Electronic Shifting Gravel Bikes – E-Tap Pros & Cons


In the last few years, electronic shifting has turned into a very popular option as far as gravel bikes are concerned. There are a ton of reasons why people like using them, and certain gravel bikes become that much more effective when they have them installed.

In the beginning of this article, we are going to take a look at some of the best gravel bikes out there with electronic shifting right now. After that, we look at the pros and cons of electronic shifting, and whether or not it is the right choice overall.

The 3 Best Gravel Bike Electronic Shifting

The best gravel bikes with electronic shifting take advantage of having the best groupsets. That is why when looking for quality options, a great starting point is to look at the different major groupsets. Before diving into the top bikes, these are the groupsets to keep an eye on.

Shimano DI2

Shimano has been at the forefront for shifting technology for quite some time, and it is no different with this elective drivetrain. The revolutionary DI2 shifting system is something that makes everything just so much more simplified overall. People can have very accurate and fast shifts at all times, and it is all very controllable right there from the handlebars.

It is built with extreme conditions in mind, which means that people do not have to take anything carefully when they are riding anywhere. They have been using the drivetrain on road bikes, mountain bikes and gravel bike options, so there is really no reason not to try what they have at this time.

So many people feel like this is the standard right now as far as electronic shifters are concerned, with everyone else playing catch-up.

Click For The Current Price For The Shimano DI2 From Amazon.

Campagnolo EPS

At the cutting edge of innovation with electric shifters is the Campagnolo Super Record EPS. They have done a lot in helping out mostly racing bikes, but the technology they have used can also help with other bike options out there. It is no surprise that this is one of the most popular trying to drivetrains out there, and they have been able to win many races using this.

What makes Campagnolo a little different from the rest? They promised that they offer the fastest shipping out there right now, providing a very precise change at all times.

It is also nearly effortless for a rider, as people can customize exactly what they want when they press any button. They offer an internal version as well as an external mounted interface, so people can feel like they are getting exactly what they want.

Click To View The Current Price For The Campagnolo From Amazon.

SRAM Eagle AXS

The final electronic shifter to make this list is one that is getting a lot of buzz for what they have been able to accomplish. First launched in 2015, which was well after some of the leaders in the industry, they decide to go a slightly different route that has drawn some customers in. Most notably, they offer a form of wireless shifting that is pretty remarkable.

The shifters work very well, and they cut down on weight that anyone can get behind. Most people are trying to cut as much weight as possible with gravel bikes, and make them into something that at times rivals a road bike. This is probably the best way to go, as people are wanting to have something very compatible at all times.

This is the first time that there is no true physical link between the shifter, derailer and the battery. A person does not have to settle for not getting the performance they want either.

Click To View The Current Deals For The SRAM AXS From Amazon.

The Best Gravel Bikes With Electronic Shifters

Here are the three best right now on the market. There are others that are not lagging too far behind, but give these three a hard look before trying out the others. They are all great starting points.

GT Grade Carbon Pro Bike 2020

There is a lot of high-quality performance thrown into this gravel bike for people to try out right away. Many are extremely surprised with just how easy it is to ride, and although it comes with a high price, the electric shifting is just icing on the cake for many.

To start with, this is a GT carbon frame that has all the features one could ask for. There are floating stays, a flip-chip fork, wide tire clearance, and so much more. People can customize this ride to be exactly what they want.

Not everyone is going to go on extremely challenging rides with a gravel bike, but they can with this one thanks to the drivetrain. Having electric shifting is certainly beneficial, and people can tackle exactly what is thrown their way at any time.

Pros

  • Lightweight, durable carbon frame.
  • Shifting works as expected.
  • Tubeless-ready for a more comfortable, effective ride.

Canyon Grail CFSL 8.0 DI2

Gravel biking is made extremely easy with this bike. People love the components overall on this bike, but one of the main selling features is the shifting technology that comes with it.

People can go places they never thought possible with a gravel bike, and that just allows for a more smooth ride overall.

The company has always been very well known for having quality parts all around, including the tires that come with the bike. They are some of the most reliable gravel bike tires a person can find, and they should be able to last a long time. Have any ability to shift at a last-second with ultimate precision is just going to make it that much easier to ride.

Pros

  • Outstanding tires
  • Ultimate focus on precision
  • Comfortable ride that smooths out different terrains

Pinarello Grevil Gravel Bike

This final option is yet another bike that goes with Shimano as the shifting set up of choice. Pinarello made a name in the road bike industry, but they have taken a lot of what they do very well on the road and turned it into a great gravel bike.

Many people who want to focus on speed will love what Pinarello brings to the table, and they have made one of the fastest options out there right now.

