World’s Best Triathletes Personalized Shifting with RED eTap Blips and Clics
Jan Frodeno loves his eTap Clics. Sebastian Kienle loves his Blips. Utilizing SRAM RED eTap remote aero shifting options, each found a shifting setup on his triathlon bike that works best for him. And you can, too, with SRAM RED® eTap Clics™, BlipGrips™ and Blips™ shifter buttons. An examination of pro triathletes’ bikes at this year’s Kona world championships highlights one of SRAM RED eTap’s greatest advantages – the ability for each rider to set up shifting that’s best for him or her. What’s more, SRAM Blips provide the real advantage of enabling shifting from the basebar for instant access to gears while climbing out of the saddle or entering and exiting corners.
eTap Shifting on Aero Extensions
In 2015, Germany’s Jan Frodeno rode prototype eTap Clics extension shifter buttons to victory in Kona. This year, he rode them again to victory. Clics are perfect for the fine-tuning, cadence-adjusting shifts made from the extension ends. “I love those bullet-tip shifters,” Frodeno said.
Frodeno is hardly alone in loving the simplicity of shifting with Clics. Australian pro Annabel Luxford found eTap Clics to be an advantage on hills. “The Clics are the easiest way I’ve ever changed gears. I do shift more, which I definitely think is better for the legs,” she said. “In the past, if it’s been hard work I feel like I’ve gotten lazy with shifting and just struggled through.”
Three-time Kona winner Mirinda Carfrae, who finished second in 2016, added: “It doesn’t take much to change a gear, which is what you want. It’s just kind of a thought and then it’s changed. It’s there,” Carfrae of Australia said. “It’s easy to feel where it is, and it’s not hard to press, either.”
German Sebastian Kienle, the 2014 Kona champ who placed second this year, took a different approach to setting up his RED eTap aero shifting. Kienle, famous for blazing-fast bike splits, mounts Blip remote shifter buttons part way down his aero extensions. “I do that because I alternate my hand position quite a lot,” Kienle said. “When I’m going uphill, for example, then I move my elbow a little bit further back. I’m able to shift within every hand position.”
Canadian pro Brent McMahon opted for BlipGrips on his aero extensions. “I’ve got two options on the aerobars, either right on the ends or with the BlipGrips so I can have them lower down. I’ve opted for the lower down ones so I can actually reach across with one hand and hit both either outboard or inboard shifting at the same time with one hand. So if I’m drinking or getting a gel or something like that I can always shift every way I want,” McMahon said.
eTap Shifting on the Basebar
On a triathlon or time trial bike, the times when shifting is needed most often comes when the rider’s hands are on the basebar, not out on the aero extension. Climbs requiring out-of-the-saddle bursts or slowing down coming into corners, or accelerating out of corners. Triathletes and time trial specialists, then, not surprisingly have discovered that one of the biggest benefits of SRAM RED eTap is the ability to shift from the basebar. Blips may be placed just about anywhere on the basebar, allowing for further customization of shifting.
Carfrae places her Blip remote shifter buttons toward the end of the basebar hand grips and slightly underneath. “My hands are small,” she said. “(I’m) more likely to shift with my forefinger. That’s where you’re mainly using the basebar shifting mostly when you’re out of the saddle. That’s where it’s an advantage over just the traditional shifters. It’s nice to be able to shift down a gear without having to sit down.”
Swiss pro Caroline Steffen places her Blips on the tops of the basebar’s handles for easy access with her thumbs. “It’s just a reach back,” she said. So many shifting options.
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