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Prototypes have been knocking about for a year but now it's live on their site... sort of

Tiso have finally broken cover with their 12-speed wireless transmission. That's one more cog than either Shimano or Campag, plus you get wireless shifting too. Interested? We are too, but details are a bit patchy at the moment.

The prototypes have been around for a bit; Bikerumor saw them as early as September last year. They weren't wireless at that point but that was always the plan, and the system that's been announced can run on either radio frequencies (2.4GHz control frequencies, most likely) or via Bluetooth connectivity. The mechs themselves are actuator-controlled, with a battery supplying the power; that needs to be wired to the mechs, of course, so it isn't entirely wire-free. The available spec suggests that the power is supplied by AAA rechargeable cells, opening up the possibility of stopping at the garage if you find yourself out of gear power...

The vid shows the gears being controlled with a keyfob-esque controller as well as with Tiso's own lever; presumably the levers contain a separate battery or they'll need to be wired to the main battery too, pretty much negating any benefit of wireless other than the ability to run multiple shifters in any position. For radio transmission that's not so much of an issue, as it's just a quick pulse and even a button cell should last for ages. Bluetooth, on the other hand, requires a constant connection and so drains more juice. The gears are actuated from the Tiso lever via a rocker switch; press the top section to change up (presumably) and the bottom bit to change down. Tiso were also planning to make it controllable via an iPhone app when they talked to Bikerumor, although the beneifts of that are unclear.

The 12-speed cassette is Tiso's own. There's no word on what freehub standard it uses, but the mechs have settings to cope with 10- and 11-speed Campag and Shimano setups as well as the own-brand cassette. That's all we have to go on for now, really – who's in, and who's out?

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

41 comments

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Tjuice [194 posts] 3 years ago
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Sounds pretty interesting to me. Would love to get a sense of price cf. the other offerings. Other question would be real life reliability. Seems Di2 is pretty solid. Tiso groupset would need to be robust and wireless link not susceptible to interference (esp. in situations where you were riding with other Tiso users)

Also entertained by the hacking possibilities of wireless. Just imagine being able to control other competitors' gear changes when they were least expecting! Imagine wireless security will be good, but the idea is still amusing.

Don't know anything at all about Tiso (although looking at their website, I think I recall having seen their colourful upgrade kits available to buy somewhere). Are their components any good?

I'd also want their cassettes to be compatible with Shimano freehubs, but appreciate that it may be a bit of a tall order getting a 12-speed in the space that a Shimano 10 speed currently takes.

One to follow in any case. Look forward to reading the first reviews...

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notfastenough [3681 posts] 3 years ago
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Wireless transmission - perfect for when you want to control the gearshifts on someone else's bike.

Or when the legs that are pedalling the bike are not directly attached to the upper body. Leave your torso/arms/head in the warm and dry car following close behind!

Or for when some bright spark comes up with handlebars that maintain their position via magnetic levitation above the bike - you don't want pesky cables ruining the look!

Or have I missed the point?!

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robert_obrien [118 posts] 3 years ago
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I can see why you'd want to launch a 12-speed on 12/12/12 but don't understand the 'remote'. Does that make it easier to service?

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ragtag [217 posts] 3 years ago
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Logo and video brought to you from the 1980's

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 3 years ago
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It might work superbly. But they forgot to make it PRETTY! Form and function, innit?

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Tjuice [194 posts] 3 years ago
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notfastenough wrote:

Wireless transmission - ...

Or have I missed the point?!

By the same token, why have wireless cycle computers?

I guess the point is that you can have nice clean lines; you don't have to build frames with internal cable routing; you can keep lines clean when retro-fitting to frames that don't have internal routes; you can easily have multiple shift buttons (e.g., I ride both in the drops and on aero bars. When on the aero bars, I'd love to be able to shift without taking a hand off); replacement/maintenance is quick and easy (no faffing with disconnecting cables); potential to integrate in the future with a cycle computer (which could tell you which gear you were in at any point - something you might forget when you've got 12 to choose from...)

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atlaz [184 posts] 3 years ago
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Tjuice wrote:

potential to integrate in the future with a cycle computer (which could tell you which gear you were in at any point - something you might forget when you've got 12 to choose from...)

Does anyone need to know what gear they're in? I always subscribe to the Little Red Riding Hood approach. In most situations one gear is too big, one too small, one just right. It's rare (well, never to be totally honest) I ride along thinking "I should be in 9th gear in the big ring now".

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Simmo72 [603 posts] 3 years ago
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I'll be on cabled 10 speed for a long time yet, its reliable, cheap and offers more than enough range. We make life too complicated for ourselves. Chill.

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CraigS [129 posts] 3 years ago
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atlaz wrote:

Does anyone need to know what gear they're in?

Generally no, but it'd help me avoid that horrible sinking feeling going up a steep climb, trying to shift and finding I've got no gears left to go down!

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Shanghaied [46 posts] 3 years ago
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atlaz wrote:

Does anyone need to know what gear they're in? I always subscribe to the Little Red Riding Hood approach. In most situations one gear is too big, one too small, one just right. It's rare (well, never to be totally honest) I ride along thinking "I should be in 9th gear in the big ring now".

Little Red Riding Hood? That's surely Goldilocks? But I agree, I think gear displays are largely unnecessary. Also is it just me or does the shifting look really slow to anyone else? Or is it just because of the low cadence in the videos? It would be nice to see it shift under power.

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nowasps [426 posts] 3 years ago
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atlaz wrote:

I always subscribe to the Little Red Riding Hood approach. In most situations one gear is too big, one too small, one just right. It's rare (well, never to be totally honest) I ride along thinking "I should be in 9th gear in the big ring now".

