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Electronic drivetrain on a bicycle

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A bike with bluetooth gearshifting? They will soon. In the meantime, a review of working solutions to broaden your horizons.
Electronic drivetrain on a bicycle
Electronic transmissions are either wired or wireless. A wired system involves wires leading from the shift knobs to the control module and from the power module to the switches. These wires send signals to where the shifter should move. This is the type of drivetrain that Shimano has recently made commercially available.
Wireless transmission was produced in the late 90’s by Mavic under the name Mektronic. This type of drivetrain requires no wires connecting the system components: the control signals are transmitted via digital coded radio signals, and the power elements (batteries) are located directly in the switch structure. Such a transmission, as you can guess, was characterized by increased complexity. Maybe that’s why it didn’t really catch on; in fact, after the story with this drivetrain, Mavic stopped making drivetrain components at all.
The harsh reality has made its adjustments to the plans of the designers. The main reason is the lack of reliability and difficulty of maintenance and repair. Although it did not prevent the leading bicycle manufacturers from producing bicycles equipped with this system at the time. Take, for example, Cannondale Stallion of 2000, which photo in the beginning of the article.
Who else makes these things? Shimano and Campagnolo, of course. The first one has an electronic drivetrain in the 2009 lineup and has the index Dura-Ace 7970 Di2. At the same Campa has the production version of these components is not observed even next year, although the working model Electronic Record demonstrated since 2003, and, rumor has it, even tested at the Tour de France, only that I was unable to find who tested and with what result.
The attentive reader will ask: "Why is it necessary? I answer – weight of shift ropes, friction in their jackets, linear expansion (lengthening of ropes) with temperature difference from +30 to 0, which happens in mountain racing, shift indistinctness – all this can theoretically overcome electronic shift system.

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