Barely being disguised by thin tape and subtle graphics, the new SRAM Red wireless electronic group is in full view at this year’s USA Pro Challenge in Colorado. We knew this was coming months ago when we discovered SRAM’s filed patents for wireless technology. As the first-ever wireless group moves its way through pre-production it has been test ridden by the Bissell Pro Cycling team since the beginning of this season. With the team relying solely on this new technology, and with no mechanical Red being used even as backup, the feedback from the riders is said to be all positive.

More news, insight from a Team Bissell rider, and way more pics after the break…And yes, now we know how the shifting works…


The team was tight lipped about the new SRAM goods, as was to be expected. No statistics are being given at this time. But they did happen to mention this particular equipment is a slight improvement from what they were riding at the Tour of California back in May.


The rear derailleur appears only slightly altered from what was spotted back in California. The most notable difference being the complete lack of false wires. Clearly, enough word has gotten around about the wireless technology that SRAM no longer feels the need to fake the wires as they did during the Tour of California.


The rear derailleur is still unmarked other than an embossed SRAM logo on the back of what is likely the battery.

SRAM_New_Red_Wireless_Electronic_Rear_Der_2 SRAM_New_Red_Wireless_Electronic_Rear_Der


There is no question anymore, that tape can’t hide the fact well enough, this is SRAM Red.


Further questioning unearthed confirmation of what many have been speculating on – shifting execution…


…the wireless Red sports two buttons in total, one on each lever. Push one for upshifts, the other for downshifts, press both simultaneously to shift from one chainring to the other.


Speaking with one Team Bissell rider as he was waiting in line for an espresso at the Rapha trailer revealed his overall enthusiasm for the new wireless Red group. He chatted about the shifting style and even confirmed that holding down one of the buttons will engage a rapid-fire shift all the way down or up the cassette. He stated it is so fast that he’s had a hard time getting back on the older mechanical Red group.


The front derailleur appears not much larger than Shimano’s Di2 versions, even while including its own battery and motor. Rumor has it this new Red will be lighter than either electronic offering from Japan or Italy.


Keep your eyes open for more news to follow as SRAM brings this game-changing Red group to market.



  1. Exciting stuff!

    Hopeful that loss of cables and housing might also provide weight savings not to mention cleaner lines on bikes, lower wind resistance and no more cables rubbing fancy paint jobs (good for those snazzy road bikes).


  2. So let’s see if I understand this correctly: one shifter controls both derailleurs? If I want to shift up I press one button, down another button, and from the big to small ring or small to big I press both at the same time?

    Sounds complicated but I’m sure it will become easier with use.

  3. Seraph. Right shifter button moves it left (higher cogs 28) (think how your hand moves when you shift) Left shifter moves it back down (low cogs 11) Push both shifters in to jump between big rings. Small learning curve at first but sounds legit. Stoked to try it for real.

  4. Now all the bike makers need to produce frames compatible with cables/wires/and nothing. Lol…bunch of new “plugs” gonna hit the market.

  5. So is this going to be lighter than other electronic options? DI2 and EPS weight is in the battery. Unlike the mechanical versions, both sets of levers are very light, where mechanical RED has a big advantage in weight over the others. The other place is BB30 cranks.

  6. @Stuck at Work

    Unfortunately yes, I do remember Mektronic. Bzzt,bzzt,clickety-clickety-rattle-bzztclickity-clunk. Repeat.

    Maybe this should read “Their (SRAMs) first wireless group”, or hopefully for SRAM “The first reliable wireless group.”

  7. Hopefully batteries are easily removal and dockable, but I do view multiple batteries as one downside versus the single battery competition. Also, as battery tech gets even better it may be easer to upgrade a single battery verses 4 and I’d expect the cost would be lower too. But the upside is a cleaner install.
    As for shift buttons. No real issues. It does kinda suck to lose both front and back if one shifter gets damaged/fails though.
    looks about as cool as a groupset can look.

