Electronic Bike Transmission

    Bluetooth bike gearshift? They’ll do it soon. In the meantime, an overview of working solutions to expand horizons.

    Electronic transmission is wired or wireless. The wired system assumes the presence of wires leading from the shift knobs to the control module and from the power module to the switches. These wires transmit signals where the switch should move. It is this type of transmission that has received serial implementation recently in the performance of Shimano.

    Wireless transmission was produced in the late 90's by Mavic under the name Mektronic. This type of transmission does not require wires connecting the system components: control signals are transmitted via digitally encoded radio signals, and power elements (batteries) are located directly in the switch construct. Such a transmission, as you might guess, was characterized by increased complexity. Maybe because of this, she did not particularly take root, moreover, after the story with this transmission, Mavik stopped producing transmission components in general.

    Harsh reality has made adjustments to the designs of designers. The main reason is the lack of reliability and complexity of maintenance and repair. Although this did not prevent the leading bicycle manufacturers from producing bicycles equipped with this system. Take, for example, the 2000 Cannondale Stallion, whose photo is at the beginning of the article.

    Who else is doing this? Of course, Shimano and Campagnolo. The first electronic transmission belongs to the 2009 lineup and has a Dura-Ace 7970 Di2 index. Kampa, on the other hand, has not yet seen a serial version of these components even next year, although working Electronic Record models have been demonstrated since 2003, and rumor has it that they were even tested on the Tour de France, but it was not possible to find who tested and with what result.

    The attentive reader will ask: “What for is it necessary?”. The answer is - the weight of the shift cables, their friction in shirts, linear expansion (lengthening of the cable) with a temperature drop from +30 to 0, which happens in mountain races, the fuzziness of switching - all this can theoretically be overcome by an electronic switching system.

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