CAAD12 Wheeltop EDS TX Experiment

Who are you (no off-topic talk please)

Moderators: MrCurrieinahurry, maxim809, Moderator Team

diecast
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:09 pm

by diecast

I've accumulated a lot of random parts and frames over the last 15+ years but never any sort of electronic shifting. I'm not a complete luddite as I've had and enjoyed several disc brake bikes. One day I will get a fully integrated set up. But this isn't that day.

Curiosity got the better of me and I bought a Wheeltop EDS TX mini groupset. I really like this CAAD12 frame and I'm not yet ready to give up on it, so I went with the rim brake version of the group. The frame has been a good test bed for me over the years and this is it's 4th different incarnation.

Image







by Weenie


Visit starbike.com Online Retailer for HighEnd cycling components
Great Prices ✓    Broad Selection ✓    Worldwide Delivery ✓

www.starbike.com



diecast
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:09 pm

by diecast

Image

Image

Image

Frame: CAAD12
Shifters/Front and rear mech: Wheeltop EDS TX
Brakes: EE
Crank: Rotor Aldhu carbon with Sigeyi PM
Pedals: Look Keo blade carbon/Ti
Stem: Extralite Hyperstem and integrated Garmin mount
Seatpost: Elita One
Saddle: Berk Hlod
Handlebar: Deda RHM Zero 1 (Heavy)
Wheels: Bora WTOs 45
Cassette: SR 11 speed
Chain: KMC 11 SL
Tires: Corsa Pro 28mm
Cages: Arundel Mandible

Weight as above: 6.9kg


diecast
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:09 pm

by diecast

Wheeltop rim brake groupset weights for anyone interested:

Image

Image

Image

diecast
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:09 pm

by diecast

I realise that the groupset is a gamble. Maybe it will stop working 2 hours from home where there's no phone reception. Maybe it will explode. I didn't buy it direct from Wheeltop so I don't expect there's much of a warranty either.

After typing up the build list it suddenly feels like a very random collection of parts and quite possibly it doesn't make any sense... but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

I've only done one short ride so far but actually it shifts fine, well even. These are my first impressions.

The set up took me ages when really it should have been just a few minutes. The instructions were complete gibberish so I didn't read them and instead I decided to indiscriminately press every button in the app. Unfortunately that approach didn't work very well either.

Now I know how to do it, it's actually very simple. While out on the road I had to make a minor tweak due to noise in 2 sprockets but that was easy and worked straight away. Probably the hanger is out of whack. Front mech works great. Auto trim works. Bit noisy.

The build quality seems solid. To my eye it doesn't look cheap although it is definitely more function over form. But it doesn't look like it'll disintegrate in 1000km.

I like the button lay out. Having only one button on the left shifter makes sense. Then two buttons on the right, the smaller one for the upshift is maybe a little small but I'm sure I'll get used to it.

The rubber on the hoods is nice enough, but the hoods seem quite big. Almost hydraulic big. Maybe they've shared some parts? I don't know, as I've not seen the hydraulic version. And the brake lever is very wide and straight. Chunky. It seems like the shifters have quite a long reach, but on measuring it isn't that different from what I'm used to.

The main thing that has bothered me is the finish on the underneath/inside of the lever. I like to ride stretched out on the hoods with my little finger wrapped behind the lever. I can't be the only person who does this: on Campagnolo shifters every part in this area is curved so it feels comfortable, second nature. On the Wheeltop... not so much. There's a square plastic edge and a huge gap. Not so much as a chamfer.

That's the only bit that lets it down so far, slightly unrefined ergonomics.

But overall I'm looking forward to doing a few more miles on it.

raisinberry777
Posts: 350
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:09 am

by raisinberry777

Looking really nice! Keen to hear how you go with it over the long term - I'm looking forward to the aluminium rim brake version coming out and some people testing it long-term to see what issues come up. Could be a great upgrade for rim-brake bikes (and particularly those with no Di2 routing).

