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XShifter soon shipping wireless shifting, extends pre-order price through Indiegogo

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Like a number of high tech crowd sourced projects before them, XShifter has experienced a number of delays on their way to production. But they can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Initially, the rewards from Kickstarter were expected to ship by March 2017. According to inventor Paul Gallagher, a number of software development issues and bugs kept pushing back delivery meaning Kickstarter backers are still waiting for their product.

XShifter soon shipping wireless shifting, extends pre-order price through Indiegogo

However, Paul says that they are now very close to shipping the first units – estimating about two weeks. The first XShifters to go out the door will be their 1x systems, with the 2x systems following about four weeks behind. Paul says this is due to the fact that in order to make sure the 2x systems are working properly, they have to ensure the PCBs from the 1x systems are dialed first. We spoke with Paul immediately following a testing session and he said he was very pleased with the way the shifters were working, and that it’s “pretty much ready to go.” He also confirmed that there will be both iOS and Android apps available to customize the shifting settings.

XShifter soon shipping wireless shifting, extends pre-order price through Indiegogo XShifter soon shipping wireless shifting, extends pre-order price through Indiegogo

As a result, XShifter is going back to crowd sourcing, this time through Indiegogo. Current backers don’t need to fret though – Paul says that everything will ship out based on when they were ordered. So Kickstarter backers will get their XShifters first, followed by those who have pre-ordered the kits directly from the XShifter site, followed by the Indiegogo orders which are expected to arrive around December 2017. Through the Indiegogo campaign, XShifter 1x systems are available for $199 for the early bird, and $249 there after. A 2x version is also offered for $449, but it won’t be available until January for Indiegogo backers.

Farther down the line will be the XShifter TT/Tri system which was on display at Interbike (title image, and above). The system will use the same “shifter” pod as the other systems, but gains bar end compatibility which could be a godsend for complicated cable routing on tri bikes.

indiegogo.com

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Ryan S
Ryan S
6 years ago

But, why…? Still has a cable that’s going to get dirty and need changed, at historically the worst part (derailleur), and now you have to charge batteries. It keeps the worst features of both options.

TimE
TimE
6 years ago

It reduces the cable run to almost nothing and the section that is kept is typically not the section of cables that gives trouble.

Secondly it converts any cables derailleur set up to a wireless shifter which eases maintenance, cable routing and delivers a more consistent repeatable shift.
This will be a great upgrade for any MTB

Duzzi
Duzzi
6 years ago
Reply to  TimE

Only advantage I can see is if the ergonomics are better than a Shimano XT/XTR pod. Otherwise a Shimano mechanical set up is pretty much flow less and effortless …

Seraph
Seraph
6 years ago
Reply to  Duzzi

The fix for crappy Shimano ergonomics is to switch to a superior shifting system.

Dominic
Dominic
6 years ago
Reply to  TimE

100% untrue, the first piece of housing that needs to be replaced is right at the derailleur. Annnnnd the termination of the cable is the first pice to get screwed up. This is all of the worst of all worlds.

Seraph
Seraph
6 years ago
Reply to  Dominic

With Link Housing from Jagwire you can eliminate about 90% of the friction at the rear derailleur.

artitectus
6 years ago

also allows control of dropper (how many times do folks complain about the ergonomics of those levers) … ditto an IGH, and in theory could mount to a rohloff hub … also doesn’t care about pull ratios – it could be just as happy on Sram as Shimano as Campy … in theory.

Carlo Dy
6 years ago

If there was a way to mount this on my TRP Hylex brake levers so I don’t have to run a bar end shifter, that would be sweet

Klaster_1
Klaster_1
6 years ago
Reply to  Carlo Dy

I have a similar idea: Xshifter Dual and a ST-R9170. This combo might potentially be lighter than the stock Di2 and you can run any front/rear derailleur. Electric wiring should be way more easy to hack, I’m sure anyone remotely proficient in electronics would be able to connect Di2 buttons to an Xshifter pod board.