  8. Wireless means you could jam the signal (maybe even hack). Imagine somebody shifting you into a gear (or not letting u shift at a critical moment) you don’t want at the finish line taking you out of a race.

  9. Yawn…I’ll keep my mechanical Campagnolo. The electronic systems are cool–wired or not–but they are not going to make any cycling Joes or pros better. I always get a good chuckle when someone in the group forgets to charge their battery and they are stuck in their 11 tooth cog for the remainder of the ride.

  10. @ Daniel. So true….I can’t think of how many times I walked out to a parking lot, blipped my keyfob and unlocked someone else’s car by accident.

    Coded digital transmission is reeeally hard to hack/interfere with unless you’re DARPA.

  11. @NotAMachinist

    SRAM and reliable are not synonymous, especially with new product launches. See hydraulic road launch. How long did it take them to fix their weak Red front derailleur? I would wait for version 3 from these guys.

  12. @480rider: how often are you riding with people with dead batteries? I’m getting a thousand + miles out of my Di2 bikes between charges.

    My current road bike (splits time between Di2 CX bike) hasn’t been charged since the end of March and still shows a green light….

  13. @Matt…so true…I’m not an early adopter of new tech. first, its way too pricey, and second, I don’t want to be a guinea pig for the inevitable hiccups… give me 2nd or 3rd gen refinement and cheaper (ie XT, Ultegra etc) high end groupos

  14. all this and the pulley cage looks identical to their mechanical offerings, which means sloppy tolerances, pulley bolts not perpendicular to the cages, and prematurely wearing cage pivot, causing the cage to move left as the lower pulley moves forward. pulleys will probably crack regularly too.
    they should fix their mechanicals before they attempt this stuff.

  15. Why?

    It just seems stupid to take one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly machines and then tag on parts that weigh more and require recharging and special disposal/recycling.

  16. Despite all the media hooha… has there been a video of this thing functioning well and proper?

    Please do share if you have seen one ??

  17. Those early wires described as a clumsy disguise were more likely a field test monitoring system. Boeing puts extensive temporary flight test wiring in first of model airplanes to make sure that all the new bits are performing as designed. It makes trouble shooting much easier.

  18. For a team to have raced this all season w/o mechanical groups on their B bikes speaks well of its reliability. Those who doubt should consider that.

  19. @AndyPandy
    AGREE. High end mech groups shift very well (ultegra+, chorus+). I make a very small tuning adjustment maybe every 1000-5000k miles. Much less maintenance than dealing with batteries. I run Campy, so triming is easy. I personally think e-groups are kinda neat, but I’ll never buy one if they are more expensive than the equivalent hi-end mech group. Most of my drivetrain maintenance is lubrication cleaning based and that wont change with this.
    Then again, I love tinkering with mechanical mechanism to make them work to perfection…

  20. Any word on whether they’ve incorporated some sort of setup mode? Us wrenches are going to have a heck of a time trying to shift through the gears with a bike in a repair stand. Shift with both hands, pedal with your… teeth?

  21. The biggest impediment to reliable shift after shift is cable friction and stretch. We’ve dealt with that. Taking that out is big. Now there is no complicated setup with wires and batteries in the post or bolted under or over the downtube. just bolt on the parts.

    The front and rear batteries look identical. the group will most likely have a spare. How hard can it be to swap out batteries, say, once a month?

  22. the thing of the buttons, is just because of shimano patents (that they allow campy to use, but not sram). It’s worse, but that is life.

    on the other hand, being wireless (1) and with no central battery (2) makes it great. Also, with sram, if the batteries are swapable front-rear. if one goes down, you can still put the one that is not empty on the rear 😉

    What about remote buttoms like shimano?

  23. And here I was thinking I had the latest and greatest with my new 3 spd internal hub….Electronic shifting, like the internet (and cell phones) will just be a passing fad.

