We’re a forward-thinking bunch at inGamba. And while we’d never just jump on a bandwagon for the sake of it, we like to embrace the new whenever we can. Sometimes, that means taking the sommelier’s advice and trying a new wine from little-known producer, and sometimes it means equipping our fleet of Pinarello Dogma F8s with red-hot new tech.
This spring, we did just that, teaming up with SRAM and decking our bikes out with the Chicago-based company’s brand new eTap groupset. Most of you will already know this, but just in case you missed it: That means wireless shifting. Glorious, cable-free gear changes with the tap of a finger.
The levers have been completely redesigned, with a one-up, one-down interface that simplifies the experience. It’s lighter than Shimano’s Dura Ace Di2, uses its own proprietary wireless signal to guarantee secure communication between the levers and the derailleurs and built-in accelerometers put it to sleep when you’re not using it, extending the battery life. And obviously, without the wires, it looks extremely cool.
So far, it’s been a big hit with the whole crew and with our guests, so after a few months of use in all kinds of conditions all over California and Europe, we thought we’d share some opinions.
Eros Poli: Tour de France stage-winner and Olympic medalist
“The shifting is incredible, it reacts really well and the new lever system is easy to use. But I was expecting that. The big surprise for me has been the brakes. They’re the best I’ve used, better than the Dura Ace ones we had last season. You can have so much confidence descending – and I should know because I’m a big guy, it’s not easy to slow me down!”
Jay Butler: Regular inGamba guest
“I was really looking forward to trying the eTap because, well, it was new and very different.
“I was a bit concerned that it would be difficult to adjust to because it’s so different than the traditional shifting that we’ve all become used to. I needn’t have worried; it’s quite intuitive and easy to adjust to and becomes seamless with just a bit of use.
“After the first 15 minutes of the first ride I was no longer thinking about what I had to do to shift, I was just shifting and riding and going with the flow.
The eTap itself was great. Bullet proof in fact. I have this unique skill for breaking things and being really hard on gear. With the eTap, I didn’t have a single problem the entire week. The shifting was so smooth, precise and quiet, I became extremely confident that the gruppo would perform without problem every time, under any condition and it did without fail.
“It’s gotten to the point where eTap shifting is my new normal and I have to think about shifting ‘the old way’ on my bikes at home. Curse you inGamba for showing me a better way. Guess I’m going to have to buy a bike!”
João Correia: ex-professional and inGamba’s founder
“I’ve been really happy with every aspect of eTap, but what means more to me than my own opinion is the feedback I’ve been getting from guests – and from my mechanics.
“Those guys have pro tour experience and if something wasn’t right they’d let me know. The set-up is super-easy thanks to it being wireless and despite the fact that we have a lot of bikes on the road – and we like to ride hard – there hasn’t been a single issue. Being able to have complete confidence in our equipment is huge.”