Friday, August 01, 2008

You Are Too Weak To Shift! Go Electric!

I see that Shimano is now bringing their much ballyhooed electronic shifting Dura Ace to market later this year. A Shimano official was quoted as saying," “Going electric helps to ensure precision that can make a rider faster and reduce mental fatigue." So, it would seem that shifting causes "mental fatigue", eh? I would venture to guess that shifting a bicycle has to be one of the easiest things you can do while riding. At least in modern times. Mental fatigue? Come on!

Later on, the same Shimano guy is quoted and gives us a much more plausible reason for the existence of electronic shifting, "....there is a certain novelty factor for those enthusiasts that like to indulge in the latest high tech equipment or use the same equipment that professionals use."

Now we're talkin'! "Novelty factor" is all this can possibly offer cyclists. It is a slightly heavier, a bit faster shifting, battery operated shifting system. Electronically controlled shifting is the antithesis of the main mantra of cycling, keep it simple, stupid! More complexity means more things to break down, not to mention creating more batteries in an era of "green" thinking. Why does a bicycle, the ultimate green machine, need to have batteries, electronic chips, and electric motors? Seems like a step backwards to me.

Then you have the UCI, which bans about any technological advance in frames, positioning, or weight reduction. Where are they on electronic shifting? Turning their heads I guess.

Oh well, I suppose there isn't anything to do about it. It's coming and that's that. I just am a bit saddened by it all.

You'll catch me later riding my single speed on the trails this weekend. Have a good one and ride when you can. Summer is almost over!

No comments: