SRAM new 'AXS' for MTB/road

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Brucey
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Re: SRAM new 'AXS' for MTB/road

Postby Brucey » 9 Feb 2019, 4:11pm

when looking at new stuff it is as well to remind yourself that in general terms about 90% of new products fail. The likes of shimano have a slightly higher hit rate than that, but even they couldn't persuade cyclists to use oval chainrings, 10mm pitch chains, and goodness knows what else.
This is despite a whole industry that is -more or less- 100% dedicated to persuading folk that this new stuff is exactly what they want. SRAM seem to want to appear to be innovators; noble ambition to improve the lot of cyclists, or cynical marketing ploy? I suspect the latter.

A lot of folk make all kinds of weird claims for certain equipment, mainly in defence of newer stuff but when you start peeling away the onion you find layers of fuzzy-headed or even specious thinking that seem to rely on such premises as 'you might get something for nothing' , that 'small gains are really significant ones' , that 'more must be better', 'its alright for folk to spend money anyhow they want' etc etc . Phrases such as 'product X has revolutionised cycling' are bandied about. Well, usually, they haven't.

There are very many basic attributes of bicycles and cycling that are routinely completely ignored. Unfortunately these attributes are not trendy and therefore lack 'sex appeal' for sales i.e. when it comes to pushing buttons in your medulla or hypothalamus they much less good than the 'more is better' , 'like the pros use' drivel.

In the current market the one thing you can be assured of is that anything shiny and new that you buy today will look like old-fashioned nonsense in a few year's time. The other thing you can be more or less assured of is that the gains on offer with the even newer kit will be so small that you might have difficulty measuring them in a laboratory and they may not even apply to you anyway. Further to that there is a real chance that these supposed advantages will have been paid for in some way that a good number of riders will find unacceptable.

There seems to be a trend towards turning bicycles into gadget laden, 'feature rich' machines with an application of a veneer of technology over parts that are still inherently compromised in some way. You would say 'papering over the cracks' if you were being unkind. If you don't know much about technology or don't understand the true nature of the beast, you might mistake this for real progress. It is in most cases no such thing; it is easy to make a more complicated system that is less durable and less reliable, and to dazzle the user with a load of "ooh it does this" type features. Well you still need to pedal it, and most of your effort is used overcoming things that remain unaddressed. If you tend to get overexcited about this sort of thing, just take a step back; you might look like Nigel Tufnel saying 'yeah but this one goes to eleven' to everyone else.

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cheers
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thelawnet
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Re: SRAM new 'AXS' for MTB/road

Postby thelawnet » 9 Feb 2019, 4:19pm

Samuel D wrote:
SRAM’s new hydraulic damper may be an improvement on a friction clutch, provided it doesn’t leak in the field or something. But it’s not available unless you throw out your old group and indeed half the bicycle (you’ll need a rear wheel with a €102 XD™ Driver Body to enable a 10T sprocket you don’t want, new brake levers, an expensive new chain, and a whole lot else that has nothing to do with the new damper in the rear derailleur).
.


Well you can't even buy a clutch derialleur for less than 10 speeds. (Technically Sunrace make one, but they market it as their children's groupset).

AIR Sram have also made a hideously expensive ($300+) 8 speed cassette for e bikes, but there's essentially a careful effort NOT to undermine the 'marketing to idiots' strategy of 'more cogs means better' and declining to support the owners of high end groupset with compatible parts of the same quality level with the incremental improvements.

I think 1* is key in this in that they still need more cogs to deliver the same range as a very cheap 3* setup, so they can milk at least another upgrade cycle out of that, in order to get back to what was already available decades ago with 3*. Along with various other breaking technology changes on the way.

Presumably when the extra cogs are 'done' it will be gearboxes.

I don't think it matters especially that the new system might be objectively worse than the old - even the pros can cope with small losses, especially when they don't necessarily use the same stuff they sell to consumers. The most important feature is change for change's sake, in order to sell a lie of rapid improvements in a 200 year old vehicle.

It's almost transhumanism, in that you've got these deliberately high tech seeming parts

Image

with silly names and a pseudo-scientific explanation of why they are so great, and made of (supposedly) space age materials.

And yet it's not any different in reality from a bloke in the 1930s on a lump of steel - all that technology is essentially useless because the engine can't easily be upgraded in the way a computer could be, for a CPU with more transistors or whatever, and instantly be 2* faster.

Probably it is worth comparing to hi-fi, where people spend lots on fancy cables and what not. Spending money and the knowledge of how much you spent is I think a source of pleasure in and of itself.

mattsccm
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Re: SRAM new 'AXS' for MTB/road

Postby mattsccm » 9 Feb 2019, 6:28pm

Same old story. Something new is bad. :roll:
Shall we assume that all those objectors are riding hobby horses? After all pedals are not really needed and are a pointless complication.
Why not stop having a go at other peoples pleasure? My wife buys, to me, too many clothes. That's her pleasure. Hardly worth the fuss we always see here.
Of course it isn't the universal answer to some peoples cycling but neither are SA hubs, flouro jackets or 7 speed triple group sets.

Samuel D
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Re: SRAM new 'AXS' for MTB/road

Postby Samuel D » 9 Feb 2019, 6:34pm

thelawnet wrote:It's almost transhumanism […]

Quite.

What is most obviously lacking in all of this is a sense of proportion. Take the existing SRAM Red AeroLink rim brakes offered with this new AXS group too. Some claims:

  • more aerodynamic, helping you keep your speed until the moment you're ready – the drag of a brake calliper is fantastically small as a proportion of the cyclist’s overall drag. Any dubious improvement (see below) is even smaller
  • The brake body, with updated graphics, has been sculpted to provide a sleek aerodynamic profile to the wind – pull the other leg! Are we to believe the optimum aerodynamic form happens to match SRAM’s industrial design language?
  • AeroLink™ arm amplifies braking power while reducing frontal area – it visibly increases frontal area compared to, say, a 1980s Campagnolo Record brake of the same reach (piccolo). And any amplification of braking power is less than would have been attained by changing the lever lengths rather than adding the cam, since cams add friction
  • Lighter, aero pad retainers – irrelevant, because the weight or aerodynamic drag of any pad holder as a proportion of the total is zero to many decimal places
  • Even the smallest details, like the barrel adjuster, point away from the wind – the smaller the detail, the less this matters. Maybe they should be designed for their primary purpose instead?
Now consider what these €297 brakes don’t do. Although single-pivot, they don’t take advantage of a key benefit of that design: constant pad position on the rim with pad wear. So we get thin (aerodynamic!) pads instead of thick ones that last longer, like single-pivot brakes used to have before dual-pivots made thick pads dangerous.

Meanwhile the main disadvantage of single-pivot brakes – that they don’t remain centred because the friction of the sliding spring contacts at each arm varies unpredictably with road grime and wear – was not addressed. There are ways to design a spring that doesn’t slide and so stays better centred, but they weren’t used.

Sure enough, owners complain of a cheap-feeling plastic quick-release, a flimsy barrel adjuster that is hard to use from the saddle, and – especially – brakes that drift off-centre. Who’d have thunk it?

SRAM claims among other meaningless selling points that its XD™ Driver Body is 6-8g lighter. If true (compared to what? Claimed versus real weight? Etc.), that’s an all-up weight saving of one-hundredth of one per cent. No-one with a sense of proportion would list that as a selling point with a straight face.

This is evident everywhere in the cycle industry. I suppose you need a basic grasp of numbers and experience of the real, physical world to see it’s baloney.

Canuk
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Re: SRAM new 'AXS' for MTB/road

Postby Canuk » 9 Feb 2019, 7:37pm

mattsccm wrote:Same old story. Something new is bad. :roll:
Shall we assume that all those objectors are riding hobby horses? After all pedals are not really needed and are a pointless complication.
Why not stop having a go at other peoples pleasure?


I don't think that's entirely fair. Most of the knockers of technology on this thread would be cock-a-hoop if Shimano (or Sram) would only release their much anticipated Di2/Wifli wireless Sturmey Archer upgrade kit. Incidentally, forward compatible with 7 speed screw on freewheels AND Miller Dynamo lighting (sadly no D Cell Ever Ready nor Pifco option at the time of writing). All quality kit to be sure. I believe a digital head unit has been developed in the shape of the dog from the Churchill insurance adverts. Oh yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.. You say, nodding sagely.

The Di2 Bluetooth set up is rumoured to be actuated by double down tube levers, but only when set in 'friction' mode. Unfortunately this much vaunted Sturmey Archer upgrade kit will not be backwards compatible with Carradice, nor Chossy saddlebags. It may not function with some double pannier set ups. However, on the grapevine I've heard Shimano have just developed a piezoelectric powered Brooks saddle auto tensioner. Two settings available (controlled by a wireless switch from the head unit) - tolerable discomfort, or 'reconstructive pelvic surgery' mode.

