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Sell me on eTap Blips for my roadie
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I'm finishing a road bike build (2018 S-Works Venge Vias Disc) and am installing SRAM etap Wifli groupset. I see some people use "blips" on different parts of their handlebars. I read some reviews that say these are "essential", but I don't necessarily get it. What's the advantage of having these?

1) Sprint shifting by placing these in the drops. I see a lot of people do this but when I sprint in the drops I can reach my finger up and touch the button on the actual shifter.

2) Blips on the top bar to shift when climbing. Again, the shifters aren't far away (although more work than just reaching a finger up) but I'm using an Aerofly bar so these may look goofy on the top bars, especially since the bar tape doesn't go much past the hoods.

Am I missing something? I like the idea of having more cool gear, but this one seems like a tough sell for my purposes/setup.
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Re: Sell me on eTap Blips for my roadie [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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Not sure for roadie. I set up my TT with blips and clics so I have an extra set of blips for cheap if u need.

David

H & A Racing
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Re: Sell me on eTap Blips for my roadie [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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cbr shadow wrote:
2) Blips on the top bar to shift when climbing. Again, the shifters aren't far away (although more work than just reaching a finger up) but I'm using an Aerofly bar so these may look goofy on the top bars, especially since the bar tape doesn't go much past the hoods.
The blips on the top bar for climbing are life changing. I put a set on my road bike, and I cannot handle riding without them now.

I am not a sprinter anymore, so I cannot speak to the sprint buttons. But climbing buttons are a no-brainer, as far as I am concerned.
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Re: Sell me on eTap Blips for my roadie [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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cbr shadow wrote:
I'm finishing a road bike build (2018 S-Works Venge Vias Disc) and am installing SRAM etap Wifli groupset. I see some people use "blips" on different parts of their handlebars. I read some reviews that say these are "essential", but I don't necessarily get it. What's the advantage of having these?

1) Sprint shifting by placing these in the drops. I see a lot of people do this but when I sprint in the drops I can reach my finger up and touch the button on the actual shifter.

I have Di2, but for the purpose of my answer it doesn't really matter. I opted for the sprinter shifters because I do a lot of crit racing, and it's a game changer to not have to move you hand position any at all to shift. It helps in sprinting - not the all out end of race sprint but the in race coming out of a corner sprint. It's also nice just any time you are riding in the drops because it makes shifting easier - at least for me. I didn't go with them on the bars (the climber configuration) because I don't shift as much when I'm climbing, and if I'm shifting it's usually when I'm about to get out of the saddle or just sitting down. In the few instances where that's not the case, it's pretty easy to reach over and hit the button. I have the buttons on the top of the hoods configured to shift so it's a shorter movement.
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Re: Sell me on eTap Blips for my roadie [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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I've got Di2 on my road bike. Although I didn't get the climbing switch I wish I had for when I go on our guys trips to Europe and climb for a week. If I lived somewhere where climbing was part of everyday riding I'd definitely add it on.
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Re: Sell me on eTap Blips for my roadie [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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I have 2 that I routed through the handlebar and then out under the computer holder that I attach to my clip on aero bars that I use sometimes. The other location is in the drops if you sprint with your hand on the drop bars and not in the curve of the bar.

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Joel Rosinbum - twitter
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Re: Sell me on eTap Blips for my roadie [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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I have aero bars and the blips wires pop out the cable route next to them and they sit either side of the stem and as the bars flair out nicely. You don't need them but if you are on a long climb and riding on the tops it is nice just to toggle gears as you need without adjusting hands. The same argument can be had why you need electronic shifting so if the option is there then why not...
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Re: Sell me on eTap Blips for my roadie [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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I installed them on my road bike, and frankly, since doing so I think I've used them approximately one time ever. Maybe less.

While in theory they're useful for climbing, I've found that it's just so engrained for me to shift the normal way I don't even consider it. Not to mention that for the most part when I'm climbing it's usually down in the Alps and honestly I tend to run out of gears pretty quickly when you get 8% grades. So you just sorta stay there till done.

As others noted, some people really like them, but I'm solidly in the 'blah' camp on them (though, I love the rest of eTAP).


