New eTAP in cycling

On June 10, 2011, I changed Gianta to Sora for super-hand-made, American, 7.5-kilogram Cannondale on the old Dura Ace. It cost 4,000, it was beautiful and rode like lightning. 1.5 years later I bought a bike, which was the peak of my dreams and it seemed to me that I would ride it for the rest of my life. Wilier Cento Uno on the mix of the highest groups of Camps, in a great 2999Euro promotion. I use it today, as a bicycle for ciorania - despite many accidents and misfortunes, it is wonderful. Why am I writing about it? Sram Red eTAP, about which this text is, costs little less than Wilier (at the moment, the cheapest I managed to find it on the Allegro for a little over PLN 10,000).

Is there any excuse for such a price?


Sram Red Stage derailleur
I know that I have a dirty chain, but if I travel more than I do with the equipment, that's how it happens


We live in the 21st century. Somewhere in America, scientists cross a human with a robot or work on a car that drives itself. Tourists are flying into space, soon nanorobots will be circulating in our bodies while fighting cancer. A great breakthrough has been announced in cycling - the derailleur has become electric, and thanks to Sram, even wireless! On the one hand, the revolution, on the other, sounds like a not very advanced TV remote control with an encrypted signal. Such obvious solutions should appear long ago. One thing is certain: electronic gear change is great! From the first ride on Shimano Di2 I knew that this was the only right solution - only the price remains debatable. I assume, however, that it is simply the effect of a new product. Low supply, high demand, the price can be raised. In a few years, these solutions will surely go to lower groups.

I will not elaborate on the possibilities of eTAP. It has been on the market for almost 1.5 years and probably everyone has met with a thousand technical descriptions, if not, I refer to DC Rainmaker or any search result in google. Below you will find my observations after a thousand kilometers in difficult mountain conditions, a thousand after boring Mazovia and dozens of not very favorable weather conditions.


Sram Red eTAP - Assembly


Sram Red Stage derailleur
You open the wihajster - the battery falls to the ground


A point that does not interest me at all. I assume that once a person buys something from the top shelf, it should be assembled by someone from the top shelf (which definitely excludes me). The assembly is said to be fabulously simple - the internet is written about minutes. However, I am disappointed with the presence of regulatory screws, the same as in mechanical systems. This means that the maximum derailings of the derailleurs are still manually set. A simple but manual operation. It's a bit like a modern computer instead of a comfortable one plug and play in USB there was a serial port and as part of the configuration, you would have to configure it.


Sram Red eTAP - Operation

The electrician works perfectly. It does not matter if it's Ultegra, Athena or eTAP. You press the button, the translation changes. He does not think, he does not analyze - he just changes. Especially when your hands are frozen and have no feeling - who ever changed gear with his left hand in the right handle, because the other frozen, knows what I'm writing about. Or in winter gloves - good luck if you want to hit Shiman's buttons. Coming back to life analogies - it's like a TV remote control and a brush stick that used to replace it. Both solutions work, but comparing them is strange (unless the remote ends the battery or just lost between the pillows - the stick does not die).

Does eTAP work faster than mechanical Super Record? The front is slightly slower, in the back: up slower, down clearly slower. The possibility of flipping the whole cassette down with two pushes was really great in Camp. Does it change anything? Absolutely nothing. Only useful when the driveway ends and a fast descent begins - we save some 0.31 sec.

The comparison of the electrics between companies is like looking for black dots in the image below:


Speed ​​of operation Dura Ace Di2 vs Sram Red eTAP


I get on eTAP, I'm sure it works slower. I'm going back to DA, it seems to me that eTAP was faster. If someone tells you that an electronic group works noticeably faster, it must have Barry Allen (Flash) reflexes or strong self-guessing. I'm not saying that there are no such people. Once we all thought that crossing the Babka Roundabout with an average> 43km / h is impossible.

A nice addition is the fact that despite the fact that Red eTAP does not communicate with each other on the popular ubiquitous ANT + protocol, it spreads it around, so we can see on the computers the current ratio or battery status of each component. Not only that, we can then look at the computer when we changed gear and for what! Cool! (although I do not know why). There is also a USB plug in the set that you can put in a computer and look at it, because it does not give you any opportunities. We can also buy it for 43 euros and enjoy the most unnecessary purchase ever.

The gearshift system is perfect, in which one shifter is responsible for the change up, the other for the casting, and clicked at the same time to change the front. Of course, it has drawbacks, because two hands are required, but often there is a GoPro or a Starbucks jack ... The idea is a bit like Apple products - otherwise, but getting used to it better (for me). I am a lambler and in Shimano I was always wrong about which button it does. With a frequent change of bicycles I have a problem initially, I still look for tit from Campy on the grips. Well, if we want to change the front and back simultaneously ... UPSSSS.

