New riders rejoice! Synchrobox simplifies the shifting experience

To both the avid and occasional bike enthusiast the drivetrain can seem as confusing looking as it is to operate. For the average Joe who rides three times a season selecting the proper gear ratio can turn into a flurry of cross chaining, chain dropping madness. That’s where the Synchrobox comes into play. It was a little more than two years ago when we first reported on the self adjusting drivetrain system. It takes shift inputs from the rider and adjusts the front and rear derailleurs to the appropriate ratio, without the crunching of mismatched gears. It’s not currently available, but it’s good to know it’s getting closer to market…

The Synchrobox is a one of a kind system being that it is 100% mechanical. There’s no battery to charge, no programs to tune, and no shifters to pair. The gearbox is manipulated by a single twist shifter, and coverts the input into an ideal gear ratio. There isn’t a clear shot of the shifter unit, but based off of the gear mapping it seems like there are 13 pre-set shift positions. I should reiterate that this isn’t for peloton riders or downhill mountain bikers. Their target market is the entry level (sub $600) consumer. As they state in their web post, “A simple comparison of entry-level bikes in 2016 with an equivalent bike from 20 years ago shows very little evolution.” This is pretty accurate when considering the drivetrain on base level hybrids has seen the biggest changes in form and branding. Hopefully there’s an easy way to replace cables. The current expected retail price is €100.

Medium.com

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patrick
patrick
5 years ago

Wow. I’m really impressed. I still think a wide range 1x would serve most commuter bikes well, but this is a pretty cool idea.

greenlaker
greenlaker
5 years ago

Anybody else remember the EGS Syncro Shift? http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=359843

Luiggi
Luiggi
5 years ago

So this is basically a relocation of the EGS Synchro Shift mechanism. Instead of putting it in a big twist shifter, they moved it to a box near the FD.

Seraph
Seraph
5 years ago

But but but…we have 1x…why do we need auto shifting front derailleurs?

Andy
Andy
5 years ago
Reply to  Seraph

Yes, a triple crankset has always been the stupidest most useless pain in the ass thing for beginners and yet manufacturers continually insist on bolting them onto cheap bikes.

Jacques
Jacques
5 years ago
Reply to  Seraph

One area where 1x sucks is chain line. I still think a gearbox is the best solution once they are more affordable and weigh less

Tim
Tim
5 years ago
Reply to  Jacques

Gearboxes would need to lose over a kilo to compete with derailleur systems. The lightest Pinion system already uses super light magnesium to get the weight down; I don’t see how the weight could go down much further.

Mike D
Mike D
5 years ago

This strikes me as a solution looking for a problem. Can’t manage to figure out a rear derailleur AND a front derailleur? Oh no! The technology is simply *too* complicated! C’mooon.. that’s like saying a person can’t handle both a gas AND a brake pedal in an automobile.

1×8 or 9 does great around town. If you have hills, adding a double up front does the trick–selecting your chainring is not rocket science. If these guys are due any compliment, it is that they kept it mechanical. No batteries is a plus. Neat engineering, I just see zero need..

Gef
Gef
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike D

I used to work at a shop, and explaining the intricacies of a triple to a new cyclist is daunting, most of the time I would advise leaving it in the middle ring until they were more comfortable with the mechanics of it all.

iperov
iperov
5 years ago

easy to break front derailleur if you not know when shift appears

RobertW
RobertW
5 years ago

Looking forward to SynchroPedal so I know when to put pressure on the pedals. Up? Down? I don’t do this very often so need direction.

David
David
5 years ago

I took an informal poll last night, and front derailleur confusion is more common than I thought. For those of us who grew up with downtube friction shifters or 28/38/48 x 12-28, being in the right gear is habitual. Due to wide-range rear gearing, newer riders can get away with cross-chaining a 22/32 or 34/50 for a big chunk of their ride, so they do. Only 20% of drivers can operate a stick shift, so maybe it’s not surprising after all.

DJ
DJ
5 years ago

Very tough sell of a relatively high premium product for the low-end marketplace of noobies.

FrenchPress
FrenchPress
5 years ago

This could be good for the masses – not for Bike Rumor people. Shifting left and right and when and why is very confusing to “noobs”, this could simplify that and get more people actually riding bikes.

BikeHoarder6
BikeHoarder6
5 years ago

David wrote: “Only 20% of drivers can operate a stick shift, so maybe it’s not surprising after all.”

I had a girlfriend who drove a 5 speed manual Honda Accord, but for the life of me I couldn’t get her to even try to use the easiest grip shifter for the rear cassette on an old 8 speed cheapo MTB.