EB13: Prototype Road Bike Acros A-GE RDA Hydraulic Shifters, Derailleurs w/ Formula RR1 Brakes

Prototype Acros A-GE RDA hydraulic road bike shifters and derailleurs with Formula RR1 disc brakes

A few years back, Acros unveiled their A-GE MT hydraulic mountain bike shifter and derailleur system. Check it out in action here. Now, they’re showing a prototype road bike version called A-GE RDA paired with Formula’s RR1 disc brakes.

The levers and derailleurs are a blend of machined metals and miniscule hydraulic lines and pistons. It’s a closed system that simply uses fluid to push a derailleur one way or another. While the folks in the booth didn’t have any pricing, weight or launch information, saying it was only a prototype, it’s already printed into their 2014 catalog, so it may not be that far off.

Close up pics showing the lever movement, derailleurs and more below…

Prototype Acros A-GE RDA hydraulic road bike shifters and derailleurs with Formula RR1 disc brakes

The rear derailleur looks very similar to the mountain bike version. Most of the parts used to make the group are machined in-house at Acros.

Prototype Acros A-GE RDA hydraulic road bike shifters and derailleurs with Formula RR1 disc brakes

A small piston between the arms pushes or pulls depending on which way the fluid is coming in or out.

Prototype Acros A-GE RDA hydraulic road bike shifters and derailleurs with Formula RR1 disc brakes

Once you’ve got the high and low limit screws set, you simply use the adjustment screw (threaded into the gold bit) to align the pulley wheel with the cogs. Once that’s aligned, they said it should shift perfectly from top to bottom.

Prototype Acros A-GE RDA hydraulic road bike shifters and derailleurs with Formula RR1 disc brakes

Prototype Acros A-GE RDA hydraulic road bike shifters and derailleurs with Formula RR1 disc brakes

This road front derailleur is a drastically simplified version of the mountain bike one. That one had a parallelogram that raised and lowered the cage like normal. This one’s front piston simply pushes it straight in and out.

Prototype Acros A-GE RDA hydraulic road bike shifters and derailleurs with Formula RR1 disc brakes

It’s hard to see, but pushing the entire brake lever assembly inward (like you would a Shimano lever) pushes a small piston into the tank and forces fluid through one of the hoses.

Prototype Acros A-GE RDA hydraulic road bike shifters and derailleurs with Formula RR1 disc brakes

Like the mountain bike group, you could likely change the direction of the shift for each movement by simply flipping the hoses’ mounting points at one end of the system.

Prototype Acros A-GE RDA hydraulic road bike shifters and derailleurs with Formula RR1 disc brakes

Shifting the other way is handled by a simply twist of this lever.

Prototype Acros A-GE RDA hydraulic road bike shifters and derailleurs with Formula RR1 disc brakes

The shifting system is completely contained on the brake lever, leaving Formula’s master cylinder and hoods unchanged.

Prototype Acros A-GE RDA hydraulic road bike shifters and derailleurs with Formula RR1 disc brakes

For more on the RR1, check our coverage on Formula’s latest here.

Acros.de

Comments

Aaron - 09/03/13 - 11:05am

Interesting. Now I get to bleed not just my brakes, but my derailleurs and shifters too! Yay!

wheelguy - 09/03/13 - 11:06am

I can only imagine how much this will cost (my guess is 3k USD for just shifters and brakes?), but it is really really cool IMO. I don’t like the idea of needing to plug my bike every so often for it to work (electronic groups), and all hydraulics have the advantage of no cable stretch/wear, no trouble with sharp cable bends, no worry about water damage, and hydraulic lines are much lighter than steal cables and housing.

pornitswhatlwouldratherbmaking - 09/03/13 - 11:07am

The whole thing looks pretty cool. How much better or cheaper is it then Di2. l would sport the set up.

pmurf - 09/03/13 - 11:08am

dude, this is intense. Cool to see Acros not holding back and pushing their tech to road platforms now. I have doubts as to whether they they’ll gain any measurable favor over high-end electronic systems, which i’m assuming are lighter and cheaper (at least outside of the “I have to have to most exotic stuff” market), but aside from that, this stuff is crazy cool. I hope they tighten up the look of that lever though….the HR Giger aesthetic isn’t doing it for me.

ah - 09/03/13 - 11:11am

Hate to think what would happen to those levers in the gentlest of crashes…

Does the rear wheel not fit on properly in that last photo? Looks like if the wheel moved into place the disc would hit the caliper body..

Dockboy - 09/03/13 - 11:14am

Isn’t that just a Simplex FD with some new CNC’d parts?

pTymn - 09/03/13 - 11:14am

The bar tape hurts my eyes.

Argh - 09/03/13 - 11:29am

i have only one question – whyyyy !? :D

dick hertz - 09/03/13 - 11:37am

this is just dumb, stick with mechanical or electronic yoo!!!

James - 09/03/13 - 11:46am

Dick hertz
What!? If so why don’t you stick to single speeds? Or stick to wooden horses with wooden wheels? Or just walk? Why create new or different ways, or try to improve old ones?
This is not dumb, but your comment certainly is.