Paul
6 years ago
Reply to  Klaster_1

Thanks for all your opinions. I think some of you are missing the biggest advantage. It’s computer controlled. This means it’s precise beyond anything else available. You really don’t realize how badly tuned your gears are until you use something like this. It’s like moving from standard TV to Ultra HD. You never go back again. I did a lot of measurements and study on these systems. Even the best mechanical system is only accurate to 0.5mm at the derailleur end. 0.2mm is enough to cause shifting noise and issues. XShifter is verified accurate to 0.01mm.

As for cables, it takes about a minute to change the cable on XShifter. No disassembly required, just slip the cable through the cable port. We have made it intentionally as easy as possible. And, the smoothness of the shifting greatly reduces cable wear and breakage. It doesn’t snap the derailleur into place when up shifting like mech does.

i
i
6 years ago
Reply to  Paul

“Even the best mechanical system is only accurate to 0.5mm at the derailleur end. 0.2mm is enough to cause shifting noise and issues.”

so you’re claiming it’s impossible to get a traditional mechanical system to operate without shifting noise and issues? Really, you’re claiming that?

I want to repeat one more time, for clarity, that you believe that the shifting systems that millions of us have and that work very, very well without “shifting noise and issues” don’t, in fact, exist

TheKaiser
TheKaiser
6 years ago
Reply to  i

And not only that, but he seems to be saying that by removing a portion of the cable (but still keeping the final run to the derailleur), precision is improved from .5 to .01mm.

I would be willing to bet that the .01 figure actually is at their actuator, and they are comparing the figures for their actuator alone, without any cable run, with a worst case scenario of a cheap, flexy, and friction filled full mech system. There is no way that they’d get an improvement that great without going to a full servo at the derailleur, as with Di2.

It should go without saying that these measures should be made in a apples to apples comparison, and measures at the derailleur are far more meaningful as, even if this electronic cable actuator is far more precise than a mech one, if that final stretch of cable, flex in the final bit of housing, play in the der pivots, float in the top pulley (for der models that include this self aligning feature) etc…make up the majority of the imprecision, then even a 10x improvement at the actuator will not dramatically improve the signal to noise ratio.

TheKaiser
TheKaiser
6 years ago
Reply to  TheKaiser

Having said all the skeptical stuff, I do like the low price point, the potential to improve certain worst case scenario cable routing bikes, and the potential to allow some cool frankenbike mix and match parts combos.

whatever
whatever
6 years ago
Reply to  i

There is some fundamental issue to what he is saying, though I don’t know about the numbers provided. But its that fundamental issue is why you have to have barrel adjusters to make fine adjustments to compensate. Also why barrel adjusters have to be adjusted over time to continue to compensate for housing compression etc.

Tioga
Tioga
6 years ago
Reply to  Carlo Dy

Carlo, when the Pod-R comes out, you’ll be able to fix it to the inside of one of your brake hoods. I’m considering doing the same thing with Hylex brakes myself.

Shuff
Shuff
6 years ago

Paul, saying that this will improve the shifting it still is running cables the cables are still subject to stretching so how is it any diffrent to mechanical shifting?? Stick to Di2 at least in a year ro two’s time when the company has gone under and you need spares Shimano will still be kicking around.

Besides how long will it be beofre Sram release eTap on MTB? 6-12 months??

Tom Hughes (@tomrhughes)

I have a tandem that my 2x unit will be going on when it arrives. It has S&S couplers, which is great for travel. However, it is a bear to set up the shifters once it comes out of the suitcases and gets re-assembled. Wireless (and mostly cableless) shifting will make a big difference. Also: triple front ring.

Loki
Loki
6 years ago

Wow, reading some of these responses shows how little understanding there really is on the systems we run.

Besides the ‘cables don’t really stretch, housings compress’ point, the fact that some are missing the point that even if it still uses a cable that cable is a little more than significantly shorter makes a fundamental difference. The longer the length of cable and housing, the more likely to have inaccuracy in the system. Add cables stops, unseated ferrules and routing bends to aggravate this even further. Trying to setup a tandem derailleur would illustrate that practically.

If this was set up on a full suspension bike with cable and housing flexing through the travel, crossing pivot points and having to follow odd routing due to shocks and linkages are you really trying to posit this would have the same shifting issues because it has 100mm of cable?