  24. “And our crummy direct mount Bontager brakes make it hard to go back to brakes that actually stop well…..” 😉
    How easy we forgive SRAM’s quest to be first, while the public gets used as test dummies. Not a fan of flash without thought out Real World longevity. Lastly….didn’t SRAM say something about never going electric a bit go in their ads, oh yeah Blah, Blah, Blah.

  25. Is a nice Work But i dont like where rear derrailleur battery is placed. So, with this wireless design Two more batteries are necessary? 3 batteries?!

    1 batterie for emitter at levers.
    2 batterie front derralieur receiver.
    3 batterie rear derralieur receiver.

    Too much batteries…

  26. What ever happened to SRAM’s mega campaign knocking Di2 and EPS with their “No Batteries Required” ????

    SRAM eating crow!

  27. What ever happened to SRAM’s mega campaign knocking Di2 and EPS with their “No Batteries Required” ????

    SRAM eating crow!

    Having to worry about 4 batteries(both hoods, Frt Der & Rear Der) would be a nightmare

  28. “Coded digital transmission is reeeally hard to hack/interfere with unless you’re DARPA.”

    But if you know the frequency, you can jam it, though of course setting up a team bus with a load of powerful transmitters in would be illegal.

  29. If SRAM is clever enough to know that they only need to use supercaps/light batteries for both derailleurs as they understand that both areas are able to produce power through induction (esp. rear).

  30. Most of you guys don’t realize how simple the controls really are.

    “So let’s see if I understand this correctly: one shifter controls both derailleurs?”
    Nope. Each shifter has only one button. Hit the right shifter for downshifts (easier). Hit the left shifter for upshifts (harder). And, of course, both shifters at once to switch between chainrings.

    “the thing of the buttons, is just because of shimano patents (that they allow campy to use, but not sram). It’s worse, but that is life.”
    I don’t think that’s the case… the 4-button controls on Shimano Di2 shares the same arrangement as the mechanical shifters they have been making for over 2 decades.

    The 4-lever mechanical system that Shimano and Campy have used for many years is actually more complex than this, in spite of the fact that we’re all very well acclimated to it. A big reason that shifting on a road bike is a bit unnatural to a first-time user is that the big lever of your left shifter performs an upshift while the big lever on the right shifter performs the opposite function. I think that’s second nature to just about everyone here, but the initial learning curve might actually be bigger.

    This 2-button system seems more intuitive. Think of it like paddle shifters on a car, where there’s a “+” paddle on one side of the steering wheel and a “-” paddle on the other side. It’s just easier to think about than navigating the “H” pattern on a manual.

    In this application, it’s simpler because you can associate your left hand with upshifting and your right hand with downshifting, instead of thinking about which button to push with a given hand. When you push the button on the right shifter, your chain will move to the right. When you push the button on the left shifter, your chain will move the the left. Boom.

  31. @Seraph
    Yo I meant left shifter for easier and right shifter for harder. At least, that’s what I’ve heard and that would make sense since your left shifter would move the chain left and your right shifter would move the chain right. Cheers.

  32. First of all I am riding Campy, but I am not against SRAM, as I was for a long time a SACHS enthusiast. Due to the fact, that I have one bike (Merida Reacto Team) for roadraces and Tiathlon, I am very interested in a system nearly without cables.

    So here is my question:
    I often shift front and rear at the same time when I come to uphill.
    I shift down (smaller chainring) in front and up (several cogs smaller) in the rear by pushing both, left and right, big levers at the same time. I ride compact and 12-27, so I get to the nearly same transmission but I have then a brighter range of climbing gears in my right hand.

    How do I do this on this new electronic SRAM Red??

    Curious to test it.

  33. Nice start to the wireless self contained shifters & mechs we’ve been expecting, albeit a little bulbous & clunky in it’s beta form.
    Guess the shifter battery is in the conehead, which normally houses the hydraulic apparatus.
    I wonder if Shimano will stick with a centralized battery when they finally cut the wires.
    Good on yah SRAM, keep it coming.