I can't applaud technical advances enough in this area. What a wonderful world we live in, where the old are integrated with the brand new, rather than filling up already rammed landfill sites or vacant coffins.

Apparently the dog is saying 'Free Parker pen with every Sturmey Di2 upgrade kit'. An almost irresistible sweetener I'd say, catnip for every SA aficionado on the forum.

Its all good stuff!
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Bmblbzzz
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Re: SRAM new 'AXS' for MTB/road

Postby Bmblbzzz » 9 Feb 2019, 8:59pm

Samuel D wrote:That’s a pretty glib assessment. I use 8-speed because 7-speed parts are largely gone, not because it’s better. I don’t use 9-, 10-, 11-, or 12-speed because those systems offer minimal benefits – the increased sprocket count not being one of them – and a long list of incremental downsides. I use down-tube levers because I still can and because STIs have trivial benefits and plenty of downsides for the sort of (sport) cycling I do. Clipless pedals had big advantages over clips from the beginning, though they did and do cost more. (By the way, did you notice that flat pedals are presently enjoying a resurgence among ultra-endurance racers and Grant Petersen acolytes alike?)

Yes, I've heard that flat pedals are used by a surprising number of TCR types. I wasn't aware that Grant Petersen advocated them. But the thing I'd note is that the ultra-racers using flat pedals have gone back (or on) to them from clipless. That is, they've used clipless and found flats better for them for this kind of riding. At least one TCR entrant who uses flats still uses SPDs for shorter distances. My personal experience is that clipless is better than flat for anything that's not just riding round town, but only marginally better than toeclips. And with STIs I've found the opposite from you: they offer enormous advantages in riding compared to down-tube shifters. The point I'm making is that different things suit different people. It's a mistake to assume others function the same as we do or that we function the same as others; we need to find for ourselves what works for us and to accept that when something works for someone else, it does.

Bmblbzzz
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Re: SRAM new 'AXS' for MTB/road

Postby Bmblbzzz » 9 Feb 2019, 9:00pm

Or in shorter form (and to make it clear this isn't having a go at SamuelD): different bikes for different likes.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: SRAM new 'AXS' for MTB/road

Postby The utility cyclist » 9 Feb 2019, 11:00pm

thelawnet wrote:
I think 1* is key in this in that they still need more cogs to deliver the same range as a very cheap 3* setup, so they can milk at least another upgrade cycle out of that, in order to get back to what was already available decades ago with 3*. Along with various other breaking technology changes on the way.

Presumably when the extra cogs are 'done' it will be gearboxes.

I don't think it matters especially that the new system might be objectively worse than the old - even the pros can cope with small losses, especially when they don't necessarily use the same stuff they sell to consumers. The most important feature is change for change's sake, in order to sell a lie of rapid improvements in a 200 year old vehicle.

It's almost transhumanism, in that you've got these deliberately high tech seeming parts

with silly names and a pseudo-scientific explanation of why they are so great, and made of (supposedly) space age materials.

And yet it's not any different in reality from a bloke in the 1930s on a lump of steel - all that technology is essentially useless because the engine can't easily be upgraded in the way a computer could be, for a CPU with more transistors or whatever, and instantly be 2* faster.

Probably it is worth comparing to hi-fi, where people spend lots on fancy cables and what not. Spending money and the knowledge of how much you spent is I think a source of pleasure in and of itself.


So Rohloff are 'they' and their users are gullible/naive too right, what with their 1x14 set up that is far from perfect and extremely costly?
As for your silly names comment, have you had your eyes shut since forever, many things including cars, domestic appliances, organisations (government or otherwise) and yes, bike and component names have sometimes been a bit 'silly', so what, it's utterly meaningless!

A bike in the 1930s is far more difficult to ride, takes far more effort than its modern day counterpart for the same speed, by a LOT, maybe you don't understand how much more effort it takes to go faster? By the late 1930s the then hour record was approx 45km/hr, before that in the late 1890s it was just reaching 40km/h, 40 years and only 5km/h faster, move forward to 1996 and it's 56km/hr, or 2015 & 54km/h* (whichever one you want to recognise).
How much more powerful/well trained an athlete Boardman and Wiggins is compared to Olmo and other top cyclists in history, who knows, but I can tell you that they would absolutely go significantly faster on a modern bike.