Aaaand you have 100mm of housing to get contaminated as opposed to 500 -1 200mm? Wait, for the princely sum of $200 as opposed to $1 000-$2 000?

I don’t think this system is perfect, but at least, if you’re going to rain on their parade, have criticism that’s above the level of Luddite.

TimE
TimE
6 years ago
Reply to  Loki

well said.
When I run separated cable housing the first run of cable from the shifter to the frames first stop always wore out faster because its collects sweat and water. The loop at the derailleur always lasted longer and often I would not other to replace it because it was so short and little effect on the shift quality. always the longer run of housing caused the problems and I work on a lot of bikes.
This electro mechanical hybrid system could be much easier to live with. Especially if a bike has internal cable routing.
Kudos to Xshifter for bringing it to market. I would be happy to prove skeptics wrong by running this system at the Absa Cape Epic in March 2018.

Gillis
Gillis
6 years ago
Reply to  Loki

This. I kept reading all these gross generalizations trying to tear down the claims, and was bashing my head on the table.

whatever
whatever
6 years ago

While I don’t like everything about this, some of you aren’t thinking this through.

First, the cost is much much less than Shimano of SRAM and works with most or all of the standard groupsets.

Second, since the cable is a small fraction of the length of a full run cable, there is inherently less “play”, less friction, etc. Longer cable have more friction etc that reduces accuracies and efficiencies. By the same token, if a cable “stretches” 2% in length in it’s life, 2% on a 50 cm cable is allot less than 2% on a 1 meter cable.

Third, as mentioned ratios means nothing. Therefore mixing and matching components will be much easier. Road front mech, with mtb rear mech… some people would like that on a gravel/bike packing setup.

Fourth, more competition, the better. Force the other players to improve their offerings and lower their prices for electronic shifting.

Loki
Loki
6 years ago
Reply to  whatever

+1

PooperScooper
PooperScooper
6 years ago

But you’re still missing the plot. It’s a neat innovation. It’s fun to play around with and add only mildly necessary bits to bikes. Might not be necessary, but that doesn’t matter–it’s fun. It’s fun to buy and mount new things that improve or change our current set ups, and it might be an improvement, however mild. It’s cheaper than Di2, and it’s much, much cheaper than eTap. Might not be as cool, but it’s much more accessible to those of us that aren’t dentists or architects. Bicker about 200 millimeters of cable contamination all you want, but you’re missing the forest for the trees. This is the kind of innovation that makes bikes, and playing around with them, lots of fun.

Paul
6 years ago

For the skeptics, here is a video demonstrating the repeatability of the system. This is with original 3D printed components. The production stuff is better, I just haven’t gotten around to making a video.

https://youtu.be/_QnbCSQe6fk

TheKaiser
TheKaiser
6 years ago
Reply to  Paul

Thank you for the link. I stand corrected, that impressive .01mm precision you mentioned in an earlier comment is for the whole system, not just the actuator. Do you also have a video which shows the test demonstrating how bad mechanical setups are by comparison, so we can see how “even the best” can only achieve .5mm accuracy?

The Dude
The Dude
6 years ago

I’m sure service parts will be readily available through LBS nationwide. Sounds like a great option for people who like to have the fanciest non-working bike around!

Gillis
Gillis
6 years ago

My only comment is that I’m not a fan of thumb-thumb shifters. I much prefer a index-thumb configuration. Obviously this is a cheaper set up, but perhaps in the future an upgrade or trigger option would be nice.

Ryan
Ryan
6 years ago

I guess if you find shifting and adjusting cable systems difficult this is probably a good way to go, but like Di2 it solves problems I really don’t seem to have.

Dylan
Dylan
6 years ago

That cost comparison is way, WAY off. With this product US$199 buys you a single shifter, that ships whenever they are eventually ready. Or wait till they actually exist, and pay $249. Of $449 if you haven’t drunk the 1x Kool Aid. No brake levers or derailleurs included.
Electroninc shifting products you can order today and have in your hands within a week: US$974 gets you a set of Ultegra 6870 front and rear shift/brake levers AND derailleurs. Or for $1162.59 you can get a complete 6870 Di2 rim brake groupset, right down to the chain and BB. Or around $1600 for the complete disc brake groupset. Step up to about $1700 for a complete current Ultegra 8050 groupset, or $2400 for Dura Ace 9150. Or $2k gets you a SRAM eTap hydro mini groupset (shifters, brake calipers, front and rear derailleurs). Or Campy Chorus EPS complete groupset about $1600, or record V3 EPS gear shifters and derailleur for under $1400.