  34. I just don’t like the design. Switching to double tap was like a revelation…I’m honestly a little disappointed that sram couldn’t figure it out. There’s a small chance I’ll stick around in the SRAM camp after my red stuff wears out…. Probably going to campy if for nothing else because they can stick to a design. So long SRAM.


  35. “I wonder if Shimano will stick with a centralized battery when they finally cut the wires.”

    You might want to think that through.

  36. Above – put one battery in the right chain stay and run wires to FD and RD. Will also let them talk to each other so FD can trim itself.

  37. Batteries are not something to worry about. Think about how big your batteries are in your car or garage fob. Small cheap and easily replaced. I would expect that the batteries, in the rear especially, would only last a couple of rides at most but how hard is it to plug your phone in each day. Also the coded signal is virtually impossible to hack as far as I know. Not saying it can’t be done but it would also be highly improbable.

    The question as to why? Mech groups can’t get much better anymore. The performance of them is just about tapped out. They can only get lighter really. So what have the companies got to wow you with each year. Electronics they can eek out another 10 years of refinement. After that they will have tapped all the tech out I think.

    No one is forcing anyone to use it. Just like anything else out there you buy what suits your purpose and budget. I actually think a wired set up is good on the training bike. Set and forget and charge your battery every 6 weeks. Keep the wireless for your race day bike and for those who can afford it and don’t mind spending the money. The technology won’t win or make you lose any races when working properly. Just like a mech group.

    It looks nice a neat which is going to make for some very slick looking installations.

  38. Can’t wait till the first major race when riders show up with this new RED group. Small jammer in the rear pocket and the fun can begin when the neutralization is finished. People that can’t shift, they drop back to the cars and the suddenly they can shift again, they join the peloton again and can’t shift.

    That my powermeter won’t work is an acceptable downside of the jammer.

  39. As noted, this is a game changer. I just upgraded to Red 22 on one bike (I guess I should have waited for this group and Ultegra Di2 on the other. It would be interesting if BikeRumor does a comparison test across the three electronic groups.

  40. No one is mentioning Mavic’s Mektronic wireless electric shifting? It was released in 1999.
    It wasn’t reliable.
    Just saying, this won’t be the first wireless system.

  41. Mavic Mektronic. Mavic ZAP. Waaay ahead of its time. I remember. So the concept has been around for a long while now but the electronics of the time – year 2000-ish – was not ready for it. I doubt that Mavic will try for it again, especially with Shimano and Campy offering such mature products.

  42. The last 2 TDFs showed SRAM that they need to develop something electronic if they ever want to get to the grand podium again. I also like the just bolt it on idea… but not so much the many batteries you have to manage.

  43. I’m pretty sure jamming any transmission is illegal under US federal law – Cell and GPS specifically, and of course wouldn’t be kosher sportsmanship.

  44. Shimano will probably go wireless too; then add a low-friction dynamo in the crank and Trek will add strips of solar cells in the top tube and down tube. All in the name of not needing to replace batteries. And then they’ll develop a helmet and a clothing line with solar cells and threads…. what? Too much? 🙂

  45. Electronic shifting is just one more stupid idea the bike industry has come out with to convince the idiots that they need to spend even more money on bikes. The point of bicycle development is no longer to make better bikes but to make more expensive bikes. Ask Fabian Cancellara, he won’t use the electronic. Do you think you need something Fabian doesn’t? Cause you don’t. The bike industry has become a joke. Bikes that cost more than new cars or motorcycles that go 180mph is just STUPID. Listen up- if you spent more than $6000 on a bike you need to spend some time evaluating your life and your priorities.

  46. “I’m pretty sure jamming any transmission is illegal under US federal law – Cell and GPS specifically, and of course wouldn’t be kosher sportsmanship.”

    It’s not like doping is either legal or ethical either.