When a person is going fast, they want to make sure that they can ship quickly as well. The electric shifters on this bike make it a must for people who want to feel very secure whenever they are maneuvering around. Without that added security, people can run the risk of putting themselves in danger by pushing things too much.

Pros

  • Gravel bike built like a road bike
  • Extreme precision from shifting to cornering
  • High-end parts all around

The pros of electronic shifting on gravel bikes

SRAM Eagle AXS

Why are people looking to invest in electronic shifting with gravel bikes? There are many different reasons why these make sense, especially for those who take gravel bike riding pretty seriously.

It is a bit of an added expense, but one that ultimately makes a lot of sense for people who want to make sure that they are getting the most out of the ride.

Shifting Improvements

People will notice pretty quickly that everything is a lot more precise when shifting with electronic shifts. It makes the mechanical system look so obsolete, and a little frustrating overall. Different companies do things a little differently, but all in all, electronic shifting is just that much easier to get behind fully.

Not only is the shifting smoother, but it is quicker overall. It might not seem like that makes that much of a deal, but feeling a little bit more of improvement can make people more confident when riding. This comes in handy if there are people out there who do a lot of shifting when they are on the gravel bike.

Customization Options

There is very little as far as customization is concerned with any type of mechanical shifting. With electronic shifting, a person can change anything from their shift speed to how many gears the system will shift by pressing the lever.

Being able to customize a layout can make a person feel very efficient on the bike, and it also makes a bike or unique. People who don’t ride a lot might not see too much of value with this, but it is pretty cool overall to have this customization option.

Overall Simplicity

On long rides, simplicity can make a pretty big difference overall. If a person is climbing or going over some tough terrain on the gravel bike, it makes sense to have one less thing to worry about by having just a much more efficient overall gravel bike.

With an electronic system, there are shorter lever movements and a more basic operation overall. People do not have to worry too much about any type of changes that they might feel like they need to make.

Reduced Wear and Tear

Electronic shifters are just going to make life so much easier for people who are looking to reduce the wear and tear that their bike might go through. There are so many people out there who are putting in miles and miles on their bike every single week, and it can take a lot of toll on a mechanical shifter.

This is just not the case with an electric shifter, as it is going through a lot less overall. While there is a chance that something does go wrong from time to time with an electronic setup, it is just not really the same.

The Cons of Electronic Shifting

Added Expenses

If a person is purchasing their own electronic groupset to add to a gravel bike, they are going to need to buy a lot of different components to make everything work.

From the shifters and the derailers, all the way to the charge power pack, it is going to start to add up pretty quickly. Not everyone considers all the different factors that go into the pricing, so it is one thing that should be looked at pretty thoroughly.

Repairs and Replacements Cost a Lot of Money

One can gather that if the cost of all the different parts is high, it’s going to cost a lot of money to make any repairs or replacements if something does go wrong.

No one should be too surprised by that, since electronic shift systems are going to be on the higher side than anything that works mechanically. Not only do the products cost more, but the installation process is a little more complicated in most scenarios.

The good news is that everything is becoming a little bit better overall, which means that they are more durable than ever before. There might be some things that do go wrong here and there, but it is not going to be that much of a big deal.

Forced to Check the Battery

Whenever a person is dependent on battery power, there is always a chance that the battery does not have as much power as one might initially think. It can be a huge inconvenience if a person runs out of power, or if they forget to charge the battery before taking off for a long ride.

There are plenty of indicators on any batteries that make sure people are well aware of what the battery level is, but it is not anything too crazy to just keep everything in mind. It just becomes an inconvenience if a person is not used to it, and that is why some might stay away.

Complacency

Some people might feel like they are becoming a bit too complacent as a rider by not having to shift too much. In fact, they might fall into the situation where they never feel like they need to make any changes whatsoever, and that leads to a good amount of complacency.

This is not necessarily a bad thing for some people, but others want to be a little more engaged with the entire situation. Do not be cut someone who becomes too complacent when they are riding, and everything should be fine overall.

Is Electronic Shifting Ultimately Worth It?

For gravel bikes, people are going through a lot of different gears at all times. That is why it makes sense for people who take the sport seriously to look into electronic shifting.

Sure, there are bikes out there that a person can buy that come with it already on the bike, but there is also the option of upgrading what a person is already riding.

It is certainly viewed as a premium option, and beginners really are going to need to spend this extra amount of money. However, there is a reason why it is becoming so popular in many different types of riding beyond gravel bikes. Anything that can make the experience a little more enjoyable and easier overall is a winner, and worth the price for many in the end.

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