Updating an old bicycle

14-Oct-2019 19:18

It may be better to just buy a new bike If your bike is, ahem, of a certain age (say, pre-2005), then it may be better to look at a whole new bike, says Chad Nordwall, owner of Bay Area shop Above Category Cycling.

It’s difficult to retrofit electronic shifting to some frames (see above) and if you’re already looking at spending ,000 on a new groupset, “then from a cost-effectiveness standpoint, you should probably just get a new bike,” Nordwall says, and benefit from innovations like oversize steerer tubes and lighter, stiffer carbon fiber frames.

Right now, e Tap is only compatible with mechanical brakes (BB7 or BB5 road discs work).

Menna would not divulge any plans for future hydraulic versions of e Tap, but it’s such a valuable market that hydraulic-brake versions are almost certainly coming within the next year.

It’s entirely doable technically, but the aesthetics aren’t great.

As well, Shimano’s new Di2 drivetrains are based around cigar-style internal batteries, which won’t fit on all frames.

Plus, the front and rear derailleur batteries are interchangeable.

If one does go dead mid-ride, “you can swap the live battery to the front derailleur, put it in the proper chainring and then put it back on the rear for shifting in back until you get home,” Menna says. Make sure what you’re buying—bike or group—comes with a charger. With separate, smaller batteries for each derailleur, SRAM says a full charge takes just 45 minutes per unit—but there’s only room for one battery at a time, so make sure to leave enough time to power up both.

Like every electro-mechanical device, there may come the time where the electric-assist system just doesn’t wok right. If you’re in the market for a hydraulic disc bike this year and want electronic, it’s Shimano’s game.RELATED: SRAM Red e Tap is a Step Forward for Electronic Shifting No, the battery won’t go dead.A year ago, Shimano even killed an older version of firmware that allowed users to pair 10-speed and 11-speed electronic parts as long as they were all compatible with the newer E-Tube wiring.So if your bike has older 10-speed stuff on it, you’ll need to also upgrade the crankset, cassette, and chain.

Like every electro-mechanical device, there may come the time where the electric-assist system just doesn’t wok right. If you’re in the market for a hydraulic disc bike this year and want electronic, it’s Shimano’s game.RELATED: SRAM Red e Tap is a Step Forward for Electronic Shifting No, the battery won’t go dead.A year ago, Shimano even killed an older version of firmware that allowed users to pair 10-speed and 11-speed electronic parts as long as they were all compatible with the newer E-Tube wiring.So if your bike has older 10-speed stuff on it, you’ll need to also upgrade the crankset, cassette, and chain.SRAM, the newest entrant, says its batteries last at least 15 hours—and up to 60—on a full charge.