  47. I was looking forward to seeing and trying out this system, but I’m a bit disappointed with the news thus far.

    I doubt that I would enjoy having the simultaneous button press act as a toggle switch for the FD. I like having each button shift *only* up or down, and don’t think that I would like having one button (in this case, a simultanous press) switch back and forth. Secondly, it’s nice just having to check and charge one battery (Shimano) rather than four (SRAM) — though wireless monitoring will probably make checking the battery level(s) equivalent with both systems if you have a cycle computer with you (known for Di2, probably similar for SRAM).

    Although the SRAM setup appears simpler than Di2 (for shifting, not installation), I’d argue that it’s not. Keep in mind that you can reprogram the shift buttons on a Di2 system to do almost whatever you like, making them function in a way that is more intuitive *to you* — eg. “large buttons for harder” and “small buttons for easier” or “left hand for easier” and “right hand for harder” etc. If you really want your Di2 system to have a toggle function like what you get with simultaneously pressing the buttons in this new SRAM setup, that’s probably just a matter of a firmware update. It has been a while since I used the Shimano software, though, so for all I know this may already be possible. That’s not a function that I would have been looking out for.

  48. This is what Shimano should have brought out when they launched Di2. In an age where we have smartphones, gps watches, hrm, etc.. an electronic group with wires is retared. This was my reason to still use cable actuated shifting.
    Anybody remember the toyota parlee project with mindshifting gears? This was introduced two years ago.
    In the mid nineties I read an article in MBA where they asked where mountainbiking would go to in the future. It was Chris Cance of Fat Chance bikes who said that someday we would be shifting gears just by thinking about it. That’s what I call forward thinking. This is a solid step ahead. Never used much SRAM but will sure think about it now.

  49. Ben – it’s always expensive at the top. But you’re right, for most of us, we don’t need that much bike bling. It’s more for the obsessed and those with extra cash to burn. To each his own, I suppose.

    KC – The idea of thought-controlled shifting is intriguing. However, I’d rather not think about it and just focus on something else, like my approach to a line. Lord knows I’m a bit slow in the thought-control department. How about going the opposite direction. Cars have automatic trannies. Some comfort/cruiser type bikes have it too. Why not build it up and make it quick smart with gyros, accelerometers and orientation sensors, and a chip governor with a really slick algorithm? It will know when you’re going downhill, know when you’re going uphill. You can upload a route plan, training plan, whatever. And you can override it as necessary, like cruise control. It’s definitely going to be difficult to develop but the newer smartphones already have the chip or chips. So that’s half the battle. It’s very similar technology but a very different application. Marzocchi already has a smart MTB front suspension shock that is reportedly quite good. you just let the fork manage the bumps. I think its doable. I just don’t know if it makes sense.

  50. ITS SEQUENTIAL! Two levers, two motions. Holding both levers to shift the front derailer doesn’t make sense no matter how much you try to rationalize it because how can you shift front and rear at the same time? The only viable alternative is that it’s sequential and therefore needs no front derailer levers. This is also going to be the “first” production road sequential electronic shifting group set (ignoring the hacks done by Bedford or similar projects) and will certainly be offered by shimano in the next groupset update. I would say with 90% certainty that this is sequential and SRAM is just screwing with everyone by talking about the front derailer controls.

  51. Bryin: “if you spent more than $6000 on a bike you need to spend some time evaluating your life and your priorities”

    Really? Let’s say for just a second you have your finger on the pulse of other people’s checkbooks, where did you pull the $6000 number from? For under $3k you can get a carbon bike with Ultegra and a reasonable set of wheels. $6k will get you a pretty spectacular bike, many of which are sporting Ultegra Di2.

  52. I was at the tour of California and saw the components up close…they looked about 99% done. I’m posting this from Vail and have seen the latest version on the Bissell bikes this week up close and the components look polished and finished…especially the batteries. I’m impressed and more than willing to try the new red electronic group when it comes out.