MichaelK
Posts: 481
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:50 pm
Location: London, UK

by MichaelK

Mold some Sugru into that shifter gap.

diecast
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:09 pm

by diecast

raisinberry777 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2024 1:50 am
Looking really nice! Keen to hear how you go with it over the long term - I'm looking forward to the aluminium rim brake version coming out and some people testing it long-term to see what issues come up. Could be a great upgrade for rim-brake bikes (and particularly those with no Di2 routing).
Thanks! The flexibility and compatibility that it offer is exactly what appealed to me. Potentially you could put this on any bike and use it with whatever kit you've already got. Time will tell how well it works.

diecast
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:09 pm

by diecast

MichaelK wrote:
Tue May 14, 2024 8:33 am
Mold some Sugru into that shifter gap.
Yes, I was thinking similar, and I was considering using some Sugru to fill in the shifter cable ports.
But I'm not sure if the gap can be filled in without affecting the movement of either the brake lever or the shifter button. I'm going to use it as it is for the time being and see if I get used to it/adapt a different hand position.

diecast
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:09 pm

by diecast

Update after 600km for anyone that's interested.

Please bear in mind that my experience will be partly influenced by my specific setup i.e. chainrings/cassette/chain/frame geometry etc. other combinations may work differently.

Firstly, it definitely works as advertised.

I found the rear derailleur setup was easy, front less so.

I switched out to a Recon one piece steel cassette and that also works pretty well, albeit noisy as those things always are.

The instructions for the front set up didn't make sense (at least not to me anyway), so I just did my own thing. I found that the height/angle of the front derailleur was critical. And I struggled to get it so it upshifts properly when in the middle of the cassette whilst not getting chain rub in the lowest gear with the same settings. I've had no chain drops though. Incidentally, I've noticed that the rear mech has a strong spring.

You can fine tune the rear derailleur position for individual sprockets and I needed to use this for a few gears (despite checking that the hanger was perfectly straight). Interestingly, the same feature for the front appears in the app but is locked.

The speed of changes is acceptable for my purposes, if not blisteringly fast. Slightly slow downshift on the front mech but fast on the up. Of course this might be related to what I described above, or my combination of chainrings/chain. Rear mech speed is fine. Ultimately I didn't really notice the speed as an issue other than once or twice during a fast and hilly group ride.

I should add that I've been using it almost exclusively in "casual" mode. I did try "race" mode but it was too aggressive and kept over shifting on the rear. Then when I switched back to casual mode all the trimming was out and I had to tweak it again.

I've hosed the bike down twice, and one ride got caught in heavy rain. No issues with water so far.

The main negative for me is the ergonomics. Of course this is subjective, but I think this is the area where the low budget nature is apparent.

I'm not a fan of the area behind the shift levers, but I have gotten used to it. There's too many sharp edges, bits of mechanism, and the change from the rubber hood to the underneath of the plastic shifter body is abrupt. After 2 rides I used a file a chamfer the edges of the plastic shifter body which helped a little.

Otherwise the hoods are ok, and the shifter blade itself is decent enough. It has a nice little outwards curve at the end which is good for one finger braking from the drops.

I like the button logic and I got used to it very quickly. The buttons have different textures so it's not hard to distinguish between the up and down shift on the rear shifter. The textures aren't particularly nice IMHO.

There is only one button for front derailleur control and generally I like this simplicity but there is one negative consequence of this. The front derailleur has a trim function, which sounds good in principle. As I mentioned earlier initially I had the problem where the front mech wouldn't pick up the chain in the middle of the cassette. A long press of the left shift button will do a full upshift i.e. one not limited by the front derailleur trim. Doing this guaranteed an upshift in that circumstance. But if I had already pressed the front derailleur button once in a failed shift I would need to now press it twice to activate the forced upshift, as a single press would be the next step in the logic, a downshift.

This links into another potential downside, the current lack of device integration, e.g. Garmin. I don't know if this coming and I'm not massively concerned about seeing my gear position on screen but for me the most useful thing would be to have low battery warnings on the head unit. Sure, there are LEDs on each unit but they're tiny and you can't see them whilst riding, or outdoors even. The only option for now is checking via the app.

Mucking around with the front mech and 600km/4500m has got the batteries down to about 50% which I'm ok with.

So far, I think it's good for the money. Time will tell about longevity, availability of spare parts and warranty.





JMOS
Posts: 239
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:57 pm

by JMOS

Great build. Please do report your ongoing experience with the groupset.

