Spotted at the Illinois state cyclocross championships and photo’d by Von R Buzzard, this presumably prototype SRAM Red electronic derailleur and shifter could mean they’re finally powering up their own version.
Buzard told us he shot the photo without realizing what he captured, but thanks to an eagle eyed Bikerumor reader (thanks MacArthur!), we were tipped off to it (after it was first posted to VeloNews)and, well, here it is. Even at full res and full size, it’s a bit grainy, so there’s only the obvious to spout. First, it obviously works quite well cross chained, as does the current Red 22 group. Second, there’s a small boxy section at the rear of the derailleur that likely houses the motor. Lastly, looks like a battery on the stem, and possibly (hopefully) some sort of tie in with the Garmin computer on the front. That last bit is doubtful, but how sweet would it be for it to tie into Quarq’s (owned by SRAM) power meters and use that to highlight power output in different gear ratios. Hello, geekery!
Tap that ‘more’ button for closeup crops below…
A bit boxier than Shimano Di2 and Campagnolo EPS, but who knows where it is in the development stage. We’re guessing close if it’s out in the wild, but we’re also guessing it’ll get a bit more streamlined before making its debut.
These are mated to standard cantilever brakes, so it’s no surprise the lever hoods are pretty sleek. They still appear to have SRAM’s tall front poke, which I think is quite comfy, but the button nub looks pretty small. It’ll be interesting to see how they get around the other two designs. Could give DoubleTap a whole new meaning. Or, what if there’s only one button per side and it automatically shifts front and rear to keep the gear ratio ideal? Obviously, that wouldn’t be how it’s working here given the chain position, but still cool. And entirely possible from a technological standpoint. Of course, this is all speculation.
So far we haven’t heard back from SRAM, and typically it’ll just be that they’re “always testing stuff”. Calls are in, update here if/when we get it. Official SRAM Comment: “Development product, no specifics available, no additional comment.”
Huge thanks to Von R Buzard for sharing the pics!
Now, let’s have some fun. Shimano’s calling it Di2 (Digital Integrated Intelligence), Campy’s got EPS (Electronic Power Shift). What do you suppose SRAM will call theirs? Leave it in the comments, keep it clean. Best answer (as determined by us and that we don’t have to delete for language) wins a Bikerumor pint glass!