*IMHO Wiggins could have gone even faster/further, when he hopped off the bike he was physically still fine, compare that to when Boardman did his 56 previously where he could barely get off the bike shows you how spent each rider was and Wiggins was not on the limit and shows again the bike improvements even over a more aerodynamic body position.

All that said, do you ride a flip flop do you so you have to take the wheel out for a different gear or a derailleur system were you have to reach back to operate a handle, or old frame and wheels, heavyweight balloon tyres etc? I'd hazard a guess and say 99% of all forum users here will have a modern bike with modern components. Denigrate modern kit all you like but it's ridiculously hypocritical when using the modern kit oneself including modern fabrics too.

thelawnet
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Re: SRAM new 'AXS' for MTB/road

Postby thelawnet » 10 Feb 2019, 12:42am

The utility cyclist wrote:So Rohloff are 'they' and their users are gullible/naive too right, what with their 1x14 set up that is far from perfect and extremely costly?
As for your silly names comment, have you had your eyes shut since forever, many things including cars, domestic appliances, organisations (government or otherwise) and yes, bike and component names have sometimes been a bit 'silly', so what, it's utterly meaningless!


I don't know why you suppose I'm a Rohloff fan.

As I discussed earlier, I like sensible mass-produced gear. A Rohloff is not my cup of tea at all.

A bike in the 1930s is far more difficult to ride, takes far more effort than its modern day counterpart for the same speed, by a LOT, maybe you don't understand how much more effort it takes to go faster? By the late 1930s the then hour record was approx 45km/hr, before that in the late 1890s it was just reaching 40km/h, 40 years and only 5km/h faster, move forward to 1996 and it's 56km/hr, or 2015 & 54km/h* (whichever one you want to recognise).


What's the relevance of the hour record to things? It's a track event with little relevance to how people ride bikes. The big improvements were delivered by making a more recumbent position, which the UCI promptly outlawed.

My point was, in any case, that, just as in the 1930s, bike speed is all about the engine - that hasn't changed. The clothing is better, there are more gears, etc., but it's still fundamentally an athletic pursuit, not a technological on.

There is a lot of marketing in getting people to buy £5k bikes in the same way they'd buy a Ferrari, with the reward of being faster than someone in a Renault Clio. However with bikes that's not the case - tech is a mirage, and while a 200mph performance car might be a bit useless on the road, at least it can deliver 200mph.

But if you are riding Chris Froome's bike then it doesn't buy you anything. It's more like buying a pair of expensive Nike shoes - it won't make you Michael Jordan.

*IMHO Wiggins could have gone even faster/further, when he hopped off the bike he was physically still fine, compare that to when Boardman did his 56 previously where he could barely get off the bike shows you how spent each rider was and Wiggins was not on the limit and shows again the bike improvements even over a more aerodynamic body position.


I can't particularly be bothered to look up all the numbers, but the hour record is almost entirely about air resistance. Firstly atmospheric conditions matter, but secondly and more importantly it's the effective surface area of the cyclist, as air resistance is directly proportional to this, so if you reduce it by a square centimetre or two, then if power stays the same then you will go faster.

Optimising this and giving pro cyclists back pain in order to achieve some goal is a great thing for sports scientists to do, but it doesn't even begin suggest 'bike improvements' that might be applicable.

As far as 'bike improvements' go, the only other thing is tyres, since drivetrain inefficiency is unavoidable and mechanically impossible to eliminate (note btw that an hour bike has a single gear, so nothing like this electronic nonsense). Here for a pro effort on a track you will have tyres unusuable on the road, designed for track only, and quite probably faster than what Boardman had. This might add a few tenths of a percentage point to the distance, which is great for a pro, and indeed there are gradual improvements in tyre performance over decades that will be applicable to all cyclists, but applicable only in the sense of 'it's a little bit faster'.

None of this is to decry improvement for the sake of decrying it, just to note that the manufacturers' job is not so much to deliver improvements with each lifecycle, as to sell new kit, and where that new kit is not necessarily better than the old and will probably be worse in some respects - the important thing is that they generate product

All that said, do you ride a flip flop do you so you have to take the wheel out for a different gear or a derailleur system were you have to reach back to operate a handle, or old frame and wheels, heavyweight balloon tyres etc? I'd hazard a guess and say 99% of all forum users here will have a modern bike with modern components. Denigrate modern kit all you like but it's ridiculously hypocritical when using the modern kit oneself including modern fabrics too.


