I wrote about L-Twoo a year ago, noting that this is a great Chinese company to watch. They released their first electronic groupset a while ago, which is not a great surprise. It may be weird to hear that for some people, but making an electronic groupset these days is probably cheaper, and easier.
Reason is obvious: mechanical things, which includes bike parts, has a “feel factor”. A groupset may perform fine, but may not “feel right”. Mechanical parts clunk, sound, sends feedback. Some people get used to this feel for years, and feel awkward when they change the brand, or even the move to a different part from the same manufacturer. Mechanical parts are prone to wear, failure, cracks and lots of problems due to design, materials or production factors.
Brifters are the real interface of a road groupset, so it’s risky for a new manufacturer to
ltwoo erx electronic groupset rear derailleurchallenge old players, be it Shimano, Sram or Campagnolo. In electronics, you press a button, or move a lever slightly to shift. And electronic groupsets are relatively new, and most people are not used to it much. So it makes sense for a new manufacturer to go for electronic first.
Financially, it’s the right move to make: profits are still fat for electronic groupsets, and like it or not, it’s the future.
What is L-Twoo eRX is like?
It’s very much like Shimano 105 Di2.
2×12, for 50×34 crankset. Like Shimano 105 Di2, the battery is in the seatpost, powers both rear and front derailleurs, and brifters communicate the system via Bluetooth.
Battery is charged via a port on rear derailleur, which has a magnetic plug like Apple’s MagSafe, amd powerbanks can be used for charging – not very sure about this, but if I’m right, Shimano does not let you charge thru a powerbank. If so, this is a nice feature to have.
Battery is a 14500, 850mh Li-Ion. 14500 batteries have the exact size of 1.5V AA batteries, but obviously they’ re not interchangeable, as rechargeable AA’s are 1.2 volt, whereas 14500’s are 3.7 volts. In a video, I saw that there are 2 batteries in series, which is the exact same setup that Di2’s have, but the casing can be unscrewed, which
ltwoo erx electronic groupset front derailleuris wonderful, because you can replace cells as they gone bad. They are rated for 3.000 hours a charge, which is a vague term to denote battery life, as others advertise – it depends on how frequent you shift, and probably the front derailleur will draw at least twice as much, compared to the rear derailleur.
Brifters have coin type batteriesi and made of carbon fiber. In fact, if you want a cheaper option, eR9 will be available, same functionality, minus carbon fiber.
Obviously, they are made for hydraulic disc brakes, and as Shimano’s upper class components, they have extra cooling parts, which are perforated metal, unlike Shimano which uses fins.
Weight is 1300 grams, a tad lighter than Shimano 105 Di2.
How much do they cost?
Currently, they are not on sale on their own website, or AliExpress, but we know some people bought them. Price is said to be between 650 to 800 dollars. If so, it’s excellent value, almost 1.000 $ cheaper than Shimano 105 Di2.
Obviously, this is an “upgrade kit” in Shimano-speak, meaning price excludes crankset, cassette and other bits. You get brifters, rear and front derailleurs, 2 cables for the connection between derailleurs and battery, a charging cable, and obviously, the battery.