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, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.