For a travel tandem I can see this as a worthy upgrade on an existing bike, but otherwise I’m scratching my head. Who else is really having shifting problems with mechanical that couldn’t be solved by a competent mechanic for the price of some new cables and housing and straightening the hanger?

Gillis
Gillis
6 years ago

Your comparison is way off. Right off the bat you compare a few a hundred dollar upgrade to a complete new set of shifters and derailleurs. Then keep stepping it up long past the point anyone considering this would even look at.
Compare apples to apples:

Mechanical XT shifter and rear der.: $135* + $250 for Xshifter = $385
Di2 XT shifter, R der, battery: $520* (plus whatever cables and accerssories are needed)

*prices quickly taken from ChainReaction

So my two minutes or research show an approximate $135 difference. And really, if you already have a decent drivetrain not requiring replacement then this an inexpensive upgrade that is transferable to other bikes.

Tom
Tom
6 years ago

I’ll probably pay this just to eliminate one internally routed cable!

Paul
6 years ago

I respect all the opinions here. There is some truth to all of them. Like I’ve said many times, this product isn’t for everyone. I can only vouch for my own personal experience. Once you have precision control like this on your drive train, you will never want to go back. It was my personal experience with Di2 and eTap that motivated me to create this system because I knew there had to be a better and cheaper way of achieving the same end result.

Domitarou
Domitarou
6 years ago

I am the one of the backers.
I can’t wait make my old old Suntour Superbe derailleur into a wireless 10 speed system! 😉

Rich
6 years ago

Still not shipping and it is mid December. Facebook page is quietly silent since first of Oct. Looks like Paul does not live in US anymore. Initial ship date was supposed to be last march. If the system is working so well now as Paul claims then why isn’t he giving some independent testers some units to run through the wringer?
What is the battery life particularly with clutch systems that take more energy? Will it hold up to rain and water immersion?
A solenoid and a 3 d printer could make something look good but has anyone in the press ridden one yet?
Initially I thought it was cool but alarm bells are going off for me. He has almost $150,000 from kickstarter alone and who knows how much from web sales etc.
Ship the dang product and I will be happy to eat crow. I might even buy one but not til they are out and proven. Quit taking customer money and deliver Paul!!

th3bill
5 years ago

Funny…orders will ship out based on when ordered? That’s weird, as there’s a guy on MTBR forum who ordered May 2018 and got his unit 2 weeks later. I ordered my 1x 12/28/17 and thusfar have been shipped nothing but excuses as to why my order was lost in a “server change” to their website sometime around April 2018. Now I’ve paid for something and have received nothing.
Maybe instead of selling units on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and his own site, he should have focused on just one stream of orders to minimize confusion, as his kickstarter comments seem to be a hot mess right now, just full of excuses for why units aren’t shipping to his backers while people are receiving units based on orders from last month on his site?!?!
On top of that, there’s the consistent announcements that there is an Android app…well, yes there is, but as of last week, by HIS OWN ADMISSION on his Kickstarter, it’s not functional at this time, making this an iOS only product….so the joke is on any backer/purchaser who doesn’t have an i-device…you officially need to now buy a iOS based device to control your fancy new shifting unit.
What’s even funnier is that despite having all sorts of social media accounts, NONE of them are used to respond to users. Kickstarter and the bike forums (where he regularly trolls a similar product) seem to be the only place people hear from Paul aside from e-mail….when and IF he responds.
X-Shifter…shipping more videos, announcements, and excuses than units….since 2016

JimMc
JimMc
5 years ago
Reply to  th3bill

I placed an order about 4 months after he came out on Kick Starter and have yet to receive anything…that includes correspondence to emails I have sent.

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