Does the rear mech have slim enough pulley wheels so that it can accommodate a campy 1x13 chain?

User avatar
Kurt1980
Posts: 337
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:41 am

by Kurt1980

diecast wrote:
Thu May 23, 2024 2:19 pm
Update after 600km for anyone that's interested.

Please bear in mind that my experience will be partly influenced by my specific setup i.e. chainrings/cassette/chain/frame geometry etc. other combinations may work differently.

Firstly, it definitely works as advertised.

I found the rear derailleur setup was easy, front less so.

I switched out to a Recon one piece steel cassette and that also works pretty well, albeit noisy as those things always are.

The instructions for the front set up didn't make sense (at least not to me anyway), so I just did my own thing. I found that the height/angle of the front derailleur was critical. And I struggled to get it so it upshifts properly when in the middle of the cassette whilst not getting chain rub in the lowest gear with the same settings. I've had no chain drops though. Incidentally, I've noticed that the rear mech has a strong spring.

You can fine tune the rear derailleur position for individual sprockets and I needed to use this for a few gears (despite checking that the hanger was perfectly straight). Interestingly, the same feature for the front appears in the app but is locked.

The speed of changes is acceptable for my purposes, if not blisteringly fast. Slightly slow downshift on the front mech but fast on the up. Of course this might be related to what I described above, or my combination of chainrings/chain. Rear mech speed is fine. Ultimately I didn't really notice the speed as an issue other than once or twice during a fast and hilly group ride.

I should add that I've been using it almost exclusively in "casual" mode. I did try "race" mode but it was too aggressive and kept over shifting on the rear. Then when I switched back to casual mode all the trimming was out and I had to tweak it again.

I've hosed the bike down twice, and one ride got caught in heavy rain. No issues with water so far.

The main negative for me is the ergonomics. Of course this is subjective, but I think this is the area where the low budget nature is apparent.

I'm not a fan of the area behind the shift levers, but I have gotten used to it. There's too many sharp edges, bits of mechanism, and the change from the rubber hood to the underneath of the plastic shifter body is abrupt. After 2 rides I used a file a chamfer the edges of the plastic shifter body which helped a little.

Otherwise the hoods are ok, and the shifter blade itself is decent enough. It has a nice little outwards curve at the end which is good for one finger braking from the drops.

I like the button logic and I got used to it very quickly. The buttons have different textures so it's not hard to distinguish between the up and down shift on the rear shifter. The textures aren't particularly nice IMHO.

There is only one button for front derailleur control and generally I like this simplicity but there is one negative consequence of this. The front derailleur has a trim function, which sounds good in principle. As I mentioned earlier initially I had the problem where the front mech wouldn't pick up the chain in the middle of the cassette. A long press of the left shift button will do a full upshift i.e. one not limited by the front derailleur trim. Doing this guaranteed an upshift in that circumstance. But if I had already pressed the front derailleur button once in a failed shift I would need to now press it twice to activate the forced upshift, as a single press would be the next step in the logic, a downshift.

This links into another potential downside, the current lack of device integration, e.g. Garmin. I don't know if this coming and I'm not massively concerned about seeing my gear position on screen but for me the most useful thing would be to have low battery warnings on the head unit. Sure, there are LEDs on each unit but they're tiny and you can't see them whilst riding, or outdoors even. The only option for now is checking via the app.

Mucking around with the front mech and 600km/4500m has got the batteries down to about 50% which I'm ok with.

So far, I think it's good for the money. Time will tell about longevity, availability of spare parts and warranty.
Hey mate, thanks for your review, the details are what matter! Much appreciated.

I'm wondering about whether you could use this for a gravel setup. The stiff spring might double up as a clutch function. Have you taken this over any bumps? Any chain derailment or chain slap on any of your rides?

I'm aware there is an upcoming gravel release, but the picture I saw looked 1x only, which I'm not that keen on.

Any info is appreciated!

Cheers,
Kurt

Treptay
Posts: 77
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:23 am

by Treptay

diecast wrote:
Mon May 13, 2024 7:43 pm
I realise that the groupset is a gamble. Maybe it will stop working 2 hours from home where there's no phone reception. Maybe it will explode. I didn't buy it direct from Wheeltop so I don't expect there's much of a warranty either.