Oh, my gearbox supports cassettes up to 28, but the version is up to 32 (WiFLi). Because of this, I had to take a 52/36 half-man crank. It remains as always the question of whether to look better like a guy, and then lead a bike uphill, being overtaken by girls, or go like a man.


Sram Red eTAP - Battery

In Di2, we have one battery to which everything is connected, it is supposedly enough for about 2000km (probably they were not in Mazovia - here I change the transmission once a week. In principle, it may turn out that the front battery is completely unnecessary). In eTAP, through the lack of cables, everything is powered separately and lasts for 2x less. One battery in each derailleur (identical) and a standard battery, known from small lights, in every doorhandle that probably lasts for a year or two. It's nice that the batteries are the same, you can buy one emergency for 35 euros and carry in a pocket. The battery status can always be read from the LED on the derailleur or from a computer like Garmin or Wahoo. The mistake is that only one charger is included in the kit, even if the power supply has two inputs. If the bike is still immobilized for the time of loading, they can easily charge both at the same time.

An interesting patent are the accelerometers, which make the devices inactive when the bike is not moving - we save electricity, but you have to remember to pull them out for longer journeys, otherwise we may be surprised during the first ride in a new place . It's a bit like turning off the TV from electricity for the holidays ;-)

As far as we remember, to take the charger for longer trips, and to connect to the electricity at home once a week (VERY intense;)) the battery should not be a problem. It is easily pulled out, even too easily. After opening the pike, it falls to the ground, so you need two hands. That's why it's nice to click when it's mounted ...

In batteries, I see the potential for skeptics. That they will be discharged during the biggest driveway, that you have to charge after training, that something ... and they are right. Of course, if you are going for a month with panniers, this is an additional problem. Or if you do a few 12-hour trainings in a row, after which you immediately fall asleep. However, this should not be a problem for ordinary people, but it is painful to remember about it, because it has to be remembered every few weeks. It takes an hour to charge empty, two are already two hours (because one charger), removing and connecting to electricity and re-inserting takes about 15 seconds (in a few days if we lost the charger).



Sram Red Stage loader
Power supply for two, charging for a single


Sram Red eTAP - Appearance

[pullquote] Batteries in derailles look like 7kg plecak na drugioklasiście [/ pullquote] Appearance - a matter of taste. Red eTAP as the name suggests has red inserts and we will not do anything about it. If you do not like red then acetone in hand and brush. Everything is irrelevant, because the most important is of course the lack of cables. It is true that this problem is solved recently by hiding them in the steering wheel / bridge / frame, etc., but always their piece must be protruding somewhere. It is a pity that the brakes are still disfigured.

The door handles are very comfortable and tasteful - they look much heavier than they really are, which is cool, because there is no worse feeling than the expensive thing that gives the impression of breaking (in SRAM it happened). Putting your hands on them, you feel like you're touching a million dollars (that's what I imagine). Similar to the gearshift knob in an expensive car, or rather the blades on the steering wheel. You want to hold them there and have that scoop / spatula. Okay, I floated away, but it is. It's like a computer mouse, each one is used for the same, but sometimes you put your hands on Magic Mouse even when the computer is turned off.

Changes in gears can be heard, in the back it is a delicate click, but the front makes a noise like it was canceling a public transport ticket or the CD-ROM spit out the disc tray.

"De gustus does not discuss, but Campa is prettier"

I do not like aluminum inserts. Black battery, black mechanism, wheels, trolley and in the middle of the big, silver casing - how can it be? Could it not be carbonaceous like Campagnolo? Well, these batteries a little like a 7-kilo backpack for the third year, but I understand - minimizing the size of cells is at the moment the priority in all research companies.

The group is pretty, but the style is far from coal-burning Campy or new (looking a bit like plastic-fantastic) Dura Ace.


Loan for 30 years - Is it worth it or not worth it?

If you have been shopping recently, you've watched how much more products cost - not really worth it. This is currently the price from space. In the place of the average mortal I would sit impatiently and wait until the wirelessness goes down to the lower groups or the competition, because it is a natural turn of things. Solutions from top groups go to lower ones and it is beautiful. The times when the electrician will be on the agenda in mid-range bicycles, and in the majority the better ones there will be no cables coming inexorably - progress will not stop. I WANT IT.

If, however, your budget is flexible and your wife understands, one thing is certain: you can argue which group is the best, the most comfortable, the fastest or the most reliable, but it is Sram Red eTAP is currently the coolest group with the largest bling factore.

And I know that soon there will be voices saying that you can definitely break into someone's bike and change gears or drown out the operation of the system. We also talked about cars like that - after 100km / h you can kill so easily - it will not be accepted.