Now, I agree with wheelguy in that I don’t like to plug in my bike for it to work, and if this works better than the old steel cables, then welcome.

Brattercakes - 09/03/13 - 12:04pm

Good work Acros, can’t wait to see the finished product!

toni - 09/03/13 - 12:07pm

first sram, then shimano and now this, PLEASe!!! who’s the designer of those levers? they remind me to mavic electronic levers, simply horrible

Andrew - 09/03/13 - 12:42pm

The terrible bar wrap job is designed to come unraveled in the event of a crash and cushion the levers from impact.

heatwave23 - 09/03/13 - 1:07pm

Love the idea… Much better idea than electric IMO… Smoother shifting and no Cable stretch… Once you set them up it should be a long time before they ever need readjusting.

Ck - 09/03/13 - 1:22pm

As expected, the comments have basically been nothing but people who pretty much crawl under a rock when a concept comes along that could be better than the current way of doing things.

Yes, it’s complex and expensive and pretty much just not feasible right now. But i’m eager to see how well it develops in the future.

Paddy - 09/03/13 - 1:35pm

Looks pretty snazzy but one crash on those and your CX season could be one big DNF, unless you have a second bike with retro-shift or bar ends. If there is a way they could get the master cylinder off the levers and into the brake body that would be a big win.

Bas - 09/03/13 - 2:10pm

i tried this thing at their stand at EB13, could not figure out how to let it shift “normally” i.e. doing what it is supposed to do. FD was not working at all, RD just shifted more or less random (sometimes you had to shift 3x before it went, the other time it doubled the cogs that i wanted to shift). long story short: rubish

LP - 09/03/13 - 2:44pm

@ah

you can also see that the rear wheel is not fitted properly in one the first pictures. I guess they did not have the proper brake mount adaptor!

dick hertz - 09/03/13 - 6:18pm

@james
did i hit a nerve??!!
hydraulic tech is awesome, but for derailleurs not so much.

Mindless - 09/03/13 - 10:22pm

So many seals.

greg - 09/04/13 - 1:00am

it seems to me that in a crash, the lever would just move sideways.
the mtb version works very well, i dont doubt that the road one will also. it’s not “slick” like shimano shifting, but it’s a very good first gen.

andy - 09/04/13 - 3:28am

As an engineering exercise hats off to them for trying but can’t help thinking why over complicate bike’s any more now we have electronic shifting and I dread to think the cost of replacing a lever

PaulM - 09/04/13 - 4:12am

Expensive: Yes
Unnecessary: Yes
Pushing the boundaries: Yes
I like: Yes

People said the same about electronic shifting when it was first introduced. Now its the norm. Accept the change and variety, and move on. Or go back to your solid-tyred, rod-braked fixies…

seanK - 09/04/13 - 5:40am

So with the push/pull line for each dérailleur and the brakes that’s 6 lines exiting the handlebars?
Haven’t followed the story previously but I presume binning the return spring on the gears gives this a very light action less force/smaller pistons?

seanK - 09/04/13 - 5:58am

Could have a top tube like this http://vleblog.lboro.ac.uk/cad/?attachment_id=2355 with some minimal connections each end?

Haywood - 09/04/13 - 7:00am

If formula realizes their rotors aren’t that great and go with Ice Techs right out of the box, I would be pretty happy.

Sark - 09/04/13 - 9:17am

German tech porn!!!

Its looks fab in its own respect.

riderXR - 09/04/13 - 9:17am

DOT for the brakes and mineral oil for the gears?
Or switched Formula to mineral oil, or switched Acros to DOT ??

Hannes - 09/04/13 - 1:13pm

Yes it’s super duper expensive (guessing along the lines of the MTB AGE) but it’s new, it’s hot and it’s different. Even in the technophile circles in germany those things are a rarity and it’s very humbling to see them continuing the development despite not selling too many of them.
Hats off to Acros, they know their engineering.

K11 - 09/04/13 - 4:45pm

everything seems to have a battery, i really don’t want my bike to have one.

DaleC - 09/05/13 - 12:08am

I hope they build brakes, derailleurs and shifters with more skill and attention to detail than the gurm that wrapped those bars.

Jimjam - 09/05/13 - 11:22am

@toni: the levers are Formula. These have been on Colnagos for over a year. So in reality it’s first Formula, then SRAM, then Shimano.

@Haywood: I would be willing to bet that Formula brakes could destroy Ice Tech rotors. It’s obvious that Shimano has an issue with cooling their brakes. Fins and two-ply toilet rotors.

FSA is where it’s at!!! Not really.

Ajax - 09/05/13 - 11:29am

Interesting design. My Italian friends tell me that a couple employees of Formula/Campy have a design they are developing that will blow away the current Shimano, SRAM hydraulic piston thing in the hood. They are trying to sell the design to another firm, but when it comes out on the market it will look very similar to this one except that they are using a smaller piston more neatly integrated into a recessed area of the bar tops. Yes, you will have to get new bars, but the cool thing is that the piston will also serve as a flattish portion of bar top which alot of riders like anyways!

stephen - 09/10/13 - 2:53pm

[sigh] If they were going to take design cues from the Borg, it might have been better to have picked Seven of Nine as their model…

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