The latest wireless shifting option from Archer Components has a fascinating backstory. While many forms of wireless shifting are designed simply to remove shift cables from the equation, the Archer MFR or Multi-Functional Remote was built with more noble intentions.
The idea was to provide a remote that would allow riders with specific needs to plug in unique accessibility switches. The goal was to make it easier for riders to build custom setups that would still allow them to ride, even if traditional shifters are out of the question. To do that, the MFR remote has a single or double 3.5mm headphone jack that allows you to plug in all kinds of switches—apparently, you could add an infinite number of switches if you wanted to with the right wiring.
But as it turns out, this setup is also great for dropbars allowing for multiple shifter positions. Since the current iteration of the prototype buttons is fairly small, you can position it just about anywhere you want. Archer has plans to sell single sets or double sets meaning you would have two or four shift buttons for dropbar configurations. Accessibility folks will likely buy just the MFR remote and supply their own custom switches based on their individual needs.
The MFR is powered by a rechargeable LiPo (lithium polymer) battery cell, and is expected to provide around 25h battery life.
The MFR is then paired with the typical Archer D1X shifter which uses a short length of derailleur cable and housing to control the derailleur. This was definitely still in the prototype phase with 3D printed components, but it will be interesting to see what the final version looks like. Considering all of Archer’s shifters have been focused on 1x to this point, we’re wondering if we’ll ever see a 2x wireless shifting system that doesn’t require two separate shifters and two remotes. Otherwise, you’ll still be able to use the MFR system to make a 1x dropbar setup that can shift from multiple locations if desired.
Once available, Archer expects the kit to sell for $399 with a D1x Shifter, MFR Remote, and a set of buttons.
Prototype Remote Paddle
That wasn’t all the 3D printed prototypes Archer had on display—they also had this interesting shift paddle. Currently, the MTB-focused Micro-Adjust Remote uses a twin push-button arrangement. This new version would use a rocker paddle to shift both up and down the cassette.
For being a 3D printed prototype, the shifter felt pretty good, offering slight tactile feedback with each rocker press. But it is still a prototype, and there are no further details or plans for production just yet…