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There's a lot more work to do on wireless electronic groupset before it makes it on to a bike near year says SRAM

 

SRAM’s wireless electronic groupset won’t be in the 2016 model year the company has told road.cc - in a statement that suggest the groupset is still at least two years away.

Since the Bissell Development Team were spotted earlier this week riding bikes equipped with a SRAM electronic groupset - then revealed to be wireless - we, like the rest of the bike media have been pestering SRAM to tell us when it will be available.

We got our answer in an email statement earlier today:

“Yes, the technology is wireless.

“But it is NOT a Model Year 2016 OEM product however.

“This product technology is still in a long development phase with much testing and refinement yet to occur.

“As soon as we develop commercialization plans, we will provide an update.”

That means we wouldn’t expect to see it on bikes until the back end of 2016. That in turn raises another more immediate question: Why has the Bissell Development Team been racing on at at the Tour of California in clear contravention of article 1.3.007 of the UCI technical regulations which specifically states that teams can not use prototype equipment unless it is going to be available for sale within 9 months of its first use in a race.

There are three possible answers to this question.

The first is that the Bissell Team haven’t been racing on SRAM wireless, but have just been riding it around at the start/finish area of the stage for the purposes of generating publicity for SRAM. That’’s the most likely scenario - teams do turn up to races with prototype bikes and equipment prominently displayed on team cars from time to time.

The second is, that for whatever reason UCI officials at the Tour of California have not been enforcing their own regulations properly. While many think the UCI rule on use of prototypes detracts from the excitement of racing the fact is it IS a rule.

The third, and the least likely is that while the facts in SRAM's statement are correct - they are throwing a curve ball in terms of the interpretation most people are likely to give it and that it won't be part of the 2016 model year because even with all that work still to be done it will be in the 2015 model year. 

Were it to be the case that Bissell Development are racing on SRAM’s prototype groupset other teams and equipment manufacturers might rightly question how UCI race scrutineers can spend so much time checking the angles of rider’s saddles and yet miss the fact that a team’s bikes have no wires on them?

We will be asking both SRAM and the UCI to clarify whether Bissell Development have been racing on the prototype groupset.

The other observation to be made about the SRAM statement is that if their wireless groupset is not going to be available for another two years that hardly constitutes catching up with Shimano or Campagnolo - who will surely have developed their respective electronic group sets further by then. We already know that Campagnolo has major plans for the 2016 model year when it comes to it’s top end groupset and disc brakes which they have hinted will be a big leap forward too.  Interesting times ahead.

Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.

21 comments

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Mayhem SWE [23 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

The second is, that for whatever reason UCI officials at the Tour of California have not been enforcing their own regulations properly. While many think the UCI rule on use of prototypes detracts from the excitement of racing the fact is it IS a rule

And how exactly would you expect the UCI to possibly enforce the rule at this time? Travel into the future to verify that the product has been released? No the only enforcement possible would be to levy a fine against Sram and/or the team once nine months without product release has passed, but considering many teams race on pro-only equipment I can't see that happening either.

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mrmo [2070 posts] 2 years ago
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sounds like 2014 and 15 are holding years then.

I suppose it gives me more time to save for a new bike then.

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miffed [162 posts] 2 years ago
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Or 4th the SRAM wireless won't be oem but will be available as an after market upgrade.

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miffed [162 posts] 2 years ago
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Or 4th the SRAM wireless won't be oem but will be available as an after market upgrade.

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mikroos [257 posts] 2 years ago
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Looks way too well-polished to be just a prototype. Let's wait for the Tour - I'm pretty sure we'll see the new groupset in action or maybe even officially released.

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CarlosFerreiro [106 posts] 2 years ago
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Mayhem SWE wrote:
Quote:

The second is, that for whatever reason UCI officials at the Tour of California have not been enforcing their own regulations properly. While many think the UCI rule on use of prototypes detracts from the excitement of racing the fact is it IS a rule

And how exactly would you expect the UCI to possibly enforce the rule at this time? Travel into the future to verify that the product has been released? No the only enforcement possible would be to levy a fine against Sram and/or the team once nine months without product release has passed, but considering many teams race on pro-only equipment I can't see that happening either.

It's a very easy rule to technically comply with.
1) Want to use the equipment in a race tomorrow
2) Today announce a release date less than 9 months from now
3) Use the equipment
4) On the release date sell one piece of equipment to the CEO's wife's sister's cousin, to put on the wall
5) Complience

Pretty much the only way you can manage to fail to comply is to announce that you will definitely not be releasing the equipment within 9 months  3

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LinusLarrabee [120 posts] 2 years ago
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It might also be possible that SRAM do not want harm sales of current groupsets by giving people a reason to delay purchasing until the wireless version is available.

