Let's begin with what I removed from my current setup, the Sram Force 22 Shifters, front derailleur and rear derailleur. Once these had been removed I started the process of setting up the Etap components, pairing the derailleurs to the shifters was a very simple process. Then for those of you that are aware of the GCN video on setting up Etap, I made them "Dance" across the table, a little childish I know but I had too.
Fitting the components to the bike was straight forward, only needing a few Allen keys. Adjusting the rear derailleur at the start is the same as standard mechanical ones; high, low limit screws and B tension screw followed by using the micro adjust function (moves .2mm) to eliminate any missed or slow shifts. The front derailleur has no micro adjust function, just the high and low limit screws and the anchor bolt to adjust height and rotation. Having finished the setup I have zero chain rub in any gear.
First impressions of using Etap out on the road were great, the left shifter selecting an easier gear and the right a harder gear is very intuitive and quickly becomes normal. I had read reviews about how the shifting speed is slightly slower than Di2 and can't be adjusted like the Shimano alternatives but to be honest at no point did it feel slow.
In my experience the removing of cables not only improves the look of the bike but also gives one less headache of bike maintenance. Day to day tasks like cleaning has become easier and it's at this point I often check the battery life on each derailleur. The LED indicators flash when charging is required, it is worth noting that I've been getting around 1000km per charge.
For those who are Weight weenies amongst us here are some numbers to compare:
Sram Etap - 2037g
Sram red 22 (2013-onwards) - 1955g (with cables)
Shimano Dura ace 9100 Mechanical Rim - 2007g + Cables - 2117g
(Cables weight is 110g Alligator I-link cut to fit 48cm Scott Addict LTD)
The negatives to owning Etap for me are few and far between, the obvious one is cost of replacements, for example a crash damages the rear derailleur a replacement is around double the cost of its mechanical equivalent. The next thing is, let's be honest it's another thing to charge. An ever-growing list with head units, power meters, lights and cameras. But as mentioned before at least the process is simple and only takes an hour or so... and if you did get caught out the fact that the batteries are interchangeable between front and rear means you'll still have some gears to get you home. The only other negative for me was working out what to do with the frame holes left from not needing cables, I used a Mould-able rubber glue that can be removed if needed but it would be worth checking in case this voided the frame manufacturers warranty.
So, to wrap this up for me, Is wireless the way forward? Simply yes! I would put Sram Etap on all my current bikes if finances would allow.