  53. I can see SRAM turning this system into a 1x setup. Think about it.

    1. SRAM is doing everything else 1x and not having enough gears for the road is definitely not an issue.
    2. You have the right and left shifter controlling the rear derailleur, which keeps your console proportional, unlike their cx 1x groupset, which just looks funky (Pressing the R&L shifter to shift the front derailleur was probably an afterthought) .
    3. It saves weight.

  54. Is there a definitive answer to how to and shift front and rear at once to dump many gears at the foot of a wall climb, in a sharp valley, etc.? It seems crazy that you need two presses to do one action. What if you need to shift front while holding a bottle or sth?

  55. WORD – you clearly aren’t a road racer, but that’s ok. I like the sound of a 1x for my cross bikes. 1x setup is not going to work on the road for a lot of guys, the trade off is not worth it. Road racers like to have a tight set of gears like 11-23 or 11-21 for smooth gear to gear transitions. Some of us also use a huge front ring. I can’t stand the gaps on even a 11-25 in a flat area. That said, we don’t want to have to swap wheels to climb a hill when using big rings up front. We need that 11×53 no matter what, and that would leave a choppy set of gears with 1x.

  56. Regarding the multi batteries comment. No wires = independent power sources. Wireless is the natural progression of everything electronic. How many on this site remember phones attached to the wall? I can’t wait to try it on a handcycle. It is a game changer. @willlachenauer

  57. Unless the groupset’s price will be way over Di2, I’ll sign up for a set right now. I didn’t really understand why Shimano had to replace steel wires with copper cables. Having none at all will really clean up the bike and ease any installation. As long as the transmission is as reliable as ANT+ sensors are.

  58. Campy was working with electronic groups almost 20 years before they introduced it to the public, so I cant believe it is Shimano that let Campy use or license its patents( couldn’t see Shimano ever sharing tech with anyone)
    I like the SRAM wireless group, although I run Campy on my road and cx bikes, I use SRAM exclusively on my mountain bikes and it always works flawlessly, except for the older XX WC brakes.

  59. I’m almost done dealing with the brake recall, so its good that I’ll have a project after that. Good timing on SRAM’s part.

  60. On my Di2 bike, I currently have the software configured so the right shifter moves four cogs on a press-and-hold. So a press and hold with both small shifters shifts to the small chainring while shifting the rear derailleur at a similar ratio to what I was just in on the large chainring. Similar for both large shifters shifting to the big chainring while downshifting the RD by four cogs. Or I can still fire as many RD shifts as I want, the old way (which is pretty fast)

    My guess is that shifting this new SRAM system, where the chainrings have to be shifted separately from the RD, is going to feel far less smooth.

    That said, Bravo SRAM for doing their own take on this. Nothing drives innovation like a little friendly competition.

  61. I have been running DuraAce Di2 since 2011 and the super smooth front shifts changed the way I ride. I also get about 2500 miles per battery charge, so the idea that you would have to charge the SRAM batteries every few rides seems unlikely.

    I like the idea of wireless and as previously mentioned if it works as well as current ANT+ devices it should be very reliable. Making the batteries interchangeable would be very nice if the RD battery dies while riding.

  62. M68K I share your concern. I don’t know how I would get that critical double shift you
    described with the new system . Any delay brings down the guy behind you. Still the system has the potential to be amazing although I’ll wait for V3 before I make the switch….haha

  63. I just got to ride this around my street yesterday. Very nice. No cables, aside from the brakes, will make setup of new bikes such a breeze. The shifting is snappy, and having to use both hands for the front derailleur takes a little getting used to. The movement on the shifters required to shift is really small, but takes enough force to make sure it doesn’t happen on accident. The brake levers are nice, but I’m not a fan of how fat/wide the brake levers feel. Shifts are precise and quick, and I didn’t notice too much noise. I’ve never ridden Di2, so I have nothing to compare to, but the wireless part is really nice.

What do you think?