I tested eTap for myself this weekend, riding round the park,
some climbing and then the London Etape event on the Sunday. The
bike I was trialing didn't have the right saddle for me, as I could
tell after only a couple of hours on the Etape, but SRAM eTap was
I usually ride Shimano Ultegra mechanical, and have always
considered it be fit for purpose. Clean, precise shifting, good
looks and fits my budget. I have always got the idea of electronic
groupsets, but never seen them as something for me. Partly down to
budget I suppose, but also some sense of not wanting to overly
complicate my cycling in a technological way.
However, having ridden eTap for a while I can now say that it's
on my wishlist.
Firstly, let me just say that there's a simple childlike joy to
electronic shifting. You get the "how cool is that?!" factor as you
use it. The quick reactivity, the whir of the motor... With it's
lack of cabling, eTap also looks fantastic. Personally, I
particualrly enjoyed both the look and feel of the shifters. Very
pleasing to use and feel good in the hand.
Having used both Campag and Shimano in the past I know that it
can be difficult to adapt to small changes in how groupsets
operate. Not so with eTap. The reimagined shifting controls are
completely intuitive after the first 5 minutes. I found the
shifting to be precise and consistent, even under pressure. It was
so enjoyable to use that I sometimes found myself shifting just for
the hell of it!
Pre-ride I charged the batteries, and nothing could have been
simpler. The battery units slot on and off the mechs with ease.
It's more like charging a USB light than having to plug your bike
in as you do with Di2. I think that separation made a difference to
my thoughts on complicating my riding somehow.
So, SRAM Red eTap. It looks super clean, feels good in the hand,
works beautifully. Count me in.
We currently have good stock of eTap available for custom builds
Contact us to learn more.
You can read more about SRAM eTap HERE