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Is this budget electronic groupset a Shimano and SRAM killer? L-Twoo of China launches new semi-wireless eRX groupset

The new semi-wireless electronic groupset is priced between 500-650USD approximately minus a cassette and chain, and seems to resemble Shimano Di2 a lot

Chinese groupset manufacturer L-Twoo is not new to the game, but the release of the new electronic eRX road groupset is a first from the brand and certainly comes at an affordable price point. 

The new road-specific eRX groupset resembles the Shimano 105 Di2 groupset a lot aesthetically, but also in terms of function. The system is semi-wireless, meaning that the shifters are operated with a coin battery, but there is a seat-tube battery that is connected to the front and rear derailleurs with a wire. 

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2023 L-Twoo eRX electronic groupset shifter

The rear derailleur is the brains of the system, communicating with the shifters and the front derailleur via Bluetooth. L-Twoo says it only takes 22 milliseconds for the command from the shifter to travel to the rear derailleur, and while it’s hard to envision in practice, we can just take its word on the speed of the system for now.  

2023 L-Twoo eRX electronic groupset front derailleur

The front derailleur also has an auto-trim function which should micro-adjust the derailleur cage to avoid rubbing the chain if you’re cross-chaining.

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In terms of connectivity, L-Twoo has a mobile app available to fine-tune the shifting and update the firmware of the eRX system. 

L-Twoo eRX - shifters and gearing

L-Twoo eRX electronic groupset shifter and rear

The levers are carbon fibre for the eRX model, but there will be an eR9 model available later with more affordable alloy levers. There are two buttons on the levers, one for shifting down and the other for up - again, bearing very similar looks to Shimano’s shifters. 

At the front, you get a standard compact gear ratio with 50-34 chainrings, and at the back, you’ve got a 12-speed 11-32 cassette. 

L-Twoo eRX - pricing and weight

2023 L-Twoo eRX electronic groupset in a box

The total weight of the L-Twoo eRX groupset is claimed to be 1,300 grams, which puts it close to Shimano 105 Di2 which weighs about 1,320g. This weight includes the shifters, front and rear derailleurs, battery, cables and brakes.

And the price? The aluminium eR9 model should retail for about 500$, and the eRX should be about 650$ according to L-Twoo. We know that L-Twoo doesn’t currently offer full groupsets, so you need to source the 12-speed cassette and chain from another manufacturer, but there should be no compatibility issues. We're unsure whether a crankset is included in the price, and even though the picture on L-Twoo's website includes brakes, it's unclear whether you will have to purchase the hydraulic brakes separately. If you do, they set you back between 150 - 260$. 

Unlike L-Twoo’s other drivetrain products, the new eRX groupset doesn’t show up on the brand’s AliExpress site at the moment, so we can’t confirm if and when they’ll show up there - and we can’t confirm availability quite yet. However, L-Twoo told us, “We currently do not have a partner distributor in the UK, but quite a few UK customers buy directly from us.”

It's hard to put together a complete price for the new eRX, but if we assume that the groupset retails for 650$ (~£530), the difference to the Shimano 105 Di2 groupset that retails for £1,730 is potentially huge, even if you have to add your own crankset, cassette and chain.

Although there is not much to go off yet, you can check L-Twoo's website for more details. 


And let us know in the comments what you think of this new groupset! 

Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops. 

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53 comments

Avatar
froze | 1 year ago
0 likes

Never buy anything from a Chinese company, they will not honor warranties; also never buy the first couple of years of anything, wait till someone else has problems with it first; thirdly, it's probably knockoff of either Shimano or SRAM, or both combined.

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ShreyC | 1 year ago
0 likes

It's a bit far fetched to ask if this could be a Shimano/SRAM killer. If these companies were capable, I'm sure we would have seen some viable mechanical alternatives in recent years - it's not as if there wasn't a market for it.

I can understand wheels, saddles, handlebars etc (although would need to be careful if I trusted them), but honestly, with the sophistication of current electronic groupsets, I'd be very cautious about trying an imitation without proven credentials.

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lawrencefalk | 1 year ago
0 likes

Will it be reliable and work out of the box?

