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SpyShots! – New SRAM Red Wireless @ Pro Challenge

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SRAM_New_Red_Wireless_Electronic_Shift_Leaver_RED_Logo_2

Barely being disguised by thin tape and subtle graphics, the new SRAM Red wireless electronic group is in full view at this year’s USA Pro Challenge in Colorado. We knew this was coming months ago when we discovered SRAM’s filed patents for wireless technology. As the first-ever wireless group moves its way through pre-production it has been test ridden by the Bissell Pro Cycling team since the beginning of this season. With the team relying solely on this new technology, and with no mechanical Red being used even as backup, the feedback from the riders is said to be all positive.

More news, insight from a Team Bissell rider, and way more pics after the break…And yes, now we know how the shifting works…

SRAM_New_Red_Wireless_Electronic_Full_Drivetrain

The team was tight lipped about the new SRAM goods, as was to be expected. No statistics are being given at this time. But they did happen to mention this particular equipment is a slight improvement from what they were riding at the Tour of California back in May.

SRAM_New_Red_Wireless_Electronic_Rear_Der_4

The rear derailleur appears only slightly altered from what was spotted back in California. The most notable difference being the complete lack of false wires. Clearly, enough word has gotten around about the wireless technology that SRAM no longer feels the need to fake the wires as they did during the Tour of California.

SRAM_New_Red_Wireless_Electronic_Rear_Der_5

The rear derailleur is still unmarked other than an embossed SRAM logo on the back of what is likely the battery.

SRAM_New_Red_Wireless_Electronic_Rear_Der_2 SRAM_New_Red_Wireless_Electronic_Rear_Der

SRAM_New_Red_Wireless_Electronic_Shift_Leaver_RED_Logo

There is no question anymore, that tape can’t hide the fact well enough, this is SRAM Red.

SRAM_New_Red_Wireless_Electronic_Shift_Leaver_2

Further questioning unearthed confirmation of what many have been speculating on – shifting execution…

SRAM_New_Red_Wireless_Electronic_Shift_Leaver_Inside_View

…the wireless Red sports two buttons in total, one on each lever. Push one for upshifts, the other for downshifts, press both simultaneously to shift from one chainring to the other.

SRAM_New_Red_Wireless_Electronic_Head_On_View

Speaking with one Team Bissell rider as he was waiting in line for an espresso at the Rapha trailer revealed his overall enthusiasm for the new wireless Red group. He chatted about the shifting style and even confirmed that holding down one of the buttons will engage a rapid-fire shift all the way down or up the cassette. He stated it is so fast that he’s had a hard time getting back on the older mechanical Red group.

SRAM_New_Red_Wireless_Electronic_Front_Der

The front derailleur appears not much larger than Shimano’s Di2 versions, even while including its own battery and motor. Rumor has it this new Red will be lighter than either electronic offering from Japan or Italy.

SRAM_New_Red_Wireless_Electronic_Front_Crank_And_Der

Keep your eyes open for more news to follow as SRAM brings this game-changing Red group to market.

 

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87 Comments
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Joseph Clemenzi
8 years ago

but will it blend…

Dude
Dude
8 years ago

Now that is effing cool.

Stuck at work
Stuck at work
8 years ago

First ever wireless group? Anybody else remember Mektronic?

The Goats
8 years ago

Exciting stuff!

Hopeful that loss of cables and housing might also provide weight savings not to mention cleaner lines on bikes, lower wind resistance and no more cables rubbing fancy paint jobs (good for those snazzy road bikes).

Goats

Seraph
Seraph
8 years ago

So let’s see if I understand this correctly: one shifter controls both derailleurs? If I want to shift up I press one button, down another button, and from the big to small ring or small to big I press both at the same time?

Sounds complicated but I’m sure it will become easier with use.

PartyTime
PartyTime
8 years ago

Seraph. Right shifter button moves it left (higher cogs 28) (think how your hand moves when you shift) Left shifter moves it back down (low cogs 11) Push both shifters in to jump between big rings. Small learning curve at first but sounds legit. Stoked to try it for real.

PartyTime
PartyTime
8 years ago

Now we just need wireless brakes. 2-4 years out maybe?

Ripnshread
Ripnshread
8 years ago

Now all the bike makers need to produce frames compatible with cables/wires/and nothing. Lol…bunch of new “plugs” gonna hit the market.

anonymous
anonymous
8 years ago

So is this going to be lighter than other electronic options? DI2 and EPS weight is in the battery. Unlike the mechanical versions, both sets of levers are very light, where mechanical RED has a big advantage in weight over the others. The other place is BB30 cranks.

Dirty-d
Dirty-d
8 years ago

Where is the time trial versions??? No more crazy funky wiring!!!

NotAMachinist
NotAMachinist
8 years ago

@Stuck at Work

Unfortunately yes, I do remember Mektronic. Bzzt,bzzt,clickety-clickety-rattle-bzztclickity-clunk. Repeat.

Maybe this should read “Their (SRAMs) first wireless group”, or hopefully for SRAM “The first reliable wireless group.”

