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I rode the stuff for a short time as well and I really appreciated the speed and accuracy of each shift. It was also amazingly quiet when the chain moved from one cog to another - aside from the low android buzz from the motor, which has a satisfying tone to my ear.
AJ made a good point this morning as well, recalling being so throttled during an XC race that he was physically unable to shift with his thumb so he had to use the heel of his hand to downshift. I've been there as well. The absence of effort or thought required (no need to vary pressure or throw depending on the situation) could be significant in high performance or stressful situations.
You could liken it to paddle shifters in an F1 car. I personally prefer a stick for a daily driver but in the heat of battle paddles have become essential, and it's not like the bike does much else for us the way a modern car does.
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