Tiso Shows Prototype Electronic 12-Speed Drivetrain, Ultralight Titanium Cassette & Pulleys

Tiso prototype electronic 12 speed derailleurs and bicycle drivetrain from Italy

Tiso, an Italian bicycle component manufacturer that’s represented by Albabici here in the states, had quite the gawker piece laying around: A prototype 12-speed electronic drivetrain that, despite the cables here, will be wireless when it debuts!

Details are scant, but the owner says it’s in development now with plans to be in production sometime in 2012. Of course, they’ll need to develop a 12-speed cassette and chain, but that shouldn’t be a problem…

Tiso prototype electronic 12 speed derailleurs and bicycle drivetrain from Italy

Tiso prototype electronic 12 speed derailleurs and bicycle drivetrain from Italy

Functionally, the derailleurs would work similar to other electronic systems by pushing an actuator against articulated arms. Oh, and about that wireless, they say they’re working on making it controllable via iPhone app, too. Go ahead, freak out. We’ll wait.

Tiso ultra lightweight titanium cassettes from Italy

Tiso’s factory is basically a giant machine shop. They produce industrial parts for others, too, alongside a full range of standard drivetrain bits. The cassettes are available in 9, 10 and 11 speeds for Shimano and Campagnolo and weigh as little as 99g for an 11-21 10-speed Shimano road cassette. That’s with the first two cogs being steel, and the rest in ti. That makes them even lighter than the new KCNC ones we saw at Fair Wheel Bikes’ booth. The 10sp titanium cassettes range from $299 to $349. The largest steel one only weighs in at 158g for an 11-speed 12-29 campy model. This is why it shouldn’t be a problem making a 12-speed cassette, we’re just not sure where the chain’s going to come from.

Tiso titanium derailleur pulleys with ceramic bearins from Italy

The ti/ceramic pulley wheels are $250 retail. The alloy ones with ceramic bearings are $200. Albabici PR guy says he’s riding the alloy ones and there’s so little drag that when you back pedal it feels like there’s no chain on at all. Alloy ones are 24g with 11 teeth, presumably the titanium one is a hair lighter but we don’t have the exact number.


Jake - 09/29/11 - 12:38pm

It wont be long before someone develops an app to change your opponents gears during a race. HA!

dgaddis - 09/29/11 - 12:38pm

$200 and $250 pulley wheels. Who buys this stuff?

Steve - 09/29/11 - 12:51pm

I’m still drooling over carbon mountain bike rims. One step at a time…

Steve M - 09/29/11 - 1:13pm

In my case I give those wiring harnesses less than a week before I snag one- pretty stuff though.

Ethan - 09/29/11 - 1:45pm

I’m guessing that the aluminum pulleys are lighter than the ti versions, but that the ti will last much longer.

wvcycling - 09/29/11 - 1:58pm

Hot stuff. I love when there are new competitors.

mkrs - 09/29/11 - 2:14pm

It’s worth mentioning that Tiso is one of the VERY few manufacturers who manufacture pulleys actually designed with SRAM road derailleurs in mind (I mean that one of them has an M4 bolt hole and another one has an M5 one). Their quite a sweet company!

Mr Bojangles - 09/29/11 - 2:41pm

WiFi servo based shifting. LOTS of marketing appeal to that line!

I think for road racing and riding not a bad option.

Mechanical will be hard to overcome for commuters and mountain bikers though. I would not want to run out of shifting juice on the way to my work meeting, or 20 miles out in the mountains.

sactown sleaze - 09/29/11 - 5:13pm

dammit, my phone doesn’t get reception in these mountain either. Another big ring small cog day.

PIXEL LUST - 09/29/11 - 5:25pm

I’d probably buy it if I could. I like to see companies disregard commercial viability and just make the absolute best products, Asoss is a manufacturer that does this from time to time too.

Chris Lowe - 09/29/11 - 6:01pm

Wireless seems like a bad idea because it increases the number of batteries required. I know that’s one reason Shimano stuck with a corded system for Di2

@Mr Bojangles:
You could eliminate the running out of juice issue by using a dynohub to power your shifting along with your lights. Heck you could also use it to recharge your phone while riding to/from work.

dave - 09/29/11 - 8:57pm

Clearly people are forgetting about Tiso’s horrible-shifting and horribly expensive Sereo derailleur.

Tiso stuff is garbage…Maserati pricing for Fiat quality.

Steve - 09/29/11 - 8:59pm

I think everything on the bike should be human-powered. I understand the advantages of electronic shifting, but I’m just against it. Am I already becoming a retro grouch?

Xris - 09/29/11 - 9:55pm

Even if they make a mechanical version of this, I cringe at the sight of the chain and how wide it must NOT be. Scary stuff! But also super exciting!

Jones - 09/30/11 - 3:27am

1 x 12 electronic shifting for MTB. Heck, doesn’t Shimano have some patent for a 14 speed cassette and chain? Once things are electronic the possibilities are endless – you can just change the programming to suite the gear spacing. What about 1 x 7 DH electronic shifting for example. Truely exciting times…

Topmounter - 09/30/11 - 11:11am

I remember that 14-speed Shimano patent… 10+ years and we’re only at 10/11 speeds… and that’s probably not a bad thing, but I still can’t see dropping $250 on Ti/Ce pulleys (unless they’re purple anodized of course).

Mindless - 10/08/11 - 3:06am

10 is ENOUGH

tom - 03/31/12 - 11:05am

i agree with dave. i’ve got a tiso 9 speed cassette which is very light but works like junk. sorry i spent the $$$
on tiso. stick with shimano.

Shon - 05/29/12 - 8:50pm

Well, the 11 spd group I just put on a Bianchi Oltre shifts great! Especially with the KMC X11SL Ti chain. Can’t wait to try this out.
Sounds like tom needs a new mechanic! lol

PD - 12/19/12 - 11:03am

@mindless 9 speed is enough!

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