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My tiny little slice of the internets: dcrainmaker.com
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Re: Sell me on eTap Blips for my roadie [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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I find for road racing having the blips on the drops is no-brainer. When shit hits the fan, and you are locked in your drops, it's awesome to have the least amount of movement possible when shifting.

Also, I have them in my drops on my gravel bike and they are awesome when going hard through technical sections descending and on rolling terrain.

_______________________________________________
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Re: Sell me on eTap Blips for my roadie [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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I got a set of blips back in March for my gravel bike, but never installed them. In my drops, i don't feel like it is a hard reach to get to the paddle. I usually have aerobars on that bike on 3t aeronova bars, so there wasn't really room on the tops for a clean install. For Crusher in the Tushar I didn't use aerobars, and i thought about putting them on my tops. If i had them, I would have used them there for sure.

The Factor Vista I'm getting for next year has an integrated bar/stem, and i don't think the blips would look good on the tops. Honestly, I probably won't put them on the drops on this bike either.

On my Di2 road bike, i love the sprint shifters. I use them a lot even when i'm on my hoods. It's an easy reach for my thumb. To me, the shape of the di2 sprinter shifter is better than the blips, but everything else about etap is great.
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Re: Sell me on eTap Blips for my roadie [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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On my road bike I ride a lot on the T and have them handy there - use them all the time for easy riding - and they are a convenience not a need - but I do like them..

Graham Wilson
USAT Level III Elite Coach
http://www.thewilsongroup.biz
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Re: Sell me on eTap Blips for my roadie [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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I'm a mechanical kind of guy, but if money was no object and I had a designated "climbing bike," I'd for sure put them on the bars near the stem. I regularly do a lot of extended hills where my hands are on the tops most of the time and shifting is quite frequent. It's one of the main reasons I switched from SRAM mechanical to Shimano as the effort to reach from the tops to perform a "double click" to an easier gear using SRAM was annoying.

Assuming my climbing bike has a round handlebar, I could use the blip clamps and face the blips towards the saddle and keep them low profile in relation to the frontal area. It's also ergonomic in the sense that it would generally be my thumb pushing the blips and that would be the ideal location, at least for me.

Now if I have a aero handlebar (presumably on a bike not strictly for climbing), then I'm not sure I'd go with the blips as they are currently designed. Aero handlebars generally don't have a wide 31.8 mm clamp area that's round to accommodate much more than the stem. So the blips would need to be on the top of the flat portion of the bars and under the bar tape as the current SRAM blip clams only work on a 31.8 mm round surface. Having the bar tape run that close to the center of the bar, and then having a bulge under the bar tape that increases frontal area kind of defeats the whole purpose of an aero handlebar. Ease of shifting while climbing vs reduced aerodynamics when you aren't climbing...I'd probably just go without the blips, or wait to see if another blip option becomes available that makes more sense on an aero handlebar.
Last edited by: Jason N: Dec 11, 18 12:42
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Re: Sell me on eTap Blips for my roadie [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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I use mine in the drops for sprints. Learning that you have the flexibility to shift in an all out efforts is really helpful. Other than that, I don’t use them. I will add that they seem to take more pressure than you might think to activate under bar tape. There is a learning curve to using them for sprints. Overall, I would prefer a lighter actuation like the di2 sprint switches.
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Re: Sell me on eTap Blips for my roadie [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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I have blips on my road bike. I wouldn't say they are essential, but I really like having them. I have them on the bottom on my bars near the stem. I have 3T Aeronova bars which have a flat top section. I have the blips glued with contact cement on the underside about an inch left and right of the stem (my bars are only taped to from the drops up to the hoods). The wires are run internally from the hoods along with the brake cables so there's really no exposed wire anywhere.

They are positioned so when I'm climbing and have my hands on the tops my index fingers rest pretty much right on the blips and I can shift up or down without moving my hands at all. For a while I had them in the drops but I found that I just didn't use them in that position. Again, they are definitely not essential, at least not to me, but I figured one of the perks of having Etap is the ability to shift from multiple locations, and I do enjoy having that option and use it pretty frequently.
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