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fatty [77 posts] 2 years ago
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cables work fine on my bike... but what I really am waiting for is the reinvention of the wheel... sigh...

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WolfieSmith [1318 posts] 2 years ago
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'We will be asking SRAM to clarify...' If I was SRAM I'd tell you to calm down - it's only another electronic groupset - not a cure for cancer. Does it really matter when they bring it out.  37

Oh go on then. I can see how the speculation, kit desire and shiny stuff stroking is part of the world of cycling. Roll on 2017!  36

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Matt_S [241 posts] 2 years ago
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Given SRAM's recent ability to launch a product without some major, recall enducing flaw, then I'd hold out 'til the 2020 version if I were you...

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bendertherobot [1019 posts] 2 years ago
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Matt_S wrote:

Given SRAM's recent ability to launch a product without some major, recall enducing flaw, then I'd hold out 'til the 2020 version if I were you...

Inability?  3 Let's recall what they've umm, recalled. Hydraulic brakes (2 types) and a particular variant of the Red rear mech.

A mandatory recall of both of them, followed by a replacement, loan service during the waiting period, and a re-supply.

SRAM launch many many products every year (as do their sister companies). It's always helpful to get things right first time but, ultimately, a company is also judged on how well it treats its customers when things do go wrong.

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Jacob [40 posts] 2 years ago
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I think we will see it sooner than 2017 and I think that Shimano will offer a wireless system before then too.

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mrmo [2070 posts] 2 years ago
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and considering that Avid(sram) have been making disc brakes for years, that firstly they screwed up the first road version is impressive, secondly, which may explain the first, QA has never been a strong point!

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Nick T [913 posts] 2 years ago
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Of course it's not ready yet - that guy only had his for a week before the bloody wires fell off. Typical SRAM.

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goggy [153 posts] 2 years ago
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So I have Dura-Ace Di2 ... can someone explain to me why I need wireless? It's not like the very light and unobtrusive little electrical cables get in the way, need to be refitted, or weigh too much.

I just don't see where the benefit is.  7

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Nick T [913 posts] 2 years ago
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To be honest,

Quote:

So I have Dura-Ace ... can someone explain to me why I need Di2?

is just as valid a question.

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mrmo [2070 posts] 2 years ago
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goggy wrote:

So I have Dura-Ace Di2 ... can someone explain to me why I need wireless? It's not like the very light and unobtrusive little electrical cables get in the way, need to be refitted, or weigh too much.

I just don't see where the benefit is.  7

How can you cope with only having one battery that can go flat? Wouldn't you rather have three?

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Nick T [913 posts] 2 years ago
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Even better, it should be 4 batteries. Two shifters, two mechs.

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bendertherobot [1019 posts] 2 years ago
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goggy wrote:

So I have Dura-Ace Di2 ... can someone explain to me why I need wireless? It's not like the very light and unobtrusive little electrical cables get in the way, need to be refitted, or weigh too much.

I just don't see where the benefit is.  7

Presumably those little electrical cables were fitted by someone for you?

Currently fitting cables is pretty much the most time consuming and fiddly part of setup. If they're internal it looks great, but takes time. If they are external then they look a bit stuck on (cos they are) and it takes time.

If you buy the bike with it already fitted or get someone to do it for you, great.

SRAM's system does away with all that cable shennanigans. Though you still have to do brakes of course. There will also be less coming out under the bar tape, which is nice.

With wireless they open up a wider market to those with no internal cabling facility because, aesthetically, it will look nicer. Of course those with internal cabling will need to stop up those open holes.

Another thing not to underestimate is not whether it's needed but whether it will sell. Let's face it, a lot of us love tech. Wirless shifting is pretty cool. As long as it works and is priced fairly then it will sell by the bucket load.

I wonder whether Red will become wireless only?

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Gordy748 [110 posts] 2 years ago
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bendertherobot wrote:

Currently fitting cables is pretty much the most time consuming and fiddly part of setup. If they're internal it looks great, but takes time. If they are external then they look a bit stuck on (cos they are) and it takes time.

If you buy the bike with it already fitted or get someone to do it for you, great.

Serious?

Have a look at the Giant factory tour on the t'Interwebs. The assemblers know how long the cables are needed to be, so pre-cut them to match. They're so good they can assemble the cables and derailleurs in minutes.

Electronic groups are a little more fiddly to install but they don't require calibration once installed or a 200 mile tune-up. Sure, wireless is quicker to install but it's only going to be a matter of minutes for someone who knows their stuff.

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Nick T [913 posts] 2 years ago
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I thought you weren't supposed to cut the cables?