After typing up the build list it suddenly feels like a very random collection of parts and quite possibly it doesn't make any sense... but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

I've only done one short ride so far but actually it shifts fine, well even. These are my first impressions.

The set up took me ages when really it should have been just a few minutes. The instructions were complete gibberish so I didn't read them and instead I decided to indiscriminately press every button in the app. Unfortunately that approach didn't work very well either.

Now I know how to do it, it's actually very simple. While out on the road I had to make a minor tweak due to noise in 2 sprockets but that was easy and worked straight away. Probably the hanger is out of whack. Front mech works great. Auto trim works. Bit noisy.

The build quality seems solid. To my eye it doesn't look cheap although it is definitely more function over form. But it doesn't look like it'll disintegrate in 1000km.

I like the button lay out. Having only one button on the left shifter makes sense. Then two buttons on the right, the smaller one for the upshift is maybe a little small but I'm sure I'll get used to it.

The rubber on the hoods is nice enough, but the hoods seem quite big. Almost hydraulic big. Maybe they've shared some parts? I don't know, as I've not seen the hydraulic version. And the brake lever is very wide and straight. Chunky. It seems like the shifters have quite a long reach, but on measuring it isn't that different from what I'm used to.

The main thing that has bothered me is the finish on the underneath/inside of the lever. I like to ride stretched out on the hoods with my little finger wrapped behind the lever. I can't be the only person who does this: on Campagnolo shifters every part in this area is curved so it feels comfortable, second nature. On the Wheeltop... not so much. There's a square plastic edge and a huge gap. Not so much as a chamfer.

That's the only bit that lets it down so far, slightly unrefined ergonomics.

But overall I'm looking forward to doing a few more miles on it.
Do the levers have reach adjust, and how much adjustement can you make? I have an ultegra r8000 groupset, and my adjustment is almost maxed out (inboards)

raisinberry777
Posts: 350
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:09 am

by raisinberry777

Apparently there's a firmware update from earlier week that connects it to cycling computers via ANT+ - people have reported setting up the gear position but I can't see any mentions of whether that includes battery details too.

diecast
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:09 pm

by diecast


Kurt1980 wrote: I'm wondering about whether you could use this for a gravel setup. The stiff spring might double up as a clutch function. Have you taken this over any bumps? Any chain derailment or chain slap on any of your rides?

I'm aware there is an upcoming gravel release, but the picture I saw looked 1x only, which I'm not that keen on.

Any info is appreciated!

Cheers,
Kurt
I've not ridden the bike specifically off road but there's plenty of uneven asphalt and potholes around here. I've not noticed excessive chain slap and I've had zero chain drops. I think it'd probably be fine on gravel. I've noticed the chain tension to be stronger than the other bikes I've been currently riding which have mechanical Campagnolo 11 speed.

(I ride pretty much exclusively on paved roads though, so I'm not necessarily a good judge of what'd work off road.)

diecast
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:09 pm

by diecast


Treptay wrote:
Do the levers have reach adjust, and how much adjustement can you make? I have an ultegra r8000 groupset, and my adjustment is almost maxed out (inboards)
No, sorry, there's no reach adjustment that I can find on the levers and there's nothing mentioned in the instructions. It's perhaps unsurprising for the cost. It's been a long time since I rode anything with Ultegra so I can't make a useful comparison I'm afraid.

I actually swapped to a shorter stem briefly, but once I got used to the shifters I swapped back but a different angle. The hoods and the levers are quite wide and bulky and I think that's where the feeling of extra reach comes from.

For me at least, the ergonomics are the main downside of the group. It's difficult to make fair comparisons because it is inexpensive, and so I feel that tempers expectations. To make it cheap there's going to be compromises somewhere. IMHO it's ok for 1-2 hours but less so after that. Maybe I'm fussy and other people's experience may be different. Certainly I'm one of those types that's very sensitive to small changes in set up, saddle height etc.

My main complaints are the issues I've described above; the area behind the lever and the texture of the shifter buttons. These may be subjective, I'm sure others will have differing opinions.

by Weenie


Visit starbike.com Online Retailer for HighEnd cycling components
Great Prices ✓    Broad Selection ✓    Worldwide Delivery ✓

www.starbike.com



Post Reply