English eTapped

It is done.

My friends at Bicycle Depot in New Paltz installed eTap for me. Good decision, they spent a ton of time getting the front to shift right on my very unconventional gearing.

Admission: I have a mountain bike crank and 46/28 ten speed rings from circa 2011–that is to say they are lacking many of the modern conveniences like good shift ramps etc. In any case, they do not get along super well with eTap. Just a note for people who are planning on retrofitting a gravel bike, with gravel gearing, with eTap.

My plan is, ultimately, to get Rotor’s 46/30 “Spiderings” and a Rotor crank to improve shifting. Kind of a bummer to have to get rid of my lovely THM 400-gram crank though. If you want it, you know where to find me.

However, even though the guys at Bicycle Depot were not entirely satisfied with the front shifting, my first words after a ride around the parking lot were “clearly, you guys have higher standards than I do!” It’s still better than mechanical.

Some pictures, I’m going to ride it for real tomorrow, provided my clients give me a minute to get out of the house.

So refreshing to have new bar tape. The old stuff was getting ratty.


Pretty busy up front with levers, Garmin mount, light mount and blips. But only 2 cables! Looks weird.


Blips. Mike at Bicycle Depot originally wrapped them under the tape (at my request) and then let me know it looked a little like my handlebars had grown tumors.


Front derailleur with the aforementioned 10-speed mountain bike rings. Derailleur and old rings do not get along well. I don’t really need 46/28 any more, since…


…I have an 11-32 cassette.


PS: If you’re more interested in routes, a complete library can be found here.



7 thoughts on “English eTapped

    1. John Ferguson Post author

      No, sorry, I’ve resisted Strava so far. You can get MapMyRide routes into Strava really easily as .tcx files (you can download them from the export tab). Not sure if you’d get turn by turn on Strava–I don’t use it.

  1. John Ferguson Post author

    I still prefer caliper brakes–my experience has been that discs take too much monkeying around to work flawlessly. And honestly calipers stop me perfectly well; the only thing that is nice about (hydro) discs is not having to use much pressure to get powerful braking.

    There’s no question in my mind that electronic shifting is superior to mechanical in every way.

  2. bgddyjim

    I thought that chain ring setup looked weird in your last post, now it makes sense!

    You don’t have to get rid of your old crankset, just get new chain rings, assuming of course, you can find someone who makes the right chain rings.

  3. John Ferguson Post author

    Unfortunately it’s not that simple–it’s a mountain bike crank, and the rings are a really unique 46/28, only made by Extralite. So it looks like I’m going to need a road crankset.

  4. Mr. Beattie

    I’m curious, since you’re now hopefully in a good position to write about performance of a recumbent vs. upright (not that this hasn’t been visited before ad nauseam) but perhaps some comments, especially since you have a unique perspective with both the injury and the challenging routes your prefer to ride up there in the Catskills and the exacting standards you uphold for your machines. Anyhow, I think it would be an interesting write up. Cheers.


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