This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
SRAM isn't yet talking openly about its upcoming wireless electronic road group but we spotted fresh, undisguised components on the Bissell Development Team's Trek Madones at the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado. Among the unknowns is a projected release date – or even what the group is officially called – but the group is looking more finished than ever, which suggests an official launch might not be far off.
Since we blew the lid on SRAM's masquerade back in May, team mechanic Eric Fostvedt happily no longer had to fabricate the faux wiring. Fostvedt is still covering up the badging on the lever blade, however, although we can still make out a faint 'Red' outline. Regardless, the components the team is racing on right now were received just a couple of weeks ago, and Fostvedt told us that the wireless design makes for extremely easy installation and setup.
"It took longer to unwrap everything than it did to install all of the parts."
Each lever has just one, single-stage button. On the back (shown here) is a function button and LED indicator for initial setup and programming
Fostvedt wasn't able to disclose any further details but it does look like just about everything we hypothesized is holding true: the system uses no wires, each component is powered by its own battery source, pairing and adjustments are done via simple buttons and single LED indicator lights, and the system is lighter than comparable setups from Shimano and Campagnolo given SRAM's unique low-power data transmission protocol.
Relatively speaking, SRAM's electronic front derailleur looks quite tidy
Shifts are performed in the manner we disclosed, too, with each lever bearing a single, single-stage button. Push on one lever's shift button to move the rear derailleur in one direction while pushing on the other lever will move the derailleur in the other direction. Front gear changes are accomplished by pushing both buttons at roughly the same time. So far, it seems that SRAM has built a fair bit more tactile feedback into the button action as well – a long-standing criticism of Shimano's system, at least.
As with the rest of the system, the rear derailleur requires no external wiring. Wireless data hardware and a power source are all built right in
We're still working to extract more details, but we're encouraged by what we've seen so far. Stay tuned for more.