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Sunday, 3 June 2012

Reader report: Campag EPS

This is from James, who has just picked up this stunning S-Works Tarmac. I asked him to give me a ride report on EPS as I thought we would all find it interesting.

"On EPS, 4 rides in now, including one in the rain, will update at end of the week after a bit more of a play around.  

Coming from old record, the precision and ergonomics are what's most apparent. 

The shifts are spot on front and back and the lever throw is light and really short. I know people say there isn't much of a difference in rear shifting from a perfectly set up mechanical system, but honestly how long does a mechanical system stay perfect?

Its crisp and solid in a way Di2 is subtle, feedback is great on the levers. Works equally well from bars or drops too. Multi shift is very similar to mechanical (and something I see new di2 gets in on) but not identical in that you have to get a feel for how long you depress the lever v how far it shifts (rather than feeling it). One of the best faetures for me is changing up to the big ring while simultaenously going up a couple at the back (or vice versa) and that is easy and way smoother to do with EPS

Front shifting is great - click and forget. One point, the front mech waits for the rear to shift fully before trimming, so you occassionally get a slight amount of chain rub for that split second.

Rear mech is silent, you can hear the werr of the front mech if you're going slowly (no wind noise). I quite like that. 

Obviously you still need the pedal revs to move the chain, and you can feel that is the limiting factor on speed of completed shifts, rather than the mechs (e.g. when shifting across the whole cassette for example, you would have most of a rev with no actual engagement). 

Ergonomics are way ahead of old record and di2 in my view. That is main reason I went for campy v di2 - look and feel (the black carbon is far better than the light grey plastic boxes I think), and I think those are the main differentiators rather than performance unless di2's front shifting is way better. 

Also the on the bike trim ("ride") setting looks useful and don't think di2 has that (may be wrong). I doubt user programmability of multi shift (which seems main functional diff now) would be of much use ion reality. So main decision comes down to look and feel I think. 

I guess other major points are how easy it is set up versus Di2 and durability. Also, I can see seat post batteries being a big selling point of Di2 (although I like that we got it tucked away under the BB - that works really well). "

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