Zirbel_Velocity-Racer_electronic-drivetrain-twist-shifter_bull-horns

Zirbel Bike out of Switzerland has developed a new multi-function grip shift-style twist shifter to control electronic drivetrains. The Velocity Racer shifter is targeted at road bikes with bull horn bar setups, but has also been installed in flat bar setups. Not content with compatibility with one system, Zirbel have developed versions to control Shimano Di2, Campagnolo EPS, and even SRAM’s wireless eTap drivetrains. Then on top of that, each single twist shifter also has the ability to control both front and rear derailleurs with its multi-directional movement. Check out videos of how it works and more after the break…

Zirbel_Velocity-Racer_electronic-drivetrain-twist-shifter_bull-horn-build

The Velocity Racer twist shifter has up to four switch positions, so each shifter can operate both derailleurs, with its patent-pending Magnetic Click Technology. If you want control from either side, you can also add a second shifter that will duplicate functionality.

For Campy and Shimano Di2 the twist grip gets a four position switch. Twist it right or left to move the rear derailleur. Pull the shifter’s grip ring back, then twist right or left, to actuate the front derailleur. For SRAM, only three positions are needed. You do the same right or left twist for the rear derailleur, and just pulling back the shift ring moves the front derailleur. It can also shift multiple gears at once by holding it in the shift position to dump gears or drop down the cassette.

The shifter itself weighs just 20g (and you only need one.) Electronic shift action occurs when a small magnet inside the shifter activates a proximity switch. Zirbel says that the operation has a positive haptic feedback as a second magnet returns the shifter to center. They’ve also said that by adding a second shifter, you can set that one up to operate other on board electronics.

Zirbel_Velocity-Racer_electronic-drivetrain-twist-shifter_proof-of-concept

We don’t have any more details though, like availability or expected pricing, but we will keep you updated we learn more.

Zirbel.ch

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MaraudingWalrus
6 years ago

I’m super into this. Might need to investigate further..

Christian
Christian
6 years ago

That doesn’t look functional on a bumpy surface.

J
J
6 years ago

I thought e tap was “unhackable”. At least that’s what SRAM told us.
SRAM, any comments?

typevertigo
typevertigo
6 years ago
Reply to  J

Disclaimer: I don’t work for SRAM.

My guess is, in terms of the radio signal for shifting, it’s not really a hack per se. For a SRAM Red eTap implementation, they probably still use the same transmitters from the control levers, just re-jiggered into the twist shifter. As far as the derailleurs are concerned, they’re still talking to a SRAM shifting transmitter.

Granted, that leaves the question of how to fine-tune the derailleur position since the Function buttons on the control levers obviously go away.

Andrew Rose
Andrew Rose
6 years ago
Reply to  J

This would likely work the same way the wired etap blips do for TT. They plugin to the official SRAM blipbox (junction box) which handles the wireless transmission

typevertigo
typevertigo
6 years ago

Now that’s impressive.

I think the demo videos use road Di2 derailleurs. Any word on whether this works for Shimano MTB Di2 as well? I imagine it’s not too long of a stretch but I’d like to know the official word on the issue.

out for a ride
out for a ride
6 years ago
Reply to  typevertigo

Road and mountain controls are interchangeable with the Di2 derailleurs, so if this works for one it works for both

Kelly Mckenzie
Kelly Mckenzie
3 years ago

Anyone know what those brake levers are?

Fred
3 years ago

Look like these….
http://s.aliexpress.com/I3Yju6VV