Skip to main content

Fresh look at SRAM wireless electronic group

Image 1 of 10

SRAM's upcoming wireless electronic group is looking more finished than ever, spotted here on the team bikes of the Bissell Development Team at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge - without the fake wiring that was tacked on to earlier samples we saw

SRAM's upcoming wireless electronic group is looking more finished than ever, spotted here on the team bikes of the Bissell Development Team at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge - without the fake wiring that was tacked on to earlier samples we saw
(Image credit: James Huang/BikeRadar)
Image 2 of 10

Assuming SRAM has engineered intelligent movement into the front derailleur similar to Shimano's Di2 system, it's no surprise that there isn't a chain catcher fitted here

Assuming SRAM has engineered intelligent movement into the front derailleur similar to Shimano's Di2 system, it's no surprise that there isn't a chain catcher fitted here
(Image credit: James Huang/BikeRadar)
Image 3 of 10

Each lever sports a single shift paddle, just like with standard DoubleTap. Visible on the backside of each paddle is the function button and a small LED indicator

Each lever sports a single shift paddle, just like with standard DoubleTap. Visible on the backside of each paddle is the function button and a small LED indicator
(Image credit: James Huang/BikeRadar)
Image 4 of 10

As compared to electronic systems from Shimano and Campagnolo, SRAM's electronic front derailleur looks comparatively small and tidy. The chromed steel cage should be plenty stiff for fast front gear changes

As compared to electronic systems from Shimano and Campagnolo, SRAM's electronic front derailleur looks comparatively small and tidy. The chromed steel cage should be plenty stiff for fast front gear changes
(Image credit: James Huang/BikeRadar)
Image 5 of 10

Both derailleurs are independently powered with their own on-board Li-ion rechargeable batteries. Simply flick the lever up top and remove the power pack when it's time to recharge

Both derailleurs are independently powered with their own on-board Li-ion rechargeable batteries. Simply flick the lever up top and remove the power pack when it's time to recharge
(Image credit: James Huang/BikeRadar)
Image 6 of 10

None of the components bear model names just yet but they're otherwise looking like they're made on production tooling, which suggests an official release might not be far off

None of the components bear model names just yet but they're otherwise looking like they're made on production tooling, which suggests an official release might not be far off
(Image credit: James Huang/BikeRadar)
Image 7 of 10

The motor unit is located on the lower knuckle of the rear derailleur

The motor unit is located on the lower knuckle of the rear derailleur
(Image credit: James Huang/BikeRadar)
Image 8 of 10

A view from below reveals quite a bit of extra hardware as compared to a standard rear derailleur but considering everything is self-contained, it's impressively small. Remember, there are no wires and each component has its own battery. Also seen here are the two limit adjuster screws

A view from below reveals quite a bit of extra hardware as compared to a standard rear derailleur but considering everything is self-contained, it's impressively small. Remember, there are no wires and each component has its own battery. Also seen here are the two limit adjuster screws
(Image credit: James Huang/BikeRadar)
Image 9 of 10

The gap between the cassette and upper pulley wheel is adjusted via a standard bolt

The gap between the cassette and upper pulley wheel is adjusted via a standard bolt
(Image credit: James Huang/BikeRadar)
Image 10 of 10

Each component has a function button and LED indicator, used for adjustments as well as to pair all of the associated bits together

Each component has a function button and LED indicator, used for adjustments as well as to pair all of the associated bits together
(Image credit: James Huang/BikeRadar)

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.