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Aero Wheels or Electronic Shifting?

MattW267MattW267 Posts: 16
edited April 2016 in Road buying advice
If your budget only stretches to either Aero Wheels or Electronic Shifting which one would you go for?
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  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,767
    It depends...
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    Wheels. No advantage to Di2/EPS/eTap unless you're on a TT bike (and even then the wheels are more important).
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Electronic shifting DOES make nice whirring noises - but aero wheels will probably make you go faster.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    And also make nice whirring noises
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 2,183
    I've just gone from di2 ultegra to mechanical ultegra...
    So would probably say wheels.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,817
    Neither. They are both a waste of money
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,767
    Neither. They are both a waste of money

    That's quite possibly the right answer. Which is why I said 'it depends' ;)
  • darkhairedlorddarkhairedlord Posts: 7,168
    If you don't know then you probably don't need. Spend the money on PED's.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,817
    edited March 2016
    Assuming you have a decent enough bike (say 1000 quid alu/carbon with 105 and a set of mid range wheels 200-300 pounds jobbies) then cycling money is best spent on (in no particular order):

    1) Clothes, especially winter/wet weather layers, but also good bibshorts

    2) Holidays/cycling trips, the more exotic the better

    3) Events: those you dream of doing, being the Etape, the marmotte, Cape Argus, Ride across America or whatever floats your boat

    Most of the rest are just vanity purchases, for people with more disposable income than imagination
  • flasherflasher Posts: 1,733
    Assuming you have a decent enough bike (say 1000 quid alu/carbon with 105 and a set of mid range wheels 200-300 pounds jobbies) then cycling money is best spent on (in no particular order):

    1) Clothes, especially winter/wet weather layers, but also good bibshorts

    2) Holidays/cycling trips, the more exotic the better

    3) Events: those you dream of doing, being the Etape, the marmotte, Cape Angus, Ride across America or whatever floats your boat

    Most of the rest are just vanity purchases, for people with more disposable income than imagination

    Post of the year.

    Lock the forum :D
  • MisterMuncherMisterMuncher Posts: 1,302
    He's not wrong, like. In terms of need, there's no big advantage either way for the average punter. If you're racing, then wheels every time.

    I genuinely struggle to see the USP of electronic shifting. It's just like having perfectly set-up mechanical shifting, functionally speaking. Lighter touch? Auto-trim? Not that compelling to me. There's lots of missed potential. Why doesn't it have automatic sequential/double shifting across the chainrings out of the box, for example, or the ability to change from a cross-chained combination to an equivalent gear with a better chainline automatically? This should be trivial with the hardware, but no-one bothers.
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,184
    Flasher wrote:
    Assuming you have a decent enough bike (say 1000 quid alu/carbon with 105 and a set of mid range wheels 200-300 pounds jobbies) then cycling money is best spent on (in no particular order):

    1) Clothes, especially winter/wet weather layers, but also good bibshorts

    2) Holidays/cycling trips, the more exotic the better

    3) Events: those you dream of doing, being the Etape, the marmotte, Cape Angus, Ride across America or whatever floats your boat

    Most of the rest are just vanity purchases, for people with more disposable income than imagination

    Post of the year.

    Lock the forum :D

    True, Flash my man, but it doesn't stop a little whoring yourself out once in while because the world would be a poorer place if all we did was what we needed to do.

    Back to the OP's question, I'd go for lightweight wheels over Di2 but that's just a personal opinion and I wouldn't swap by Roval CL40's for my old Di2.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • bernithebikerbernithebiker Posts: 4,148
    Assuming you have a decent enough bike (say 1000 quid alu/carbon with 105 and a set of mid range wheels 200-300 pounds jobbies) then cycling money is best spent on (in no particular order):


    1) Holidays/cycling trips, the more exotic the better


    Most of the rest are just vanity purchases, for people with more disposable income than imagination

    What he said.....^^^^^^ !!! :D
  • MattW267MattW267 Posts: 16
    Thanks to those that answered the question.
    Looks like there's more benefit from better wheels than perfect shifting.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Ugo does speak a lot of sense there. If you haven't had the chance to cycle in the Alps (or similar) get over there this summer. Preferably whilst the Tour is on. Memories from that will last a lot longer than a set of wheels.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,817
    MattW267 wrote:
    Thanks to those that answered the question.
    Looks like there's more benefit from better wheels than perfect shifting.

    If you want to put a spin into the comments, then yes, I suppose... :roll:
  • gimplgimpl Posts: 269
    You'll always get the Luddites on here of whom Ugo is Chief bemoaning such things as Di2 or whatever newfangled technology wheel thingymagig has just come out as pointless, not going to make any difference, money best spent elshwere, blah, blah, blah.

