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Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE!
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One month ago while racing in Kona after 30 min into the ride my rear derailleur started shifting on its own going all the way down to the 11th cog, when trying to bring it up then the front derailleur will shift, it was all over the place! I fist stopped and swap the batteries and seemed the problem was fixed, 10 min later did it again. Stopped again and disconnected the cables from the blip box tried to clean the plugs and plugged them again, again that seemed to work. 10-15min later happend again! Long story short I ended up getting off the bike 17 times in total loosing over 20min on the bike and completely messing up my race in Kona.

After the race I tried contacting SRAM directy, to my surprise there was no way of contacting them, had to be through a distributor /mechanic. I went see my local mechanic and explained him everything with all details, I even send him my garmin file so he or the guys from sram could see the 17 times I had stopped. Few days later they came back saying that the problem was on the rear derailleur which didn't make sense to me, it clearly looked like a short in the blip box connection but when the mechanic asked sram they replied saying they were the experts and they knew what they're doing so I trusted them, they sent a new rear derailleur and seemed to work fine.

After my bad experience in kona I decided to get "back on the horse" and race ironman los cabos yesterday. I was having a really good race, I was riding in second place and suddenly after 120k out no where the same issue from kona came back but this time it got stuck in the 54/11,i tried everything to fix it, I even replaced the battery from the blip box (I always carry a spare 2032 battery) and nothing worked. I lost 40min and had to finish my ride riding in a single speed (IM Los Cabos is not particularly flat!).

I still managed to finish 7th in my AG but far from a Kona slot which was the objective. It's hard to explain how frustrated I am, and all because of SRAM negligence!

If you are considering changing to Etap think it twice, and if you already race with it just be aware this could happen to you any time.

I hoping I can send back all my etap back and at least I want a clear explanation of what's happening and not just replacing a part thinking that would solve the problem which it clearly didn't work the first time!
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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [RP29] [ In reply to ]
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have you gotten the unit wet at all? Any sweat or liquids on the connectors? Any issues leading up to this happening?

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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [RP29] [ In reply to ]
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It sounds like you have a bad blip. I have 2 go bad on me. Still love it tho. Nothing is going to work perfectly all the time every time
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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [RP29] [ In reply to ]
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These are the kind of stories that want me to stay mechanical. Since electronic does not make anyone faster, just lighter in the pocket book, ......

Dave Campbell | Facebook | @DaveECampbell | h2ofun@h2ofun.net

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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [danstu4] [ In reply to ]
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No, it's not a blip, after kona blips were working fine, it's something related with the blip box water and/or heat. Never caused my problem training only racing, both in very hot conditions.
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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [h2ofun] [ In reply to ]
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h2ofun wrote:
These are the kind of stories that want me to stay mechanical. Since electronic does not make anyone faster, just lighter in the pocket book, ......

Agreed. I'm still riding 10 speed Ultegra haha. Electronic is cool but it won't make me faster.

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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [BryanD] [ In reply to ]
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In kona it rained the night before so the unit got wet. Yesterday in cabo most likely there was sweat and water spilling over the blip box but the blip box is made to resist sweat spills, etc. I lived and trained in Hong Kong where it's extremely hot and humid trained under a lot of rain and never had an issue.
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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [RP29] [ In reply to ]
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It's possible than that water got into the unit and is causing issues.

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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [RP29] [ In reply to ]
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I am also in the camp of a bad blip. It sounds like a wire was crushed somewhere along the way in assembly and disassembly. I managed to crunch one along the way and had to replace it.


To the haters, once you go with electronic, you'll never go back. I am transitioning the last of my bikes in a few weeks. It is just so much better to shift.
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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [BryanD] [ In reply to ]
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BryanD wrote:
It's possible than that water got into the unit and is causing issues.

Just more reasons to really ask is it worth the cool factor and cost, when it gives zero increase in speed. If one wants to get faster, sure are ways to spend money that will do this.

Dave Campbell | Facebook | @DaveECampbell | h2ofun@h2ofun.net

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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [RP29] [ In reply to ]
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Truly sorry for your misfortune. However, so far after thousands of shifts in all kinds of weather mine has been flawless.
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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [h2ofun] [ In reply to ]
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You can keep your mechanical shifting. I will never go back. I like it because you can shift while standing. I have had mechanical shifting go bad on me to.
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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [RP29] [ In reply to ]
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This has never happened with my 10 speed mechanical setup!
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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [RP29] [ In reply to ]
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RP29 wrote:
. It's hard to explain how frustrated I am, and all because of SRAM negligence!


