Ag2r pro cycling team Focus Izalco Max road bikes with prototype SRAM wireless electronic shifting

The Tour de France is a bit early in the season for any teams to be testing disc brakes, so the new Focus Izalco Disc road bike was nowhere to be seen around the Ag2r-La Mondiale tent. That didn’t mean there wasn’t anything new to see, as the team is fully immersed in testing the presumably upcoming SRAM wireless electronic shifting.

Coincidentally, the SRAM folks were standing around their team truck as we walked up, but wouldn’t comment about it in any way. So, officially we have no new info from all of the coverage we’ve already posted here, here, here and here. But, we’ve got a hunch it’s going to make its consumer debut fairly soon. In the meantime, we do have some fresh closeup pics…

Ag2r pro cycling team Focus Izalco Max road bikes with prototype SRAM wireless electronic shifting

Rather than just a few riders on the prototype system, they appeared to have the whole team running it on both their “A” and “B” bikes, but only on the Izalco Max road bikes, not the TT rigs.

Ag2r pro cycling team Focus Izalco Max road bikes with prototype SRAM wireless electronic shifting

Not much has changed from last time we got a close up, except they’re no longer hiding the SRAM logo on the shifter/brake levers.

Ag2r pro cycling team Focus Izalco Max road bikes with prototype SRAM wireless electronic shifting

It’s still a single button lever, which strongly suggests the operating procedure we uncovered in the patent filing is accurate – one side shifts up the cassette, the other shifts down, and simultaneous presses shift the front off whatever chainring it’s on.

Ag2r pro cycling team Focus Izalco Max road bikes with prototype SRAM wireless electronic shifting

Small buttons and LED lights (which weren’t lit) on the fronts of both the front (above) and rear (below) derailleurs are likely used to sync and to indicate battery life.

Ag2r pro cycling team Focus Izalco Max road bikes with prototype SRAM wireless electronic shifting

The motor unit is likely housed in the front section of the rear mech.

Ag2r pro cycling team Focus Izalco Max road bikes with prototype SRAM wireless electronic shifting

Oddly, one of the limit screws appears to have a tool-free knob on it and the other is tooled.

Ag2r pro cycling team Focus Izalco Max road bikes with prototype SRAM wireless electronic shifting

We’re convinced the battery packs on both derailleurs are interchangeable and slot in from the top. There appears to be a latch that pivots on the B-knuckle that locks the battery into place. Without any sort of visible USB port, we’re guessing they’ll include standalone chargers so you can leave your bike in the garage and charge the batteries anywhere that’s convenient.

Ag2r pro cycling team Focus Izalco Max road bikes with prototype SRAM wireless electronic shifting

The levers might get branding, but they’re still hiding the logo on the cage. The pulley wheels indicate upper and lower specific placement.

Ag2r pro cycling team Focus Izalco Max road bikes with prototype SRAM wireless electronic shifting

The rest of the bike is equipped with SRAM Red cranks and chainrings sandwiching a Quarq power meter, Zipp wheels and a mostly Fizik cockpit.

Ag2r pro cycling team Focus Izalco Chrono TT road bikes

The Izalco Chrono used for the TT stages keeps the Zipp wheels and SRAM drivetrain, but switches to the standard mechanical group with Return-to-Zero bar end shifters. The bars switch to Profile Designs…

Ag2r pro cycling team Focus Izalco Chrono TT road bikes

…with a couple very different setups for different riders. One bike used zero spacers and placed the extensions under the bar. The other used a ton of spacers and set the extensions at the top of them with some custom arm rest workings:

Ag2r pro cycling team Focus Izalco Chrono TT road bikes

Note the simple foam padding cut to shape and the extra mounting sections for the arm rests were ground off to save weight and drag (click to enlarge). Perhaps required on these particular extensions, but the shift cable housing was kept external and simply taped to the bars.