Modern kit is better than older kit, on the whole. But that's not really the point being discussed here. The point here is to understand that the fifty simultaneous 'reviews' on this new AXS stuff are marketing, and that we shouldn't blindly trust that the new Coke is better than the old one, to use an analogy.

Canuk
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Re: SRAM new 'AXS' for MTB/road

Postby Canuk » 10 Feb 2019, 7:35am

Here's another analogy: Formula 1 vs the Tour de France

I'm getting pretty tired of #amateur reviewers giving forth, mostly in a deprecating, condescending way on technology improvements and development in cycling.

From what I read its mostly uninformed whatiffery from tired Google searches, referencing years out of date links and lots of 'ee in my day we didn't even have legs'..nonsense.

Like I said up thread the rise of the 5/10k bike is not only great for struggling LBS, instead of having to sell 10 x £500 bikes to stony faced, tight fisted luddites from the dark ages they now only have to sell two bikes a week and they're well away. Its also fantastic for the rest of us who aren't golf bat toting one uppers for whom 10k is mere bagatelle.

Consider this end of the market the Formula 1 development process, if you will, of cycling. R&D for free, paid for by first adopters and those who simply must have the best kit irrespective is price. Technical advances are What's driving cycling as we roll into the third decade of the 21st century. SRAMs latest group is only another brick in the wall. But without it, Shimano would be quite happy to sit with its fat ass up against the radiators and develop nothing. Now in the form of SRAM/FSA et al they have some serious opposition. Campagnolo IMO dropped the ball years ago there's only Shimano left as the main protagonist.

As for advances, that have led to STI levers, carbon/titanium frames, cassette hubs, clip in pedals, self trimming electronic gears, disc braking ect ect, they've all been paid for by someone else. Paid for by the group this thread loves to hate: the sportive/golf bat toting amateurs, the first adopters.

This Formula 1 style advance has cost you nothing!
I remember buying the first Dura Ace 7400 group with STI and taking the lecture from her indoors about the insanity of the expense. But it was a revelation, STI x 8 speed.

I see no one has thought to discuss the use of piezo electrics in powering this new technology. It's a fantastic development by Shimano IMO. But it's not something you can carp about though is it (I'm sure you could give it a go though)? Critical assessment where it's due (informed would be better), but where's the praise when it's merited? The blanket technology damming thats regularly posted in this section is frankly pathetic.

I doubt anyone reading this forum owns, or has even used an SRAM electronic group, but I bet 100 quid that when in the not too distant future a Chinese derivative comes along the same price as a good mechanical group, like so many things before you'll be singing it's praises. I remember how disc braking was savaged on this very thread only a few years ago. You'll be on that new technology bandwagon like a fly on doodah.

Hypocrites, much?

https://www.bikeradar.com/road/news/art ... ess-51967/
Last edited by Canuk on 10 Feb 2019, 10:01am, edited 3 times in total.

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Chris Jeggo
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Re: SRAM new 'AXS' for MTB/road

Postby Chris Jeggo » 10 Feb 2019, 8:07am

Canuk wrote:Here's another analogy: Formula 1.

Etc.

You're in the wrong forum.

Canuk
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Re: SRAM new 'AXS' for MTB/road

Postby Canuk » 10 Feb 2019, 8:25am

Chris Jeggo wrote:
Canuk wrote:Here's another analogy: Formula 1.

Etc.

You're in the wrong forum.


I'm in the right forum. It's an analogy. I could get you a dictionary reference if you want...

Brucey
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Re: SRAM new 'AXS' for MTB/road

Postby Brucey » 10 Feb 2019, 9:09am

F1 is an interesting analogy because within it there are technical developments that have two things in common

1) they are entirely constrained by the construction regulations (*)
2) they are of ever-decreasing relevance to folk driving ordinary cars on ordinary roads. (Arguably they are of decreasing relevance to any other form of racing, come to that).

The parallels with the world of bicycles are pretty evident, but not in the way that you might imagine. Racing developments are constrained utterly by the dictats of the UCI and they are pushed into making changes to the regulations (in spite of the rider's wishes not because of them) by the manufacturers, whose sole aim is to shift more product.

