronic shifting, I suppose it's no big deal to add buttons wherever you want.

The Unfair vs. Unsafe argument,TJeanloz
Dec 19, 2002 8:22 AM
The double diamond argument is entirely different from the aero argument. Monocoque frames (i.e. non-double diamond, though you can have a double diamond monocoque) were banned because some countries (chiefly the U.S., Australia, France, and Italy) were investing literally millions of dollars in creating faster bikes. Think of the Project96 Superbike, built by GT. I believe the total cost of that program was something like $13 million, which equated to just under $1million per bike actually produced and ridden. The reasoning is that if being competitive requires a $13 million bike, than athletes from poor countries stand little or no chance of winning. International competition becomes less about athletic endeavor, and more about technical acheivement- and we all know what countries will win on technical acheivement. Countries still invest heavily in "superbikes" that meet the new rules, but the advantage of these bikes over a traditional aero frame is much less than it was with the monocoque designs. I think I agree in spirit, if not in letter, with the regulations.

On the Mektronic/Spinaci front, unfair 'aero' advantage wasn't the issue, though Cinelli has spent thousands of dollars marketing the 'fact' that Spinaci's were so fast, they were banned. It isn't really unfair to sell something for $100 that makes you faster. Everybody can afford that, and those who choose not to use them aren't doing it for economic reasons. The position that the bars put you in did make it more difficult to get to the brakes, and seem like it is more dangerous, though crash statistics don't necessarily support that claim.

On the push button shifters wherever you want front, Chris Boardman (probably the best short-distance TTer of the 1990s), used the Mavic ZAP system long after it was deemed a failure and shelved on his time trial bike for just this reason.
That's what I recall alsogreg n
Dec 19, 2002 7:12 AM
It wasn't so much the electronics of the shifters. It was the fact that they had a longer reach to them that could potentially provide an unfair, more aero hand position.
UCI approval?look271
Dec 20, 2002 5:26 PM
Original Mektronics were out-lawed because of the "horns" at the end of the hoods.They were deemed to be too much like aero-bars and thus outlawed. The next generation didn't have the horns so they were "OK". Big Mat used them for at least 1 yr. Mavic has since stopped making them.
purity of the sport? was there a big stink about computers?curtybirdychopper
Dec 18, 2002 4:13 PM
It might be a while before electro shifting becomes lighter, more reliable, simple and less expensive than manual shifters, but if it does it most certainly will become mainstream/widely used.

Just wondering, was there a big stink when computers were first introduced. In my view, electro shifting should be viewed similarly to using a computer or heart rate moniter--why not use the technology if it provides enough benefit and advances the sport.

I wouldn't mind auto electric shifting if I could program the system to stay within a cadence range and provide a series of warning beeps to let me know when it is about to shift. It would be kind of cool, actually.
auto-shifting would suckyeah right
Dec 18, 2002 4:22 PM
you're in a paceline, and the temp slows slightly, your cadence drops for just long enough for the computer to shift, the tempo goes up just as it's shifting, you're stuck.

you're going slightly down hill, preparing to turn and then head up hill, your tempo goes up after you shift, anticipating the corner. then it shifts down just as you round the bend and head up hill, you put on maxmum power and start grinding at too low of a cadence due to the shift. the computer starts shifting as you're at maximum power, causing the chain to skip.

what could an automatic shifting system do that you with a cadence monitor couldn't?

the only advantage might be faster shifts.
purity of the sport? was there a big stink about computers?wasabekid
Dec 18, 2002 4:52 PM
While I may agree with you that it can become widely used...but it would be by casual cycling enthusiast and not by high end/competitive sports enthusiasts.

And I may also agree with you regarding use of tech to benefit and advance the sport,... but with a big qualifier!!

Let me explain:
As I see it, all of the current technological advancement does not in any way affect the performance of the athlete involved.
HRM - it provides you info on heartbeats, but you decide to pace yourself how, where and when.
CycloComps - it provides you info (cadence, speed, etc...) but again you decide to pace yourself how, where and when.
STI shifters - provides ease of shifting but you decide where and when.