Ag2r pro cycling team Focus Izalco Max road bikes in the team truck

Focus-Bikes.com

29 COMMENTS

  1. I can hardly wait, finally something worth upgrading to from my 1st generation Red group. Dura Ace shift wires and internals of friends bikes failing over the years and the clunky leap frog keeps working. If SRAM can make the electric as solid as Red mechanical they got my credit card #

  2. pretty much the same, albeit, red is so nice and reliable that i dont know if ill switch right away. probably on a new bike to avoid the pain of first time setup 😉

  3. hehe yeah the mechanical advantage ads is funny. they did this fully knowing electronic would eventually take over which isnt very nice to their customers.

    that said sram red 22 is pretty damn good for a mechanical system and i dont mind it at all over Di2, except when its time to set stuff up! turns out servos are pretty damn good too. 😉

  4. Having had various SRAM shifting products over the years im going to firmly stick to Shimano now. Sram stuff just doesn’t have a quality feel to it in my opinion and the reliability, when compared to Shimano, in my experience is poor. Having said that I hope that the testing of the wireless groupset has ironed out any issues for them and the tech that they are introducing is bringing the sport forward.

  5. SRAM, Something Ruined and Mangled. There parts are made from chewing gum. Had a no luck with there chain rings or derailleurs. They should source better materials and manufacturing methods before playing around with this fancy tech.

  6. Sram reminds me of Specialized as a brand. They seem to be trying to make the latest greatest products without addressing and perfecting existing problems they have had with their prevous models. Fix your dam flexy soft chainrings and poor front derailleur shifting before you bring this wireless group out please!!

  7. I understand why they are using two batteries but . . . TWO BATTERIES??? Not great. And I hope they’re joking about two-handed shifting for the fd. That’s ridiculous.

  8. I started out on SRAM Rival. I’ve read that some groupsets change the fd by moving the brake lever. Hov stupid is that! (0;

  9. FlashBazbo – it isn’t just two batteries, it’s more like 3 or 4 batteries! Those shifter are going to need power somehow. The question is, where are they hiding the batteries? How easily are they removed/charged? Lifespan?

    Also, am I the only one who thinks the both hands to shift the front chainring is a terrible idea?

  10. Come on Sram! Hopefully this is just a joke and the actual components look much better…Aesthetics are just as important as function, these are terrible guys! Who is in charge saying ” yes they look great , let’s do it” No! SRAM are you there? Smaller batteries, sleeker design, better ergonomics, not the same exact derailleurs with a huge motor and battery hooked to it…I love Sram Red but I don’t think I can co-sign this one guys… Shimano is about to release 3rd gen Di2! Innovate or be left in the dust… Amen

  11. @ FlashBazbo – Im not sure you fully grasp what ‘wireless’ means.

    @ Johnny Cash – you forgot the ‘ /s ‘ at the end of your little diatribe

  12. I’m not a fan of the front der. shifting either. I’m hoping for something else. That said, Di2 is not without its faults. There’s no shortage of batteries losing their contact point during races for pros and I’ve definitely seen my share of customers have those very issues. Compared to how many people that use Di2, I’d say its FAR MORE common than a broken shifter cable.

    At least with SRAM, you may still be able to shift one derailleur of a battery becomes dislodged(if its not at the shifters). With Shimano you’re SOL.

    ***I’ve also had great life out of SRAM stuff other than chains. I managed 65,000 miles out of first generation Rival shifters. A return spring(one that you can’t replace) broke so I had to push the right shifter level back to neutral so it could shift again. I actually kept riding it like this for thousands of miles before I Jerry Rigged it to work “normally” and sold it to a friend…he’s still riding it

  13. The problems i’ve seen with Di2 could be totally solved with the wireless, or they could be made worse. As far as the broken shift cables on DA9000 and Ult6800, it’s not a matter of “if” but “when”. 6000 to 8000 miles, like clockwork, sometimes as low are 4000. When I called Shimano to talk to them about it, they said “we recommend changing the cables annually”

    I run the service course for a junior race team. One of my kids is on his 4th set of cables for the year, and we still have 3 weeks left of road season.

  14. Why is everyone up in arms about having to use both shifters to shift the front dérailleur? I think it’s not a bad idea, I like how the rear dérailleur works though. What I think is really stupid is the Shimano mechanical shifting, moving the whole lever is just dumb.
    I think the best electronic group is Campy EPS, but really like the wireless of Sram. I’m sure soon, every company will be running wireless

  15. I have had the honor of riding this groupset on SRAMs tiny test track.

    Worked flawlessly, it’s a game changer.

  16. JBikes, no.

    Yes, you can buy a bog standard galvanized cable for under 2 bucks, but Shimano is designing these systems to work with special PTFE cables which run 15.95 each, and they still get shredded.

  17. Jeff, I’m with you. Campy EPS is in another league compared to Shimano. I’ve run their mechanical for years and the quality is spot on. The EPS version is a dream, flawless.

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