JBikes
JBikes
8 years ago

Hopefully batteries are easily removal and dockable, but I do view multiple batteries as one downside versus the single battery competition. Also, as battery tech gets even better it may be easer to upgrade a single battery verses 4 and I’d expect the cost would be lower too. But the upside is a cleaner install.
As for shift buttons. No real issues. It does kinda suck to lose both front and back if one shifter gets damaged/fails though.
looks about as cool as a groupset can look.

Brattercakes
Brattercakes
8 years ago

This is a game changer.

Daniel
Daniel
8 years ago

Wireless means you could jam the signal (maybe even hack). Imagine somebody shifting you into a gear (or not letting u shift at a critical moment) you don’t want at the finish line taking you out of a race.

1Pro
1Pro
8 years ago

sign me the phuke up!

480rider
480rider
8 years ago

Yawn…I’ll keep my mechanical Campagnolo. The electronic systems are cool–wired or not–but they are not going to make any cycling Joes or pros better. I always get a good chuckle when someone in the group forgets to charge their battery and they are stuck in their 11 tooth cog for the remainder of the ride.

someone with something
someone with something
8 years ago

@ Daniel. So true….I can’t think of how many times I walked out to a parking lot, blipped my keyfob and unlocked someone else’s car by accident.

Coded digital transmission is reeeally hard to hack/interfere with unless you’re DARPA.

Woody
Woody
8 years ago

@NotAMachinist

SRAM and reliable are not synonymous, especially with new product launches. See hydraulic road launch. How long did it take them to fix their weak Red front derailleur? I would wait for version 3 from these guys.

CXisfun
CXisfun
8 years ago

@480rider: how often are you riding with people with dead batteries? I’m getting a thousand + miles out of my Di2 bikes between charges.

My current road bike (splits time between Di2 CX bike) hasn’t been charged since the end of March and still shows a green light….

Matt
Matt
8 years ago

I would definitely wait at least one generation on this technology from SRAM.

Ilikeicedtea
Ilikeicedtea
8 years ago

@Daniel

OFFS

Stampers
Stampers
8 years ago

@Matt…so true…I’m not an early adopter of new tech. first, its way too pricey, and second, I don’t want to be a guinea pig for the inevitable hiccups… give me 2nd or 3rd gen refinement and cheaper (ie XT, Ultegra etc) high end groupos

greg
greg
8 years ago

all this and the pulley cage looks identical to their mechanical offerings, which means sloppy tolerances, pulley bolts not perpendicular to the cages, and prematurely wearing cage pivot, causing the cage to move left as the lower pulley moves forward. pulleys will probably crack regularly too.
they should fix their mechanicals before they attempt this stuff.

AndyPandy
AndyPandy
8 years ago

Why?

It just seems stupid to take one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly machines and then tag on parts that weigh more and require recharging and special disposal/recycling.

Brattercakes
Brattercakes
8 years ago

Good call, @Matt.

Maxx
Maxx
8 years ago

Despite all the media hooha… has there been a video of this thing functioning well and proper?

Please do share if you have seen one ??

EricM1
EricM1
8 years ago

Those early wires described as a clumsy disguise were more likely a field test monitoring system. Boeing puts extensive temporary flight test wiring in first of model airplanes to make sure that all the new bits are performing as designed. It makes trouble shooting much easier.

mudrock
mudrock
8 years ago

For a team to have raced this all season w/o mechanical groups on their B bikes speaks well of its reliability. Those who doubt should consider that.

JBikes
JBikes
8 years ago

@AndyPandy
AGREE. High end mech groups shift very well (ultegra+, chorus+). I make a very small tuning adjustment maybe every 1000-5000k miles. Much less maintenance than dealing with batteries. I run Campy, so triming is easy. I personally think e-groups are kinda neat, but I’ll never buy one if they are more expensive than the equivalent hi-end mech group. Most of my drivetrain maintenance is lubrication cleaning based and that wont change with this.
Then again, I love tinkering with mechanical mechanism to make them work to perfection…

BK
BK
8 years ago

Any word on whether they’ve incorporated some sort of setup mode? Us wrenches are going to have a heck of a time trying to shift through the gears with a bike in a repair stand. Shift with both hands, pedal with your… teeth?

mudrock
mudrock
8 years ago

The biggest impediment to reliable shift after shift is cable friction and stretch. We’ve dealt with that. Taking that out is big. Now there is no complicated setup with wires and batteries in the post or bolted under or over the downtube. just bolt on the parts.

The front and rear batteries look identical. the group will most likely have a spare. How hard can it be to swap out batteries, say, once a month?

MaLóL
MaLóL
8 years ago

the thing of the buttons, is just because of shimano patents (that they allow campy to use, but not sram). It’s worse, but that is life.

on the other hand, being wireless (1) and with no central battery (2) makes it great. Also, with sram, if the batteries are swapable front-rear. if one goes down, you can still put the one that is not empty on the rear 😉

What about remote buttoms like shimano?

Craig
Craig
8 years ago

And here I was thinking I had the latest and greatest with my new 3 spd internal hub….Electronic shifting, like the internet (and cell phones) will just be a passing fad.