    OP - buy whatever you want and makes you feel better. I love my Di2 and I've just bought new wheels too (although not aero) so two fingers up to anyone who says I shouldn't.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    If the OP did want to buy what he wants - why ask on here ?
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,817
    Gimpl wrote:
    You'll always get the Luddites on here of whom Ugo is Chief bemoaning such things as Di2 or whatever newfangled technology wheel thingymagig has just come out as pointless, not going to make any difference, money best spent elshwere, blah, blah, blah.

    OP - buy whatever you want and makes you feel better. I love my Di2 and I've just bought new wheels too (although not aero) so two fingers up to anyone who says I shouldn't.

    You tell'em... bloody moralists, luddites and pro-EU sandal wearing hippies... it's your money, you earned it... you do what you want with it and if you want to burn it to light a cigar, or roll it and stick it up your bum hole, you'll do just that!
  • sungodsungod Posts: 14,375
    presumably you wear only clothing that is the cheapest in each category, with no regard to colour, taste or style, and wear it until it has worn to the point it no longer functions, living overall in a monkish style with only the bare essentials to maintain health, and with a similarly basic diet

    otherwise it'd be hypocritical to suggest others are making "vanity purchases"
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    If Ugo's defence he did say spending it on good winter clothing and a good pair of bibs would be a worthwhile investment.

    Shunning Di2 and aero wheels is hardly shunning electricity and the wheel itself
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,767
    sungod wrote:
    presumably you wear only clothing that is the cheapest in each category, with no regard to colour, taste or style, and wear it until it has worn to the point it no longer functions, living overall in a monkish style with only the bare essentials to maintain health, and with a similarly basic diet

    blimey, that's a bit of a leap....
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    OP doesn't state what his riding plans are and what bike he plans to fit them to - if it's a Decathlon Triban, then expect the answer to both is "neither"
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,817
    sungod wrote:
    presumably you wear only clothing that is the cheapest in each category, with no regard to colour, taste or style, and wear it until it has worn to the point it no longer functions, living overall in a monkish style with only the bare essentials to maintain health, and with a similarly basic diet

    otherwise it'd be hypocritical to suggest others are making "vanity purchases"

    As above, clothing is totally worth it, I said it.
    If you spend 200 quid on the best jacket o nthe market, which is 5% better than the Aldi one at 9.99... if that 5% means you will be warm on a particularly nasty day, that would prove too much for the Aldi jacket, then the purchase is totally worth it.

    Yes, I try to wear clothes until they are ready to become rags to wipe the chain, but that's a personal choice.
  • TurboTommyTurboTommy Posts: 493
    Gimpl wrote:
    You'll always get the Luddites on here of whom Ugo is Chief bemoaning such things as Di2 or whatever newfangled technology wheel thingymagig has just come out as pointless, not going to make any difference, money best spent elshwere, blah, blah, blah.

    OP - buy whatever you want and makes you feel better. I love my Di2 and I've just bought new wheels too (although not aero) so two fingers up to anyone who says I shouldn't.

    You tell'em... bloody moralists, luddites and pro-EU sandal wearing hippies... it's your money, you earned it... you do what you want with it and if you want to burn it to light a cigar, or roll it and stick it up your bum hole, you'll do just that!

    I think there's a middle ground here...

    Or shall we go to the other extreme and only ever buy what is totally essential for our suvival? Op didn't say what his total bike related outlay budget was....

    Maybe things like this come down to what you consider to be a lot of money.
    Cannondale caad7 ultegra
    S-works Tarmac sl5 etap
    Colnago c64 etap wifli
    Brother Swift
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,817
    TurboTommy wrote:

    I think there's a middle ground here...

    Or shall we go to the other extreme and only ever buy what is totally essential for our suvival? Op didn't say what his total bike related outlay budget was....

    Maybe things like this come down to what you consider to be a lot of money.

    I am not being a moralist here. The OP asks if he should invest his limited money (otherwise he would buy both) on a new Gucci bag or a new Burberry suitcase and I say: keep your luggage and buy a plane ticket instead. Fancy upgrades are nothing more than fashion items: one year you must have 50 mm rims, the following year you need to have the 35 mm, but wide...
    If he had no suitaces, then I would give a different advice. Not sure why people have to get so upset about these things... they know for themselves these are just caprices, so what's the matter if someone actually points it out?

    I have no problem in admitting that I bought a lot of junk in my days, including coloured jockey wheels and various anodised tat, but I didn't ask for advice, if I had, I would have appreciated a bit of sanity...
  • TurboTommyTurboTommy Posts: 493
    TurboTommy wrote:

    I think there's a middle ground here...

    Or shall we go to the other extreme and only ever buy what is totally essential for our suvival? Op didn't say what his total bike related outlay budget was....

    Maybe things like this come down to what you consider to be a lot of money.

    I am not being a moralist here. The OP asks if he should invest his limited money (otherwise he would buy both) on a new Gucci bag or a new Burberry suitcase and I say: keep your luggage and buy a plane ticket instead. Fancy upgrades are nothing more than fashion items: one year you must have 50 mm rims, the following year you need to have the 35 mm, but wide...
    If he had no suitaces, then I would give a different advice. Not sure why people have to get so upset about these things... they know for themselves these are just caprices, so what's the matter if someone actually points it out?