Autoshifters will eliminate (for better or for worse) these "very important" decision making process from the athlete. These decision that are very much an integral part of the event. We all know that countless races have been won not by the strongest, fastest, biggest athlete but by the smart competitor.

re: Campy's got all electric all carbon shifters...MR_GRUMPY
Dec 18, 2002 5:36 PM
Zap1---- Strike 1
Zap2---- Strike 2
Campy E- Strike 3 ???????????????????
Mavic thought they had all the bugs out also.
same old argumentsmotta
Dec 18, 2002 5:48 PM
Why is it every time something new is introduced all the same arguments against it are trotted out? Why do you need 7speeds? What was wrong with cottered cranks? When will you ever need 9 speeds? How is a splined crank going to help? Suspension, on a bike??!! How much lighter can a bike get? Index shifting takes all the purity out of geared bikes.
Gimme a break, if you want to ride heavy lugged steel frames with crappy Huret friction shifters and steel components, go for it. My vote goes for all things new.
same old argumentsflying
Dec 18, 2002 6:10 PM
LOL...........too funny & too true ;-)
Actually I was one of the last to convert from toe clips.
I remember thinking.....hey if clips are good enough for Sean Kelly.......heheh

I do think they tend to try & idiot proof some things that are already extremely simple though.
You don't see...QUiTSPiNiNArOuND
Dec 18, 2002 6:22 PM
fishermen using an automated reeler or "set-hooker". They fish for the pure-sport of it. Sure bass fishermen can use bait, but do they?? Just something to think about
Dec 19, 2002 11:49 AM

For use with people with disabilities or deep sea fishing where I've seem them used to bring up fish from 100+ feet deep.
M.Pantani is back with a new ride!!! Look out Lance...!!!wasabekid
Dec 18, 2002 7:09 PM
See his new and innovative ride!!!

Talking about carnal desire to be competitive.....
all I can say is "WTF?" nmDougSloan
Dec 19, 2002 7:10 AM
Bet you all electronics will be Japanese. Ha, ha, ha!(nm)Bruno S
Dec 18, 2002 7:28 PM
see for reviews and notes nmSpunout
Dec 19, 2002 4:55 AM
Well, WHOOP-DEE-DOOO!!!!!Alexx
Dec 19, 2002 4:59 AM
Electric shifters? Pulllease! Sounds about as useful as a screen door on a submarine!
I'm waiting for electric Chorus nmLeroy
Dec 19, 2002 5:23 AM
re: Campy's got all electric all carbon shifters...mackgoo
Dec 19, 2002 5:38 AM
I think it's great. They have been testing them in the race environment, wether UCI sanctioned I don't know. The drift to the auto shifting does not seem to me to be the direction Campy would go based on their history, no maybe Shimano.
The Ludite(?) is interesting too. Back in the old days a wheel had on cog on each side. Come to a hill stop turn the wheel around go up the hill, crest stop turn the wheel around continue on. Surely that was the surest form of shifting. Possibly we should return to that? Oh and it was the dreaded Campy that came up with a quck release that made that an EASIER operation. Then there was the rod shifter. Two rods I think, one loosened the rear wheel the other moved the chain over, again a pretty sure form of gear change, perhaps this is where we should return to. Oh and it was the dreaded Campy who developed the rear derailleur to over come this positive form of shifting.
Then came indexed shifting and finally, and yes, it was Shimano came out with the STI. How did they beat Campy to the punch. One can only assume because they had grown into the mind set that has been expressed right here. They failed to look forward, as they had for the last 75 years or so.
Campy has goofed in the past. I doubt this will be one of them.
Right on mackgoo n.m.koala
Dec 19, 2002 6:13 AM
re: Campy's got all electric all carbon shifters...wasabekid
Dec 19, 2002 8:52 AM
For some reason I feel compelled to respond to clarify my position from previous posts'.

I am not a proponent of Shimano against Campy (like 'em both, each has +'s and -'s). I am an advocate of tech advances from both that "DO NOT ELIMINATE" the intellectual component of the event from the competitor. Because in the end, long after exhausting the fuel from your stamina it would be thru the fumes of your courage guided by will and determination that would enable you to finish the event. Isn't that is what it's all about? (As Lance said: It's not about the bike).

We all win from these advances, that makes our sport more pleasurable and still retain the purity as we know it.

If these Campy electric is truly an "on demand" ONLY shifter, then more power to 'em. (Hopefully the battery can last long enough for century rides/tons of shifting).

linear vs. lateral progressDougSloan
Dec 19, 2002 9:10 AM
I think some of these things amount to this -- linear vs. lateral progress.

Linear progress is evolution of a part the pretty much follows an extension of lighter, quicker, new material, etc. Steel seatposts to carbon seatposts, 10 speeds to 30 speeds, etc., are examples.

Lateral progress takes off in a different direction. Fixed gear to derailleur shifting; 36 spokes to disc wheels; standard racing to recumbent frames; these examples represent jumps or leaps in technology, and historically appear to have been much more difficult to accept.

That said, I'm not sure which category electric shifting falls into...