You're justified to be frustrated. Accusing SRAM of "negligence" seems a bit of a stretch at this point, however. It was a misdiagnosis of an intermittent failure of a complex electronic system that left you inconvenienced, but not injured. Have some perspective.
Last edited by: gary p: Nov 13, 17 9:46
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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [BryanD] [ In reply to ]
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BryanD wrote:
h2ofun wrote:
These are the kind of stories that want me to stay mechanical. Since electronic does not make anyone faster, just lighter in the pocket book, ......


Agreed. I'm still riding 10 speed Ultegra haha. Electronic is cool but it won't make me faster.

While on a group ride this summer, a guy on Di2 hit a pothole and was stuck in his big ring the rest of the time.
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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [h2ofun] [ In reply to ]
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h2ofun wrote:
These are the kind of stories that want me to stay mechanical. Since electronic does not make anyone faster, just lighter in the pocket book, ......

For the record, myself, and multiple people I train with, have been in several races in heavy rain, using Di2, and never a single issue. Doesn't hurt that the di2 battery charge lasts several months.
I'll never go back to mechanical, I hate dealing with the cables, and I love being able to shift from the base bars. Does it make me faster? No, but neither does having a frameset that retails for over 4k, but I like that too.
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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [RP29] [ In reply to ]
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Do you train on that bike? Do you ride that bike a lot between races? And when you do, that problem is nonexistent?

The cause could be radio frequency environment at the races. Every bike passing by is transmitting ANT+ and/or Bluetooth. Sure they are supposed to be encoded signals at the application layer but what if the implementation is not completely reliable? Google Microsoft etc... with their thousands of engineers can't get this stuff straightened out. How is SRAM with a couple of engineers going to?
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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [Dilbert] [ In reply to ]
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Yes I do all my training and racing on the same bike and just happend while racing. I also mentioned the possibility of interference to the mechanic but he said that not possible. In kona that could've been a possibility with all the bikes around but in Cabos I was basically riding on my own when it happened.
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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [RP29] [ In reply to ]
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Sorry for the issues you have experienced. Really sucks.

That said, I wanted to get a little more info on your situation as I have been considering moving to electronic, but for my road bike and have done a lot of reading on etap.

Did you have blips located at both the aero bar extensions and near the brake levers? If yes, did you try disconnecting one set from the blip box to isolate one or the other during the time in the race(s) when you were having issues?

When you got stuck in the 54-11 gear, and nothing seemed to work anymore, did you try unplugging all of the blips from the blip box (or just removing the battery from the blip box), then using the function buttons on the derailleurs to get into an easier gear? This is what I would have tried to eliminate the blips and/or the blip box from the equation and at least be able to single speed it in a more appropriate gear (or get off the bike and change to an easier gear for a hill if needed).

One of the things that I liked about eTap in my research was that you could indeed shift the front and rear derailleurs manually if the battery for your blip box (or road shifters) died. So basically all you needed was one working derailleur battery to get you home in reasonable shape as compared to di2, where if the main battery dies, you're stuck in whatever gear you're in.

Hope you get this worked out. If I was SRAM, I would just send you an entire new kit. It seems like their stuff works reasonably well for others, and one of your pieces is just not working right. I wouldn't be messing around with a customer by changing out one part at a time to see if you'll get screwed again.
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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [RP29] [ In reply to ]
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What are some factors present in racing that aren't present in training? Bike is outside all night; water intrusion. Or there are 2000-3000 other bikes transmitting all around you. It's very likely to be one or the other.

Do you know an EE or a tech? Ask them to take apart components and look for signs of water intrusion. It is really obvious when you know what to look for. This:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/...600/4wdmodule007.jpg
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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [RP29] [ In reply to ]
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If your bike has chainstays <405mm (like a Shiv) the ETap won't work satisfactorily
Mike
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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [h2ofun] [ In reply to ]
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If we asked everyone to post their issues over the years with mechanical shifters, there would plenty to discuss here. I certainly had issues now and again.

I was highly hesitant to spend the money but do love it and can make a decent argument that i save at least some time with quicker, easier shifts.

Didn’t you make a similar statement about neve wanting to leave 200mm cranks ;)
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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [h2ofun] [ In reply to ]
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Because mechanical drivetrains never break or come out adjustment? OK.

Don't drown. Don't crash. Don't walk.
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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [T3_Beer] [ In reply to ]
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T3_Beer wrote:
This has never happened with my 10 speed mechanic9al setup!

Ditto.
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Re: Two ironmans messed up by SRAM Etap in less than one month. BEWARE! [SBRcanuck] [ In reply to ]
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I saw someone break a cable at the weekend and then they were stuck in the 11...
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