I have been reading alot about the electronic shifters that are out now, specifically the ones on TREK bikes. I was wondering if they are worth the price, and more importantly how do they perform.
20,000km's in 2 years on Ultegra Di2. It performs very well. Shifts are smooth, crisp, quick and effortless. I have a few other road bikes running various mechanical shifters, but have preferred the electronic shifters during the past two years. No need for adjustment due to no more cable stretch. The front derailleur auto trims and follows the rear derailleur as you change gears. If you change the rear wheel or cassette, you can adjust or trim the rear derailleur on the fly, whilst riding. It has limp home mode, which will get you home if you forget to charge the battery - the FD won't change, but you can still get many more changes from the RD. When your hands are cold, wet or tired after a long ride, you become extremely grateful that you have electronic shifters.
A friend of mine got them on his bike that he rides here in Chicago. I got to try it one day when we were riding and I did not like the way they preformed at all. I've been a TREK guy with Shimano gears all my life but these did not have the same smooth changing that anything I had used from Shimano featured. They were very choppy and were slow to respond when shifting. I guess I am a bit of a purist in that I like to use the manual shifting systems, but if an electric were to be made better it may be a good investment. Right now, from personal experience, I'd say that they are not worth the price. If they came down considerably in price and were more dependable, they may be a good idea, but for now investing in a high quality group of mechanicals in probably a better idea for a serious biker.
I was thinking about Ultegra electronic gears last year. In the UK the price is around £1,300 with fitting at the right shop. Then I tried Dura-ace manual shifters and frankly, they were even better than electronic Ultegras. These were around £1,500. Therefore, for me, the real advantage is that Dura-ace were lighter, and better, so I know which one I would choose.