Bike racing is in no way improved by 'more technology' on the bikes, even though that can shave fractions of fractions of time. Most of the 'exciting new developments' are as relevant (and ultimately as practical) for most cyclists as trying to use F1 technology on the road.

Inadvertently plenty of club cyclists become enthusiastic schills for the bike industry (and little else) when they get overexcited about the latest thing. Will it make you go faster? In most cases no, not measurably. For example folk get excited about the aerodynamic improvements of equipment but (even with the rider in a racing tuck) ~90% of the aero drag is the bloke sat on the bike, not the bike, and (ironically) it seems that the average customer for the most expensive bikes in the shop these days is likely to be, uh, 'the least aerodynamic'; a 95% guy if you like.

The schilling always emphasises the 'improvements' and 'how much this benefits the rider'. Jesus it is like cracked record. If you really wanted to go faster for less effort you would ride a recumbent with a fairing, but that of course doesn't fit with the wiggo/froomee/(insert riders name of choice here)-wannabee ethos.

Buy what you like; no-one really gives a damn. Just don't make out like it makes a big difference; it doesn't.

cheers
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Chris Jeggo
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Re: SRAM new 'AXS' for MTB/road

Postby Chris Jeggo » 10 Feb 2019, 9:16am

Brucey wrote:F1 is an interesting analogy ...

....

Buy what you like; no-one really gives a damn. Just don't make out like it makes a big difference; it doesn't.

cheers

+1

Samuel D
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Re: SRAM new 'AXS' for MTB/road

Postby Samuel D » 10 Feb 2019, 12:59pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:My personal experience is that clipless is better than flat for anything that's not just riding round town, but only marginally better than toeclips. And with STIs I've found the opposite from you: they offer enormous advantages in riding compared to down-tube shifters. The point I'm making is that different things suit different people. It's a mistake to assume others function the same as we do or that we function the same as others; we need to find for ourselves what works for us and to accept that when something works for someone else, it does.

As long as you know the good and bad as they reasonably apply to your case, I accept that you may come to different conclusions from me.

Too often that caveat doesn’t apply. We don’t “find out for ourselves what works for us” but believe the hype, the path of least resistance. For trivial example, cyclists everywhere believe adding another sprocket is (a) beneficial and (b) free of significant costs. The technical facts are more subtle than meet the eye, and neither supposition is usually true in any sensible calculus.

Meanwhile, customers don’t ask for useful improvements because, lacking a grasp of technical matters, they cannot envisage them or even define their problems coherently. Critical thinking is displaced by the tropes of the moment, presently ‘marginal gains’, ‘aero is everything’, ‘stiff but compliant’, ‘integrated’, ‘new is improved’, ‘electronic’, etc. Products that don’t match these tropes face high cultural barriers to acceptance. So manufacturers hit us over the head with trope-compliant products like the SRAM Red AeroLink brake. That’s a tragicomic example of misplaced marketing and design effort. It combines the worst of single-pivot and dual-pivot design elements without their respective benefits, at high price to boot. How should this product be justified on technical merit?

The technology philosopher and historian Lewis Mumford described the 2019 bicycle industry well:

“But once established and perfected, type objects should have a long period of use. No essential improvement in the safety pin has been made since the bronze age. In weaving there has been no essential modification in the loom for over a century. And what is true for machines holds good in no small degree for their products. When the typical form has been achieved, the sooner the machine retreats into the background and becomes a discreetly silent fixture the better. This again flies in the face of most contemporary beliefs. At present, half our gains in technical efficiency are nullified by the annual custom of restyling. Extraordinary ingenuity is exercised by publicity directors and industrial designers in making models that have undergone no essential change look as if they had. In order to hasten style obsolescence, they introduce fake variety in departments where it is irrelevant—not in the interest of order, efficiency, technical perfection, but in the interest of profit and prestige, two very secondary and usually sordid human motives. Instead of lengthening the life of the product and lowering the cost to the user, they raise the cost to the user by shortening the life of the product and causing him to be conscious of mere stylistic tricks that are without any kind of human significance or value. This perversion of technics in our time naturally saps the vitality of real art; first by destroying any sound basis for discrimination and then by taking energy and attention away from those aspects of human experience in which the unique and the personal are supremely important.”

… in 1952 in his book Art and Technics.

SRAM has a large marketing department doing its utmost to destroy any sound basis for discrimination. It works too well.