UTRECHT, Netherlands — For almost two years whispers have persisted about a new wireless drivetrain from SRAM, and only within the last few months have real spy shots surfaced of the drivetrain. At stage 1 of the Tour de France, AG2R La Mondiale gave us a clear look at the new wireless drivetrain from SRAM adorning their Focus Izalco bikes.
At first glance, it appears everything, including transmitters and receivers, is self-contained. There are no visible external sensors, and when asked if there were any other components than what was outwardly apparent, a SRAM representative answered that SRAM places a high value on self-containment. This likely means the extra blocks on the back of the front and rear derailleurs are the only extra build components added to the drivetrain; everything else is likely to be built into the shift-levers.
The shift-levers appear to feature an entirely new shape than SRAM levers of years past. The hoods look more smoothly shaped and don’t extend as high as early hydraulic brake models. The levers are also notable because there is only one paddle present, which is similar to the DoubleTap design. This begs the question as to how a rider shifts in either direction. There has been speculation that an entirely new shifting method is used on the new levers, though that is unconfirmed.
There’s still no word on when the new drivetrain will be available to the public, but the UCI and SRAM have been working together to ensure the drivetrain is legal for competitive use, according to a SRAM representative.