FSA electronic shifting drivetrain looking polished on Tour de France bikes

prototype FSA electronic shifting group for road bikes spotted at Tour de France

Spotted last year later in Le Tour, the FSA electronic shifting group has been further refined and made another late-in-the-game appearance at this year’s Tour de France, too. This time, though, it’s looking nearly production ready and our inquiries to FSA were met with this response: “Make sure you come see us at Eurobike.”

So, they’re not giving up details, but we were able to get these photos from a friendly source that show off some key details…

prototype FSA electronic shifting group for road bikes spy shots

The brake levers are wide and have a pronounced bend to bring the braking area out where your fingers tend to be when actually riding. The hoods are sized such that we suspect they could house hydraulic braking bits if need be, but the Cofidis and Direct Energie team bikes shown here were all running rim brake calipers.

prototype FSA electronic shifting group for road bikes spy shots

The shifter buttons look to be on a rocker panel, putting up and down shifting in close proximity to each other. The one on top of the other layout could be their way of working around competing patents.

prototype FSA electronic shifting group for road bikes spy shots

Unless they’re playing the same games SRAM did, then it’s a wired system, putting the motor on top of the front derailleur. Just barely visible on the top of the motor case are what could be indicator lights or adjustment buttons.

prototype FSA electronic shifting group for road bikes spy shots

The parallelogram links appear to be robust, as does the motor based on the housing’s size.

prototype FSA electronic shifting group for road bikes spy shots

Out back, the rear derailleur’s motor looks to be housed where the usual parallelogram links would be.

prototype FSA electronic shifting group for road bikes spy shots

What’s not visible from this angle is how it works, but it could be that it pushes the pulley cage in or out by twisting the motor body around the B-knuckle’s protrusion, with a control arm to keep the lower P-knuckle and pulley cage facing straight forward. We’re about two months out from Eurobike, so it won’t be long before we know exactly how it works.

Why is FSA creating a complete group? With such a deep sponsorship of pro teams, it’s almost certainly a thorn in their side that some teams can’t run their cranksets due to complete group sponsorship deals with SRAM, Shimano and Campagnolo. The other reason is OEM sales, which at the end of the day is what drives most product development decisions for the big companies. A complete drivetrain system would let them provide 100% FSA parts on a bike, and those are some of the same reasons Rotor developed their hydraulic group.

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29 Comments
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brettrobinson
6 years ago

Exciting!

MaraudingWalrus
6 years ago

I’m down for more players in the groupset market. Would be exciting to see more competition & pressure on the big boys. any more news on Microshift’s electronic stuff?

David Tollefson
6 years ago

I’m not seeing any wires from the shifters, so it looks like they’ve continued with the semi-wireless design (derailleurs wired together to a single battery).

myke2241
myke2241
6 years ago

I’m not a huge fan of FSA since my properly torqued SLK crankset fell off mid ride. Their support was awful at best. The groupo looks ok but I’ll stick with shimmy and sram who have outstanding customer support

Maus Haus
Maus Haus
6 years ago

Their US customer service is the WORST. Why deal with a company like this when others are clearly better to work with.
http://www.inc.com/chris-haroun/why-companies-like-apple-and-amazon-always-have-the-best-customer-service.html

Birdman
Birdman
6 years ago

“Polished” is a strong word… But that’s just me.

lop
lop
6 years ago
Reply to  Birdman

In the sense that one can “polish” a turd, it is polished!

dG
dG
6 years ago

this looks like a wireless group through and through. the extra cables there might fool the journos and whatnot. still can’t wait to see the final stuff.

Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot
6 years ago

They’re going to have to get super aggressive with pricing on the OEM market to outcompete Shimano, I’m seeing quite a few Ui2 bikes for less than 4 grand.

lop
lop
6 years ago

There is no such thing as “Ui2”.

Duke Nukem
Duke Nukem
6 years ago
Reply to  lop

It’s a nickname that’s commonly used on forums in place of writing out “Ultegra Di2”.

Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot
6 years ago
Reply to  lop

I wrote through facebook whilst on the toilet, needless to see I didn’t have time to be verbose.

Turd Furgeson
Turd Furgeson
6 years ago

Those derailleurs look way too bulky not to have batteries in them.

Scotty
Scotty
6 years ago

A little late with the story. FSA has said during the tour that there is a seatpost battery and the wires run from the battery to the front and rear derailleurs. It is wireless from the shifters to the derailleur and uses Ant+.

David Tollefson
6 years ago
Reply to  Scotty

Yeah, given that, I’m looking at eTap for my coming builds.

rosey
rosey
6 years ago

because so many companies are screaming for yet another OEM option and set of SKU’s??? FSA products that include threaded bits or moving parts are total crap. Fool me once, shame on you; FSA won’t fool me twice.

Maus Haus
Maus Haus
6 years ago

Thanks for censoring my honest clean comment. You guys rock… just like communist China.

Kristi Benedict
Admin
Kristi Benedict(@kristibee)
6 years ago
Reply to  Maus Haus

Maus Haus, your comment was awaiting moderation since your screen name is new, it was not censored.

Antipodean_eleven
6 years ago

I’ll be eTap all the way. I see little point going electronic if there are still wires from here to there. Plus, eTap + disc is a total winner for me.

Maus Haus
Maus Haus
6 years ago

Thank you Kristi

Comrad
Comrad
6 years ago

Looks like what you’d expect from a walmart bike that has electronic shifting. Looks so cheap.

Marin
Marin
6 years ago

What’s wrong with cables?
I got lightly used Emonda with DA for 1200€. Why should I spend 4-5k for Ultegra Di2 or similar bike?

Mitch
Mitch
6 years ago

It will likely be trash just like everything else FSA does. I’ve been burned on too many FSA parts that are just garbage OEM bits. I’ve even been burned by their rim strips!

Jeb
Jeb
6 years ago

Their industrial design person isn’t.

Long live the King!
Long live the King!
6 years ago

I will stick with my Huret derailleurs and silent non-indexed down tube levers for the time being.

Technician
Technician
6 years ago

Nice call! I’ll stick with my DT index shifters with non-indexed option available by just turning the lever. It works fine with 8-speed cassette, all 8 gears work flawlessly even in indexed mode and that comes from 7-speed shifter.

MK
MK
6 years ago

There is a wire going from the battery in the seatpost down to the front derailleur and from the front derailleur to the rear. However it is wireless to the shifters.

Bob Rippleston
Bob Rippleston
6 years ago

Wow. That front derailleur is like a centimeter above the rings… What the actual what is up with that? Terrible setup to tease a new product.

MotoPete
MotoPete
6 years ago
Reply to  Bob Rippleston

It needs to be up that high, so your eyes do not notice the mismatch between cage and chainring.