Tiso unveils wireless electronic gear-shifting for road bikes
By Ben Coxworth
December 18, 2012
As many bike nerds already know, electronic gear-shifting systems are currently being made by components manufacturers Shimano and Campagnolo. Last Wednesday, however, lesser-known Italian firm Tiso joined the fray by announcing the availability of its own 12-speed electronic system for road bikes. Unlike the other companies’ offerings, Tiso’s is wireless – partly.
Apparently just called the Wireless 12-Speed Groupset, the system consists of brake levers with integrated rocker-style shifter switches, micromotor-equipped front and rear derailleurs, a cassette with 12 titanium sprockets ranging from 11 to 29 teeth, and a downtube-mounted AAA-battery-powered receiver/control unit.
Shift signals are transmitted from the shifters to the control unit via Bluetooth and/or another unspecified type of radio protocol – Shimano and Campagnolo’s systems, by contrast, use electrical wiring. Commands are then carried from that unit to the derailleurs by wires. Interestingly, users can forgo the brake lever shifters and instead change gears using a wireless key fob-like remote. This is perhaps intended as a way of letting riders change gears when riding with their hands on top of the bars or in the drops.
If users don’t want to spring for the whole system, its wireless components can reportedly be integrated into existing 10- and 11-speed drivetrains from SRAM, Campagnolo and Shimano. It’s not clear exactly which parts can be mixed and matched, however – for instance, could the Tiso shifters and control unit be used to move non-motorized Shimano derailleurs?
While the cassette weighs in at a reported 150 grams, a weight for the entire system hasn’t been released. The company likewise isn’t stating the price just yet, although it does claim that it “will be lower than all the other groups in electronic commerce, and will be easily assembled by anyone.”
Tiso will start accepting reservations from potential buyers beginning next month. The system can be seen in use in the video below.