SB
SB
8 years ago

If it doesn’t work, can I get a hacker to hack it into Shimano?

MarkV
8 years ago

“And our crummy direct mount Bontager brakes make it hard to go back to brakes that actually stop well…..” 😉
How easy we forgive SRAM’s quest to be first, while the public gets used as test dummies. Not a fan of flash without thought out Real World longevity. Lastly….didn’t SRAM say something about never going electric a bit go in their ads, oh yeah Blah, Blah, Blah.

Chinso
8 years ago

Is a nice Work But i dont like where rear derrailleur battery is placed. So, with this wireless design Two more batteries are necessary? 3 batteries?!

1 batterie for emitter at levers.
2 batterie front derralieur receiver.
3 batterie rear derralieur receiver.

Too much batteries…

LawyerKnowItAll
LawyerKnowItAll
8 years ago

Will it update my twitter?

MMC
MMC
8 years ago

What ever happened to SRAM’s mega campaign knocking Di2 and EPS with their “No Batteries Required” ????

SRAM eating crow!

MMC
MMC
8 years ago

What ever happened to SRAM’s mega campaign knocking Di2 and EPS with their “No Batteries Required” ????

SRAM eating crow!

Having to worry about 4 batteries(both hoods, Frt Der & Rear Der) would be a nightmare

MMC
MMC
8 years ago
MrSarcastic
MrSarcastic
8 years ago

@MarkV, @MMC – For example this video:

Andy
Andy
8 years ago

“Coded digital transmission is reeeally hard to hack/interfere with unless you’re DARPA.”

But if you know the frequency, you can jam it, though of course setting up a team bus with a load of powerful transmitters in would be illegal.

C.
C.
8 years ago

If SRAM is clever enough to know that they only need to use supercaps/light batteries for both derailleurs as they understand that both areas are able to produce power through induction (esp. rear).

Rick
Rick
8 years ago

Most of you guys don’t realize how simple the controls really are.

@Seraph
“So let’s see if I understand this correctly: one shifter controls both derailleurs?”
Nope. Each shifter has only one button. Hit the right shifter for downshifts (easier). Hit the left shifter for upshifts (harder). And, of course, both shifters at once to switch between chainrings.

@MaLóL
“the thing of the buttons, is just because of shimano patents (that they allow campy to use, but not sram). It’s worse, but that is life.”
I don’t think that’s the case… the 4-button controls on Shimano Di2 shares the same arrangement as the mechanical shifters they have been making for over 2 decades.

The 4-lever mechanical system that Shimano and Campy have used for many years is actually more complex than this, in spite of the fact that we’re all very well acclimated to it. A big reason that shifting on a road bike is a bit unnatural to a first-time user is that the big lever of your left shifter performs an upshift while the big lever on the right shifter performs the opposite function. I think that’s second nature to just about everyone here, but the initial learning curve might actually be bigger.

This 2-button system seems more intuitive. Think of it like paddle shifters on a car, where there’s a “+” paddle on one side of the steering wheel and a “-” paddle on the other side. It’s just easier to think about than navigating the “H” pattern on a manual.

In this application, it’s simpler because you can associate your left hand with upshifting and your right hand with downshifting, instead of thinking about which button to push with a given hand. When you push the button on the right shifter, your chain will move to the right. When you push the button on the left shifter, your chain will move the the left. Boom.

Rick
Rick
8 years ago

@Seraph
Yo I meant left shifter for easier and right shifter for harder. At least, that’s what I’ve heard and that would make sense since your left shifter would move the chain left and your right shifter would move the chain right. Cheers.

m68k
m68k
8 years ago

First of all I am riding Campy, but I am not against SRAM, as I was for a long time a SACHS enthusiast. Due to the fact, that I have one bike (Merida Reacto Team) for roadraces and Tiathlon, I am very interested in a system nearly without cables.

So here is my question:
I often shift front and rear at the same time when I come to uphill.
I shift down (smaller chainring) in front and up (several cogs smaller) in the rear by pushing both, left and right, big levers at the same time. I ride compact and 12-27, so I get to the nearly same transmission but I have then a brighter range of climbing gears in my right hand.

How do I do this on this new electronic SRAM Red??

Curious to test it.

rupert3k
8 years ago

Nice start to the wireless self contained shifters & mechs we’ve been expecting, albeit a little bulbous & clunky in it’s beta form.
Guess the shifter battery is in the conehead, which normally houses the hydraulic apparatus.
I wonder if Shimano will stick with a centralized battery when they finally cut the wires.
Good on yah SRAM, keep it coming.

Mike
Mike
8 years ago

I just don’t like the design. Switching to double tap was like a revelation…I’m honestly a little disappointed that sram couldn’t figure it out. There’s a small chance I’ll stick around in the SRAM camp after my red stuff wears out…. Probably going to campy if for nothing else because they can stick to a design. So long SRAM.

Mike

Andy
Andy
8 years ago

“I wonder if Shimano will stick with a centralized battery when they finally cut the wires.”

You might want to think that through.

Tom
Tom
8 years ago

Above – put one battery in the right chain stay and run wires to FD and RD. Will also let them talk to each other so FD can trim itself.

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