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NOtotheEU replied to lawrencefalk | 1 year ago
1 like

lawrencefalk wrote:

Will it be reliable and work out of the box?

Youtuber Trace Velo regularly gets these new groupsets when they are first released and often finds problems that need modifications to work properly. These companies seem to use youtubers as product testers as they often update their products within a few months.

Personally I have no interest in anything more modern than mechanical 8sp but I always enjoy his videos. There are plenty of other channels covering these products but not all of them are that objective.

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cyclisto | 1 year ago
1 like

I don't think that they could have made bigger success if they aimed at another market segments. Let's admit it, a 10 or even 9 cog cassete groupset would be ideal for anyone not having to make money from racing so the ones willing to spend more do it because they like having nice toys (it is not always bad to have nice toys) so the fancy toys have to be from fancy brands.

So my suggestion for chinese potential manufacturers is to aim at entry levels groupsets and make Microshift seem expensive. But please keep it Shimano compatible, no new standards please.

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Jimmy Ray Will | 1 year ago
3 likes

Is it wrong to say that I really like the look of this? 

Ignoring the whole China situation / non-situation, I'm all for someone coming along and saying 'hey, you know it is possible to generate a half-decent electronic groupset for under £1,500'

Even better if the tech is heavily based on the brand saying that electric groupsets can't be delivered for under £1,700!

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Awavey replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 1 year ago
1 like

But the > £1700 firms paid for the all the design & investment up front.

If the £1500 firms are just copying the design, of course it will be cheaper, but they're not innovating a cheaper design.

And then who does the design investment part if the > £1700 firm goes out of business saying theres no profit in this stuff for us anymore.

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PhilipTaylor replied to Awavey | 1 year ago
0 likes

Exactly. 

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Jimmy Ray Will replied to Awavey | 1 year ago
2 likes

All very good points, but based on the premise that the price difference is purely in the R&D. Which is naive.

I remember a few years back, I was racing for a team, and the subject of team bike groupsets came up. Riders were polled, would they prefer mechanical Dura Ace or Ultegra Di2? The feedback was heavily Di2. 

Team bikes turned up with Ultegra mechanical. On asking why I was told that the Ultegra mechanical group was available to the team (from bike factory) at £80 a bike (minus cranks). Too good (cheap) to not do. Opened my eyes to the true cost of these things. 

To think that the big boys are putting anyone other than their shareholders first is foolish to say the least.

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whosatthewheel replied to Awavey | 1 year ago
1 like

Investment into what? Two stepper motors, a few electric cables and software to control it so complex a clever 14 year old could write it? Why does a single Di2 cable have to cost £20, when exactly the same cable but without the Shimano logo on it, in my local electrical supply store costs a few pennies? Electronic groupsets are cheaper to manufacture than mechanical ones. 

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Sriracha replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 1 year ago
0 likes

The cheaper price is always easy to appreciate. It's sometimes more difficult to understand the way in which Chinese companies simply rip off the IP of other companies. I always find that Googling "landwind" and looking at the pictures helps.

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Off the back replied to Sriracha | 1 year ago
1 like

Ha, A Chinese Land Rover. I bet that thing must be so unreliable and poorly bui, oh wait!

 

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ChairmanJiang | 1 year ago
2 likes

I've seen the internals and they are a copy of the Shimano Di2, almost identical.I guess they are afraid to sell it internationally again because of infringement of Shimano's patents.

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grOg | 1 year ago
0 likes

There are essentially 2 types of people when it comes to consumer goods; those who buy on price and those who buy quality; I'm in the latter group and I'll only buy Chinese made if the factory is run by a name manufacturer like Shimano and even then, I avoid Chinese and even Korean made, if there's a Japanese or Taiwan made option.

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Fluffed | 1 year ago
2 likes

I'm glad this exists, but I'm not going to buy it yet. Gen 1 products from L-twoo and Sensah always seem to be a bit buggy, but they do listen to feedback and will often have an updated version out in 6-9 months. Maybe it'll shake up the di2 105/ Rival pricing a bit too, the rrp on those is kind of nuts right now.

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Jeroen0110 | 1 year ago
1 like

Going to place my order. Wish, right? 😂 

ill wait and see how many fall apart. I can't see any serious cyclist opting for this, just like a serious cyclist doesn't entertain a microshift group set. Budget is... budget. And when your bike means something to you this is the last area you want to save money on. 

