Someone asked me recently if I prefer electronic or mechanical parts on a bike.
Each has its pluses and minuses. Electronic is great, until it’s not. That usually means a battery, and those either need to be charged, or purchased. Not terribly bad to do. Most are fairly easy to charge. Not all batteries are easy to replace, be they inside the bike, or in the shifters. The single biggest minus, for me, with electronic is the cost. They’re expensive. I’ve had to quote prices for replacement parts that approached the entire cost of some lower level mechanical groupsets.
Mechanical, the biggest plus is the simplicity. It works, when something doesn’t it’s usually easy to figure out why. If parts need to be replaced, they’re usually, even for the most expensive of mechanicals, relatively inexpensive. I also like the tactile response of the mechanical groupsets as it changes gears. The biggest drawback is weight. No mechanical groupset will ever be as light as an electronic groupset.
Now all that said, I have both mechanical and electronic built up bikes. I like both, and it sometimes takes a few minutes to remember which I’m riding so I shift properly. In the end I’ll go for the simplicity of the mechanical. I know folks who’ll never go back to mech. I know some who’ll never go electronic. Both are good, especially now with so many gear ratios to choose from.
We can break each of these down by the different manufacturers too. Each has their own pluses and minuses. It’s amazing how much tech has changed in the last 30+ years in just the shifting experience on a bike.
Ok, before I take us down that rabbit hole, I’ll leave with a link to an article that made me think of that 1st questioni.