    I have no problem in admitting that I bought a lot of junk in my days, including coloured jockey wheels and various anodised tat, but I didn't ask for advice, if I had, I would have appreciated a bit of sanity...

    To be fair when you say things like:

    "they're both a waste of money" or "Most of the rest are just vanity purchases, for people with more disposable income than imagination".

    It kinda sounds like a moral judgement... You give more solid advice to this forum than I ever will. But your tone might be a little off here. We're assuming too much to make the judgement you're making.
    Cannondale caad7 ultegra
    S-works Tarmac sl5 etap
    Colnago c64 etap wifli
    Brother Swift
  • chrisaonabikechrisaonabike Posts: 1,914
    Assuming you have a decent enough bike (say 1000 quid alu/carbon with 105 and a set of mid range wheels 200-300 pounds jobbies) then cycling money is best spent on (in no particular order):

    1) Clothes, especially winter/wet weather layers, but also good bibshorts

    2) Holidays/cycling trips, the more exotic the better

    3) Events: those you dream of doing, being the Etape, the marmotte, Cape Argus, Ride across America or whatever floats your boat

    Most of the rest are just vanity purchases, for people with more disposable income than imagination
    ^^^ This winz the internetz, for sure.

    The only stuff I've bought for my 2012 carbon Defy 3 (Tiagra) is a bright Lezyne front light, which made a massive difference to the cars coming out of sideroads in front of me, an Edge 800, which made recording my mileage and routes easy and pleasant, and more recently a Garmin Virb camera, which I mostly just use in case I need video evidence.

    Clothes, for sure, totally agree with the priority there. Comfort is everything. My £160 winter boots were worth every penny - I got horrible cold feet before, now they're toasty in the winter. More recently some fleecy DHB bib tights and a softshell top (also DHB) to go with them have made the 1-4 degree temperature range not just bearable but positively pleasant.

    Don't need anything else that I can think of.

    Oh, and a saddle. That made a huge difference to comfort, so I include that in clothes.
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,817
    TurboTommy wrote:

    To be fair when you say things like:

    "they're both a waste of money" or "Most of the rest are just vanity purchases, for people with more disposable income than imagination".

    It kinda sounds like a moral judgement... You give more solid advice to this forum than I ever will. But your tone might be a little off here. We're assuming too much to make the judgement you're making.

    That is because you are uncomfortable with the idea of being vain... what I want to say is exactly what I have said... they are vanity purchases for people who can't think of a better way to spend their/our money. It's not their/our fault... there is a bombardment of advertising aimed at making you feel inadequate if you don't have this and that and reassuring you that being vain is OK.
    I do buy a lot of censored that I am quite happy to classify as vanity purchases, but I would never advise others to do the same.

    Very recently I bought a Mavic T-Shirt with the Paris-Roubaix percours on it... vanity... it turns out to be utter shite, made ofthe cheapest cotton you can think of, with terrible fit and mildly disgusting colour.. so I will return it and reclaim my 20 quid for a more sensible use.
  • ic.ic. Posts: 769
    To try to answer the original question:

    Get both second hand. With all these people claiming wheels make no difference and Di2 isn't worth the money, there must be a tonne of people selling theirs.

    Or more seriously.... You've not mentioned budget, but I'm going to guess (sorry if I'm wrong), you're talking about £8-900 for either 6870 Di2 or wheels of the same value. I'm also going to assume your current bike is somewhere in the £1k-2.5k range, in line with assumption about budget so it makes reasonable sense to buy either. Sub £1k bike and I'd question the reason, above £2.5k I'd reckon your groupset is so good you'd not be thinking about Di2 anyway.

    For this budget, I'd go Di2. Aero wheels at this price, particularly clincher, for me are not the best use of the money. I think at this price you'd be gaining weight on the bike and likely loosing some brake performance too. Aero gains would be negligible.

    6870 Di2 at this price point is a luxury item for sure, but it's also about as good as it gets for shifting. What I mean is, doubling your budget for Dura Ace Di2 isn't IMO a sensible thing to do - you'll save weight but gain little else, in a blind shifting test could anyone tell the difference, I'd imagine not.

    If your budget is double and the choice is DA Di2 or wheels in the £1500 range, I'd go wheels I think.

    That's just how I'd go though :)
    2020 Reilly Spectre - raw titanium
    2020 Merida Reacto Disc Ltd - black on black
    2015 CAAD8 105 - very green - stripped to turbo bike
    2018 Planet X Exocet 2 - grey

    The departed:

    2017 Cervelo R3 DI2 - sold
    Boardman CX Team - sold
    Cannondale Synapse - broken
    Cube Streamer - stolen
    Boardman Road Comp - stolen
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