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Sredlums replied to Jeroen0110 | 1 year ago
3 likes

That's short sighted.
The world doens't only excist of 'serious cyclists'. There's plenty of people who don't have the budget, or who simply don't want to spend the premium prices from the top bands.

Budget is budget, yes, but the thing is that if you choose wisely, there's a lot of good stuff avaliable for budget prices.

My Microshift Advent group has been marvelous, and only spending €25 for a new cassette at the beginning of a new season just makes it even better.
Decathlon bikes from their mid to top range are also budget, but extremely good value. Their bikes are equiped well AND ride superbly, as is evidenced form the reviews on this site and others.
And there are many examples like those.

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wtjs replied to Sredlums | 1 year ago
2 likes

there's a lot of good stuff avaliable for budget prices
True - even Big S produces them, and I have bored previously on the excellent and cheap Sora 9-speed. I had Ultegra 9 speed when it was top end and it was no better than recent Sora. I know that because I still have it on my 'best' titanium Merlin, which is still great despite the rim brakes.

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PRSboy replied to Jeroen0110 | 1 year ago
0 likes

I suspect the only real difference between this and the branded options is the profit margin.

 

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check12 | 1 year ago
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all it will take for this to go mainstream is for a big name to pick it up in the uk and offer it for sale on their website. Whether shimano would throw the toys out of the pram if this happened, I'm not sure 

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RoubaixCube replied to check12 | 1 year ago
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In that case the cost per unit would go up as distributors would want their cut of the profits 

The way they are letting you have it cheaper than mainstream competitors is by cutting out the middleman and selling direct to consumer.

For a product to survive, a good aftersales support infrastructure has to be in place

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PRSboy | 1 year ago
1 like

I am interested in a SRAM wireless rim brake group... this might be a good option as SRAM is adding up to eye watering cost.  I'm not snobbish about the origins of kit, particularly as most branded stuff comes from China anyway. I'd feel happier buying from a UK agent for convenience, warranty etc. 
 

Presumably there is 20% VAT and import tax to pay?

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Monsieur Michael | 1 year ago
7 likes

Nowdays everything is made in China 

Except for babies,

Babies are made in Vachina. 

(leaving now)

 

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Off the back | 1 year ago
1 like

I doubt this will be a serious rival. It all seems a little too AliExpress to me. It might be decent but cyclists cling to familiarity. It took years for Sram to really challenge the Campag-Shimano stranglehold on the road groupset market. 
 

FSA has had a reasonably decent group set out for a while yet I doubt many have actually seen it in tbe flesh. This is a well established brand which many cyclists are familiar with but I don't think many see anyone outside the big 3 as being worth spending money on if their reliability is unproven. 

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wtjs replied to Off the back | 1 year ago
1 like

cyclists cling to familiarity

Very true- I cling very hard to Shimano myself after decades of use of excellent kit. However, I am wary of Ultegra Bonded Pasta Cranks!

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Miller replied to Off the back | 1 year ago
0 likes

FSA WE egroup has been invisible in the wild. If L-twoo can get product out there they could do ok.

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PhilipTaylor | 1 year ago
2 likes

I'm never sure about the ethics of supporting a company that has obviously engaged in some liberal IP theft and design infringements. Sure, it might be cheap and the established brands are crazy expensive but I wouldn't be surprised if there was some cargo cultism going on here and things don't exactly work as they're supposed to...

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Secret_squirrel replied to PhilipTaylor | 1 year ago
1 like

Cargo-cultism?  The 1950's called and want their lazy stereotypes back. 

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PhilipTaylor replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
5 likes

It wasn't lazy, it was a very carefully considered metaphor. And it's been in use way before the 1950s.  If you're going to be snarky at least be correct. 

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NXSWireless replied to PhilipTaylor | 11 months ago
0 likes

LTwoo is famous for copying every other bike product. If you look at their product line, everything "resembles" something else. They get it to look the same, but it won't perform and won't last. They have such a bad reputation for "borrowing" technology, that even other Chinese companies will no longer work with them.

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