Surely that's Goldilocks? I don't come on here to see Fairy Tales taken liberty with.

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tarquin_foxglove [132 posts] 3 years ago
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atlaz wrote:

I always subscribe to the Little Red Riding Hood approach. In most situations one gear is too big, one too small, one just right..

Goldilocks...

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nowasps [426 posts] 3 years ago
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Ooh. One minute too late.

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tarquin_foxglove [132 posts] 3 years ago
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Glad to see I'm not the only fairytale pedant, just the slowest.

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Nick T [913 posts] 3 years ago
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I thought it was Alice in wonderland who did the too big, too small schtick.

Anyway, I'm Duncan Bannatyne, and I'm out. I've got my cables set up nicely and my finger doesn't run out of battery.

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Some Fella [890 posts] 3 years ago
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Call me a smelly old hippy but one of the things i love about bikes is their relatively low impact on the environment.
What with all this new technology that runs from batteries and an on going reliance of electricity we, as cyclists, are in danger of just perpetuating the relentless use of nasty heavy metals and chemicals involved in the production of batteries.
All this electronic shifting is all very seductive and all but lets be part of the solution and not part of the problem eh?

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Leviathan [1978 posts] 3 years ago
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You are a

Some Fella wrote:

smelly old hippy

and this stuff is cool. If your bike is cool you will want to ride it more and drive less. You have now offset your batteries.

The thing you should be worrying about is the inbuilt obsolescence you have just added to your bike. You are now riding a washing machine and it is bound to break within 18 months and just after the warranty expires. The real cost will be getting this stuff stripped off and a nice mech system put back on.

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nbrus [293 posts] 3 years ago
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You could have lots of fun changing someone else's gears for them ... remotely.  19

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captain_slog [338 posts] 3 years ago
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I don't remember any bicycles in Goldilocks. It's more likely to have been Little Red Riding Hood: the clue's in the name.

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CarbonBreaker [86 posts] 3 years ago
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The discussions about the lines being better with no cables will only hold true with wireless actuated brakes into the bargain!

Nice idea though, and when it's gen 4, robust and with an easily inside frame hideable battery pack, that is charged with an efficient (it can't be very frictionless and generate power) hub mounted altenator/dynamo with those actuated brakes, then I might consider leaving cables behind.

Not sure I would ever need 12 speed though.

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 3 years ago
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aslongasicycle wrote:

It might work superbly. But they forgot to make it PRETTY! Form and function, innit?

That could be deliberate. There's an old saying in engineering design about how to make a product look efficient; "It don't work, but at least it's ugly".

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Twowheelsaregreat [43 posts] 3 years ago
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Your phone will connect to this system via bluetooth. You can then upload your planned ride to an app. and by anticipating the gradient using GPS and using historical data gathered from previous rides via HRM and Power Output Meters and having ensured you prepared properly over a number of days prior to the ride itself by working out the best diet for you, will then calculate the optimum gear for you and automatically change it to ensure you complete the ride as fresh as possible. You could of course adjust the difficulty rating. It will be like your own personal trainer. It could also be charged using a dynamo so you wouldn't even need batteries.

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Nick T [913 posts] 3 years ago
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That sounds utterly, skull crushingly, depressingly dull what you've described there raggatip. It's so clinical there's almost no point even going out, you may as well stick a DVD on and pretend you're going on a ride if you want to switch your mind that far to the off position.

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TheHatter [770 posts] 3 years ago
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The way racing is going the DS will have the remote in the car...

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notfastenough [3681 posts] 3 years ago
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I think raggatip may have been joking.

As for children's stories:
My my grandmama what big gears you have!
All the better for ripping your legs off in 53x11 my dear.

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Nick T [913 posts] 3 years ago
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Joke or not, it's still a disturbing prospect.

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new-to-cycling [47 posts] 3 years ago
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Seriously how many gears are enough? It seems an interesting idea however the need to run power wires kind of kills the whole point of wireless shifting to me.

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Punchy [4 posts] 3 years ago
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First of all. I noticed some were commenting on 'why wireless ?' To me it makes perfect sense. I personally don't get excited about a 'wired' set up. So wireless I think is where all this electronic wizardry should be at. And its only a wireless set up that I would even consider buying... later, in the future, when it becomes more affordable for us mere peasants who are not pro riders and are sponsored.

Secondly. I read some criticism about batteries and the environment etc. Fair call. I say take it one step further. Design the electronic gear set up so that it runs off a dynamo front hub. So you never have to worry about charging batteries or getting stuck out on the road with flat batteries. You could further enhance this by making the set up adaptable to both batteries and dyno power. That way, you could train with dyno power and use a different wheel (if necessary) to ride on batteries for those that want to race and are concerned about dyno drag.

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Leviathan [1978 posts] 3 years ago
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I think I've got four gears; Top, second from top, bottom and somewhere in between.

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fuzzywuzzy [77 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm impressed, I always figured Di2 v2 would be wireless so would be interesting how close the Tiso stuff is to production. It might not be pretty but it manages to look a whole lot better than Shimano and Campy's electronic efforts.
I share concerns over the security of the wireless set up though, as well as it being a small Italian manufacturer (Italians and electrics generally aren't a great combo :p ), not sure about the 12-speed either, I'm all for more gears but at some point the dishing on the wheel is going to become a major factor.
I'd like to say "I'm in" but I'm guessing cost alone will rule me out even if my concerns were addressed, still it's good someone is genuinely innovating as Shimano have dropped the ball recently.

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