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FSA electronic groupset spotted at Tour de France

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An all black FSA rear mech

An all black FSA rear mech (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The silver and black rear derailleur.

The silver and black rear derailleur. (Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Kwiatkowski's decked-out S-works.

Kwiatkowski's decked-out S-works. (Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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The FSA rear derailleur.

The FSA rear derailleur. (Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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"Prototype 277" on Kwiatkowski's front derailleur.

"Prototype 277" on Kwiatkowski's front derailleur. (Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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The FSA electronic group levers.

The FSA electronic group levers. (Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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The FSA electronic group brake hoods.

The FSA electronic group brake hoods. (Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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The FSA electronic group levers.

The FSA electronic group levers. (Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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The front and rear derailleurs.

The front and rear derailleurs. (Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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The front and rear derailleurs.

The front and rear derailleurs. (Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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The FSA electronic group levers.

The FSA electronic group levers. (Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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The FSA brake hoods.

The FSA brake hoods. (Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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The levers make it clear this is a prototype.

The levers make it clear this is a prototype. (Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Prototype number 219 on Michal Kwiatkowski's bike.

Prototype number 219 on Michal Kwiatkowski's bike. (Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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The FSA brakeset.

The FSA brakeset. (Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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The FSA front derailleur.

The FSA front derailleur. (Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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The FSA rear derailleur.

The FSA rear derailleur. (Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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The levers make it clear the group is "prototype" at the moment.

The levers make it clear the group is "prototype" at the moment. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Each prototype, front and rear, has a unique number printed on it.

Each prototype, front and rear, has a unique number printed on it. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The prototype gear was on this Specialized S-works.

The prototype gear was on this Specialized S-works. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The electronic front derailleur.

The electronic front derailleur. (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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The e;lectronic groupset on Michale Kwiatkowski's bike.

The e;lectronic groupset on Michale Kwiatkowski's bike. (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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The levers and hoods.

The levers and hoods. (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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We saw silver and black rear FSA mech but all-black mechs have also been spotted.

We saw silver and black rear FSA mech but all-black mechs have also been spotted. (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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It's clear these levers are a "prototype."

It's clear these levers are a "prototype." (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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The FSA rear derailleur.

The FSA rear derailleur. (Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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The FSA rear derailleur.

The FSA rear derailleur. (Image credit: Cyclingnews)
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Easy to read instructions on the front mech

Easy to read instructions on the front mech (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The FSA groupset makes it long awaited debut at the Tour de France tomorrow

The FSA groupset makes it long awaited debut at the Tour de France tomorrow (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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There was is rubber hood on the shifters at the moment

There was is rubber hood on the shifters at the moment (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The front mech on the Tinkoff-Saxo bike was prototype number 285

The front mech on the Tinkoff-Saxo bike was prototype number 285 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The much-awaited FSA electronic groupset has been spotted at the Tour de France, with the Etixx-QuickStep, Cofidis, Bora-Argon 18 and Tinkoff-Saxo teams given a prototype groupset for testing.

Cyclingnews spotted Michal Kwiatkowski’s special flower design Specialized bike fitted with the FSA components and other photos of a Tinkoff-Saxo Specialized bike were spotted by Italian photographer Ilario Biondi who works for regular Cyclingnews photographer Bettini.

It is unclear if the teams will use the groupset in the final mountain stages of the Tour de France. It is more likely to stay in the mechanics truck or be on the second team car for use in emergencies. Maurizio Bellin of FSA was at the Tour de France but when contacted by Cyclingnews he refused to provide any details on the much-awaited groupset. He would only confirm it was a prototype given out to the teams.

Cyclingnews noticed that the battery and the central control unit were both hidden inside the frame. The only cables leaving the brake hoods were for the mechanical brakes. Both the front and rear derailleur were identified with prototype numbers, with the numbers different on each of the bikes. The brake hoods were made of hard plastic but seemed to represent the final size and shape of the levers.

The rear derailleur had a smooth, modern machined metal appearance, very different to other brands of gears. The front changer had what looked like a rubber-covered motor above the changer arms, much like existing electronic front changers.

The lever hoods have a similar smooth shape to those of Campagnolo. The brake levers have a kink in their shape and had prototype written on them in big white letters. The button to change gears is positioned behind the brake lever. It appeared to be divided into two parts and seemed best activated by the index or middle finger. One click on the upper half of the button perhaps moves up a gear, the lower half perhaps move down a gear.

FSA refused to reveal when the groupset would go into production but it is possible further details will be revealed at the Eurobike trade fair in Friedrichshafen in late August.